Finnish Special Forces Near Moscow?

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Panzerspiel
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Finnish Special Forces Near Moscow?

Post by Panzerspiel » 08 Mar 2007 16:20

All,
I'm reading "Moscow 1941" by Rodric Braithwaite (Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 2006). At the bottom of page 284 he writes the following:

"Vladimir Frolov began operating (with his OMSBON unit) even before the end of the Battle of Moscow, mining roads on the northern approaches to the capital. On one operation, he was ordered to mine the main road just south of Klin, and to blow up the charge between the departure of the last Russian troops and the arrival of the Germans. He dug a large charge under a culvert near the village of Davydkovo and waited. The first night he was visited by his platoon commander. The man was killed immediately after when his truck was destroyed by Finnish special forces operating skis."

The distence from the nearest Finnish occupied place and the village mentioned is at Lodeynoye Pole just south of the River Svir between Lakes Ladoga and Onega, several hundread miles north of Klin. Or, more likely was these Finnish special forces group(s) operating with the German Ninth Army and 3rd Panzer Group?

Can anyone shed some light on this subject or confirm this report?
Thanks,
Panzerspiel

Mikko H.
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Post by Mikko H. » 08 Mar 2007 16:55

Myth or misidentification. See this thread: http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=96599

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Post by Panzerspiel » 08 Mar 2007 17:40

Mikko H.
Thanks for the prompt reply. I doubted the acuracy of the story too but wanted to confirm this with the only accurate source I feel confident with.
Panzerspiel
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Harri
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Post by Harri » 09 Mar 2007 10:06

I think Finns delivered some winter and skiing equipment to Germans and there were also Finnish winter war instructors on the Eastern Front later during the winter 1941/42 and especially 1942/43. They trained IIRC German, Hungarian and Romanian ski troops. A few winter warfare courses were arranged also in Finland mostly for the Germans in Lapland.

But could these mentioned special troops have been actually Germans equipped with Finnish or Finnish like gear and perhaps even led by a Finnish officer? (I although don't know that would have happened but it is possible because many of the Finnish instructors were highly decorated experienced soldiers.)

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Post by Janne » 09 Mar 2007 14:26

According to Wolf Halsti, who supervised the first winter condition training course held in October in Niinisalo, the pupils were "selected young company commanders from the Eastern Front".

IMHO it doesn't seem particularly likely that the Finnish instructors - about whom I cannot recall reading, but that's my problem - despatched there would''ve been too close to the combat zone. (BTW do you remember any names or other details?)

I'd (again) assume that it was a strong Soviet desire to find evidence of Finns (outside the volunteer battalion) fwhich led to another case of misidentification. The Soviets worked quite hard to get Britain to declare war at Finland and finding Finnish army units fighting in Russia was a useful weapon against the Finnish declarations of a separate war (which the British still weren't unwilling to accept). FWIW already in October the British had been told that a Finnish unit had been identified outside Moscow.

OTOH it could've been just a simple assumption that any troops on skis must be a Finn...

(

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Post by Kimmo » 09 Mar 2007 16:20

Any chance that there could have been Finnish imigrants from Germany, who would have ended to the same German unit and speaked Finnish together?

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Post by Victor » 11 Mar 2007 15:36

Harri wrote:I think Finns delivered some winter and skiing equipment to Germans and there were also Finnish winter war instructors on the Eastern Front later during the winter 1941/42 and especially 1942/43. They trained IIRC German, Hungarian and Romanian ski troops. A few winter warfare courses were arranged also in Finland mostly for the Germans in Lapland.


I doubt there were Finish instructors for the Romanian skiers, at least not in 1941/1942. The Romanian skier detachment although initially destined for the Crimea was simply diverted to the Izyum sector and remained in continuous action throughout the entire winter season, before it was sent back home. Highly unlikely to have training sessions while on the front.

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Harri
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Post by Harri » 12 Mar 2007 13:59

Victor wrote:
Harri wrote:I think Finns delivered some winter and skiing equipment to Germans and there were also Finnish winter war instructors on the Eastern Front later during the winter 1941/42 and especially 1942/43. They trained IIRC German, Hungarian and Romanian ski troops. A few winter warfare courses were arranged also in Finland mostly for the Germans in Lapland.

