RTR 4

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Eugenius
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Re: RTR 4

Post by Eugenius » 16 Sep 2021 11:54

Dear colleagues, thanks for your detailed explanations. Hope to visit at least some of those places still this year, and to report the results.

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Juha Tompuri
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Re: RTR 4

Post by Juha Tompuri » 17 Sep 2021 19:27

Harri wrote:
13 Sep 2021 15:54
Excellent photos and information! Thanks to all!
Yep!
Specially Eugenius.
(Juha T., could this discussion be divided into separate Lake Onega and Lake Ladoga ones because it is already rather long?)
Good point. I'll think about it.

Regards, Juha

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Re: RTR 4

Post by Eugenius » 25 Sep 2021 11:08

Terve guys,

Last Thursday I made a trip to Karelia to visit 3 battery locations. The result is quite disappointing - only 1 gunpit was found of potential 6, and that gunpit was already marked on Wikimapia. Well, point by point:

31. Rask. Ptri in Mikli, points 61.52604 30.34792 and 61.5253 30.34179 (co-ordinates I mention here were taken from your map fragments and converted to WGS 84 using Karjalan kartat with utmost accuracy I could achieve) - nothing good found. Grass fields area with some rocky hills. The fields are plain, the hills are bulgy, but nothing seeming to be gunpits. A couple of pits on road sides theoretically could be gun positions, but they are now overgrown with shrubs and partially filled with garbage dumped by local residents. No concrete, no metal like studs or so.

43. Rask. Ptri in Hakala, points 61.64358 30.79239, 61.64164 30.78211 and 61.64105 30.78046 - the same as above. There was quite a dismal plain area at 61.64358 30.79239 with house basement of a Finnish farmer ca. 120 m to the north. A manor remnants on the shore were found at 61.64105 30.78046 (Untolahti according to Karjalan kartat) with several buildings, water well, once to be nice lakeside pavilion etc. The point 61.64164 30.78211 was more promising - there was a stronghold on the high-rise with trenches and fire-fighting positions still quite visible. There were several pits there too, most of them being likely dugouts. One pit was really large - ca. 10 m in diameter, round, banked with sledged stones, but again - no concrete, no studs, no timber.

39. Rask. Ptri near Soskua, points 61.28593 30.01502, 61.27333 30.01777 and 61.27413 30.021. The first point - plain area with former Finnish fields, most of drainage ditches still working, but nothing looking like a gun position. That was an area with numerous rocky hills with lowlands between them. The second point was most likely a mistakenly calculated location of actual gunpit at 61.27413 30.021 as it is marked on Wikimapia. However, I checked a couple of nearby hills - no result. Interesting that an existing settlement between Kangaslampi, Hännisenlahti and Kylliäisenhlahti has obviously Finnish name Vätikkä, but there is no such settlement mapped on Karjalan kartat.

So, here they are - the pictures of 6 in. Canet gunpit, 39 Rask. Ptri, summer 1944, 61.27413, 30.021:

Communication trench cut in rock leads from downhill to the gunpit:

DSCF3133 Финский орудийный двор, 61.27413, 30.021.JPG
DSCF3134.JPG

The entrance. I wonder - what had to be installed right of the entrance, in rectangular opening with preserved wooden formwork - a doorbell button?))) No any trace of door to be installed.

DSCF3142.JPG
DSCF3143.JPG

The next chamber is... A shelter? An ammo depot? Looks to be too narrow for both functions. A full human-sized chamber cut in rock with curved ceiling made of concrete and sledged stones put on top. The length is ca. 6 m.

DSCF3145.JPG
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Last edited by Eugenius on 25 Sep 2021 13:03, edited 1 time in total.

