JR 14 War Diary Translation Thread

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Lotvonen
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Re: JR 14 War Diary Translation Thread

Post by Lotvonen » 12 Jan 2020 05:59

JR 14, 16.12.1939

09.45hrs JR31 situation report dated 15.12.received:
“Enemy has been launching multiple attacks against Oinala strongpoint all day with a force of about one Btn. 7 tanks. The attack has been repulsed and 5 tanks have been destroyed.
There is a large gap in the tank hindrance, that shall be repaired next night. On the Muolaa church isthmus the enemy has been attacking with a force of about two Coys. - Enemy has taken heavy casulaties.”

In the afternoon nothing very special; entire day ominously quiet. Field fortification work was continued with full strength.

20.30hrs 1.D HQ order on reconnoitering K.D. n:o 266/II/27.sal./7. (Appx. N:o 53)

(end of day).

Lotvonen
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Re: JR 14 War Diary Translation Thread

Post by Lotvonen » 14 Jan 2020 08:44

JR 14, 17.12.1939

01.45hrs A report from Suurisaari in Muolajärvi :
“Small enemy patrol attempted to enter the island and a larger one (abt. 20 men) seen on the ice heading N.” -Muolajärvi really needs to be secured.
02.35hrs Basing on the above-mentioned enquiry about the situation on the front:
-Jussi sector calm.
-Puulaaki sector calm.
-Suurisaari : enemy patrols still about on Muolajärvi.
03.50hrs Reserve alert, 1.D HQ informed.
04.10hrs Calm in Suurisaari
08.10hrs 1.Raja K CO, Capt. Paloheimo reported to receive detailed instructions. (1. RajaK was transferred to be the tank mining unit in the Division rear).
08.10hrs Started heavy constant enemy artillery fire at the rear of the Rgt sector (at the front line it started as early as 0700hrs). It was very intense, like the beating of a drum, it appeared to be artillery preparation, rate about 60 shells/min.
10.15hrs Most likely it was one, because went on at an undiminished rate.
Telephone connections were out of order from the very beginning; liaison by Runners.
11.05hrs Puulaaki liaison officer arrived:
“MG or LMG fire heard from the Saari forward strong-point
At Jussi sector more calm, except on the cut line, subjected to heavy barrages.
II/1.Pr sector calm”.
11.20hrs Shelling decreased, continuing as strikes at times on the entire area.
12.20hrs Report from Suurisaari: Everything all right at 1140hrs.
12.20hrs Reserve Btn adjutant arrived reporting that “Allan blocking line” and “Napa strong-point” are manned and the reserve is on the standby. (This due to earlier instructions advising to do this in case the situation appears ominous and there is no liaison with the Rgt).
12.50hrs Report from Puulaaki sector:
“In front of C1 about 600m S there is an enemy outfit about one Coy in strength.
In front of C3 also movement; MG s being brought to position supported by tanks.”
13.40hrs 1.D. HQ reported that at Munasuo about 10 tanks have broken through. Attack is likely to be launched. Reserve is on the standby.
13.42hrs Forwarded to 1.Pr for their information.
13.45hrs Jussi sector CO report arrived:
“-Artillery barrages on the entire sector starting 0700hrs quite intense.
-All liaison from the Btn HQ by Runners only.
-According to SU3 CO one tank may have been destroyed on the forest line (cut line). In the same direction the enemy may have attempted a breakthrough with small forces.
-For now no detailed information.
13.50hrs Jussi sector situation report:
“-At 0930hrs enemy launched a weak attempt to outflank the cut line by W, was repelled. Sounds of tanks emerging from the cut line.
-At 1045 hrs one tank was destroyed with an AT gun on top of the stone hindrance at the cut line.
-Another tank turned back.
-Enemy was firing at the stone hindrance at the cut line; managed to break it a little.
-1145hrs SU1 reported that two large tanks have been destroyed; one having crossed the stone hindrance and getting stuck in the AT trench, another one at the hindrance.
-Enemy infantry on both sides of the cut line; by 1245hrs had not yet attempted to attack.
-No enemies in front of SU2.
-No enemies in front of SU6 either,
-So the enemy attack is to be expected at SU1 and to the West from there.
-Shelling goes on.
In the afternoon the shelling again increased continuing up to 1600hrs as barrage (“drum fire”)”.
14.00hrs Despatch officer Res. 2nd Lt. Kallio with 3 Runners sent to II/1.Pr HQ as Liaison officer.
14.30hrs Puulaaki sector report:
“Enemy has surrounded the Saari forward strong-point on both sides so that the defenders cannot withdraw.”
14.50hrs Saari still ours: no problems.
16.25hrs Received a report by Res.2nd Lt. Kallio from II/1.PR Command post:
“-At 1130hrs report that an enemy Platoon has been annihilated E from Pt.30. Movement detected in the forest S of Pt.30.
At 14.47hrs it was reported that the enemy appears to be rallying in the terrain between the Kosenjoki/Peronjoki junction and Pt.30. Also at Le7 it was seen that about 130 men in a file comprising groups of 10 men crossed the wire (breached by shelling) to the direction of Tassionlammet “s”.
-This outfit has been observed to have advanced about 100m N of Perojoki river.
-Enemy shelling hard still at 1530hrs; it is not accurate, neither has it caused damages.
At 15.20hrs again enemies spotted at Pt.30: number unknown.”
16.30hrs Another report by Res. 2nd Lt. Kallio:
“According to information received by me the enemy attempted at 1305hrs with a Platoon to cross Peronjoki river between strong-points A3 and A4; the attack was beaten back.”
16.35hrs Report from Puulaaki sector:
“As the pressure continues the Saari strong-point crew has been granted permission to withdraw at 1500hrs.
-So the Saari strong-point was lost to the enemy at 1500hrs
Also, at the right flank of B1 enemy is advancing with about three platoons.
19.30hrs Situation report from Puulaaki sector:
“-Tel. connections all cut. -Liaison with the main defence line by Runners.
-Situation in the front is calming down.”
19.30hrs Capt. Palkama of 1.D HQ phoned reporting that the enemy has today attacked at the Lähde road with 50tanks and one Regiment. Tanks broke through; at least 27 of them have been destroyed, and 10 are still roaming inside the main defence position. Inf. beaten back; fighting goes on still,”
19.45hrs Situation report from Jussi sector:
“But for sporadic shelling the situation is calm at the moment.
-Liaison with units with Runners still.”
By the evening the situation calmed down and the shelling decreased. Despite heavy barrages there was no actual inf. attack, unless this show was intended to take the Saari forward strong-point, which the enemy managed to accomplish.
At Jussi sector the enemy kept engaging us all night, whereas on Puulaaki sector they withdrew (found out by reconnoitring at 0.45hrs).

(end of day).

Lotvonen
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Re: JR 14 War Diary Translation Thread

Post by Lotvonen » 18 Jan 2020 05:41

JR 14, 18.12.1939

02.45hrs 1.D.HQ reporting:
“Enemy 43.D. Reports that it is ready today at 0800hrs (0700hrs our time) to launch the main attack on the left wing”
08.20hrs Shelling started on the entire sector, maybe even stronger than on 17.12. Shelling appeared to be aimed specially at battery stations and the rear area. (Command post was a specially hot spot). Shelling went on without respite until 1200hrs whereafter it was shifted more to the front line and the rwy line, somewhat slackening.
11.00hrs Jussi sector situation report received:
“-Shelling is very intense; the enemy is trying to blow holes in the hindrances (at. SU5).
-At the cut line some inf. movement which is directed to the C sector.
-Tel. Connections broken.
-SU5 door shot broken; are not able to fix it on their own, so I am requesting quick action to get experts.”

