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

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

Post by Lotvonen » 11 Dec 2017 05:54

The tactical idea was to spot the potential routes that enemy tanks would use having broken through the front line with its tank hindrances. AT foxholes would be dug along each route and the AT men would hide in their holes and wait for the tanks to be able to attack them.

Date 11.12.1939

02.45hrs Telephone connection with 5.D network established.
06.00hrs I and II Platoons and Admin Squad have been cantonned in dugouts vacated by JR13, III Platoon still in tent cantonment. Horses were moved to the stables built by JR13.
07.00hrs Company set out to familiarize with the future deployment area to reconnoiter and dig AT foxholes.
12.30hrs The AT gun detachment was split from the Company to be used by JR13 (Order of 5.D)
12.50hrs Telephone connection with the Battalion network completed.
18.00hrs Company returned to the cantonments.

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

Post by Lotvonen » 12 Dec 2017 07:01

"The Company did not engage the enemy, but had been subjected to shelling by enemy. No casualties."

Date 12.12.1939

07.00hrs II and III Platoons set out led by the Company CO to work at the AT locations, I Platoon stayed back to build dugouts at the cantonment area.
08.40hrs Air raid alert by phone from JR13.
11.00hrs II and III Platoons had meal in the terrain, the rest in the cantonments.
14.58hrs JR13 reported: two enemy tanks have penetrated the stone hindrance at the main defence line. II Platoon left their work site at the support line for AT duty and the Coy CO to contact Col. Lt. Vaala. III Platoon remained to continue work at Lähde level.
15.34hrs Col. Lt. Vaala reported that the enemy, strength about one Btn, has broken through the main defence line W of Munasuo marsh accompanied by tanks. Coy CO alerted also III and I Platoons and the MG platoon behind the support line where he organised the Company for AT action.
16.20hrs Report by 5.D: 2 tanks proceeding from Leipäsuo to Lähde. The message was brought by a runner. Two squads of IIIPlatoon were at once sent to secure the crossroads at Lähde.
18.00hrs 5.D issued an order by telephone, forwarded by runner to the Coy CO at the support line. The Company shall leave one squad to secure at the road from Merkki to SW of Valosuo swamp to the parish border. Lt. Rave must contact Col. Lt Vaala who shall provide more detailed instructions to the Coy. II Platoon was subordinated for the time being to Col. Lt Vaala.
19.10hrs Col. Lt Vaala ordered that the securing at Valosuo is to be recalled.
19.25hrs I and II (save one squad) Platoons and the MG Platoon returned by order of Col. Lt Vaala led by the Coy CO to the cantonment. II Platoon (Res. 2nd Lt. Pusa) was subordinated to JR 13 tasked to set up AT securing at the level of the Support line. The Platoon was cantonned in a MG bunker in front of the Support line. Platoon strength 1+5+22. One squad of III Platoon was left to secure at the SE perimeter of Valosuo, and was ordered to maintain an ongoing contact with the JR 13 outfits at the area. To secure the contact one Runner of the Company had to stay in the Command Post of JR13 constantly.
20.40hrs The squad from the SE perimeter of Valosuo returned to cantonment.
The Company did not engage the enemy, but had been subjected to shelling by enemy. No casualties.

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

Post by Lotvonen » 13 Dec 2017 06:02

The enemy launched a probing attack at the Lähde sector. False alarm for the Company.

Date 13.12.1939

09.30hrs IV Platoon (Res.2nd Lt. Pitkänen) that had been in an AT mission W of Muolaanjärvi lake and that had received on the 12.12. order to rejoin the Company, arrived to the Company skiing. Now the Company battle strength is 5+24+114. MG Platoon strength 1+3+19.
12.30hrs The JP2 AT gun platoon subordinated to the Company arrived, strength 4+19. Order in Appx.9. (not available)
15.10hrs Capt. Karimo reported by phone that some tanks are moving about on the no-man's land. The Company was alerted and they departed for the Support line on lorries.
17.00hrs Capt. Karimo reported that the Company can return to cantonment. The tanks did not try to penetrate the Main defence line.

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

Post by Lotvonen » 14 Dec 2017 06:03

Enemy attacking the Main defence line.

