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Monday, 22 July, 2024
21December 1939

Soviet Red Army commander recommends halting invasion of Finland

On this day, the Soviet forces invaded Finland halted large-scale operations upon encountering strong Finnish defences.

The commander of the 7th Army, Kirill Meretskov, had been tasked with penetrating the Mannerheim Line. Meretskov sent a message back to Moscow informing them his forces had encountered a formidable and fortified line of defences. He recommended that large-scale operations be halted so that more Red Army troops and equipment could be transported into Finland. During the early stages of the Winter War, Soviet military and political leaders overestimated the strength of the Red Army and underestimated the resolve and skill of the Finnish defenders.

Moscow decided to switch to artillery bombardment of Finnish positions for the remainder of December and into January 1940, with new operations postponed until February.

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