New documentary about Winter War

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Bair
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New documentary about Winter War

Post by Bair » 27 Sep 2004 09:57

Dear all,

US-based MastersWork Media LLC is now making a documentary about Winter War. I happen to be consultant and translator on this project.

Here are some preview pictures from the reenactment that will be part o the documentary.

http://www.mannerheim-line.com/fire-and-ice.htm

with best regards,

Bair

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Hanski
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Re: New documentary about Winter War

Post by Hanski » 27 Sep 2004 16:23

Wow!

Congratulations, Bair, it seems like you are getting a unique once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!

Apparently the film will depend a lot on re-enactment. Who will be writing the manuscript for the documentary? Is there already a draft for the contents intended to be covered in the film?

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Bair
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Post by Bair » 27 Sep 2004 17:33

hi there!

The script will be written by MastersWork Media. In the documentary they would like to concentrate on battle of Summa and Suomussalmi - it is hard to cover all operations in one film.

These are all the news for the moment :)

with best regards,

Bair

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Topspeed
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Post by Topspeed » 27 Sep 2004 18:32

Howdy Bair,

This site is definitely a good source to verify information for the documentative aspect of the film. :)

rgds,

Juke

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Bair
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Post by Bair » 27 Sep 2004 19:51

Hi there!

Yes this forum is really good, and Sota-arkisto in Helsinki with RGVA in Moscow are even better :D

with best regards,

Bair

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Rauli
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Post by Rauli » 27 Sep 2004 20:14

Excellent!

Bair, don´t forgot to point out how Finns fought only with knives and Soviet commissar´s shot soldiers of Red Army in the back all the time :lol:

Seriosly, I would like to see Finnish army soldiers wearing clothes type "Cajander". My point is to highlight how poorly Finland was prepared to face Winter war.
I´m no expert of uniforms but reenactors seems to be wearing Continution war style uniforms, both Soviets and Finns?

Best regards,

Rauli

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Bair
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Post by Bair » 27 Sep 2004 22:13

Hi there Rauli,

the Finnish guys all have gear correct for Winter War time - m36 jackets and caps, m16 and m17 German helmets, m1891 and m27 rifles. Even the Suomi that they have is early version. We do not have anyone portraying a Finnish Army in Kajander uniforms, but that is a great idea for continuing the shooting. :D

The Red Army is wearing m35 uniforms with a lot of items that vanished later in 1942-1943 - the bagpacks and tornisters, m36 steel helmets. They look like Continuation war because they have summer uniforms. Wait for the winter event and then... :D :D :D everyone will be wearing long coats and typical Red Army budyonnovka headgear.

With best regards,

Bair

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Harri
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Post by Harri » 27 Sep 2004 23:53

I have always wanted to be an "advisor" in that kind of products, so here are my few advices concerning Finnish soldiers of 1939 - 1940:

- Finnish troops seem to be from "Jääkäri" battalions (JP 1, JP 2, JP 3 and JP 4 only). These units were very well equipped, so no "model Cajander" uniforms and equipent there. They were mainly conscrips, not reservists and the number of regular officers and NCOs was higher than in other units. Reservists didn't usually have collar badges like conscripts.
- In the uppermost photo on Finns, the soldier in the middle has model/39 rifle with later stock with a pistol grip. As far as I know these were not used during Winter War. Conscript units should have mainly m/27 rifles.
- In the third photo (of Finns) the Alikersantti [Junior Sergeant or Corporal] on the right has "too modern looking" collar badges. I think rank markings for conscript Corporal should not be on collar badges but on shoulder straps. These sewed markings on collar badge were used later during the war and by NCOs in regular service (the ones made of brass are post-war designs).
- Soldiers handling field telephones and exchanges should probably wear collar badges of "signals branch" (violet background with black embroidery colour or yellow background with violet embroidery colour in Cavalry Brigade).

I think Jäger battalions didn't fought at Summa or at Suomussalmi (there was one Bicycle Battalion formed of reservists). :|
But during Winter all Finns had white winter suits and they cover all such "mistakes"... :wink:

Otherwise looks very good. I can't say much about Soviet soldiers, to me they look quite real.

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Post by Topspeed » 28 Sep 2004 03:49

IIRC some finns only had a cocard in the headgear to indentify them as finns in the Winter War, but I may be mistaken..definitely not collar badges.

Those guys look some elite unit in Continuation War with fresh clean uniforms, but hey it is an american made movie and unless " ET " doesn't show up in it, it'll be all right to majority of viewers. I would not be surprised if the history is being altered too; finns starting the war !!!?

Have you Bair seen the script yet ?

regards,

Juke T
Last edited by Topspeed on 28 Sep 2004 06:59, edited 1 time in total.

