Vodla River raid March 1942

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Mangrove
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Vodla River raid March 1942

Post by Mangrove » 28 Oct 2012 15:37

Spitted from http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 5#p1744775

/Juha

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igor_verh wrote: For example - cruelty of Soviet soldiers during the destruction of the Finnish sabotage detachment near the island Vasilisin (east coast of Onego Lake) at March 1942. 1st Partisan Brigade took part in that events. According to the recollections of partisans, they try to not captured finnish saboteurs alive. After battle frozen bodies of KIA finns were brought to their feet and at next day shot by finnish planes - pilots accepted them for partisans.
The "long-range patrol Enklund" operated from 8 March 1942 onwards. Their task was to destroy the boats trapped on ice on the mouth of the Vodla River. They lost three men to the mines at the beginning of the raid but captured a courier bringing tobacco to 600 men strong partisan detachment. Their approach was observed and the raid was not thus successful. The patrol managed to burn few boats and houses. They retreated towards the island Vasilisin and signaled for assistance as the other part of the patrol was suppose to take the island and wait for the main part to arrive there. For some reason the Soviets had used the right signal to replay and were able to ambush the Finns approaching the island. The Finns lost at least 8 KIA, while the estimated the Soviet losses to 8 KIA out of some 100 men stationed on the island.

At the end the patrol lost 46 % of its initial strength as KIA, WIA & MIA. Lentorykmentti 2 was supposed to provide air cover for the operation but it seems the bad weather cancelled the planned flights. I could not find any information about strafing flights on those days.

http://digi.narc.fi/digi/view.ka?kuid=3546947 (Patrol report)

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Re: Vodla River raid March 1942

Post by Juha Tompuri » 30 Oct 2012 21:25

Thanks for digging up that report.
The Finns lost at least 8 KIA, while the estimated the Soviet losses to 8 KIA out of some 100 men stationed on the island.

At the end the patrol lost 46 % of its initial strength as KIA, WIA & MIA.
According to the report pages 10 & 13 the estimated Soviet losses at the Vasilisin island were (at least) 15 KIA and the Finnish total losses (KIA & MIA) at the island were estimated as 10-20 men

Finnish total losses at the raid were, as mentioned, very high, out of the original strength of 94 men 23 got KIA, 16 MIA and 4 WIA.

Regards, Juha

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Re: Vodla River raid March 1942

Post by Mangrove » 31 Oct 2012 08:50

After the failed raid, Lentorykmentti 4 and parts of Lentorykmentti 2 were given order to bomb the same ships before they were moved away from the mouth of the river. The rest of the targets were two lumber yards and other buildings at the shore. The bombings took place on 9 May 1942; Lentolaivue 42 and 44 bombed the target once in the morning and Lentolaivue 46 once in the morning and again in the afternoon. Lentolaivue 16 also bombed the targets twice. The bomber regiment scored multiple hits both to the yard and the ships. The yards were regarded as completely destroyed. Lentorykmentti 4 dropped total of 29 796 kg of bombs and Lentolaivue 16 total of 2555 kg.

http://digi.narc.fi/digi/view.ka?kuid=2919036 - Order
http://digi.narc.fi/digi/view.ka?kuid=2919038 - Aerial photographs
http://digi.narc.fi/digi/view.ka?kuid=2918444 - Lentolaivue 42's mission report
http://digi.narc.fi/digi/view.ka?kuid=2918459 - Lentolaivue 44's mission report
http://digi.narc.fi/digi/view.ka?kuid=2918465 - Lentolaivue 46's mission report
http://digi.narc.fi/digi/view.ka?kuid=4447465 - Lentolaivue 16's mission report summary

Some of the target ships with target designation for 1st and 3rd Flights of Lentolaivue 46(?).

Image

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Re: Vodla River raid March 1942

