Finnish Ladoga ships/boats in 1919

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lupodimare89
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Finnish Ladoga ships/boats in 1919

Post by lupodimare89 » 29 Jul 2022 11:54

Greetings, while digging out small obscure events during the Russian Civil War, i first encountered a mention by Soviet literature of "Onega Flotilla ships sinking a White Finnish ship in May 1919" (source: puhov) . At first i was puzzled because i found no reference of actual activity becaue of ice, but then whilre reading the russian author Shirokorad (definitely a pro-White source) made a clear explain about how the whole things was merged and he pretty much confirm the incident with more details. Here the brief line of him:
Начиная с 4 мая сторожевые суда «Куница» и «Горностай» (водоизмещение 170 т; вооружение: две 75/50-мм пушки) ежедневно обстреливали занятое финнами побережье от Олонца до Видлицы. 8 мая они потопили артогнем в устье реки Видлицы финский пароход.
"Starting from May 4, patrol vessels "Kunica" and "Gornostai" (displacement 170 tons; armament: two 75/50-mm guns) fired daily at the coast occupied by the Finns from Olonets to Vidlitsa. On May 8, they sank a Finnish ship with artillery fire at the mouth of the Vidlitsa River."

Any kind of information of Finnish-controlled boats around Vidlitsa is interesting. Maybe it was some local boat (transport/ferry? etc). There is some Finnish mention about this possible loss?



((QUICK EDIT))
Actually found another russian sources providing some details:
https://cyberleninka.ru/article/n/grazh ... skoy-armii
Apparently they mentioned 2 Finnish "steamships" and some return fire (armed ships? or ground artillery?)

Here the report:
«При выполнении поручения в 8 часов 55 минут [суда] приблизились к берегу у [села] Видлица на 11 кабельтовых и были встречены оружейным огнем с берега. В устье реки [Видлица] были обнаружены два парохода, по которым был открыт огонь из орудий. Одному пароходу удалось уйти вверх по реке, другой не успел отойти от пристани и [был] уничтожен. За пристанью у моста обнаружено [сооружение], похожее на радиотелеграфную точку»24.

Lammio
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Re: Finnish Ladoga ships/boats in 1919

Post by Lammio » 30 Jul 2022 10:22

If you can read Finnish or Swedish go to

https://digi.kansalliskirjasto.fi/search

and search for "Vitele" in the year 1919.

Vitele is Finnish name for Vidlitsa.

lupodimare89
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Re: Finnish Ladoga ships/boats in 1919

Post by lupodimare89 » 30 Jul 2022 21:38

Lammio wrote:
30 Jul 2022 10:22
If you can read Finnish or Swedish go to

https://digi.kansalliskirjasto.fi/search

and search for "Vitele" in the year 1919.

Vitele is Finnish name for Vidlitsa.
Thanks but sadly can't read either of them ^^

Mangrove
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Re: Finnish Ladoga ships/boats in 1919

Post by Mangrove » 08 Aug 2022 12:41

lupodimare89 wrote:
29 Jul 2022 11:54
Any kind of information of Finnish-controlled boats around Vidlitsa is interesting. Maybe it was some local boat (transport/ferry? etc). There is some Finnish mention about this possible loss?

There were no Finnish military vessels at Lake Ladoga in 1919. Some troops were transported with small civilian ships "Sortavala" and "Laatokka" during May and June 1919. There are no recorded ship losses in Jouko Vahtola's Nuorukaisten sota: Suomen sotaretki Aunukseen 1919.

From page 259:

"As soon as (Finnish troops) had reached Alavoinen, they had received information that a strong enemy had advanced on the road to Petroskoi to Nurmoila and Novinka and - if it were to advance to Tuulos - seriously threatened the connections to the rear area. Von Hertzen ordered the 120 men who had just arrived in Vitele, from which the 3rd company of Hyppölä's II battalion had already been formed in Salmi under the command of Lieutenant Karl Nygård, to attack the enemy in the direction of the Petroskoi road to Nurmoila and Novinka and stop its advance.

