Sunday 31 December 1939
Battle of the Atlantic: On 31 December 1939, it is time for some summing up.
For all of 1939, the totals are:
- Allied/Neutral ships lost: 225 ships, 767,358 tons
- U-boats lost: 9
- 72 Allied ships 190,768 tons
- U-boats lost: 1
British freighter Box Hill hits a mine and sinks.
The German freighter Tacoma complies with the order of the Uruguayan government and moves its anchorage outside of Uruguayan waters.
The British release the US freighter Excalibur from detention at Gibraltar.
Winter War Army Operations: With Suomussalmi cleared, General Siilsavuo has his men scout out the Raate road from the parallel ice road he has had them build on Lake Voukki. They find that Soviet 44th Rifle Division is stationary and now stretches over 39 km back to the Soviet border. Captain Mäkinen of Group Kontula is blocking the road at the western end with just two machine companies, which the Soviets must believe is a far greater force because they have more than enough firepower to level the Finns there, including artillery. The Soviet armor is bunched up in front of this blockade but is immobile.
The commander of the Soviet 44th Rifle Divison, Kombrig Vinogradov, and his commissar Parhomenko both advance to the regimental headquarters (still on Soviet territory) from their position far behind the lines.
Winter War Air Operations: The Soviets once again bomb Viipuri, Helsinki and about ten other Finnish cities.
League of Nations: The British and French inform the League that they will be providing as much assistance to the Finns as they can. Many British volunteers have been sailing to Finland.
British Homefront: Also time for summing up.
For the war months September - December 1939:
- Road Deaths: 4,130
- Military Deaths (all causes): 2,511
In some rare acts of defiance, New Year's celebrants shine torches despite the blackout.
Canada: A second convoy of Canadian troops arrives at a west coast port.
German Homefront: Adolf Hitler gives a New Year's Proclamation, stating the British are "war-mongers and war-declarers" and that Germany's primary war aim is the defeat of "British tyranny.":
"We shall only talk of peace when we have won the war. The Jewish-capitalistic world will not survive the twentieth century."He also talks about "the existence or non-existence of the German people," which strikes a somewhat equivocal tone that he has maintained since the beginning of the war.
Turkey: The death toll from the earthquake and other trauma keeps rising, this time to 30,000 people.
China: In the Chinese Winter Offensive, the Chinese East Route Force continues routing the Japanese 5th Infantry Division: it captures Kunlunkuan and Tienyin.
The River North Army of the Chinese 5th War Area retreats across the Han River.
The Japanese 21st Army advances to Yingteh against the Chinese 4th War Area.
The Chinese 2d War Area takes possession of Peishe.
|Times Square, New Year's Eve 1939. "Gone With The Wind" is still the top film out and will be for some time.|
December 1939December 1, 1939: Finland Fights for its Life
December 2, 1939: First RAF Bombs on Germany
December 3, 1939: Soviets Still Advancing in Finland
December 4, 1939: Molotov to Roosevelt - Mind Your Own Business
December 5, 1939: Prien Returns
December 6, 1939: Attacks on Mannerheim Line
December 7, 1939: Kollaa Holds!
December 8, 1939: Polish Pilots Return
December 9, 1939: First British BEF Fatality
December 10, 1939: The Soviets Capture Salla in Finland
December 11, 1939: Finns Make Their Move
December 12, 1939: Finnish Success in the Winter War
December 13, 1939: Battle of River Platte
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
January 1940January 1, 1940: Finns Carve up the Soviets
January 2, 1940: Finnish Counterattacks Continue
January 3, 1940: Soviets Trapped
January 4, 1940: Soviet Breakout Attempts Fail
January 5, 1940: Dicing Up the Soviets
January 6, 1940: Soviet 44th Division Runs
January 7, 1940: Shakeup in Soviet High Command
January 8, 1940: Ratte Road Battle Ends
January 9, 1940: British Submarines in Peril
January 10, 1940: Mechelen Incident
January 11, 1940: Finns Surround More Soviets
January 12, 1940: New Soviet Attacks at Taipale
January 13, 1940: Fall Gelb Postponed
January 14, 1940: Japan's Government Falls
January 15, 1940: Soviets Prepare More Carefully
January 16, 1940: German Atrocities Uncovered
January 17, 1940: Bletchley Park in Action
January 18, 1940: New Hope for Allied Shipping
January 19, 1940: Finnish Attacks at Salla
January 20, 1940: Churchill Urges Cooperation
January 21, 1940: Asam Maru Incident
January 22, 1940: Dissension Within British Government
January 23, 1940: Dissension in South Africa
January 24, 1940: NKVD Blocking Detachments
January 25, 1940: Auschwitz Site Selected
January 26, 1940: Millionaire Bunker Destroyed
January 27, 1940: U-20 Sinks Four Ships
January 28, 1940: Softening Up the Finns
January 29, 1940: Moscow Willing to Talk
January 30, 1940: Hitler Throws Down the Gauntlet
January 31, 1940: Timoshenko Is Ready