Post by igor_verh » 31 Oct 2012 11:37

As usual, Soviet version have a few differences. According soviet sources, command of Medvezhyegorsk Army group had information about a possible sabotage at 5 March. So at that day 1st Partisan brigade obtain an order to take positions near Vodla river. Finnish squad also was seen by Nikolaev's recon platoon, which was at 7-8 March in Big Klimenitskiy Island area. But only 9 March Finnish detachment came ashore near the village Besov Nos (Бесов Нос). Brigade Commander Grigorjev sent partisan detachment #8 on Vasilisin Island in ambush. To intercept the Finnish squad Grigorjev sent 2 platoons - from detachments #3 and #6. One platoon from detachment #7 took up defensive on crossroad Semenovo-Karshevo.
At morning 10 March finnish squad came to Vodla river and divided into 2 groups. Smaller group (15 saboteurs) penetrated on Shala's timber factory territory, were ambushed by partisans from detachment #6 and was completely destroyed.
Main group came under fire of heavy machine gun on Vodla river and retreated to the west. Grigorjev sent detachment #3 and #4 on persecution. They had an order - pressed finns to Vasilisin island. So they did it well. Partisans from detachment #8 let enemy came to short distance and opened fire. Most part of finnish saboteurs was KIA. 3 of them were captured. Total finnish losses in fight with partisans - 48 KIA, else 20 were KIA or captured by frontier guards, which also took part in the operation. From book "History of 1st Partisan Brigade of Karelian front".
From telegram of 1st Partisan brigade command:
"...Kalinin's detachment,which was sent in ambush on Vasilisin Island, completly destroyed finnish main group, which appeared on the lake near Vodla river. As a result of battle by partisans killed 40 finnish soldiers, 3 finns captured and taken to the headquarters, captured 20 smg, 8 rifles, 10 carbines, large quantity of ammunition, valuable documents. From the main group of Finns could leave 7 men, our losses - 1 KIA, 3 WIA. Wounded were taken to the brigade's location. Harassment continues"
From memories of partisan Boris Voronov, kommisar Aristov's orderly:
"Saboteurs set fire to a barge at the mouth Vodla, had something to undermine on the timber factory, but we drove them into the lake. According to the plan squad had to pressed finns to the island Vasilisin where was the ambush.
A partisan group accompanied Finns from left side, another one from the right. Behind Ivan Grigorjev and his orderly Vasya Makarikhin rode on a sleigh pulled by a horse, and with a heavy machine gun. Finns will dodge left, opened fire on them, and they are returning to the course necessary to us. Begin to turn to the right, again their "Align" with machine guns.
Then our planes swooped and helped. And finns came to the island Vasilisin. At that time I was on the island. We met them here, of course, gave them all ... completely crashed them. Two or three, I do not remember now, were captured. I remember how during capture young Finn ran and shouted: "I am a communist, I'm a communist ..."
Then our guys set finnish corpses on ski poles, they frozen at night and in the morning the Finnish planes swooped down and they started strafing with machine guns at the bodies of their own men! May be, thought that partisans pursue their detachment.
After this raid Finns didn't came to us with such units in a hundred people for sabotage. Had a lesson. It was a good lesson also for their brazen sabotage in Petrovskiy Yam, on the banks of Vygozero. It is known that there the night of 11 to 12 February 1942, the same finnish sabotage detachment attacked our hospital, burned it and shot the medical staff and wounded soldiers."
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Re: Vodla River raid March 1942

Post by Art » 31 Oct 2012 15:06

That is a Karelian Front OT's version of the event:
Image
Image
According to the report Finns left 51 corpses and 10 prisoners, 40 machine-pistols and 16 rifles. Partisans, the 185 Border Battalion and the 80 Border Regiment took part in actions from the Soviet side.

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Re: Vodla River raid March 1942

Post by Juha Tompuri » 31 Oct 2012 19:39

Thank you very much for the information, guys.

Some info about the Finnish Gloster Gladiators strafing runs to the scene:
On 2 May, 1/LLv 16 flew a routine ice reconnaissance to Lake Onega:

“At 12:25-13:55, GL-276 lentomestari Törhönen and GL-253 vänrikki Paakkanen, altitude 800-50m. Route Äänislinna-Olkova-Tsornajajoki-Semenova-Limosaari-Äänislinna. At 12:55 Olikova, river Andoma free of ice and the barges still in their winter storage locations. At 13:20 Terebovskaja, river Vodla free of ice, except thin ice 100m from the mouth. At 13:45 Lake Onega, the whole lake covered with ice, open cracks.”
On 3 May, LLv 16 was made subordinate to Lentorykmentti 2 (2 Flying Regiment) and was renamed to LeLv 16. The Gladiator Flight was assigned the task of reconnaissance in the northern parts of Lake Ääninen (Onega) and in the areas of it.