Date 14.12.1939

04.55hrs Col. Lt. Vaala order: Company immediately to standby for AT task. The alert never came, however.
9.25hrs Coy CO ordered to arrive at the 5.D command post to report on the AT organization on the Lähde sector.
11.20hrs Coy CO returned from the D. I and IV Platoons digging AT foxholes at the Lähde crossroads and about 2km to the direction of the Support line. III Platoon building dugouts while on standby for AT action.
12.30hrs 5.D order by phone: AT gun detachment is removed from the Company and they shall move to Summa sector. Outfit left at 13.05hrs.
13.42hrs Col. Lt. Vaala order: Company immediately in standby.
14.20hrs 5.D alerted the Company. III Platoon shifted with lorries to the Support line, I and II Platoons skied to their workplaces. The Company was grouped as follows: II Platoon in front of the Support line, of them one Squad in the Main defence line at the request of Capt. Kuiri, I Platoon immediately behind the Support line, III and IV Platoons in reserve at the main road, on the level of the road leding to Col.Lt. Vaala's Command post. Constant liaison by Runners to the front line and Col.Lt. Vaala so that either the Coy CO himself was in his command post, or when the situation demanded, the Coy CO was with the Coy, the leader of the Admin Squad. The Coy did not have to engage, only the Squad in the firing line had participated in fighting.
14.55hrs Telephone line to Huumola 16 has been repaired.
17.55hrs Coy returned led by the Coy CO to the cantonment by order of Col. Lt. Vaala.

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

Post by Lotvonen » 15 Dec 2017 05:59

Date 15.12.1939

09.38hrs Col. Lt. Vaala order: Company immediately to standby.
10.55hrs Col.Lt Vaala requested to send one Platoon to secure the Support line. III Platoon set out at once led by the Coy CO on lorries. I and IV Platoons set out by skiing at the same time to improve AT foxholes led by Res. 2nd Lt Puhtimäki.
13.50hrs Platoon Pitkäpaasi returned to the cantonment and continued dugout building.
18.10hrs I and IV Platoons rerturned to cantonment led by the Coy CO.
19.25hrs Tel. Message by Col Isaksson, transmitted by Sgt. Laitinen. “ Inform your troops that at Suomussalmi our troops have destroyed a Russian Division. At Tolvajärvi the pursuit of beaten Russians continues.”

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

Post by Lotvonen » 16 Dec 2017 06:23

Date 16.12.1939

The Platoons were in turn working at the AT sites at the sides of the Kämärä-Kaukjärvi road while two of them were at the cantonment site in AT training and dugout building work. The day was calm, the II Platoon that was in the front destroyed one immobilised tank. The entire Company can now be accommodated in dugouts.
19.30hrs Coy CO in the D. reporting on his actions.
22.35hrs Col. Lt. Vaala order: Company immediately to standby to engage in the direction of the main road. The alert never came, however.

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

Post by Lotvonen » 16 Dec 2017 07:07

Some backtracking, source Er.P3 HQ diary:

1.
Date.3.12.1939 at 21.00hrs
Recon order no.1 (to Coy Rave= 2./Er.P3)
Contact with the enemy lost on the sector of Det. Karhu. Similar info from both wings. Det. Karhu shall tonight carry out such a deep recce mission that contact with the enemy shall be established.
Company Rave shall carry out recon on a sector limited on the right : Ruokjärvi-Järmilä and on the left Kirstinälä schoolhouse – Jokisuo “i”
Report on the recce results and on the line where the contact was made today by 2300hrs and by 05.00hrs tomorrow (4.12.)
Should the recce patrol on their mission find the enemy aircraft that fell down in Järmilä, the undamaged engine must be dealt with by hand grenade.
Maj.Mäntylä.

2.
Recon order no.2
Date 4.12.1939 at 00.30hrs
Coy Rave must send at once a recce patrol on the sector right limit Riskkjärvi- Järmilä “r” and left limit Kirstinälä village – Jokisuo “i”
Recon must be extended so deep that contact with the enemy is gained.
By order Res.2nd Lt. Pusa
Received by Sgt. Korhonen

3.
Btn. order
Date 4.12.1939 at 11.20hrs
(map 1:20000, sheet Heilila)
Fron Kolijärvi 500m NE
At map word Honkamäki “i”Platoon Pitkänen, E of them about 100m Platoon Puhtimäki. At the crossroads Puppola (first P) Puhtimäki's runner.
The task of Det. Puhtimäki is to take the positions for now and secure eventual retreat.
Coy Rave shall withdraw using the road W of Kirkkojärvi to Linkka crossroads, further on the Uusikirkko – Viipuri road, then rally in the terrain, the patch of forest NE of Uiskola.
Detailed instructions by runner. After initial orders the Coy CO shall report at the Btn CO command post.
By order Pusa
(added below: Res. 2nd Lt.)

4.
Battalion order (to Rave)
Date 8.12.1939 at 10.00hrs
Lt. Rave!
By order of Maj Mäntylä you must find yourself in the dugout of the Div. CO at 14.30hrs
By order: M. Lamppu
Comms. Officer

5.
Battalion order (to Rave)
Date 8.12.1939 at 21.30hrs
Lt. Rave!
All explosive devices completed by now must be divided equally in three lorries that are on the standby also for the Btn. strike. The remaining six lorries on the standby for personnel transport, sitting banks installed or without.
One platoon shall be shipped on two lorries and the necessary gear with another.
By order Res.2nd Lt Ylihannu
Intel Officer

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

Post by Lotvonen » 17 Dec 2017 06:21

Telephone connection most likely cut by enemy shelling at multiple places.