Nygård's company was transported by ship on to Vitele on 4 May. The intention was to arrive by ship to the mouth of Aunusjoki River, but the arrival and bombardment of two Russian warships forced the ship to land immediately after Vitele."
Heti kohta kun oli tultu Alavoisiin, oli saatu tieto, että vahva vihollinen oli edennyt Petroskoin tielle Nurmoilaan ja Novinkaan ja uhkasi - mikäli se lähtisi etenemään Tuulokseen - vakavasti selustayhteyksiä. Von Hertzen käski tällöin Viteleeseen juuri saapuneet tuoreet 120 miestä, joista oli jo Salmissa muodostettu luutnantti Karl Nygårdin komennossa Hyppölän II pataljoonaan 3. komppania, hyökkäämään vihollista vastaan Petroskoin tien suunnassa Nurmoilaan ja Novinkaan ja pysäyttämään sen etenemisen.

Nygårdin komppania tuotiin laivalla 4.5. Viteleeseen. Tarkoitus oli tulla laivalla Aunusjokisuulle, mutta kahden venäläisen sotalaivan tulo ja pommitus pakotti laivan rantautumaan heti Vitelen jälkeen.⁶

⁶ Elias Simojoki 11.5 Aunuksesta. Simeliana 3. Ab:1. OMA.
From page 153:

"The journey continued from Salmi also by ships towards the mouth of Aunusjoki River. The rudder of ship "Laatokka" broke in the ice. [The troops] had to wait for the tug in the cramped ship and in the cold of the night:
[...]
The ship got stuck in the ice several times even while being towed, and appeared Russian warships were also threat. Only in the evening of 4 May [the troops] landed.
[...]"
Matka jatkui myös Salmista laivoilla kohden Aunusjokisuuta. "Laatokka"-laivasta särkyi jäissä peräsin. Jouduttiin ahtaassa laivassa, yön kylmyydessä odottamaan hinaajaa: ²⁰
[...]
Laiva juuttui hinauksessakin useita kertoja jäihin ja uhkana olivat myös näyttäytyneet venäläiset sotalaivat. Vasta illalla 4.5. päästiin maihin.
[...]
²⁰ Aatu Hiivan pvk. 3.5. HSA. SArk.
Page 309:

"Life and activities in Vitele and Tuulos were disturbed by the almost daily reconnaissance and bombardment visits of enemy fleets after the ice melted in (Lake) Laatokka. The accuracy was poor, but the visits were perceived as awkward. There were very few ways to defend against the ships. When the front moved to Tuulosjoki River, Jaeger Sergeant 1st Class Lauri Martti's gun battery was placed on to Ala-Tuulos on May 13, where it was to support land battles, but also participate in sea defense."
Elämää ja toimintaa Vitelessä ja Tuuloksessa häiritsivät jäiden sulattua Laatokassa vihollislaivastojen miltei päivittäiset tiedustelu- ja pommitusvierailut. Osumatarkkuus oli huono, mutta kiusallisiksi vierailut koettiin. Laivoja vastaan ei ollut juurikaan keinoja puolustautua. Kun rintama tuli Tuulosjoelle, sijoitettiin jääkärivääpeli Lauri Martin tykkipatteri 13.5. Ala-Tuulokseen, jossa sen tuli tukea maataisteluja, mutta osallistua myös meripuolustukseen. ¹¹¹

¹¹¹ Erään tykkimiehen pvk. 13.5. EA 9. HSA. SArk.

lupodimare89
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Re: Finnish Ladoga ships/boats in 1919

Post by lupodimare89 » 09 Aug 2022 09:33

To be honest I expected something more matching, as I mentioned Shirokorad is definitely conservative on mentioning Soviet successes, most of the times downplaying or "missing" them as well so it's a bit puzzling, especially since Soviet ships seems to have got quite close to the pier and inspected.
I am wondering if maybe there were some local Russian civilian crafts left there, this could be the case especially if the alleged craft was unmanned. Still remain puzzling which ship "fled into the river"

There are further info of the activity/fate of "Sortavala" or "Laatokka" or other ships involved?
Something around the date of 27 June when the Soviet flotilla carried the largest assault? Russian data indicate plenty of Finnish artillery battery fire and ships own firing. Only minor fragment damage received (no individual ship with significant damage), not a single word of any kind of Finnish watercraft at Vidlitsa/Tuloks or river.