When the aerial reconnaissance had discovered that several barges had passed the winter at the mouths of Vodla and Andoma Rivers running into Lake Onega, the task to destroy these was given to LeR 4 and LeR 2in addition to the saw mill at Vodla River.
The target for LeR 2 became the barges at the mouth of Vodla River and it commenced the operation on 9 May, five minutes before the Blenheims of LeR 4. Four Fokker C.Xs of 3/LeLv 16 bombed the village and the barges at the mouth of the river. Right after this, six Gladiators of 1/LeLv 16 strafed the target area. LeLv 16 based at Äänislinna repeated the attack with the same units being the last over the target. The mission report from 3/LeLv 16 reported:

“FK-78 kapteeni Saxell and kersantti Koski, FK-94 lentomestari Rantala and luutnantti Kahla, FK-109 kersantti Sarin and kersantti Määttänen and FK-85 kersantti Komonen and vänrikki Astala. At 11:30 altitude 700m bombed 7x100kg, 16x15kg incendiaries and 14x12.5kg.
Hits: West end of target N:o 4, one 100kg one meter from a motor barge and another 100kg about 30m from third barge counting from the west end. All other bombs hit the village of Ustjenkylä. One house in the caught fire. The motor barge at the village shore was sunk due to the previous bombardment.”
The mission report of 1/LeLv 16 reported:
“GL-276 luutnantti Strömberg, GL-253 vänrikki Malmberg, GL-264 vänrikki Maunula, GL-265 vänrikki Timonen, GL-252 vänrikki Paakkanen and GL-275 lentomestari Törhönen. At 11:50 altitude 300-100m. Ustjenkylä village strafed, also the board yard and buildings. At the saw mill about 20 men were strafed. Also on north shore of Vodla River a group of men in the forest. After the bombing 31 intact barges upstream the mouth of Vodla River.”
http://surfcity.kund.dalnet.se/gladiator_finland.htm
Art wrote:According to the report Finns left 51 corpses and 10 prisoners, 40 machine-pistols and 16 rifles. Partisans, the 185 Border Battalion and the 80 Border Regiment took part in actions from the Soviet side.
According to another report the figures seem to have been a little bit different.:
65 KIA (of which 3 officers ?) and15 POW Finns
Captured 23 submachine guns and one machine gun

Sorry for the poor online translation:
CF 856
Message of the NKVD of the USSR zčov 374/b in T-BILLS on
Elimination of guerrillas Pudožskoj Brigade
The NKVD of Karelian-Finnish SSR armed
Otrada Finnish
March 4, 1942!
Soobšen Groove of NKVD of Karelian-Finnish SSR, 9 March at the vosgočnyi coast Onežskoû Lakes and the area ust′l r. Volzy and p. besov Nos Puložskogo district of Karelo-Finskoi SSR prorvalsi lvumi ogršg Finnish groups of BB.
Discission of posterior capsule tracing and gikvilaiii Otrada Finnish partisans were Puložskoj brigad′g by the NKVD and a battalion of border guards.
! b March olive Finnish group was discovered by p raioie p Sapa 190 km east of Petrozavodsk. and destroyed by the guerrillas.
Vtorav group nagopknulas′ on the Finnish border guards ambushed and battles went to the island of Vasilisin, where was the uni gtožsna partisans.
Only God destroyed our 65, 3 ofnpsra, and captured 15 Finnish.
3ahva * spce. among which 23 avtomša and 1 machine gun
1. General lostanlsny in Pulož.
Interrogation of prisoners produces rajogdslenie 1! DERMATOVENEROLOGIC DISPENSARY
The loss of the partisans: g′pgn ubig and three wounded.
People's Commissar of Internal Affairs of the USSR
Beryl
TSA Federal Security Service Of Russia
http://www.e-reading.org.ua/djvureader. ... kn._1.html

Why/what for the difference?

Regards, Juha
Last edited by Juha Tompuri on 01 Nov 2012 11:21, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: adding info

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Re: Vodla River raid March 1942

Post by Juha Tompuri » 31 Oct 2012 19:55

Thank you very much Igor, interesting information.

