2./Er.P.3 in the Winter War: a War Diary

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Lotvonen
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2./Er.P.3 in the Winter War: a War Diary

Postby Lotvonen » 26 Oct 2017 13:33

The following is a translation of the War diary of the 2nd Company of Er.P.3 ( Detached Battalion). Urpo Arhosuo who was in the ranks of the Company during the period has written some interesting personal accounts in the "Kansa Taisteli" journal, some of which can be found under the topic of "Personal war stories" in this website.

Daily additions, if possible, are forthcoming .

To begin with, does anybody know what was the idea of Detached Battalions ? It seems that those units were set up as pure infantry units due to lack of material and lack of heavy arms (MGs, mortars, AT guns etc.)
Also the abbreviation VVP is unsolved.


2/Er.P 3 War diary 6.10.39 -7.3.40
Archive ID P2789

Date 6.10.39 Alert to additional refreshment training
Date 7.10.39 Company was set up at Uusikirkko at the Youth Association hall. Coy Cdr Res.Lt. Väinö Rasimus, Coy Sgt Staff Sgt Herman Parkkari, Platoon leaders: I Ptn Res. 2nd Lt.S.G.Pitkänen; II Ptn Res.2nd Lt. Ilmari Pikäpaasi; III Ptn Res.Lt. Valle Kaukia and IV Ptn Res.Lt. Lauri Kilkki
Date 8.-9.10.39 Company was being equipped and training near the hall.
Date 9.10.39, 18.00hrs Company transferred to Vammelsuu.
Date10.10.39 Company was lodged in the local Youth Association hall and in houses next to it.
Date 11.-24.10.39 Training and field work at the defence sector assigned to the Company.
Date 25.10.39 Coy Cdr changed. Lt. Tauno Rane of JP1 (Jaeger Battalion 1) took the company while Res.Lt. Rasimus was transferred to VVP. Also the Coy. Sergeant was changed. Res. Sgt. Vilho Akkanen became the new Sergeant while Staff Sgt. Parkkali was demobilized.

Seppo Koivisto
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Re: 2./Er.P.3 in the Winter War: a War Diary

Postby Seppo Koivisto » 26 Oct 2017 14:23


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John Hilly
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Re: 2./Er.P.3 in the Winter War: a War Diary

Postby John Hilly » 26 Oct 2017 15:14

Lotvonen wrote:To begin with, does anybody know what was the idea of Detached Battalions ? It seems that those units were set up as pure infantry units due to lack of material and lack of heavy arms (MGs, mortars, AT guns etc.)


AFAIK Detached Battalions during the Winter War were formed using younger reservists and local reservists also. They were used as covering force (suojajoukko) during YH with Jäger Battilions. They had same equipment or even better than other reserve battalions.

With best, J-P :milwink:
"Die Blechtrommel trommelt noch!"

Lotvonen
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Re: 2./Er.P.3 in the Winter War: a War Diary

Postby Lotvonen » 08 Nov 2017 07:06

Date 26.10.39 – 22.11.39 Training and field work. On 22.10. at 17.00hrs an explosion accident happened. During a lesson for the Company on mines an anti-personnel mine ( tread mine?) used as exhibit exploded. The explosion killed the instructor, Sgt. Reijo Hyytiäinen of Er. Pion.K (Detached Sapper Coy.) and of our Company Pvt. Haaja while 27 others were seriously injured and about 80 were less seriously injured.
Date 23.11-30.11.39 Field work, manning training and other training in the defence sector.

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Re: 2./Er.P.3 in the Winter War: a War Diary

Postby Lotvonen » 30 Nov 2017 05:44

The Red Army invades.
Date 30.Nov.1939
At 06.45hrs Artillery fire was heard from the sea. Enemy artillery shelling Terijoki.
8.43hrs Order from “77” Take cover, fight!
08.50hrs Telephone line to the Company command tent was set up.
09.05hrs Company has manned the (assigned) positions of the defence line.
09.55hrs Order from Battalion: send the leader of the seam patrol to report to the local commander of Ino Civil Guard. Cpl. Mannonen was ordered to take this task.
10.05hrs Telephone connection repaired
10.45hrs Order from Battalion: Battle forepost sentries must be left in their positions, guides must be placed to enable JP1 to withdraw over the river.
12.20hrs Report to Battalion: battle forepost sentries and guides have been placed.
13.45hrs Report from IV Platoon CO: contact established with the outfits of JP1in Harjula. JP 1 is engaging enemy at the level of Terijoki.
Constant connection with JP1 held with patrols. Positions were being improved and camouflaged.
For the night the Platoons camped behind their strongholds. Battle foreposts remained E of Vammelsuujoki river and securing at the river bank.