(Legend on map adjacent to p.47:
Transparent drawing for map 1:100000
III/JR14 road and ski track recon result.
Legend:
Reconnoitred road
Reconnoitred ski track and direction
Area where the enemy artillery action has been directed in a high degree
Recon by Lt. Ketonen)

12.50hrs Maj. Wahlbeck (Kannas Army HQ) arrived in the Command dugout.
Rgt CO emphasized him the fact that Muolajärvi is open and the present organization (one single coy as the seam outfit) cannot be considered sufficient in any degree, he asked Maj. W. to inform his superiors about this grievance. Also Rgt CO reported on his actions to make the defence hold with his own forces, saying that the Rgt Reserve is working to plug the gap. Plan and degree of completion described in a sketch in the appendix. (p 48: transparent drawing on the hindrance line to be set up on the Muolajärvi ice.)
Moreover Rgt CO remarked that the concrete dugout cables were totally sub-standard, and asked for action to remedy the matter.
-These cables were bad from the very beginning, a fact that had been found out before the war already, and remarks had been made almost daily, but without any result whatsoever. They had been severed by the very first artillery strikes and moreover they were leaking badly which the enemy definitely has made use of .
13.00hrs Puulaaki sector situation report:
“-Patrol 1+4 entered at 1000hrs Saari strong-point whereby enemy opened fire from our old positions. -One KA, the rest managed to disengage.
-Constant observation set up to the Saari direction.
-All tel. connections broken. -Liaison with Runners.”
Shelling went on until afternoon, going on in the evening sporadically.
13.05hrs Of Kev.Os.5 the Bicycle Coy was subordinated to the Rgt for use in field fortification work.
13.10hrs 5 tanks appeared in front of SU1; 4 of them were destroyed at once.
-The result was that the infantry following them withdrew.
In the afternoon the enemy managed to shoot with their infantry cannons about a 5 m wide gap in the stone hindrance. The cannons could not be eliminated due to lack of tel. connections (cables severed).
13.35hrs Puulaaki sector CO report:
“-Enemy artillery concentrating their fire specially at the seam of sectors B and C. Else the main defence line is calm; only minor exchange of shots.
-All tel. connections still severed, liaison by Runners.”
14.05hrs Jussi sector CO report:
“-Enemy tanks have been sighted on the Muolajärvi beach some distance to us from Methylate.
-Shelling more intense than yesterday is continuing.
-My liaising depends all on Runners.
-I cannot tell for sure if an enemy attack could be expected, because reports are slow in coming.
-The latest reports do not mention enemy inf.
-There are some wounded.
-It would be appreciated if the Rgt could send a couple of Runners for liaison.”
14.25hrs Jussi sector CO report:
“At SU1 the previously mentioned 3 tanks have finally been destroyed. Enemy is constantly visible.
-Constant shelling.”
14.45hrs Jussi sector CO report:
“SU4 CO requesting three strikes at target 5544 comprising 2 to 3 inf. cannons. 100 m behind this target and 100m to the forest there are 8 tanks, stationary.
-Artillery support has been requested by Runners, kindly confirm.”
-Cornet Linnoila requesting artillery barrage in front of the tank hindrance between the State forest cut line and Suursuo bog.
-Also at least a few shells in front of the tank hindrance at SU7.”
15.00hrs Cavalry Capt. Alfthan arrived for further instructions since the Bicycle Coy /Kev.Os.5 was subordinated.
Rgt CO order:
“Bicycle Coy shall be subordinated to Puulaaki sector CO starting 19.12. at 0700hrs at which hour they shall report at “Puomi crossroads”
-Working in daytime, in the cantonment in night-time.”
15.20hrs The above-mentioned relayed to Puulaaki sector CO .
15.55hrs Puulaaki sector CO report:
“-At1330hrs in front of Strong-point C3 about 2oom off in the seam 3 enemy tanks, one of which was destroyed, the other two escaped. Tanks followed by a minor infantry force. Beyond “Molotoff line” there are enemies and mortars.
-On the limit between strong-points C1 and C2 on the bog in the hindrance trench there was an enemy outfit comprising 2 to 3 Platoons, attempting to advance to Saari strong-point; our mortars fired two strikes; bullseye and quiet.”
15.55hrs Jussi sector CO report:
“-Lt. Haavisto reporting that the enemy has the immediate purpose of annihilating SU5. Three enemy inf. cannons have been direct-firing since 1330hrs at SU5 and the stone hindrance in front of it. There are just now in his opinion about 30 Russkies working at creating a gap in the stone hindrance.
-To protect SU5 I absolutely need 500 to 1000pcs sand bags that I have ordered ages ago. I must get them now. Requesting action.”
16.55hrs Jussi sector CO report:
”At SU1 at the forest cutting 4 tanks have been destroyed. (On my sector so far 22 pcs; during 17.-18-12. 7 pcs). At least one managed to return. Enemy is moving on the entire sector with small force.
-Liaison still by Runners only.”
Despite the huge, preparatory-like shelling no inf. attack even today; only some attempts by minor outfits against C sector which were easily repulsed and men were concentrated in “Saari”; nothing major was observed.
17.50hrs Puulaaki sector CO report:
“-In the mid-part of “Saari” there is about one Coy of enemies. Mortars have fired at them and keep firing. There is a barn in front of strong-point C3 with an enemy mortar behind it, I have requested mortar fire there.
-At the stone hindrance in front ofC3 there are some enemies and elsewhere just infrequent exchange of shots.
-My observers have spotted that about 100 enemies have advanced from the juncture of Perojoki and Kosenjoki rivers to the direction of “Saari”.at about 1615hrs.”
19.15hrs Jussi sector CO report:
“-In front of SU5 there is an about 5m wide gap in the stone hindrance, and in the wire a 20m gap. The latter shall be repaired by me but to fix the former, Sapper Lt. Sutela's assistance is urgent and essential.
-I do not have a liaison with him, so I am requesting quick reaction.
-I have been expecting the Reserve CO here, he has promised. Can I liaise via Rgt HQ?
PS. The mentioned person arrived already.”
20.50hrs Report by JR31 CO (the neighbour on our left on the Kyyröllä isthmus):
“-Enemy launched an attack on 18.12.at 0705hrs by shelling Oinala. Simultaneously abt. One Btn of enemy supported by 10 tanks. The enemy took a good barrage of our artillery but the tanks managed to get to the open ground at Tervola where they now are being destroyed. Enemy managed to penetrate as far as to Valola and Peltola, where it now is being pushed out by one of our Battalions. Enemy is feeding new Coys in the fire. The main defence line is ours.”
Enemy shelling rate about 40/min. Elsewhere on the 1437 sector calm. 1439 sector only enemy shelling. Enemy artillery is firing at 1448, Kaski, Paakeli and 1435. Enemy has suffered great casualties.
By order, Int. off. Res 2nd Lt. P. Uro.”
23.00hrs Jussi sector CO report:
“-Jussi sector now calm. Recon patrols have problems in getting out due to proximity of the enemy.
-For this reason it has not been possible to complete tank destruction.”

(end of day).

PS Mentioned Sapper Lt. Sutela completed his career as General and Commander of the Finnish Defence Force (1974-1983).

