The rough timeline of events in Kuuterselka, 14.-15.6. 1944

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The rough timeline of events in Kuuterselka, 14.-15.6. 1944

Post by Panssari Salama » 09 May 2010 14:29

Dear sirs,

I am trying to establish an overall picture of what happened at VT Line at Kuuterselka sector. I initially was more interested of the whereabouts of Infantry Regiment 53 (JR 53), but of course there is no Kuuterselka discussion without the counterattack by elements of Armoured Divisions' Jaeger Brigade and assault guns.

--
EDIT 10.5.2010: Let us start by focusing on JR53:
• Was JR53 equipped with panzerfaust and -shreck already on morning of June 14?
• What was the role of III/JR53 at Kuuterselkä?
• What were the whereabouts of II/JR53 after they fell back to Kuuterselka Block line? Did they participate with I/JR48 counterattack, or did the remnants of the battalion fall back further (towards Liikola)??

--

This is the rough time line I got from Kilin and Raunio+Palokangas (to save space I refer to pair as "Raunio", sorry...) articles in Battles of War 2 - The Continuation War (Sodan Taisteluja 2 - Jatkosota), pp. 236-247. EDIT: Added information from Käkelä's Marski's Tank Destroyers (Marskin panssarintuhoojat), pp. 424-434.

There must be a ton of information already discussed in this board, but I did not find anything similar to having a timeline of events. Any help to sort out the high level view of chain of events much appreciated.

Please feel free to add details or major events as you see appropriate!


So here we go. I started this from JR 53 point of view. They certainly found themselves in a hot spot, to say the least!

KUUTERSELKA SECTOR JUNE 14-15 1944

JUNE 14 (All times in Finnish time)

• 7:00 Soviet artillery barrage begins on VT Line Kilin
• 8:15 Artillery barrage ends
• 8:30 Soviet attack on VT Line begins

SAHAKYLA I/JR53
Some confusion in timeline, as
• 8:30 I/JR53 at Sahakylä attacked by 458. IR, initially with two battalions (which?) Kilin
- Russian break into VT Line Kilin, time?
• 8:00 I/JR53 looses their positions Raunio

• Finnish counterattack including HQ and Support units (Huolto) drives them back Kilin, Raunio(time?)

• Russians retake the positions Raunio(time?)

• I/JR53 and one JP6 company (which?) counterattack and takes the positions back (time?)

• 12:00 I/JR53 withdraws from VT Line, citing the events at Kuuterselka as the reason. Raunio

• Where do they withdraw to? Within VT Line to south, to meet friendly forces of URR?
- As Mustakylä falls to Russians in the early afternoon, blocking their line of retreat?

Apparently withdrawal not noticed, as
• 16:00 Sahakyla taken again Kilin (incl. 7 concrete pill boxes)

KUUTERSELKA II/JR53

• VT Line at Alamaa breached by Soviet 286.D

Again, some confusion:

• 9:00 II/JR53 led by Major Aito Keravuori withdraws to Kuuterselka Block Line (Sulkulinja) Raunio
• 9:45 II/JR 53 loose their position at VT Line and begin the withdraw to Kuuterselka Block Line Kilin

• (time?) Major E-Heino's (?) I/JR48, held as a reseve, is sent from Liikola to reinforce Kuuterselka Raunio

• 12:00 Kuuterselka taken by Russians Kilin
- Part of the attacking forces set up a defense at Kuuterselka fields
- Who, the three regiments Raunio mentions without a time line? (see below at 17:00)

Some confusion:
• 12:00 I/JR48 begins to withdraw back to Liikola Raunio
- With the remnants of II/JR53 (my question)?
• 12:00+, "soon, after midday", I/JR48 begins their counterattack Käkelä
- The village and the east side of it was taken by Russians during the afternoon Käkelä

• 13:00 VT Line East of Kuuterselka:
- Russians manage to destroy the tank obstacles and can begin their attack
- 133. IR supported by 8 T-34s and 2 SU-76s (unit?)
• 16:40 VT Line East of Kuuterselka:
- Russians breach the VT Line and advance to Kuuterselka village from that direction as well
- Was this II/JR53 as well, or were (at least elements of) III/JR53 involved as well?

Road East from Kuuterselka (to Mustamaki):
• 13:00 Russians begin their attack towards Mustamaki from Kuuterselka
- 996. IR and 96 Tank Rgt
• 16:15 1.Tank Brigade is ordered to go around Mustamaki to attack towards Vammeljarvi
- 19:05 Vammeljarvi taken
- 19:40 RvPrE HQ taken
• 18:30 All of Mustamaki taken by Russians
- I/996 IR advances to north via railroad tracks
- Finnish counterattack begins in Kuuterselka, Russians decide to stop to set a defense at Vammeljoki

Road North from Kuuterselka (to Liikola)
• By 17:00. the Russians have advanced some 1,5 km towards Liikola via the Kuuterselka – Liikola road Kilin

• Three regiments to set up a hedgehow defense around Kuuterselka Raunio
- 133.IR, 14.IR and 187.IR, supported by elements of 1222. Ass.G.Rgt
- Are all regiments still in full strength?
- What elements of 1222.Ass.G.Rgt? What type of AFVs? SU-152s?
- Is this the 12:00 event (Kuuterselka taken, defense set up) mentioned by Kilin?

