Volunteers in Winter and Continuation Wars

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Hanski
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Post by Hanski » 12 Aug 2006 22:12

The Air Force was and is a very special, technical branch of defence. Below is my translation of an article in the Ilmailu (Aviation) magazine issue 8 / 1964 by Colonel (Ret.) K. W. Janarmo.


Turning points and highlights of our aviation, part VIII
by Colonel (Ret.) K. W. Janarmo


It is safest not to rely too much on foreign help




In the beginning of the 1918 war a Swedish volunteer reported in Stockholm to join the Finnish air corps. “Have you flown?” asked the surprised young office lady from the newcomer. “Yes, I have”, he replied, and nothing else was asked. After his arrival at Vaasa more questions followed though, and it turned out that the youngster had once flown as a passenger and stood it well, so…

In the mobilization plans, prepared in the headquarters of the Ilmailuvoimat (Aviation Forces) at the change of the year 1919-20, the staff of two to three squadrons was covered – despite the poor experience gained of foreign volunteer pilots in our own war – by a vague reference to “foreign volunteers”. In those days, there were former war pilots available in abundance everywhere.

During the 1920’s and 1930’s the Finnish nation lulled itself into the certain belief that if we only stand the initial charge, with the help of foreign aid we will surely manage the rest. In the military circles, there were though those with less optimism. Lorentz writes in Aero issue 3-4/1934: “If in a war, possibly breaking out, we should receive even some extent of aid from some great power, this aid can be most easily and quickly arranged in the form of a naval detachment as required by the situation. Regarding a detachment of the army or an air formation, merely practical measures will require a couple of months until their effect on warfare could begin to materialize”.

And how did it go then? In the beginning of the Winter War, our press trumpeted about the enormous enthusiasm and aid flowing in from all directions, among others about aircraft and pilots by the hundreds, but in the end it only spoke about us receiving from everywhere great – sympathy.

Our legations abroad had not received instructions regarding volunteers even by the e n d of the Winter War – at least not for the Air Force. The author could see it in Stockholm, Paris, and Rome, as well as the fact that the personnel material on offer was of substandard quality. Cases that had produced long-standing headache to the legations were usually cleared immediately when official documentation was requested on the skills and actions of the applicant. Thereafter, nothing was ever more heard about him.


The Swedish F 19 was formed quickly

A special mention of honour is deserved by Captain of the Swedish Air Force, Count Mac Hamilton, candidate pilot R. C. L. Martin, and Quartermaster J. T. Strindberg, who immediately applied for discharge, and without asking for their possibilities of return hurried to Finland.

On 13 December 1939 the Swedish government gave its permission for establishing a voluntary flight detachment, and on 12 January 1940 the “Flygflottilj 19” was ready for action in the North, with Major G.H. Beckhammar as its Commander and Captain B. Bjuggren as its Chief of Staff. The fighters (12 Gloster Gladiators) were under the command of Captain K. G. A. Söderberg, and a light bomber group (4 Hawker Harts) under Lieutenant P. E. Sterner. The detachment included in addition two transport aircraft (Junkers F 13 and R. K. 26), two radio stations, and 12 cars and lorries. The personnel totalled 250 men and 2 Lottas.

Before the arrival of the F 19 we had not a single aircraft to the north of Oulu. Against them the Swedes had the Soviet 14th and 9th Air Army (I-15, I-16, DB-3, SB-2, and TB-3) and thus completely superior equipment in regard to quantity, speed, and armament, as the Swedish GG only had four 8 mm machine guns, and a speed of about 350 km/h. In the Swedish planes, the pilot had no back armour plate. But the flying staff was chosen with special care. It speaks for itself that most of them continued their careers in their homeland reaching high officer ranks (at least two Generals).

Already on 12 January the F 19 became engaged in combat with the strength of eight aircraft. It was a remarkable day! For the first time ever in Swedish war history, an air unit went into battle – although a voluntary one, with Finnish swastika insignia – but anyway.

The total flight time of the F 19 (12 January to 13 March) accrued to 600 flight hours, which divided into 60 flying days (out of 62) makes an average of about 10 hours per day. Six enemy fighters and six bombers were shot down or destroyed on the ground; in addition there were a few uncertain cases. Own casualties were three HH and two GG.

[Two photo captions of the first page:]

Björn Bjuggren completed during the years 1923-24 his officer course with such high marks that it may still remain the Swedish record; he made it as the superior number one in the Staff College, and was promoted in 12 years from Lieutenant to Colonel. During the time between the World Wars, he was the most appreciated pilot of the North, whom the leading European aircraft factories competed for and used in testing their novelties. It has been claimed that it was B’s appraisal in 1938 that decided the competition in favour of the Junkers Ju 87B. Yes, he was among others a specialist in dive bombing and the inventor of a bomb sight for it. In that property he visited Finland for the first time, to share know-how (1936). Credit can be given to him for the prompt preparation of the F 19 for combat readiness. Today he is a Lieutenant General (Ret.) after having left this year the duties of the Commander of the 2nd Flight Squadron in Gothenburg.


