Friday, February 12, 2010

Day 166 February 13, 1940

Battle of the Atlantic. At 2 AM, U-50 fires several torpedoes at Norwegian tanker Albert L. Ellsworth (all miss) then departs. The crew panic and abandon ship in lifeboats and rafts. However, 2 survivors from MV Snestad (rescued Feb 11 by Albert L. Ellsworth) drown in the scramble. 42 men reboard Ellsworth at dawn and continue on to Bergen. U-25 missed Norwegian SS Chastine Mærsk with the last 2 torpedoes overnight but, at dawn, sinks her with the deck gun in the North Sea. All 30 crew are rescued by Norwegian SS Hilda.
U-53 sinks Swedish SS Norna west of Ireland (18 lives lost).

Karelian Isthmus. Finns try to retake the lost main defensive line in the Lähde sector but are pushed back by Soviet tanks. Instead, Red Army enlarges its breakthrough but still does not mount a decisive thrust. Finnish troops retake the Kirvesmäki stronghold on the River Taipale, overrun by Soviet troops yesterday.

In Sweden, Finnish Foreign Minister Tanner asks Swedish Government to send troops to Finland. The Swedes declines, being too concerned with Allied plans to ‘aid Finland’ via the Swedish iron ore fields and likely German intervention to prevent this.

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