• Whatever happens to II/JR53 as their whereabouts are not discussed in these books anymore after they retreated to Kuuterselka?

VT LINE A FEW KM NORTHEAST OF KUUTERSELKA III/JR53

• Did they participate in Kuuterselka battle or did they stay at their respective part of VT Line during the action?
- No mention of III/JR53 in these books...
- As they were positioned a few kilometres northeast of village, after all...?

KUUTERSELKA / JAEGER BRIGADE and elements of ASSAULT GUN BN

• Any tank companies here, heavy or light? What about the Landverk AA platoons, where were they at the time?

Timeline of events not available in detail... What were the major events for each Jaeger battalion, and at what time?

EDIT: I decided to break this by Jaeger Battalions to better understand their individual timelines

General timelines

• 17.53 - 18.00 Eleven Ju 88s against tanks at Kuuterselkä. 12250 kg. Hits observed at S side of the village, crossroads and a road leading east of it. (see Martti Kujansuu's comment)

• 22:00 Eleven FAF bombers hit Kuuterselka Raunio.
- More likely 11 bombers refer to 18:00 bombing, and 22:00 refers to this later bombing:

• 23.26 - 23.50 Fourteen Blenheims, three Do 17s, three DB-3s and two IL-4s against tanks & troops at Kuuterselkä. 17575 kg. Hits on the target area. (see Martti Kujansuu's comment)

Some details missing:
• At the same time (as airforce), Tyk.R.N. (Nuolimaa) performs a short barrage Raunio
- From where, at what strength?
• 22:00 Four Finnish Arty Bns (4 patteristoa), fire to six targets, then at 22:45: a minute long barrage. Käkelä
- Who, from where? Tyk.R.Nuolimaa in all likelyhood?
- Tyk.R.N: RsPsto 14, RsPsto 18, II/KTR 8 ja III/KTR 16 (???)

• 22:45 J.Br begins their attack towards Kuuterselka and VT Line


II/J.BR
• North of Kuuterselka at Liikola:
• 17:00 Lagus orders Major Lammetmaa’s II/J.Br to take Kuuterselka back, three Russian regiments already there?
- Supported initially by only 2 Stu40s of ?/Ass.G.Bn.
- They advance to a level of Inkojarvi’s Southmost point during the evening
• 22:45 Attack: II/J.Br initially held as a reserve (to recover from their 17:00 attack, see below)?

• Advance route - East of Road II/J.Br Lammetmaa
- Barely mentioned at all in the Kilin Rauniobook.
- A map describes them advancing towards VT Line Northeast of Kuuterselka?
- Käkelä: initially on road behind IV/J.Br, then within easter village limits to VT Line
- Käkelä, describing the situation at morning of 15.6.: II/J.Br had stormed the VT Line and taken trenches to north and south.

- Timeline of any major events by II/J.Br?

III/J.BR
• 22:45? Maj. Jouko Hynninen’s III/J.Br begins their attack
- 1 km west of Liikola-Kuuterelka road, using the paths (metsälinja) toward Kuuterselkä Käkelä

• Time? III/J.Br re-takes Block line west of Kuuterselka, near lake Kuuterselanjarvi
• 4:50 Soviet counterattack supported by heavy tanks forces III/J.Br to leave Block line.
• 6:30 III/J.Br counterattacks and takes their positions at Block line
- III/J.Br reinforced by detachments from PioneerBn 2 and V/J.Br
- Now where did they come from! ???
- Which units participated from Pioneer Bn 2?
- Käkelä: "despite some articles to contrary", V/J.Br did not fight in Kuuterselkä but "secured Ala-Liikola area instead", with I/7.Tyk.K.

- At some point of time elements of 2.Ass.G.Bn were involved as well. Which units?
- Was it for this counter-attack? Arrived with V/J.Br?
- Raunio mentions 20 Stu’s participated and I remember a quote from one of Käkelä's book mention two 2./Ass.G.Bn Stu's at Kuuterselka?


IV/J.BR
• Maj. Eero Leppänen’s IV/J.Br advance via Liikola-Kuuterselka road
- Supported by 1./Ass.G.Bn, then by 3./Ass.G.Bn
- Supported by III/7.Tyk.K (armed with 75K/40s) Käkelä
• 00:35 IV/J.Br reach Kuuterselka fields north of village Käkelä
- Immediately under heavy fire by units of 72.D at Kuuterselka Block line
• 01:00 (June 15) 3./Ass.G.Bn.to move forward, relieving 1./Ass.G.Bn who have one functioning Stu remaining at that time
• Käkelä, describing the situation morning of 15.6.: IV/J.Br had not been able to make progress

General events June 15.