Lotvonen
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Re: JR 14 War Diary Translation Thread

Post by Lotvonen » 20 Jan 2020 05:21

JR 14, 19.12.1939

05.19hrs: 1.D HQ report:
“According to latest information received [enemy] 10th Tank Army HQ find themselves in Boboschino. Tank troops are in jumpoff positions ready to attack.”
07.30hrs Sporadic shelling here and there at the Rgt area.
-This morning is clear and cloudless first time for a long while.
07.30-10.15hrs Friendly FO (sic!) fighters, 7 pcs, are overhead.
08.00hrs By this hour shellng increased again but did not reach yesterday's rate.
10.10hrs 55 enemy bombers overflew Rgt sector at 100-1500m bearing 55-00.
-They did drop bombs – in the lake and Kattilakoski village and on the road to NW from there; minor damage. Leaflets, too, wind carried them back to the sender.
Aerial battles over Summa, Kämärä, Hotakka; our AA artillery in action.
-Enemy losses on 1.D sector during the day 7 bombers.
10.30hrs From his hour in the patch of forest in front of SU7 about 10 tanks were moving about. At noon they drove in a single file on the road to the open ground at Väisänen. AT guns shot up 4 to immobility; finally destroyed with satchel charges next night. The rest turned back ( 5 of them were smoking). One tank managed to fire positioned at SU7 in the SU5 MG embrasure; Ventilation tubes were smashed, nothing else accomplished. (Armoured plates for the embrasures are missing and they have not been received so far.)
10.35hrs Puulaaki secor CO report:
“-All tel.connections broken again.
-Brief MG bursts can be heard in the Btn Command post, else everything appears to be calm so far.”
10.40hrs Jussi sector CO report:
”-Shelling at Jussi sector fairly intense. All liaison by Runners only.
-As to enemy I do not know of anything special.
I am requesting action concerning
a)Reserve to continue making Spanish riders for the left flank of my sector.
b)liaison with Reserve CO for carrying out the work.
c)barbed wire would be reserved by evening for Jussi sector 2 to 3 tonnes
d)Tel.field cable for Jussi sector should be sent [a quantity of] 5 to 6 km because the present cable is smashed in pieces.
SU5 CO reported that inf. has assembled in the patch of forest in front of SU7 (crossroads to Villelä) and a couple of tanks.
-Haavisto says that he is anticipating an attack at 1000hrs
11.30hrs jussi sector CO report:
“Enemy attacked at SU 6 and 7 at least with one Coy. In the same direction at least 5 tanks have been spotted.
-This information is unverified and has been received from the F.O.O. in SU5 via Runner,”
12.40hrs Puulaaki sector CO report:
“-Minor enemy outfits are advancing from “Saari” to W, at the Perojoki bridge. In front of strong-point B1 about one Platoon of enemies were spotted at about 11.10hrs
-Enemy observation balloon spotted from Strong-point B4 bearing 20-00 range estimated about 4km.
-Else nothing specia; enamy a/c have dropped leaflets.
-Tel.connections still broken.”
13.00hrs Reserve CO reported:
“One enemy a/c has crashed in Kattilaoja terrain.”
13.05hrs Referring to the abovementioned order was issue to Admin Coy CO to send out a patrol to find out about the matter.
13.40hrs Rgt CO phoned 1.D HQ reporting that we have not yet received new parts to replace 20 pcs broken SMG extractors and 10 pcs MG firing pin springs, despite several requests.
-Functional reliability of weapons!
At the same time CO also reminded of the notoriously famous dugout cable, the replacement of which has by this date not been delivered.
14.00hrs Rgt Admin Coy CO report:
“-Enemy bombers have raided the Coy cantonment area and Kattilaoja village.
-Casualties include 2 horses KIA and 5 WIA.
-One field kitchen has been so badly damaged that it cannot be used for cooking any more.
-The bomb that hit the Coy storehouse did not damage the material even though the house was broken.”
14.45hrs Puulaaki sector CO report:
“-At abt. 1200Hrs enemy tried to attack at strong-point B1 but before they reached the wire at least 50 of the outfit were KIA, the attack stalled and the enemy withdrew.”
16.15hrs Puulaaki sector CO report:
“-Basing on observations from several points the enemy observation balloon is likely to be situated in the location indicated in the transparent drawing adjacent.
-Anothr balloon appeared to the right and rear of the previous one.
-1030hrs it was observed from several points tat one enemy smoking bomber crashed in front of strong-point B3 on the enemy side in the forest, then a thick smoke cloud rose up.
-sporadic exchange of shots, specially at strong-point B1 where the surviving enemies on the bog are trying to disengage, although with poor results.
-Opposite of strong-point B1 on the “Saari” forest edge the enemy appears to be digging in.”
18.30hrs 1.D HQ report (Capt. Palkama):
“At Summa village attacking at least 123rd and 128th Division and 91st and 105th Detached Tank Battalion.”
Afternoon calm. Harassment shelling here and there all about the sector.
-Aerial activities are lively and during the day at least 7 eemy bombers have definitely been shot down.
21.00hrs Colonels Vihma (1.Pr CO) and Sihvonen arrived at the Command dugout.
-Liaison since Col. Vihma is according to received orders handing over 1-Pr tp Col. Sihvonen.
21.10hrs 1.D HQ report (Capt. Palkama):
“Enemy has broken through with a strength of at least two Divisions and two detached Tank battalions at Summa village. Counterattack is being prepared.”
23.30hrs 1.D HQ reporting that Summa is not yet sorted out.
24.00hrs Res. Btn CO arrived at the dugout summoned there.
He was issued an order and instructions for action in case there should be a failue at Summa.
In that case among other matters:
- Res. Btn shall cover the front line disengagement and shall be the last to leave the defence position and to withdraw with delaying action to the lisne Leipäsuo bog – Hotakka – Saaretjoki.

(end of day).

Lotvonen
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Re: JR 14 War Diary Translation Thread

Post by Lotvonen » 25 Jan 2020 07:00

JR 14, 20.12.1939

02.00hrs
“-According to information gained from POWs by 5.D the enemy attack shall start on 20.12. with the following force:
-From E, 138th, 123rd, 90th Divisions, 2 Regiments of each in the front line.
-About 400 tanks have been rallied for the attack.
-Among other material the enemy has at least 13 pcs 10” guns.
-According to the POW the enemy inf. is unwilling to attack; refusals have taken place also in light and medium heavy tank outfits.
-The attack shall be led by X AC HQ based I Boboschino.
-The POW (a Red officer) further recounted that if the attack does not succeed at Summa village where the focal point is they shall try to attack in direction 1432 and roll up from there.
-At Summa village terrain during the night about 60 tanks.
Our a/c have not been able to fly above Boboschino, there is a strong AA defence.
-In Summa village the situation is unclear; elsewhere the main defence line is held.”

02.20hrs 1.D. HQ report:
“C-in-C has after receiving night report issued order to thank the troops for unwaveringly standing their ground.”
Forward the above-mentioned immediately.
03.30hrs Suurisaari strong-point CO (Lt. Suihkonen) reported:
“-At abt.2400hrs enemy fired irritating gas at the S tip of Suurisaari, area abt. 200X200m. Pungent smell, causes flowing of tears”.
The case was analysed at once yet it could not be definitely proven. -Maybe explosion gases.
07.25hrs 1.D. HQ report (Capt. Palkama):
“-To the right from III/1.Pr up to Summajärvi the main defence line is ours; on the W side of Summajärvi there are some of the biggest tanks inside the main resistance position.”

