2./Er.P.3 in the Winter War: a War Diary

Discussions on the Winter War and Continuation War, the wars between Finland and the USSR.
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Re: 2./Er.P.3 in the Winter War: a War Diary

Post by Lotvonen » 25 Mar 2018 05:46

More to # 22
Glycol based anti-freeze appears to have been unknown .
Note the reminder of the poison in the fluid, for an obvious reason.

Copy of copy

Appx. N:o 1 to the 3.D order on supply n:o18
Appx n:o 3 to the II AC order on supply n:015
December 28, 1939

Re: Motor vehicle cooling system maintenance in wintertime.

Despite the fact that antifreeze fluid has been procured for the motor vehicles of the troops, motor vehicles with damage due to coolant water have been forwarded to the vehicle depots. Since faults by freezing always need expensive repairs necessitating spare parts that are difficult to source,and also since the freezing in most cases could be avoided by following simple instructions the Mode of transport bureau issues the following orders, to be followed carefully:

1. Anti-freeze fluid shall be used. As the Bureau has acquired, and shall acquire as needed for every motor vehicle used by the Defence Forces Alko anti-freeze fluid. Since this anti-freeze fluid is actually methylated (and quite poisonous) alcohol mixture that starts evaporating at a temperature of 80deg C, the following instructions must be complied with:
a)Thermostat must be removed ( and stored in the vehicle for future use_)
b) Radiator cover must not be used for any other purpose than keeping the engine warm when not in use
c)Ventilator belt must not be removed or loosened
d)When replenishing coolant fluid, anti-freeze liquid is added instead of water
e)Coolant fluid alcohol content is observed with custom meter that the Bureau has ordered and which can be distributed to the Transport Companies, repair depots and Fuel detachments next January, about in the middle of it.

2. There is no anti-freeze available. If a motor vehicle for any reason is not filled with anti-freeze the cooling water must be bled out as the vehicle is left standing. The following must be observed:
a)every plug or cock at the lowest points of a cooling system are opened (including those in the water pump, cylinder block, etc., if any coolant removal points are there)
b)the engine is allowed to run with open cocks for at least half a minute after the water has been bled out, to remove the last drops of water.
c)the vehicle must be situated on a level or forward sloping surface (not uphill as water may remain in the rear of the cylinder block_)

Mode of transport bureau chief Maj. W. Rommi
Motor vehicle service bureau chief Capt . E. Soininen

GHQ Supply4 200pcs
Home troops HQ 100pcs
IPE 50pcs
MeVe 50pcs
Motor vehicle depots 50pcs
Reserved 50 pcs
Total 500 pcs
Copy witnessed to be correct: Capt. E.Reivinen
Copy of copy witnessed to be correct:
(two illegible signatures)

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Re: 2./Er.P.3 in the Winter War: a War Diary

Post by Lotvonen » 26 Mar 2018 04:56

Appendix n:o 23
Hand written note

On 31.1.40 at 16.00hrs two men of our Platoon, Kunttu Simo and Ruuskanen with seven of Hagelber's (sic!) men set out to patrol. The aim of our men was to familiarize themseves with the armoured sleds. This morning 1.2.40 the patrol returned at 5.30hrs. The men were fully all right although tired. The patrol was unable to accomplish their mission because there was a Russian sentry post on the way and a firefight broke out. Two Russkies fell. I am sending a stick grenade with this message.

(II Platoon leader, 2nd Lt. )

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Re: 2./Er.P.3 in the Winter War: a War Diary

Post by Lotvonen » 27 Mar 2018 05:03

Appendix 24

no.39, (?)/Signals Officer 1.2.1940

Signals Order no.1
1. Enclosed lists of code names and telephone numbers, and the Er.P3 telephone directory that shall be applied starting 2.2.1940 at 03.30hrs
2. Previously used telephone directories must be returned to the Signals officer on 3.2.1940 by 15.00hrs
3. Code names must absolutely be used. The smallest misuse may result in unimaginable damage for our defence. The unit CO_s and every officer must only use their surname, not their rank. Those serving in HQ_s can be contacted by quoting the number in the phone directory.
4. The steel wires criscrossing on the snow and the isolate wires hanging on trees are all phone cables, so leave them alone.
5. The enemy has been noticed to monitor calls using the device in the drawing below, by placing the round disk of the drawing 0-50 cm from the cable. I am exhorting everyone to be aware of the existence of this sort of devices and to arrest any person found carrying one.

