Soviet bombing of Finland 1939-1940

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varjag
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Soviet bombing of Finland 1939-1940

Post by varjag » 17 May 2012 12:18

Hi all! I am seeking your assistance to establish a more complete picture of the Soviet bombing campaign against Finland during the Winter War. ''The statistics'' - say that some 650-670 finnish locations, cities, towns, villages - were bombed.
Probably some of those - were tactical targets in the immediate vicinity of the front-lines? Which are not my prime interest. Rather, I want to know about those targets that were attacked - behind - the front lines, in what we may call ''strategic bombing''.

Those targets, and dates - that I have assembled, are naturally the bigger and more important ones. But with my measly 110 locations - for the entire war, there must hundreds that I do not know about..... :roll:

I submit, for starters - my existing ''Bombing calendar'' for November/December 1939;

Provisional bombing calendar Finland November/December 1939


30 November
Enso, Hanko, Hamina, Helsinki, Hiitola, Imatra, Kemijärvi, Kitelä, Kotka, Käkisalmi
Lahti, Petsamo, Santahamina, Seiskari, Utti, Viipuri

1 december
Antrea, Enso, Hamina, Helsinki, Imatra, Immola, Jääski, Kitelä, Kotka, Kouvola,
Lappenranta, Loviisa, Simola, Sur-Merijoki, Suursaari, Tainionkoski, Utti, Viipuri


2 december
Antrea, Hamina, Immola, Jääski, Kirkonummi, Kouvola, Lahti, Loviisa, Viipuri

3 december ?
4 december ?

5 december
Petsamo, Impilahti

6 december
Impilahti

7 december ?

8 december
Valaam

9 december
Koivisto, Tammisari-Lappohja railway

10 december
Tammisari-Lappohja railway

11 dcember ??

12 december
Hanko

13-14-15-16-17 december ??

18 december
Hanko-Lappohja railway

19 december
Enso, Hanko, Helsinki, Jänisjärvi, Koivisto, Sortavala, Tampere, Turku,

20 december
Jänisjärvi, Kontiomäki, Matkäselkä, Sortavala

21 december
Hanko, Helsinki, Lahti, Riihimäki, Tampere, Turku

22 december
Hanko, Pori, Rauma

23 december
Kotka, Turku

24 december ?

25 december
Antrea, Hanko, Helsinki, Ilomantsi, Lahti, Pori, Porvoo, Tampere, Turku

26 december
Elisenvaara, Kotka, Tampere, Turku

27 december
Kontiomäki, Lahti, Tampere, Turku

28 december ??

29 december
Antrea, Jyväskylä, Keuruu, Kuhmo, Käkisalmi, Lahti, Turku, Vaasa

30 december ??

31 december
Jyväskylä, Nurmijärvi, Tampere, Turku, Vaasa


Please, can anyone add target locations WITH dates to the above table? And of course, when known - further details like number of bombs dropped (The Finns actually counted bombs and bomb-craters at that time), number of bombing aircraft and which VVS unit dropped them?

I will shortly - submit my existing ''calendars'' for January and February as well, so if anyone has details of targets/dates for those months - please Stand by!

With thanks and in anticipation,
Varjag

Mangrove
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Re: Soviet bombing of Finland 1939-1940

Post by Mangrove » 17 May 2012 14:56

I suggest you try to read Geust's books Red Stars 5 - Baltic Fleet Air Force in Winter War and Red Stars 7 - The Winter War in the Air. These contain day by day information and statistics about the bombings.

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Re: Soviet bombing of Finland 1939-1940

Post by OJJE » 17 May 2012 16:36

The village of Vaala
The first bombings of this village where carried out rather late during the war.. February 4. 1940 at 9:40 with 3 soviet bombers. Their target was the the railroad bridge and it got an direct hit from one 50-kilo bomb and was destroyed (destroyed the supporting beams). They counted 14 explosive bombs (räjähdyspommia) and the same amount of fire/Incendiary bombs (palopommeja).

