The official AHF Winter & Continuation War quiz thread

Discussions on the Winter War and Continuation War, the wars between Finland and the USSR.
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Janne
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Post by Janne » 16 Aug 2006 12:24

Now we are talking! The date's an instant giveaway when we know we're talking about a Blenheim "first": on June 30th, 1941 "one aircraft of LLv44 bombed Matkaselkä and Leppäsyrjä railway station areas", i.e. it was the first Finnish reconnaissance *and* bombing mission across the 1940 border.

Since I'm pretty sure that I've got it right this time, here's the next question: the website of Pohjois-Pohjanmaan museo (Northern Ostrobothnia Museum in Oulu) boasts an online collection of more than 8000 photographs shot by Uuno Laukka, a local photographer who also served in that role during the war. The pictures aren't really in any particular order, they aren't properly indexed, the captions are often pure guesswork and most of the pictures seem to be taken at "important occasions" or are plain portraits of men - but they can still be worth looking at when one has ample time on a suitable rainy day.

So, where are we, what are we looking at and who is the rather easily recognizable chap in http://www.ouka.fi/ppm/laukka/kuvat/7/6422.jpg ?

Esa K
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Post by Esa K » 16 Aug 2006 13:20

Hi

Janne, your answer to the question is totally correct...

...and cause I´m here, I´ll take a try on the next question as it´s allready served...


I would say we are in the Kiestinki direction during late summer/autumn 1941, we are looking at a 90 K/77 canon, and the "rather easily recognizable chap" is gen maj. H. Siilasvuo...?


Best regards

Esa K

Janne
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Post by Janne » 17 Aug 2006 13:22

Yes, it is Siilasvuo père (and I'm pretty sure we could put a name on the chap who is smoking a cigarette if we bothered to look up who was his artillery commander), in autumn 1941 because a year later the artillery piece in question was no longer used in field artillery mode in the III AK.

I'd say we are in Uhtua, though, because that's where (Lin)Psto Niemi which had one battery of these cannons provided artillery support to Ryhmä F. OTOH you could be right, because at one point one battery of KTR16 which supported 3.D used them as well.

I cannot claim to be able to identify artillery pieces with any accuracy, especially when there's as little detail visible as there is in the picture, but this time I'm almost entirely sure (and I'm fairly certain you weren't guessing). The timber logs and the twig bunches (used to slow down and stop the rearward movement of the carriage after the cannon was fired)immdiately suggest a cannon without a recoil system and since the caliber obviously cannot be 120mm or 155mm, it must be a French "canon de 90 modèle 1877" or as it was known in Finland 90 K/77.

The Frnech cannons which were part of the then new artillery system developed by a certain Colonel de Bange had featured important innovations, bu by 1939 they had become obsolescent, which, of course, was one reason why Finland could buy them during the Winter War. Most of the guns arrived too late for that war, but bespite their habit of "jumping" and their slow rate of fire, the cannons were still considered quite accurate and their ammunition effective, and therefore the cannons were used as "fortification artillery" before and during the Continuation War.

It is a small mausing "paradox" that these fortification cannons were only used in a field artillery role in III AK which tried to fight a mobile war in a terrain which was perhaps the least suited for it.

(IIRC there is one 90 K/77 standing in the parking lot of War Museum. For more info on Finnish artillery. http://www.jaegerplatoon.net )

After this old news (to probably too many readers) it's time to state that we have a winner - and I'm pretty sure he next question won't be too easy (like mine was)!

Esa K
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Post by Esa K » 17 Aug 2006 18:56

Thanks Janne, as I assume I´m the winner...

Janne wrote:I cannot claim to be able to identify artillery pieces with any accuracy, especially when there's as little detail visible as there is in the picture


Well, not me either, but in this case, I recognized the curvature of the line on the carrige just beneth the wheel, so I made a go for the 90 K/77 cannon... and the rest was guesstimation based on where ye ol Siilasvuo would have had been in late summer etc.. 1941.

Janne wrote:...and I'm pretty sure he next question won't be too easy (like mine was)!


