February 9, 2018




USSR, Estonia, Latvia, Poland & Romania signed Litvinov's Pact, providing for the immediate implementation of the Kellogg-Briand Pact, thus formally renouncing war as a part of national policy among its signatories. Four other countries later formally adhered to the protocol: Lithuania, Finland, Persia, and Turkey. The pact was concluded in Moscow, named after its chief negotiator, Maxim Litvinov. (Note: The Kellogg-Briand Pact was an international agreement signed on August 27, 1928 in which signatory states promised not to use war to resolve "disputes or conflicts of whatever nature or of whatever origin they may be, which may arise among them". Parties failing to abide by this promise "should be denied of the benefits furnished by this treaty". Its primary signatories were Germany, France and the United States, later followed by most other nations.


Beginning of Mass Deportations of Polish citizens:  Following the Soviet invasion of Poland on September 17, 1939, as per the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, the Soviet Union occupied over half of the territory of the Second Polish Republic (roughly 201,000 square kilometres (78,000 sq mi) inhabited by over 13,200,000 people). In the next few months, the Soviet NKVD rounded up and deported over 1 million Polish citizens.  There were four waves of deportations: on February 10  of more than 220,000 people who were deported to the far north and east in Russia, including Siberia and Khabarovsk Krai; on April 13, 1940, more than 320,000 people were deported to Kazakhstan;  the third wave in June to July 1940, resulted in deportation of more than 240,000 people; and the fourth and last wave occurred in June 1941 where more than 300,000 people were deported.


Black Friday: A force of Allied Bristol Beaufighter aircraft suffered heavy casualties during an unsuccessful attack on the German destroyer Z33 and its escorting vessels. The German ships were sheltered in a strong defensive position in Førde Fjord, Norway, forcing the Allied aircraft to attack through heavy anti-aircraft fire. The Allied fighter aircraft were intercepted by twelve German Focke-Wulf Fw 190. While the Allies were able to damage at least two of the German ships, they lost a total of nine Beaufighters shot down by enemy guns. Four or five German fighters were shot down by the Allied aircraft, including one flown by German Ace Rudi Linz.

Action of 9 February 1945:  The German U-864 submarine was detected and sunk west off the cost of Bergen, Norway by the British submarine HMS Venturer. To date this event remains the only time in history when one submarine has intentionally sunk another submarine while both were fully submerged. The battle ensued for a long period of time, and amidst unfamiliar circumstances. Allied Commander James Launders waited three quarters of an hour after first contact with the enemy vessel before taking battle stations. He anticipated that U-864 would surface and present itself as an easier target. But the enemy began evasive maneuvers. The Venturer was carrying only eight torpedoes while the U-864 had a total of 22.  After three hours, Launders gave the order to fire a spread of torpedos released at 12:12 followed by 17 second intervals and dove immediately to avoid any retaliatory hits. The U-864 dove even deeper upon hearing the torpedoes and was able to avoid the first three, but unknowingly came into the path of the forth torpedo. The enemy vessel split into two, and sank west of the island of Fedje. All 73 on board died. (PS: A Norwegian minesweeper discovered the wreck in October 2003. The vessel has been steadily leaking mercury into the water for decades contaminating the water and fisheries. When it sank, the U-864 had been transporting almost two thousand containers of mercury, intended for weapons production. Discussions are still continuing on the best way to entomb the vessel, rather than attempt a very dangerous salvage operation. It's not due only to the containers, but there may be live torpedoes in the wreck.)

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