• 7:00 Lagus proposes a withdrawal from Kuuterselka, Raunio
- Laatikainen agrees and an order is given to stop attack and take defensive positions
• 10:50 Order to withdraw from Kuuterselka Raunio

• 13:00 IV/J.Br breaks off fighting in good order Käkelä
• III/JBr in some time between?
• II/J.Br breaks off fighting in good order
Last edited by Panssari Salama on 10 May 2010 09:01, edited 40 times in total.
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Re: The rough timeline of events in Kuuterselka, 14.-15.6. 1

Post by Mangrove » 09 May 2010 17:34

FiAF
* June 14th, 5.53 - 6.00 p.m. Eleven Ju 88s against tanks at Kuuterselkä. 12250 kg. Hits observed at S side of the village, crossroads and a road leading east of it. [http://digi.narc.fi/digi/fullpic.ka?kuid=2923100]
* June 14th, 11.26 - 11.50 p.m. Fourteen Blenheims, three Do 17s, three DB-3s and two IL-4s against tanks & troops at Kuuterselkä. 17575 kg. Hits on the target area. [http://digi.narc.fi/digi/fullpic.ka?kuid=2923111]

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Re: The rough timeline of events in Kuuterselka, 14.-15.6. 1

Post by Panssari Salama » 09 May 2010 17:50

Thanks Martti! Info added :)
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Re: The rough timeline of events in Kuuterselka, 14.-15.6. 1

Post by Panssari Salama » 10 May 2010 20:14

It seems I cannot edit my original post anymore... I decided Wiki is good enough source as this is not a thesis I am writing. Here's some more detail in english:

TykR. Nuolimaa Wiki

* Rask Psto 14 (major Eero Nuolimaa) 12 150 H 40 howitzers
* III/Fieldartillery Rgt16 III (major Arnold Hallonblad) 12 155 H/17 howitzers
* Rask Psto 18 (major Mether) 11 152 H 37 howitzers
* II/Fieldartillery Rgt 8 (major Kallio) 12 155 H/17 howitzers

Tyk.R.N located ca 2-3 kms East of Suulajärvi Map in Sodan taisteluja 2 , also:
I/ Fieldartillery Rgt 16 at Liikola. Their equipment?

I/JR48
* Night of June 13 Moved to East of Suulajärvi Raunio
* June 14 8:10 Ordered to move about half way down to Kuuterselka road from Liikola by Pajari Wiki
* 10:00 Order to counterattack to VT Line by Lt Col Ravila of JR53 Wiki
* 10:45 Order to counterattack Block Line instead by Pajari Wiki
* 12:30 Arrived to Block Line Wiki
* Time? Withdraw 2km north and re-organised again Wiki

II/53
* (12:30+?) Ordered to re-group North of Onkijärvi, some 3-4 km North of Kuuterselka village Wiki
Last edited by Panssari Salama on 11 May 2010 08:48, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The rough timeline of events in Kuuterselka, 14.-15.6. 1

Post by Tommy R » 10 May 2010 23:13

There is an quite thorough (40 pages) account in Käkeläs "Laguksen Rynnäkkötykit" on the fighting at Kuuterselkä mostly from the Ass.G.Bns point of view.
I'll see if I can add some information from the book later.

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Re: The rough timeline of events in Kuuterselka, 14.-15.6. 1

Post by Mangrove » 11 May 2010 07:31

PBlitz wrote:What about the Landverk AA platoons, where were they at the time?
Ps.It.Ptri, SPK 19086.

June 10th. Whole battalion at Lappeenranta. Shipped to Perkjärvi late that evening.
June 11th. 1st platoon at Väärämäki, 2nd and 3rd at Sormula.
June 12th - June 13th. Pe-2s and IL-2s at the rear. Few of them are brought down.
June 14th. Battalion is transferred to Voipiala to protect the Jääkäriprikaati which is stationed there. 1st is in position at 4.15 p.m., 2nd and 3rd at 4.30 p.m. Battalion is given orders to move to Ala-Liikola at 8 p.m. In position at 8.50 p.m.
June 15th. Heavy IL-2 action whole day.
June 16th. Battalion transferred back to Voipiala.

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Re: The rough timeline of events in Kuuterselka, 14.-15.6. 1

Post by Jagala » 11 May 2010 07:39

PBlitz wrote: I am trying to establish an overall picture of what happened at VT Line at Kuuterselka sector. I initially was more interested of the whereabouts of Infantry Regiment 53 (JR 53), but of course there is no Kuuterselka discussion without the counterattack by elements of Armoured Divisions' Jaeger Brigade and assault guns.
You sure haven't picked an easy task for yourself!

The obvious sources are "Jatkosodan historia" (vol. IV, IIRC), "Kuuterselkäkin murtui" (Lappalainen), "Aika vaatii veronsa" (IIRC) (Halsti) and "Sotilaiden äänet" (Rintala). I'm afraid, though, that the entries in war diaries do not always match the events on the battlefield and the collection of oral history is probably just as confusing as the events were - but you'll get some answers.

The new German anti-tank weapons were delivered to battalions on the 13th and at least in II P to the companies, but since there had been no training whatsoever it is hardly surprising they weren't used.

