What If-Finland had been prepared for the Winter War?

Discussions on the Winter War and Continuation War, the wars between Finland and the USSR.
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John Hilly
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Re: What If-Finland had been prepared for the Winter War?

Post by John Hilly » 12 Dec 2012 12:45

Huh huh. You did it again!
For the enlisted ranks I don't remember when each of the specialized branch ranks were taken at use.
Jääkäri and tykkimies and matruusi (in the Navy) are 'original' ones apart from sotamies.
Yes, brigades were usually commanded by eversti.

I'm sure there are members here that can be more helpful here than me! :?

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Re: What If-Finland had been prepared for the Winter War?

Post by CanKiwi2 » 12 Dec 2012 14:57

John Hilly wrote:Huh huh. You did it again!
For the enlisted ranks I don't remember when each of the specialized branch ranks were taken at use.
Jääkäri and tykkimies and matruusi (in the Navy) are 'original' ones apart from sotamies.
Yes, brigades were usually commanded by eversti.

I'm sure there are members here that can be more helpful here than me! :?

Help! Juha-Pekka :milsmile:
No worries, I think I have what I need for now. The story I'm working on for the next post or two of three is really at the company level with the odd mention of battalion.

One further question though. In Linna's "The Unknown Soldier", the battalion commander at the start is named as "Wild" Kalle in english. What's his name in Finnish? "Ville"?
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Re: What If-Finland had been prepared for the Winter War?

Post by John Hilly » 13 Dec 2012 12:06

CanKiwi2 wrote:One further question though. In Linna's "The Unknown Soldier", the battalion commander at the start is named as "Wild" Kalle in english. What's his name in Finnish? "Ville"?
The English translation you read sucks. It is really bad, and I'm afraid that the new one woun't be very good either, because the lady who's writing it only started to study Finnish in 2006.

Battalion CO was called *majuri Sarastie', no first name given.
"Wild Kalle", Kalle without surname, wasn't commander of their battalion. In OTL, or real life, Linna was referring to Kaarle Heiskanen, "Kylmä Kalle" - Cold Kalle who was the CO of Linna's 11th Division.

I suggest you re-read these about The Unknown Soldier
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 1#p1754531 and
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 0#p1574667
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Re: What If-Finland had been prepared for the Winter War?

Post by CanKiwi2 » 13 Dec 2012 14:51

John Hilly wrote:
CanKiwi2 wrote:One further question though. In Linna's "The Unknown Soldier", the battalion commander at the start is named as "Wild" Kalle in english. What's his name in Finnish? "Ville"?
The English translation you read sucks. It is really bad, and I'm afraid that the new one woun't be very good either, because the lady who's writing it only started to study Finnish in 2006.

Battalion CO was called *majuri Sarastie', no first name given.
"Wild Kalle", Kalle without surname, wasn't commander of their battalion. In OTL, or real life, Linna was referring to Kaarle Heiskanen, "Kylmä Kalle" - Cold Kalle who was the CO of Linna's 11th Division.

I suggest you re-read these about The Unknown Soldier
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 1#p1754531 and
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 0#p1574667
Thx yet again. Been re-reading the above threads as well as Knut Pipping's "Infantry Company as a Society". Unfortunately, the sucky translation is all I have - and yes, I doubt the new one will be much better given the experience of the translator - been re-reading The Unknown Soldier the last few evenings on the train home, more for the state of mind than anything else. Combine Linna with Tom Kratman (http://www.amazon.com/Desert-Called-Pea ... 1416555927) and a sizable chunk of Sven Hassell for where I'm trying to go here. If you ask why Kratman, read his books. I recommend them highly as military SF - and I love the detail he gets down into.
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Re: What If-Finland had been prepared for the Winter War?

Post by John Hilly » 14 Dec 2012 12:56

Jäger battalions included more regular officers and NCOs than infantry battalions.
So you can easily use "vääpeli" or "ylikersantti" to replace "sotilasmestari" here.
And as you write in an action style the old translation can well be used. Just be careful with its Saxonisms. :)

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Re: What If-Finland had been prepared for the Winter War?

Post by CanKiwi2 » 17 Dec 2012 20:29

Vänrikki Matti Hakkarainen stood with his joukkue as they looked at their Sikas, half smiling at the sight of them. “If we’d had these back in April and May, we’d have been in Leningrad in days,” Salo’s voice behind him muttered. Matti didn’t say so, but he thought Salo was correct. The men were talking quietly among themselves as they waited. The talking faded away as a tall lean officer in the black leather of the Panssari troops jumped up onto a workbench beside the Sika in front of them. Standing on the workbench, Chief Instructor Majuri Järvinen looked around at the 150 odd men of the Jaeger Company. Competent looking bunch of lads, he thought to himself with some satisfaction. He knew they’d started out as a Heavy Machinegun company in an Infantry Regiment, converted to infantry and attached to a Jaeger Battalion, then fought their way down the Isthmus. No shirkers here, they’d seen battle and fought well. Their CO, Kaarna, had put it tersely to him. “Don’t give them any crap about discipline, they’re all aika velikultia, good ‘ol boys the lot of them, their view is they’re in the Army to fight the war and that’s it. Give them barrack depot crap and we’ll never get anywhere with them and you’ll die of frustration. Just tell them what we need to learn and why and show them how to do it, the sensible matters they will sort out and get on with, otherwise they'll all be like Ellu's hens.”

Majuri Järvinen nodded, mostly to himself. For the next two minutes, he introduced himself and the other Instructors. Next he talked about why they were forming mechanized jaeger companies. “You all know what its like to fight alongside the panzers,” he said, “you went down the Isthmus with them. When they’re with you, they have to slow down so you can stay with them to protect them from the other side’s infantry, when they move at their maximum speed, you can’t keep up. And you know what you men did to the Russian tanks that got separated from their infantry, even when you didn’t have anti-tank guns you managed to take them out.” He singled out Sergeant Hietanen, who’d taken out one of the terrifying Russian KV1 tank's single-handedly with an anti-tank mine and been awarded a medal for it, with a look and a nod that conveyed an unspoken message of respect. Hietanen stood a little taller as men glanced at him. They knew what he’d done and it had saved their bacon at the time. The memories of that one still gave Hietanen nightmares. After a slight pause, the Majuri continued. “Well, the Sika here is a way to have you men keep up with the tanks – and with a lot more firepower than you’ve had as a Jaeger company.”

