Petrovski Jam

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Re: Petrovski Jam

Post by Juha Tompuri » 06 Nov 2012 00:09

Juha Tompuri wrote:
the day before the attack saboteurs in the hospital slept member of the Military Council of the Karelian front GN Kupriyanov, returning from an inspection tour of the troops Medvezhyegorsky task force.
http://profismart.ru/web/bookreader-111244-23.php
Seems that the PPG 2212 served not just a hospital.

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Re: Petrovski Jam

Post by Juha Tompuri » 11 Nov 2012 20:49

Einar Laidinen (ex KGB/FSB Colonel and later a historian) writes a journal Carelia 1/2007 about the Petrovski Jam case.
There he mentions a document he had found, a report dated 15th Feb-42, Railway construction works and Sorokka camp vice commander Vojevoda report to the People's Commissar of Internal Affairs (NKVD) leader of the Karelian-Finnish Republic, Baskakov:
" at 0200 hours, 12th February a Finnish saboteur team ( strenght unknown) attacked against the Petrosvki Jam garrison. Next to the garrison located NKVD Sorokka camp 3rd department 1st camp unit.
The attackers killed the garrison guards, set several buildings on fire, threw two handgrenades to the (guard?, JT) living quarters and to the convict quarters. Four men got killed, nine wounded and additional two got killed at the garrison area.
During the attack, the commander of the camp unit Popov hid himself to the forrest. The guards defended themselves at the camp area, but left the prisoners (ca. 400 men) unguarded. A 20 men strong prisoner group robbed a foodstuff store, entered to the garrison area and by using the panic at the area also robbed some apartments there."
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Re: Petrovski Jam

Post by Juha Tompuri » 21 Nov 2012 20:44

At the biographies (Brantberg Robert: Sissikersantti Mikko Pöllä Kaukopartioritari and Henttonen Antti: Marskin inkeriläisritari - Mikko Pöllä kaukopartiomatkoilla ) of Mikko Pöllä (took part at the Petrovsi Jam raid) he mentions that once the Finns found out that they were attacking against a hospital, they tried to save the patients there.
As Pöllä was not at that unit that attacked to that part of Petrovski Jam where the hospital was, his later statement is based at a secondhand knowledge, and so sounds not very reliable.

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Re: Petrovski Jam

Post by Juha Tompuri » 28 Nov 2012 22:15

The Director of the National Museum of the Republic of Karelia mentions about the Soviet casualties at the hospital (according to a online translation):
According to Soviet data, lost about 200 men who were in the hospital and 25 doctors, nurses
http://rk.karelia.ru/history/petrovskiy-yam/

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Re: Petrovski Jam

Post by Bair » 30 Dec 2012 09:31

The problem is that the hospital was 2 km away from the supply base. If Finns had no knowledge of the hospital beforehand, they would not have even attacked the place.

Another problem is that the hospital was not just one building, but about 20 separate buildings that were all destroyed by fire.

Let's see if any Finnish publisher dares to publish Repnikov's book in Finnish. I strongly doubt it though.

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Re: Petrovski Jam

Post by Vaeltaja » 30 Dec 2012 10:01

The problem is that the hospital was 2 km away from the supply base. If Finns had no knowledge of the hospital beforehand, they would not have even attacked the place.

Another problem is that the hospital was not just one building, but about 20 separate buildings that were all destroyed by fire.
See: http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 5#p1729150

Finns were perfectly aware of the dispersed nature of the Petrovski Jam and they were also aware of which sites in that region were in active use by the Soviets. Both via aerial reconnaissance as well as via intelligence gained from prisoners. Site which turned out to be the hospital was believed to consist of barracks and (secondary) equipment storages.

What Finns did not know was there was hospital in any of the locations. Trying to use the claim that since Finns knew that buildings were in use would have automatically meant that Finns would have been aware of the nature of their usage is folly. There is nothing to support such claims. As an example can you deduce a function of a building if only information you have is that several actively maintained tracks lead to it?
Let's see if any Finnish publisher dares to publish Repnikov's book in Finnish. I strongly doubt it though.
If the book uses similar reasoning as you did above it would indeed be a wonder if it were published in Finland.

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Re: Petrovski Jam

Post by Mangrove » 30 Dec 2012 10:09

Bair wrote:The problem is that the hospital was 2 km away from the supply base. If Finns had no knowledge of the hospital beforehand, they would not have even attacked the place.
Vaeltaja wrote: What Finns did not know was there was hospital in any of the locations. Trying to use the claim that since Finns knew that buildings were in use would have automatically meant that Finns would have been aware of the nature of their usage is folly. There is nothing to support such claims. As an example can you deduce a function of a building if only information you have is that several actively maintained tracks lead to it?
Here is a part of an actual Finnish target map based on aerial photographs and probably redrawn after the raid to the base. Notice that the Red cross on the map designates the Finnish field aid station set up for the raid.