JR 53 had to defend such a wide sector that all three battalions were in line; III P was to the left of II P in (IIRC) Onkamonkangas, where there was relatively little action and the battalion was the one that fought some sort of rearguard action during the retreat.

The companies of II P left their positions at different times, the company that was in the middle was the last - and I'm not sure the battalion fought as a unit until (possibly) the following day.

There are two counterattacks Sahakylä: the first, led by Capt Terho (who later takes over the command from Maj Jahnukainen) and IIRC supported by a company from JP 6, against a minor (recon?) attack near "Metsänvartijantalo", the second is made by JP 6 which stays in the positions until late in the afternoon and retreats, losing its cycles, when the battle has moved to the rear.

The companies of I P are even worse scattered than those of II P and the battalion isn't reunited until about three days and 100 km later. Most of the retreating soldiers take the route to the east of the railway (along which they've seen the column of enemy tanks advance and turn to the road to Sykiälä) and between Kanneljärvi and Suulajärvi.

Apart from the moving group of tanks and tank-riding infantry, the enemy attack seems to have been cautious (or tied to a timetable of how to take the fortified positions "by numbers") and the defense-lines in both sectors appear to have been empty of both defenders and attackers for some time.

The second squadron of URR holds the line to the right of I P, has no connection to it and notices at some point during the afternoon that there is no-one there.

The enemy tanks have probably broken through in Kuuterselkä, but some soldiers in I P are convinced the tanks simply drove along the railway line, which was the (recently moved and thus unclearly and poorly defended) seam between JR 53 and URR or 3.D and Rv.Pr.

Hope this doesn't confuse you further:-)

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Re: The rough timeline of events in Kuuterselka, 14.-15.6. 1

Post by Panssari Salama » 11 May 2010 08:42

Jagala wrote: You sure haven't picked an easy task for yourself!

...

Apart from the moving group of tanks and tank-riding infantry, the enemy attack seems to have been cautious (or tied to a timetable of how to take the fortified positions "by numbers") and the defense-lines in both sectors appear to have been empty of both defenders and attackers for some time.

...

Hope this doesn't confuse you further:-)
...but it sure is an interesting topic, isn't it! :) And I have not even started to try to have a look at what Red Army units did during the same timeline. But they had truly a massive effort at Kuuterselka sector, didn't they. Almost a 10-1 advantage in manpower?

It seems the battle for Kuuterselkä was lost even before it has started, as the Russians had done their homework and had picked a weak point at VT Line, and then provided the manpower and equipment to ensure the breach will be accomplished.

Your point about their cautious advance is well justified, as one could point out that instead of "loosing" Kuuterselka, a Russian breakthrough towards north and Liikola did not happen.

Maybe Russians were unsure of Finnish forces available for counter attack as well, and decided to ensure their success as they stopped to set up a defense. Especially as they faced modern Finnish armour and panzerfausts for first time. Or the other option, they were perhaps too cautious to take advantage towards North as well. The massive breakthrough towards west and Vammeljärvi is well documented, and in effect sealed the faith of VT Line. However, it could have been much much worse?

Thanks Martti again for your comment, and thanks Jagala, lots of interesting information. Let us keep this thread at work... :)

I will need to do a new overall summary at some point of time to consolidate all the information. I will do it at home to a word document for a while, and then update this thread again with the "big picture".

PS It would be nice to have a link to a map with a scale describing the Kuuterselka area in more detail, but I have not found any. I only have the maps in books, and assume most people would have access to them as well.
http://www.aroundspb.ru/maps/kannas1938/kannas1938.php

EDIT: Interestinlgy, the maps in Sodan taisteluja 2 list the village at southpoint of Suulajärvi as Liikola, whereas the linked map puts Liikola to eastern shore of Suulajärvi, naming the southpoint area rather as part of Hötsöla?
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Re: The rough timeline of events in Kuuterselka, 14.-15.6. 1

Post by Esa K » 11 May 2010 09:57

Hi

On the topic, may I recomend this text:

Palokangas, Markku: Kuuterselän-Sahakylän-Vammelsuun suurtaistelu kesällä 1944 / pages 161-185 in: Jatkosodan tiellä / editor: Marko Palokangas. Helsinki : Maanpuolustuskorkeakoulu, 2004. ISBN: 951-25-1522-9.

...and in short, Palokangas conclusions is: The battle of Kuuterselkä needs still more research before we can present "a final truth" about it, and; we shall not stare us blind on the happenings only at Kuuterselkä, the fate of the VT-line was not only determined in the battles at that village, but on the whole frontline from the Gulf of Finland to Kuuterselkä.


Best regards

Esa K

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Re: The rough timeline of events in Kuuterselka, 14.-15.6. 1

Post by Jagala » 11 May 2010 10:47


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Re: The rough timeline of events in Kuuterselka, 14.-15.6. 1

Post by Panssari Salama » 11 May 2010 11:36

Thanks again! Meanwhile, I am collecting more material to study.

Here's an interesting thread:
http://keskustelu.suomi24.fi/node/8525404
Anyone familiar with Tapio Tiihonen's work? Worth getting my hands on?

