Finish forces defending B'erk Islands

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Andy H
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Finish forces defending B'erk Islands

Post by Andy H » 27 Apr 2003 11:09

The B'erk Islands were an important defensive posistion for the forces defending Vyborg in June'44 and controlled the Gulf of Vyborg. The Russians spent 7 days clearing this area using mainly the 260th Naval Infantry Brigade. The only info I have on the Finnish defenders is that it roughly amounted to 3000 troops.

Can anyone add any detial to the Finish OoB?

Andy

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B'erk Islands?

Post by Sami_K » 27 Apr 2003 11:49

I could help you if I only knew what the B'erk Islands are. Any chance of finding out what the Finnish name(s) is or to a map on the internet where its located etc.

Cheers,
Sami

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Antti V
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Post by Antti V » 27 Apr 2003 12:44

Yes, same here. I assume he means islands around Uuras, but that name Andy is using is new for me. Except if he means Koivisto, which Swedish name is Björkö (or something like that). B´erk and björk are quite similar words.

Here is general map of Koivisto:
http://www.luovutettukarjala.org/koivistonkart.htm

Here is map of Viipurinlahti (Bay of Vyborg). Here is 260.Mjv.Pr. which is propably the unit what Andy is looking for:
http://www.sodatkuvina.cjb.net/images/J ... nlahti.jpg

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Juha Hujanen
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Post by Juha Hujanen » 27 Apr 2003 15:30

Hmm,strange name for island but let's try to solve this mystery in anotherway.Russian 260th Naval Infantry Brigade operated in Uuraansaari,Ravansaari and on others islands in "Uuraan" sector.On 1.7.44 elements of this unit did take part to ill-fated attack to Teikarsaari.

In Uuraan sector islands were defended by URR(Dragoon Regiment of Uusimaa),which was reinforced Battalion.IR 200(-IBattalion) was in mainland.Also Jaeger Battalion 6 was in reserve.In Teikarsaari was 11th and 80th Company from Coastal Brigade and 2nd and 3rd Company from Costal Battalion 7.In Melansaari was 16th and 42nd Company from Costal Brigade.

Sorry but without the name of island i can't do better.

Cheers/Juha

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Hanski
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Post by Hanski » 27 Apr 2003 16:49

My guess is "B'erk" must be the Russian version of Björk, which in turn is the Swedish for "birch", a tree with the Finnish name "koivu". So it would be most likely that B'erk Islands would mean the Island of Koivisto.

It was quite common that Swedish rather than Finnish names for places were adopted in the Russian language. The Russian Vyborg is closer to Swedish Viborg than Finnish Viipuri, in another thread we dicussed the mysterious naval battle of Gangut (= Hangö Udd, rather than Hankoniemi), Russian troops in the Winter War were heading for Uleoborg rather than Oulu etc.

In Russian there is no such letter as "ö", so it is likely to have been replaced by the character "E", which actually is pronounced "ye". In this case, it has been transliterated "B'erk" rather than "Byerk".

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Andy H
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Post by Andy H » 27 Apr 2003 18:26

Sorry for being a bit vague over the B'erg Islands. I'm currently reading about the Russian assault on Vyborg and that the B'erg Islands or maybe Archipelago were vital for the defence of Vyborg and Vyborg Bay. It mentions the islands of Pii-sari, Tiurin-sari, Koivisto, Ruonti and Tuppuran as being part of the B'erg Islands or Archipelago.

Hope this helps clarify the situation

Andy

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Harri
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Post by Harri » 27 Apr 2003 18:46

Koivisto, Piisaari and Tiurinsaari [saari = island] are at Koivisto (= local community as well as island) area while Tuppura and Uuraansaari (Uuras is a outer harbour of the city of Vyborg nearby) are island at the Gulf of Vyborg. I don't remember where Ruonti is.

I think the original plan of the Finns was to defend Koivisto area much longer but all happened so fast and troops were so exhausted that theu had to withdraw from island to island. At that stage of the battle there were only a few new units at the Bay of Vyborg and the remaining troops of Cavalry Brigade and especially Coastal (Artillery) Regiment 2 had to defend these islands until the reserves would have arrived.

I suggest the following books (fortunately in Finnish only) about the hard battles of Bay of Vyborg and Teikari (island):

Koskimaa, Matti:
Torjuntavoitto Viipurinlahdella kesällä 1944
(The Repel Victory at the Bay of Vyborg in the Summer 1944)
WSOY, 1996

Also this one is very good:

Lappalainen, Niilo:
Veren kostuttamat saaret - Teikarin ja Melanlahden taistelut kesällä 1944
(Islands Moistened by Blood - The Battles of Teikari and Melanlahti in the Summer 1944)
Kustannuspiste Oy, 1983

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Juha Hujanen
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Post by Juha Hujanen » 28 Apr 2003 15:20

Finnish troops in Koivisto were from Costal Artillery Regiment 2.They had some 1700 men in Koivisto islands.In Koivusaari was 12th Defence Company and atleast 2 152mm.3 254mm and 2 75mm guns.
In Tiurinsaari were 13th Defence Company and 4 152mm guns.In Piisaari was some 300 men.Ruonti is no more than islet.It had 2 75mm guns.

The fightings in Koivisto islands weren't very heavy because Finnsh withrew from there.Costal Artillery Regiment 2 lost 13 KIA and 29 WIA in Koivisto.But battles in islands of Bay of Viipuri were fearsome indeed.Some Finnish units lost 65% of their men and for example 80th Defence Company lost 140 of 172 men.Russian lost some 1500 men KIA and 200 POW.Russians killed in boats could not be counted.Blood moistured islands indeed.

Cheers/Juha

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Andy H
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Post by Andy H » 29 Apr 2003 23:12

Many thanks to all that posted but especially Juha & Harri

Andy

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