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Start of World War II: September 1939-March 1940


World War II Timeline: March 1, 1940-March 14, 1940

March 1940 brought major developments in World War II, including Adolf Hitler outlining his plan to invade Norway and Denmark. Below is a World War II timeline tracing this and other important events of March 1940.

World War II Timeline: March 1-March 14

March: According to the BBC, two out of three British citizens listen to "Lord Haw-Haw," the "omniscient," traitorous announcer of the German propaganda radio show Germany Calling.

March 1: Facing shortages of darker dyes for servicemen's uniforms, British women are asked to wear only light-colored clothing.

Adolf Hitler orders his generals to create a plan for the invasion of Norway and Denmark.

March 2: The Allies ask Sweden and Norway for the right to cross their territory for the purpose of sending troops to reinforce a flagging Finnish force, but are refused.

March 6: A delegation leaves Helsinki for Moscow to negotiate the terms of Finland's surrender to the Soviets.

March 7: The Queen Elizabeth, the new flagship of Cunard's luxury liner fleet, arrives in New York at the end of a daring high-speed crossing of the German U-boat-infested Atlantic.

March 9: A belated offer of troops and material support from the Allies is relayed to Helsinki.

March 11: The United States has relaxed its arms embargo for its once and future allies, selling several P-40 fighters to Britain and France.

March 12: Marched for some 18 hours in a blizzard, 72 of 1,000 German Jewish deportees succumb to the elements in Lublin, Poland.

The Soviet Union and Finland sign a peace treaty in which Finland surrenders substantial strategic territory, including the city of Viipuri and the port of Hangö. The new order comes at a cost of some 25,000 Finnish lives and the deaths of nearly 70,000 Soviets.

March 14: Some half-million Finns pour out of the Soviet-occupied territory shortly after the cessation of hostilities.

World War II Headlines

Below are more images and headlines detailing events from World War II in March 1940.

Britain and Australia ally to fight Japan: This piece of Allied propaganda, which emphasizes a cooperative effort against Japan by Australian and British forces, is not entirely accurate. Australia entered the war against Germany in 1939, sending troops to the Middle East in accordance with British strategy. Volunteer Australian soldiers proved to be top-notch, despite the impact of prewar monetary cuts on military preparedness. However, Australian strategy changed with Japan's entry into the war in 1941 and the potential invasion of Australia itself. Preoccupied with the German threat, Britain was not able to guarantee support, and Australia turned to the United States instead.

On March 18, 1940, Adolf Hitler met with Benito Mussolini to discuss Italy joining the war. This and other events from March of 1940 are discussed on the World War II timeline next.

To follow more major events of World War II, see:


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