“More than we had as a heavy machinegun company,” one of the men spoke up. “We had a lousy dozen machineguns for the whole company.” Majuri Järvinen grinned. It made him look impish, a lot younger than his actual age. “Well, each joukkue now has twenty four machineguns. Eighty machineguns for the entire komppania, and you men don’t have to carry either them OR the ammunition.” He chuckled now. “And think what it’ll be like for the Russkies, with eighty of these 12.7’s firing at them. They’ll shit themselves.”
“Naaah, they’ll just use more anti-tank guns,” someone grumbled.
“Or artillery,” another grumbler added sourly. “They always use their damned artillery.”
One or two others started to chip in. It had all the sounds of a familiar argument starting up again. The Grumblers vs The Pessimists. Majuri Järvinen winced. Typical Finnish soldiers. Time to get back on topic before the whole thing turned into a grousing match.

“Enough,” the Komppanian Vääpeli’s voice carried. The men settled down without any more noises. Mainly because they were interested in the Sikas and they knew they’d have to listen to find out about them. The Vääpeli had laid it on the line before they started.
“You don’t pay attention and listen to the Instructors, do what they want, you go back to walking. We’re on to a good thing here with these here Sika’s, look at them. We get to ride inside the things, that there armour keeps bullets out, we don’t have to carry nothing.”
“You never did anyhow,” someone commented drily. The Vääpeli ignored the comment. “They carry all the machineguns and ammo and kit for us. It’s a bleeding life of luxury and if any man here fucks it up for us, I’ll leave it to you men to settle with the culprit.”
It was a long speech for the Vääpeli. He was usually nowhere near as eloquent. There’d been enough growls of agreement and general looks cast around that he knew the point had sunk in and been understood.

With the audience more or less back in hand, Majuri Järvinen recommenced. In broad terms, he enthusiastically outlined the training schedule that would occupy the next two weeks. And then, even more enthusiastically, he talked about the Sikas. “Armour on the side is 9mm’s of ballistic steel, angled to increase protection. That 9mm will keep out rifle bullets and shrapnel from grenades and most mortar shells. It’ll keep out machinegun bullets except at really close range. It won’t stop close-in artillery and it sure as hell won’t stop an anti-tank round. The front armour is 14mm. That WILL stop even a heavy machinegun bullet and it’s angled acutely, so at long range it MAY stop a light anti-tank round, no promises, but its good stuff, the best that the Tornio works can make. The glass windows are armoured glass but they ARE a weak point. When the shit hits the fan, get the steel hatch covers down over the glass and use the viewing ports. Your gunners are your protection and your commander tells you where to go, what to do. Your protection is your firepower, speed and coordination with the rest of your joukkue, NOT your armour."

"Also, you see these tubes on the front here. These are for firing smoke grenades. You can lay your own smokescreen in a few seconds and then fall back behind it. BUT it does hide the enemy from you as well as hide you from the enemy. Needs to be used effectively. What else? The engine is a diesel, and diesel is a lot harder to set on fire than petrol, so if you are hit you won’t be deep fried instantly, you’ll likely have time to get out if you’ve lived through the hit. Lots of guns, lots of bins for ammo, although you will have to be careful not to run out, these guns can use it up real fast. Personal weapons – there’s racks inside to fasten them to when you’re moving. Suomi’s and Rumpali’s are recommended, the SLR’s tend to get caught up when you mount and dismount in a hurry. Kit? Well, you can stuff all your kit in the bins under the seats….”

"...Now the machineguns, the Russian 12.7 is a good heavy machinegun for all that it’s Russian. Reliable, tough, good range, 600 rounds per minute. It can take out light vehicles. No good against tanks, but you’ll be working with tanks and anti-tank gun units, your basic tactic is of you come up against tanks, you fall back and draw them on to our own anti-tank guns and let them take care of the business. We’ve got plenty of ammunition for the 12.7’s that we captured from the Russians, that hard part is getting it up to you so make sure you don’t go wasting it. Joukkue officers, you need to keep track of how much ammo is used and order resupplies. Each Company is going to get a couple of the armoured trucks for carrying ammo and a bit of reserve fuel but that’s for combat resupply, you still need to make sure you stay on top of your current ammo and fuel supply….”

“…..Now, you all know what its like fighting on the Isthmus and in Karelia. One of the big advantages of the Sika is that it’s small and fast. And the four wheel drive means you can go pretty much anywhere the ground is firm. Unlike a tank, you CANNOT drive through ditches. Getting stuck in a swamp will get you killed and swampy ground is just as bad….."

"Now, fighting in the forest. The Sika is OK in forested terrain as long as it’s not too rocky or swampy. You have to always keep your eyes wide open, the Russians, they’re mostly scared of the forest but they can hide in it too. You all know what the Russians are like when they dig in, there snipers are good, they can hide anti-tank guns as well as we can so you have to really look. Going down roads, you have to be careful – those curves and corners, a Russian tank or an ambush can be anywhere. BUT the Russians are also cautious, yhey didn’t like to advance their tanks without close infantry support and with no infantry, those Russian tank crews often abandon their tanks totally intact for us to capture and reuse. So we use that to our advantage."

"The Forest is our friend as well as our enemy, it hides us as better than it hides the Russians and we can move through it to outflank them and attack them from the rear. The Russians hate it when we do that.” He grinned. “Remember that to them. Karelia is an alien land and they’re scared of the forest and of us. And the Sika coming out of the forest where they don’t expect it will scare the living shit out of them more often as not. BUT you have to know the Sika’s limitations, which we WILL show you, the last thing you guys want is to be screwed by the Russians because you got your Sika bogged down or broke it doing something it’s not designed to do…..."

