Finnish 3rd Infantry & 1st Cavalry Brigades

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Andy H
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Finnish 3rd Infantry & 1st Cavalry Brigades

Post by Andy H » 03 May 2003 17:53

Apologies for asking again, but I'm looking for Commanders and OoB for the above two units during the defense of Vyborg in 1944

Andy

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Harri
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Post by Harri » 03 May 2003 18:39

In the summer 1944 3rd Brigade was commanded by Maj.Gen. Antti Kääriäinen. TOE was as follows:

Staff
+
Staff Company
Staff Platoon
Delivery Platoon
Jäger Platoon or Company


I - IV Infantry Battalion
Staff Company
3x Infantry Company
MG Company
[12x Maxim MG]
Mortar Platoon [3x 81 mm mortar]

(AT) Gun Company
I - III (AT) Gun Platoon [2x 45, 50 or 75 mm AT gun each]

(Heavy) Mortar Company
I and II (Heavy) Mortar Platoon [3 + 3x 120 mm mortar]

Engineer Company

Signal Company

Light (Field) Artillery Battalion 23 (horse-drawn)
Staff Battery
1 - 2. (Light) Field Artillery Battery [4x 76 K 02, since 29.6.1944 105 H 33]
3. (Light) Field Artillery Battery [4x 122 H 09-40, since 29.6.1944 105 H 33]
supply units

Heavy (Field) Artillery Battalion 23 (motorized)
Staff Battery
1. - 3. (Heavy) Field Artillery Battery
[4x 152 H 38]
supply units

supply units


Cavalry Brigade (without number!) was commanded by Maj.Gen. Lars Melander. TOE was as follows:

Staff
+
Staff Squadron

Uusimaa Dragoon Regiment (URR)
Staff
Command Platoon
Gas Protection Squad
Signal Squad
Delivery Platoon
(Ammunition Squad, Medical Squad, Veterinary Squad, Delivery Squad)

1. - 3. Cavalry Squadron
Command Squad
I - III Cavalry Platoon
AT Squad
[4x 20 mm Lahti L-39 AT rifle]

(4.) MG Squadron
Command Squad
I - III MG Platoon
[4x 7.62 mm Maxim MG]
AT Squad [4x 20 mm Lahti L-39 AT rifle]

Mortar Platoon [3x 81 mm mortar]

Column [6x truck]
Provisions Squad
Ammunition Squad
Delivery Squad


Häme Mounted Regiment (HRR, similar to URR)

Jäger Battalion 1 (JP 1)

Staff [BA-20 armoured car]
+
Staff Company
Engineer Platoon
Signals Squad
?


1. - 3. Jäger Company
I - III Platoon

4. MG Company
I - III MG Platoon [4x 7.62 mm Maxim MGs each]

Heavy Company
Mortar Platoon [3x 81 mm mortar]
Anti-tank Platoon [4x 20 mm Lahti L-39 AT rifle]

supply units

Jäger Battalion 6 (JP 6, similar to JP 1)

Gun Squadron [6x 50 K 38, motorized]

Riding Battery [6x 76 RK 27, horse-drawn, RK = short regiment cannon]

Signal Squadron

Light Artillery Battalion 12 [12x 105 H 37, motorized]

Separate Engineer Company

supply units

----

Hope this will help. If you are in need of all commanders then I can't help you very accurately because of constant leader changes in 1944...

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Andy H
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Post by Andy H » 03 May 2003 22:06

Harri, many thanks for the info, just what I was looking for.

One question though-you state that the Cavalry Brigade had no number, such as 1st, is this correct?

Andy

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Harri
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Post by Harri » 04 May 2003 09:36

The organizations mentioned above are not quite accurate because changes were made in 1943 and again in spring 1944. These are collected from books and I should visit the archives to be quite sure.

Probably the most biggest changes are in AT units which received Panzerschrecks in June 1944. Also certain sources have mentioned that both mounted regiments (URR and HRR) would have had one BA-20 armoured car for the orderlies of their Staffs. Worth mentioning is also that both regiments were actually battalions and since 1943 equipped with bicycles like jäger battalions.

