Digitized Finnish War Diaries

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Mangrove
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Digitized Finnish War Diaries

Post by Mangrove » 03 Jul 2009 08:29

The National Archives Service now digitizes Finnish war diaries from microfilms to their digital archive. It seems that most of them are accessible only from the computers at the Archive.

http://digi.narc.fi/digi/faq.ka
Miksi en voi katsella tiettyjä digitoituja aineistoja? Digitaaliarkisto ilmoittaa että aineisto ei ole vapaasti käytettävissä.

Digitaaliarkistoon sisältyvistä aineistoista valtaosa on vapaasti käytettävissä internetissä. Yksityisyyden suojaa koskevan lainsäädännön (henkilötietolaki 523/1999) perusteella henkilötietoja sisältävistä aineistoista kuitenkin vain ne, jotka ovat vähintään 125 vuotta vanhempia, voidaan asettaa käyttöön internetissä. Sellaisia digitaaliarkistoon sisältyviä aineistoja, joita ei ole mahdollista käyttää internetin kautta, voidaan kuitenkin käyttää arkistolaitoksen eli Kansallisarkiston ja maakunta-arkistojen tutkijatiloihin sijoitetuilta päätteiltä.
http://digi.narc.fi/digi/hae_ay.ka?sartun=319.SARK

Martti

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Re: Digitized Finnish War Diaries

Post by Mangrove » 30 Nov 2009 13:53

Now available for layman! Huge resource for Finnish amateur historians! No need to go to Helsinki anymore! :P They are having little bit of difficulties due of the huge amount of users. In search the name must be almost spot on so best is to search by general words, "divisioona" and so on.

http://digi.narc.fi/digi/search.ka (Search)
http://digi.narc.fi/digi/dosearch.ka?amtun=75.SARK (File tree)

Mikko H.
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Re: Digitized Finnish War Diaries

Post by Mikko H. » 30 Nov 2009 14:27

Hot damn this is useful! 8O :D

It also destroys most of my excuses for not getting on with my hobby projects... :cry:

Mangrove
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Re: Digitized Finnish War Diaries

Post by Mangrove » 05 Dec 2009 10:33

Now they have also uploaded some of the Continuation and Lapland War diaries!

http://digi.narc.fi/digi/dosearch.ka?sartun=326.SARK

Esa K
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Re: Digitized Finnish War Diaries

Post by Esa K » 07 Dec 2009 09:38

Martti Kujansuu wrote:Now they have also uploaded some of the Continuation and Lapland War diaries!
Great news, thanks for the link!


Best regards

Esa K

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Harri
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Re: Digitized Finnish War Diaries

Post by Harri » 08 Dec 2009 16:42

These are definately interesting! The quality of the war diaries although varies between unreadable to excellent. There are also lots of diaries written in Swedish (or both Swedish and Finnish sic.!). Some of them contain only nearly unuseful information like "Air raid warning given" and "Air raid warning over" but on the other hand there are some excellent war diaries. Read for example the one of the "I Armeijakunnan esikunta. Tykistökomentaja 1939 - 1940." [I Army Corps HQ, Artillery Commander]. It seems like the battles wouldn't have been very extensive at all. Or then the "papa mentality" of the Maj.Gen. Laatikainen "contaminated" the Artillery Commander as well! Note how the handwriting of the keeper of the war diary (I think he's the same all the time) changes towards the end of the war. Could be a sign of the exhaustion?

Don't let the unit size mislead because some of the smaller unit diaries can contain excellent, accurate and interesting piece of information. For example the war diary of 1./LLv.24 written Deputy Flight Leader by Lt J. Sarvanto gives detailed information on the whole Flying Squadron 24, not just on 1st Flight. He also lists pilots ordered to his Flight from other Flights and the return of the Capt. Carlsson after his wounding. An interesting piece of information is mentioned in the war diary: Carlsson's finger (just one?) had been injured! Note especially how Sarvanto tells on the disaster of 29.2.1940. It is very interesting that he tells that Luukkanen's Flight returned to Ruokolahti in the evening for a night. It is usually told that all planes left Ruokolahti base during that day but the case seems not to have been so. Also Ristiina base was differently used than it is usually told: planes visited there many times.