Captain Åke Söderberg had created a good spirit among his young fighter pilots. Despite the strange circumstances and shortcomings in the equipment, the adversary was attacked at once without hesitation. In the photo Söderberg is in the middle, others in the top row: Palme, Frykholm (doctor), Karlsson (TB-3), Färnström (bomber), Martin (I-15), Iacobi and Salvén (two SB-2’s). Bottom row: Sjökvist, Wennerström, Nettelbladt-Hollsten, and Theler (two SB-2’s).


For the freedom of Finland and the North fell: Lieutenant A. R. Zachau (12 January, observer, HH) Ensign J. M. Sjökvist (23 January, GG), and reserve Engineer Lieutenant S. Å. Hildinger (10 March on a test flight).

Let it be finally mentioned that because of the F 19, the northern parts of our country were saved from the worst bomb damage, and the railway connection between Oulu and Sweden, so important for the transport of war material and foodstuffs, remained in operating condition. The fighters can be counted as having repelled at least 35 enemy bombing sorties to the northern region (1).


Italian groups of mechanics and anti-aircraft artillery

The Fiat factory sent a group of mechanics of 11 men, under the leadership of Engineer Pelli, to advise on the maintenance of Fiat G 50 fighters, and the Italian government sent simultaneously Lieutenant Colonel Giuseppe Casero, who entered service as a volunteer on 25 February 1940. The mechanics were all old masters, and the Commander of the Fiat squadron, Harju-Jeanty, had nothing but good to say about them. After their return home Pelli was sent to Africa, where he fell immediately. Lieutenant General Casero instead works these days in important missions within the NATO.

Another Italian group of experts, the militiamen led by Captain Pigna, reported at Seinäjoki on 5 March 1940, with their mission as instructing in the use of anti-aircraft equipment obtained from Italy.


The French-Polish Squadron

It is well known that during the Winter War, English and French intervention into our war was under serious consideration. In the latter country, for example preparations for giving pilot aid to Finland had progressed quite far. Of the training squadron stationed at Lyon, which consisted of Polish pilot refugees, a so-called Finnish Squadron (Escadrille 145) had been formed and its aircraft type designated as the Caudron C-714 fighter with Cyclone engine. The French Air Force kept in close contact with our Military Attaché in Paris, to sort out several difficult details. When the whole project was then given up, two additional squadrons were formed, and this Polish Flight Regiment was transferred to England. In the Battle of Britain, the Polish pilots made a splendid success!

Later it could be stated that the above mentioned Caudron aircraft (with Renault engine) was entirely unsuitable for our conditions because of its long runway requirement for take-off and landing, and certain technical weaknesses.


The British Squadron

The British for their part had intended to send to Finland Squadron 263, which was permanently stationed at Filton and equipped with Gloster Gladiator. British sources mention about Finns having considered its armament insufficient in combat against the armoured I-153 and I-16 aircraft, and themselves they remark about the squadron having lacked arctic equipment (2).


The volunteers proper


The Danish input was the most remarkable, if not by scale but by quality. These young and skilful pilots set underway haphazardly without winter clothing or permissions, their only goal being getting to the front and into real action as soon as possible. With them, there was no question about getting acquainted with the circumstances or having problems with adaptation. Most of them were ordered to fighters, and they demonstrated the same enthusiasm and relentless will to fight as their Finnish comrades. Four of them gave their lives for our cause: the Lieutenants F. Rasmussen (Fokker), Count E. J. Frijs (Fokker), C. K. Kalmberg (Gladiator), and C. M. H. Kristensen (Gladiator). Two of them were severely wounded in aerial combat: the Lieutenants J. J. Ulrich and P. B. Christensen (both flying Gladiator). Two participated in the defensive battles at Viipuri Bay (Morane): the Lieutenants M. Fensboe and K. Clauson Kaas. Fensboe was the proficient jazz pianist, who entertained people with his play at the Pyhäniemi estate. Two of them were qualified for front flights with Brewster when the war ended: Captain Lieutenant Thorup and Lieutenant Wittrup. In addition, Senior Sergeant R. Rasmussen flew as a machine gunner in bombers (Blenheim), while the service unit of Cornet Drescher has remained unclear. – In addition to this crack troop there were 13 other Danes serving as pilot, engineer, mechanic, foreman etc. missions in our Air Force.

Knud Clauson Kaas was by the way the same person who was in Finland as a volunteer aviator (observer) already in 1918. He was then ordered to establish the air base in Antrea, and he acted as its chief for a short period, later as its financial manager, in which duty he became famous. Now he was with us again – as a 45-year old fighter pilot.

From Sweden had arrived two very well-known achievers, the Abyssinia-pilot, Count C. G. von Rosen, and the skilful sports pilot Curt Björkvall, who later earned honour with his Atlantic crossing. Lieutenant von Rosen obtained a total of three aircraft for our country with the money donated by his relative, Engineer J-H. Sager. The most famous of them is the DC-2, or “Hanssin Jukka”. Its conversion to a bomber took its time, but he was timely enough to carry out one bombing mission of a base together with our Winqvist and the Dane Rasmussen. The results were good, but the return flight with a single engine was strenuous.