Eugenius
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Re: RTR 4

Post by Eugenius » 25 Sep 2021 11:36

The next is more narrow and lower corridor, a bit curved, leading to the gunpit:

DSCF3156.JPG

A view to the opposite direction, with shelter/ammo depot and the entrance visible:

DSCF3157.JPG

Exit to the gunpit. Note a kind of stud protruding on top of exit. First I thought there should be a lantern there))), but most likely that stud was fixing a formwork log:

DSCF3164 Выход в орудийный дворик.JPG

The gun position:

DSCF3165.JPG

Unlike Hiitolanmäki battery where ready service lockers were made of concrete and preserved, here those lockers were made of sledged stones and collapsed. Here is the one to the right of the exit:

DSCF3167 Обрушенный погреб рядом со входом.JPG
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Eugenius
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Re: RTR 4

Post by Eugenius » 25 Sep 2021 12:53

And another locker opposite to the exit:

DSCF3170 Обрушенный погреб напротив входа.JPG

Full gunpit view:

DSCF3174.JPG

Exit and both collapsed lockers:

DSCF3179.JPG

A bit of nature as I may add 2 more pictures to this post. Lingonberry shrubs with unusually red leaves:

DSCF3188.JPG

This handsome Metso was met on my way back from the forest, when it was getting dark:

DSCF3192.JPG

Well, what do I think about most of co-ordinates brought no results? First possibility is that I saw gun positions - all those pits I mentioned above. But those were urgently built temporary gun emplacements with no concrete used, only wooden basements were created. The wood either rotted without a trace or was used by local people right after the war and now we see just pits in the ground. On the other hand, we know at least 2 gun positions - Hiitolanmäki and the one I described now, let's call it Kotranpelto, - made at the same time with concrete pouring, rock cutting etc., and preserved much better.

Another possibility is that initial information is... well, not so reliable. It happens quite often when you see Soviet wartime reports, maps etc. - say, it was reported that something had been built, but there is no object and even no any trace of any works on terrain. For sure I'm not telling about intentional falsification, but during wartime there was no possibility to check every reported fact. I do not know could it be the case with Finnish wartime documents.

There are 2 notable facts about Kotranpelto gun position. First, a person who once marked it on Wikimapia, marked only one position, not 2. I do not know why only one position was marked, but most likely he would mark both - if he knew about the second one. And if the second one really does exist. Second, I met a couple of elder men returning from the forest after picking up cranberries. We made a short conversation, I explained them what I was searching for. They were local residents and confirmed they knew the gun position since their childhood (though they believed that was an artillery pillbox, not open gun position), but they never heard about any other similar object nearby.

Third option could be my poor performance. Well, I tried hard and found Kotranpelto position without any problem, but not any other one.

Fourth, our knowledge of co-ordinate systems used at that time could be not enough comprehensive. I mean we could be wrong in interpreting or converting wartime co-ordinates into modern ones. For example, there were 2 co-ordinate systems used in Soviet Union at that time - SK-32 and SK-42. If you convert them into modern system directly, the difference could be up to 1,5 km! The trick is that for every separate sheet of paper map in a certain scale, a special co-efficient (Datum) was used to get the correct co-ordinates. That Datum depended on how far the object was located from conditional "zero point" of that co-ordinate system, and it also considered elevation above sea level. As we discussed at viewtopic.php?f=59&t=256731#p2334631, the difference between actual objects location and our calculations based on archive maps could be hundreds of meters. The problem is the Earth is not ideally spherical. What is even worse - it's surface is not ideally plain. Now we have GPS in every smartphone accurate enough for most applications, but 70 - 80 years ago it was much more tricky to define precise location of any object.

Sorry, I had no time to check Riihipelto area - it was getting dark and Metso told it was time to go back home. But I will definitely continue with my searches.

As usual, your comments will be highly appreciated.
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ML
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Re: RTR 4

Post by ML » 28 Sep 2021 20:54

Thanks again for the photos and your efforts checking the locations!

For Mikli and Hakala I think the lack of any remaining structures can be explained by battery positions built quickly for temporary use.

Possible second position at Kurkijoki is a mystery. If it was built, it may have been less finished than the one you found. Or it may have been somehow destroyed later.

All war diaries from battery level to staff of Laatokan rannikkoprikaati repeat the same story of building of two positions. Diary of Osasto 4 of Laatokan rannikkoprikaatin esikunta (which was taking care of construction sites of brigade) http://digi.narc.fi/digi/view.ka?kuid=2896048 has only a few notes about construction work at Lapinlahti, which was the name of the village http://www.kurkijoki.fi/kylat/llahti18/ ... uvaus.html.

