Flood at Poventsa on 8 December 1941

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Mangrove
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Flood at Poventsa on 8 December 1941

Post by Mangrove » 01 Jan 2012 17:41

Here is something I fished out from the Digital Archive. Is there any information on who's order the dam was demolished? I'm not an expert on tanks but I know there were some temporary T-34 and other tank losses due of the flood not described here. Interesting enough the Finns suggested similar counteraction on 17 December. The idea was to destroy a dam at Uikujärvi which would then flood to Sorokka and maybe destroy parts of the Murmansk railway. -
http://digi.narc.fi/digi/view.ka?kuid=2749438 (Kar.AE)

http://digi.narc.fi/digi/view.ka?kuid=3407607 (1.PrE)
Daily report on 8 December at 12.00 a.m.
Poventsa is flooding. The water had risen up to a stream flowing across by the city by 10 a.m. The water is still rising. Russkies have blown up a dam possibly at Voljärvi. Inquiries are being made.
Poventsassa vesi tulvii. Vesi noussut klo 10 mennessä niin, että kaupunki on kaupungin halki virtaavaan puroon saakka veden alla. Vesi nousee jatkuvasti. Ryssät räjäyttäneet padon mahd. Voljärvellä. Tutkimukset käynnissä.
Daily report on 8 December at 6.10 p.m.
A 1,5 meter high tidal wave came over the canal [situated] two kilometers north of the city and flooded most of hte city at 6 or 7 a.m. A company from Tst.Os. Häkkinen situated at the city was surrounded by water and four men were lost while trying to save it. Some of the company's material was also lost by the water. The flood broke all bridges leading over the canal. The Russkies had blown a dam near Voljärvi. The flood also rendered a road leading to north along the canal void. The water goes to under the ice at Lake Onega and it seems that the water level is going to lower in time. Four enemy bombers bombed Poventsa during the morning. No damages.
Klo 6-7 ajoissa tänä aamuna tuli 1.5 m. korkea hyökyaalto 2 km. kaupungista pohjoiseen Kanavan yli ja kaupungista suurin osa joutui veden alle. Kaupungissa ollut Tst.Os. Häkkisen komppania joutui veden saartamaksi, jota pelastettaessa 4 miestä hukkui ja osa komppanian materiaalista on todennäköisesti mennyt virran mukana. Tulva rikkoi kanavan yli johtavat sillat. Ryssät olivat räjäyttäneet padon läheltä Voljärveä. Tulvan vuoksi ei myöskään pohjoiseen kanavan vartta johtavaa tietä voida käyttää. Tulvavesi menee Äänisen jään alle ja näyttää siltä, että vesi vähitellen rupeaa laskemaan. Aamupäivän kuluessa pommitti 4 viholliskonetta Poventsaa. Ei vaurioita.
Daily report on 9 December at 12.00 a.m.
Situation normal. The water level has lowered around 0.5 meters. Bombing at Poventsa at 10.10 a.m. MIA 1+3+27.
Tilanne ennallaan. Vesi laskenut n. 0.5 m. Pommitus Poventsassa klo 10.10. Kadoksissa 1+3+27.
Daily report on 10 December at 12.00 a.m.
The water at Poventsa has flown to Stalin's canal and the water level is still lowering. Some of the material from the company surrounded by water has been rescued. Little enemy aerial activity in our sector.
[...] Vesi Poventsassa laskenut Stalinin kanavan uomaan ja laskee yhä. Aikaisemmin saarroksiin joutuneen komppanian veden alle jääneestä materiaalista osa pelastettu. Vihollisen lentotoiminta ollut alueellamme vähäistä.
http://digi.narc.fi/digi/view.ka?kuid=2712384 (2./JP 2)

8 December 1941. 7 a.m. The havocking flood of Poventsa started. Company's HQ and office platoon were flooded. The company was situated [?] behind Stalin's canal II & III platoons (vänr. Mäkinen & Maunula) and I platoon north of them near the canal (vänr. Lappalainen). Persons drowned in the flood: Alik. Salmi, alik. Korpi, korpr. Korpi and jägers Huhtala and Rytkönen. Alik. Voutilainen merited by saving kapt. Liponkoski from the flood.
8.12.1941. Klo 7.00. Poventsan tuhotulva alkoi. Komppanian komentopaikka ja toimistojoukkue joutuivat tulvan valtaan. Komppania oli tällöin [?] Stalin-kanavan takana II ja III joukkue (vänr. Mäkinen & Maunula) sekä I joukkue kanavan suunnassa pohjoiseen (vänr. Lappalainen). Tulvassa hukkuivat: Alik. Salmi, alik. Korpi, korpr. Korpi sekä jääk:t Huhtala ja Rytkönen. Alik. Voutilainen kunnnostautui erikoisesti kapt. Liponkosken pelastamisesta tulvan varasta.
8 December 1941. 2 p.m. Company was relocated from behind the canal to the city. Vänr. Mäkinen assumed the command, while kapt. Liponkoski had to go hospital due of a cold.
8.12.1941. Klo 14.00. Komppania siirtyi kanavan takaa kaupunkiin. Vänr. Mäkinen komppanian päällikkönä kapt. Liponkosken joutuessa paleltumisen vuoksi sairaalaan.