Lieutenant von Rosen had his patent solution to end our war, and he got to present it all the way to London: with two hundred bombers, the enormous enemy storage areas in the rear of the attacking armies were to be destroyed. From day to day, he explained his idea to all the time higher-ranking chiefs of war, and finally – to Winston Churchill himself. But at the same time, rumours about peace negotiations already started to circulate. Once at a breakfast, v. Rosen got the opportunity to tell about his London tour to Mannerheim, who only briefly commented that such an amount of aircraft could really have made a decisive effect.

[Photo caption of the second page:]

To the Replenishment Squadron 17 at Karvia arrived 19 rather sturdy and somewhat more senior English-speaking gentlemen. They had in common that all of them, except one Belgian, represented the British Empire, presented themselves in British-style uniforms, had no military ranks, and behaved nicely all the time. In the buttons of their overcoats they had the letters NI (non-intervention) (5), or turned the other way, IN (intervention). Very practical! – The Squadron was to train them for machine gunners, but while it was busy and in a hurry training own men and there were no instructors available with command of English, the training was left to a minimum. Only the Belgian Toussaint, who claimed having acted as a co-pilot, called himself a Flight Master, and was indeed ahead of the others, could be sent to the front from this group. But all seemed satisfied, the Headquarters as well as those involved themselves. This family portrait has been taken at a rather late date (5 April 1940): in the middle the Squadron Commander, Major A. Nisonen, with his adjutant, Lieutenant M. Tainio beside him. In front of Nisonen is the course senior, “Captain and Lord” Osborne.




Björkvall, who for some incomprehensible reason had been kept idle in Tornio from December all until early February, finally got to join and carried out a few front sorties with BL. His crew included the proficient Swedish aerial photographer Thorolf von Wachenfeldt and baron H. A. Leuhusen, when the latter had the time from his other commitments. He took care of the public relations of the bomber regiment – and he did it well – as with his name and relations nothing seemed impossible. Among others, from the large central warehouse in Haparanda, half a railway carriage of delicacies and clothing arrived.

The Swedish Ensign Greger (3) was a skilful pilot all right, but he had to be removed for other reasons. Yet 5-6 young men have to be mentioned, car fitters, who had come mainly from the Trollhättan factories and served here as voluntary auxiliary mechanics.

A great number of Swedes served at IPAK II (Air Defence Regional Centre II), with seven pilots in addition to the already mentioned.

Hungary was represented by two pilots, the Lieutenants M. Pirithy and Wilhelm Bekassy, of whom the latter disappeared while transporting a Fiat fighter from Sweden. Also the Italian Senior Sergeant Diego Manzocchi lost his life with Fiat, for the injuries he received in the forced landing (11 March 1940). He was a pleasant and energetic gentleman and a good pilot. The same cannot be said about his countryman, a former Atlantic pilot, who in his homeland had been demoted to a Sergeant Major and thereafter specialized in aircraft thefts in various countries. From us he never managed to take a single aircraft – to France!

A Spanish volunteer, Lieutenant Magirena, got lost on a local flight with a BR, and was assumed to have already passed on to better hunting grounds – as he had fought in the Republican ranks in his homeland – but he returned and landed on the spare runway. For the sake of security his flights were ended. A Canadian Lieutenant (Kent?) went around in landing and claimed to have sustained injury. In the hospital in Lahti he still arranged himself the Liberty Cross 4th class, which however was managed to be cancelled. Having become wiser from the accident, the Canadian Senior Sergeant Jenkins, “an experienced fighter pilot”, was sent back to the Replenishment Squadron etc.

From Malmö, three French mechanics of the Morane factory had arrived to LLv 28. They were skilful professionals and in their job exceptionally diligent, always cheerful and satisfied. From early morning until late in the evening they were busy in the wind and frost on the ice, advising, teaching, and instructing our folks in the handling and maintenance of their planes. They strictly refused to receive salary, as their own factory paid it, but they agreed to sign under their daily expenses allowance. They did not return to their homeland until sometimes in mid-May.

On the contrary, the men of the Polish LOT company were not very useful, while their technical skills were so specialized and on such a high level (hydraulics) that corresponding work was not found at that time in the squadrons. An even weaker group consisted of certain American “mechanics”, who by the way had been pilots while still in Tornio. They never cared about anything else but their NCO stripes, the most senior of them by age insisted in being a “chief mechanic” and wearing f i v e stripes. The superiors were quite magnanimous about such petty details in wartime.

Because the afore told has mainly been depiction of the fighter squadrons, let us switch to the bombers for change. Lieutenant Haaki received to his Flight at Juva three English-speaking foreigners – all of them prepared and experienced men.

The American Captain Bondurant taxied – after having been allowed training flights – in his first take-off into a bank of snow and broke the aircraft. The American Lieutenant M. swore he was an old master and he was placed along straight for a war sortie. He taxied the BL to the end of the runway and instead of adjusting the flaps he pulled in the landing gear, causing the aircraft with its bombs to fall on its belly. “In the USA, I would have immediately got a new plane” he insisted and did not give a damn. The Belgian Lieutenant G. Milo again was an observer and a son of a General. Haaki took him along on a war sortie, but he proved himself completely helpless and did not even get the bombs released on his own.

