Monday, December 28, 2009

Day 121 December 30, 1939

Battle of Suomussalmi ends. Finnish 9th division destroys the remnants of Soviet 163rd division retreating over the ice of Lake Kiantajärvi. A platoon led by Capt. Kuistio in 2 trucks (armed with 4 MGs, 1 twin antiaircraft-MG and various sub-MGs) harass the end of the Soviet column at the northern end of Lake Kiantajärvi, killing 500. Finnish artillery and Bristol Blenheim Mk I bombers blast Soviet troops, horses, trucks, guns and tanks through holes in the ice into the freezing water. An entire Soviet division is gone (estimated at 10-15,000 dead). Finnish casualties are 420 dead/missing and 600 wounded but they capture much valuable materiel. Finnish war booty from Suomussalmi include; 625 Rifles, 33 LMG's, 19 MG's, 2 AntiAircraft-MG's (four barrels), 12 AntiTank-guns, 27 Field and AntiAircraft-guns, 26 Tanks, 2 Armored cars, 350Horses, 181 Trucks, 11 Tractors, 26 Field kitchens, 800,000 rounds of 7.62 mm rifle ammo, 9,000 artillery shells, a field hospital, and a bakery. (These figures are items that were counted and transported away from the front. In addition, hundreds of rifles, LMG's and MG's were taken into use immediately and thus never counted.)

9th division commander Colonel Siilasvuo turns his attention to Soviet 44th, stationary on the Raate road. After 6 days of inactivity, their engines are seized and gun-oil in the standard Red Army 1902 model Moisin-Nagant 7.62 mm rifles is frozen. Men and horses huddle for warmth.

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