Lotvonen
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Re: 2./Er.P.3 in the Winter War: a War Diary

Postby Lotvonen » 01 Dec 2017 07:08

Some background information:
ErP3 was a part of Battle Group Uusikirkko which was one of three tasked to delay the enemy while withdrawing to the Main Defence Line.
(21600 defenders with 71 field guns & mortars and 29 AT guns, against estimated 6 enemy divisions, about 120 000 men)

Date 1.Dec.1939

Enemy air activities were extremely lively all day. Yet the aircraft did not bomb.
In the afternoon JP1 outfits began to withdraw over the (Vammelsuunjoki) river. Our patrols withdrew alongside with the last JP1 outfits across the river. As soon as the entire JP1 had withdrawn to the W side of the river the road and railway bridges were blown up.
20.00hrs Battle foreposts withdrew over the river due to enemy pressure.
21.25hrs Order from Battalion: send recce patrol over the river with the task to find out in which directions the enemy is grouping their troops, and how much of them there is.
During the night it was found that the enemy carried out reconnoitring on the E side of the river in several places. Also noise was heard at the direction of the main road and the sea beach. Sounds of enemy tanks were heard at the direction of the main road.

Lotvonen
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Re: 2./Er.P.3 in the Winter War: a War Diary

Postby Lotvonen » 02 Dec 2017 07:14

Due to false information Er.P2 had been ordered to abandon the Vammelsuu positions. By the time the correct information reached the II AC HQ it was too late to issue counterorder.
Date 2.12.1939
06.10hrs Patrol returned, they did not make contact with the enemy.
06.30hrs Report to Battalion about the return of the patrol and their route.
07.00hrs Enemy artillery and mortar barrage at the defence positions and in the rear. Immediately after the barrage firefight at the river line broke out. Our artillery fired at several targets where enemy grouped troops were observed.
01.45hrs (=13.45?) Report from stronghold Pitkäpaasi (Appx. no.1) (not found)
15.00hrs An enemy outfit, about one company in strength, managed to penetrate across the river in the direction of the main road. Before that the enemy was able, despite our intense fire, push a bridge they had built across the river. Part of the men in the main road stronghold disengaged. It was succeeded in checking the further advance of the enemy.
19.00hrs The enemy was beaten back behind the river with a counterstrike by 2./JP1. There was no fighting activity on the left wing of the Company. Three light tanks that had managed to cross the river were destroyed.
20.30hrs Battalion CO issued oral order to the Company. Disengage at 22.30hrs and withdraw to the Mustamäki crossroads, where new orders shall be issued.
22.30hrs The Company disengaged. Disengagement succeeded well, unnoticed by the enemy.

Lotvonen
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Re: 2./Er.P.3 in the Winter War: a War Diary

Postby Lotvonen » 03 Dec 2017 06:13

Still in the dark as to the enemy.

Date 3.12.1939

01.30hrs At the Mustamäki crossroads the Company was given orders to camp about 1km N of Kirstiälä schoolhouse.
04.00hrs Company had set up camp.
06.20hrs A Runner tranmsitted an oral order by the Btn CO: Take cover, fight!
The Company was immediately alerted and the Coy CO defined the stronghold for each Platoon.
06.50hrs Liaison officer arrived to inform about the situation. No information about the enemy. The Company was ordered to defend a sector that was manned and field fortification work was started. 1./JP1 posted in the same sector carried out recce but no contact with the enemy was made.
10.30hrs The Coy received orders to leave one Platoon as battle forepost in the present front line and pull back the main parts of the Coy 2km, to a hindrance line where to man the positions from Kärstilänjärvi lake to the road Riivilinnanmäki-Kirstinälä (incl. the road).
12.30hrs The Company had regrouped. Recce by the battle forepost did not make contact with the enemy.
21.00hrs Written order by the Btn CO to carry out reconnoitring (Appx.2, not available)
21.30hrs Patrol sent out (1+9) to carry out the ordered task.
23.30hrs The patrol reported that they had reached the Kirstinälä schoolhouse where no enemies had been encountered.

Lotvonen
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Re: 2./Er.P.3 in the Winter War: a War Diary

Postby Lotvonen » 04 Dec 2017 05:59

No contact with enemy but the battle group retreat continues due to risk of getting outflanked from the left wing.

Date 4.12.1939

00.45hrs Btn order to send a new recce patrol. (Appx3, not available)
0.05hrs Patrol 1+4 led by Cpl. Lempiäinen was sent out.
05.55hrs First patrol returned. They did not make contact with the enemy. They had advanced as far as S of Jokisuo marsh.
07.30hrs Patrol Lempiäinen returned, they had not made contact with the enemy.
07.35hrs Reported to Battalion: Patrol did not make contact with the enemy.
09.30hrs Btn order to send two platoons for a special mission. Platoon leaders to report at the Btn command post where they shall receive the details of the mission.
11.00hrs Company had a meal.
11.20hrs Btn CO order to withdraw. ( Appx.4, not available.)
13.00hrs Company disengaged and withdrew using the Keppola-Liukas road to E of Peippola, NE of Kiskola, arriving at 17.30hrs
18.30hrs Company securing set up.
20.30hrs Btn order carried out to send a recce patrol (1+5) in the direction of Kuujärvi to the Patru bridge.
22.00hrs Patrol returned, only friendly patrols encountered in the area.
20.00hrs Defence set up on the isthmus N tip of Kolinjärvi lake – S tip of Kaukjärvi lake, on the level of Peippolanjärvi.
21.30hrs Company had a meal.

