New documentary about Winter War

Discussions on the Winter War and Continuation War, the wars between Finland and the USSR.
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Harri
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Post by Harri » 28 Sep 2004 22:04

This is a revealing photo from the book "Asepuku m/36" [Uniform m/36] by Petteri Leino. There are officers of JP 4 including the Battalion Doctor (second from left) and the last Battalion Commander Maj. Matti Aarnio (third from left) taken straight after the Winter War (I think). Maj. Aarnio's nickname was "motti-Matti" which speaks for itself.

There are a mixture of older and newer Army equipment and civilian clothes. Note that young Second Lieutenants and Lieutenants have reservist style rank markings without badges. This is due to the fact that oldest age class which was about to be disbanded in autumn 1939 continued in service. All Officer Candidates were promoted to 2Lts and led platoons. It is probable that the most distinguished ones were promoted to Lts during the Winter War.

Tunics are both of m/27 (with "heavy" collar) and m/36. There are both older m/22 and new m/36 fur caps. I'm not quite sure but Maj. Aarnio's fur cap looks a civilian one to me.
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Bair
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Post by Bair » 29 Sep 2004 06:57

Dear Harri,

thank you for your comments. I was thinking about m22 and m27 uniforms, but after I saw how rare and expensive they are nowadays in the world, I completely gave up. I only have one original m27 tunic in my collection and I have never even seen m22 fur cap on sale in Finland :(

This is why all guys have m36 uniforms, m27 is just not affordable. As for making copies, it is impossible to find correct color of wool material and buttons (they are different from those used on m36 tunics) :( :( :(

with best regards,

Bair

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Harri
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Post by Harri » 29 Sep 2004 18:19

Bair wrote:I was thinking about m22 and m27 uniforms, but after I saw how rare and expensive they are nowadays in the world, I completely gave up. I only have one original m27 tunic in my collection and I have never even seen m22 fur cap on sale in Finland.
:P The explanation is very simple: they were used as long as these did exist (probably even long time after the war). During the war m/22 fur caps were mainly used by cadre officers and cadre NCOs, so their clothes were their personal equipment. That would explain also some minor differences to typical army stuff.

I didn't know you also collect military items.
Bair wrote:This is why all guys have m36 uniforms, m27 is just not affordable. As for making copies, it is impossible to find correct color of wool material and buttons (they are different from those used on m36 tunics)
M/36 uniforms are very good for conscripts. M/36 fur caps are also good and winter suits do the rest of the job. If rank badges and all brass unit markings are removed then m/36 is also a good suit for reservists.

In reality colours varied a lot. For example m/27 tunics may be greenish, brownish or greenish-brown. I think only m/36 uniforms are rather similar in colour. Trousers (m/22 and older, m/27 and m/36) may be from nearly black-grey to mid-grey. Actually the more variation in "the same colour" the better!!

Air Force and coastal artillery troops used different combinations both in colour and uniform style. So if there are any soldiers from these arms then m/36 uniform may not be the correct solution in 1939 - 1940.

Soldiers in rear areas (for example artillerists) didn't always use white winter suits although they were always used on the front. The only "original looking" items needed necessarily to make a Finnish soldier for Winter War are belt (at least three different looking basic models), cockade and a Mosin-Nagant style rifle (original m/91 was the most typical). And there could be lots of civilian clothes.

Reserve officers had most likely Ruby m/19 (Spanish FN-Browning copy) and m/23 Parabellum pistols. M/23 or older 9 mm Parabellum models and Mauser m/96 pistols were usually used by cadre officers.
Last edited by Harri on 29 Sep 2004 21:43, edited 1 time in total.

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Hanski
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Post by Hanski » 29 Sep 2004 18:51

And even though not an official item issued by the Army, you must not forget from the front line soldiers the puukko universal knife in its sheath, appearing in all its common civilian variations!

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Bair
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Post by Bair » 30 Sep 2004 20:23

Yes I know about m22 and m27 items :( They are almos impossible to come by, and if you find them , you never have enough money to buy them :(

The same with puukko knives. Of course we will try to show them in the later part of the documentary.

with best regards,

Bair

Tero
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Post by Tero » 01 Oct 2004 07:35

Just a point or two on semantics:

The manouvres conducted the autumn of 1939 were not exactly extraordinary, the manouvres were "supplemental refresher training manouvres" (as we all know de facto mobilization of the army) but that disticntion may be lost to the Western readers.

And the better part of the upgrading of the defences were made prior to the call up of the reservists

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Topspeed
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Post by Topspeed » 01 Oct 2004 07:50

Tero wrote: The manouvres conducted the autumn of 1939 were not exactly extraordinary, the manouvres were "supplemental refresher training manouvres" (as we all know de facto mobilization of the army) but that disticntion may be lost to the Western readers.
I was thinking about this too. Mannerheim had a big problem: he knew ( suspected ) that the soviets are going to attack, but how to get the forces into battlestations when no war was decleared. He ordered " Supplementary Rehearsals ". Simple act.

Same thing was done later by president Kekkonen when the railroad workers went to strike: he ordered all railroadworkers to "supplementary army rehearsals" to move trains.

rgds,

Juke
Last edited by Topspeed on 01 Oct 2004 08:49, edited 1 time in total.

Mikko H.
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Post by Mikko H. » 01 Oct 2004 08:34

Mannerheim had a big problem: he knew that the soviets are going to attack, but how to get the forces into battlestations when no war was decleared. He ordered " Supplementary Rehearsals ".
It was not the question whether war was declared or not. Mobilization can be declared during peace-time. In 1939 it was considered necessary to mobilize the Defense Forces in such an underhand way in order not to disturb the negotiations going on in Moscow.
Same thing was done later by president Kekkonen when the railroad workers went to strike: he ordered all railroadworkers to "supplementary army rehearsals" to move trains.
I might be wrong, but I think this happened well before Kekkonen's presidency, in the late 1940s or early 1950s, I think. And, IIRC, the move was a complete failure.

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Topspeed
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Post by Topspeed » 01 Oct 2004 08:47

Mikko,

Right mobilization was done in an alternate way.

I recall it was Kekkonen, but you may be right.

rgds,

Juke

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