Image

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Bair
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Re: Petrovski Jam

Post by Bair » 30 Dec 2012 14:35

I am aware of aerial reconnaissance and two prisoners that Finns took and interrogated. The first prisoner, starshina Boris Hohlogorski, was from the supply base Petrovski Jam. He told Finns everything about the supply base.

Then Finns took the second prisoner from Petrovskij Jam and interrogated him on location of the supply base in order to confirm Hohlogorskis claims.

So the two prisoners from Petrovski Jam did not say anything about the hospital during the interrogation?

Your logic does not work for me, sorry. It was not only aerial reconnaissance that Finns did.

The map you post is well known, location of field hospital is 2212 is attack objects 3 and 4.

All the Finnish books on the subject either stay silent on the matter are based only on Honkanens report but somehow no one in Finland calls them unreliable. Finns did their homework well in 1944 during Stella Polaris.

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Re: Petrovski Jam

Post by Vaeltaja » 30 Dec 2012 14:58

Bair wrote:I am aware of aerial reconnaissance and two prisoners that Finns took and interrogated. The first prisoner, starshina Boris Hohlogorski, was from the supply base Petrovski Jam. He told Finns everything about the supply base.

Then Finns took the second prisoner from Petrovskij Jam and interrogated him on location of the supply base in order to confirm Hohlogorskis claims.

So the two prisoners from Petrovski Jam did not say anything about the hospital during the interrogation?

Your logic does not work for me, sorry. It was not only aerial reconnaissance that Finns did.

The map you post is well known, location of field hospital is 2212 is attack objects 3 and 4.

All the Finnish books on the subject either stay silent on the matter are based only on Honkanens report but somehow no one in Finland calls them unreliable. Finns did their homework well in 1944 during Stella Polaris.
Problem is that you have nothing to support your supposition while there exists plenty of reports from Finnish participants - i.e. descriptions not based on Honkanen's reports (so your claim in this respect is faulty already) - who clearly state that when the attack took place they remained unaware of the existence of a field hospital at Petrovski Jam.

You seem to have nothing but wild assumptions to support your views - which as it happens are opposed by several witness accounts.

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Re: Petrovski Jam

Post by Mangrove » 30 Dec 2012 15:15

Bair wrote: So the two prisoners from Petrovski Jam did not say anything about the hospital during the interrogation?
However Hohlogorskij's last post was no longer at Petrovskij Jam but at Puudosi. Also, as I wrote before, there is nothing on his interrogation reports about Petrovski Jam or units based there but only that there is a major supply base located at the town. He told much more detailed information about similar bases e.g. at Lobskaja, Sumski-Posad, Sekehe and Puudosi.

Finns took two prisoners while crossing Uikujoki on 11 February. The other had slept at target area N:o 4 on the night before and was taken as a guide. I have not seen any other official information what these prisoners told to the patrol. Further four prisoners were taken after the raid on 13 February and five more on 14 February. All of these were supposedly fetching hay for the horses.

If you like, I would be happy to provide Hohlogorskij's interrogation reports in full to you.

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Re: Petrovski Jam

Post by jdoe » 30 Dec 2012 19:02

Looking at the latest Finnish literature piece on this subject (Sissisotaa kaukopartiossa by Jaana Janhila ISBN 978-952-492-305-7) and reading through this thread, I would like to contribute on this discussion, even though I rarely do when there is clearly very opposing sentiments in the air :roll:

Here are some insights from the book and a slight warning, there are some assumptions too, but many other posts in this thread (as the original controversial study is also) are based on assumptions, so I don't feel too bad about it;

The earlier POW captured just less than 2 weeks earlier, told the general location of the supply base, and the importance of it (supplied the whole area against Maaselkä Sector). According to his information, the attack was to be planned. There were aerial surveillance photos and some intelligence reports available. More detailed information on the target area was obtained just a few days before the attack and the plan had it's final details. No mention is made about the hospital. There is mentions about the horse hospital, and a transit-camp for reinforcement troops, but no mention about a hospital. Now, you could say it was left out on purpose of the documents, but why do that? More grim details were mentioned in the patrol and preparational documents by Er.P 4 members, so if the hospital was a target, why not mention it? As far as I can tell, targets 3 and 4 were labeled as the transit-camp for reinforcements. And looking at the map in general, target 4 looks a bit odd for a hospital (?) or even a field hospital.

One Soviet soldier was captured on the last day before the attack, and he was interrogated. He supplied information about the daily schedule of the base, and the fact that the transit-camp was currently occupied by a battalion of men, moving through the area.

When the attack took place, it started earlier than supposed to. This is because the patrols attacking targets 1 and 2 were spotted too early. This would mean the element of surprise was lost, and that would imply, if there was a hospital, and they realized the area was under attack, they would evacuate everyone as soon as possible. No record is shown of anything like this taking place. Additionally, it is said earlier in this thread, that the hospital was also on target 4 and it was destroyed. This however, is not true. The patrol assigned target 4, ran into heavy resistance from the target area early on, and could only assault the buildings near the waterfront. Even with the help of two other patrols (targets 5 and 6), they could not get any further, and disengaged after about 1.5hrs of fighting. This would indicate target 4 was the transit camp, and not hospital.