(sketch drawing, enclosed)

Er.P3 CO stand-in Res.Lt. (illegible signature)
Signals Officer Res. 2nd Lt. M.Lamppu
(telephone number list and telephone directory omitted)
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Re: 2./Er.P.3 in the Winter War: a War Diary

Post by Lotvonen » 28 Mar 2018 04:53

Appendix 25


KD.no.258/Pion/126 sal.
3.D Sapper order No.6

1. The Army Corps shall organise in Viipuri on the 6. Feb a course on demining aerial bomb “duds”, for which the units have been ordered to send personnel. Starting the 7. February the respective units shall each in their area be in charge of clearing and demining of the “duds”.
2. The outfits who do not have trained personnel for this task shall report the found duds to the nearest unit, Sapper company or the 3.D Sapper CO.
3. The demined bombs (detonators separately) shall be handed over together with the other war booty to an A Tp (Ammunition replenishment post)
4. GHQ shall have produced new model of 2, 3, and 4kg Tank stick grenades some of which have been distributed to the trooops. (Ref. Tactical guide X, section G.) As far as there are enough of the new model ones, the troops are allowed to replace or return DIY tank satchel charges with makeshift detonators with new ones. As to replacement, enquire at the Sapper replenishment post, (Tel. Asema2)
(Handwritten in the margin; How many did the 2nd Coy replace with new ones?)

3.D_CO Col. P.J.Paalu
3.D _Sapper CO Capt R.Arimo (signed)
Distribution: AJ

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Re: 2./Er.P.3 in the Winter War: a War Diary

Post by Lotvonen » 29 Mar 2018 05:46

Hand written on grid paper, unsigned, most likely by the Company CO

Subject: Training
RE: Er.P order of the day 2/40

Battalion Commander:

The Company reports on training during the period 27.1.-3.2.40 as follows:
27.1. II_ Platoon moved to the front, III to the rear. For III Platoon rest and sauna
28.1. IV Platoon moved to the front, I to the rear. For I Platoon rest and sauna, the III had rest and weapons and gear maintenance.
29.1. I Platoon had rest and weapons and gear maintenance. II Platoon in briefing and having a lecture on tactical matters.
30.1. I Platoon in the same service as III Platoon on the 29.1. Also, both Platoons checking and maintaining satchel charges and mines.
30./31.1. Digging open AT foxholes, repairing them and digging new ones. Reconnoitering the terrain in front of them.
31.1. Rest. At1500hrs Company was alerted, but later it was recalled. Guarding a shot down aircraft.
1.2. Company in standby. Observation training.
2.2. As on the 1.2.
3.2. I Platoon moved to the front, II Platoon in the rear. III Platoon had sauna and ski maintenance.II Platoon had rest (the men were extremely tired, being in the front they had been during daytime in standby and in the the nights digging open destroyed trenches).

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Re: 2./Er.P.3 in the Winter War: a War Diary

Post by Lotvonen » 30 Mar 2018 06:21

Appendix 27

Office III
N:o 76/III/21/40


The continuous six day battles have caused that the “kalastus “according to my order no.57/III/21/24.1.40 point 1 cannot be carried out as such.
“Kalastus” is going to be carried out as follows and the previously issued general orders must be followed.
1. SUOKANTA section: “Kalastus” is going to be carried out as in my original order.
2. SUMMANKYLÄ section
- JP3 shall relieve III/JR7 during two nights. III/JR7 shall be shifted to rest as the Div. Reserve in the present cantonment area of JP3, starting to build dugouts for themselves.
- II/JR7 shall relieve I/JR7 so that the freshest Coy of II Btn shall first relieve the most tired Coy of I Btn. The order and timing of relief is decided by the JR7 CO. I Btn shall be shifted to rest as the Div. Reserve in the present cantonment area of II Btn (Kev.Os.3), starting to build dugouts for themselves as needed.
3. LÄHDE section
- II/JR9 shall relieve I/JR8 during two nights. I/JR8 shall be shifted to rest as the Div. Reserve in the present cantonment area of II /JR9, starting to build dugouts for themselves.
- 2./Er.P3 (Lt. Rave's Coy) shall be rallied (his Platoon in the MERKKI section shall be pulled back to the Coy) and subordinated to the JR8 CO to be used for “kalastus” on the support line of the LÄHDE section. JR8 CO shall relieve one Coy of III/JR8 at a time from the Support line using Lt. Rave´s Coy. The Coy in rest shall be cantonned in the present cantonment of 2./Er.P3 to build dugouts and they shall remain as the reserve of JR8 CO.
4. MERKKI section
- The first line Btns shall do “kalastus” on their own so that in turn one Coy is shifted from the Support line to the front and the relieved Coy takes their place in the Support line.