The morning was calm; shelling started after 0800hrs increasing during AM at the front line to a fair intensity specially on II Btn sector. Minor attack attempt were launched from the direction of Suurisaari and Saari strong-point which were easily repulsed, however.
08.45hrs Report by Suurisaari CO received (Appx. no. 54)
09.15hrs JR4 Adjutant (Lt. Touri) reported:
“On the left on the E shore of Muolajärvi enemy has broken into Rantala and transported material across the ice from Taaperniemi most likely with motor sleds.”
09.30hrs Rgt CO reported the above-mentioned to 1.D chief of staff again remarking that the defence of Muolajärvi is not right.
During AM a 100 man strong enemy outfit tried to attack in “Kiviristo strong-point” at the shore of Muolajärvi, but the attack was beaten back.
-This strong-point is extremely hard to defend because its NE side is totally in a dead angle, so SU7
is unable to fire at the lake shore.
Muolajärvi shore was totally depending on the fire of a LMG squad and rifle fire.
10.50hrs Jussi sector CO report:
“-Scattered artillery strikes at the sector. Enemy did not show up in any significant manner.
-Today we received 7 extractors but 4 are still missing. These must be made available by tens because they keep breaking.
-It is imperative to get one LMG and one MG spare barrel immediately until the ones sent to repair are returned.”
13.30hrs Puulaaki sector CO report:
“-No major change in the situation; heavy shelling constantly at various points of the sector.”
11.50hrs 1.D. HQ report:
“-Front line Regiments must immediately try to find out which Divisions they have been fighting on 19.12. The findings are to be forwarded as fast as possible (by telephone) to 1.D HQ, mentioning the source and verification.
By order, 1.D Chief of staff.”
12.00hrs Forwarded to concerned CO s.
12.25hrs Jussi sector CO report:
“-Enemy being active in front of the main defence line and specially from Karusniemi along the shoreline and in front of SU6, SU2 and SU1, giving rise to expect that enemy is preparing for an attack. At SU6 enemy is using e.g. direct fire cannons to shoot gaps in the stone hindrance.
-The one grievance to be addressed immediately is the constantly broken artillery communications. A buried cable must immediately be installed to SU4, because no other cable stays usable.
-Lt. Haavisto considers that the shoreline is very risky because there are locations that cannot adequately be covered with direct fire. Due to this considerable casualties in Villelä strong-point (yesterday 2 KIA, 2 badly WIA and 2 slightly WIA; today 2 WIA.)
-If artillery cables were in order there should not be any problems, at least not to the present extent.
-Mortar fire is not sufficient.
-To secure liaison with the other parts of the sector I renew my yesterday's request for 5 to 6 km field cable because liaison is constantly interrupted.
-Once more, artillery liaison.”
13.00hrs Jussi sector CO report:
“-I annexed the report by Lt Haavisto to me, totally agreeing with his point of view on carrying out reconnoitring . Front line companies are totally overstrained specially on 2nd Coy sector and also 3rd Coy.
-As to my reserve Coy I have employed it at work during night-time and during daytime as much as it has been possible, its usability in reconnoitring is fairly low. Besides, in order not to risk the defence of the sector I do not think that I can use only one Platoon at a time for reconnoitring which is too little to break through the enemy teeming beyond the stone hindrance,
-So I ask to suggest that the Regimental reserve should be used more than so far in strong outfits for reconnoitring until I shall consider my Battalions recovered enough to regain their fighting value.
-Also I am reporting that Villelä strong-point CP Res. Lt. Hiekka has requested reinforcement in the direction of Muolajärvi beach. Regarding this I also am requesting that if possible, the weapons on Suurisaari should participate in repelling the enemy despite the distance. Also I request that basing on the observations made on Suurisaari a fire request should be presented to the Artillery concerning the enemy at Karusniemi.
-I suppose that telephone connections from that direction are surviving better than from here to rear.”
13.30hrs Puulaaki sector CO report:
“-No major change in the situation; occasional exchange of shots.”
13.45hrs Jussi sector CO report:
“-Enemy is trying to shoot a gap in the stone hindrance at SU2 with direct fire using a tank cannon,. Since I consider that I possibly can move the two AT guns at SU1 from their present positions since they are fulfilling an important task and tanks may appear any moment within their field of fire, I am requesting that for my use should be immediately subordinated one of the two AT guns that previously were here (Res. 2nd Lt. Salmi's platoon, SVK) and this should be directed via SU3 to SU2.”
13.50hrs Order to Res. Btn CO to support the defence of Villelä strong-point from Suurisaari and shore strong-point.
14.20hrs Order to Jussi sector CO:
“-Enemy appears to attempt to advance along the beach-line to surround Villelä strong-point. Reserve CO received orders (1350hrs) to reinforce the shore strong-point so that now there are two platoons.
-Simultaneously orders were issued to Suurisaari via Res.CO to the extent that the local strong-point is tu support Villelä strong-point with their fire despite the long range.
-Artillery is doing what they can to improve resistance just at Jussi sector
-Reserve CO received orders (1350hrs) to standby for reconnoitring. Detailed order shall be issued later.
-I shall remain waiting for a suggestion by Lt. Haavisto on reorganization in Villelä strong-point.
-You are allowed to take the barbed wire found now at the Allan and Einari crossroads (about 1 ton). You are also allowed to get another ½ ton at my logistics outfits. More barbed wire will be available probably no sooner than tomorrow.
-Despite my daily requests I have not yet managed to obtain a fourth AT gun mainly because some quantity has become out of order to the right from us.-The matter is constantly updated.”
15.30hrs Puulaaki sector CO report:
“-It has been again observed that the enemy has during the day moved their troops in minor groups from E to W to the direction of Kosenjoki.
.Work at “Puulaaki” sector is progressing well despite shelling.
-In the night we tried to retrieve from fallen enemies documents etc., but the patrols had to withdraw under enemy fire without accomplishing their task. -At nigh-fall we shall try again.”
19.00hrs Jussi sector CO report:
“-Now it is calm on the sector, at least apparently; heavy shelling has broken the stone hindrance at places. Requesting Sapper Platoon Sutela to fix the hindrance with mines of which 20 to 30 pcs are needed. Also the Platoon should continue mining on the ice at the area that I have reported and Sutela is aware of. -The ice is getting thicker.
-Lt. Saari has presented my other suggestions.”

Else the day was quite calm; Enemy tried several times to attack on Jussi sector specially at SU5 in the direction of the beach line.
-On Puulaaki sector there was lively movement in the W part of Suurisuo and Saari strong-point.
PM we finally received dugout cable, but just 1,5 km and it was not decent ground cable but rubber covered which naturally is not impervious to shelling.
We started immediately digging to lay the cable from SU3 to the rear. Lacking this cable has many a time resulted in missing juicy opportunities due to lack of liaison (broken). Our artillery remained silent most of the day during days when the sector was being shelled.
20.30hrs Order to Res. CO
“Set a Platoon strong recon outfit to be used by Jussi sector CO for reconnoitring to the direction of Metsäkylä.”

20.50hrs Jussi sector CO report:
“-Referring to order issued to me at 1200hrs I am reporting that I have not yet been able to find out which Division troops have engaged us on 19.12 -for the reason that the corpses have been so frozen that it was not possible to extract any documents. -Neither have map cases been found. I hope to be able to find out about the matter by morning.”
-At the moment it is calm on the sector.”
21.00hrs Rgt order of the day no. 16/39 (Appx. no.55)
22.30hrs Puulaaki sector CO report:
“-Movement at the S edge of Suurisuo; enemy strength not accurately known yet.
-My command post has been relocated in the spot previously reported by me.”

The night was calm; From the direction of Summa constant roar of battle could still be heard.

(end of day).

Lotvonen
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Re: JR 14 War Diary Translation Thread

