British Troops In Finland 1940

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Simon Gunson
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Re: British Troops In Finland 1940

Post by Simon Gunson » 19 Sep 2015 11:01

kia ora Kiwi

You might have missed one of the star actors from Lord of the Rings movies Christopher Lee who was with detachment Sisu?

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/peopl ... 15453.html
Christopher Lee: The untold life of the SAS soldier who spoke several languages and almost died twice in WWII

“When the Second World War finished I was 23 and already I had seen enough horror to last me a lifetime,” said the late actor Sir Christopher Lee.

Lee, who died on 7 June in a London hospital aged 93, has been widely celebrated as a cinematic icon but the actor – who spoke several languages – was also a member of the SAS during the Second World War.

Born in 1922 in Belgravia to a one-time Chanel model and an army colonel, Lee was educated privately before joining the Royal Air Force in 1940.

Prior to Britain joining the conflict, the then just 18-year-old had already worked alongside the Finnish in their Winter War against the Russians as a volunteer in 1939.

Lee was attached to the precursor of the SAS, known as the Long range Desert Group (LRDG), in North Africa from 1941. He reportedly moved behind enemy lines, destroying Luftwaffe aircraft and fields, until he was seconded to the army and served with a Gurkha regiment.

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Re: British Troops In Finland 1940

Post by Simon Gunson » 19 Sep 2015 12:24

CanKiwi2 wrote:Not quite British, but the cover of Life from Feb 5 1940 - photo of Swedish aviators fighting for Finland in the Winter War.
Kiwi have you by chance stumbled upon any info about activities in Sweden of (Sir) William Stephenson or aviatrix Jean Batten?

Image

I am assuming from the flimsiest of clues that somehow she was involved in British espionage activities in Sweden perhaps with the Lotta volunteers?

Batten was active flying in Spain during the Spanish Civil War, then seems she was asked in 1939 by King George VI & King Leopold of Belgium to go to Sweden where she spent 6 months. Hitler later gave her special dispensation to fly back to England from Sweden which raised my eyebrows. Later she fell in love with a Canadian SOE (bomber) pilot named Richard who was shot down over Holland in 1943.

Her more than casual connection to various aspects of British intelligence arouses my interest?

Also can you tell me anything about use of the half dozen ex Norwegian He-155 floatplanes flown on clandestine espionage missions to Sweden & Norway from Scotland?

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Re: British Troops In Finland 1940

Post by Mangrove » 19 Sep 2015 17:55

Simon Gunson wrote: You might have missed one of the star actors from Lord of the Rings movies Christopher Lee who was with detachment Sisu?
I have gone through much of the archives of the "department of volunteers" (Vapaaehtoistoimisto) at the Päämaja and I am yet to see a single document with Lee's name on it. A quote from the previous page:
Mangrove wrote:I was keen to find Sir Christopher Lee's service records from the Finnish National Archive but I did not found his sheet among the others. Presumable due to him being underage for service, the officials did not even sign him in to the service.

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Re: British Troops In Finland 1940

Post by Simon Gunson » 23 Sep 2015 04:45

Please can anybody provide any detail about a corps of British female pilots including Maureen Dunlop who ferried military aircraft to Finland in 1939?

Also does anybody have details about the 80 Hawker Henleys sold to Finland?
I understand or have read somewhere that half of these arrived at the Finnish city of Tampere in November 1939. How did they arrive and what was their fate during the Winter War?

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peeved
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Re: British Troops In Finland 1940

Post by peeved » 23 Sep 2015 07:17

Simon Gunson wrote:Also does anybody have details about the 80 Hawker Henleys sold to Finland?
A What If scenario: http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... s#p1684019

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CanKiwi2
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Re: British Troops In Finland 1940

Post by CanKiwi2 » 15 Oct 2015 10:32

Mangrove wrote:
Simon Gunson wrote: You might have missed one of the star actors from Lord of the Rings movies Christopher Lee who was with detachment Sisu?
I have gone through much of the archives of the "department of volunteers" (Vapaaehtoistoimisto) at the Päämaja and I am yet to see a single document with Lee's name on it. A quote from the previous page:
Mangrove wrote:I was keen to find Sir Christopher Lee's service records from the Finnish National Archive but I did not found his sheet among the others. Presumable due to him being underage for service, the officials did not even sign him in to the service.
There's a short thread here on that topic - http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=29810

