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Today in World War II History—January 7, 1940 & 1945

Finnish troops inspecting destroyed Soviet vehicles, Finland, 17 Jan 1940 (US Library of Congress)

Finnish troops inspecting destroyed Soviet vehicles, Finland, 17 Jan 1940 (US Library of Congress)

80 Years Ago—January 7, 1940: Battle of Raate Road ends in Finnish victory; over 10,000 have been killed in the Soviet 44th Division.

In Britain, “BBC Forces Programme” premieres, a second nationwide service (radio channel) with dance music and variety shows meant to appeal to servicemen.

In US, “Gene Autry’s Melody Ranch” premieres on CBS radio and runs through 1956.

75 Years Ago—Jan. 7, 1945: German Navy begins evacuating troops trapped by the Soviet advance along the Baltic in Lithuania.

Off Manila Bay, US destroyers Charles Ausburne, Braine, Russell, and Shaw sink Japanese destroyer Hinoki in the last surface naval engagement of the Pacific war.