“…..As a Mechanised Jaeger Company, more often than not you’ll have additional platoons or sections attached based on the mission. Armoured Cars, mostly the new Kettu’s that are coming in, we have some Sika’s with the 81mm mortars for direct fire support, also there will be a few half-tracks available with the rocket launchers, also some flamethrower half-tracks and the anti-tank guns. You’re going to learn to operate with them, the anti-tank guns especially, if you run into Russian tanks, your job is going to be to lure them back onto the anti-tank guns and let the AT boys shoot the shit out of them while you take care of any Russian infantry with them….”

And so it went on…..

******************************************
Change gears. Reverse up. Change gear again, hammering the gear lever that always seemed to stick when you wanted to go from reverse to first. Turn left using brute force on the steering wheel as the Sika commander yelled directions into the intercom. In the other seat, the assistant-driver was cursing as he looked out for obstacles and yelled directions. The Sika bucked and jerked as the engine picked up power. The seat restraint belts bit painfully as the Sika bounced through a slight dip in the ground. Avoid that tree. Move into the firing position ahead. Above, the barking roar of the 12.7’s as they opened up. Change into reverse right away and hold the clutch down, ready to move. Make sure you know where to back up without running in to anything too large. A tree waving when you hit it will give your position away. Reverse up fast. Jerk as the Sika whacked a tree that was too large and solid to give much. Shit! Change into first. Quick. Quick. Go left. Move into the next firing position. Wait. This time, forward now, over the ridgeline and weaving down through the trees. Someone else, another Sika, close by, moving in parallel. Into the next firing position.

The 12.7’s roared again, covering fire as the second section moved up and through. Bounding overwatch, they’d learned to call it. Covering each other with fire as they moved. Time to move again. Reverse. Go right this time. Accelerate. Incoming fire. The Sika commander yelling instructions to the gunners. All four 12.7mms firing. Reverse. Left into the next position. Left again. More firing. The joukkue CO on the net now, calm, very controlled, calling directions and orders. Reverse. Move right. Back in the troop compartment a frenzy of reloading, belts being passed up, instructions yelled. The Sig in the seat behind talking on the radio. Move again. Keep moving forward through the forest, weaving through the trees. Guns firing. Glimpse of the other Sikas to left and right. Go hull down and wait.

A sudden burst of firing from above. “Got them.”
“Driver. Move out.”
Reverse out. Forward. Left. Left. Right. Red smoke suddenly fills the inside of the Sika. Choking, Lehto bails out straight over the top of the Sig, gasping for air, eyes tearing up. The smoke from the simulated hit is acrid and thick. The others, in the troop compartment, have already gone over the sides. The Sig and the co-driver are the last out, choking and swearing. The Instructor has already started in on them, his face red with anger, pounding a fist on the side of the Sika. “Left. Left. Right. Every fucking time Left Left Right. Every time you do the same thing. You think the Russians are morons, that they won’t notice something as simple as Left Left Right Left Left Right. You are all now officially fucking dead. Fried. Crispy Critters. You understand that? You want to be deep fried. No? Then change. Alternate. Vary. Do it different. Never the same. Understand? Yes? Right. Back in and lets do it again!”

Back in the Sika, Hietanen gets on the intercom. “OK, my fault. I fucked up. It’s my job to tell you which way to go.” Lehto cut in. “Right. Why not toss a coin.”
“Yeah yeah yeah. Driver. Move out.”
Reverse out. Change into first, jerk ahead to the right.
“Target. Two o’clock.”
Guns firing. “Move forward. Fast. Fast. Stop. Target 10 o’clock.”
And again. And again. And again, until at the end of the day they were bone-weary with exhaustion. After which they got to service the Sika, clean the guns, replenish the ammo bins. And then in whatever time was left they got to eat and then sleep.

******************************************

The targets were popups, the rounds were real. Live firing, individual vehicles to start with, then in ryhmä, then Joukkueet, then the entire Kompania. Intensive live firing. First at silhouettes, then as they improved, at moving targets. Firing on the move was harder still. Practicing mounting and dismounting into action on foot. “A Sika can’t clear trenches, only infantry can do that.”

Working with the tanks, coordinating the Sikas and the tanks in movements into battle, in combat itself and in withdrawals. Radio procedures. Command and control. Replenishment. Maintenance. Working with tanks, anti-tank guns, artillery and infantry on foot. Time was short and there were never enough hours in the day. They trained twelve, fourteen hours a day. The men grumbled and complained, but very few tried to get out of it. Those that did, Matti or Hietanen simply told them if they didn’t like it he could have them transferred back to one of the infantry battalions that did it the old way, nobody was begging them to stay if they didn’t want to be there.

Well into their second week of training, Hakkarainen decided he need a bit more time getting familiar with the 12.7mm’s. When he walked into the Shed after dinner, it was to find Sihvonen, Salo and Linna there with two of the Instructors, the front 12.7mm dismounted and one of the Instructors at work with a welding torch. On the workbench next to “his” Sika were a couple of Lahti 20mm AA cannon. Hakkarainen looked at Sihvonen, Salo and Linna and raised an enquiring eyebrow. Sihvonen looked at Salo. They both looked at Linna, then all three of them looked back at Hakkarainen. The instructors didn’t even look up from their metalworking. “Well, it’s like this Sir, my younger brother, he’s in the Ilmavoimat at the air base just down the road, he’s an Armourer and he told me they had a warehouse full of those new Lahti AA guns for putting on trucks and things as AA guns for airfield defence, but they got no trucks to put them on, so we did a deal. We figured those Lahti 20mm’s, they pack a hell of a punch, they can take out a tank and we figured if we put two of them on the front, we could take out anything we see, and make the other two 12.7’s twins instead of singles.” Sihvonen was getting more and more enthusiastic as he talked.