He traveled to Finland when he was 17. In his biography, he says he and a small group of schoolboys traveled third class to Finland with the idea that they would help rescue Finland from the Russian invaders. He was 17 at the time. He goes on to say ...our surprised hosts affected to be delighted by this callow set of volunteers .... they gave us some white uniforms as camouflage in the snow and took us up front to a perfectly safe area. We never saw any Russians and went home after a fortnight....
.
ex Ngāti Tumatauenga ("Tribe of the Maori War God") aka the New Zealand Army

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CanKiwi2
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Re: British Troops In Finland 1940

Post by CanKiwi2 » 15 Oct 2015 10:34

Simon Gunson wrote:Please can anybody provide any detail about a corps of British female pilots including Maureen Dunlop who ferried military aircraft to Finland in 1939?

Also does anybody have details about the 80 Hawker Henleys sold to Finland?
I understand or have read somewhere that half of these arrived at the Finnish city of Tampere in November 1939. How did they arrive and what was their fate during the Winter War?
Alas Simon, those are both from my fictional "What If." No Hawker Henley's ever made it to Finland. Maureen Dunlop was an Anglo-Argentine who flew as a pilot for the UK's Air Transport organisation, which used a lot of female pilots.
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CanKiwi2
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Re: British Troops In Finland 1940

Post by CanKiwi2 » 15 Oct 2015 11:01

Simon Gunson wrote:
CanKiwi2 wrote:Not quite British, but the cover of Life from Feb 5 1940 - photo of Swedish aviators fighting for Finland in the Winter War.
Kiwi have you by chance stumbled upon any info about activities in Sweden of (Sir) William Stephenson or aviatrix Jean Batten?

Image

I am assuming from the flimsiest of clues that somehow she was involved in British espionage activities in Sweden perhaps with the Lotta volunteers?

Batten was active flying in Spain during the Spanish Civil War, then seems she was asked in 1939 by King George VI & King Leopold of Belgium to go to Sweden where she spent 6 months. Hitler later gave her special dispensation to fly back to England from Sweden which raised my eyebrows. Later she fell in love with a Canadian SOE (bomber) pilot named Richard who was shot down over Holland in 1943.

Her more than casual connection to various aspects of British intelligence arouses my interest?

Also can you tell me anything about use of the half dozen ex Norwegian He-155 floatplanes flown on clandestine espionage missions to Sweden & Norway from Scotland?
Well, she was in Sweden in March 1938 anyhow - http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/74920088

"Shortly afterwards I received a letter from the British Council conveying an invitation for me to visit Stockholm and address a combined meeting of the Swedish-British Society and the Royal Aero Club of Sweden. The British Council were to make all arrangements for the visit, which was extended to enable me to visit PAGE 299Gothenburg and Copenhagen as well. I was very pleased to have this opportunity of visiting Scandinavia, for in the summer I intended flying to some of the European countries which I had not before visited, and I looked forward to seeing the Scandinavian countries. I wished also to revisit Paris and see my many friends there. Being intensely patriotic I welcomed the opportunity of associating myself with the British Council, who, under the patronage of his Majesty the King, are doing great work in making the life, thought, and achievements of British people better known abroad, and thus strengthening international friendship and goodwill.

My visit to Sweden and Denmark proved a tremendous success, and I was accorded a wonderful welcome by the warm-hearted Scandinavian people. H.R.H. Prince Gustaf Adolf presided at my lecture in Stockholm, which was held in the large concert hall and received with great enthusiasm. At the conclusion I had the great honour of receiving from Prince Gustaf Adolf the Gold Medal of the Royal Swedish Aero Club.

Many functions were arranged in my honour, and a reception was held by the British Minister, Sir Edmund Monson. At a dance I had the pleasure of dancing with H.R.H. Prince Carl Juan, and greatly enjoyed all the functions which I attended. My visit to Scandinavia was really a revelation to me. I had always imagined that the countryside would be mantled in white and that the people would be reserved and phlegmatic There was very little snow in Sweden, and the brilliantPAGE 300sunshine which heralded my arrival continued throughout my stay.