Post by Lotvonen » 30 Jan 2020 05:44

JR 14, 21.12.1939

01.30hrs The recon outfit sent by Res.Btn set out at SU2, advancing up to Peltola (Southern) on its SW side without encountering enemy. -Return via SU1 at 0400hrs.
08.10hrs Order to Puulaaki sector CO:
“Russkies digging in at Suurisuo are to be chased away”. (In the night the Artillery F.O.O. Had found that enemy is digging in at Suurisuo about 300m from our first line.)
09.15hrs Enemy a/c in large numbers airborne heading for N and NW. The number of a/c increased in the course of he day so that finally the airspace was “full”. -Intense aerial bombardment at Leipäsuo rwy station village, Kattilaoja and Hotakka, in Rgt sector specially at battery stations (6./KTR5). - More scattered at the first line and Suurisaari in Muolajärvi.
Also a huge quantity of leaflets.
11.00hrs Jussi sector CO report (Appx. no. 56)
11.00hrs Jussi sector CO report (Appx. no. 57)
11.15hrs 1. D HQ order to Rgt CO to arrive for a briefing by Div.CO
12.30hrs Rgt CO set out,
13.20hrs Puulaaki sector CO report:
“Enemy advancing supported by 3 tanks, force abt. 3 Coys against strong-point B1”
Forwarded to Jussi sector and Reserve CO s.- Also “Tank alert”.
14.10hrs Recon patrol led by Res. 2nd Lt. Larmo set out to the direction of Taaperniemi tasked to find out the enemy strength at Metsäkylä direction and what they are up to now, and take a prisoner.
-For a few days now the enemy activities have apparently been directed entirely against the Rgt sector right wing (Western) having been earlier almost entirely against Jussi sector with the exception of taking Saari strong-point
15.10hrs Puulaaki sector reporting that the enemy attack appears to have escalated: they find themselves inside the hindrances already.
15.15hrs Order to Reserve CO to standby for counter-attack in the direction of Tassio ponds.
15.55hrs Art. F.O.O. Reported the above-mentioned attack.
16.10hrs Enemy attack over Suurisuo has stalled and the enemy is beaten back.
17.10hrs Rgt CO returned from 1.D HQ.
18.00hrs Res. 2nd Lt. Larmo arrived to report on the results of his recon mission; nothing special because fairly soon he had been engaged by enemy in a firefight and he did not make it to Metsäkylä.
He had with him a POW who said he was a field surgeon but he was wearing a Lieut's insignia; he said the reason was that Surgeon insignias were not available.
He recounted among other matters:
-three more divisions coming to support.
-bombardment by heavy bombers to crush our front line can be expected.
-Officers and NCO s unwilling to warfare.
-Battle gases are not employed due to the fear that foreign powers might get involved.
-Lots of frozen cases, because they do not dare to make campfires fearing Finnish aerial raids.
-He emphasized their supplying and food, claiming that food is distributed thrice a day. Later he recanted when told what other POW s had told.
19.15hrs POW relayed to 1.D.
19.30hrs Btn CO s arrived, summoned by Rgt CO for briefing.
Rgt CO explained the order he had received from the Div.CO:
-On 23.12. there shall be a wide frontal attack to cut off the enemy main supply road Kaukjärvi – Perkjärvi stn – Perkjärvi village.
-Rgt shall take off from the present positions and attack via Muolajärvi – Perkjärvi isthmus, the objective being the line at the Muolajärvi lake SE tip to destroy the enemy in the terrain of Taaperoinen – Metsäkylä.
-On the right Det. S (Svensson) consisting of 2. and 3.Pr.
-On the left JR31 on thee Kyyrölä isthmus.
-During the attack the Rgt shall be responsible for the main defensive position.
-Actual orders shall be issued on 22.12. During the 22.12. all preparations are to be carried out: constructing Spanish riders to block the gaps in the wire and bridges to cross the stone hindrances¨
with vehicles. Strong reconnoitring – yet so that it does not attract attention – is to be carried out on 22.12. and 22./23.12. especially to confirm whether it is still true that the enemy find themselves mainly at the Väisänen-Taaperniemi road but the forested terrain SE of the road is abandoned.
-During 22.12. the officers of Det. S. shall visit the Rgt sector to get familiar with their future task.
-Else the 22.12. is to be used to R&R as much as possible.
19.40hrs Puulaaki sector CO report:
“-One enemy tank has proceeded from “Saari” for strong-point B1 and approached to a point some 250-300m from our trench in front of the hindrances, some 30 to 40m from it. It stopped there and the crew escaped, the tank remaining there (eventual mechanical failure). Another tank following this one at a distance of some 20m turned back and a third one seeing the fate of the previous ones did not leave “Saari” at all.
-Lt. Plathan is setting up patrols to blow up the stranded tank

(end of day).

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Re: JR 14 War Diary Translation Thread

Post by Lotvonen » 02 Feb 2020 06:08

JR 14, 22.12.1939

05.15hrs Puulaaki sector report :
“The Vickers [T-26] cannon armed tank present in the attack yesterday has been blown up and burned.
-A patrol brought along one LMG, rifles and one KIA.
-The patrol counted on the bog more than one hundred KIA enemies.
-The patrol is going to fetch a bag full of drum mags that were left behind on the bog.”

The day was generally calm: cloudy weather, some snow, temp -3deg C. Suitable day for preparation.
By reconnoitring it was found that the SW side of Taaperniemi road is free from enemies.
12.30hrs Puulaaki sector CO report:
“-Enemy attack stalled about 300 m in front of strong-point B1 on the hindrance line
-Report relayed to Artillery F.O.O.
-Tel. connections broken, liaison by Runners.
14.20hrs Puulaaki sector CO report:
“-Strong-point C2 observer found at 1307hrs that 5 enemy tanks were moving from “Saari” back to the terrain S of Suurisuo; some inf. men also,”
14.30hrs Rgt Co set out to get familiar with the terrain to be attacked and define jump-off positions in co-operation with the Btn CO s.
17.00hrs Order issued by Rgt CO including:
-Rgt shall attack, objective being the Kaukjärvi-Perkjärvi road, tasked to destroy the enemy in Taaperniemi and Metsäkylä, to take the Muolajärvi – Perkjärvi isthmus and to be ready to continue to the direction of Perkjärvi rwy station with some troops. On the right Det. S., on the left JR31.
-Jump-off positions in SU2 terrain, where the troops shall be on standby on 23.12 by0500 hrs according to the instructions that I received today.
-Rgt shall attack as follows:
“Group Lahja after passing the hindrance line shall immediately head NE and shall tie the enemy in the direction of Taaperniemi road by attacking, objective being the open ground at Taaperniemi.
Groups “Matti” and “Allan” shall proceed one after the other as deep as possible without attracting attention. Group “Matti” I shall use for encircling to the direction of Muolajärvi and to hold the Muolajärvi – Perkjärvi lake isthmus with some of their force: the rest I shall rally to use for the continuation of the attack NW of Perkjärvi lake to the direction of Perkjärvi rwy station. Group “Allan” shall constitute “the bottom of the bag” liaising with Det. S and Group “Lahja”
-To secure the defensive positions the sector CO s shall leave about one Platoon of men and a sufficient number of MG s (3 to 4) in the positions
-Only the essential vehicles shall be included ( cartridge vehicle, tent vehicle for ambulance service, one for each Coy, AT guns in sleighs, all manhandled due to non-existence of roads)
-Other orders on supply shall be issued as needed.
-H=23.12. 0630Hrs
-Gaps in the wire shall be opened in the night and Spanish riders are to be carried in place next to the gaps.

Finally Rgt CO emphasized that everything must be carried out in secrecy and without attracting attention.
20.30hrs Report on destroyed tanks (App. N:o 59)

(end of day).

Lotvonen
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Re: JR 14 War Diary Translation Thread

Post by Lotvonen » 05 Feb 2020 05:59

JR 14, 23.12.1939

Report of the battle at Taaperniemi in the appendix (N:o 59)

(end of day).

1.Division, JR 14 Command dugout 25.12.1939
Written by Lt. P. Sovijärvi, JR14 Adjutant.
Appendix no. 59

Account of battle at Taaperniemi on 23.12.1939

Commander: Col. N. Polttila
Troops: JR14 reinforced with Kev.Os.5., II/KTR5, Detached Sapper Platoon Sutela and an AT platoon of 1. RajaK.
Weather conditions: Clear weather, temp -18 deg C.

21.12.1939
10.10hrs Rgt CO received orders to come to Div.CO (1300hrs) in which occasion Rgt was issued the task of participation in the general attack of II AC on the morning of 23.12.
19.00hrs Rgt CO issued a preparatory spoken order basing on his orders in the command dugout. The order included the attack plan and the following:
-IIIBtn shall carry out reconnaissance with small patrols with maximal efficiency but in absolute secrecy during the night of 21./22.12. and the day of 22.12. to find out:
The location of the enemy and their action at the moment of attack (0630hrs), strength, service branch;
Is no-man's-land prepared, if so, where and how;
Specially it must be found out if the terrain in front of Dugout 2 is unoccupied at this time of day (surprise).
-I Btn shall open gaps (2) in the hindrances during the night of 21./22.12. on both sides of Dugout 2 and organise guidance through the mined area. Mined areas are to be marked out exactly, too.'
-III Btn is to make a sufficient number of Spanish riders to block the opened gaps.
-Btn CO s are to familiarize themselves well led by I Btn CO with the jump-off positions (on both sides of the road to Dugout 2) during 22.12. Suggestion on attack grouping is to be presented on 22.12. during briefing.
A portable bridge shall be built by Sapper Platoon Sutela to transport vehicles over the AT stone hindrance.