Flying Squadron 10 has a totally different. It is like a very official task / order / flying diary. It although contains lots of addendums, even some aerial photographs, and a complete (later rewritten?) personnel list! It is clear that some of these diaries have been "cleared up", or written or rewritten after the war (at least partly) and some are more like reports. These are usually written with a type-writer although most diaries are hand-written.

Anyway these war diaries give a lot of boost to my research although some are like told very unclear and there are conflicts between the diaries. I'm interested in commanders, chiefs and leaders of even the smaller independent units and I have already managed to find out numerous battery and company chiefs and other officers. One of my first interests applies to "Ahvenanmaan puolustusjoukot" [Åland Islands Defence Forces] and how it was born, what were the exact phases of its predecessors and who were their commanders and chiefs of staff. Interestingly I found that Major N. Simonen was active in organizing defences there but I have not yet found what was his position: was he in L-SMe.PE or at Ahvenanmaa? Was he chief of staff of some unit? The war diary of Ålands Hemvärn is also available and it too contains certain unknown information to me.

Also the Vaasan Lohko [Vaasa Sector] is interesting. It seems that almost all of its troops were moved away during the war and the Sector was later led by the Commander of PMe.PE although also other kinds of information is available. To me this was very clearly told in the war diary. These cases would certainly need a thread of their own.

Mangrove
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Re: Digitized Finnish War Diaries

Post by Mangrove » 09 Dec 2009 12:16

Harri wrote:It is clear that some of these diaries have been "cleared up", or written or rewritten after the war (at least partly) and some are more like reports. These are usually written with a type-writer although most diaries are hand-written.
It could be due of the nature of the diary; for example the Navy HQ diary made of reports from other units. Also the original version may have been lost or partly burned and they wanted to send a clean and nice version to the War Archive (Sota-arkisto) after the war.

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patrik.possi
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Re: Digitized Finnish War Diaries

Post by patrik.possi » 09 Dec 2009 23:59

Are they updating the digital archives?

I could not find any of my grandpa's units Kev.Os 6 and JR6 3 komp 1942-1944

Mangrove
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Re: Digitized Finnish War Diaries

Post by Mangrove » 10 Dec 2009 07:16

patrik.possi wrote:Are they updating the digital archives?
Yes they are. They have digitized about 2500 units in a week so it will probably take up to three months to get all of the Continuation and Lapland War files edited to the net.

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finnguy
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Re: Digitized Finnish War Diaries

Post by finnguy » 10 Dec 2009 23:43

Thanks I've been wanting to find something like this for a long time.
Don't fight a battle if you don't gain anything by winning.
Erwin Rommel

Mangrove
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Re: Digitized Finnish War Diaries

Post by Mangrove » 16 Dec 2009 10:12

Most of the Finnish Air Force squadron diaries are now online.

Esa K
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Re: Digitized Finnish War Diaries

Post by Esa K » 16 Dec 2009 13:10

Hi.

Good news again...


.. and a question, cause maybe this thread is a place for it. Some (one?) year(s) ago, or so, I found a short mention somewhere that all of the Sota-arkisto material, some hundered shelfmeters or more, from the WW II era that still was not sorted, was sent to Utti to finish that work at last = to put it in proper order etc etc. Anyone who has any news about that process, how much is still unsorted and so on?


Best regards

Esa K

Mangrove
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Re: Digitized Finnish War Diaries

Post by Mangrove » 16 Dec 2009 18:37

Esa K wrote:Anyone who has any news about that process, how much is still unsorted and so on?
According to narc.fi the project was started in 2007 and will be finished in 2013. Fifteen shelf kilometres of material will be restored along the project. The White Guard material (three kilometres) was made available a while ago.

http://www.narc.fi/Arkistolaitos/kansal ... ojekti.htm

Mangrove
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Re: Digitized Finnish War Diaries

Post by Mangrove » 21 Dec 2009 14:14

Interesting statistics can be found from the diaries of various departments of Päämaja or the High Command.

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Bair
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Re: Digitized Finnish War Diaries

Post by Bair » 29 Dec 2009 23:14

these are indeed great news and I was able to use a lot of materiel from there for my book.

When it comes to infantry unit diaries of Winter War, it is the same decyphering work like with the original documents - hand-written accounts with hard pencil on bad paper... Good old fun!

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