Mangrove
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Re: Finnish Ladoga ships/boats in 1919

Post by Mangrove » 09 Aug 2022 20:11

lupodimare89 wrote:
09 Aug 2022 09:33
Something around the date of 27 June when the Soviet flotilla carried the largest assault? Russian data indicate plenty of Finnish artillery battery fire and ships own firing. Only minor fragment damage received (no individual ship with significant damage), not a single word of any kind of Finnish watercraft at Vidlitsa/Tuloks or river.
Here's a summary of Vitele according to Vahtola's book (pg. 416-), Onni Kohonen's 1929 article and Kaarlo Merimaa's 1927 memoir.

Finnish coastal defences under Major Gunnar von Hertzen were as follows around Vitele on 26 June 1919:

- Three M1877 Russian 87 mm cannons, Finnish volunteers and Olonets militia under (Jäger) Sergeant 1st Class Lauri Martti west of the river.
- Three Type 31 Japanese 75 mm mountain cannons without ammunition and Finnish volunteers under Sergeant Axel Storm east of the river.
- Four Nordenfelt 57 mm cannons, out of which only one was operational, and Finnish volunteers under Sergeant 1st Class Hintsala.
- Circa 150 Olonets militia with a few weeks training under Lieutenant Saxell.

First Russian vessels were spotted at around 11 p.m. on 26 June 1919. At first Finnish troops observed two Novik-class destroyers and several smaller vessels. Since the Russian forces had both numerical and range superiority, the plan was to open fire at a few kilometres. However, the Russian 87 mm cannons under (Jäger) Sergeant 1st Class Martti opened fire at around six kilometres at 1 a.m. on 27 June 1919.

The Russian 87 mm cannons ran out of primers at around 6 a.m. Finnish troops claimed a hit to a Russian troop carrier with the Nordenfelt. Supposedly a POW told later the vessel sank and 300 men were lost. The Nordenfelt fired total of 47 rounds until the hastily built base gave away and the cannon was rendered useless at 8 a.m. After Russian managed to land troops near the cannons, withdrawal was ordered at 10 a.m. Finnish troops lost all their cannons, safe for two Russian 87 mm cannons that were towed away with horses. However, the second cannon had to be abandoned to a mire after the horses tired towing it.

(Jäger) Captain Toivo Kuisma from the HQ of the Finnish Olonets expedition was wounded during the battle and died later at Salmi or Sortavala. There were also at least another two gunners wounded. Apart from Toivo Kuisma, National Archives of Finland's WarVictimSampo 1914–1922 does not list any killed in action at Vitele between 26 and 27 June 1919.

lupodimare89
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Re: Finnish Ladoga ships/boats in 1919

Post by lupodimare89 » 09 Aug 2022 23:10

While it's obvious there was no Novik-class destroyer, the Finnish soldiers likely saw the small destroyers "Amurets" and "Ussuriets" (still the strongest ship there, 750 tons with two 102mm guns).

Hours of the gunnery exchange seems matching,
В 6 часов финская батарея, расположенная на левом [326] берегу Видлицы, открыла огонь по заградителю, который тремя залпами заставил ее замолчать и перенес огонь на батареи правого берега реки.
Timing match with the targeting of mine/netlayer "Yauza" that returned fire (she wasn't sunk or seriously damaged). Then the two destroyers and other patrol boats added their fire.