(to be continued)

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Re: JR 14 War Diary Translation Thread

Post by Lotvonen » 08 Feb 2020 06:03

Account of battle at Taaperniemi on 23.12.1939 continued

22.12.1939
08.30hrs Written order by Div.CO received, stating:
-JR14 reinforced with Kev.Os.5., II/KTR5 shall attack on the left sector,
right limit: pt.44 – Bog hole 500m NE of the E tip of Suurisuo bog – Pt.41 (excl.) - the road to Pt. 45 (excl.) - the road to Pt. 43 (excl.) Pepojoki outflow point at NW tip Perkjärvi lake – Perkjärvi – Jommasuo bog .
Left limit: Divisional left limit.
Task:
-After reaching the objective of the Division (SE tip of Perkjärvi lake – SE tip of lake Muolajärvi) readiness to take defensive positions on the level SE tip of Perkjärvi lake – SE tip of lake Muolajärvi, pushing securing in the directions of Maisniemi and Ilola while rallying most of the troops ready for action in the direction of Perkjärvi rwy station.
-The attack shall be launched on 23.12. at 0630hrs.
17.00hrs
Rgt. Co issued orders for the attack including:
-Rgt order of battle:
Group Allan (CO: Capt. Ahlas):
I Btn (less 2 ½ platoons)
One Bofors (JP3)
9 MG and 2 mortars.
3 Sapper squads
10 AT men
Group Lahja (CO Maj. Oksanen)
II Btn (less 2 ½ platoons one of which shall come later)
One Bofors (JP3)
one Rosenberg
9 MG and 2 mortars.
2 Sapper squads
10 AT men
One radio for liaising with Rgt Command
Group Matti (Cp. Capt. M. Kuiri)
III Btn (less 1 platoon)
One Bofors (SVK)
One Rosenberg
10 MG and 2 mortars.
2 Sapper squads
10 AT men

-Rgt shall deploy in the jump-off positions on 23.12. by 0600hrs on both sides of the road to Dugout 2 according to the order of battle (above). For details refer to the Appendix.
-Basing on the received recon results Rgt CO decided to attack without fire preparation (Recon results implied that no-man's-land was void of enemies except the road to Taaperniemi where the enemy had built some positions starting about 500m from the main defence line. Also recon results had created the idea that there would be plenty of roads in the enemy side, also longitudinal.(-During the attack it was found that there were just a couple of traverse roads).
-Rgt CO decided to carry out his task as follows:
Group Lahja shall turn immediately after crossing the main defence line to the left and, liasing with Group Matti, shall tie the enemy down in the direction of Villelä-Taaperniemiroad by attacking to the direction of Metsäkylä.
Group Matti after crossing the main defence line shall advance without wasting time and liaising with Det.S into the Div. Intermediate objective on the right limit of the Rgt sector (Pt.41 terrain). From there they shall continue for the shore of Muolajärvi with the purpose of cutting off the Taaperniemi – Korkola road and set up defence on the isthmus between Perkjärvi lake – SE tip of lake Muolajärvi, front facing SE.
Group Allan shall advance 500m behind Group Matti liaising with Groups Matti and Lahja, being ready to be deployed to the direction of Muolajärvi to help the advance of Group Lahja or to destroy the enemy in Taaperniemi after Group Matti shall have cut off the retreat route.
Kev.Os5 shall stay at their rallying position (SE of the road at Henteenoja “H”) being on standby to shift at separate order through the Muolajärvi – Perkjärvi isthmus, to secure to the direction of Maisniemi and Ilola and to liaise with 1.D troops in Lavola.
Having reached the objective ordered by 1.D CO, Rgt CO intended to group I and II Btns NE of the NW tip of Perkjärvi lake in the terrain of Pt.41 to engage in the direction of Perkjärvi rwy station.
II/KTR5 shall support the attack from their present firing positions; F.O.O. Teams shall follow the both front line group COs. Rgt CO shall join the forward units of Group Allan .
The advancing directions and objectives for each Group are listed in the Appendix.
-Regiment shall find themselves in the jumpoff positions on 23.12. at 06.00hrs by which Rgt CO shall have moved to the I Btn command post.
-Horses are not included (AT guns shall be manhandled). Frontal, Ammunition, Ambulance and empty baggage vehicles shall be in standby to follow the Groups and Tst.Km.II vehicles by Rgt Logistics CO after being issued a sepaarate order.
-All preparations and moving to the jumpoff positions must be carried out in absolute secrecy.

End of the day.

(to be continued)

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Re: JR 14 War Diary Translation Thread

Post by Lotvonen » 10 Feb 2020 06:41

JR 14, 23.12.1939
Account of the battle at Taaperniemi continued:

23.12.1939
05.50hrs
Rgt CO arrived at the I Btn command post. There a message from 1.D had already been received (sent by Capt. Airaksinen received by Capt. Ahlas):
(Coded message telling that H Hour will be delayed)
06.10hrs
3.PR CO phoned Rgt CO reporting that he was ready but since Det.S CO and 2.Pr troops had not yet arrived and it was not known where they found themselves , 3.Pr CO suggested that the H hour should be delayed. Basing on these two reports Rgt CO decided to delay the H hour for now since he did not want to attack before he was fullly informed about the readiness of he outfit on the right side of his line. (Liaison was cut off by enemy shelling, this matter could not be discussed with Div.CO.)
08.00hrs
Liaison with 1.D Command post was re-established. Rgt CO phoned 1.D chief of staff, briefing him on the situation and requesting advice on action since no new order had been received. Rgt CO was ordered to start off without delay.
08.05hrs
Due to the abovementioned Rgt CO phoned 3.Pr.CO; it was agreed H=0830hrs,
08.20hrs
Groups Lahja and Matti crossed the attack jumpoff line (=main defence line) and immediately after Group Matti followed Group Allan. There were no enemies in the opposing forest edge and Rgt reached the enemy side without friction. Enemy a/c appeared overhead while we were crossing the main defence line but they did not spot anything. Group Lahja engaged the enemy (0900hrs) and the enemy stareted quite a heavy shelling at the main defence line that was now unoccupied.
09.00hrs
Group Lahja engaged the enemy.
09.05hrs
Group Matti reached their objective no.1 withut encountering the enemy.
09.45hrs
Group Matti reached their objective no.2 where there was just an enemy securing outfit (8 men); the out fit was annihilated.
09.50hrs
Group Matti CO sent out a patrol (battle squad) tasked to liaise with Det.S. The patrol returned 40 min later reporting that they had not encountered any enemies at their objective neither had they managed to liaise with Det. S.
2nd Coy of Group Allan was involved in battle against the enemy in front of their left wing. (Most likely Group Lahja had pulled their right wing too soon to NE, resulting in a gap bertween them and Group Allan). In the beginning the Coy encountered an enemy officer patrol, the officers of which were shot and the patrol retreated fighting in the direction of the Taaperniemi road.
As a result of the battle 2nd Coy withdrew North from the ordered compass bearing losing liaison with the leading Coy. As the Coy had arrived near the road to Taaperniemi they were engaged by enemy infantry suppoeted by tanks and auto weapons. There were 4 to 5 tanks.
In the ensuing battle supported by the MG platoon following the Coy, in the opinion of Coy CO about 40 enemies were annihilated. Specially distinghushed themselves the AT gun led by Res.Sgt. Kutinlahti who pierced one enemy tank thrice and annihilated the three men escaping from the tank.
-2nd Coy was also tasked to liaise with Group Laha which they failed to accomplish despite their attempts.
10.00hrs
Report to Div. CO via I Btn command post (Liippa) by Runner (telephone connection out of order):
“Group Matti has reached objective no.2 at 09.45hrs. I shall continue to advance.”
Group Matti CO sent a Platoon tasked to advance via NW of Lemlehtoin bog to Pt 43 where they should liaise with Det.S. (The platoon was engaged by a strong enemy outfit, returning to the main defence line not until most of the Rgt had already retreated there).
10.20hrs
Group Matti rached objective no.3 where securing outfits (battle squads) were sent out on the roads both to the left and tok the right.
10.40hrs
5th Coy /Group Lahja surprised an enemy signals center of 9 men of which 4 were taken POW and the rest KIA. (POWs were sent to Rgt CO and from there to Div. HQ.)
Group Lahja advanced fighting.
10.50hrs
Group Lahja CO sent a report to Rgt CO:
“Group find themselves at the intersection of the brook and the road, about 750 m S of Mustalahti second “a”, fighting against the enemy, the strength of which not yet known”.
-Rgt CO never received this report.
The Group kept advancing despite being under intense enemy fire.
11.55hrs
Group Matti was engaged by enemy at the Southern perimeter of Murkinakangas Pt.41. 7th Coy was spearheading, the CO expected that they were facing just a weak enemy securing outfit and decided to take the enemy positions quickly with the support of MG s. Their assault did advance fast near the enemy positions where it was checked by hard enemy fire.
12.00hrs
Group Matti CO ordered, to aid 7th Coy position, 8th Coy to outflank the bog (N of Pt. 41) from the right to surround the artillery battery on the S side of the said bog. As soon parts of 8th Coy had rached the road at Pt.43 – Pt. 41 from the direction of Perkjärvi arrived 3 to 4 armoured cars and rifle infantry on lorries. This enemy forced the men of 8th Coy who had reached the road to withdraw East.
-The enemy position turned out to be a “fortified camp” comprising by estimate an Artillery Battalion (reported by men to be a heavy one) , ammunition dump, tractors, lorries, trailers, horses; secured by at least 11 tanks. It was also found that the enemy was using primitive tents and dugouts. ( Place indicated in the transparent drawing in the appendix).
Group Lahja sent Rgt CO the following spoken report (res.2nd Lt. Nieminen):
“There are enemies in the terrain between the lake and the road, also in the direction of Metsäkylä where there is a stronger enemy outfit.” -Another report that Rgt CO never received.