-“Kalastus” shall commence on the sections of SUMMANKYLÄ and LÄHDE sections on the 7.2.40 evening except III/JR7 section on the 8.2.40. The corresponding commanders shall get ready to relief in accordance with my separate orders already on the night of 6./.2.
“Kalastus” at the MERKKI section, as to start and order, shall be decided by the MERKKI section CO.

3.Division commander, Col P.J.Paalu
Chief of III Office Maj. Hannes Raikkala

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Re: 2./Er.P.3 in the Winter War: a War Diary

Post by Lotvonen » 31 Mar 2018 06:58

Appendix 28
Interesting details: Horses and recycling of broken gear.

KD N:o 173/IV/74 sal. (Stamp: SECRET)


I.Household supplies
1. 3.D Household guideline no.3/40, distributed on 25.1.40, Household guideline no.4/40 supplied on 31.1.40 and Household guideline no.5.40 distributed on 3.2.40
II. Medical service
2. The chief military surgeons of the medical units and the Regimental surgeons are ordered to pay yet more attention to the military behaviour of their subordinates and men and the order and cleanliness reigning in the cantonments.
3. PSp.1 has been set up, 200m S of the Korpolanautio schoolhouse, tel. Pata 9 (previously SAs.1)
PSp. 2 has been set up, at the side of the Näykkijärvi-Kämärä road at the level of Huumola train stop, tel. Asema 13 (previously Sas.2)
III. Veterinary service
4. The documents concerning killed, butchered or missing horses must be sent soonest possile to the 3.D Vet. Office and they must include the horse file card, and if none, an extract of the horse roll kept by the unit. The extract must include the exact ID notes of the horse and the mode of requisirtion (reserved, army horse or any other)
5. Since the owner of a horse is nowadays compensated also for the loss of a colt, concerning killed, butchered or missing mares it must always be reported if the mare was pregnant or not. To verify this the vets must always, circumstances allowing, to perform autopsy. Every case of spontaneous abortion must also be reported to the 3.D Vet. Office.
IV. Signals service
6. The units must soonest possible send the empty cable reels deemed unnecessary to the Div. Signals deopt at the Mustalampi forest warden.
V. Vehicle maintenance
7. Motor vehicles
a) Since on the operating area of the Division there have been found abandoned skis, bicycles and even motor vehicles, the units are exhorted to take care of them and send them to the Divisional vehicle depot for further evacuation. A notification by telephone must be made to the 3.D vehicle officer.
b) The motor vehicles of the Division and the units subordinated to them shall from now on be carried out only in the 2.Autokorjaamo (Repair shop) at Säiniö because the Division has recently received for the repair shop heatable vehicle sheds made of Enso cardboard.
c)Vehicle columns and single vehicles of the Division must acquire their fuel replenishment (filling their tanks) solely on one of he alternative supply points:
1._Esso petrol station Kolmikulma 1
2._Esso petrol station Karjalankatu 5
3._Shell petrol station Rautatientori
d)The Div. Car Inspector shall carry out in units not only vehicle condition inspections buit also checking of vehicle diaries, registration and other documents, consequently the commanders must see to it that the said documents are constantly up to date as ordered and all necessary data shall be included in them
e)The Division shall soon distribute to the units in possession of motor vehicles service record cards for each motor vehicle. The service record cards must be filled in meticulously and correctly before being returned at a date to be defined later to the 3.D IV office.
8. Transport material
As ordered already previously the units must absolutely return to the Div. Transport material depot such broken material as they are unable to repair locally (such as sleighs, sledges, harness, skis, ski sticks etc) because the items may include some elements that can be reused ( runner steel, ski bindings, stick rims, harness buckles etc.)