Motorized Haevy (Field) Artillery Battalion was organized as follows (a bit more accurately than above):

Staff (Battery) (109 men)
Command Section
Position Section
Signal Section
Supply Section

1. - 3. Heavy (Howitzer or Cannon) Battery (132 (H) or 129 (K) men)
Fire Control
I Fire Control Squad
Fire Battery [4x Howitzer (H) or Cannon (K) each]
I and II Section
Delivery Section

Column (19 men)


Strength:
521 (H) or 512 (K) men (depending on the artillery pieces)
4 motorcycles, 10 personnel cars, 53 trucks (lorries) and 12 tractors
17 bicycles

Andy H wrote:One question though-you state that the Cavalry Brigade had no number, such as 1st, is this correct?
Yes it is, no number was used. In 1941 we had also two Jäger Brigades which were numbered 1st and 2nd but after the 2nd was disbanded in 1942 and 1st was attached to Armoured Division (note again: no number!) it too became just Jäger Brigade without number. Usually those units which were the only ones of the kind didn't have any number but this is not a rule.

There are many other examples of units without number:
Armoured Battalion
Armoured Brigade
Air Force Radio Battalion
Chief HQ Radio Battalion
Chief HQ Signal Battalion (another one was formed in 1943 and units were now 1st and 2nd)

But: "1st Coastal Division"...

----

BTW May I ask you a few questions too? This is off topic of course :roll:. (Should we use personal messages?)

- Should the word "signal" be in form "signals" like it is usually written or is there any better word (like "communications" - I think its too modern)?
- Which one "sounds better" in English: "Chief HQ Radio Battalion" or "Radio Battalion of Chief HQ"? Also "North Finland Group", Northern Finland Group" or perhaps "Group of North(ern) Finland"?
- When is used "coastal" and when just "coast"? I'm a bit confused with this. (I mean Coastal Brigade, Coastal Artillery - but Coast Guard?)

I have decided to use word "Jäger" instead of form "Jaeger" when I talk about Finnish light (bicycle) infantry only because it is somehow closer to the original Finnish word [Jääkäri] and it actually comes from the German word. I think everyone can understand what is meant?

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Andy H
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Post by Andy H » 04 May 2003 18:05

Harri

Thank you again for the clarification and information provided.

In regard;s to your questions I'm no English Grammer expert but I would use the word Signals rather than Signal, and I agree that in the contect of this forum Communications sounds to "modern". Turning to the Radio Btn, it is placement of the word Chief that makes either choice less than perfect sounding to my ears. I would either delete the Chief from the sentence or look to replace it with another word such as "Main" or "Command" HQ Radio Btn. The Group(ing) would depend on the context in which you are using it, but as a coverall I would say Northern Finnish Group.
The coastal & coast is easy to answer but I'm struggling to find the correct wording.

Andy

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Post by Mikko H. » 09 May 2003 07:24

At the beginning of June 1944 the commander of 3. Prikaati was Colonel Joose Hannula. He was replaced on 12 June by Colonel Kai Savonjousi, who held the command only for five days (he went on to command 10. Divisioona). Col. Savonjousi was succeeded on 17 June by Colonel Lauri Haanterä. Maj. Gen. Antti Kääriäinen didn't command 3. Prikaati at any point in summer 1944, he was the commander of 8. Divisioona. Gen. Kääriäinen had been the commander of 3. Prikaati from February 1943 to February 1944.

As Harri stated, Ratsuväkiprikaati was commanded at the beginning of June 1944 by Maj. Gen. Lars Melander, but he was relieved on 17 June by Col. Urho Tähtinen.

Does anybody know did Col. Haanterä command 3. Prikaati until the demobilization? And did Col. Tähtinen command Ratsuväkiprikaati until Gen. Melander returned to command the brigade in late September 1944? Answers would be very welcome!

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Harri
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Post by Harri » 09 May 2003 10:19

Good points, Mikko! Thank you for corrections and welcome to the forum.

I was very careless not to check all my still quite inaccurate commander records thoroughly. Sorry, Andy and others.