(to be continued ).

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Re: JR 14 War Diary Translation Thread

Post by Lotvonen » 13 Feb 2020 05:48

JR 14, 23.12.1939

Report of the battle at Taaperniemi in the appendix (N:o 59)
Continued:

23.12.1939
12.15hrs
Rgt CO sent by Runner an order to Kev.Os.5 CO to proceed to the front behind Group Allan.
Group Allan CO managed to liaise with his 2nd Coy which started then disengaging from the enemy to move to the left to join the front line of their Group.
12.20hrs
Group Matti CO arrived personally to sort out the situation in the front line.
12.30hrs
Rgt CO issued orders to Group Allan CO to assist Group Matti attack by enveloping the enemy from the right. This task was handed over to 3rd Coy.
Coy attack proceeded initially well despite intermittent lively enemy auto weapons and rifle fire. By the by the resistance turned so hard that the advance stalled. This was mainly due to the fact that the enemy was firing canister shot in direct fire from their camp. Since further advance would have resulted in catastrophic casualties Coy CO consulted with his Group CO who informed Rgt CO, getting permission to disengage the Coy,
Simultaneously Group Matti CO, in order to overrun the enemy stronghold and to ease the position of 7th and 8th Coy ordered 9th Coy to envelop from the left while liaising with 7th Coy. The attempt did not succeed, however, and Group Matti attack stalled totally. Artillery and mortar fire was not available to support the attack since communications were not working.
-Mortar fire could not be utilized at this point because our troops were too close to the enemy.
12.40hrs
Rgt CO sent out a liaison officer escorted by a patrol to liaise with Group Lahja while investigating the situation concerning the Rgt, -To return ASAP.
14.20hrs
Group Lahja CO reported to Rgt CO:
“Group position indicated in the transparent drawing. Enemy pressure from Metsäkylä increased. For now unable to advance.”
Rgt CO received this report during retreat.
Enemy was launching counter-strikes both at the forest SW of Mustalahti and from Metsäkylä.
14.50hrs
After Group Matti CO had again briefed Rgt CO on the situation he ordered the Group to be pulled back for regrouping for a new attack.
15.50hrs
Description of situation:
Group Matti advance stalled;
No info of nor liaison with Group Lahja, their action and whereabouts also being unknown;
-No liaison to the right;
-Telephone and radio connections broken all the time;
-No orders neither instructions from highers-up during the entire day;
-All action depending on Runners;
-Receiving artillery support to continue the attack impossible due to lack of communications the entire day;
-Resupplying completely stopped due to roadless forest terrain;
-Heavy casualties already and approaching night ;
-Obvious risk of frostbite;
-Judging by the noise of battle the Group on the right was lagging behind;
-Also Group Lahja appeared to be fighting in the direction of the main defence line.
Rgt Co decided accordingly to pull back to main defence line fighting a rearguard action, in his opinion he could not risk his regiment to annihilation particularly taking into account that the main defence line, 9 km wide, now just nominally manned, was under his responsibility.
16.00hrs
Kev.Os.5 arrived. They received orders to secure as the last outfit; to take over securing from Group Matti who shall withdraw after Group Allan to the main defence line.
Group Lahja has beaten back the enemy counter-strikes and occupied the line described in the attached transparent drawing.
-Group CO sent out a patrol to liaise with Rgt CO and to report on the situation – the report was never delivered.
16.40hrs
6/KTR5 CO, Lt. Kuosmanen, presented a Divisional order (Arty CO) including:
“II AC attach shall be interrupted, pull back fighting rearguard action back to the main resistance position liaising with Detachment S (Appx no.1.)
17.20hrs
Withdrawal was commenced in this order:
Group Allan, Rgt Command units, Group Matti, Kev.Os. 5
17.45hrs
Rgt CO received orders by 1.D CO on interrupting the attack. (Appx no.2)
18.15hrs
Group Lahja CO, upon learning at 1600hrs from the patrol (Laitinen) he had sent out that Rgt was withdrawing and since the Rgt CO could not be liaised, the men started freezing in the cold weather, no tents were available, and taking the circumstances into account it was not feasible to continue the attack the next day, Group CO issued orders at about 1900hrs to get ready to return to the main resistance station. Under securing the Group rallied and withdrawal started at about 2145hrs.
20.00hrs
Most of Rgt had returned to the main resistance position. Immediately upon arriving at the main resistance position, according to the order issued by Rgt CO, a patrol was to be sent to liaise with Group Lahja and take the withdrawal order to the CO. However just then in Dugout 2 found themselves a patrol sent out at 1800hrs by Group Lahja CO, and the leader was issued orders by Rgt Adjutant to take the withdrawal order to his Group CO. Yet the patrol did not do this. To secure the matter Rgt CO sent two more Officer patrols with the same task but they had not yet managed to set out before Group Lahja already had withdrawn as far as the main defence line.
20.00hrs
Rgt CO received securing order on interrupting the attack. (Appx. no. 5)
21.00hrs
Kev. OS.5 CO received orders issued by Rgt CO via Rgt Adjudant to man immediately the Puulaaki sector until Group Lahja has returned. II Btn CO received orders to act as the Rgt reserve and be responsible mainly for the Puulaaki sector defence.