Vänrikki Hakkarainen looked at the Lahti’s, thought about what it would be like to be on the receiving end of 20mm AP cannon shells arriving at 360 rounds per minute – from each barrel. From every Sika in his joukkue. After a couple of seconds, he grinned. “How soon do you think you can have it ready?” he asked. One of the instructors looked up. “Be ready by morning,” he said. Hakkarainen thought about it. “I think I’ll just leave you to it,” he said. “And Sihvonen, Salo, Linna, if anybody asks what’s going on, I authorized whatever you’re doing.” By the next morning, the single 12.7mm on the front had disappeared and a pair of 20mm belt-fed Lahti cannon had taken their place. And instead of a single 12.7mm mounted on each side, there were now two twin 12.7mm machineguns mounted. It looked rough and ready, and things like the belt feeds for the 12.7mm’s were a real kluge, but it seemed to work, certainly the pivot mounts tracked smoothly and the reinforcing seemed strong enough to take the recoil when the guns were fired. Sihvonen, Salo and Linna on the other hand looked a bit bleary-eyed. A canteen of hot coffee perked them up.

As they prepared for the days exercise – a company movement forward and into the attack – the Kapteeni wandered over. “Some changes to your Sika, Vänrikki?”
“Yes Sir,” Hakkarainen acknowledged. “We fitted a pair of Lahti 20mm’s on the front mount and converted the 12.7’s to twins.”
“Hmmmmm,” Kapteeni Kaarna climbed into the Sika and took a thorough look. Matti followed him in. “And this happened when, Vänrikki?” “Ahhh, last night Sir.” Kaarna shook his head. “I’m not even going to ask where you got those 20mm’s from.” He looked at the twin Lahti 20mm guns thoughtfully, then somewhat quizzically at Hakkarainen, then at the guns again. “Let’s take them out to the gunnery range after the exercise and see what they can do.”

The exercise was not routine. No exercise with these instructors ever was. Two of Hakkarainen’s Sikas got stuck and had to be towed out. Under fire. Two were destroyed by simulated enemy fire. They got lost. They let enemy infantry get too close. They screwed up on the radio procedures. “Vittu,” Kersantti Hietanen complained into the joukkue radio net as red smoke from a simulated hit billowed out from a third Sika and the men bailed out, choking and swearing, “Mehän ollaan ihan perseestä.” They could all see an Instructor, dressed in bright orange for visibility, storming towards the hit Sika, obviously preparing to rip the crew new assholes. Hakkarainen shuddered. He knew his turn for public humiliation would soon be coming. In the event, he was spared the public humiliation. He received that privately. If you could call the back of his Sika, with the Kapteeni and one of the Instructors and the rest of the Sika crew en route to the gunnery range private. “That Instructor certainly has an excellent command of the Finnish vernacular,” Linna said admiringly to Sihvonen as he pulled his diary out in the barracks later that evening to jot down a few notes. “For your novel, is it?” Sihvonen asked somewhat sarcastically. Linna grinned. “You want to be in it Sihvonen?” Sihvonen laughed. “If we all live through this, I won’t give a shit whether I’m in it or not, I’ll just be happy I survived.”
Last edited by CanKiwi2 on 18 Dec 2012 14:55, edited 1 time in total.
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John Hilly
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Re: What If-Finland had been prepared for the Winter War?

Post by John Hilly » 18 Dec 2012 13:47

I really like this stuff. Great!

Some suggestion as you wished, though. :D
Search Hietenan - paste Hietanen

...otherwise we'll all be like Ellu's hens.” - they'll be like “Ellu's hens”. * After all Kaarna was an original Jääkäriupseeri, so he could never behave as the infamous “Ellu's hens”.

He singled out Sergeant Hietenan, who’d taken out a Russian tank single-handedly with an anti-tank mine and been awarded a medal for it... - should it be mentioned that the tank was a fearful KV-1?

“Enough,” the Komppanian Vääpeli’s voice carried. The men settled down without any more noises. Mainly because they were interested in the Sikas and they knew they’d have to listen to find out about them. The Sergeant-Major had laid it on the line before they started. - Komppanian vääpeli and The Sergeant-Major – Vääpeli

...individual vehicles to start with, then in Sections, then Joukkuen, then the entire Kompanie.
- Joukkueet, then the entire Komppania.

Matti – please don't use Matti's first name but Hakkarainen or Vänrikki Hakkarainen if Matti isn't your 'narrator' or something.

“olemme niin perseestä.” - “Mehän ollaan ihan perseestä.” This is more natural spoken language.

With best
Juha-Pekka :milsmile:
"Die Blechtrommel trommelt noch!"

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Re: What If-Finland had been prepared for the Winter War?

Post by CanKiwi2 » 18 Dec 2012 14:40

John Hilly wrote:I really like this stuff. Great!

Some suggestion as you wished, though. :D
Search Hietenan - paste Hietanen

...otherwise we'll all be like Ellu's hens.” - they'll be like “Ellu's hens”. * After all Kaarna was an original Jääkäriupseeri, so he could never behave as the infamous “Ellu's hens”.

He singled out Sergeant Hietenan, who’d taken out a Russian tank single-handedly with an anti-tank mine and been awarded a medal for it... - should it be mentioned that the tank was a fearful KV-1?

“Enough,” the Komppanian Vääpeli’s voice carried. The men settled down without any more noises. Mainly because they were interested in the Sikas and they knew they’d have to listen to find out about them. The Sergeant-Major had laid it on the line before they started. - Komppanian vääpeli and The Sergeant-Major – Vääpeli

...individual vehicles to start with, then in Sections, then Joukkuen, then the entire Kompanie.
- Joukkueet, then the entire Komppania.

Matti – please don't use Matti's first name but Hakkarainen or Vänrikki Hakkarainen if Matti isn't your 'narrator' or something.

“olemme niin perseestä.” - “Mehän ollaan ihan perseestä.” This is more natural spoken language.

With best
Juha-Pekka :milsmile:
Thx Juha-Pekka, making amendments as we speak. Much appreciate the editing :D

A question: how would you say "Assault Group Hakkarainen" in Finnish? I had a try but it just doesn't seem right.

Cheers........Nigel
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Re: What If-Finland had been prepared for the Winter War?

Post by Fliegende Untertasse » 18 Dec 2012 16:41

Just stylistic notion
John Hilly wrote:
“olemme niin perseestä.” - “Mehän ollaan ihan perseestä.” This is more natural spoken language.
This would be OK in post war "yleiskieli".

