Leningrad's defence on the side of Karelian nest

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Seppo Jyrkinen
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Location: Finland, Lappeenranta

Re: Leningrad's defence on the side of Karelian nest

Post by Seppo Jyrkinen » 10 Aug 2014 17:33

This 10.D combat report is very interesting. Operations in the end of August, beginning of September had been quite easy. And an order has also been to go on so long until troops meet a tight defence line for certain.

There are a lot of assuming, how strong Leningrad's defence line "must have been". And some times 10.D was wondering is certain line did exist at all. In spite of POW's and intelligence. Makes impression that there has not been good aerial photographs or those photos has not been in use of 10.D.

Anyhow combat report has been made perhaps in the beginning of 1942 and on a division level, several months after decisions in Mikkeli has been made. How about HQ level reports at July - August 1941? I try to catch a report which has been on Mannerheim's desk when he gave an order to made end with warfare on Karelian nest.
A word irony is baked into the word history.

Mangrove
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Re: Leningrad's defence on the side of Karelian nest

Post by Mangrove » 10 Aug 2014 19:25

Seppo Jyrkinen wrote:I try to catch a report which has been on Mannerheim's desk when he gave an order to made end with warfare on Karelian nest.
There might not be a single document describing the Soviet positions beyond the pre-war border dating to 1941, but I think the two most probable intelligence sources would have been the the photographs taken by Armas Eskola in 1939 and Ilmari Tolvanen's long-range patrol to Kivennapa in the summer of 1941.

Lentolaivue 14 was the only reconnaissance squadron deployed in the Karelian Isthmus during the summer of 1941, but according to their war diary, the unit did not fly any flights beyond the pre-war border before the end of August 1941.

CF Geust
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Re: Leningrad's defence on the side of Karelian nest

Post by CF Geust » 10 Aug 2014 20:24

For detailled information about Armas Eskola´s photo recce flights over Soviet territory (Southern Karelian isthmus and East Karelia) in summer 1939, see my article:

Suomen ilmakuvaustiedustelu ennen talvisotaa (Finnish photo recce flights before the Winter war), Sotahistoriallinen aikakauskirja n:o 25 (2006), s. 79-110 (English summary). Abbreviated version In Russian: Финские разведывателные аэрофотосемки до ”зимней войны” in Санкт-Петербург и страны Северной Европы (том 8), s. 207-223, St.Peterburg 2007.

JariL
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Re: Leningrad's defence on the side of Karelian nest

Post by JariL » 11 Aug 2014 15:04

If Finns had an opportunity to advance to Leningrad in 1941 it was at the time when Soviet forces were partly destroyed in the Isthmus and partly retreated to Leningrad or were evacuated over Ladoga. At that time there seems to have been some kind of disorder in the city but not so much because of the Finnish advance but because the Germans seemed to be unstoppable and were approaching fast. Number of troops available and their weaponry were not very decisive factors compared to the morale of the troops and population. If the will to fight was wavering, as it seems to have been for some days or weeks, it would have been possible to get through the fortifications into the city. What would have followed is anybodys guess but the Finnish HQ had no interes in even trying. When the defenders got their act together, Leningrad was an objective that was far too big for the Finnish army in any case.

Mangrove
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Re: Leningrad's defence on the side of Karelian nest

Post by Mangrove » 12 Aug 2014 08:59

Two typical reports by Finnish patrols made during September 1941. From U2/V's war diary:

Patrol Pikkunen. No. 4. Ohta, 1 September. [...] Ohta line is manned, fortifying throughout the day. [...] There is a 5 km wide line of cut [forest] in the vicinity of the road, pillboxes.
Partio Pikkunen. No.4. Ohta 1.9. [...] Ohdan linja miehitetty, linnoitustöitä läpi vuorokauden. [...] Ohdassa 5 km. leveä raivattu linja maantien suunnassa, aseiden pesäkkeitä. [...]
20 September, Partio Auvinen. [...] The first heavily manned line is south of the Sokolova River. Fortifying throughout the day. (??), pillboxes and firing lines. There are two ridges, 1/2 km apart, around Tappari where there are pillboxes and firing lines. [Forest has been] cut in depth of between 1/2 and 1 km. Manned in September 19 at 5 p.m.
20.9. Partio Auvinen. [...] Sokolovajoen(?) eteläpuolella ensimmäinen vahvasti miehitetty linja, jossa läpi vuorokauden varustustöitä. (??), pesäkkeitä, ampuma-alaa. Tapparin kohdalla valvontalinjan takana 1/2 km toisistaan 2 harjannetta, joilla pesäkkeitä, amp.alaa. Raivaus 1/2 - 1 km syvyyteen. 19.9. klo 17 miehitystä.

Seppo Jyrkinen
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Re: Leningrad's defence on the side of Karelian nest

Post by Seppo Jyrkinen » 17 Aug 2014 13:34

When I read 10.D's combat report, I got an impression that history part is 10.D's own material. But from page 148 on the context is from other sources and viewpoint could be from Mikkeli HQ's. Especially the end of page 149 is odd: http://digi.narc.fi/digi/view.ka?kuid=4541604
"Tällöin olisi vyöhykkeen syvyys n. 25-30 km,. mutta mitään varmuutta tämän linjan mahdollisesta olemassaolosta ei ole olemassa."
My rough translation: "Depth of the line would be 25-30km, but there are no certainty if this line exists at all."

Why to tell about a line, if you don't know if it exists at all? - Is it possible, that HQ had told "facts" and 10.D told this way that they weren't aware about those "facts". Hidden criticism to superiors?

--
I also believe that if Finns had continued operation, especially if they had forgotten the whole east-Karelian, Finnish troops had easily gone very near Leningrad city.
A word irony is baked into the word history.

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