16.8.1944 Today ammunition cellar was cast.
17.8.1944 Base for 1st gun was cast.
19.8.1944 Base for 2nd gun was cast.
21.8.1944 Captain Salmela inspected the western construction sites... ...Casting of concrete going on at Lapinlahti.
24.8.1944 Work at Lapinlahti was ready.

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Re: RTR 4

Post by Eugenius » 29 Sep 2021 14:02

Terve ML, and many thanks for your notes. Actually I'm the one who should thank you for providing archive documents, otherwise I wouldn't even know about those batteries.

Lapinlahti looks to be quite a vast area, not just one village or farm. Searching for a gunpit on such a territory requires a horde of people or spending there several days for me alone...

I checked SA-kuva using keywords "Lapinlahti" and "Kotranpelto", there are several pictures there showing various stages of battery construction, but it's difficult to say whether it was 1 gunpit or 2 different ones. Most of pictures have notes "Kurkijoki, Lapinlahti, Kotranpelto", some others only "Kurkijoki, Lapinlahti". Strange that any more exact point (like Kotranpelto) is not mentioned in sotapäiväkirja. Another strange fact is that most of pictures are dated 1944.08.02, but the battery was not ready yet by that time.

Isn't there any archive scheme or plan of battery's objects location? Knowing exact location of one gunpit it would be much easier to find another one...

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Harri
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Re: RTR 4

Post by Harri » 30 Sep 2021 23:35

Eugenius wrote:
25 Sep 2021 12:53
This handsome Metso was met on my way back from the forest, when it was getting dark:
Sorry, I had no time to check Riihipelto area - it was getting dark and Metso told it was time to go back home. But I will definitely continue with my searches.
:lol: Your Finnish is very good at least in the bird names (unless you are not a Finn?)... What is Metso in English? Wood-grouse, capercaillie? Hopefully it did not attack you!?

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Re: RTR 4

Post by Eugenius » 01 Oct 2021 09:39

Harri, it's rather simple: https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%93%D0 ... 1%80%D1%8C -> https://fi.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metso))) In English this bird is called capercaillie or wood grouse, but I thought metso would be more understandable.

No, I'm not Finn, I'm really Russian. I visited Finland 135 times since 1995 with various reasons, I know a number of people there, so I know quite a number of words in Finnish, from terve to perkele, but I can't speak or write Finnish - the grammar is too difficult.

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Re: RTR 4

Post by Mangrove » 09 Oct 2021 08:00

Eugenius wrote:
29 Sep 2021 14:02
Isn't there any archive scheme or plan of battery's objects location? Knowing exact location of one gunpit it would be much easier to find another one...
Here's ink and pencil drawing from the archives of Laatokan Rannikkoprikaati overlaid on top of 1932 Finnish 1:20 000 topography map (4132 03 Vatikka). The 1st gun pit is the same location that was described earlier in the http://wikimapia.org/ link. The drawing is part of series of sketches that were given to Soviet officials in October 1944. The site was officially called A II.

1st gun pit: c. 61.2732 N, 30.0212 E (WGS84)
2nd gun pit: c. 61.2721 N, 30.01890 E (WGS84)

Apart from the gun pits, maritime surveillance station (merivalvonta-asema) at Kurkiniemi and position for 37 K 36 cannon at Kurkiniemi, there were no permanent structures at Pippuri or everywhere near Kotranpelto. Rannikkotykistörykmentti 3's combat readiness report (dated 10 August 1944) mentions two 152/45/C(anets) at Pippuri but does not mention any structures.

Tykkiasema_A_2.jpg
Kurkiniemi.jpg
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Eugenius
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Re: RTR 4

Post by Eugenius » 10 Oct 2021 18:51

Terve Mangrove, and many thanks for your, as usual, valuable info. Actually I saw your post yesterday evening, when I came back from my third trip to Lapinlahti...