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Re: Flood at Poventsa on 8 December 1941

Post by Vaeltaja » 01 Jan 2012 20:59

Few suggestions for the translations...


Investigation might be more fitting than inquiry.

Klo 6-7 might be better translated as 'between 6 and 7 a.m.. Tst. Os. probably translates best into 'Detachment'. Instead of 'rendered to void' I would probably use 'prevented the use of the road'. Water going lower could be perhaps said better with 'water started to recede'.

'Situation remains the same. Water receded roughly 0.5 meters...'

Again i would use recede instead of flow or lowering.

Devastating might fit better than havocking. Vänrikki = Ensign or 2nd Lieutenant; Alikersantti = Corporal; Korpraali = Private First Class; Jääkäri = Jaeger or Private.

Cold when discussing a person often refers to catching common cold, of course the original text is a tad unclear as it could refer to frostbites as well.

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Re: Flood at Poventsa on 8 December 1941

Post by Juha Tompuri » 01 Jan 2012 21:43

Image
JTV wrote:Photo taken 7th of December 1941 in Poventsa. That tank is T-34 R-105, the first T-34/76 taken to Finnish use. It fell from a bridge behind it in night of 6th - 7th of December ending upside down. Korpaali Jalonen belonging to its crew was killed in this accident. Later that day the Soviets blew up floodgates of Stalin's Channel covering the whole town to flood and the tank sunk into mud. Since the mud froze after the water was gone, digging this tank out from it wasn't completed until 14th of December. The tank was repaired and returned to Finnish use. Nowadays this tank is a monument in Kontioranta garrison in Finland.
http://www.ww2incolor.com/finnish_force ... c1941.html

Regards, Juha

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Re: Flood at Poventsa on 8 December 1941

Post by Juha Tompuri » 02 Jan 2012 22:58

Later...
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Re: Flood at Poventsa on 8 December 1941

Post by Vaeltaja » 02 Jan 2012 23:40

Did the whole crew perish? I had heard the story of the tank being lost in the flood but also that some of the crew would have survived.

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Re: Flood at Poventsa on 8 December 1941

Post by JTV » 03 Jan 2012 05:59

Vaeltaja wrote:Did the whole crew perish?
Obviously not, as mentioned one man (korpraali Jalonen) died in this accident. T-34 tank R-105 (only T-34 in Finnish use at that time) had been on its way back from Poventsa towards Karhumäki in night of 6th - 7th of December 1941, when it fell off from a small bridge and dropped into river. When the tank fell off the misfortunate Jalonen ended up in between the tank and the ground and died as a result. Rest of the tank crew apparently didn't suffer injuries worth mentioning in the company war journal. Kersantti Aulanko and Panssarimies Heino belonging to crew of this tank got to HQ of 6th Tank Company around 12:00 in 7th of December and reported about the accident. Due to this Company HQ sent Kersantti Syrjänen, 5 mechanics and T-28 tank R-101 around 16:30 that day to Poventsa with a mission of towing T-34 from the river.

8th of December around 11:00 Vänrikki Pirilä and Kersantti Syrjänen returned to Company with T-28 R-101 reporting that they been forced to leave from Poventsa because the Soviets had flooded the place and that they had not been able to tow T-34 from the river before that happened.

As I wrote in ww2incolor.com the T-34 was lost only temporarily, it was recovered from the frozen mud about week later (14th of December) and after repairs done in Panssarikeskuskorjaamo (in Varkaus) returned back to Finnish use.

War journal of 6th Tank Company of Tank Battalion 7th - 8th of 1941:
http://digi.narc.fi/digi/view.ka?kuid=2992763

EDIT: What I remember at that time Company HQ was either in Lumpuinen/Lumbus or Pintuinen/Pindus:
http://www.jaegerplatoon.net/KMAKI_MAP1.jpg

Jarkko

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Re: Flood at Poventsa on 8 December 1941