February 18. 1940, the soviets made 3 sorties against the village during that day. The first at 9.35 by 9 bombers, they droped 19 explosive bombs (räjähdyspommia) and 30 fire/Incendiary bombs (palopommi). 5 buldings where destroyed. They returned at 13.42 with 8 bombers and droped 18 bombs, an hotel was hit and burned to the ground and 7 houses/buildings got damaged by shrapnel. The third attack was carried out at 14.45 by 2 bombers that droped 6 explosive bombs (räjähdyspommia) and 20 fire/Incendiary bombs (palopommi). No property damages, but 3 persons got slightly injured.

February 19. 1940 the village was attacked at 10.08 by 8 bombers that droped 24 explosive bombs (räjähdyspommia).

February 20. 1940 at 8.50, the village was bombed by 3 bombers that droped 4 explosive bombs (räjähdyspommia). No property or personal injury were reported.

The last soviet bombings of this village was carried out March 7. 1940 by 3 bombers, they droped 4 explosive bombs (räjähdyspommia). No property or personal injury were reported.

Source: Risto Väisänen - Sai meistä suojan synnyinmaa (utajärven veteraanikirja)

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Re: Soviet bombing of Finland 1939-1940

Post by OJJE » 17 May 2012 22:38

Rovaniemi

Was bombed January 31. 1940 by soviet bombers, aprox. 150 bombs were droped. One of the places that got hit was the military hospital. 7 women died (Lotta Svärd members?)

Source:
http://ww2memories.wordpress.com/2012/0 ... 31st-1940/
http://www.krigsminnen.se/militarsjukhus_rovaniemi.asp


February 1. 1940. Rovaniemi and Kemi were bombed.
February 2. 1940. Helsinki announced that at least five enemy planes were shot down in the Isthmus. Twenty places bombed in Southern Finland, including Helsinki and Sortavala.
February 3. 1940. Mass Soviet raids on Finland, the worst being at Kupio. Attack went as far west as Pori, on Bothnian coast.
February 4. 1940. Viipuri suffered severe bombing raids, with some loss of life and much material damage. Other attacks were made at Tammisaari, Turku, and Rovaniemi.
February 5. 1940. Island monastery of Valamo on Lake Ladoga bombed and set on fire.


Source:
http://ww2memories.wordpress.com/2012/0 ... -7th-1940/

varjag
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Re: Soviet bombing of Finland 1939-1940

Post by varjag » 17 May 2012 23:01

Thank you very much OJJE for detailed account of bombings of Vaala!
I only knew about the 18th & 20th of Febr., but not the 4th and 19th - nor March 3rd. The attacks 18th and 20th - and probably on the 19th as well, was by SB's of 16th SBAB based at Uhtua. Of interest to Swedes - on the 20th Ensign
Per-Johan Salwén of the Swedish volunteer air unit F 19, flying a Gloster Gladiator - shot down one SB bomber and damaged another.
According to my information, the attack on the 20th, was by six (not three) aircraft. belonging to the 3rd Eskadrily of the
16th Fast Bomber Regiment.

About damage to the Vaala railway bridge on the 4th....was it permanent (for the war) or could it be repaired before peace broke out? (It's no easy thing to knock out a railway bridge when level-bombing from the usual 2500-3000 meters altitude, which seems to have been standard russian practice)

best regards, Varjag

varjag
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Re: Soviet bombing January 1940

Post by varjag » 17 May 2012 23:15

As promised, I now submit my calendars of known dates and targets for the months of January & February 1940;

Provisional bombing calendar, Finland January 1940

1 januari
Hanko, Karjaa, Lappohja, Oulu , Tammisari, Turku

2 januari
Hanko, Karjaa, Rauma, Turku

3 januari
Hanko, Turku

4 januari
Hanko, Rauma, Turku

5 januari
Humaljoki, Koivisto, Mantsinsaari, Mikkeli , Imatra , Kouvola, Värtsilä