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Hanski
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Post by Hanski » 28 Sep 2004 06:47

The political background will be scrutinized with interest once the film is published, that's for sure!

How about the dialogues -- will they be dubbed into English for international audiences, or will Russian and Finnish be spoken, with translations appearing in text at the bottom of the screen? The narrative apparently will be in English?

And how are you going to simulate -40 degree temperatures? :lol:

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Bair
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Post by Bair » 28 Sep 2004 08:24

Dear Hanski,

thank you for your reply and your recommendations. I now see m39 in the picture - damn! I told the guys not to bring them along, or hide them in the background :x

As for collar patches, I think I will tell the Finnish guys to take them off altogether for the winter reenactment and put on white snow coveralls. That will cover the mistakes :)

The dialogues will not be included at all, they will merely show the picture with English narration in the background.

Other elements of the film are interviews with Finnish and Russian veterans (those who are still alive :( ) and a lot of interviews with researchers.

It looks like the second stage of shooting will be somewhere in Karelia (Suojärvi, Pitkäranta) in January so I don't think we will need to simulate -40 temperatures. :D

With best regards,

Bair

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Earldor
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Post by Earldor » 28 Sep 2004 09:08

Bair wrote: It looks like the second stage of shooting will be somewhere in Karelia (Suojärvi, Pitkäranta) in January so I don't think we will need to simulate -40 temperatures. :D
Why don't you shoot them in the authentic battle field of JP4 in Pukitsanmäki and the Lemetti motti area since you're planning on going to that area and since the guys are from the JP4 re-enactment group? I went there two years ago. There was plenty of old foxhole remains and all kinds of rubble and shrapnel all over the place. They'd be great background material for your project.

You can read about the battles in eg. Aarnio's book, the report written after the war by my grandfather (in Sota-arkisto, I'll give you the reference if you wish), the book on the history of JP4 (can't remember the author right now, Nurmela or something similar, I think) and the memoirs of Taavi Törmälehto.

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Post by Mek » 28 Sep 2004 12:24

Congrats indeed :D

The pictures look good, hopefully we'll get to see the documentary somewhere when its ready. Any idea how it will be used when its done?

Good luck,
-Pete

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Harri
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Post by Harri » 28 Sep 2004 18:44

Topspeed wrote:IIRC some finns only had a cocard in the headgear to indentify them as finns in the Winter War, but I may be mistaken..definitely not collar badges.
During the Winter War all conscript units had collar badges.

Every soldier had cockade but I'm not quite sure since when and how the officer's red cockade with golden lion was used. Does anyone know this for sure? Did reserve officers use only blue and white cockade during Winter War? Was the red cockade used only by officers in regular service? During the Continuation War officers seems to have either one of the cockades but I don't think that was the case during Winter War.

Like I said consripts units didn't have such "lacks". Only units composed of reservists used "model Cajander" i.e. civilian clothes. The worst equipped units were new divisions (9., 21. and 23.D) and some smalller units formed during the war (Field Supplement Battalions and Sissi Battalions). But that is not a rule because certain units had rather good equipment and weapons.
Topspeed wrote:Those guys look some elite unit in Continuation War with fresh clean uniforms, but hey it is an american made movie and unless " ET " doesn't show up in it, it'll be all right to majority of viewers.
Well, maybe the uniforms really look "too new" and "clean". Jäger Battalions were elite units in Finnish Defence Forces but only m/39 rifle and perhaps NCO's collar badges connects them to Continuation War.
Topspeed wrote:I would not be surprised if the history is being altered too; finns starting the war !!!?
I would... :roll:

---

Few adds to my previous "advice list":

- If reservist exist then there could be members of Civil Guard [Suojeluskunta] with different kind of greenish civil guard style uniforms (with a Civil Guard badge on arm) and outfits and SAKO m/28 or m/28-30 rifle. Bergmann SMGs were also used (they were actually from Civil Guard).
- Only front-line troops had helmets but due to coldness they were in most cases replaced with fur caps. All conscript units had helmets but many reserve units didn't have (or they were not for all).
- During Winter War Finnish troops used lots of older style fur caps, instead of the new m/36 which was adopted later to other m/36 clothes. That fur cap model was since 1920's used by coastal artillery but I think its colour was darker to m/36 army model. Especially older officers ("commanders") should mainly have m/22 fur caps.
- During winters Finnish soldiers used lots of civilian "Laplander's boots" (instead of normal military boots) which were handy when skiing.

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Post by Topspeed » 28 Sep 2004 20:14

Okei Harri,

Thanks for correcting me. Looks pretty good if Mainila shots are included.

rgds,

Juke

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