Saturday, May 7, 2016

December 26, 1939: Vicious Battles at Kelja

Saturday 26 December 1939

26 December 1939 Bristol Blenheim bomber Finland
The Finnish Air Force, here a Bristol Blenheim bomber, stays in the air with the aid of horses.
Winter War Army Operations: The Finnish 9th Division brings up some artillery on 26 December 1939 and begins shelling the Soviets trapped in the town of Suomussalmi. The Soviet 163rd Rifle Division has no escape route, and the 44th Rifle Division remains trapped on the Ratte road.

In the Taipale area, the Soviets send reinforcements across the ice to the men at Kelja who crossed on the 25th. The Finns attempt several counterattacks starting early in the morning, but they fail. The Soviets continue sending over more men in the teeth of Finnish artillery and shore batteries at the Kekinniemi fort which has a clear field of fire over the ice. It is a brutal battle, with nowhere to hide and shells raining down everywhere. The lake "is littered with piles of bodies” according to one onlooker. The day ends with the situation relatively unchanged, which is a defeat for the Finns because the Soviets have consolidated their position.

Battle of the Atlantic: Royal Navy submarine HMS Triumph is damaged by a mine.

German freighter Glucksburg is chased by the Royal Navy destroyer HMS Wishart and runs aground near Cadiz in the Mediterranean.

Convoy OA 60G departs from Southend, Convoy OB 60 departs from Liverpool, and Convoy SL 14 departs from Freetown.

Australia: The First Squadron of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) lands at Pembroke, Wales for active duty with Coastal Command. They will fly Sunderland flying boats with No. 10 Squadron.

Sweden: The military calls up the reserves.

China: At the Battle of South Kwangsi, the Chinese attack the Japanese near Kunlunkuan. The Chinese 5th War Area attacks around Hsinyang. The Japanese 21st Army crosses the North River in the Chinese 4th War Area.

26 December 1939 Disney Studios
December 26, 1939, The Disney Studio begins its move to Burbank, California, from the Hyperion Studio in Los Angeles.

December 14, 1939: Quisling Meets Hitler
December 15, 1939: Chinese Winter Offensive in High Gear
December 16, 1939: Battle of Summa
December 17, 1939: End of Admiral Graf Spee
December 18, 1939: Battle of Heligoland Bight
December 19, 1939: British Disarm Magnetic Mines
December 20, 1939: Finnish Counterattacks Continue
December 21, 1939: Finns Plan More Counterattacks
December 22, 1939: Enter Chuikov
December 23, 1939: Failed Finnish Counterattack
December 24, 1939: Soviets on the Run
December 25, 1939: Fresh Soviet Attacks
December 26, 1939: Vicious Battles at Kelja
December 27, 1939: Grinding Finnish Victories
December 28, 1939: Liberators
December 29, 1939: Finns Tighten the Noose
December 30, 1939: Finnish Booty
December 31, 1939: Planning More Soviet Destruction


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