Image

Is the Island Vasilisi at your map too close to the East coast of Lake Onego?
This map (from Finnish book Jatkosodan Historia 6) locates the island more West:
Image

Regards, Juha

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Re: Vodla River raid March 1942

Post by Juha Tompuri » 31 Oct 2012 22:10

At Niilo Lappalainen book ÄÄnisen Rannoilla (at the shores of Lake Onego) there is also some information about the raid.
Here some:
igor_verh wrote:As usual, Soviet version have a few differences. According soviet sources, command of Medvezhyegorsk Army group had information about a possible sabotage at 5 March. So at that day 1st Partisan brigade obtain an order to take positions near Vodla river. Finnish squad also was seen by Nikolaev's recon platoon, which was at 7-8 March in Big Klimenitskiy Island area.
The book mentions that among the local (Island Klimetski) civilian population there were Soviet informers, that sent info about the coming raid to the Soviet side.
igor_verh wrote:But only 9 March Finnish detachment came ashore near the village Besov Nos (Бесов Нос).
Lappalainen mentions the place being between Besov Nos and the mouth of River Vodla (at a wrong place - 6-7 km too much South) because of orientation mistakes.

igor_verh wrote:At morning 10 March finnish squad came to Vodla river and divided into 2 groups. Smaller group (15 saboteurs) penetrated on Shala's timber factory territory, were ambushed by partisans from detachment #6 and was completely destroyed.
Because of the orientation mistakes and because of that the original larger attack plan had to be dropped, and only two targets were to be attacked:
I platoon, led by Ltn Supinen against the vessels (barges) at the Vodla River
II & III platoons led by Cornet Hirvi-Kunnas against the accommodation quarters at Šalski (Shala?)

Ltn Supinen and seven of his men got ( most probably )killed there, three managed to get away. At least one of the three, Corporal Leitto was takes as POW, and returned to home after the war.
Three barges were mentioned to have been set alight and one machine gun captured, but lost later.

II and III Platoons managed to fulfill their task without any casualties. during the "less than one hour" combat 5-6 buildings were reported to have been set on fire.

igor_verh wrote:Main group came under fire of heavy machine gun on Vodla river and retreated to the west. Grigorjev sent detachment #3 and #4 on persecution. They had an order - pressed finns to Vasilisin island. So they did it well.
As mentioned by Martti earlier, the original Finnish plan was to capture the Vasilisi Island with another unit and so secure the Englund unit way back home.
igor_verh wrote:Partisans from detachment #8 let enemy came to short distance and opened fire. Most part of finnish saboteurs was KIA. 3 of them were captured.
Lappalainen estimates that about 15-20 Finns got killed there.
Privates (dragoons) Petman and Selin and private 1st class Back were taken as POW there. Back told to Petman that the Soviet had shot the wounded Ltn Englund.
Petman was interrogated and offered a job as a Soviet spy. He accepted the offer and 15th March he was sent to Finland, but when arriving the Finnish lines he revealed himself and told how he got away from the Soviet captivity.

Finnish translated interrogation report dated 11th March 1942 of Petman from the Karelian security service archives.
The report was made by the 1st Partisan Brigde IV detachment deputy commander Pimenev with translator Anna Romanovna Leontjeva:
http://www.klubi.biz/sotavangit/perus2.php?id=106
igor_verh wrote: Total finnish losses in fight with partisans - 48 KIA, else 20 were KIA or captured by frontier guards, which also took part in the operation. From book "History of 1st Partisan Brigade of Karelian front".
According to the Finnish side 39 men did not return from the raid (one, Petman returned later) = ( 35 KIA and 4 POW -Petman that got away ?)
igor_verh wrote: From telegram of 1st Partisan brigade command:
"...Kalinin's detachment,which was sent in ambush on Vasilisin Island, completly destroyed finnish main group, which appeared on the lake near Vodla river. As a result of battle by partisans killed 40 finnish soldiers, 3 finns captured and taken to the headquarters, captured 20 smg, 8 rifles, 10 carbines, large quantity of ammunition, valuable documents. From the main group of Finns could leave 7 men, our losses - 1 KIA, 3 WIA. Wounded were taken to the brigade's location. Harassment continues"
As above

igor_verh wrote: From memories of partisan Boris Voronov, kommisar Aristov's orderly:
"Saboteurs set fire to a barge at the mouth Vodla, had something to undermine on the timber factory, but we drove them into the lake. According to the plan squad had to pressed finns to the island Vasilisin where was the ambush.
A partisan group accompanied Finns from left side, another one from the right. Behind Ivan Grigorjev and his orderly Vasya Makarikhin rode on a sleigh pulled by a horse, and with a heavy machine gun. Finns will dodge left, opened fire on them, and they are returning to the course necessary to us. Begin to turn to the right, again their "Align" with machine guns.
Finnish reports also mention the Soviet sleigh mounted machine guns chasing them, but affecting no casualties.

igor_verh wrote: Then our planes swooped and helped.
Finnish reports do not mention any Soviet aircraft, but Lappalainen book mentions that because of Soviet aerosans, three Finns escaped to Island Kurdilo, and were never heard again.

