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Today in World War II History—December 25, 1939 & 1944

Finnish Army Lieutenant Aarne Juutilainen and his company holding a Christmas service near the Kollaa River, Finland, 24 Dec 1939 (public domain via WW2 Database)

Finnish Army Lieutenant Aarne Juutilainen and his company holding a Christmas service near the Kollaa River, Finland, 24 Dec 1939 (public domain via WW2 Database)

80 Years Ago—December 25, 1939: For Christmas in Britain, midnight church services are cancelled so stained glass windows won’t have to be blacked out, carolers are not allowed to use handbells, and the carol service at Westminster Abbey is cancelled since the choirboys have been evacuated from London.

Soviets attempt to break out at Suomussalmi, Finland, but fail.

Soldiers of the 463rd Combat Engineers in France near the German border observe Christmas, 25 Dec 1944; note K-ration cans as ornaments (US Army Signal Corps photo)

Soldiers of the 463rd Combat Engineers in France near the German border observe Christmas, 25 Dec 1944; note K-ration cans as ornaments (US Army Signal Corps photo)

75 Years Ago—Dec. 25, 1944: US Sixth Army lands at Palompon on Leyte in the Philippines, cutting off the last Japanese port on the island and ending the assault phase of the campaign.