War Diary 28th to 31st December 1939

Thursday 28th December 1939

  • Censorship of Press messages from Moscow reimposed.
  • Fierce hand to hand fighting on frozen Suvanto river near Mannerheim Line. Finns claimed to have wiped out two Russian companies.
  • Reported that Russians have brought troops into Karelian Isthmus.
  • Air Ministry announced successful reconnaissance of North West Germany on Dec 27th. One aircraft failed to return.
  • RAF Fighters chased unidentified plane above Scottish coast.
  • Admiralty announced that HM trawler ‘Loch Doon’ must be considered lost with crew of 15.
  • Danish steamer ‘Hanne’ sunk by mine.
  • Eight survivors (out of 43) of British freighter ‘Navasota’ torpedoed early in December, landed at Capetown.
  • French Senate accepted Budget of 45,000,000 after stirring speech by M Reynaud, Finance Minister.
  • Nazi authorities announced that entire population (70,000) of Polish town of Kalisz were to be deported to make room for German Balts.

Friday 29th December

  • Soviet Troops in Salla section said to be in revolt.
  • Detachment of Finnish troops reached and damaged Lenningrad-Murmansk railways at three points.
  • Finnish ‘Suicide Company’ of 250 picked ski troops first sent forward to attack railway, reported to have penetrated as far as Kandalasksha, an important Russian base on arm of White Sea.
  • Russians maintained pressure in Karelian Isthmus where they now have 9 divisions.
  • Finnish Government protested to Estonia against presence of Russian destroyers in Tallinn harbour.
  • British battleship, torpedoed by U-boat on December 28th, reached port under own steam.
  • Paris reported renewal of air activity on WEstern Front.
  • British Steamer ‘Moortoft’ reported sunk.
  • British Trawler ‘Resercho’ sunk by mine in North Sea.
  • British Trawler ‘Adam’ reported having been bombed and machine-gunned by German seaplanes.

Saturday 30th December

  • Russian troops launched new attack against Mannerheim Line.
  • Finnish northern army virtually destroyed Russian division of 15,000 men near Lake Kianta, in Finland’s waistline. Great quantity of war material and many tanks captured. Victory was culmination of battle raging in this sector for a week.
  • Patrol activity between Moselle and Saar, despite intense cold.
  • Paris reported sinking of U-boat by French warship on coast of Spain.
  • Air raid made on Hangoe, during which 60 bombs were dropped.
  • Sunday 31st December
  • Russian aircraft raided at least 11 Finnish towns, including Helsinki
  • Successful Finnish counter-attack launched in Salla sector. Continuous troops arrived at a West Coast port.
  • German steamer ‘Tacoma’ aboard which ‘Graf Spee’ crew had been transferred on December 18th, left Montevideo by order of Uruguayan Government and anchored outside harbour.
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