Main concerns of the whole operation seemed to be the failure to evacuate own wounded by air, and the failure to destroy target 4 and the field bakery at target 2. Looking at all the interviews and documents, if the part about the hospital was left out on purpose, there should be some indication of it "between the lines". There is also some information about a church building on target area 3, being used as a stable, and this would've been part of the horse hospital, and NOT field hospital (?).

Time for some heavy assumptions;

The POWs captured knew about the field hospital. Why not tell / why it is not in the papers?
- Field hospital would not be considered a "fat" target, and thus of no interest. Interrogators would not probably even ask about it, and the POW would tell only anything that is useful, for his own sake.
- There is some reference to the fact that this hospital was "political" in nature. Would that imply it was NKVD ran hospital or a hospital for NKVD members? As far as the story goes, regular army did not really like NKVD, so maybe the information was left out by them on purpose?

Finns knew about the fact it was hospital
- Would it be really useful and worth it to spend resources and risk lives to attack a regular field hospital? After all, people were wounded on the attack on target 3 (and target 4 also) and it shouldn't have been a surpise to anyone planning the attack on those targets that there would be casualties. Given the difficulty to evacuate the probable wounded, I would not risk too much on that.
- If it was indeed NKVD hospital, I would not be surprised it was attacked. That would've been "smart think to do" considering NKVD and Smersh were the major counterparts of Er.P 4 at the time.
- Maybe it was known to also "house" big bosses of the political and military organizations and there might be some high-value targets there?

Casualties of the hospital?
- Why were there so many from the staff and so little from patients? Maybe the staff put out a fight, and if we assume Finns did not know it was a hospital, finished the fight only to realize it was a hospital, and left the patients alone?
- Number of staff compared to patients could mean anything, not really useful or relavant to speculate on patients per doctors. The hospital was most probably overstaffed, since the whole complex (the base) was put up fairly recently, and there was not anything big going on at the Maaselkä sector at the time. IF it was a NKVD / high-priority hospital for the Big Bosses, overstaffing would not be a surprise either.

Timetable of the assault, general situation on the area?
- Putting this all into some context, the Soviet counter-attacks at the Svir-sector were still recent and would renew just about a month later. I would strongly suggest, the finding of this base and the hurried plan and execution of it was linked to the fear of the Finnish Supreme HQ of similar activity at the Maaselkä sector. After all, there had been a lot of traffic due north at the area recently.
- This above would suggest, the purpose of this attack was to destroy supplies, communications, command and logistics, and that would've been the main focus. If there was a hospital, and they knew about it, I wouldn't spend any resources on it, even if I was a cold-hearted warcriminal. It just does not make any sense, not even in a twisted, murderous way.

As a conclusion, I doubt they knew about the hospital in advance. If it was there, they probably realized it was there when the assault went on, and tried to prevent further damage by leaving the patients alone (murdering patients does not make a lot of sense either, they are not valuable prisoners or of any use or threat at the time). The staff probably fought back, and thus the high casualties. The patrol that took part in the assault on target 3, probably wondered what to do, but did not report it, since it was not necessary or really anything to "brag about". They just told the target was destroyed.

The fact that this information and debate is going on now, can again be related to the recent need to dig up anything bad about the past, and use it in current politics between our countries. Which is very, very lame. I am not accusing anyone on this forum, just stating what is (to me) obvious in general. There is a strong implication that the original debrief about the attack on hospital was at least coloured by propagandist needs. There was similar things going on in every country involved in that awful war. I cannot blame the people of the past for their motives to do so, but I do sometimes wonder why someone would use those sources for the same needs today...

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Re: Petrovski Jam

Post by Juha Tompuri » 31 Dec 2012 08:48

Bair wrote:Let's see if any Finnish publisher dares to publish Repnikov's book in Finnish. I strongly doubt it though.
How do you rate the book?

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Re: Petrovski Jam

Post by Juha Tompuri » 31 Dec 2012 08:50

Martti Kujansuu wrote:If you like, I would be happy to provide Hohlogorskij's interrogation reports in full to you.
For clarity matters it would be good if you really could post it here.

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Re: Petrovski Jam

Post by Mangrove » 31 Dec 2012 12:06

Juha Tompuri wrote:For clarity matters it would be good if you really could post it here.
Unfortunately this is not possible for two reasons; first of all, it is illegal to post them in public due to the Finnish Copyright Act. Secondly, there are 12 pages in total.

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Re: Petrovski Jam

Post by Juha Tompuri » 31 Dec 2012 12:18

Martti Kujansuu wrote:Unfortunately this is not possible for two reasons; first of all, it is illegal to post them in public due to the Finnish Copyright Act. Secondly, there are 12 pages in total.
Could you then post here the part of it where the target area no3 of the supply base is mentioned at the report?

Regrds, Juha

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