If "Hietanen" here was same fellow as Linna's he would say something like

"Ei helveti !" (*)
"Ei meist' o' mihkä!"
( with Turku pitch tone accent)

I dont have any personal recollection of expression "olla perseestä" until I went to army in late 1980's

(*) "Vittu" as 1940's vulgarity was referring to actual female genitalia in narrative talk. It was seldom if ever used as a common curseword.

I used to have a neighbor, an old WW2 veteran , uneducated rural working class fellow and heavy drinker.
He was real a foulmouth. But he allways took great proud in never going "below the belt" when cursing. He openly despised the youth and their exessive use of " V-word".
CanKiwi2 wrote: A question: how would you say "Assault Group Hakkarainen" in Finnish? I had a try but it just doesn't seem right.
"Iskuosasto Hakkarainen"
or just "Osasto Hakkarainen"

Kind of depends what you mean by Assault in this context.

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Re: What If-Finland had been prepared for the Winter War?

Post by CanKiwi2 » 18 Dec 2012 17:13

Fliegende Untertasse wrote:Just stylistic notion
John Hilly wrote: “olemme niin perseestä.” - “Mehän ollaan ihan perseestä.” This is more natural spoken language.
This would be OK in post war "yleiskieli".

If "Hietanen" here was same fellow as Linna's he would say something like
"Ei helveti !" (*)
"Ei meist' o' mihkä!"
( with Turku pitch tone accent).

I dont have any personal recollection of expression "olla perseestä" until I went to army in late 1980's
Hietanen is definitely the same fellow as Linna's - so he would say "Ei meist' o' mihkä!" instead of “Mehän ollaan ihan perseestä.”?
Fliegende Untertasse wrote: (*) "Vittu" as 1940's vulgarity was referring to actual female genitalia in narrative talk. It was seldom if ever used as a common curseword.

I used to have a neighbor, an old WW2 veteran , uneducated rural working class fellow and heavy drinker.
He was real a foulmouth. But he allways took great proud in never going "below the belt" when cursing. He openly despised the youth and their exessive use of " V-word".
Makes sense. It was like that in New Zealand too. So what would a good WW2-era replacement expression for the "V-word" be? I was kind of working off my own experience there where in the Army every 2nd word was F-this, F-that. You slipped into it without thinking after a while. As in coming back home to my parents and saying "pass the f-ing salt" in the middle of dinner. Facepalm!
CanKiwi2 wrote: A question: how would you say "Assault Group Hakkarainen" in Finnish? I had a try but it just doesn't seem right.
"Iskuosasto Hakkarainen"
or just "Osasto Hakkarainen"
Kind of depends what you mean by Assault in this context.[/quote]

Context would be as in this: "Already, Hakkarainen was inordinately proud of his not so little Jägerkompania. Hakkaraineksen Rynnistys – Assault Group Hakkarainen – or, as he knew the men were already calling themselves somewhat more cynically , – Suicide Group Hakkarainen - was ready to roll".

So I would also need a translation for "Suicide Group Hakkarainen"

Cheers.........Nigel
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Seppo Koivisto
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Re: What If-Finland had been prepared for the Winter War?

Post by Seppo Koivisto » 18 Dec 2012 19:56

I think we need a translation in Turku dialect :)
Fliegende Untertasse wrote: "Ei helveti !" (*)
"Ei meist' o' mihkä!"
Ei helvetis! or ei helvata!
Ei meist ol mihikkä!

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Re: What If-Finland had been prepared for the Winter War?

Post by John Hilly » 18 Dec 2012 20:00

CanKiwi2 wrote:Makes sense. It was like that in New Zealand too. So what would a good WW2-era replacement expression for the "V-word" be?
Well of course they used the word and there was much more swearing in Linna's text before editing.
Maybe Saatana - Satan could be appropriate. Helvetti was and is also very common, like in English.
CanKiwi2 wrote:Hietanen is definitely the same fellow as Linna's - so he would say "Ei meist' o' mihkä!" instead of “Mehän ollaan ihan perseestä.”?
Right, but if you use this difficult Turku dialect here, you ought to use it all the time when Hietanen talks. That won't be easy. Maybe a softer "Ei meistä oo mihkään"? I don't know.
CanKiwi2 wrote:Context would be as in this: "Already, Hakkarainen was inordinately proud of his not so little Jägerkompania. Hakkaraineksen Rynnistys – Assault Group Hakkarainen – or, as he knew the men were already calling themselves somewhat more cynically , – Suicide Group Hakkarainen - was ready to roll".

So I would also need a translation for "Suicide Group Hakkarainen"
Edit: ...Jääkärikomppania. Rynnäkköosasto Hakkarainen..., ... Itsemurhapulja Hakkarainen

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Juha-Pekka :milwink:
Last edited by John Hilly on 18 Dec 2012 21:15, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What If-Finland had been prepared for the Winter War?

Post by CanKiwi2 » 18 Dec 2012 20:48

OK, Turku dialect it is. There won't be that much Finnish so hopefully shouldn't be a problem (for me....as long as you guys tell me what the right dialect is :D ).

Corrections and changes made in the earlier post and reposted below....
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Re: What If-Finland had been prepared for the Winter War?

Post by CanKiwi2 » 18 Dec 2012 21:10

Vänrikki Matti Hakkarainen stood with his joukkue as they looked at their Sikas, half smiling at the sight of them. “If we’d had these back in April and May, we’d have been in Leningrad in days,” Salo’s voice behind him muttered. Matti didn’t say so, but he thought Salo was correct. The men were talking quietly among themselves as they waited. The talking faded away as a tall lean officer in the black leather of the Panssari troops jumped up onto a workbench beside the Sika in front of them. Standing on the workbench, Chief Instructor Majuri Järvinen looked around at the 150 odd men of the Jääkärikomppania. Competent looking bunch of lads, he thought to himself with some satisfaction. He knew they’d started out as a Heavy Machinegun company in an Infantry Regiment, converted to infantry and attached to a Jääkäripataljoona, then fought their way down the Isthmus. No shirkers here, they’d seen battle and fought well. Their CO, Kaarna, had put it tersely to him. “Don’t give them any crap about discipline, they’re all aika velikultia, good ‘ol boys the lot of them, their view is they’re in the Army to fight the war and that’s it. Give them barrack depot crap and we’ll never get anywhere with them and you’ll die of frustration. Just tell them what we need to learn and why and show them how to do it, the sensible matters they will sort out and get on with, otherwise they'll all be like Ellu's hens.”