The Chief of the Flight passed the three of them on without delay via the Regiment to the Headquarters of the Home Corps, where Milo managed to arrange himself a Liberty Cross – he had performed a front sortie all right! Their memory lingered in the Flight at least as long as it took of Haaki to pay the debts they left behind.



Two International Grand Charlatans


An American negro also arrived to help Finland at the end of the war. Because he claimed having acted as a Colonel and the Commander of the Abyssinian Air Force, he received with us the rank of a Captain. He lived and ate regularly at Hotel Kämp, he acquired his suits from Stockmann, he was keen in admitting press interviews, and was very popular in the female world.

One day he presented himself at the Morane squadron in Turku, with a flight permit issued by the Commander of the Air Force in his hand. “Nothing else could be done than giving him a plane, although I was terrified indeed. And it was a close shave that things could have gone wrong, because in landing he badly stalled. I did not even let him taxi to the hangar but sent him with the first train back to the Headquarters”, tells the contemporary Squadron Commander.

“Colonel Julian” alias “Black Eagle” had made great progress in his flying skills though by all measures, because an absolutely reliable source gives this report on his brief visit to Abyssinia:

“In the autumn of 1935 he reported as a volunteer pilot to the Ethiopian Air Force. The Emperor, who first wanted to test his flying skills, which the local Aviation Attaché of the USA strongly suspected, gave him an airplane. Julian, who obviously could not fly at all, at once pushed the throttle on full while he pushed the stick to the extreme front, and the plane went on its nose and over on its back. The comment of the Emperor was: “Return to USA. They might have sufficient number of aircraft. We have not.” (4) – That was all.

With us he received a much more gentle treatment. He got to travel from one place to another, because the Air Force Headquarters insisted on placing him somewhere, while the squadrons opposed his arrival. “Employ him even as a Lobby Major” (= nickname for a doorman), was one angry advice to a reluctant Squadron Commander. Julian was thus seen a lot in trains as well as in restaurants – chasing women. At least in April he was still running his court at Hotel Tammer. Restaurant and tailor bills were left for the State to pay, but as ladies started running around in the same business, they were told bluntly to keep what they deserved.

To the many Finnish acquaintances and admiresses of Black Eagle it may be comforting to hear that he is still alive and in reasonable strength. A couple of years ago he appeared in Kongo, while matters there were at the state of most confusion. He was said to be a well-known gangster in South America, in the business of daylight-sensitive arms trade. The Security Police of the UN took him in its paternal custody.

Equally well did not fare another remarkable personality of the Winter War, the Spanish Colonel Alfonso Reyes alias Nikolai Beres. The young officer, a personal friend of Franco, and the owner of a small and intimate home brothel, had in the turmoil of the Spanish Civil War evolved into an extreme leftist, and even by international standards, a real grand adventurer. Beres arrived to Finland equipped with the recommendations of the well-known French socialist leader Léon Blum and Swedish labour leaders. As an extremely arrogant foreigner with good language skills he made brilliant success with us. He was given the rank of an Air Force Colonel and later a Finnish passport. He was held like a flower on a palm, a car and an escort officer were always available on tours. One of these (a present-day industrialist) describes Beres as follows: “a talented person with quick intelligence, but entirely immoral, bigamy as his specialty, regards himself irresistible”.

Despite his alleged 3000 flight hours, he had to be taken by force on the field at the Replenishment Squadron and made sit in a plane. He did listen to the description of the aircraft, but soon thereafter he shut off the engine and disappeared. Major Jusu had no way of keeping him with his squadron at Säkylä, as he did nothing but circled around criticising and demanded special respect and honours for himself. Thus he also got to move around quite a bit, but finally by using a pretext he was lured to take a trip abroad already at the end of February. In June 1941 the German military authorities in Copenhagen inquired from Helsinki to what extent “a Finnish pilot Colonel” interests us. Thereafter not a puff has been heard of him.


A Princely final


The T-LLv 29 (Replenishment Squadron 29) at Parola received in February a colourful American miscellaneous group led by a Yank “with the rank of a Colonel achieved in China”. They were placed in a private house. The group became guilty of stealing property of their host family and taking it to pawn brokers, and professionally they did not prove useful, so the group was soon liquidated. It is remembered as “the Robber Gang”.

In the same replenishment unit arrived 2-3 weeks before the end of the Winter War also a group of Britons, of whom eight were pilots and two observers. E. M. Graham and K. Armstrong had advanced much further than the rest, so they were given type training. On 2 April 1940 these two were approved for active service as reserve Ensigns, and they served on in our Air Force for a long period.

“Bill” Graham was by his real name the Prince Emanuel Galizine, the 26-year old son of Mannerheim’s fellow Regiment member. The tall, slender, very handsome, curly-haired youth had a boyishly spontaneous character, modest, honest, and positive towards life. In addition he was a man of the world with good tendencies for a pilot and good language skills who very soon learned to speak elementary Finnish. It was all well enough! Both in Parola and later in Siikakangas he was the favourite of everyone, both officers and NCO’s – not to speak about officer’s wives and the maidens of the respective towns and provinces.

One special feature has to be mentioned: he was very superstitious. As he was ordered for a 7000 m high altitude flight with a Fokker in Siikakangas on Friday, the 13th day, he seriously explained that on such a date it would have been out of question in Britain to take off for a flight. Although it was a most beautiful, sunny weather, he got lost and made a forced landing in Haapamäki.