Guns captured/recovered slightly differed: "four 88-mm German guns, five 57-mm Russian naval guns, three Japanese mortars" ( 88-Germans = M1877; Jap. "mortars"= mountain guns )

Mangrove
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Re: Finnish Ladoga ships/boats in 1919

Post by Mangrove » 10 Aug 2022 16:48

There is a memoir written down in 1924 by Eino Rahja on 1927 book Neuvosto-Karjalan puolesta: taistelukuvauksia pohjoiselta rintamalta (pages 61-67). He claims the Russian troops captured 11 cannons, 42 machine guns, several million rifle ammunition and several thousand cannon rounds at Vitele.

antwony
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Re: Finnish Ladoga ships/boats in 1919

Post by antwony » 26 Aug 2022 09:47

Mangrove wrote:
10 Aug 2022 16:48
There is a memoir written down in 1924 by Eino Rahja on 1927 book Neuvosto-Karjalan puolesta: taistelukuvauksia pohjoiselta rintamalta (pages 61-67).
What a tremendous link. A collection of articles, by leading Finnish communists, edited by Toivo Antikainen. You don't find many books, published in Leningrad in 1927, in Finnish libraries.

Are there any other Russian libraries with online resources, in Finnish, from that period?

Presume anyone reading Mangrove's link, which is in Finnish, would be familiar with luokkasota historia. But, for others, all Finnish sources from that period are political motivated and usually aren't that accurate. For example, I'm pretty comfortable with saying;
Mangrove wrote:
10 Aug 2022 16:48
He claims the Russian troops captured
Claim is the key word here
Mangrove wrote:
10 Aug 2022 16:48
11 cannons
OK
Mangrove wrote:
10 Aug 2022 16:48
42 machine guns
Probably not
Mangrove wrote:
10 Aug 2022 16:48
several million rifle ammunition
No
Mangrove wrote:
10 Aug 2022 16:48
and several thousand cannon rounds at Vitele.
Probably not

lupodimare89
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Re: Finnish Ladoga ships/boats in 1919

Post by lupodimare89 » 28 Aug 2022 12:50

What i learned in these years of interest for these subjects it's that all sides in warfare are prone to overestimate losses, downsize their own or sometimes omit something. More commonly, reality stay in a very gray middle-ground.

Originally i quoted an overhall amount of 12 guns claimed by the Soviets, that more-or-less match the "11" reported by Mangrove's quoting.
I avoided, because it wasn't my interest, to detail other prizes but quoting author Shirokorad, but he gives a more reasonable amount of items, he added:
"twelve machine guns" (not "42") and "four "automata"(automatic-rifles?)"
"two thousand rounds of ammunition" (not several million) = probably including of various guns/rifle kind?
One car.

Anyway, moving back on the naval side, any extra info of activity/fate of "Sortavala" or "Laatokka", other potential vessels (including local russian) or something relatable for the alleged encounter on day 7/8/9 May is welcome

Mangrove
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Re: Finnish Ladoga ships/boats in 1919

Post by Mangrove » 28 Aug 2022 18:52

lupodimare89 wrote:
28 Aug 2022 12:50
Anyway, moving back on the naval side, any extra info of activity/fate of "Sortavala" or "Laatokka", other potential vessels (including local russian) or something relatable for the alleged encounter on day 7/8/9 May is welcome
KARJALA - 13.05.1919 - NO 108:

"Bolshevik warships on the move in Ladoga. A Bolshevik warship (ships?) that set off from the southern parts of Ladoga has bombarded a local ship at the mouth of the Vitele river with cannon fire, sinking the ship. There is no information about what kind of ship it was, in any case it was not a transport ship carrying volunteers. Otherwise, there are no detailed information about the incident, which has attracted quite a bit of attention. [...]"
Bolshevikkisotalaivat liikkeellä Laatokalla.