Majuri Järvinen nodded, mostly to himself. For the next two minutes, he introduced himself and the other Instructors. Next he talked about why they were forming mechanized Jääkäri companies. “You all know what its like to fight alongside the panzers,” he said, “you went down the Isthmus with them. When they’re with you, they have to slow down so you can stay with them to protect them from the other side’s infantry, when they move at their maximum speed, you can’t keep up. And you know what you men did to the Russian tanks that got separated from their infantry, even when you didn’t have anti-tank guns you managed to take them out.” He singled out Kersantti Hietanen, who’d taken out one of the terrifying Russian KV1 tank’s single-handedly with an anti-tank mine and been awarded a medal for it, with a look and a nod that conveyed an unspoken message of respect. Hietanen stood a little taller as men glanced at him. They knew what he’d done and it had saved their bacon at the time. The memories of that one still gave Hietanen nightmares. After a slight pause, the Majuri continued. “Well, the Sika here is a way to have you men keep up with the tanks – and with a lot more firepower than you’ve had as a Jääkärikomppania.”

“More than we had as a heavy machinegun company,” one of the men spoke up. “We had a lousy dozen machineguns for the whole company.” Majuri Järvinen grinned. It made him look impish, a lot younger than his actual age. “Well, each joukkue now has twenty four machineguns. Eighty machineguns for the entire kompanie, and you men don’t have to carry either them OR the ammunition.” He chuckled now. “And think what it’ll be like for the Russkies, with eighty of these 12.7’s firing at them. They’ll shit themselves.”
“Naaah, they’ll just use more anti-tank guns,” someone grumbled.
“Or artillery,” another grumbler added sourly. “They always use their damned artillery.”
One or two others started to chip in. It had all the sounds of a familiar argument starting up again. The Grumblers vs The Pessimists. Majuri Järvinen winced. Typical Finnish soldiers. Time to get back on topic before the whole thing turned into a grousing match.

“Enough,” the Komppanian Vääpeli’s voice carried. The men settled down without any more noises. Mainly because they were interested in the Sikas and they knew they’d have to listen to find out about them. The Vääpeli had laid it on the line before they started.
“You don’t pay attention and listen to the Instructors, do what they want, you go back to walking. We’re on to a good thing here with these here Sika’s, look at them. We get to ride inside the things, that there armour keeps bullets out, we don’t have to carry nothing.”
“You never did anyhow,” someone commented drily. The Vääpeli ignored the comment. “They carry all the machineguns and ammo and kit for us. It’s a bleeding life of luxury and if any man here screws it up for us, Saatana, I’ll leave it to you men to settle with the culprit.”
It was a long speech for the Vääpeli. He was usually nowhere near as eloquent. There’d been enough growls of agreement and general looks cast around that he knew the point had sunk in and been understood.

With the audience more or less back in hand, Majuri Järvinen recommenced. In broad terms, he enthusiastically outlined the training schedule that would occupy the next two weeks. And then, even more enthusiastically, he talked about the Sikas. “Armour on the side is 9mm’s of ballistic steel, angled to increase protection. That 9mm will keep out rifle bullets and shrapnel from grenades and most mortar shells. It’ll keep out machinegun bullets except at really close range. It won’t stop close-in artillery and it sure as hell won’t stop an anti-tank round. The front armour is 14mm. That WILL stop even a heavy machinegun bullet and it’s angled acutely, so at long range it MAY stop a light anti-tank round, no promises, but its good stuff, the best that the Tornio works can make. The glass windows are armoured glass but they ARE a weak point. When the shit hits the fan, get the steel hatch covers down over the glass and use the viewing ports. Your gunners are your protection and your commander tells you where to go, what to do. Your protection is your firepower, speed and coordination with the rest of your joukkue, NOT your armour.”

“Also, you see these tubes on the front here. These are for firing smoke grenades. You can lay your own smokescreen in a few seconds and then fall back behind it. BUT it does hide the enemy from you as well as hide you from the enemy. Needs to be used effectively. What else? The engine is a diesel, and diesel is a lot harder to set on fire than petrol, so if you are hit you won’t be deep fried instantly, you’ll likely have time to get out if you’ve lived through the hit. Lots of guns, lots of bins for ammo, although you will have to be careful not to run out, these guns can use it up real fast. Personal weapons – there’s racks inside to fasten them to when you’re moving. Suomi’s and Rumpali’s are recommended, the SLR’s tend to get caught up when you mount and dismount in a hurry. Kit? Well, you can stuff all your kit in the bins under the seats….”

“Now the machineguns, the Russian 12.7 is a good heavy machinegun for all that it’s Russian. Reliable, tough, good range, 600 rounds per minute. It can take out light vehicles. No good against tanks, but you’ll be working with tanks and anti-tank gun units, your basic tactic is of you come up against tanks, you fall back and draw them on to our own anti-tank guns and let them take care of the business. We’ve got plenty of ammunition for the 12.7’s that we captured from the Russians, that hard part is getting it up to you so make sure you don’t go wasting it. Joukkue officers, you need to keep track of how much ammo is used and order resupplies. Every Joukkue is going to get a couple of armoured trucks for carrying ammo and a bit of reserve fuel but that’s for combat resupply, you still need to make sure you stay on top of your current ammo and fuel supply….”

“…..Now, you all know what its like fighting on the Isthmus and in Karelia. One of the big advantages of the Sika is that it’s small and fast. And the four wheel drive means you can go pretty much anywhere the ground is firm. Unlike a tank, you CANNOT drive through ditches. Getting stuck in a swamp will get you killed and swampy ground is just as bad…..”