Mannerheim was always very precise about his incognito and always called him Count. His Flight Commander in Parola, Lieutenant P. Ervi (6) visited Mannerheim a couple of times with his special protégé. In early 1941 G. left with a Finnish passport via Petsamo to the world, first to the Nordic Countries and then to the USA. About 12 years ago Major General Seeve met him in Britain as a representative of an aircraft factory, and according to the latest information he should be going strong serving the Avro factories, which will be hereby announced to his numerous Finnish friends.


Valuable aid from Sweden and Norway

The story of the foreign volunteers in our Winter War would be very incomplete if – like it usually happens – we were to forget those institutions, companies, factories, and numerous individuals, who in a decisive manner contributed to the transport of our war planes to Finland. As it may be remembered, at this stage we received aircraft – of seven different types – from Italy, Britain, France, and the USA. They were brought by sea of by flying them either to Sweden or Norway, where the assembly, test flying, or a mere intermediate landing took place, and in some instances also test firings, after which pilots sent from Finland took the planes home. Trollhättan became the main base in Sweden, but also Västerås, Malmö, Göteborg, and Karlsborg all had an important mission, above all Västerås.

In Trollhättan a test pilot of the Brewster factory, Mr Robert A. Winston, worked hard with his own and Norwegian mechanics, and their Swedish assistants. The Norwegian volunteers were a total of 11 men. Also the American Finnish skilful pilot Eero M. Davidson, 35, arrived there for help. Both the Lysanders and the Fiats travelled that way. The test pilot of the latter was Carlo Cugnasca. At the Bulltofta (Malmö) airport the French Captain Etienne was responsible for the assembly and test flights of the Morane aircraft. The Blenheims in turn arrived flown in by the British or our own pilots first to Norway (Sola) and from there via Västerås to Finland. The HC aircraft belonged mainly in this group.

Even this brief mentioning suffices to show the extent of the transit traffic of the aircraft. Of course forced landings occurred, also some damage in the territory of both states. The men needed help, the aircraft needed fuel, maintenance, and repair, and all of this action was always in a great hurry. The aid action with its multiple branches was above all the responsibility of such major parties as the Air Forces of Sweden and Norway, SAAB, and ABA.

* * *

If we leave outside our calculations the F 19 for its special role, as well as our assistants in Sweden and Norway, we get the total number of our volunteers as about 190, which is divided as follows: 58 pilots, 10 observers, 28 machine gunners, 18 anti-aircraft and Air Defence Centre men, 66 mechanics, 7 engineers, and 3 other representatives of a technical field. Part of the three latter groups served at the State Aircraft factory. – Was this colourful troop, representing 17 nations, useful in proportion? Not nearly! And the reasons may have become clear afore.

“From the further away, the weaker”, is an apt general statement by Lt. Col. Heinilä on our volunteers.

We entered the Winter War thinking that aid was always welcome, regardless of where it came from and what it consisted of. Thus our country was supposed to gain even greater goodwill in the whole world. When the old tendency of the Finns is added to this, to idealize and flatter foreigners, the outcome is already understandable. The Air Force could not select or pick these volunteers, they arrived via other channels. The units lower in the hierarchy did not deviate from the adopted policy, and thus the aid given to the Air Force became nearly a burden. What sense does it make during the most critical war time to start training for example machine gunners out of middle-aged uncles with a foreign language, to whom the field of aviation is strange on top of it all? Or generally, to give
b a s i c training to foreigners! Many times faster and better outcome can surely be made out of our own men. A foreign volunteer must above all be trained ready.

Thus the Air Force let the highest military lead know well ahead of the Continuation War that from thence on, foreign personnel was required under no circumstances.

[Photo caption on page 4:]

Lieutenant Ulrich gets the honour of representing the gallant troop of the Danish volunteer fighter pilots. At the arrival in Finland he was indeed regarded as the most skilful of the group. His last battle can briefly be described as follows: Ulrich and his Danish comrade got engaged with 8 enemy fighters over the Isthmus. The initial situation was also 8-2. U. shot down two and his companion one enemy, so the situation was already a rather tolerable 5-2. But now U. in turn was shot down. He got an exploding bullet and a gaping wound in his hip, and needed to remain hospitalized all until July 1940.




Sources:

(1) Björn Bjuggren, Svenska flygare I österled, Stockholm 1942, 128 pages. – Nils Kindberg, Det svenska frivilligflyget i Finland, Särtryck ur “Aktuellt och historiskt” 1958, 71 pages.

(2) Minister G. A. Gripenberg handles in part I of his memoires of our Winter War the aircraft acquisition from Britain and alleges as the reason for the great delay and procrastination: 1) that the British themselves did not have nearly sufficient numbers and 2) that they did not want to give, because they did not believe Finland had any chances.

(3) Only a few examples follow on representatives of various countries.

(4) (a translation into Finnish)

(5) Intervention means a state interfering with the internal affairs of another country. The international justice has a principle of non-intervention, but the Charter of the League of Nations had the requirement of intervention in certain cases.