So I did not see the map you recently posted, but earlier I contacted the boatman who brought us to Lauvatsaari in August, sent him pictures of the gunpit I saw and asked: is there anything similar nearby? The boatman replied that the one I saw was "the main object", but there was a similar one, but "more simple", just 200 - 300 meters from the first one. The boatman explained how to find that "more simple" object, so I went to another trip to Karelia...

It was my fault that I did not find the second gunpit when I was there before. I was walking from Soskua direction to see "temporary position" northward as we suggested, and then I turned left to find the first gunpit I finally found. If I walked just 200 meters southward, I would definitely find the second one. I explored a couple of rocky hills on the other side of the road as they looked more promising, but did not notice that grove nearby hiding the second gunpit... The most of local roads are drivable only by off-road cars, so I had to walk. The day was coming to its end, it was getting darker and I was a kind of tired... Mea culpa!

So here it is - the second (or first?..) gunpit of 39. Rask. Ptri, August 1944, 61.27222, 30.01939:

A couple of general views, the gunpit is overgrown, so it is hardly visible in summer:

DSCF3258 Финский орудийный дворик, 61.27222, 30.01939.JPG
DSCF3259.JPG

The gun basement:

DSCF3267 Орудийное основание.JPG

Collapsed ready service lockers - right from the entrance to the gunpit:

DSCF3269 Обрушенные кранцы справа от входа.JPG

And opposite to the entrance:

DSCF3270 Обрушенные кранцы напротив входа.JPG
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Eugenius
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Re: RTR 4

Post by Eugenius » 10 Oct 2021 19:04

The gun basement in the bottom, passage to the communication trench on the right and collapsed ready service locker on the left:

DSCF3272 Слева кранцы, справа проход в траншею-1.jpg

The tree once growing near the passage to the communication trench fell down and destroyed the entrance to the gunpit:

DSCF3276 Обрушенный проход в траншею.JPG

Communication trench...

DSCF3282.JPG

...is heading downwards, note the circled object:

DSCF3313-1.jpg

A closer look to the object...

DSCF3316.JPG
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Eugenius
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Re: RTR 4

Post by Eugenius » 10 Oct 2021 19:19

...which is most likely a shelter:

DSCF3319 Предположительно убежище, 61.27247, 30.01913.JPG
DSCF3321.JPG
DSCF3326.JPG
DSCF3331.JPG

There definitely had to be a door here:

DSCF3334.JPG
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Eugenius
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Re: RTR 4

Post by Eugenius » 10 Oct 2021 19:32

Inner views:

DSCF3343.JPG
DSCF3344.JPG

First I thought it was an ammo depot, but normally no stoves are installed in explosives' storages while this was definitely a chimney with remnants of concrete/clay exhaust pipe:

DSCF3353.JPG
DSCF3357.JPG

However, the place was not so convenient for a stove, but even less convenient for observation periscope or so. But could it be ventilation exhaust for ammo storage?..

DSCF3367.JPG
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Eugenius
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Re: RTR 4

Post by Eugenius » 10 Oct 2021 20:34

Then I went down to Kaarlahti/Riihipelto to search for 40. Rask. Ptri positions. It was rather simple to find the first one - I was exploring the area when a dog from a cottage being built nearby began barking on me and the host came out to see what was going on. He shown the first position just near his plot, to which position I was already heading:

DSCF3372 Финский орудийный дворик, 61.10462, 29.94049.JPG
DSCF3373.JPG
DSCF3374.JPG

The uniqueness of this position (well, every position is unique as each one differs from all others) is that it was purely made of wood and earth - the earthen banking is still clear visible and the gun basement was made with wooden beams - and it survived till now!

The gun basement:

DSCF3375.JPG

As many similar temporary basements had a metal plate underneath, scrap hunters decided to check was it exactly the case and could they gain something out of that. I think they were quite disappointed after digging - there was no any metal on gun position except on studs, so finally they decided it was not worth the efforts to uproot every stud, each being not so heavy and not so profitable for scrapping:

DSCF3378.JPG
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