Finnish train being strafed

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CF Geust
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Finnish train being strafed

Post by CF Geust » 06 Jan 2014 20:20

Splitted from http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 2&start=30

/Juha

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The attached photo of a Finnish train being strafed 20 June 1944 by a Airacobra- pair of 773 IAP was recently published in a Russian journal (Arsenal-Kollektsiya Nr. 6/2013). According to the caption the train was Finnish Anti-Aircraft Train No.1, which is apoparently not the case. Can someone identify the train and the location (should be in Aunus/Olonets, relatively near River Svir)?
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Juha Tompuri
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Re: Finnish train being strafed

Post by Juha Tompuri » 06 Jan 2014 22:57

AFAIK the landscape at southern Olonets Isthmus might be more flat?
The one at the photo looks more northern.
Reminds me Harlu, but is it too far North?

Regards, Juha

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Juha Tompuri
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Re: Finnish train being strafed

Post by Juha Tompuri » 06 Jan 2014 23:46

Harlu/Leppäkoski:
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Mangrove
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Re: Finnish train being strafed

Post by Mangrove » 07 Jan 2014 08:30

Juha Tompuri wrote:Harlu/Leppäkoski:
Link to a map on karjalankartat.fi

From an after-action report posted by 2. Rautatieilmatorjuntakonekiväärikomppania and dated 21 July 1944:
The [pair of] Airacobras came from the north flying at c. 500 meters. They strafed the repair train several times with machine guns and cannons. The "Git"-railcar opened fire. Soon a IL-2 appeared and dropped on two different occasions over 100 small cluster bombs, which hit c. 30 meters from the train. The IL-2 also strafed the train with cannons. The locomotive caught on fire, but was soon extinguished. [...]

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Re: Finnish train being strafed

Post by JTV » 07 Jan 2014 09:11

Mangrove wrote: The [pair of] Airacobras came from the north flying at c. 500 meters. They strafed the repair train several times with machine guns and cannons. The "Git"-railcar opened fire. Soon a IL-2 appeared and dropped on two different occasions over 100 small cluster bombs, which hit c. 30 meters from the train. The IL-2 also strafed the train with cannons. The locomotive caught on fire, but was soon extinguished. [...]
Excellent find. "Git" and "Gbit" type railcars were normal boxcars which for anti-aircraft purposes were equipped with anti-aircraft weapons installed to hole made in roof of the boxcar. Typical anti-aircraft weapons used for the purpose were 7.62-mm machineguns and 20-mm Madsen automatic cannons. During Continuation War railway anti-aircraft machinegun companies were operating these improvised anti-aircraft railcars, which were usually attached to normal trains to give them some defensive capability against strafing aircraft.

Jarkko

Gbit railcar equipped with 20-mm Madsen anti-aircraft gun. SA-kuva photo archive, photo number 84672.
Image

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Re: Finnish train being strafed

Post by CF Geust » 07 Jan 2014 14:36

Thanks to Juha, Mangrove and JTV for quick and relevant answers! Harlu and 21 July 1944 seem to fit 100 %, as 773 IAP moved to Vitele at the shore of Lake Ladoga from Novinka (south of River Svir) between 10 and 20 July 1944!

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Re: Finnish train being strafed

Post by BarSeek » 07 Jan 2014 15:16

CF Geust wrote:The attached photo of a Finnish train being strafed 20 June 1944 by a Airacobra- pair of 773 IAP was recently published in a Russian journal (Arsenal-Kollektsiya Nr. 6/2013). According to the caption the train was Finnish Anti-Aircraft Train No.1, which is apoparently not the case. Can someone identify the train and the location (should be in Aunus/Olonets, relatively near River Svir)?
Owners of that photo contacted me two years ago asking to identify place and time. Back side of the photo contains handwritten message of the pilot to his family. He wrote that "you can see headquarter train with armoured platforms" but there were no date or place identifiers. The place was definitely a branch railway of Leppäkoski paper plant in Harlu but we were unable to idetify the time when that photo was made and the train in question. Owners of the photo were unsure if the train on photo is actually armoured train. It could not be Anti-Aircraft Train No.1 or Railway Battery No.2 as their movement was well documented. So I don't know how they later identified it as Anti-Aircraft Train No.1 on 20 June 1944.

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Re: Finnish train being strafed

Post by Juha Tompuri » 09 Jan 2014 19:26

Another case at Harlu:
A Finnish train mentioned to have been bombed by Soviet ground attack planes 6th August 1944 at Harlu station.
The locomotive disengaging burning railcars.