“Now, fighting in the forest. The Sika is OK in forested terrain as long as it’s not too rocky or swampy. You have to always keep your eyes wide open, the Russians, they’re mostly scared of the forest but they can hide in it too. You all know what the Russians are like when they dig in, there snipers are good, they can hide anti-tank guns as well as we can so you have to really look. Going down roads, you have to be careful – those curves and corners, a Russian tank or an ambush can be anywhere. BUT the Russians are also cautious, yhey didn’t like to advance their tanks without close infantry support and with no infantry, those Russian tank crews often abandon their tanks totally intact for us to capture and reuse. So we use that to our advantage.”

“The Forest is our friend as well as our enemy, it hides us as better than it hides the Russians and we can move through it to outflank them and attack them from the rear. The Russians hate it when we do that.” He grinned. “Remember that to them. Karelia is an alien land and they’re scared of the forest and of us. And the Sika coming out of the forest where they don’t expect it will scare the living shit out of them more often as not. BUT you have to know the Sika’s limitations, which we WILL show you, the last thing you guys want is to be screwed by the Russians because you got your Sika bogged down or broke it doing something it’s not designed to do…... “

“…..As a Mechanised Jääkärikomppania, more often than not you’ll have additional platoons or sections attached based on the mission. Armoured Cars, mostly the new Kettu’s that are coming in, we have some Sika’s with the 81mm mortars for direct fire support, also there will be a few half-tracks available with the rocket launchers, also some flamethrower half-tracks and the anti-tank guns. You’re going to learn to operate with them, the anti-tank guns especially, if you run into Russian tanks, your job is going to be to lure them back onto the anti-tank guns and let the AT boys shoot the shit out of them while you take care of any Russian infantry with them….”

And so it went on…..

******************************************
Change gears. Reverse up. Change gear again, hammering the gear lever that always seemed to stick when you wanted to go from reverse to first. Turn left using brute force on the steering wheel as the Sika commander yelled directions into the intercom. In the other seat, the assistant-driver was cursing as he looked out for obstacles and yelled directions. The Sika bucked and jerked as the engine picked up power. The seat restraint belts bit painfully as the Sika bounced through a slight dip in the ground. Avoid that tree. Move into the firing position ahead. Above, the barking roar of the 12.7’s as they opened up. Change into reverse right away and hold the clutch down, ready to move. Make sure you know where to back up without running in to anything too large. A tree waving when you hit it will give your position away. Reverse up fast. Jerk as the Sika whacked a tree that was too large and solid to give much. Shit! Change into first. Quick. Quick. Go left. Move into the next firing position. Wait. This time, forward now, over the ridgeline and weaving down through the trees. Someone else, another Sika, close by, moving in parallel. Into the next firing position.

The 12.7’s roared again, covering fire as the second section moved up and through. Bounding overwatch, they’d learned to call it. Covering each other with fire as they moved. Time to move again. Reverse. Go right this time. Accelerate. Incoming fire. The Sika commander yelling instructions to the gunners. All four 12.7mms firing. Reverse. Left into the next position. Left again. More firing. The joukkue CO on the net now, calm, very controlled, calling directions and orders. Reverse. Move right. Back in the troop compartment a frenzy of reloading, belts being passed up, instructions yelled. The Sig in the seat behind talking on the radio. Move again. Keep moving forward through the forest, weaving through the trees. Guns firing. Glimpse of the other Sikas to left and right. Go hull down and wait.

A sudden burst of firing from above. “Got them.”
“Driver. Move out.”
Reverse out. Forward. Left. Left. Right. Red smoke suddenly fills the inside of the Sika. Choking, Lehto bails out straight over the top of the Sig, gasping for air, eyes tearing up. The smoke from the simulated hit is acrid and thick. The others, in the troop compartment, have already gone over the sides. The Sig and the co-driver are the last out, choking and swearing. The Instructor has already started in on them, his face red with anger, pounding a fist on the side of the Sika. “Left. Left. Right. Every bloody time Left Left Right. Every time you do the same thing. You think the Russians are morons, that they won’t notice something as simple as Left Left Right Left Left Right. You are all now officially bleeding dead. Fried. Crispy Critters. You understand that? You want to be deep fried. No? Then change. Alternate. Vary. Do it different. Never the same. Understand? Yes? Right. Back in and lets do it again!”

Back in the Sika, Hietanen gets on the intercom. “OK, my fault. I screwed up. It’s my job to tell you which way to go.” Lehto cut in. “Right. Why not toss a coin.”
“Yeah yeah yeah. Driver. Move out.”
Reverse out. Change into first, jerk ahead to the right.
“Target. Two o’clock.”
Guns firing. “Move forward. Fast. Fast. Stop. Target 10 o’clock.”
And again. And again. And again, until at the end of the day they were bone-weary with exhaustion. After which they got to service the Sika, clean the guns, replenish the ammo bins. And then in whatever time was left they got to eat and then sleep.

The targets were popups, the rounds were real. Live firing, individual vehicles to start with, then in Sections, then Joukkueet, then the entire Komppania. Intensive live firing. First at silhouettes, then as they improved, at moving targets. Firing on the move was harder still. Practicing mounting and dismounting into action on foot. “A Sika can’t clear trenches, only infantry can do that.”

Working with the tanks, coordinating the Sikas and the tanks in movements into battle, in combat itself and in withdrawals. Radio procedures. Command and control. Replenishment. Maintenance. Working with tanks, anti-tank guns, artillery and infantry on foot. Time was short and there were never enough hours in the day. They trained twelve, fourteen hours a day. The men grumbled and complained, but very few tried to get out of it. Those that did, Hakkarainen or Kersantti Hietanen simply told them if they didn’t like it he could have them transferred back to one of the infantry battalions that did it the old way, nobody was begging them to stay if they didn’t want to be there.

Well into their second week of training, Hakkarainen decided he need a bit more time getting familiar with the 12.7mm’s. When he walked into the Shed after dinner, it was to find Sihvonen, Salo and Linna there with two of the Instructors, the front 12.7mm dismounted and one of the Instructors at work with a welding torch. On the workbench next to “his” Sika were a couple of Lahti 20mm AA cannon. Hakkarainen looked at Sihvonen, Salo and Linna and raised an enquiring eyebrow. Sihvonen looked at Salo. They both looked at Linna, then all three of them looked back at Matti. The instructors didn’t even look up from their metalworking. “Well, it’s like this Sir, my younger brother, he’s in the Ilmavoimat at the air base just down the road, he’s an Armourer and he told me they had a warehouse full of those new Lahti AA guns for putting on trucks and things as AA guns for airfield defence, but they got no trucks to put them on, so we did a deal. We figured those Lahti 20mm’s, they pack a hell of a punch, they can take out a tank and we figured if we put two of them on the front, we could take out anything we see, and make the other two 12.7’s twins instead of singles.” Sihvonen was getting more and more enthusiastic as he talked.

