Friday, December 25, 2009

Day 115 December 24, 1939

The Red Army has little to show for 24 days of fighting, only having pushed the Finns back to prepared defenses on the Isthmus. Stavka had planned 12 days to conquer Finland, making political assumptions that the Finnish populace and army would rebel against the Capitalist government and welcome the Soviet liberators. Consequently, the Soviet troops are running out of food, fuel and ammunition. Worse, they do not have winter clothing. Not only do they freeze but their dark uniforms stand out clearly against the snow making easy targets.

Soviet 163rd division tries to break out of Suomussalmi but is pushed back. 44th division, now stationary for miles along the Raate Road, hears the guns but inexplicably does not move out in support. Finnish "Group Talvela" pursues beaten Soviet 75th and 139th divisions back across the Russian border. The Finns are briefly in possession of Soviet soil.

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