Photos WW2 Finnish armed forces

On the 30th of November 1939 a Swedish Lieutenant Colonel Carl August Ehrensvärd contacted the Swedish Military Staff. He was eager to know how Sweden will react the Soviet invasion to Finland. Lieutenant colonel Thörnell, the future Commander in Chief in the Swedish Army, was going to suggest that one Army Group, consisted of two divisions, should be mobilized to protect the Norrbotten territory. Military Staff wasn't sure should the Swedish Army participate Aland archipelago defence in co-operation with the Finns.
After his visit Ehrensvärd met his colleagues Manne Dyrssen and Vikng Tamm. They decided to establish a volunteer organization and during the day an office started operation, opened by major Allan Winge. As a result of all that the Swedes decided to form three appr. 1600 men fast movable units with relative good firepower and supporting AA and AT companies. A 71 year old half-Finn Cavalry General Ernst Linder, who already had retired, was assigned to command Svenska Frivilligakåren (Swedish Volunteer Corps). He knew marshal Mannerheim since the Finnish Civil War and was a good friend of him. The commanders of those Stridsgruppens (Assault Group, strenghtened battalions) were: The 1st one was commanded by Dyrssen, the 2nd by Tamm and the 3rd by a Finnish colonel Martin Ekström.
Plan also included a term that Finland should have a permission to buy all military equipment needed from Sweden, at first for 7500 men.
Fact: Stridsgruppen I and II were sent to the frontline on the 28th of February 1940, replacing the Finnish Rifle Regiment 40 in Märkäjärvi area. The commander of the Stridsgrupp I, lieutenant colonel Magnus "Manne" Dyrssen was one the first fallen Swedish soldiers there, during a field artillery bombardment.
Pics some unknown volunteer pictured in the Kemi city, phoyographer and date not mentioned, volunteers arriving the Tornio city on Jan 8 1940 and a ski company in the Märkäjärvi area on March 17 1940

On 30 November 1939, Soviet forces invaded Finland with 21 divisions, totalling 450,000 men, and bombed the capital Helsinki, inflicting damage and casualties.
Three hours after Soviet forces had crossed the border and started the Winter War, Soviet planes bombed Helsinki. The most intensive bombing raids were during the first few days.
Helsinki was bombed a total of eight times during the Winter War. Some 350 bombs fell on the city, resulting in the deaths of 97 people and the wounding of 260. In all, 55 buildings were destroyed.
The Soviet bombings led to harsh reactions abroad. U.S. President Roosevelt asked the Soviets not to bomb Finnish cities. Molotov replied to Roosevelt: "Soviet aircraft have not been bombing cities, but airfields, you can't see that from 8,000 kilometers away in America." (sounds familiar)
The conflict began with a Soviet offensive on 30 November 1939—two months after the start of World War II and the Soviet invasion of Poland—ending on 13 March 1940 with the Moscow Peace Treaty. The League of Nations deemed the attack illegal and expelled the Soviet Union from the League on 14 December 1939.
(SA - kuvagalleria)
79 years ago, on Dec 5 1941, the Finns were capturing the Karhumäki city. Pic shows the only heavy tanks which were operational in the freezing temperatures of -35 - -40 degrees Celsius. Lt. Mikkola was just ordered to clean the western districts. At the time the Heavy Tank Company was equipped with four T-28s and one T-34.
The T-26 in the back belonged to the 1st Company of the Tank Battalion.
Little did they know that the Great Britain will declare war on Finland a day later.

Continuation War, Finland.
Finnish troops have found a well on enemy ground. Caption is : "Forbidden, but the water from the well tastes good". These wells were probably some times poisened. Paljärvi 1941.07.12 (SA-kuva)

Marshal C. G. E. Mannerheim inspects his new, bulletproof Mercedes-Benz Grosser 770K Offener Tourenwagen in Mikkeli on Dec 16 1941. Only a total of 88 of those were ever made.
German officer in the opening pic (left) is Major Gerhard Engel, who handed this gift to Mannerheim on behalf of Fuehrer and Reichskanzler. Engel was awarded with the Finnish Cross of Liberty 2nd Class.
SA-kuva pics 67083, 67077 and 67081
Sotiemme ajoneuvot 1939-1945, s. 70-71

Continuation War, Finland.
Detachment Pertuli´s squad on the Repola-Virta road, they just returned from a recon mission, a "adventurous" mission, according the caption. Repola-Virta -road 1941.07.12 (SA-kuva)

Factory of the Kuitu Oy was relatively well protected during the Winter War when compared to e.g. any Finnish sea fortress.
At the time (1939-1940) they manufactured AT mines and (possibly) Molotov Cocktails.
Pics, dated on Dec 16 1939, show an improvized Maxim AA MG, the factory and firing positions of some light AA artillery platoon. Factory location is the Jääski municipality, Boforses are on the Mellonmäki Hill, Imatra.

Finnish patrol is heading for a sortie in the Jelettijärvi area on Dec 21 1941.
Even for me, as a kind of a geek of the Finnish WWII history, it’s a bit odd to see dogs among them.
BTW, original SA-kuva pic caption claims the men being there (partio maastossa).

Original caption, dated Feb 7 1940, claims this hut being located in the Märkäjärvi area, as a part of the first front of the Finnish lines. For obvious reasons there were no trenches in the wilderness.
Mainly the villages, crossroads and isthmuses along the main roads were somewhat fortified.

81 years ago, on Dec 22 1939, the situation in the Salla area, Lapland, wasn’t clear. The Finns had, however, managed to stop the enemy in the Pelkosenniemi Battle, but the Soviet 122nd Division wasn’t defeated, continuing the attempts to break the defense on the western side of the Joutsijärvi Lake..
The Separate ”Salla’s” Battalion 17 was positioned into the Mäntyvaara Ridge area as a reserve of the Task Force Roininen on Dec 19. The men had already fought since the Nov 30, desperately needing rest, but the Soviets had flanked.
At noon of Dec 20 they received MG fire. Not waiting any orders the 1st and the 2nd Companies launched a counterattack. The 3rd Company, being a bit further in the west, started to flank the enemy.
After some 4-hour long fight the Soviets decided to retreat. The fierce close combat lasted ’til the midnight, though, and despite of the thick darkness of the Arctic night the enemy was easy to recognize: they carried backpacks, so when spotted a puukko was used.
Some 300 fallen Soviets and around 400 different firearms were found from the battlefield. The Finns lost two officers and 15 soldiers fallen and 29 wounded.
The Separate Company Kojonen was ordered to pursue but failed to engage the retreating enemy. Pic shows some local men charging in the Saija area.
Talvisodan historia, osa 3, s. 221-223

On the 20th of December 1939 the HQ of the Northern Finland Corps was desperately gathering men to the Suomussalmi area where the Soviet 163rd Division was stopped, having taken defensive positions in the church village.
Meanwhile, the Ukrainian 44th "Blue" Division was preparing to start advancing along the Raate road. Reaching the church village would collapse the Finnish defense there, allowing the enemy continue advancing towards the Rovaniemi town and from there to Oulu, Kemi and Tornio.
Their troops were already instructed not cross the Finnish-Swedish border. The SA-kuva pic # 2019 shows some Finnish soldiers from the area. Pic is not dated.


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