6 januari
Kuopio, Lahti, Mantsinsaari, Valaam, Viipuri

7 januari
Rauma, Turku, Uuras

8 januari
Rauma, Turku

9 januari
Mäntyluoto, Rauma, Tammisari, Tampere

10 januari
Pori, Ruotsinpyhtää , Tammisari

11 januari
Kirkonummi (?), Tammisari

12 januari
Karjaa, Pori, Rauma, Seinäjoki, Turku, Vaasa(?), Uusikaupunki

13 januari
Helsinki, Hämenlinna, Koivisto, Lahti, Karjaa, Kemijärvi, Sortavala, Tampere, Turku, Ylijärvi

14 januari
Helsinki (sista angreppet), Viipuri, Vaasa, Rauma, Sottunga, Hanko, Karjaa, Salo, Tammisari, Loppi, Riihimäki, Tampere, Uusikaupunki, Kemi, Nautsi, Luleå (Kallaxön, Sweden!), Turku

15 januari
Viipuri, Riihimäki, Kaajani, Rauma, Tampere, Turku


16 januari
Tampere


17 januari
Tammisari, Turku, Hanko, Husö (Åland), Lappenranta, Koivisto,, Tampere, Ylistaro


18 januari
Kotka, Läskelä, Nautsi


19 januari
Hyvinkää, Rauma, Riihimäki, Säiniö, Tammisari, Turku

20 januari
Lahti, Turku, Tampere, Kouvola, Koivisto, Haapamäki, Mäntää, Mäntyluoto, Porvo, Vaala(?), Mariehamn (Åland)?, Rauma, Tammisari, Valaam

21 januari
Lappenranta, Oulu, Turku, Valaam

22 januari
Rauma, Riistasaari, Sortavala, Ivalo, Valaam


23 januari
Nurmes

24 januari Eckerö, (Åland - angrepp mot grundstötta tyska fartyget AEGIR)

25 januari ?

26 januari
Ivalo, Kuusamo, Savukoski, Riihimäki, Sotkamu

27 januari ?

28 januari
Kotka, Loviisa, Hanko, Rauma, Johannes, Eckerö, (Åland förnyat angrepp tyska fartyget AEGIR )

29 januari
Turku, Tampere

30 januari ?

31 januari
Rovaniemi, Turku,


Without dates, I am aware of bombing of the following targets during January and February??

Herttuala, Hyrynsalmi, Lahdenpohja, Pisto, Puolanka, Salmijärvi, Taivalkoski


Varjag

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Re: Soviet bombing February 1940

Post by varjag » 17 May 2012 23:21

Provisional bombing calendar, Finland February 1940

1 februari
Hanko, Haparainen, Hamina, Imatra, Karjaa, Loviisa, Porvoo, Rovaniemi, Tammisari, Konevitsa

2 februari
Hanko, Kemijärvi, Konevitsa, Kuopio, Lahdenpohja, Mäntyluoto, Pori, Rauma, Sortavala, Valaam

3 februari
Jyväskylä, Kemijärvi, Kuopio, Lahdenpohja, Loviisa, Mäntyluoto, Ristasaari, Seinäjoki, Turku,
Valaam, Viipuri

4 februari
Ivalo, Kemi, Kemijärvi, Lahdenpohja, Mäntyluoto, Rauma

5 februari
Kaskinen, Turku

6 februari
Mäntyluoto, Turku

7 februari
Kajaani, Mäntyluoto

8 februari
Lahdenpohja

9 februari
Hanko (‘’and other ports in Southwest Finland’’?)

10 februari
Viipuri

11 februari ??

12 februari ??

13 februari
Heinola, Lahti, Porvoo, Viipuri

14 februari
Hamina

15 februari
Antrea, Elisenvaara, Imatra, Jakkima, Lappenranta, Riihimäki

16 februari ??