Date 17.12.1939

11.15hrs At 9.30 message in writing. The Company was requested to its task. Telephone connection cut . Appx.10 (not available). The Company set out at once on lorries to the front.
20.40hrs Battalion order of the day. Appx. 11 (not available)

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

Post by Lotvonen » 18 Dec 2017 05:46

Date 18.12.39

02.35hrs The Company (except III Platoon, and II Platoon still subordinated to JR13 ) returned to cantonment.
The Company had engaged the enemy in the terrain between the Main defence line and Support line. The Company was all the time in the AT foxholes at times in enemy artillery barrage. II Platoon in the firing line also participated in battle and rolling a trench. The Company had destroyed one 8 ton tank at the Main defence line.
Enemy artillery strafe had hit the vicinity of the cantonment area on forenoon of 17.12.
III Platoon stayed to secure the Support line while the rest of the Company returned .
05.30hrs III Platoon returned to cantonment by order of Col. Lt. Vaala.
09.00hrs Artillery strike at the vicinity of the cantonment, no damages.
10.40hrs A new artillery strike at the vicinity of the cantonment, no results.
10.55hrs Another artillery strike at the vicinity of the cantonment, no results.
12.15hrs II Platoon was rushed to the Support line at the request of Col. Lt Vaala.
12.35hrs The rest of the Company were alerted. They set out on lorries at once behind the Support line to the AT foxholes. Enemy aircraft spotted the main body of the Company while they were on board of the lorries, and carried out two attacks, shooting and dropping bombs on the Kämärä-Kaukjärvi road. The attacks, although very intense, did not cause any casualties but the Company arrived successfully behind the Support line.
The Company carried out AT action and rolling a trench in front of the Support line, all the time under intense enemy shelling. One 30t tank was destroyed , and wrecked were two tanks immobilised by AT guns.
13.05hrs Order 09.30hrs on AT action. Forwarded by a runner to the support line to the Coy CO. Appx.12( not available).
20.15hrs Main body of the Company was shipped to cantonment on lorries except IV Platoon that stayed back to secure on the Support line.

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

Post by Lotvonen » 19 Dec 2017 05:58

“Third day of enemy offensive at Summa with undiminishing force. Shelling more intense than ever. At Summa the spearhead of enemy tanks breaks through the front line and advances 1,5km in the rear until stopped by a minefield. Some of the tanks (that did not return to their side) are destroyed during the evening and the night with satchel charges. The infantry attacks have been repelled at the front line.” (Talvisota kronikka)

Date 19.12.1939

03.00hrs Platoon Pitkänen (IV?) returned to the Company by order of Col. Lt. Vaala.
05.45hrs By order of Col. Lt. Vaala the Company was alerted to standby.
06.30hrs The Company was sent by lorries to the front line. The Company grouped by order of Col. Lt. Vaala so that III Platoon was positioned at the Support line, I and IV Platoons at the level of the roads to the command post of Col. Lt. Vaala.
09.15hrs Coy CO sent a runner to the Coy cantonment with orders to send all available (diggging) tools to the front. As soon as they were received, work to repair AT holes partly destroyed by shelling was started.
At 11.30hrs the enemy launched an attack following intense artillery fire, at which time also the I Platoon shifted to the firing line led by Coy CO. II Platoon remained in reserve.
The Company participated both in AT action and trench rolling. After nighfall the terrain between the Main defence line and the Support line was patrolled, during which four tanks were destroyed and finally destroyed were also two tanks immobilised in the course of the day by AT guns.. Also some tanks hit by AT guns were wrecked.
16.00hrs One horse of the MG platoon was evacuated to the cantonment slightly wounded. Reported to the HQ of Er.P3. (A horse casualty caused more paperwork than a man WIA or KIA: Tr.rem.)
16.00hrs Er.P3 CO order was telephoned to the Company cantonment: The tanks that have broken through must be destroyed during the night. The order was forwarded to the Coy CO in the front line.
16.50hrs Report to the Coy CO at the support line from 931. Appx. 13 ( not available)
20.25hrs III Platoon that had seen AT action the most and also the MG Platoon were sent to the cantonment, order accepted by Col. Lt. Vaala.
23.15hrs The rest of the Company returned to the cantonment by order of Col. Lt. Vaala.

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

Post by Lotvonen » 20 Dec 2017 06:03

Enemy offensive at Summa is petering out.

