Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Day 124 Jan 2, 1940

Battle of Raate Road. Soviet 44th division now stretches 30 km, resembling a fallen tree. Siilasvuo’s 9th division sets about cutting it into mottis (Finnish word for logs), as they can destroy the column more easily by dividing it into isolated elements. At midnight, Captain Lassila’s battalion attacks a 500 meter section of Soviet artillery (parked 5 km East of Mäkinen’s roadblock). 6 Maxim MGs rake each end of the section, while infantry move up the middle and fan out East and West. Soviet gunners cannot fire back as the field guns face up the road and they cannot level antiaircraft MGs down at the Finnish troops. Lassila creates roadblocks at either end of the cleared section with felled trees and land mines. He brings up 9th Division’s only 2 Bofors antitank guns just in time to repel Soviet counterattack at 7 AM. 7 tanks are destroyed which further deepens the roadblock. While Soviet troop shiver in fear, the Finns relax in warmed tents with hot food.

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