Regards, Juha
Last edited by Juha Tompuri on 02 Nov 2012 20:43, edited 2 times in total.
Reason: adding info & correcting typos

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Re: Vodla River raid March 1942

Post by Art » 01 Nov 2012 18:49

Juha Tompuri wrote: Why/what for the difference?
Different people made a counting. Interesting that a partisans' report makes only a passing mention of border units, the same about partisans in the report of OT NKVD.

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Re: Vodla River raid March 1942

Post by Juha Tompuri » 02 Nov 2012 20:53

Art wrote:
Juha Tompuri wrote: Why/what for the difference?
Different people made a counting.
Not only counting, but also multiplying the numbers.

Regards, Juha

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Re: Vodla River raid March 1942

Post by Juha Tompuri » 03 Nov 2012 20:13

Juha Tompuri wrote: Not only counting, but also multiplying the numbers.
Interesting is that even quite recently there are published books in Russia that still trust/use the Soviet era propaganda numbers.
AFAIK like

Image http://www.rummuseum.ru/lib_g/lesna04voyna.php
and
Image http://cwer.ws/node/247759/
According to the Finnish language version of the Stepakov book (Partisaaneja, desantteja, sissejä rintaman molemmilla puolilla) there is a mention that the pistol of the leader of the Finnish Vodla River raid leader (not Colonel Toivonen, as mentioned at the book but) Ltn Erkki Englund was later given to Party and military leader Major-General Kuprijanov.

Regards, Juha

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Re: Vodla River raid March 1942

Post by Art » 03 Nov 2012 20:42

The documents posted were not meant for propaganda. As for overclaim - it was a usual and trivial thing in all armies, the Finnish side in this particular case claimed 75 men killed, for example. And, yes, this piece always comes to my mind on such occasions:
It seemed we had moored close to a swan’s nest, and, soon after George and I had gone, the female swan came back, and kicked up a row about it. Harris had chivied her off, and she had gone away, and fetched up her old man. Harris said he had had quite a fight with these two swans; but courage and skill had prevailed in the end, and he had defeated them.

Half-an-hour afterwards they returned with eighteen other swans! It must have been a fearful battle, so far as we could understand Harris’s account of it. The swans had tried to drag him and Montmorency out of the boat and drown them; and he had defended himself like a hero for four hours, and had killed the lot, and they had all paddled away to die.

“How many swans did you say there were?” asked George.

“Thirty-two,” replied Harris, sleepily.

“You said eighteen just now,” said George.

“No, I didn’t,” grunted Harris; “I said twelve. Think I can’t count?”
....
We ate a hearty supper, George and I, and we should have had some toddy after it, if we could have found the whisky, but we could not. We examined Harris as to what he had done with it; but he did not seem to know what we meant by “whisky,” or what we were talking about at all. Montmorency looked as if he knew something, but said nothing.

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Re: Vodla River raid March 1942

Post by Juha Tompuri » 03 Nov 2012 20:56

Art wrote:The documents posted were not earmarked for propaganda. As for overclaim - it was a usual and trivial thing in all armies, the Finnish side in this particular case claimed 75 men killed, for example.
The difference there is is that the Finnish claims were mentioned as estimates and the Soviet ones AFAIK were mentioned as results of body count.

Also interesting is the (high)number of mentioned POW's. AFAIK only the ones I have mentioned previously could have been identified at the Soviet POW archives. If the claim of 10-15 Finnish POW's there is true, that seems to mean 6-11 more Finnish POW's not mentioned at Soviet POW archives and that did not return after the war.

Is there anywhere mentioned the names of the captured Finns there?

Rgards, Juha

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Re: Vodla River raid March 1942

Post by Juha Tompuri » 03 Nov 2012 21:06

Two during the raid fallen/MIA Finnish officers.

Cornet Teppo Hirvikunnas 2nd from right (posthumously awarded with Mannrheim Cross) who got KIA near the Island Vasilisi
Image
http://www.ww2incolor.com/finnish_force ... _No53.html

Ltn Veikko Supinen who got KIA at/near Vodla River when attacking against the Soviet barges and ships.
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Re: Vodla River raid March 1942

Post by Art » 03 Nov 2012 22:27

Juha Tompuri wrote:The difference there is is that the Finnish claims were mentioned as estimates and the Soviet ones AFAIK were mentioned as results of body count.
"Body count" in virtually all cases meant the same estimates. I don't have any info on names of POWs.

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