Date 20.12.1939

01.45hrs 881 reported by phone that the C-in-C, having receied a report, had ordered to thank the troops for having stood their ground unwavered .
06.00hrs Col. Lt. Vaala alerted the Company. The Coy at once set out on lorries to their AT positions. The Coy grouping as yesterday. The Coy did not see action but had to stay all day in the AT foxholes in very cold weather.
18.05hrs Report from Hirvi1 to the Coy cantonment: a suspicious man is on the move in snowsuit at the Summa-Kämärä road.
18.10hrs Coy Staff Sgt sent a patrol from the Admin Platoon to the road. Strenght 1+3
22.15hrs I and MG platoons returned to the cantonment led by Puhtimäki.

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

Post by Lotvonen » 21 Dec 2017 05:58

Enemy tanks are still active.

Date 21.12.1939

04.30hrs III and IV Platoons returned to cantonment led by Coy CO.
Company losses on 20.12.39:
II Platoon: KIA: PFC Litmala, Juha, severely WIA Sgt. Kankainen, A., slightly WIA Pvt. Killström, Eero. MG Platoon: KIA Kakko, Toivo and slightly WIA Vesterinen, Aadolf (All by shell splinters).
10.50hrs Several enemy aerial bombardments at our cantonment area, no casualties.
14.58hrs Div. Order by phone: The Company to AT action, quickly. The Coy was shipped to the Support line on lorries. The grouping as previously, again all the time in the AT foxholes in cold weather.
After the enemy tanks had driven through the Main defence line the Company moved in front of the Support line except one Platoon that remained in reserve in the Support line. During the AT action using satchel charges two 30 ton tanks and two 8 ton tanks were destroyed. After nightfall there was some patrolling and the destroyed tanks were wrecked. During patrolling three men went missing.
15.30hrs Enemy observation balloon spotted from our cantonment area.

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

Post by Lotvonen » 22 Dec 2017 05:55

Date 22.12.1939

09.20hrs The Company returned to cantonment, exhausted.
13.40hrs The missing men returned to the Coy. They had got separated from the Coy in a trench during darkness, then they had found a Communications dugout where they stayed until daybreak.
No alert in the course of the day.
Company losses on 21. to 22.12:
KIA Cpl. Haakanen, Kaarlo, Pvt. Valtanen, Valtter, WIA Vesterinen, Hugo (severely)
Due to strain and very cold weather during the stay in the AT foxholes there are a lot of sick men in the dugouts. The Company battle strengh has decreased due to casualties and sickness considerably, being now 5+16+87.

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

Post by Lotvonen » 23 Dec 2017 06:17

date 23.12.1939

05.30hrs II Platoon (Pitkäpaasi) relieved Platoon Pusa fron the front line by order of Coy CO.
11.30hrs Col.Lt. Vaala requested one platoon to AT securing at the Support line since there were tanks roaming on no-man's land. IV Platoon was ferried to the front on lorries.
III platoon destroyed one 8t on tank with an AT gun (they must have borrowed it! Tr.rem.)
19.20hrs Platoon Pitkänen was fetched with lorries to the cantonment by order of Col.Lt. Vaala. The Platoon did not engage the enemy.
21.20hrs (Lt.) Rave set out to the D.HQ to report on the action of the Company so far.
22.30hrs By Div. Order Res. 2nd Lt. Puhtimäki sent a patrol led by Cpl. Valtonen (1+8) to reconnoiter the forested terrain S of Lähde-Leipäsuo, because it was suspected that two enemy tanks had managed to penetrate in the forest.
23.15hrs Coy CO returned from the Division, relaying the greetings and the thanks of the Div. CO. to the Company.
23.15hrs Div. Order to keep a tally on destroyed tanks. Appx. 14 ( not available)

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

Post by Lotvonen » 24 Dec 2017 05:58

date 24.12.1939

03.30hrs The patrol returned to cantonment. There were no tanks in the forest.
06.20hrs Col.Lt. Vaala requested one platoon as AT reserve to his command post. I Platoon was ferried on trucks to the front. The Platoon was placed in the tents of JR13 (Note this: JR13 was holding their section of the Main defence line, daily subjected to shelling and they did not have dugouts! Tr. Rem.)
14.00hrs I Platoon moved into the AT foxholes behind the firing line by order of Col.Lt Vaala.
18.00hrs (Platoon) Puhtimäki returned to the cantonment. No tanks showed up.
18.50hrs Telephone message from ER.P command post: Password has fallen in the hands of the enemy, it is not to be used for now, ID must be proven by other means.
23.45hrs Sentry reported that a green flare has been fired in the direction of the main road (Kämärä-Kaukjärvi).

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