Lotvonen
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Re: 2./Er.P.3 in the Winter War: a War Diary

Postby Lotvonen » 05 Dec 2017 06:05

The enemy keeps advancing and the risk of getting outflanked is there, the retreat goes on.

Date 5.12.1939

09.00hrs Company had a meal.
17.00hrs Btn order: take down the tents, set up observation along the river. The Company shall disengage as soon as 1. Coy has withdrawn over the Peippolanjoki river and shall rally at the rallying point at the command post, the subjected MG s must follow.
19.30hrs Company had a meal.

Lotvonen
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Re: 2./Er.P.3 in the Winter War: a War Diary

Postby Lotvonen » 06 Dec 2017 06:46

The Company reaches the Main Defence line.

Date 6.12.1939

0.15hrs Company withdrew together with the Battalion, partly on bikes, partly on foot on the Kaukjärvi-Viipuri road. At 03.00-03.30hrs the Coy had a break and the men who had been riding bikes were dismounted and sent marching. Bikers reached the target at the side of the Kämärä-Huumola road at 08.15hrs. The marching part and the baggage train arrived at 11.30hrs.
12.30hrs Tents were set up.
12.30hrs Meal. Company was resting for the rest of the afternoon.
17.00hrs Meal.
18.00hrs Sentries were set.

Lotvonen
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Re: 2./Er.P.3 in the Winter War: a War Diary

Postby Lotvonen » 07 Dec 2017 06:07

The Company has now set up camp behind the Main Defense line at Summa.

Date 7.12.1939

Company was having rest. Foxholes were being dug.

16.00hrs Btn order to carry out reconnoitring on the sector of the 2.Coy, left border the road Kämärä-Lähde-Kaukjärvi (incl.), right border the road leading to Autio in Huumola from the Huumola-Kämärä road – E perimeter of Summa village. Coy CO and Platoon leaders set out to carry out reconnoitring.

20.00hrs By Div. order IV Platoon led by 2nd Lt Pitkänen subjected to the Div. AT detachment.

Lotvonen
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Re: 2./Er.P.3 in the Winter War: a War Diary

Postby Lotvonen » 08 Dec 2017 06:06

An Anti-Tank company is stamped off the ground. Equipping starts at once.

Date 8.12.

Company having rest. Reconnoitring continued.
13.00hrs Btn CO order to Lt. Rave. (Appx.5, not available)
15.20hrs Air raid alert.
15.27hrs Air raid alert off. No a/c seen.
18.45hrs Coy CO returned from the Div. The Div. CO has on 8.12.1939 ordered Lt. Rave as the (Div.) AT commander and the 2./Er.P.3 and the MG platoon subjected to them as the Div. AT Company.
19.00hrs Company CO briefing to Platoon CO s and their deputies about AT task. Production of satchel charges was started as soon as briefing ended .
21.00hrs Btn CO order concerning the use of lorries. (Appx.6, not available)

Lotvonen
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Re: 2./Er.P.3 in the Winter War: a War Diary

Postby Lotvonen » 09 Dec 2017 06:05

The fresh AT Company has been equipped (with satchel charges and petrol bottles) and training starts.

Date 9.12.1939

Company in AT training.
10.30hrs Div. Order: Lt Rave must contact the Div. On 9.12.1939 by 12.00hrs
11.00hrs Lt. Rave set out .
11.00hrs Telephone connection to the Battalion is completed.
12.30hrs Air raid alert.
12.45hrs Air raid alert off. No a/c.
15.00hrs Battalion despatch no.18 (Appx.no.7,not available)
15.00hrs Information that our troops are using the snow path (Appx.no.8, not available)
17.00hrs Meal
24.00hrs Coy CO in briefing by Btn CO.

Lotvonen
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Re: 2./Er.P.3 in the Winter War: a War Diary

Postby Lotvonen » 10 Dec 2017 05:59

The AT Company is now fully equipped, trained and deployed.

Date 10.12.1939

08.00hrs Company CO briefed the Platoon CO s about the new task. The Company has been ordered to take over AT duty at the Lähde sector.
The Company was to be transferred to Kultakumpu terrain and take charge of AT duties from the Support line up to the Kämärä - Huumola road. The Btn AT gun platoon is subordinated to the Company. Company spent the morning in AT training and making satchel charges.

09.50hrs Company CO reconnoitring the terrain and contacting the CO of JR13.
13.00hrs Coy CO returned from terrain reconnoitring.
13.45hrs Coy CO issued his order on transfer to Kultakumpu and camping there.
14.50hrs Coy set out to march to Kultakumpu, the new base.
17.30hrs Coy arrived at Kultakumpu.
20.00hrs Platoons have set up camp.
20.00hrs Company CO reported by phone to JR13 CO that the Coy has set up camp in the defined location.
22.00hrs Coy set up securing on the roads nearby.


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