(to be continued )

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Re: JR 14 War Diary Translation Thread

Post by Lotvonen » 18 Feb 2020 05:52

JR 14, 23.12.1939

Report of the battle at Taaperniemi in the appendix (N:o 59)
Continued:

24.12.1939
00.10hrs Group Lahja had withdrawn back to the main resistance position at which hour the Group CO phoned Rgt CO, receiving from him orders to immediately man the Puulaaki sector in the old manner.
A summary transparent drawing on the course of the attack, the objectives of the groups and on the reached points (Appx. No.4)
Specially distinguished themselves:
1.Coy
Res. Cpl. Runo Rönnemaa and Toivo Kandolin. Both carried out briskly liaising with their neighbours and have also before proven themselves as able Squad leaders and brave men.
2.Coy
Res. 2nd LT. Väinö Rantanen, who fought bravely until was KIA.
Res. 2nd Lt. Osmo Hiekka who again led his Platoon fearlessly and with initiative.
Privates Jussi Harakka, Aug. Kujanpää and Onni Mettälä (Fought bravely until KIA).
Res. Cpl. Vesa Ahonkoski and Pvt. Olavi Tamminen (again distinguished themselves with their brisk deeds).
Res. Cpl. Paul Eskola and Privates Nikolai Savonen, Niilo Mäkitalo and Reino Heikkilä ( brisk deeds, WIA).
3.Coy
Cornet T. Linnoila (Brisk deeds), Res. Sgt. Lauri Simola (Was actiong bravely and with initiative to save wounded).
1.MG Coy
PFC Kalevi Salmi, Res. Cpl. Martti Kotiranta, Pauli Hulmi, Martti Nummenpää. (Distinguished themselves as cool-headed MG gunners. The last mentioned also took care of wounded PFC Heikki Jaakkola and Pvt. Antti Levan. -the last mentioned conscientiously carried out their duties in spite of being wounded).
Paramedic squad
Res. Cpl Mikko Nurmi, PFC Kaino Nokkala and Privates Uuno Mikkola, Kaarlo Aro, Henry Frisk and Kalle Heinä were acting bravely to save and bandage the wounded).

Casualties:
Men:
KIA 5+7+37
Badly WIA 3+21+52
Lightly WIA 3+1+6
MIA 0+2+6
Total 11 officers, 31 NCOs 101 other ranks

Material:
MG 3 + 2 tripods
LMG 2
SMG 6
AT guns 1 (Rosenberg)
Empty vehicles 1

Enemy losses
At least 300 KIA and 9 POW; in addition destroyed was:
By Group Matti:
With satchel charges 2 tanks, 1 dugout, 1 tent, the last one with crew.
Some 40 horses by shooting.
-One gun blown up by the enemy in the Pt.41 fortified camp.
By Group Lahja:
Some smaller baggage train outfits.
By Group Allan:
AT gun led by Res. Sgt. Kutinlahti fired a tank holing it thrice and annihilated the three men running away from it.

Experiences gained and observations:
a). Attack using the present communications equipment does not lead to results. On-ground wire do not work at all because cables are cut to pieces by enemy shelling and those placed on the ground are broken by the movement of friendly troops. This is why the artillery fire could not be utilized at all to support the attack.
Radio sets did not work either – most likely due to cold weather.
The Rgt attack lasted for more than 12 hrs during which period not a single contact was established with any technical devices. -Radio-phones might be the most suitable remedy for the problem.
b).Attack over roadless terrain shall sooner or later peter out due to the fact that we do not have portable AT weapons. For the present ones we do not have any means to transport them in terrain in wintertime. Placed on a sleigh the centre of gravity rises so up that the sleigh is keeling over time and again. AT weapons must absolutely be carried with the attack because casualties when fighting against armour without AT weapons shall be too heavy.
This attack confirmed the observations of previous patrolling that Russians are quite widely using tanks both for securing and mostly for defence. The tanks in the fortified camp at Pt.41 and on the Taaperniemi road were for defence only.
c).The attack proved that when launched in roadless terrain ahkio sleds are inevitably needed to organise transports (specially evacuation of the wounded) for example may be mentioned that in the sector of two Battalions some 150 fighters had to be assigned to take about 75 wounded to the rear.
d).It happened time and again that our men wearing snow-suits by error fired at friends not wearing white. Snow-suits should also for this reason be issued to every man and the pattern should be such as to distinguish it from the enemy snow suit.
e). It was due to the roadless forest terrain that resupplying failed to work at all. To enable every kind of supplying (transporting the wounded, bringing tents and food to the front line, ammunition resupply etc.) to function freely must a usable road be built as soon as possible in the direction of the attack. Fighters cannot be assigned to road-building, however.
-Therefore by estimate one Sapper Company for each Regiment would be needed to build a road in the direction of the advance. Then also AT guns could be transported without trouble.
f). Our present gear, specially shoes (most of the men were wearing rubber boots) are not fit for mobile winter war.
g). As to the paramedic squads, the strength, in case of long distance, is too small, because when transporting the wounded to the rear they shall be absent for such a long time that it is obligatory to use fighters to transport the wounded, else they would freeze to death in such a weather as it was on the 25.12.

(End of appendix no.59)

robertjohn2
Member
Posts: 3
Joined: 04 Dec 2019 11:51
Location: Dearing, Kansas

Re: JR 14 War Diary Translation Thread

Post by robertjohn2 » 18 Feb 2020 13:50

It's so mesmerizing to read war stories yet deadly for the soldiers fighting on the frontline. The distribution of food is sometimes getting worst. We have a whole bunch of food the one with the best lunch near me. And we cook it with love.

Lotvonen
Member
Posts: 714
Joined: 25 Jun 2007 11:17
Location: Finland

Re: JR 14 War Diary Translation Thread

Post by Lotvonen » 22 Feb 2020 06:55

JR 14, 24.12.1939

Morning was calm; harassment shelling all over the sector,
Flying activities fairly intense, bombardment at the Leipäsuo-Hotakka road and Kattilaoja as well as sporadically at the front line.
The day was otherwise quiet and the Christmas Eve appeared to be fairly calm also externally.
12.45hrs
Puulaaki sector report:
“-Strong-points B1-B2 being attacked by about 2 Coys; At B1 3 tanks, at B2 2 tanks. Fighter a/c are machine gunning the front line.
13.00hrs
Order issued to Jussinlohko CO:
“One Bofors gun to be handed over asap for the use of Puulaaki sector CO.”
(As the situation cleared out he order was cancelled.)
15.30hrs
Order to Sapper Officer:
“During the night 24/25.12. no-man's-land in front of strong-points B1 and B2 is to be mined gaplessly.”
13.30hrs
Regimental order of the day no. 17/39 (Appx. no. 60)
13.40hrs
1.Pr CO requested by phone support for his defence from the direction of B1 and B2 in case the situation turns bad. -Agreed in case the situation allows it.
16.55hrs
Puulaaki sector reporting:
“4 tanks with infantry in the wake are attacking over Suurisuo.”
The attack was repulsed by shelling; an AT gun shot one tank in fire whereby the rest turned back.
22.10hrs
Order issued to the Reserve CO to hand over one Platoon to Puulaaki sector CO for fortification work.
-Shelling has during the last few days been directed more and more against strong-point B3 (opposite to strong-point Saari) which by the by deteriorated in such a poor state that assistance was needed to maintain it even in somewhat usable condition, since repair and maintenance work could be carried out in night-time only.

Christmas Eve was calm; occasional harassment shelling.

(end of day).

(to be continued)

Lotvonen
Member
Posts: 714
Joined: 25 Jun 2007 11:17
Location: Finland

Re: JR 14 War Diary Translation Thread

Post by Lotvonen » 26 Feb 2020 05:53

JR 14, 25.12.1939

07.52hrs
Telephoned message from 1-D HQ:
“Kan.A phone code list, II AC code name list and telephone directory and 1.D telephone code list are prohibited to be used from this moment until new ones are taken into use. Important messages and reports are to be encrypted or sent by an officer messenger.
1.D signals CO.”
The day was mostly calm. The 23.12. attack though unsuccessful appears to have the enemy unsure as to our intents because observation balloons in several examples began appearing daily (depending on the weather) and artillery fire was obviously being directed from them because it started to be the more annoying and accurate as the time went on.
10.45hrs
Rgt CO phoned the 1.D head of staff:
“-A new password must be made available without delay (the previous one is older than 24 hrs).
-my minimal request: One more Bofors gun for me and another for Lt. Suihkonen (seam Coy CO in Suurisaari) in Suurisaari.
-Rubber boots must finally be replaced with skiing boots.”
12.30hrs
The enemy attacked again supported by 3 tanks and abt. one coy in strength against strong-point B1. One tank made it as far as behind the strong-point but as two were knocked out by shooting the third one returned and managed to get out undamaged. -The attack petered out.
Flying activities consisted mainly of fighter a/c.
21.00hrs
Lt. Suikonen reported that he was again in his post and everything was O.K.

(end of day).

(to be continued)

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