(6) About 70 volunteers went through Ervi’s hands.

[the list of sources is incomplete]







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Juha Tompuri
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Post by Juha Tompuri » 13 Aug 2006 07:39

Thanks Hanski,

Very interesting.
Personally this:
Hanski wrote:An American negro also arrived to help Finland at the end of the war. Because he claimed having acted as a Colonel and the Commander of the Abyssinian Air Force, he received with us the rank of a Captain. He lived and ate regularly at Hotel Kämp, he acquired his suits from Stockmann, he was keen in admitting press interviews, and was very popular in the female world.


One day he presented himself at the Morane squadron in Turku, with a flight permit issued by the Commander of the Air Force in his hand. “Nothing else could be done than giving him a plane, although I was terrified indeed. And it was a close shave that things could have gone wrong, because in landing he badly stalled. I did not even let him taxi to the hangar but sent him with the first train back to the Headquarters”, tells the contemporary Squadron Commander.

“Colonel Julian” alias “Black Eagle” had made great progress in his flying skills though by all measures, because an absolutely reliable source gives this report on his brief visit to Abyssinia:

“In the autumn of 1935 he reported as a volunteer pilot to the Ethiopian Air Force. The Emperor, who first wanted to test his flying skills, which the local Aviation Attaché of the USA strongly suspected, gave him an airplane. Julian, who obviously could not fly at all, at once pushed the throttle on full while he pushed the stick to the extreme front, and the plane went on its nose and over on its back. The comment of the Emperor was: “Return to USA. They might have sufficient number of aircraft. We have not.” (4) – That was all.

With us he received a much more gentle treatment. He got to travel from one place to another, because the Air Force Headquarters insisted on placing him somewhere, while the squadrons opposed his arrival. “Employ him even as a Lobby Major” (= nickname for a doorman), was one angry advice to a reluctant Squadron Commander. Julian was thus seen a lot in trains as well as in restaurants – chasing women. At least in April he was still running his court at Hotel Tammer. Restaurant and tailor bills were left for the State to pay, but as ladies started running around in the same business, they were told bluntly to keep what they deserved.

To the many Finnish acquaintances and admiresses of Black Eagle it may be comforting to hear that he is still alive and in reasonable strength. A couple of years ago he appeared in Kongo, while matters there were at the state of most confusion. He was said to be a well-known gangster in South America, in the business of daylight-sensitive arms trade. The Security Police of the UN took him in its paternal custody.

From Tero T some more about Colonel / Captain Hubert Fauntleroy Julian:

http://www.earlyaviators.com/ejulian.htm

Image
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... ht=#804309

Regards, Juha

P.S. haven't red that book, wonder what/if he wrote about his being in Finland?

sandels
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Post by sandels » 13 Aug 2006 16:31

Does anyone have any info on actor Christopher Lee (horror movie legend, played Saruman In Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings - movies)? Many movie sites mention him as a volunteer in Winter War, example ( http://www.tiscali.co.uk/entertainment/ ... lee_biog/3 ):
Fortunately - if one can call such an event fortunate - World War 2 broke out, and Lee spent the next five years working for the RAF and British Intelligence. He reached the rank of Flight Lieutenant, and was decorated for his distinguished service, in particular the time he volunteered for active service during the Winter War in Finland from 1939-40. His ancestors would have been proud.

John T
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Post by John T » 22 Oct 2006 22:07

Turning points and highlights of our aviation, part VIII
by Colonel (Ret.) K. W. Janarmo

It is safest not to rely too much on foreign help
Thanks for the transalation Hanski.
That kind of sources are often very fruitful butI can't stop a feeling of sour grapes in the article.
At the time written I think it was politically correct to disdain foreign aid.
If the writer should ask for Brotherly help from the east or cooperate with the neo-farscists germany or her allies (read NATO) he'd get brewed either way ;)
I've read a number of such Pro-neutrality sagas In Swedish.

The only translational quirk i found was that Björn Bjuggren retired from
"andra flygeskadern" and in any other language than Swedish eskader translats to squadron - In Sweden it was (past tense) the level above wing, Air Group is my best guess.

Cheers
/John T.

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Hanski
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Post by Hanski » 23 Oct 2006 07:28

John T wrote:Thanks for the transalation Hanski.
That kind of sources are often very fruitful butI can't stop a feeling of sour grapes in the article.
At the time written I think it was politically correct to disdain foreign aid.
If the writer should ask for Brotherly help from the east or cooperate with the neo-farscists germany or her allies (read NATO) he'd get brewed either way ;)
I've read a number of such Pro-neutrality sagas In Swedish.

The only translational quirk i found was that Björn Bjuggren retired from
"andra flygeskadern" and in any other language than Swedish eskader translats to squadron - In Sweden it was (past tense) the level above wing, Air Group is my best guess.

Cheers
/John T.
Hi John,

I personally cannot see any particular "sour grapes" in Col Janarmo's article, but the views of a person who became personally directly involved in dealing with the Winter War volunteers due to his war-time position. He does give due credit to the Swedes, Danes, and Norwegians with gratitude as you can clearly read, and also to selected Italians and others.