3.D Chief of staff Maj. E. Nohrström
_3D Chief of Supply Maj. ? (signed)

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Re: 2./Er.P.3 in the Winter War: a War Diary

Post by Lotvonen » 01 Apr 2018 05:57

Appendix 29.
Another flower of buraucracy. May be of interest only to philatelists.

II AC HQ 25.2.1940
N:o 1250/IV/104 sal (stamp SECRET)

Order on field mail

1. The new field mail system shall be implemented on 1.3.1940,starting from that day the central field post offices shall forward field mail to the troops according to new addresses.
2. II AC central field posrt office is Kpk27 under which the different field post offices are acting as to the diagram enclosed. Field mail addresses shall include only the number of the central field post office and the character ID of the actual field post office .
3. General post offices can be used when needed according to present principles. In that case the general post office must have been assigned a code character as for the field post offices. The code characters are defined by Kan.AE.
4. Each HQ, unit or formation that is collecting mail from a field post office with a power of attorney shall be assigned a defined code number. The code number defined for you is found in the appendix.
5. A unit (formation) that may often have to function in detachments such as HQ, mortar Coy, AT coy, Arsenal detachment etc. shall be assigned the necessary number of spare code numbers according to the detached elements despite the fact that the unit may at the moment be rallied.
6. The address according to the new system must be written as in the example:
(See below)

Kpk.N:027 = Central field post office
H = the code letter of your own field post office
1035 = The outfit field mail code
The sender shall write his name and address in the back of the envelope. An envelope must not include both the old address ( unit name_) and the new address (code) .
7. New addresses shall be taken into use starting the beginning of March and the troops must be emphasized
That your homes must be informed of the addressess soonest possible
That the addresses be written as clearly as possible, preferably in block letters and exactly as in the example
That when informing on the new address the next of kin and friends must be remarked on the exact and clear writing of the address.
That when informing on the new address and afterwards the actual name of one's outfit is never divulged in a lette to one's next of kin or third parties.
8. II AC HQ Office IV must always be up to date as to any changes in field mail addresses.
9. With a new address on the envelope any stamps revealing the official name of an unit must not be used.
By order
II_ AC Supply CO Col.Lt. Savonjousi
Office I_V CO Capt. E. Reivinen

Appendix :
2./Er.P3 mail address shall be:
Your spare code numbers include (none)
taking into the use of which you must liaise with the II AC HQ office IV. If there should be anything unclear or erroneous in the address, it must be informed to the II AC HQ office IV. Likewise the note on changing the field post office when an outfit is moving to a new cantonment must be forwarded .
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Re: 2./Er.P.3 in the Winter War: a War Diary

Post by Lotvonen » 02 Apr 2018 05:27

Appendix 30
A hand written note on grid paper dd.28.2.40 at10.00hrs

Lt. Rave.
Liaise with III/15 CO, Maj. Närhi and guide him into the positions that are situated in the area you are holding.
Col.Lt. Karhu
Maj. Närhi finds himself in the Karjala suburb (of Viipuri, tr.rem.)

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Re: 2./Er.P.3 in the Winter War: a War Diary

Post by Lotvonen » 03 Apr 2018 05:12

Appendix no.31
A neatly typed sheet:

JR67 3.3.40 aat 20.00hrs


Map leaf 1:20,000

1. Our forward strongholds, our main defenceline and most of all the unified tank hindrance line built through our defence sector shall check the advance of the enemy tank forces and necessitates them to time-consuming preparations. Our furture action necessitates at every level the greatest vigilance and observation of the situation in progress. Therefore must reconnoitering and observation activities be stepped up to find out the enemy preparations and attempts of attack. The enemy units that may manage a break-in must be prevented from digging in with immediate counterstrikes.
- Specially the men must be made expressedly aware of the importance of digging in to avoid unnecessary casualties
- In our defensive positions we must start (our battle) conscious of the importance of our mission and the necessity of tenacious resilience.
2. The Battalions shall continue as planned the work to prepare the main resistance position and the forward strongholds.
-2./Er.P.3 shall set their personnel free of other duty to the disposal of II/JR67 for field fortification work.
-3. III/JR67 shall prepare to man the blocking positions on the line Kokkosuo-Tammisuo and present me, basing on carried out reconnoitering, a plan how to man the said blocking position and a plan how to carry out the fortification work in the same.
4. One Coy of III/JR67, still in that organization, shall be cantonned as Rgt. reserve in the terrain about 300m SE of Kuivala hamlet “Tt”.
5. Reconnoitering and observation
- close range reconnoitering shall be carried out by the Battalions.
- the Battalions shall organise a constant observation on their sections.
- II/JR67 shall set up constant observation on Mustamäki hill, too.
6. I am exhorting the Battalions to deploy their personnel so that 1/3 of the men are in their positions, 1/3 are building wire hindrances or other field fortifications and 1/3 are resting. Situation allowing, more of the men can be set to field fortification work.

