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Today in World War II History—December 31, 1939 & 1944

Finnish troops gathering captured Soviet weapons, Taipale, Finland, 27-28 Dec 1939 (public domain via WW2 Database)

Finnish troops gathering captured Soviet weapons, Taipale, Finland, 27-28 Dec 1939 (public domain via WW2 Database)

80 Years Ago—December 31, 1939: Finnish 9th Division secures Suomussalmi, Finland after the Soviets retreat.

Britain bans sirens and horns for New Year’s Eve celebrations.

US poster, WWII

US poster, WWII

75 Years Ago—Dec. 31, 1944: Germans launch Nordwind offensive just before midnight against US Seventh and French Armies in Alsace, the last major German offensive of the war.

In the US, rationing is tightened again on meats, fats, and canned vegetables due to the Battle of the Bulge. (Read more: “Meat and Cheese Rationing in World War II,” “Rationing of Butter, Fats & Oils in World War II,” and “Rationing of Canned Goods in World War II.”