Time Line: Winter War in Finland

This time line is derived from Eugene Souberman's Philippine Air Diary, which appeared in the Winter, 1968 issue of the Journal of the American Aviation Historical Society.

Date Events
30-Nov-39 The Soviets start the war with an initial series of massive air raids on Helsinki and other cities in southern Finland. The Finns find these raids difficult to intercept, but hit the raiders on the way out.
1-Dec-39 Eino Luikkanen, the leading Finn ace of the war, starts off by meeting two SB-2s and shoots one down
2-Dec to 15-Dec-39 Very little air activity over southern Finland (Karelia) due to poor weather conditions.
16-Dec The Soviets offensive in the Summa sector kicks off with raids by 200 aircraft (SB-2s, DB-3Bs, R-5s and I-15s on strafing missions) attack Finn positions, but are badly hurt by Finn fighters.
18-Dec Finns are organized enough to keep a squadron of fighters over the battle field.
11-Jan-40 Swedish volunteer squadron Flyflottilij 19 arrives with 12 Gloster Gladiators and 4 Hawker Harts. 3 Harts are shot down in their first action, a ground attack. The Swedes remained in combat unit 10-Mar-40.
2-Feb-40 Soviets add major reinforcements: 1500 aircraft, including I-153s and I-16s. They launch a major offensive attack against the Mannerheim line, starting with 4 days of heavy bombing and probing attacks.
12-Feb Major Russian effort begins against Mannerheim line.
17-Feb LLv28 joins battle in newly assembled MS.406s over SW Finland, defending ports.
23-Feb By now, the Soviet fighters roam freely across Finland, as they out number the Finns 10:1. Some I-16 squadrons become proficient at hit and run intruder tactics, operating in groups of 3 or four.
28-Feb Soviets begin their final assault on the Mannerheim line.
4-Mar to 8-Mar Mannerheim line breaks. Finn troops retreat to Viipuri for a final stand, supported by air units. Strafing and bombing cause great damage to Russians trying to assault across a frozen harbor.
12-Mar-40 Armistice.