|1 February 1940
In the Winter War in Finland, the 2nd Battle
of Summa began.
The main body of the 5th Battalion, King's
Own, based at Swindon, was given embarkation leave. This
comprised 20 officers and 553 other ranks.
|2 February 1940
The first scrap week
sponsored by the Ministry of Supply started today.
|3 February 1940
A German Luftwaffe
plane crashed on English soil for the first time when a Heinkel,
HE 111 was shot down near Whitby, North Yorkshire.
Credited with the shooting was Flight Lieutenant Peter Townsend
who was later equerry to King George VI from 1944 to 1952 and
then to Queen Elizabeth II from 1952 to 1953. He also had
a romance with Princess Margaret.
|4 February 1940
The BBC Radio
broadcasts today featured the Central Band of the Royal Air
Force; The Children's House, included the story of the building
of St. Paul's Cathedral and the weeks good cause was the Empire
Societies War Hospitality Committee for Overseas Troops, who
provided residential clubs and social centres.
|5 February 1940
The main body of the
5th Battalion, King's Own, returned from embarkation leave.
|6 February 1940
The 'Careless Talk
Costs Lives' propaganda campaign began in Britain, aimed at
prevent the spread of rumours, gossip and important war
|7 February 1940
The Merchant Vessel
Munster struck a mine in Liverpool Bay when on the Belfast to
Liverpool service. All 134 on board were rescued.
|8 February 1940
officers and men of the 5th Battalion, King's Own, unfit for
service overseas were posted to the 8th (Irish) Battalion,
King's Regiment at Morecambe and Heysham.
|9 February 1940
A German Heinkell HE 111,
damaged by a Spitfire, was forced to land at North Berwick, East
Midlothian, with one of the crew killed and the other three
taken prisoner of war. The aircraft was repaired and flown
by the Royal Air Force as part of the Enemy Aircraft Flight,
until it was lost on 10th November 1943 due to contact with the
enemy. The plan was used in the film 'Combat America' a
training film for the American Air Force gunners, flown by
Captain Clark Gable in July 1943.
|10 February 1940
In Finland, Soviet troops
broke through the Mannerheim Line.
In America the first "Tom
and Jerry" cat and mouse cartoon was released.
|11 February 1940
A Royal Air Force bomber
from RAF Thornaby crashed on the snow covered North Yorkshire
Moors, three of four crew being killed. A carrier-pigeon
called 'Polly' survived the crash and flew home for which it was
awarded the 'Dicken Medal' the animal equivalent of the Victoria
|12 February 1940
The German submarine U33
was sunk in the Firth of Clyde by the minesweeper HMS Gleaner.
The first troops from Australia and New Zealand arrived in
|13 February 1940
Finland asked Sweden to
provide troops to fight against the Soviet Union, but Sweden
refused fearing that this would give both Britain and Germany
grounds for invasion.
|14 February 1940
The 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th
Battalions of the King's Own Royal Regiment were raised as
Pioneer Battalions, receiving officers and men from many other
units of the British Army.
The British Government announces
that merchant ships in the North Sea would be armed.
|15 February 1940
In Finland, the 2nd
Battle of Summa ended in Soviet victory.
Government announces that all British merchant ships would be
class was warships.
|16 February 1940
The 'Altmark' incident
took place when the Royal Navy seized the German merchant ship 'Altmark'
in Norwegian waters, and freed 299 prisoners of war who had been
taken from merchant ships attacked by the Germans.
|17 February 1940
presented a detailed war plan to Adolf Hitler for the German
invasion of France and the Low Countries.
|18 February 1940
The British destroyer HMS
Daring was sunk by the German submarine U23 east of the Orkney
BBC Radio started broadcasting the Forces Programme
as well as the Home Service, which would run until 26 February
1944 when the General Forces Programme took over, offering
programmes to cater for the American soldiers now in Britain for
the forth coming invasion of France.
|19 February 1940
Adolf Hitler, alarmed by
the 'Altmark' incident ordered the hastening of the planning for
the invasion of Norway.
|20 February 1940
It was reported in the
House of Commons that the number of recommended candidates for
commissions now serving in the ranks of the Army was
approximately 17 500 of which about 10 000 were in officer cadet
|21 February 1940
Adolf Hitler authorised
the German invasion of Norway.
|22 February 1940
A German destroyer was
bombed and damaged by a Heinkel HE111 and strayed into a
minefield in the Dogger Bank, struck a mine and sank with the
loss of 282 of her 342 crew. Another German destroyer
coming to assist struck a mine and sunk with the loss of all 308
crew. The German aircraft had been assumed to the a Royal
Air Force plane, so was fired upon by the ships, to the plane in
turn returned fire with three bombs hitting the destroyer.
No allied shipping was involved in the incident, and this showed
the poor co-operation between the German Navy and Airforce.
|23 February 1940
The Lord Mayor of London
gave a luncheon party at the Guildhall to the officers and
ratings of HMS Exeter and HMS Ajax to celebrate their victory at
the Battle of the River Plate over the German battleship 'Graf
|24 February 1940
Lieutenant Colonel G
Oglethorpe, commanding officer of the 5th Battalion, King's Own,
rejoined the battalion from sick leave and resumed command of
the battalion. 24 other ranks were posted into the 5th
Battalion, from the King's Own Infantry Training Centre in
|25 February 1940
The first squadron of the
Royal Canadian Air Force arrived in Britain.
summertime commenced today.
|26 February 1940
In anticipation of the
5th Battalion, King's Own, receiving additional men through
March, work has commenced on the erection of a new camp site at
Crowdys Hill, Crickdale Road, Swindon.
|27 February 1940
Both Norway and Sweden
refused to allow British and French troops to cross through
their territory to aid Finland.
|28 February 1940
In the House of Commons a
question was asked about the use of blind persons on aircraft
location work, on account of that directional sense of hearing
being more accurate than that of sighted persons, and if he will
consider giving blind persons the opportunity to do such work.
The reply indicated that tests found that blind persons could
not be recommended for this duty; listening members of a search
light detachment were required to perform other duties which
necessitated the use of their eyes.
|29 February 1940
BBC audience research
showed that 16 million people listened to the 9 o'clock news
broadcast, and then 6 million switched straight over to Lord
Haw-Haw's broadcast from Germany afterwards.