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24 Feb 1940
  • Foreign ministers from Norway, Denmark, and Sweden reasserted the neutrality of their home countries, jointly declaring that they would not assist Finland and would not allow foreign troops to enter their territories. Ignoring this declaration, British envoy to Finland Sir George Gordon Vereker continued to promise 20,000 to 22,000 Allied fighters for Finland if Finland would make such a request by 5 Mar 1940. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-63 sank Swedish merchant ship Santos 70 miles east of the Orkney Islands, Scotland at 2100 hours, killing 31. 12 survivors were rescued by HMS Gallant on the next day. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain condemned Hitler's aggression but said that he was prepared to negotiate with an alternative German government. ww2dbase [Neville Chamberlain | AC]
  • Hitler gave approval to detailed plans for the invasion of France and the Low Countries. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | AC]
  • USS Helena departed Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. ww2dbase [Helena (St. Louis-class) | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • M1 rammed and sunk four Danish fishing trawlers Ejjam (E 92), Gerlis (E 456), Merkator (348), and Polaris (E 504) off the Dogger Bank in the North Sea. There were four crewmen aboard each ship, and even though some survived the sinking initially, commanding officer Oberleutnant zur See Hans Bartels of M1 did not pick up any survivors, thus all of them would eventually be lost. Bartel suspected that the trawlers were reporting German movements to the British while flying the flag of a neutral nation. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | M1 | North Sea | CPC]
  • Commander Mario Giorgini took command of 1a Flottiglia MAS, a motor torpedo boat flotilla. ww2dbase [CPC]
United Kingdom
  • The 2,266-ton British cargo steamer Royal Archer (built in 1928) hit a mine laid by German submarine U-21 off Kirkaldy, Scotland, United Kingdom and sank. The 27 crew and a gunner were saved. The ship was on route from London for Leith carrying a cargo of 630 tons general cargo including gum, paste, etc. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | Scotland | HM]
  • The 5,941-ton cargo steamer Clan Morrison, requisitioned by the British Admiralty, was steaming from Southampton to Blyth struck a mine and sank 20 miles north of Cromer, Norfolk, England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | Cromer, England | HM]

24 Feb 1940 Interactive Map

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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Famous WW2 Quote
"No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. You win the war by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country!"

George Patton, 31 May 1944

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