Image
SA-photo 162648 http://sa-kuva.fi

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Juha Tompuri
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Re: Finnish train being strafed

Post by Juha Tompuri » 09 Jan 2014 19:40

And another one.
Ammunition train is mentioned to be burning at Harlu 22th July 1944 after Soviet aerial bombing:

SA-photo 159931 http://sa-kuva.fi/
Image

Repair train? (115/44)

Regards, Juha
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Re: Finnish train being strafed

Post by BarSeek » 10 Jan 2014 17:41

Juha Tompuri wrote:And another one.
Ammunition train is mentioned to be burning at Harlu 22th July 1944 after Soviet aerial bombing:
SA-photo 159931 http://sa-kuva.fi/
Repair train? (115/44)
July 22nd, 1944 the repair (maintenance) train was reported as having been strafed in three different places - at Harlu railway station (your link), in Hämekoski (see 19.25) and in Louhikoski (?) (see 18.30). Though I have never heard of any branch railways in Louhikoski. Since they all mention two-round attack it must be the same case.

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Re: Finnish train being strafed

Post by BarSeek » 12 Jan 2014 14:36

Photo in question (rotated)
train-rotated.jpg
SA-photo 133885 (July 1943)
SA133885.jpg
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BarSeek
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Re: Finnish train being strafed

Post by BarSeek » 12 Jan 2014 15:28

Road bridge over railway in Harlu (July 1941). Leppäkoski branch railway starts from the switch on foreground. The railcars are on the branch leading to Leppäkoski, main railroad leads to the right. (Explosive charges on the top of bridge supports ?)
SA30244.jpg
Same bridge nowadays (May 2013)
Harlu-bridge.jpg
View from the bridge (2009). Here was a huge timber storage area in Soviet ages so the wide leveled surface probably was made after the war. The Finns received timber by waterway and the Soviets received timber by railway. The plant was stopped in the end of 80's and now is ruined.
Harlu-plant.jpg
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Re: Finnish train being strafed

Post by Mangrove » 14 Feb 2014 16:45

BarSeek wrote:Owners of the photo were unsure if the train on photo is actually armoured train. It could not be Anti-Aircraft Train No.1 or Railway Battery No.2 as their movement was well documented. So I don't know how they later identified it as Anti-Aircraft Train No.1 on 20 June 1944.
The summaries by Päämaja tell the damaged locomotive was N:o 835, belonging to the 4.RKorj.K ("4th Railroad Repair Company"). The "835" was a Finnish class Tk3 locomotive manufactured in 1927 or 1928.
Juha Tompuri wrote:A Finnish train mentioned to have been bombed by Soviet ground attack planes 6th August 1944 at Harlu station.
There were no attacks against the Harlu Station on 6 August 1944. This must be from the 4 o'clock attack on 22 July. Here is another example of a photograph where the marked date is probably the date when the photograph was developed and cataloged.

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Re: Finnish train being strafed

Post by BarSeek » 15 Feb 2014 21:52

Mangrove wrote:There were no attacks against the Harlu Station on 6 August 1944. This must be from the 4 o'clock attack on 22 July. Here is another example of a photograph where the marked date is probably the date when the photograph was developed and cataloged.
The date 06.08.44 was doubtful for me too as I could not find any records of bombing. But these must be different trains at photos or repair train changed its position 22.7.44. The train from Soviet aerial photo is on Leppäkoski railway branch. The train from SA-photo 162648 dated 6.8.44 is on Harlu railway station. See also SA photo 133879 of Harlu railway station taken in 1943.
Harlu_rws.jpg
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Re: Finnish train being strafed

Post by Mangrove » 16 Feb 2014 09:10

BarSeek wrote:But these must be different trains at photos or repair train changed its position 22.7.44
The two attacks took place in the factory side track on 22 July, according to the summaries I quoted before and a map drawn of the attack. The train strafed was 22.Korj.J ("22nd Repair Train"). The unit suffered altogether 3 KIA, 4 WIA and lost 5 carriages on that day. They also lost their whole archive, including their war diaries, in the fire.

It seems to me that the photograph n:o 162648 would have been shot from N-S direction, near the tree line and across the field, and not NE-SW as you suggest.

MAP: The 4 o'clock attack on 22 July 1944.
SOURCE: T 9078/15.

Image

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