The people proved to be wonderfully warm-hearted, and I experienced the most lavish hospitality. It was deeply gratifying to find that my lectures were so keenly appreciated, and that nearly every one I met spoke excellent English. As on my first visit to Paris, an attempt was made to show me the sights of each city within the space of a few days, and which to see thoroughly would take some weeks. A welcome was extended to me in the town hall in Stockholm, which deeply impressed me with its dignity and majestic beauty. At a luncheon at Skansen I was able to taste the famous smorgasbord and to learn to give the customary toast or skoal, which is performed with as much seriousness as the loving-cup ceremony in England.

A new experience for me was ice yachting, and one which I thoroughly enjoyed as the wind filled the sail and the yacht, balanced on skids, speeded across the frozen lake at great pace.

At the three towns which I visited, Stockholm, Gothenburg, and Copenhagen, I found fine aerodromes equipped with every modern facility. In both Gothenburg, where I gave my lecture in the university hall, and in Copenhagen I also experienced wonderful hospitality.

During my stay in Denmark I had the opportunity of attending a performance of the Royal Danish Ballet, about which I had heard so much. My lecture in Copenhagen was attended by H.R.H. Prince Axel, himself a keen airman, whom I had the pleasure of meeting at several other functions arranged in my honour, and also by Sir Patrick Ramsay, the British Minister. The Royal Danish Aeronautical Society presented me with their gold medal at the conclusion of my lecture.

Sightseeing tours were arranged in each place, and while in Denmark I was taken to Elsinore to see the castle where Hamlet is reputed to have lived, and on another occasion to see the lovely bronze statue of Hans Andersen's little mermaid. A photograph reproduced in the Press at the time bore the title of "The Airmaid and the Mermaid." I was very sorry that time did not permit me to visit Norway, but I decided to fly to Oslo at a later date, when I would also be able to pay a return visit to Sweden and Denmark."
(from "My Life", published in 1939.

Image
Here she is arriving in Stockholm (http://nzetc.victoria.ac.nz/tm/scholarl ... 1-d21.html)

In September 1939, the greatest conflict in the field of human history broke out while Jean was in Sweden on a lecture tour. She received special permission from the Lufwaffe to use German airspace to fly her Gull back to England. - http://h2g2.com/approved_entry/A665165

Don;t know if you've read this one but it seems to be the authoritative bio on her - Mackersey, Ian, Jean Batten : The Garbo of the Skies, Warner Books,1999, 466pp, ISBN: 0 7515 3019 0
ex Ngāti Tumatauenga ("Tribe of the Maori War God") aka the New Zealand Army

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CanKiwi2
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Re: British Troops In Finland 1940

Post by CanKiwi2 » 15 Oct 2015 11:06

And on that note here's another reference - https://books.google.ca/books?id=tkjB9P ... 39&f=false - states that in 1939 her Gull was partilly dismantled and stored in (a) hanger. In Deember 1939 it was again moved to Derbyshire....

I'd say from the evidence the story about her flying back from Sweden over Germany seems to be anecdotal. The evidence points to her visiting Sweden in 1938, not 39.
ex Ngāti Tumatauenga ("Tribe of the Maori War God") aka the New Zealand Army

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Re: British Troops In Finland 1940

Post by valtonen » 31 Jan 2016 09:33

The matter of voluntary British schoolboys at least trying to come to fight in the Winter War is fascinating. In the 1970-ies when I was working for Finnair in Moscow, I befriended the Moscow office manager of Midland Bank corporation (unfortunately his name has slipped out of my mind). He had been one of the Etonian school boys travelling to Finland. The schoolboys were taken along with other foreign youngsters to a boarding school or college in Jämsä in central Finland on Lake Päijänne. The majority of the European foreigners were from Sweden followed closely by Estonia and Hungary, even some Britons and French. The biggest part was from the United States amd Canada, nearly all with finnish roots. - Winter War ended before the basic training was over. All of the kids got a commemorative medal and a thank-you letter signed by Marshal Mannerheim.

Most of the volunteers never returned to Finland. The britons had enough of "own" wars to choose from. The Swedes, Estonians etc, however, were very important fighting in the Continuation War against USSR. That was followed by the Lappland war to drive theformer german Waffenbrüders away, but I have never heard that there would have been any foreign volunteers (not even swedes) involved.

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