3 Mar 1940
  • Italy protested UK-proposed ban on Italian imports of German coal. ww2dbase [TH]
  • Two days after the offered peace ultimatum expired, Soviet forces launched a major offensive against the Finns. A beachhead on the frozen Viipuri Bay west of the Viipuri city was reinforced, while the island of Uuras was captured. Finnish General Wallenius was dishonorably discharged for getting drunk during this key moment in the defense; Lieutenant General Lennart Oesch was appointed to succeed him. ww2dbase [The Winter War | TH]
  • British cruiser HMS York stopped the 3,359-ton German steamer Arucas 50 miles south of Iceland. Arucas' crew of 42 Arucas scuttled the ship. 3 died in the process. 39 men were picked up by HMS York. Arucas had sailed out of Vigo, Spain on 9 Feb in an attempt to break the Allied blockade. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | York | CPC, HM]
  • German submarine U-29 laid mines in the Bristol Channel. British steamer Cato hit one of them later on this date, killing 13; 2 survivors were rescued by minesweeper HMS Akita. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Adolf Hitler decided that the invasion of Norway would take place prior to the invasion of France. ww2dbase [Invasion of Denmark and Norway | CPC]
  • Hermann Göring met with US Under Secretary of State Sumner Welles in Berlin, Germany. ww2dbase [Hermann Göring | Berlin | CPC]
  • In a session of the Soviet Politburo in Moscow, Russia, Joseph Stalin and the five Politburo members approved the execution of captured Polish officers and land owners. ww2dbase [Katyn Massacre and Related Atrocities | Moscow | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • As the large passenger liner Queen Elizabeth sailed for New York, British agents released false information regarding the final destination being Southampton in southern England, United Kingdom. German intelligence apparently picked up this information as Luftwaffe aircraft appeared to bomb Southampton on this date, the date when Queen Elizabeth was falsely said to arrive. ww2dbase [Queen Elizabeth | CPC]

Timeline Section Founder: Thomas Houlihan
Contributors: Alan Chanter, C. Peter Chen, Thomas Houlihan, Hugh Martyr, David Stubblebine
Special Thanks: Rory Curtis

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"With Germany arming at breakneck speed, England lost in a pacifist dream, France corrupt and torn by dissension, America remote and indifferent... do you not tremble for your children?"

Winston Churchill, 1935

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