EDIT: Esa K: There seems to be a copy available on local library, I will need to check that. The price I mentioned is my ever-so scarce spare time :)
Last edited by Panssari Salama on 11 May 2010 13:06, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The rough timeline of events in Kuuterselka, 14.-15.6. 1

Post by Esa K » 11 May 2010 11:48

Hi
PBlitz wrote:Anyone familiar with Tapio Tiihonen's work? Worth getting my hands on?
Well, whats the asked price :) but in general, yep worth to have at hand, a lot of details and his sourcelist is very useful to fast find the appropriate war diaries and so on.


Best regards

Esa K

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Re: The rough timeline of events in Kuuterselka, 14.-15.6. 1

Post by larth » 11 May 2010 16:52

Hi PBlitz,

Thank you for starting this excellent thread!
PBlitz wrote:PS It would be nice to have a link to a map with a scale describing the Kuuterselka area in more detail, but I have not found any. I only have the maps in books, and assume most people would have access to them as well.
What about 4023 at http://mapy.mk.cvut.cz/data/Finsko-Finl ... efault.htm?

best regards,
Lars

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Re: The rough timeline of events in Kuuterselka, 14.-15.6. 1

Post by Panssari Salama » 11 May 2010 17:05

larth wrote: Thank you for starting this excellent thread!
It just gets better and better, doesn't it :)

Sirs, thanks for the maps ! Invaluable !

- Petri

Could have opted for a more "adult" name here I suppose ... I chose this one, as I originally came here for a question regarding a Winter War scenario of the famous 1970's card board simulation Panzerblitz.
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=162667
A fun thread, that one :milsmile:

But let us not wonder off topic here...
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Re: The rough timeline of events in Kuuterselka, 14.-15.6. 1

Post by Panssari Salama » 13 May 2010 14:01

Here's an update. I am pretty much spent now, any information especially on Red Army units most appreciated.
---

The battles for VT Line at Kuuterselka June 14-15 1944

Objective of the thread: to create a general timeline of major events during the Battle for Kuuterselka. Working method: just get the information here for discussion, corrections, additional information.

Sources used on my behalf:
- Kilin Raunio Palokangas et al Battles of War 2 - The Continuation War (Sodan Taisteluja 2 - Jatkosota), pp. 236-247.
- Kilin Raunio Defensive battles of Continuation war 1942-44 (Jatkosodan torjuntataisteluja 1942-1944), Kuuterselka information more or less the same as in the previous book
- E.Käkelä Marski's Tank Destroyers (Marskin panssarintuhoojat), pp. 424-434.
- T. Tiihonen’s The Great Battles of Karelian Isthmus, Summer 1944 ( Karjalan kannaksen suurtaistelut kesällä 1944), pp. 317-327, 346-350
- Wikipedia.fi “Kuuterselän taistelu” for some information
- the excellent and very helpful comments on this thread included, of course!

Tapio Tiihonen’s book gives us a 286.D vs. 72.D fight among themselves as a bonus. Enjoy!


RA: Red Army
FA: Finnish Army
??: A major question on my behalf
?: Request for detail

All times in Finnish time. In many cases it was very difficult to create a scheduled chain of events as sources provided conflicting times, or simply no time at all.

MAP
http://mapy.mk.cvut.cz/data/Finsko-Finl ... 0/4023.jpg


JUNE 13

RA:
Reorganization of forces in the sector.
- 109 Army Corps (AC) transported to sector from Finnish Gulf.
- 109.D at sector not moved to reserves but given the task to attack Sykiala south of sector as part of 109.AC
- 72.D to attack Kuuterselka, then Liikola, as part of 109.AC
- 286.D to attack Sahakylä, then Kanneljarvi, as part of 109.AC
- 108.AC transported towards Finnish Gulf from Metsäkylä area

FA:
JR53 of 3.D (Lt.Col Ravila)
- Metsanvarija-Merisuo (5km) I/JR53
- Merisuo-Kuuterselka-Metsäsuo (6km) II/JR53 (Major Aito Keravuori)
-- reinforced with ’some’ units of Lin.P 5

- Both supported by Tyk.R.H (Artillery Group Hankimaa),
-- consisting of I/KTR9 and Rask.Psto 16,
-- at Mustakyla area
?? What was Tyk.R.H equipment, including whether tractors or horses?

Reserves:
- at ‘night of June 13’ I/JR48 (Major E. Heino) moved to Liikola area of east of Suulajärvi
- at? Er.P.13 (Loimu) available as a reserve at Suulajarvi area.

- Mustalampi-Kotselka (6km): III/JR53 and II/JR48
- reinforced by 25.Tyk.K and ‘units’ of Lin.P.5
- Supported by I/KTR16, at south of Suulajarvi
?? What was I/KTR16 equipment, including whether tractors or horses?