Rgt.CO Col.Lt. G.Snellman
Rgt. Adj.Res.Lt. T Sinisalo

Rgt HQ
Basic units and detached units subordinated on the sector
For the attention of D.HQ

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Re: 2./Er.P.3 in the Winter War: a War Diary

Post by Lotvonen » 04 Apr 2018 07:39

Appendix 33:

Stamp : SECRET
N:o 357 /III/6140 sal.

Basing on the gained battle experience attention is to be paid to certain factors that in principle are evident but which have in practice ofen been neglected. Every level of command must constantly watch and tighten discipline and improve training concerning the following:
1. It must be seen to it that AT and sapper detachments set to special tasks shall be equipped with sufficient inf.equipment. Experience has shown that in negative cases the said detachments are unable to carry out their missions or they have to abort them.
Often has it happened that AT guns placed in the front line have in heavy fighting been left without inf.support wherefore several have been lost.
When subordinating AT gun and AT outfits to inf. The liaison must be organised in a constant manner and the chain of command must be clear. The said outfits must absolutely be supplied by the unit that they support or to which they have been subordinated. Plenty of grievances have been found in this matter, and they must be removed despite the difficulties.
2. Observation in the front line must be organised so that there are no gaps to prevent surprises by the enemy. The observation posts (positions) must be provided with detailed instructions on recording the observations (time, place, what has been spotted) and particularly it must be emphasized the delivery of important reports immediately and at the right moment.
During the period of darkness, utilizing hearing posts, the enemy activities must be monitored equally well as by visual observation.
3. The co-operation of infantry and artillery must be based on close personal liaising among the infantry and artillery leaders and the organizations. The Infantry must immediately report their observations to the nearest F.O.O.. The F.O.O.s in turn may be able to provide the infantry with valuable information gained through their observers that the infantry otherwise would be ignorant of.
4. Preparing for AT tasks must be carried out minutely. Artillery and mortar support should always be utilised if feasible. The artillery and mortar outfits must in time be informed on their support task (as to time, place and manner) Tank destroying tasks must be carried out under one leader (if possible).
5. It must always be seen to it that the securing of the the seams shall always be effective, and when necessary seam outfits must be employed, which must include liaison with the neighbouring outfit.
6. Telephone connections must absolutely be secured. Liaison officers and organs must be used to liaise with the neighbouring outfits and with the command posts of the artillery, AT, AT * gun and Sapper units that are supporting you. When telephone connections have been cut the Runner network must be immediately ready to continue communications. Report collecting posts must be established when needed.
(*Margin remark: In each stronghold)
7. The troops must have at hand enough hand grenades and SMG cartridges for hand to hand combat, especially in such points of terrain where visibility is limited.
The personnel must in time be taught how to use previously unknown hand grenades. -The use of satchel charges in hand to hand combat, eg. Rolling trenches, must be considered.
8. The leaders * (in the margin: Battalion commanders) must in time ( if not already done) personally get familiarized with the weapons nests of his outfit and their chances in attack suppression.
9. For the case that any leader may have to leave the ranks, every level of organization up to the squads must define deputies ( at least two successive). The cases including separate outfits “erring around” during a battle claiming that they do not have a leader must not be repeated. Deputies must always be updated as to the situation so that they should be able to assume command without delay when necessary.
10. Yet again it is emphasized that the present front line must not be abandoned in any case. If tanks manage to break through at some spot the infantry must keep their positions despite. The elimination of tanks is left for the oufits reserved for AT tasks in the rear.
11. Although there is reason to assuem that the personnel supplying is planned matter-of-factly for a battle period in the main resistance position, it is remarked that the supplying of personnel must constantly be seriously monitored to maintain and improve the battleworthiness and resilience of the troops.
In addition to the above it is referred to the 5.D writ issued on the 1.3.40 N:o 339/III/61/40 sal/1.3.40 “Instructions for measures when reaching the T position”.
5.Division Commander Col. S: Isakson
Chief of staff Maj. A. Kurenmaa

