Friday, December 25, 2009

Day 116 December 25, 1939

After a lull in the fighting since Dec 17, Red Army resumes attacking the Taipale sector of the Isthmus. At 5-7 AM in darkness, snow and mist, Soviet 4th Rifle Division crosses the frozen Suvanto River and gains 3 bridgeheads. Finnish artillery and machineguns take a heavy toll and Soviet troops are pushed back across the ice at Patoniemi and Volossula. The Soviets dig in on the shore near the village of Kelja (now Kelya in USSR) and hold on throughout the night.

Soviet 163rd division attempts another break out but is again penned up in Suomussalmi. Some desperate Soviets try to cross frozen Lake Vuonanlahti to escape West further into Finland. They are rapidly picked off by the Finns due to their dark clothing. The forward elements of 44th division on Raate Road, still with no artillery support, again fail to come to the aid of the trapped 163rd division.

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