- Tyk. R. Nuolimaa
-- Rask Psto 14 (major Eero Nuolimaa) 12 150 H 40 howitzers
-- III/Fieldartillery Rgt16 III (major Arnold Hallonblad) 12 155 H/17 howitzers
-- Rask Psto 18 (major Mether) 11 152 H 37 howitzers
-- II/Fieldartillery Rgt 8 (major Kallio) 12 155 H/17 howitzers
- Tyk.R.N located ca 2-3 kms East of Suulajärvi

Elements of Lagus's division / Detachment Puroma
- J.Brigades 2,3,4
- Assault gun battalion
- Armoured AA battalion
--Ps.It.Ptri, SPK 19086.
--- June 10th. Whole battalion at Lappeenranta. Shipped to Perkjärvi late that evening.
--- June 11th. 1st platoon at Väärämäki, 2nd and 3rd at Sormula.
--- June 12th - June 13th. Pe-2s and IL-2s at the rear. Few of them are brought down.
--- June 14th. Battalion is transferred to Voipiala to protect the Jääkäriprikaati which is stationed there.
---- 1st is in position at 4.15 p.m.,
---- 2nd and 3rd at 4.30 p.m.
---- Battalion is given orders to move to Ala-Liikola at 8 p.m. In position at 8.50 p.m.
--- June 15th. Heavy IL-2 action whole day.
--- June 16th. Battalion transferred back to Voipiala.


JUNE 14

RA:
- 7:00 Soviet artillery barrage begins on VT Line
- 8:15 Artillery barrage ends
- 8:30 The attack on VT Line begins


SAHAKYLA SECTOR

- Sahakylä sector more fortified
-- Some prepared positions (pesäke) at east flank at marshes towards Kuuterselkä (3.K of I/JR53)
-- Only one fortified position on wester flank, without open views (trees not taken down)

RA:
- 8:30 I/JR53 at Sahakylä attacked by two battalions of 456. IR
-- FA counterattack forces them back
-- at? Sahakyla taken for good, days losses at 45% of men

FA:
- 6:30 barrage mostly towards 1st company positions (where?)
- 8:00 I/JR53 looses their positions
- 8:30 8. jaeger platoon to counterattack - is forced back and mostly scattered

- 8:30 Two battle groups formed
-- Group Terho: jaeger platoon and 1.K's reserve platoon
--- ordered to retake 1.K positions
-- Group Sutela: viesti- ja huoltojoukkue, komentoryhmä (english?)
-- 11:00 Group Sutela attacks Metsanvartijantalo, 1 enemy company resists succesfully
-- Sutela to rear area for arty support (all phone lines destroyed)

- VT Line breached at 3.K area on eastern flank
-- 3.K retreats to railroad line

- at? A successful I/JR53 counterattack including HQ and Support units (Huolto)
- By 11:00 Sahakyla retaken

- at? A successful RA counterattack

- at? A successful I/JR53 and ? / JP6 company (which? Tiihonen: ‘vahv.K/JP6’)) counterattack
- ‘by noon’ VT Line held again by FA
- 12:00 I/JR53 withdraws from VT Line, citing the events at Kuuterselka as the reason

- 17:00 another counterattack to Sahakyla considered but not ordered.

- ‘soon, after 12:00’ JP 6 moves towards Mustamäki to establish a defense line against RA coming from Kuuterselka
- ‘ later in afternoon’ elements of JP 6 try to set up a defense at Sykiälä, but were scattered by RA 2nd Mobile Grp

RA: Apparently I/JR53 withdrawal not noticed, as
- 16:00 Sahakyla taken by IR 456 (incl. 7 concrete pill boxes)
- 18:00 is the time mentioned by Tiihonen

FA:
- 18:00 I/JR53 ordered to secure the supply routes at URR rear area
- ‘During the evening’, I/JR53 retreats via Sykiälä, Neuvola and Kirjavala to Kirstinälä, arriving there at 20:00

"There are two counterattacks Sahakylä: the first, led by Capt Terho (who later takes over the command from Maj Jahnukainen) and IIRC supported by a company from JP 6, against a minor (recon?) attack near "Metsänvartijantalo", the second is made by JP 6 which stays in the positions until late in the afternoon and retreats, losing its cycles, when the battle has moved to the rear."

"I/JR53 companies scattered and battalion isn't reunited until about three days and 100 km later. Most of the retreating soldiers take the route to the east of the railway (along which they've seen the column of enemy tanks advance and turn to the road to Sykiälä) and between Kanneljärvi and Suulajärvi.)"


KUUTERSELKA SECTOR

RA:
- 72.D consisting among others 133. and 187.IRs started their actions first at Mustalampi sector (against III/JR53 and II/JR48)
- 286.D then started their push towards Kuuterselka

Tiihonen: ‘One source:’
-72.D
- 1.TankBr (1.Ps.Pr.)
-119.Anti-tank Bn (Pst.Psto)
- 351. Ass.Gn.Br

Tiihonen: ‘Another source’
- 14.IR, supported by
-- 185. TankBr
-- 2 companies of 351. Ass.Gn.Br
--- After VT Line was breached 133.IR followed
--- 182.IR as a reserve

- 9:45 VT Line at Alamaa area breached
- 10:00 first units at front of Block Line

FA:
- 8:10 I/JR48 ordered to move about half way down to Kuuterselka road from Liikola by Pajari

- 9:00 II/JR53 loose their positions west of Raivola-Kuuterselka road and at east, Mustalampi
- 9:00 II/JR53 withdraws to Kuuterselka Block Line (Sulkulinja) at top of Kuuterselka hills.