I doubt there were Finish instructors for the Romanian skiers, at least not in 1941/1942. The Romanian skier detachment although initially destined for the Crimea was simply diverted to the Izyum sector and remained in continuous action throughout the entire winter season, before it was sent back home. Highly unlikely to have training sessions while on the front.


AFAIK in winter 1942/43. Finnish instructors were issued to Armies.

The names and numbers of these Finnish officers were IIRC mentioned in the "Finnish Wars 1941 - 1945" books which is an old official history series from the 1950's and 1960's.

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Post by Slava_M » 13 Mar 2007 08:55

Harri wrote:AFAIK in winter 1942/43. Finnish instructors were issued to Armies.

The names and numbers of these Finnish officers were IIRC mentioned in the "Finnish Wars 1941 - 1945" books which is an old official history series from the 1950's and 1960's.


It is interesting!
Is it possible to find out these numbers?
If one summarize Soviet "sources" Finns should sent to Tver-Moscow-Kaluga front at least one division 8O of own troops to help Germans with winter attacks and also for rest in occupied territories (many of these "sources" say that "Finns" arrived in this territories when Germans were far ahead at the frontline).
The real numbers can help with clearing the situation.

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Post by Topspeed » 13 Mar 2007 09:00

I never ever heard of Tver-Moscow-Kaluga front. Has someove heard...and finns there ?

I think Tver was a river finns did not cross.

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Post by Slava_M » 13 Mar 2007 09:35

Topspeed wrote:I never ever heard of Tver-Moscow-Kaluga front. Has someove heard...and finns there ?

I think Tver was a river finns did not cross.


Reading Soviet sources one can find a lot of such strange information.
But it looks like based on nothing. Finns were identified like "cruel tall redhead guys, don't speaking Russian".
So it is clearly misunderstanding and/or propaganda. But it is difficult to explain to people here, accordind to them it is GREAT MILITARY SECRET of Finnish army.
But if it is published that 5 or 10 or 20 Finns (except SSbat) were on German front as skiing trainers it should be a better argument against those rumours about battalions of Finns everywhere!
Last edited by Slava_M on 13 Mar 2007 09:44, edited 1 time in total.

Rodan Lewarx
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Post by Rodan Lewarx » 13 Mar 2007 09:36

I think Tver was a river finns did not cross.

Tver (named Kalinin during WW2) is a city 150 km from Moscow. It is located on a Volga river on a road Moscow - St.Petersburg.

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Rodan Lewarx
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Post by Rodan Lewarx » 13 Mar 2007 09:42

. Finns were identified like "cruel tall redhead guys, don't speaking Russian".
So it is clearly misunderstanding and/or propaganda.

You can find it in a memoirs (for example http://gov.karelia.ru/Karelia/1563/19.html) of those who was under occupation so it's not a propaganda but misidentification. Also sometimes hungarian soldiers named "finns".

Regards

Slava_M
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Post by Slava_M » 13 Mar 2007 09:49

Rodan Lewarx wrote:
. Finns were identified like "cruel tall redhead guys, don't speaking Russian".
So it is clearly misunderstanding and/or propaganda.

You can find it in a memoirs (for example http://gov.karelia.ru/Karelia/1563/19.html) of those who was under occupation so it's not a propaganda but misidentification. Also sometimes hungarian soldiers named "finns".

Regards


Dear Rodan,
very interesting, I'll reply later...
Thank you!

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Post by Slava_M » 13 Mar 2007 10:12

Thank you for interesting and up-to-date example of such article!
So it is the same data again, Finns in Orel area. Looks like during WWII Finns were not least numerous than Chinese!
Some translated quotations
"Those time, of course, I couldn't distinguish Finnish and German uniform and speech. But I can confirm that they were Finns (not Germans or anybody else). Adults (stepmother and house owner) called them so, they understand it from their speech or words said in Russian."
So it is an information from ÎÁÑ (in Russian, "One Old woman Said") agency.
BTW - how much polyglots were in Russian villages who knew Finnish!

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