17 februari
Antrea, Hanko, Heinjoki, Isalmi, Kouvola, Lappohja, Mäntyluoto, Rauma, Reposaari, Tampere, Turku, Vuokseniska, Viipuri, Ylistaro



18 februari
Hamina, Inkeroinen, Inkoo, Karjaa, Kouvola, Kuhmo, Käkisalmi, Lahti, Lappenranta, Louhi, Mäntyluoto, Nurmi, Rauma, Reposaari, Vaala, Virkkala, Viipuri


19 februari
Antrea, Jänisjärvi, Kouvola, Käkisalmi, Lappenranta, Riihimäki, Simola, Turku, Uuras, Valaam

20 februari
Haapamäki, Hanko, Heinjoki, Jänisjärvi, Korpüo, Kouvola, Kuhmo, Mikkeli, Rauma, Vaala

21 februari
Antrea, Lappenranta, Loviisa, (Pajala, in Sweden), Viipuri

22 februari ??

23 februari
Elisenvaara

24 februari
Kemijärvi

25 februari ??

26 februari
Hanko, Kouvola, Lahti, Lappenranta, Rajamäki, Riihimäki, Turku

27 februari ??

28 februari
Antrea, Uuras

29 februari
Antrea, Elisenvaara, Haapamäki, Kouvola, Kuhmo, Savonlinna, Turku


Regards, Varjag

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Re: Soviet bombing of Finland 1939-1940

Post by OJJE » 18 May 2012 00:28

Rakennusmestari Kalle Kauto tells that the repair work on the important brigde began immediately after the bombing. Military engineers (they also had an repair train containing all of the tools) and also got help from specially trained members of the VR's workshop in Oulu to help speed up the repairs, and the brigde was repaird and reinforced within a couple of days, its seems they replaced the destryed support beams. The repair work was done in temperatures of -30 c. It does not seem that the bridge got any hits after the initial bombing.

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Re: Soviet bombing of Finland 1939-1940

Post by Mangrove » 18 May 2012 03:51

varjag wrote: About damage to the Vaala railway bridge on the 4th....was it permanent (for the war) or could it be repaired before peace broke out?
Päämaja's rautatietietoimisto's ("Railway Office") war diary contains detailed records of damage caused to railways due of Soviet bombings. According to it the lower beam of the bridge at Vaala was hit on the 4th of February 1940 and the railway traffic was cut until the 9th of February.

http://digi.narc.fi/digi/view.ka?kuid=1677917

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Re: Soviet bombing of Finland 1939-1940

Post by varjag » 18 May 2012 05:19

Martti Kujansuu wrote:
varjag wrote: About damage to the Vaala railway bridge on the 4th....was it permanent (for the war) or could it be repaired before peace broke out?
Päämaja's rautatietietoimisto's ("Railway Office") war diary contains detailed records of damage caused to railways due of Soviet bombings. According to it the lower beam of the bridge at Vaala was hit on the 4th of February 1940 and the railway traffic was cut until the 9th of February.

http://digi.narc.fi/digi/view.ka?kuid=1677917
Mucho Kiitos Martti for that link! A wonderful source for what I am trying to do. And - adding place names to my folders and plotting map. Unfortunately some locations, like Raykonkoski, are j u s t outside the 1:1 000 000 map of the ''postwar Finland'' which sadly ends abt. 31degrees 35 minutes East on the latitude north of Ladoga.....

I did buy Red Stars 7 at Christmas time, which is responsible for my reawakened interest in the subject. I began it in 2002 - but gave up after a year or so. Unfortunately R/S 7 is far from complete in the details. And requires a lot of puzzle-work to extract the information from it.