You're right with the Commanders of the 3rd Brigade and Cav.Brig as well. The main reason is that I'm just collecting the list of Finnish Commanders and there are mistakes (actually I have not checked brigades yet, so I can't answer you question.) Mikko, what is your source (if it is another than the History of Continuation War)? I think I need that book too... :oops:

Of course Col. Urho Tähtinen commanded Cav.Brig. in the summer 1944. The source I have used for making the list of the Commanders of Cav.Brig. don't mention Col. Tähtinen until 8.1944. I think it is a printing mistake: there should be 6 instead of 8. Also Col. Bertel Ikonen has been the acting Commander in August 1944. Is it possible that also Tähtinen would have been acting Commander (between 6 - 8.1944)?

It seems I should re-read also The History of Finnish Cavalry vol. II again...

Mikko H.
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Post by Mikko H. » 09 May 2003 11:17

Harri,

we're engaged in precisely the same job! I'm in process of compiling a list of all Finnish army, 'group' (Kannaksen, Aunuksen & Maaselän Ryhmä), army corps, division and brigade commanders of the Continuation war, plus the army, 'group' and army corps chiefs of staffs. Would you like to compare notes? Contact me by e-mail (it's in the profile).

My main sources so far are Jatkosodan historia 1-6 and Itsenäisen Suomen kenraalikunta 1918-1996 -- the latter would be especially valuable work, but unfortunately I've noticed it's dates aren't trustworthy. Well, even Jatkosodan historia contradicts itself occasionally -- the dates Maj. Gen. E. I. Järvinen took over command of 1. Rannikkodivisioona are given at one point 29 August 1944 and at another 9 September 1944.

However, I think I have a fairly complete list, but the dates are in many places still unclear. Esp. finding accurate data on the chiefs of staff and brigade commanders is a pain in a$$.

And now when you mention it, Col. Tähtinen was commander of Ratsuväkiprikaati until, IIRC, 8 August 1944. I have my notes at home, and can't remember the date for certain nor who replaced him.

Mikko H.
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Post by Mikko H. » 09 May 2003 12:46

For some reason my e-mail won't show in my profile. You can mail me at [email protected].

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Harri
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Post by Harri » 10 May 2003 14:34

Mikko H. wrote:Harri, we're engaged in precisely the same job!
It really seems so! :D
Mikko H. wrote:Would you like to compare notes? Contact me by e-mail.
I have done it!
Mikko H. wrote:My main sources so far are Jatkosodan historia 1-6 and Itsenäisen Suomen kenraalikunta 1918-1996 -- the latter would be especially valuable work, but unfortunately I've noticed it's dates aren't trustworthy.
The History of Continuation War vol. 6 has a very good section of names mentioned in the books from where I have checked for example promotion dates. Fortunately most biographies (like the one you mentioned) are not possible to loan from libraries because these books are in their "hand library" [käsikirjasto].

Years ago ago I managed to "copy" major parts from "Finnish Cadet Officers" and "Finnish Jägers", but it was a huge weeks job and the accurate dates are missing there. Anyway the lists I wrote with Word are handy help if some checking is needed. The only book I'm still looking for is the one of "Finnish Artillery School". All the "missing" Finnish officers I haven't "found" yet are probably listed in that book (including Gen. A. Airo).
Mikko H. wrote:However, I think I have a fairly complete list, but the dates are in many places still unclear. Esp. finding accurate data on the chiefs of staff and brigade commanders is a pain in a$$.
Interesting. You're right, certain dates and names are difficult or impossible to find out anywhere.

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Hanski
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Post by Hanski » 10 May 2003 21:43

Andy H, I have paid attention to your detailed inquiries on the events and circumstances regarding the WWII/Continuation War in the Baltic theatre of war, including the action of the Finnish troops.

May I ask, how did you get interested in researching this subject? Are there particular aspects which you focus on, and what about the availability of sources?

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Bair
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Post by Bair » 13 May 2003 22:09

To the Finnish-reading members:


I have a written account of Pentti Ratia, who served in the Hame Cavalry regiment in 1942 - 1944... It is an interview that I took wtih him some 1.5 years ago and have not yet translated into English or Russian... :cry:

If anyone is interested, I can send it by email.

with best regards,

Bair
http://www.mannerheim-line.com

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