World War: Little Bertha

Starting on Christmas Eve, Finland's gulf seaport of Viipuri, ten miles behind the Mannerheim Line, was treated to a demonstration more melodramatic than lethal: long-range shelling by a battery of Russian "Little Berthas" about 25 miles away. Duds proved the guns to be 8-inchers, firing presumably at a main railroad supply line to the Mannerheim positions, but hitting the city and its suburbs indiscriminately. One shell knocked a top corner off evacuated Viipuri's one hotel, the Knut Posse*, in which numerous foreign correspondents were huddled.

The projectiles came over in twos, threes and fours (indicating four to six guns) at intervals of...

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