I’m continuing my WWII Timeline series with a look at January – March 1940 in this post.
A Timeline of WWII, Winter 1940
The antisemitic newspaper, Der Stürmer, quoted its publisher and prominent member of the Nazi party, Julius Streicher,
The time is near when a machine will go into motion which is going to prepare a grave for the world’s criminal – Judah – from which there will be no resurrection.
January 8, 1940
Butter, sugar, and bacon rationing began in Britain.
January 9, 1940
SS chief of Danzig and West Prussia, Richard Hildebrandt, told Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler that he instructed his troops to execute more than four thousand mentally ill Polish citizens.
The British ocean liner MV Dunbar Castle, with a crew of one hundred fifty and forty-eight passengers, hit a German mine and foundered off the English coast. The captain and two of the crew were killed, and two storekeepers were missing, but no other lives were lost.
January 16, 1940
Adolf Hitler issued orders to postpone his attack in the west until Spring.
January 21, 1940
The British destroyer HMS Exmouth was torpedoed by a German U-boat in the Moray Firth. Capt. R. S. Benson, fifteen officers, and one hundred seventy-three crew were killed.
January 24, 1940
Chief of Nazi Gestapo Reinhard Heydrich was appointed to oversee the evacuation of all Jews from the Reich.
January 25, 1940
The Nazis selected the town of Oswiecim (Auschwitz) near Krakow, Poland for the site of a new concentration camp.
February 10, 1940
In Czechoslovakia, the Nazis prohibited Jewish-owned businesses from selling art, jewels, and precious metals, and forced the closure of Jewish-owned textile and leather shops.
February 12, 1940
The first German Jews were deported into occupied Poland.
Paper rationing began in Britain.
February 14, 1940
Britain declared it would outfit all merchant ships with guns.
February 15, 1940
Germany declared it would treat all British merchant ships as hostile combatants.
February 29, 1940
Food and gas rationing began in France.
March 7, 1940
The Cunard luxury ocean liner Queen Elizabeth safely reached New York after a harrowing crossing of the German U-boat infested Atlantic.
March 12, 1940
Finland signed a peace treaty with the Soviets and ceded the northern shores of Lake Lagoda and the small Finnish coastline on the Arctic Sea to the Soviet Union. The cost of the Russian aggression which resulted in the treaty was 25,000 Finnish lives and nearly 70,000 Soviet lives. After the end of hostilities, a half million Finns left the Soviet-occupied territory.
Seventy-two of one thousand German Jews deported to Poland died during an eighteen hour march in a blizzard in Lublin, Poland.
March 14, 1940
Hermann Göring ordered all German citizens to relinquish all metals that could be turned into war materials.
March 16, 1940
The Nazis bombed the Scapa Flow (a body of water in the Orkney Islands) naval base near Scotland.
March 18, 1940
Adolf Hitler and Italian dictator Benito Mussolini met to discuss Italy’s entry into the war. They determined that Mussolini’s troops would attack France.
March 30, 1940
Japan established a Chinese puppet government controlled by Wang Ching-wei, a defector from the Nationalist cause, in Nanking. The US refused to recognize it.
This series of posts is based on a compilation of timelines from:
The History Place:
Most recent post from the series:
© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2019