- 10:00 Order to I/JR48 to counterattack to VT Line by Lt Col Ravila of JR53
- 10:45 Order to I/JR48 to counterattack Block Line instead by Pajari

- 12:00 II/JR53 withdraws, partially scattered, from Block line to north of Kuuterselka fields

- at "soon, after midday", I/JR48 begins their counterattack
-- II/JR53, having been scattered, was unable to assist

- 12:30 I/JR48 retakes Block Line at the center of Kuuterselka village
-- about same time, RA had breached the Block Line both east and west sides of village
---? this must refer to II/JR53 falling back in a non-oganised manner
-- I/JR48 now threatened to be circled.

- 12:30+? II/JR53 ordered to re-group North of Onkijärvi, some 3-4 km North of Kuuterselka village

- 13:00 Er.P13 (Separate Bn 13) arrives to west of Liikola but instead of securing the area North of Kuuterselanjarvi as ordered it met enemy forces and stopeed to secure the rear area near Myllyoja

- 15:45 I/JR48 Withdraw 2km north to ‘a marsh- and re-organises


RA:

- 12:00 Kuuterselkä taken, hedgehog defense established by Russians
- at ‘afternoon’ Kuuterselka village and the area east of it taken

-- Part of the attacking forces set up a defense at Kuuterselka fields
-- Three regiments to set up a hedgehow defense around Kuuterselka
-- 133.IR, 14.IR and 187.IR, supported by elements of 1222. Ass.Gn.Rgt

- ‘by evening’ IR994 (of 286.D) has taken Kuuterselanjarvi shores and moved 2km to northwest

RED ARMY LEFT PINCER TOWARDS MUSTAMÄKI THEN VAMMELJÄRVI
- 13:00 attack begins from Kuuterselka by 2nd Mobile Grp (Volkov)
-- 1.TankBr
-- 27.HvyTnkRgt
-- ???. IR
--119. Anti-tank Bn
--- Forward element consisting of 23 tanks, 5-10 riders per tank
--- Then infantry carriers with their tractors
--- Rear element ca. 40 tanks .

- Mustamäki taken by 2nd Mobile Grp without any resistance
-- 2nd Mobile Grp then continues towards Southeast and Sykiälä, obtaining a 12 km breach on the mentioned road network
-- 996. IR and 96 TankRgt

- 16:15 1.TankBr is ordered to go around Mustamaki to attack towards Vammeljarvi
--19:05 Vammeljarvi taken
-- 19:40 RvPrE HQ taken

- 18:30 All of Mustamaki taken by Russians
-- I/996 IR advances to north via railroad tracks after Mustamäki taken

- Finnish counterattack begins in Kuuterselka, Russians decide to stop to set a defense at Vammeljoki

RED ARMY RIGHT PINCER TOWARDS LIIKOLA
- 17:00/18:00?. IR 182 (of 72.D) advanced some 2 km towards Liikola

FINNISH ARMY COUNTERATTACK TO KUUTERSELKA:

- 17.53 - 18.00 Eleven Ju 88s against tanks at Kuuterselkä.
-- 12250 kg.
-- Hits observed at S side of the village, crossroads and a road leading east of it

- 23.26 - 23.50 Fourteen Blenheims, three Do 17s, three DB-3s and two IL-4s against tanks & troops at Kuuterselkä.
-- 17575 kg.
-- Hits on the target area.

- 22:00 Tyk.R.N. barrage
?? At some point of time they were ordered to support Kuuterselka village sector as well?
?? Initially TykR.H only?
-- Four Psto fire to six targets,
- 22:45: a 1-minute barrage.

- 22:45 II,III and IV/J.Br and 1,3./Ass.Gn.B begins their counterattack

II/J.BR (Lammetmaa)

- <17:00 II/J.Br at North of Kuuterselka at Liikola

- 17:00 order to II/J.Br to take Kuuterselka back by Lagus
-- Supported initially by 2 Stu40s of ?/Ass.G.Bn.
-- Three Russian regiments already on hedgehog there
- 18:00 secures the area south of Inkojarvi

- 22:45 II/J.Br initially on road behind IV/J.Br, then within easter village limits to VT Line

-- Advance route - East of Road - Barely mentioned at all in the Kilin Rauniobook.
- A map describes them advancing towards VT Line Northeast of Kuuterselka?
- at ‘by morning of June 15’ ‘stormed the VT Line and taken trenches to north and south.’


