Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Day 127 January 5, 1940

Annihilation of Soviet 44th division begins. Colonel Siilasvuo’s Finnish 9th division attacks along the entire 20 mile length of Raate Road. They meet surprisingly strong Soviet resistance and take heavy casualties. Captain Lassila’s battalion, which has been manning a 500 meter roadblock for 3 days, takes 96 casualties (10% of its strength).The Finns only manage to cut the Raate Road once when Task Force Fagernas blows up the strategically important Purasjoki River bridge 5 miles from the border at 10 PM. Equally important, Task Force Fagernas prevents the arrival of NKVD 3rd regiment reinforcements. 44th division is now isolated and cannot move forward or retreat back into USSR.

The first Swedish volunteer troops reach Finland. Given the movement of volunteers from Sweden and Norway, USSR accuses Norway and Sweden of pursuing "unneutral" policies.

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