Hakkarainen looked at the Lahti’s, thought about what it would be like to be on the receiving end of 20mm AP cannon shells arriving at 360 rounds per minute – from each barrel. From every Sika in his joukkue. After a couple of seconds, he grinned. “How soon do you think you can have it ready?” he asked. One of the instructors looked up. “Be ready by morning,” he said. Hakkarainen thought about it. “I think I’ll just leave you to it,” he said. “And Sihvonen, Salo, Linna, if anybody asks what’s going on, I authorized whatever you’re doing.” By the next morning, the single 12.7mm on the front had disappeared and a pair of 20mm belt-fed Lahti cannon had taken their place. And instead of a single 12.7mm mounted on each side, there were now two twin 12.7mm machineguns mounted. It looked rough and ready, and things like the belt feeds for the 12.7mm’s were a real kluge, but it seemed to work, certainly the pivot mounts tracked smoothly and the reinforcing seemed strong enough to take the recoil when the guns were fired. Sihvonen, Salo and Linna on the other hand looked a bit bleary-eyed. A canteen of hot coffee perked them up.

As they prepared for the days exercise – a company movement forward and into the attack – the Kapteeni wandered over. “Some changes to your Sika, Vänrikki?”
“Yes Sir,” Hakkarainen acknowledged. “We fitted a pair of Lahti 20mm’s on the front mount and converted the 12.7’s to twins.”
“Hmmmmm,” Kapteeni Kaarna climbed into the Sika and took a thorough look. Hakkarainen followed him in. “And this happened when, Vänrikki?” “Ahhh, last night Sir.” Kaarna shook his head. “I’m not even going to ask where you got those 20mm’s from.” He looked at the twin Lahti 20mm guns thoughtfully, then somewhat quizzically at Hakkarainen, then at the guns again. “Let’s take them out to the gunnery range after the exercise and see what they can do.”

The exercise was not routine. No exercise with these instructors ever was. Two of Hakkarainen’s Sikas got stuck and had to be towed out. Under fire. Two were destroyed by simulated enemy fire. They got lost. They let enemy infantry get too close. They screwed up on the radio procedures. “Saatana,” Kersantti Hiekanen complained into the joukkue radio net as red smoke from a simulated hit billowed out from a third Sika and the men bailed out, choking and swearing, “Ei meist' o' mihkä!".” They could all see an Instructor, dressed in bright orange for visibility, storming towards the hit Sika, obviously preparing to rip the crew new assholes. Hakkarainen shuddered. He knew his turn for public humiliation would soon be coming. In the event, he was spared the public humiliation. He received that privately. If you could call the back of his Sika, with the Kapteeni and one of the Instructors and the rest of the Sika crew en route to the gunnery range private. “That Instructor certainly has an excellent command of the Finnish vernacular,” Linna said admiringly to Sihvonen as he pulled his diary out in the barracks later that evening to jot down a few notes. “For your novel, is it?” Sihvonen asked somewhat sarcastically. Linna grinned. “You want to be in it Sihvonen?” Sihvonen laughed. “If we all live through this, I won’t give a shit whether I’m in it or not, I’ll just be happy I survived.”

On the gunnery range, they’d stopped in a prepared firing position. “Lets see what it does,” Kapteeni Kaarna said mildly. Hakkarainen nodded to Linna, who promptly opened up. The Lahti’s had been loaded with belts of mixed AP and AP-Tracer. A line of fire walked down the static targets as the twin 20mms roared, cascading empty shells onto the floor of the Sika.
“Perkele,” Linna said, his voice hushed, almost inaudible under the roar of the twin Lahti’s.
The rest of the crew, Hakkarainen, Kapteeni Kaarna and the Instructor watched as the targets disintegrated in a maelstrom of 20mm cannon shells, splinters and dust. “Saatanan mahtavaa” Linna screamed at the top of his voice as he hosed the targets down. Hakkarainen looked sideways at Kapteeni Kaarna. The expression on his face hadn’t changed. Linna ceased firing when the belts ran out.

“You know,” the Instructor said thoughtfully, “there’s an old T-26 in the back of the shed, too damaged to use and most of the useful bits have been stripped off. Why don’t we have it dragged out here and we’ll test the guns on that.”
Kapteeni Kaarna thought about it. Then he smiled. “Let’s do it.”

It was midnight before Hakkarainen and his men got back to the barracks. After they’d shredded the T-26 on the range, rather conclusively showing what the Lahti’s could do to a Russian tank in the process, they’d still had to clean down the Sika, strip and clean the guns, collect all the cartridge cases, refuel and service the Sika and get it set up for the next day’s exercise. Kapteen Kaarna and the Instructor had left, engrossed in a discussion of the guns. Hakkarainen had stayed and worked on the Sika with his men. And he’d made sure that they got a hot meal from the kitchen. He’d had to coax the grumbling old Lotta on night duty to get her into motion, but she’d rustled up something for them in the end.
Last edited by CanKiwi2 on 18 Dec 2012 21:57, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What If-Finland had been prepared for the Winter War?

Post by John Hilly » 18 Dec 2012 21:35

CanKiwi2 wrote:“Saatana,” Linna said, his voice hushed, almost inaudible under the roar of the twin Lahti’s.
The rest of the crew, Hakkarainen, Kapteeni Kaarna and the Instructor watched as the targets disintegrated in a maelstrom of 20mm cannon shells, splinters and dust. “Vitun mahtava” Linna screamed at the top of his voice as he hosed the targets down.
How about "Perkele", Linna said...
"Saatanan mahtavaa", Linna screamed...

Juha-Pekka :milwink:
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