III/J.BR (Maj. Jouko Hynninen)

- 22:45?’s begins their attack
-- 1 km west of Liikola-Kuuterelka road, using the paths (metsälinja) toward Kuuterselkä Käkelä

- must utilise the cover of forest just outside Kuuterselka fields to go forward
-- Some mix-up of elemements between III and IV Jaeger Battalions
- at? III/J.Br re-takes Block line west of Kuuterselka, near lake Kuuterselanjarvi

June 15
- 4:50 Soviet counterattack supported by heavy tanks forces III/J.Br to leave Block line.
- 6:30 III/J.Br counterattacks and takes their positions at Block line
-- reinforced by detachments from PioneerBn 2 and V/J.Br
--- Käkelä: "despite some articles to contrary", 5/JBr did not fight in Kuuterselkä but "secured Ala-Liikola area instead", with I/7.Tyk.K.
--- Tiihonen: 5/JBr abandoned it position to guard II/JBr flank and moved in to support 4/JBr east of road to attack in parrallel with them

?? Raunio and Tiihonen both mention 5/JBr was involved. Käkelä uses strong language to deny this. Who to believe?
?? Was Pioneer B. 2 involved at all? If so, which units?

-- At some point of time elements of 2.Ass.G.Bn were involved as well. Which units?
--? Was it for this counter-attack? Arrived with V/J.Br?
--? Raunio mentions ‘20 Stu’s were involved at Kuuterselka’ and I remember a quote from one of Käkelä's book mention two 2./Ass.G.Bn Stu's at Kuuterselka?


IV/J.BR (Maj. Eero Leppänen)

- IV/J.Br advance via Liikola-Kuuterselka road
-- Supported by 1./Ass.G.Bn, then by 3./Ass.G.Bn
-- Supported by III/7.Tyk.K (armed with 75K/40s) Käkelä

- 00:35 IV/J.Br reach Kuuterselka fields north of village Käkelä
-- Immediately under heavy fire by RA units at Kuuterselka Block line
-- 72.D, 531.Ass.Gn.Br, 46.TankBr and 119. Separate Artillery Bn.
-- 219.MortarRgt, 46 AntitankBr,
-- ‘Did not meet RA tanks as most of 109.AC tanks were at Mustamäki sector, soon fighting amongst themselves’ (Tiihonen)

- 00:30 Finnish estimate of 80 direct fire artillery pieces, 'tens of tanks' (muutamia kymmeniä), a lot of infantry
- must utilise the cover of forest just outside Kuuterselka fields to go forward
-- Some mix-up of elemements between III and IV Jaeger Battalions

- 01:00 (June 15) 3./Ass.G.Bn.to move forward, relieving 1./Ass.G.Bn
-- who have one functioning Stu remaining at that time

4:10 IV/J.Br retakes VT Line at north of Kuuterselka and attack 1km towards Mustalampi (while RA fights themselves at Mustamäki)

- at ‘morning June 15’ IV/J.Br had not been able to make progress to Kuuterselka hills and village

GENERAL EVENTS JUNE 15.

- 7:00 Lagus proposes a withdrawal from Kuuterselka, Raunio
-- Laatikainen agrees and an order is given to stop attack and take defensive positions
- 10:50 Order to withdraw from Kuuterselka
-- …as the confusion at Mustamäki is resolved by RA and their fight among themselves had stopped, releasing forces back towards Kuuterselka’ (Tiihonen)

- 13:00 IV/J.Br breaks off fighting in good order Käkelä
- at? III/JBr breaks off fighting in good order
- at? II/J.Br breaks off fighting in good order


MUSTALAMPI-KOTSELKÄ SECTOR

FA
- III/JR53

RA:
- 13:00 VT Line East of Kuuterselka:
-- Tank obstacles destroyed by direct fire, attack can begin
-- 133. IR supported by 8 T-34s and 2 SU-76s (unit?)

- 16:40 VT Line East of Kuuterselka
-- VT Line breached and advance to Kuuterselka village from that direction as well

??? Not many details nor major events either available regarding this sector...

TIIHONEN: 'THE GREAT TANK BATTLE OF MUSTAMAKI' BW RED ARMY 286.D and 72.D UNITS, JUNE 15

- 286.D having made a succesfull break-through set up a hedgehod defense around Mustamäki

- IR 109 and 72.D reach Mustamäki and assume it is held by Finnish units
-- as their recon parties have reported so

- Decision to attack Mustamäki
-- 72.D and 351. Ass.Gn.Bn together with 31.TankRgt

- 4:30 Arty barrage to Mustamäki
-- Rifle Bns of 109 IR attack from northeast of Mustamäki, supported by elements of 185.TankRgt and 1222 Ass.Gn.Rgt
-- 31. TankRgt attacks from southeast to Mustamäki
-- 185.TankRgt attacks Mustamäki from NorthWest with 1222. AssGnBn (not incl. elements with 109IR)

- During the battle 286.D lost one infantry battalion and 6 tanks.
- 72.D with their support units lost 5 tanks

- Tiihonen
-- source: war diaries of said units, describing fights and losses at a time no Finnish units there
-- this confusion was reason why RA was not able to exploit their breach of VT Line to a maximum effect
-- as well why there was not that many tanks towards Liikola as they were all occupied in heavy fighting here
Panssari Salama - Paying homage to Avalon Hill PanzerBlitz and Panzer Leader board games from those fab '70s.

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