Saturday, May 7, 2016

December 25, 1939: Fresh Soviet Attacks

Monday 25 December 1939

25 December 1939 Kollaa River Finland
Finnish Army Lieutenant Aarne Juutilainen and his company holding a Christmas service near the Kollaa River, 25 December 1939.
Winter War Army Operations: The Taipale sector heats up again on 25 December 1939. After days of bombing and shelling, the Soviet 4th Rifle Division crosses Lake Suvanto before dawn. The Soviets quickly take "beachheads" (everything is frozen anyway) of battalion strength at Patoniemi, Volossula, and Kelja.

The day turns into a wild melee at each of the three beachheads. At Patoniemi, the Finns send a reserve battalion that spends the rest of the day ejecting and eliminating the attackers. At Volossula, the Finns send a battalion to reinforce the local company and eject the Soviets while sustaining heavy casualties. At Kelja, Finnish artillery catches some of the attackers on the ice, but even desperate counter-attacks can't dislodge the Soviets. There is savage fighting all day long at all three flashpoints.

At Suomussalmi, the 163rd Division tries to break out again, but fails. With their backs to Lake Vuonanlahti and no way out to the east, the Soviets are starting to try to escape to safety that way, but with little success. The Soviets on the Ratte road 25th Regiment) remain quiet.

Soviet 13th Army forms up in the Karelian Isthmus.

Winter War Air Operations: The Soviets launch merciless bombing and strafing attacks on all major (and minor) Finnish cities, including Helsinki, Viipuri, Borga, Tampere, Koivisto and Turku. The Soviets focus on railway lines. The Finnish fighter force goes up and, along with anti-aircraft forces, downs or damages 20 Soviet bombers.

Winter War Naval Operations: The Soviet cruiser Marat shells Kovisto coastal batteries.

Four Soviet submarines leave port.

Battle of the Atlantic: The 2,473-ton British freighter Stanholme hits a mine and sinks in the Bristol Channel, Irish Sea. Twelve survive and 12 perish.

British minesweeping trawler HMS Loch Doon hits a mine and sinks near Blyth, Scotland.

25 December 1939 General Freyberg
General Freyberg.
British Military: General Bernard Freyberg arrives in New Zealand to assume command of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force.

German Government: Hitler continues his visit to the Siegfried Line.

British Government: The King broadcasts a Christmas message, stating:
A New Year is at hand. We cannot tell what it will bring. If it brings peace, how thankful we shall all be. If it brings us continued struggle, we shall remain undaunted.
Italian/Romanian Relations: Italy pledges to support Romania against the Soviet Union.

China: Japanese 21st Army captures  Liangkou and attacks around Meikeng in the Chinese 4th War Area zone. In the continuing Battle of South Kwangsi, the Japanese 5th Infantry Division receives badly needed supplies in a relief column. However, the Chinese West Route Force sends the Japanese 5th Infantry Division at Lungchow into retreat toward Nanning.

25 December 1939 Blois France
Père Noël visits French soldiers of the recently reformed 331st Infantry Regiment with gifts for the soldiers. Blois, Loir-et-Cher, Center Region, France. 25 December 1939.
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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