Janarmo's criticism is aimed at the official Finnish policy of the 1920's to 1930's -- not at the volunteers as such, even though he does point out a few individuals with questionable motives and attitudes, and in their cases for good reason. If some individuals tied up our scarce resources rather than freed them for the war effort, I think his criticism is justified and he is sincere in stating that. Janarmo's basic message is: instead of neglecting national defence and relying on foreign voluntary help to compensate for the neglect, Finland should have invested sufficiently in domestic preparedness, which is hard to argue against.

I don't really see political correctness playing a role in his article, even though it was published in the 1960's with neutrality (plus the FCMA Treaty) as the only option available for Finland then. He writes on the Winter War, without suggesting anything but generally self-sufficiency for the future. As a retired officer, he could freely express his views in a magazine for aviation buffs then without particular considerations of political correctness in regard to contemporary policies.

Thank you for the correction on flygeskader, if that was the only quirk then it is a fair outcome!

Cheers,
Hanski

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Tero T
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re: Black Eagle

Post by Tero T » 24 Oct 2006 02:02

Hei Juha !
I missed your request for info on the Julian Fauntleroy Book. There was 5 pages devoted to his Finland experience. According to this forum guidelines and copyright laws I am sending two of the most relevant pages of his Finnish experience. The following pages are from the Book The Black Eagle by John Peer Nugent, published by Stein and Day 1971, ISBN 0-8128-1370
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Post by Tero T » 24 Oct 2006 02:04

page 2 from the book 'The Black Eagle' by John Peer Nugent, published by Stein and Day 1971, ISBN 0-8128-1370
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Post by Juha Tompuri » 24 Oct 2006 11:05

Thanks Tero :)

Very interesting.

Regards, Juha

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Re: Volunteers in Winter and Continuation Wars

Post by karjala » 02 Jan 2010 03:09

Dear Colleagues !

I colleagues reconstructed the Swedish unit of volunteers during the winter war.
There are several questions that the false answers.

1. available data on the distribution of volunteers? They were on the territory of the Karelian Isthmus (Karjalan kannas)?
2. there is evidence that different form of the war continued to form during the Winter War?
3. where you can see the memories or historical photographs of volunteers?

I would be grateful for the information or links on the topic.

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Re: Volunteers in Winter and Continuation Wars

Post by Hanski » 02 Jan 2010 17:46

Hi Karjala,

I will try to answer your questions.

1. available data on the distribution of volunteers? They were on the territory of the Karelian Isthmus (Karjalan kannas)?

The Swedish volunteers consisted mainly of the Flight Squadron F19 and the Svenska Frivilligkåren (SFK), or the Swedish Volunteer Troops. They were deployed in Lapland, or Northern Finland, to enable transferring Finnish troops to more critical sectors of the front down south.

The first engagement in battle of the Swedish volunteers was on 12 January 1940, when the Squadron F19 attacked a Soviet base in Märkäjärvi. At the same time, one Swedish heavy AA-battery and six detachments with automatic AA artillery took charge of the air defence of Northern Finland. On 22 February, by the order of Marshal Mannerheim the Swedish Lieutenant General Linder took charge of the defence of Northern Finland to the north of the line Oulu – Paanajärvi. Remaining Finnish troops were under his command, in addition to the SFK.

By the end of February 1940, the 1st and 2nd battalions of the SFK arrived from Kemijärvi to the middle sector of Salla front, with Soviet troops then deployed to the west of Märkäjärvi. As the Swedes took the front responsibility on 27 February, it enabled a total of 5 Finnish battalions to be transferred from Northern Finland to the defence lines of Viipurinlahti.

The SFK totalled 8,042 men by 13 March 1940. They sustained casualties as 33 dead and about 50 wounded, and about 130 men suffered more or less serious frostbites.

In addition to the Frivilligkåren, there were separate Swedish detachments in Finland serving in the arms of AA artillery, coastal artillery, and field artillery. Some Finnish vessels had Swedish AA crew, and there were some Swedes serving in Finnish units. Outside the SFK served about 420 Swedish volunteers.

2. there is evidence that different form of the war continued to form during the Winter War?

In the Salla front of Northern Finland, Finnish defenders managed to destroy attacking Red Army units between 16th and 18th December 1939 in Joutsjärvi and Pelkosenniemi. The Soviet command did not apply much pressure in the North after the change of the year to 1940, but the decisive battles were thereafter fought on the Karelian Isthmus, which became the strategically most important theatre of war.


3.
where you can see the memories or historical photographs of volunteers?

I would be grateful for the information or links on the topic.

For F19, see http://www.sci.fi/~fta/f19-1.htm
and for he SFK, please check http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swedish_Vo ... ter_War%29

I also enclose my photo from Flygvapenmuséet, the Swedish Air Force museum, of a Gloster Gladiator fighter of the F19 painted in winter camouflage with Finnish national insignia.

S Novym Godom
, Happy New Year 2010 to you!

Cheers,
Hanski
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Re: Volunteers in Winter and Continuation Wars

Post by karjala » 04 Jan 2010 04:58

Good day Hanski!
Thank you for your congratulations!