12. The defensive system must be made resilient also in the depth of the main resistance position.
As soon as the field fortification work in the main defence line has been reached a satisfactory degree of readiness, the focus must be shifted to equipping strongholds in the main resistance position and the support line, starting work in order of urgency at the most exposed points. Even disregarding the incomplete state of the positions, from the very beginning the rear positions must be equipped with auto weapons in the most important directions, taking into account the difficulties in shifting to the rear positions in the case that enemy tanks may have created a break-in. Fire plans must absolutely be revised for the mentioned case.

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Re: 2./Er.P.3 in the Winter War: a War Diary

Post by Lotvonen » 05 Apr 2018 05:20

Appendix 34:
It would be hard to find a more uninteresting document.

stamp SECRET
JR67 6.2.40

The orders and instructions that earlier have been issued on making the personnel strenght report are altered and updated as follows:
1. Strenght reports concern the strenght of each Saturday and they must be delivered to the 5.DP Office I in the course of the next Tuesday in duplicate.
2. Nominal strengh must be indicated completely. As far as any nominal strengh is unknown only the present strength shall be noted and this must never be combined with the figures of such troops that have nominal strenght. Instead the said report must be drawn up on a separate form.
3. The females included in nominal strength are included. Nurses and equivalent are included in NCOs the rest to the troop.
4. Surgeons, veterinarians and military officials are included in commanders, military sub-officials into NCOs or troop according to their status.
5. Row 2 (present) shall include only the men in fighting condition (excluding those posted out of the unit) and those in furlough ( they are listed in the reverse of the form, e.g. “on furlough 1+2+15”)
6. Row 3 (slightly wounded etc.) shall include the slightly wounded and the sick in the ranks of the outfit that are expected to return to the ranks within a fortnight.
7. When calculating the need for replacements the nominal strength must be subtracted by rows 2 and 3 taking into account the row 7 according to the instructions on the top sheet of the form cover sheet. (The ones posted from the outside also decrease the need for replacement if the posting is not temporary or brief)
8. Strength reports shall be combined as before by regiments. Subordinated or detached battalions (or equivalent) shall be reported separately. Also AT companies and detachments must be reported separately.
9. To simplify archiving it is ordered that the strength reports must not include a reference writ . Orders for replacements, necessary remarks and signatures shall be written on the form
10. For the replacement of troops it is essentially important that the strength reporst shall be submitted accurately and in time.

By order
Rgt. Adj. Res.Lt. (unclear signature)
Loppu-slut- the end. Than you for your patience, dear reader.

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Re: 2./Er.P.3 in the Winter War: a War Diary, Post Scriptum

Post by Lotvonen » 03 Nov 2019 08:46

This is what happened on 22nd Nov 1939 during a lesson on "Traps and mines" for Er.P3 in the Youth Society Hall at Vammeljoki.

The lesson was given by a professional, a Sapper Sergeant. Half-way down the lesson having presented an anti-personnel mine and its operating principles the Sergeant installed the detonator and the mine with about 1.5 kg explosive was ready for use. Next he told that a couple of days ago three Sappers had been killed as an anti-personnel mine was accidentally detonated. The Sergeant removed the safety pin, set the mine on the floor. Next he lifted his foot above the mine and asked:
-What would happen if I would put my boot down?
- The lid would be depressed and the mine would explode, sir, someone answered from the rear of the room
The very moment the Sergeant swayed and seeking to balance himself the stepped on the mine which exploded. The force of the blast made the ceiling collapse and two heating ovens were smashed. Embers from the smashed ovens were scattered, the house caught fire and was burned to the ground. The Sergeant was killed instantly. Of the 80 reservists present 27 were wounded, 25 had to be hospitalized of which one died later.

(Martti Sinerma: Adolf Ehrnrooth sodan ja rauhan näyttämöllä,(1981) p. 109)
In my opinion the Sergant must have been drunk.

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