Calendar and Summary for December 1939  
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24   25   26   27   28   29   30
  November 1939 January 1940  
  Summary of Significant Events for December 1939  
  Two governments, one a Soviet Republic and the other in opposition, were set up in Finland in response to the Soviet invasion.  British conscription was increased to cover men from 19 to 41 years of age, with limited occupational deferments.  The Red Army advanced slowly on the Karelian Isthmus sustaining massive casualties.  The Soviet 163rd Division was cut off in Suomussalmi by the attacks of the Finnish 9th Brigade.  The Battle of the River Plate took place between the cruisers HMS Exeter, HMS Ajax and HMS Achilles and the German pocket battleship SMS Admiral Graf Spee.  The League of Nations Assembly expelled the Soviet Union and offered to coordinate world aid to Finland.  German Chancellor Adolf Hitler ordered the OKW to plan for an invasion of Norway to protect crucial supplies of iron ore from Sweden.  The successful Finnish counterattack against the Soviet 8th Army came to an end.  The Red Army began its main assault on the Mannerheim Line around Summa.  The pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee was scuttled outside of Montevideo, Uruguay.  British Admiralty scientists developed the degaussing method to demagnetize ships to prevent from them from detonating magnetic mines.  The United States embargoed technical information and other materials required for the production of high quality aviation gasoline to belligerent countries.  The Red Army ended its attacks on the north end of the Mannerheim Line.  The Battle of Suomussalmi ended with the Finnish 9th division destroying the remnants of Soviet 163rd division.  43 ships (108,347 tons) were sunk or captured and 4 ships (73,313 tons) were damaged by U-boats and mines during December 1939.  
  Events occurring in December 1939 with no specific dates  

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