Best regards, Varjag

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Re: Soviet bombing of Finland 1939-1940

Post by OJJE » 18 May 2012 12:11

Martti Kujansuu wrote:
varjag wrote: About damage to the Vaala railway bridge on the 4th....was it permanent (for the war) or could it be repaired before peace broke out?
Päämaja's rautatietietoimisto's ("Railway Office") war diary contains detailed records of damage caused to railways due of Soviet bombings. According to it the lower beam of the bridge at Vaala was hit on the 4th of February 1940 and the railway traffic was cut until the 9th of February.

http://digi.narc.fi/digi/view.ka?kuid=1677917
Nice! :D

varjag
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Re: Soviet bombing of Finland 1939-1940

Post by varjag » 19 May 2012 03:46

@ Martti Kujansuu......

When perusing the excellent ''Railway War Diary'' - but sadly not in cómmand of the Finnish language - I find similar texts that appear to refer to air-raids for instance;

''1 raide vioittu''

''1 raide poikki 2asuntokasarmia ja 4 ulkhuonerakennusta palanut 4. vaunua vaurioitunut''

''3 vaihdetta ja 2 raidetta vaurioitui Maaskolan ratapihalla'' (Viipuri 3/2/40)

or - try read entry for Seinäjoki on same day 3/2/40 - ''3 raidetta poikki.....etc

Could U find the time to translate these for me - please?

Google translate, is not much help with poikki, raidetta etc. :roll:

best regards, Varjag

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Re: Soviet bombing of Finland 1939-1940

Post by Seppo Koivisto » 19 May 2012 08:27

varjag wrote: ''1 raide vioittu''
1 track damaged

''1 raide poikki 2asuntokasarmia ja 4 ulkhuonerakennusta palanut 4. vaunua vaurioitunut''
1 track cut, 2 living blocks and 4 outhouses burned, 4 railway carriages damaged

''3 vaihdetta ja 2 raidetta vaurioitui Maaskolan ratapihalla'' (Viipuri 3/2/40)
3 switches and 2 tracks damaged at Maaskola railway yard
raide = raidetta (pl.) = railway track
vaihde = vaihdetta (pl.) = railway switch

varjag
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Re: Soviet bombing of Finland 1939-1940

Post by varjag » 19 May 2012 10:27

Thank you very much Seppo Koivisto!

So, we are dealing strictly with damage reports from station-masters - irrespective of how caused. (With hundreds of soviet planes buzzing about the sky - the ''cause'' is sort of easy to guess.... :) )

I think I got ''the hang of it'' ......

The key-words - track, switch, damaged/cut, burned, railway-carriages, - will be helpful.

Regards from the Antipodes, Varjag
Seppo Koivisto wrote:
varjag wrote: ''1 raide vioittu''
1 track damaged

''1 raide poikki 2asuntokasarmia ja 4 ulkhuonerakennusta palanut 4. vaunua vaurioitunut''
1 track cut, 2 living blocks and 4 outhouses burned, 4 railway carriages damaged

''3 vaihdetta ja 2 raidetta vaurioitui Maaskolan ratapihalla'' (Viipuri 3/2/40)
3 switches and 2 tracks damaged at Maaskola railway yard
raide = raidetta (pl.) = railway track
vaihde = vaihdetta (pl.) = railway switch

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Juha Tompuri
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Re: Soviet bombing of Finland 1939-1940

Post by Juha Tompuri » 20 May 2012 18:16

Hi Varjag!
varjag wrote:Hi all! I am seeking your assistance to establish a more complete picture of the Soviet bombing campaign against Finland during the Winter War. ''The statistics'' - say that some 650-670 finnish locations, cities, towns, villages - were bombed.
Probably some of those - were tactical targets in the immediate vicinity of the front-lines? Which are not my prime interest. Rather, I want to know about those targets that were attacked - behind - the front lines, in what we may call ''strategic bombing''.
The Soviet bombings can also be divided to two different types:
-The "strategic", intentional ones, where the bombers released their loads at the targets they were sent at
-The ones where the bombers got lost and dropped their bombs at "wrong" targets + the ones where the bombers emptied their load in order to get away from the approaching Finnish fighters.

Regards, Juha

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