1. By placing the Swedish volunteers in Northern Finland is clear.
The question arises about 420 volunteers of which you wrote.
Could someone have to be on the Karelian kannas?
There is evidence in some units they are?
What they had uniforms? Their uniforms were similar to the uniforms of volunteers who fought in northern Finland.

On these issues, I have not found any information ...

2. I'm not quite correctly formulated the question: (
I wonder how Swedish volunteers were dressed in 1941-44?
Their uniform was the same as in 1940?

3. Thanks for the links!

Question on the photos. I understand that the Swedes put on a backpack M39?

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Re: Volunteers in Winter and Continuation Wars

Post by Hanski » 10 Mar 2010 19:17

Unfortunately I am unable to provide answers to the questions above by Karjala -- would someone else have them?

----

However, regarding the Swedish volunteers in Winter War, I would like to point out a fact that I came across with in a recent TV documentary that I heard for the first time.

The Swedish volunteer force in support of Finland was the greatest number of volunteers that any democracy has ever sent to help another country in war, in all of world history.

With the numerous other forms of contributions and support (financial, technical, material, humanitarian) that we Finns received from Sweden in our hour of greatest need, we do have good reasons for gratitude.

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Re: Volunteers in Winter and Continuation Wars

Post by John T » 12 Mar 2010 22:25

karjala wrote:
1. By placing the Swedish volunteers in Northern Finland is clear.
The question arises about 420 volunteers of which you wrote.
Could someone have to be on the Karelian kannas?
There is evidence in some units they are?
What they had uniforms? Their uniforms were similar to the uniforms of volunteers who fought in northern Finland.

On these issues, I have not found any information ...
Most, ~230 men and offiercs where in the Vaasa artillery depot "Tykistön kouluskeskus 2"
of these only a few, like one officer per battery where in actual front service with units equipped with guns delivered from Sweden.

Rask Psto 6 with 4 swedish officers arrived West Summa "early February"

First battery of Rask Psto 7 had "a few" Swedish officers but arrived at the front in kolmikesälä on the 4 February,
The rest of Rask Psto 7 with more than 60 Swedes arrived at the front on march 12.

Finish language units with Swedish guns also got
III/KTR 21 5 officers and
III/KTR 23 3


The other real units where 51:th Heavy AAA Bn (9 * 75mm guns) in Åbo.
Aproximate 80 Swedes.

and "Naval detachment Åbo", 37 Swedes manning one AA battery.

420 - 347 leaves 73 men still unaccounted for.
I know some officers where refurbishing captured tanks,
don't know if there where any general mechanical engineers during the Winter war btu I have some faint memories
(they where organized during the continuation war and some where pure civilian outfits)

And Bofors had a 20mm AA gun in field trials but I am not shure if they where classed as Swedish volunteers or just "Private Enterprise" (to quote the old film Kellys Heroes)
karjala wrote: 2. I'm not quite correctly formulated the question: (
I wonder how Swedish volunteers were dressed in 1941-44?
Their uniform was the same as in 1940?
NO, the only Swedish equipment they got where seven 47mm mortars. Everything else where Finnish Issue during the continuation war.


Cheers
/John T.

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Re: Volunteers in Winter and Continuation Wars

Post by Juha Tompuri » 13 Mar 2010 23:42

John T wrote:I know some officers where refurbishing captured tanks,
don't know if there where any general mechanical engineers during the Winter war btu I have some faint memories
(they where organized during the continuation war and some where pure civilian outfits)
Pekka Kantakoski at his book Suomalaiset Panssarivaunujoukot 1919 - 1969 (Finnish Tank Force 1919 - 1969) mentions that during Winter War at Finnish Tank repair depot at Varkaus worked foreign volunteers.
Also he mentions of a Swedish (Ahrens Mekasiska Verkstad) donated cylider boring machine which was of a great help.
Another mention there is that after Witer War a Swedish engineer Hultblom together with Finnish miltary official (sotilasvirkamies) Sarjanen continued leading the repair work.

During Continuation War, 23th November 1941 a group of Swedish mounters(volunters/ordered) ( highest number being 62 men) arrived at Varkaus, led by their master Sanden.
The Swedes went back December 1942.

Also:
The Finnish merchant ships had no armament except s/s Oihonna that had a twin 25 mm gun delivered and manned by Swedes.
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... it#p973866


Regards, Juha

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Re: Volunteers in Winter and Continuation Wars

Post by Lotvonen » 15 Mar 2010 07:33

The sad fate of an Italian volunteer, Diego Manzocchi:

Finnish newspaper "Iltalehti" published an article on 5 March 2010 about the Italian volunteer FAF pilot, Staff Sgt. Diego Manzochhi.
We are now informed that Manzocchi, officially "KIA" was killed by accident, and there is a living witness to the incident.
The witness, then a young boy, saw an aircraft land near his home in the vicinity of Valkeala 13. January 1940. He reported by phone to the local Civil Guard that sent a patrol. The guardsmen saw a pilot in a foreign uniform shouting in a foreing language. So they assumed the pilot was an enemy and (being trigger-happy) fired at him. Lather the Guardsmen found that the aircraft (FA-22?) was marked with blue swastika in white roundel.

Manzocchi is buried in Hietaniemi cemetery in Helsinki among other soldiers killed in action.

Can anybody confirm this ?

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