As said before, everything is easy, if you happen to have it stored in your memory, or know where to search...

So, lets try this out...

New Q:

In a way we could say that the Continuation War continued by the activation of the top secret, much debated, into bore discussed, myth surrounded etc etc etc... Finnish/Swedish operation "Stella Polaris" in late September 1944. In late 1945 - early 1946, a large part of the transfered/evacuated Finnish military intelligence personel, including such key individuals as Colonels A. Paasonen and R. Hallamaa, was suddenly in French service... How comes that...? Or, to put in other words, what could be a very important reason to that they continued their "work" in French service...?


Best regards

Esa K

Esa K
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Post by Esa K » 18 Aug 2006 19:36

hint # 1: A cross...

Esa K
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Post by Esa K » 21 Aug 2006 10:44

Hint # 2: A school...


best regards

Esa K

Esa K
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Post by Esa K » 22 Aug 2006 15:53

Hint # 3: École Supérieure de Guerre


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Esa K

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Harri
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Post by Harri » 23 Aug 2006 07:23

I thought you meant also other persons than the mentioned ones... :roll: :lol:

They knew the Frenchmen very well because both Col. Paasonen and Col. Hallamaa had studied in the mentioned French military academy in the 1920's (like many other Finnish officers). IIRC the later General and President of France Charles de Gaulle was in the same course with Paasonen (de Gaulle was the best graduated officer of that course). During the Winter War Paasonen was the person who obtained equipment from France including a very large number of old de Bange cannons.

Esa K
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Post by Esa K » 23 Aug 2006 12:30

Harri wrote:I thought you meant also other persons than the mentioned ones...

Hmm... thought the reason to that all of the ”Stellist´s” who entered French service was that Paasonen did so, or do I missunderstand what you mean with other persons?


Anyway, the answer is the one I was looking for, Paasonens contacts with General De Gaulle, so congrats to Harri, it´s your turn...


Best regards

Esa K


PS The reference to a cross in hint # 1 is of course the Cross of Lorraine... DS

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Harri
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Post by Harri » 24 Aug 2006 11:47

Thanks Esa.

Esa K wrote:
Harri wrote:I thought you meant also other persons than the mentioned ones...
Hmm... thought the reason to that all of the ”Stellist´s” who entered French service was that Paasonen did so, or do I missunderstand what you mean with other persons?


I thought about their whole personnel... :oops: :lol:

--------------

Anyway, the next question will appear next morning - so be patient!

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Harri
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Post by Harri » 25 Aug 2006 09:39

Here is the next question:

What is this Finnish Staff/HQ?

Hint #1: It was later located at the same place where another high HQ had been earlier.

Esa K
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Post by Esa K » 25 Aug 2006 23:05

Staff....??? Hmm...... ? How high staff...?

So, I start with the potato-cellar in Alahovi... (Alahovin perunakellari)


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Esa K

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Harri
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Post by Harri » 28 Aug 2006 08:43

Esa K wrote:Staff....??? Hmm...... ? How high staff...?
So, I start with the potato-cellar in Alahovi... (Alahovin perunakellari)


:lol:

I didn't ask the place but the name of the Staff / HQ formed in July 1941.

Hint #2: It was moved from its original location to a newly constructed hotel building which is usually known as "a curved house" (but in Finnish can be translated also as "a wrong house"). That building exists today and there is still a hotel.

Esa K
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Post by Esa K » 28 Aug 2006 12:22

Harri wrote:I didn't ask the place but the name of the Staff / HQ formed in July 1941.


:oops: :lol: 8-)

New try then... Would that be the staff of II AK


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Esa K

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Harri
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Post by Harri » 28 Aug 2006 13:36

Nope.

Hint #3: After moving from the town A to B and staying a while in "a wrong house" this Staff moved once again about half a kilometres away into a famous repaired building next to a very famous sightseeing. Another high HQ had been in that building during the Winter War but it had suffered serious damages afterwards and needed repairs before the Staff in question could move there.

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