The NYT reported on soldiers that “turned to wax” on Christmas 1939. An unsolved climate case: Why?

Dr. Arnd Bernaerts
4 min readDec 21, 2020


Climate change has two sides. If natural we do not need science. If we assume it could be man-made, competent science is needed to explain why and able to say what needs to done to prevent it. Here we raise a very significant weather event, which science has never attempted to explain, even eight decades have passed. What a big mistake!

World War II was only four months old, and suddenly the weather run amok in Norther Europe.

Although “The New York Times” reported from Rovaniemi/Finland on December 25, 1939, a highly challenging weather story, climatology completely ignored ever since. They never asked why it happened ‘out of the blue’, whether it could have been significantly cause by man, who had been in the fourth month of World War II. James Aldridge reported to the NYT on December 24th 1939 the very sad story, which reveals a lot about those claiming to understand how the atmosphere works. Read yourself:

“The cold numbs the brain in this Arctic hell, snow sweeps over the darkened wastes, the winds howl and the temperature is 30 degrees below zero (minus 34.4° C). Here the Russians and Finns are battling in blinding snowstorms for possession of ice-covered forests. …I reached the spot just after the battle ended. It was the most horrible sight I had ever seen. As if the men had been suddenly turned to wax, there were two or three thousand Russians and a few Finns, all frozen in fighting attitudes. Some were locked together, their bayonets within each other’s bodies; some were frozen in half-standing positions; some were crouching with their arms crooked, holding the hand grenades they were throwing; some were lying with their rifles shouldered, their legs apart….Their fear was registered on the frozen faces.

Their bodies were like statues of men throwing all their muscles and strength into some work, but the faces recorded something between bewilderment and horror”.

Few further information:

· December 1939; Total losses of the Finnish armed forces were: about 13.200

· December 1939 Total losses of the Russian armed force: presumably 3 to 5 times higher than the Finnish losses.

· Temperature forecast Rovaniemi/Finland, 19–31 Dec. 2020; between +1°C and -13°C.

The very cold Christmas in Finland 1939 was only the beginning of a dramatic winter in Europe. It became the most severe in many parts of Europe for more than one-hundred years. There are plenty indication that the war contributed heavily. But neither meteorology nor climatology have ever shown any interest, on either confirm the anthropogenic massive contribution, or demonstrate competence by naming a different causation of the extraordinary winter 1939/40.

Or do they fear undermining their greenhouse theory? It would indeed be shocking to learn after almost a full century that man is to blame for the horrible Christmas story that James Aldridge has covered in the NYT.

The so called ‘Winter War’ between Russia and Finland lasted from November 30, 1939 to March 13, 1940. Poland had already over-run and Warsaw already “burned down” in September 1939. In the European war scenario, the war activities in Finland during December 1939 were only a “sideline” in the whole war picture. Nevertheless, the NYT Christmas story reported a remarkable event, serious enough that should have caught the attention of science.

After all, climatology is dispensable, if not able and willing to investigate any case, whether big or small, which may indicate how human activities could or have contributed to significant weather events and climatic changes. What a big failure. Eight decades have passed without to take note of James Aldridge’s Christmas story 1939.

Further read. The weather attacked in the Winter War:
Russia vs. Finland