Thursday, December 26, 2013

December 26, 1939: WAR DOES NOT TAKE A HILIDAY



Serious Defeat' of
Finns Claimed

Reds Say 35 of Foe
Captured as Force
Is Surrounded and
Position Occupied

Moscow, Dec. 25.—APTh. Leningrad military headquarters reported tonight that Russian reconnoitering units had routed two battalion, of Finns near Jolomantri and occupied enemy positions at Suomusalmi after a "serious" Finnish defeat.

The communique declared that the action at Jolomantri the Russians had completely surrounded the Finns, who left many wounded on the battlefield as they retired. Thirty-five Finns were reported captured.

Suomusalmi, where the Russians said they had overrun the enemy's fortified positions," is in middle Inland, about 20 miles Inside the Finnish frontier.

Skirmishes, which the communique said developed Into "serious encounters," were reported at several other points on the front.

The successes, reported in the communique were the first officially attributed to the Russian land forces in several days.

Advance Said
75 Miles From
Red Railroad

Defenders Report of.
Russian Battleship
Shelled; Minor
Victories Announced

Helsinki, Dec. 35. — AP — The Christmas Day communique of the Finnish command reported Finnish white-clad troops fighting on Russian soil and reaching the vital Murmansk Railway.

Bombs from Russian warplanes fell on more than half dozen Finnish cities, artillery shells exploded in one city near the front, fighting in progress at several places.

War did not take a holiday.

"East of Llokja, military operations ar. taking place .on the other side of the frontier," said the Finnish communique covering the activities. of Dec. 24. It was the first official confirmation that the war had reached into Russian soil. The statement also announced Finnish batteries shelled the 26, ton Russian battleship Marat.

The Finns described minor successes on several fronts while reports from Viipuri and Tampar indicated six Russian warplanes had been shot down in Christmas day raids.

Military sources said the Finnish troops in the Lieksa sector had driven across the frontier and were within 75 miles of the Murmansky railway, over which red army troops in the northern sector must receive their supplies.


Russian Planes Raid Finnish City Repeatedly
Then Long Range Guns Begin Bombardment

Viipuri, Finland, Dec, 26.—AP—
The shelling of this ancient city by distant Russian cannon became more Intense late tonight after Russian aircraft had delivered Christmas Day bombing of workers' section.

Two shells began dropping simultaneously at half hour intervals.  One shell shook thw Kurt Posse Hotel. Soon after, another explosion started a fire in the southeast section of the city.

Authorities cleared the restaurants and dispersed other gatherings.

The only casualties from the earlier aerial bombardment were two women injured and a girl who were injured. As the raiders turned away and darkness fell, long range Russian artillery took up the attack for the second successive night but they, to, caused little damage.

The Christmas Day bombing of Viipuri, whose famous castle built in 1793 was the center of the spread of Christianity. In the Karelian area, kept most Finns huddled in cold, bombproof shelters.


King Says People
Will Sacrifice
All for Freedom
British Ruler Sends
Christmas Message to
Empire and Forces

Sandringham, England, Dec. 25
King George VI declared in a Christmas war broadcast today that his people were "prepared to sacrifice everything in order that freedom of the spirit may be saved to the world."

His address went to all parts of the empire of 500 million people and to Britain’s fighting forces "which Included a message from a royal air force pilot flying at 6000 feet somewhere over England and from a destroyer leaving a harbor to go on patrol duty.

"We can not tell what the New Year at hand will bring—If It brings the peace for which all men want, how thankful we all shall be, thanking all.
"But if It brings a a renewed struggle it shall find us, undaunted."

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