Post by igor_verh » 03 Jan 2012 11:01

Some informarion from russian book "Regiment of Major Valli" by Y. Rugoev ("Полк майра Валли", Яакко Ругоев):
«Chief of first gateway Nicholai K. Leontiev was ordered to lay explosives at the gates swing mechanisms gateway to the 18 o'clock December 6, 1941. To help him were sent miners. By this time most of the retreating Soviet troops had already move to the east coast and to gain a foothold there. Leontiev knew from that moment on bank of the canal will become a new line of defense of the Soviet troops. The same evening the Finnish tanks entered Povenets and two hours of firing the adjacent territory. At the same time some of the enemy infantry broke through the channel, took workshops and repair factory and opened machine-gun fire on the first and second gateways.
Nicholai K. Leontiev memories:
"There was a danger of capture the gateway, it was time to enforce the order. However, we decided to first blow dry dock jumper and if do not drown, at least to scare entrenched in repair factory Finnish soldiers. So we did. The shooting stopped briefly but then resumed again. I gave the command to crawl away from the gateway and set fire to the cords. Explosions ... "
By the morning of December 7 were blown up mechanisms and gates of the second, third, fourth and fifth gates. Day blew up sixth.
The Finns continued to attack, captured Povenets and prepared cross the channel. Then December 11 had been blown up a dam and sluice seventh in the watershed. One hundred million cubic meters of cold water poured down on Povenets. Flow demolished and grind everything in its path: trees, cars, rocks ...
Memories of Finnish tanker Lauri Jäntti ("Capture of Povenets. Tanks in captivity flood" - a chapter from the book "The thunder of guns"):
... Russian opened the floodgates of the White Sea Canal. In the field log first tank battalion referred to as: "... At 8.00 am water suddenly rose sharply, flooding the entire eastern part of Povenets. On some streets moved a powerful stream, washing the Onega in everything that came his way. Cars signalmen and engineers managed to slip before the impact of this flow, they were saved. But after marching passenger car landed in the water, while it bore flow, then hit one of the pillars and covered with a whole ... All trucks and tanks of first Tank Battalion were isolated in a small, half-hectare plot. Salvation was nowhere. They tried to drive a tank, but it suffered a stream. The water tank is clamped between the pile and the angle of a house. The crew got out first through the hatch, then climbed into the house through the window ... Sergeant Salo could finally force the flow on the tank and deliver a message about flooding. Tank of Sergeant Takovaara still stuck in the mud before ... When the flow subsided, the water began to quickly freeze in the frost ... "»

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Re: Flood at Poventsa on 8 December 1941

Post by Jagala » 03 Jan 2012 16:57

The former, "Majuri Vallin rykmentti" by Jaakko Rugojev was published in Oulu in 1988 but there is also a revised edition published in Petroskoi in 1990.

The latter, "Tykinjyskeessä jatkosodassa" by Lauri Jäntti appeared in 1969.

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Re: Flood at Poventsa on 8 December 1941

Post by JTV » 03 Jan 2012 19:28

Hmm... Does anybody Jäntti's book? I am wondering one the part of text translated as "All trucks and tanks of first Tank Battalion were isolated in a small..." because it does not exactly seem to match to what is known. For one thing in December of 1941 Finnish Army had exactly one and onlyTank Battalion - so no such thing as 1st Tank Battalion at that time. Text written to 1st Tank Company war journal for 8th of December around 08:00 also makes interesting comparison to Jäntti's book, since the two texts are about indentical, but instead of "all trucks and tanks of first Tank Battalion" the war journal says "whole 1st Tank Company was isolated to a small plot (50 m x 100 m) with its trucks and tanks..."

War Journal of 1st Tank Company of Tank Battalion 7th - 8th of December 1941:
http://digi.narc.fi/digi/view.ka?kuid=2991182

Second thing is that only parts of Tank Battalion even took part the operation and even they didn't have all their trucks or tanks in Poventsa/Povonets during the flood. December of 1941 Tank Battalion had three tank companies (1st - 3rd Tank Company) and Heavy Tank Company. From these four companies 1st Tank Company, 3rd Tank Company and Heavy Tank Company took part the whole Karhumäki - Poventsa operation. Due to extremely cold weather causing considerable technical difficulties and battle-related losses only tanks of these companies that continued attack from Pintuinen/Pindus to Poventsa/Povonets were:
- T-34 tank from Heavy Tank Company
- Two T-26 tanks from 1st Tank Company
- Five T-26 tanks from 3rd Tank Company.
By the time flood started T-34 had already had fallen from a bridge and two of the T-26 tanks had pushed on with 3rd Company of Jaeger Battalion 3. So it seems that the number of operational tanks in Poventsa during the flood may have been likely just 3 - 5 T-26 tanks. Apparently T-26 tanks that had been immobilised by technical failure or battle damage during the attack were not gathered for repairs until around 10th - 12th of December, so they could not have been in Poventsa during the flood. War journal of 1st Tank Company lists recovery work made for salvaging of three T-26 tanks lost in the flood around 14th - 16th of December - tanks R-117, R-58 and R-677: http://digi.narc.fi/digi/view.ka?kuid=2991188