Laatokan eteläosissa liikkeelle lähtenyt bolshevikisotalaiva (-laivat?) on pommittanut tykkitulella erästä paikallista laivaa Vitelen joen suussa, johon viimeksimainittu laiva upposi. Minkälainen upotettu laiva oli, ei ole tietoja, missään tapauksessa se ei ollut vapaaehtoisten kuljetuslaivoja. Muuten puuttuvat tapauksesta, joka on herättänyt melkoista huomiota, tarkemmat tiedot. [...]
SATAKUNNAN KANSA - 03.06.1919 - NO 124:

On landing of Finnish troops at Vitele in May: "[...] At one o'clock at night, we stopped somewhere on the coast. The anchors were lowered. Two bonfires could be seen on the beach. Fishermen. Soon there was the sound of oars and large fishing boats appeared on the side of the ship, from which a rifleman stepped up and told us to fill the boats. [...]"
[...] Yöllä yhden ajoissa pysähdyttiin jonnekin rannikolle. Ankkurit laskettiin. Rannalla näkyi kaksi nuotiotulta. Kalastajia. Pian kuului airojen loistetta ja laiwan kylkeen ilmestyi suuria kalastajaweneitä, joista kiväärimies astui ylös ja kehotti meitä täyttämään weneet. [...]
Ladoga Fishing Boats ("Soima"):

Image

KARJALAN ÄÄNI - 07.06.1919 - NO 61:

"More troops to Olonets. On Thursday evening, a detachment - the second company of the Karelian battalion - left here on the ship "Ladoga" to Salmi." [...]
Lisää joukkoja Aunukseen.
Torstai-iltana lähti taas täältä eräs joukko-osasto - Karjalaisen pataljoonan toinen komppania - Ladoga laiwalla Salmiin. [...]
Steamship Ladoga during winter at Läppäjärvi near Sortavala:

"S/S Ladoga
- the steamship was bought from Sweden in 1877 for a company whose shareholders included e.g. brothers Karl and Alexander Nissinen.
- the cargo ship transported e.g. engineered wood products to St. Petersburg and grain to Sortavala from Russia.
- Owned by Sortavala Tukkukauppa OY, founded in 1911, until 1919, when the ship was sold to Helsinki after the Neva transit ended and the eastern trade subsided."
S/S Ladoga
- höyrylaiva ostettiin Ruotsista v. 1877 yhtiöön, jonka osakkaina olivat mm. veljekset Karl ja Alexander Nissinen.
- rahtilaiva kuljetti Pietariin mm. puunjalostustuotteita ja Sortavalaan venäjältä viljaa
- v. 1911 perustetun Sortavalan Tukkukauppa OY: n omistuksessa vuoteen 1919, jolloin laiva myytiin Helsinkiin Nevan kauttakulun loputtua ja idänkaupan hiljennyttyä
Image

AAMULEHTI - 17.06.1919 - NO 136:

"Three Bolshevik ships bombarded the village of Vitele. The news agency of Aunuksen hoitokunta reports on 16th of July. Morning briefing: The positions on the southern and central front are unchanged. Only intelligence activity. On Monday morning, three ships of the enemy fleet bombarded the village of Vitele. None of the bombs fired by the fleet hit the village, and therefore did not cause any damage. [...]"
Kolme bolshevikilaivaa pommittanut Viteleen kylää.

Aunuksen hoitokunnan tietotoimisto ilmottaa kesäk. 16 pnä:
Aamutiedonanto: Eteläisellä ja keskisellä rintamalla on asema ennallaan. Ainoastaan tiedustelutoimintaa. Vihollisen laivaston kolme laivaa pommitti maanantaiaamuna Viteleen kylää. Laivaston ampumista pommeista ei yksikään osunut kylää, eikä siis saanut aikaan minkäänlaisia vaurioita. [...]

lupodimare89
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Re: Finnish Ladoga ships/boats in 1919

Post by lupodimare89 » 09 Sep 2022 14:45

Thank you! It was exactly what i suspected. Indeed lack of Finnish proper's report seemed to strongly point at some kind of abandoned/captured Russian vessel(s), possibly still with local Russian crew (at least the ship that reportedly escape in the river avoiding the sinking, maybe the sunk one was umanned at the moment).

I doubt it will be easy or even possible to find on Russian sources their identies, but at least this small mystery was partially solved. Maybe Soviet subsequent Soviet reports mention the recovery of one or more ships in the area and/or presence of their crew (if they didn't left/disappeared in the chaos of the conflict).

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