Why did Finnish soldiers paint skulls on their helmets?

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Artie Bucco
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Why did Finnish soldiers paint skulls on their helmets?

Post by Artie Bucco » 23 Oct 2004 07:13

http://www.chez.com/barbarossa/pht2e.html

I have seen many pictures of soldiers with skulls painted on their helmets what was the reason for this?

Mikko H.
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Post by Mikko H. » 23 Oct 2004 12:24

One Light Detachment (Kevyt Osasto 4) practiced this during the Winter War, it was not universal. Make a forum search with words Kevyt Osasto 4 or Kev. Os. 4 and you'll find more detailed threads on this subject

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PanzerKing
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Post by PanzerKing » 09 Nov 2004 01:15

Well I must say it makes them look badass! I would have done the same.

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Christian W.
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Post by Christian W. » 09 Nov 2004 22:05

Russians must have covered in fear and high tail back to Russia. :lol:

Tuco
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Post by Tuco » 17 Nov 2004 02:11

The URR (Cavalry soldiers) also had painted skulls on their helmets in large numbers. You can see other versions of skulls in other Finnish units but it seems in most cases this was done by the soldier themselves. Stating this the helmet below has a marking common with many of the mounted artillery units.

The history of the helmet below is as follows:

This helmet was issued to a Finnish artilleryman, Tauno Johannes Kirsi. His service in the Continuation War was in a horse artillery battery ( Rats.Ptri) under III Psto / KTR 15 (3rd Artillery Battalion 15th Field Artillery Regiment). This helmet came from his daughter in Finland. In his military service passport it is noted he took part in the following battles: Vellivaara, Tolvajärvi; Ägläjärvi, Aittojoki, Suojärvi,Lempala 1943.
Länsi-Kannas, Viipurinlahti, Ilomantsi -1944.

The flame, skull, and white triangle are all pretty clear. There is also a smaller marking in black that seems to show an arm and a hand with some object in the hand but it is not clear just what this lighter marking is. The markings on this helmet might deal with the horse artillery batteries in particular as I have encountered this same marking twice before. In both cases the veteran had indeed served in field artillery and one was also a horse artillery soldier. It can not be stated as fact what these markings mean or the origin, as we only have a few clues (and fewer examples) to go by. This would have to be considered an extremely rare helmet with a great history behind it.

http://www.mosinnagant.net/images/H-Art-M16-Tuco1.jpg
http://www.mosinnagant.net/images/H-Art ... ull-02.jpg


You can see more Finnish helmets here
http://www.mosinnagant.net/finland/Finn-Helmets.asp

Also http://www.kevos4.com
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Jari
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Post by Jari » 17 Nov 2004 02:24

Tuco wrote:There is also a smaller marking in black that seems to show an arm and a hand with some object in the hand but it is not clear just what this lighter marking is.


The crusader's arm in the Karelian coat of arms?

Image

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Landsturm
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Post by Landsturm » 17 Nov 2004 18:59

BTW... anyone have any information on vänrikki Terho Aleksander Saari from Light Detachment (Kevyt Osasto 4)? He fell in Kollaa 16.07.1941 and I`m friend of his grandson`s son... I have heard that he was actually a warhero (althought I think EVERY soldier was a hero) but all I can find out about him is the info from http://www.mil.fi/perustietoa/sankarivainajat/. According to my friend Miika Saari, he was killed by either by tank or AT-gun (sure reminds me of a scene from Väinö Linna's "Tuntematon Sotilas", Sanokaa mitä sanotte... tankki se on...), while on patrol on the night between 15/16th.

Tuco
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Post by Tuco » 18 Nov 2004 00:01

Jari your guess is as good as mine. I showed this photo to a number of collectors and museum curators while I was in Finland and no one was sure of the meaning. It is rather worn and very hard to see dertails.

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Topspeed
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Re: Why did Finnish soldiers paint skulls on their helmets?

Post by Topspeed » 18 Nov 2004 14:59

Artie Bucco wrote:http://www.chez.com/barbarossa/pht2e.html

I have seen many pictures of soldiers with skulls painted on their helmets what was the reason for this?


Maybe because death is always present in the war. Just why the americans painted sculls on their fighters too ( Corsairs on the Pacific ) ?

Tuco
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Post by Tuco » 22 Nov 2004 21:01

Not 100% related but here is a URR NCO tunic from the war. I had it out today as later in the week I am going to speak with a WW2 discussion group and show some Finnish and Estonian items to them......'''
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Tuco
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Post by Tuco » 22 Nov 2004 21:04

Another shot
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patrik.possi
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Post by patrik.possi » 09 Jul 2007 10:50

This picture here is one of my alltime wwii favourt picture, ill think it was originally from the german "Signal" as cover. But does anyone know anything about its background? Where it was taken and witch unit this chaps belongs to?
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Landsturm
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Post by Landsturm » 09 Jul 2007 11:19

The crusader's arm in the Karelian coat of arms?
I believe the saber symbolises "East"... also when you look at Finland's coat-of-arms, you see the Finnish lion stomping over Eastern saber.
Where it was taken and witch unit this chaps belongs to?

I believe this is the most famous photo of KevOs 4, don't know where or when it was taken.

Slava_M
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Post by Slava_M » 09 Jul 2007 17:00

Landsturm wrote:
Where it was taken and witch unit this chaps belongs to?

I believe this is the most famous photo of KevOs 4, don't know where or when it was taken.
I remember version about 3.Pr at Lavola (July 1944), but I don't remember the source of such info... :?

Esa K
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Post by Esa K » 09 Jul 2007 17:14

Slava_M wrote:I remember version about 3.Pr at Lavola (July 1944), but I don't remember the source of such info...
Yep, 3.Pr. could be an option, as it looks like the man sitting in the middle has the blue/white twain in the end of the shoulder strap, and that twain was the unit insigna of the "Blue Brigade" (= 3.Brigade).

Best regards

Esa K

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