Do Soviet sources have any mentioning of Battle Group Pöyhönen, which was sent to chase retreating Soviet units (spotted by Finnish aircraft) across the channel in 7th of December? This Battle Group contained 3rd Company of Jaeger Battalion 3, two T-26 tanks, section of light field guns, machinegun platoon, antitank rifle and radio squad left from Poventsa 7th of December around 21:15, crossed the channel and headed to road leading towards south-east. It pushed through Soviet defence and around 01:00 the next day arrived to village of Haapakylä, which it captured after short battle. Lieutenant Pöyhönen who was leading the Battle Group was wounded in this battle and his replacement 2nd Lieutenant Jouni decided to take defensive positions in the village and get radio contact for further instructions. But before this happened he was wounded also and the command was taken by Lieutenant Peltomäki (from field artillery, he had been commanding the field gun section). Since the unit failed getting radio contact, there was danger of the Battle Group getting surrounded and shortage of tank ammunition and fuel, Lieutenant Peltomäki decided to break through and head back to Poventsa. The unit left from Haapakylä around 10:00 that day, pushed through Soviet units and arrived to channel around 12:00 - only to find out the town flooded and the only bridge leading across the channel destroyed by it. The only way to get the guns and tanks across back to western side was across ice and the whole unit succeeded getting back to Finnish side that way. The mentioned two wounded officers were only losses of this temporary Battle Group.

3rd Co/Jaeger Battalion 3 war journal 7th of December 1941:
http://digi.narc.fi/digi/view.ka?kuid=2714367

Location for village of Haapaselkä/Gabsel'ga:
http://mapcarta.com/13470220

Jarkko

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Re: Flood at Poventsa on 8 December 1941

Post by Esa Muikku » 14 Jan 2012 23:05

Juha Tompuri wrote: Nowadays this tank is a monument in Kontioranta garrison in Finland.
No, this tank, R-105 (-> Ps 231-2), is nowadays at the Mikkeli garrison.

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Re: Flood at Poventsa on 8 December 1941

Post by Juha Tompuri » 14 Jan 2012 23:14

Esa Muikku wrote:
Juha Tompuri wrote: Nowadays this tank is a monument in Kontioranta garrison in Finland.
No, this tank, R-105 (-> Ps 231-2), is nowadays at the Mikkeli garrison.
Thanks for the correction, that earlier info...
http://www.ww2incolor.com/finnish_force ... c1941.html
...had already puzzled me a bit.

Regards, Juha

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Re: Flood at Poventsa on 8 December 1941

Post by JTV » 15 Jan 2012 10:06

Juha Tompuri wrote:
Esa Muikku wrote:
Juha Tompuri wrote: Nowadays this tank is a monument in Kontioranta garrison in Finland.
No, this tank, R-105 (-> Ps 231-2), is nowadays at the Mikkeli garrison.
Thanks for the correction, that earlier info...
http://www.ww2incolor.com/finnish_force ... c1941.html
...had already puzzled me a bit.
I checked my notes, it seems that they contained a mistake concerning change from R-number system to Ps.-number system when it came to first three T-34/76 tanks taken to Finnish use. Appanrently I somehow succeeded mixing R-105 with R-111 in them, so unlike the website tells at the moment this change went actually this way:
R-111 -> Ps. 231-3
R-105 -> Ps. 231-2

So yes, R-105 is really in Mikkeli and the tank in Kontioranta is R-111. Thanks for pointing this out, have to fix it to website.

Jarkko

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Re: Flood at Poventsa on 8 December 1941

Post by igor_verh » 13 Sep 2012 17:40

Hi, if I understood correctly, on this video from 00:50 - Povenets at December 1941 after flood:

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Re: Flood at Poventsa on 8 December 1941

Post by JTV » 13 Sep 2012 20:46

igor_verh wrote:Hi, if I understood correctly, on this video from 00:50 - Povenets at December 1941 after flood:
Correct, the T-34 mentioned in earlier posts can be seen in this video in 01:51 - 01:56. Since the tractors shown in the film are probably there for recovering the tanks, but T-34 is still in the stream upside down and there is no signs of recovery effort for it having been started, most likely filmed sometime around 9th - 13th of December 1941.

Jarkko

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Re: Flood at Poventsa on 8 December 1941

Post by Mangrove » 17 Oct 2012 15:26

igor_verh wrote: «Chief of first gateway Nicholai K. Leontiev was ordered to lay explosives at the gates swing mechanisms gateway to the 18 o'clock December 6, 1941.
Finnish investigation made at the Voljärvi dam on 14 December 1941. The hole created by the explosives was measured to be 50 meters wide.

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