Finns Recapture Viborg

Discussions on the Winter War and Continuation War, the wars between Finland and the USSR.
Hosted by Juha Tompuri
Posts: 1403
Joined: 13 Mar 2002 02:52
Location: California

Finns Recapture Viborg

Post by Globalization41 » 29 Jan 2003 03:38

Helsinki, Finland, Associated Press, The New
York Times,
Saturday, August 30, 1941: The
Finnish High Command announced today that
Viborg, ancient symbol of Finland's struggle
against invasion, had been recaptured from the
but it soon appeared that all the
Finns were getting back was a mere shell of
the Karelian capital. ... People wept for joy in
Helsinki's streets
as they read leaflets
proclaiming the restoration of Viborg, mourned
for a year and a half after its fall to the
Russians in the Russian-Finnish war of 1939-40.
To Finns the supreme event of the whole war
had arrived. But dispatches from the front told
how Finnish troops, smashing three Russian
Army divisions to storm the city, had found it
in flames. The Russians had left it burning in
accordance with their "scorched earth" policy.

... Tonight a Finnish radio announcer
broadcasting from Viborg estimated that more
than half the buildings had been reduced to
by the Russians. ... The High Command
said in its communique that Finnish troops had
crossed the Vuoski River and Viborg Bay,
completely encircling the city and trapping the
43rd Russian Division
and many other
detachments. ... At the same time, it was
reported, other Finnish forces drove a wedge
deep into the center of the Karelian Isthmus,
capturing the town of Kivennapa, only 30 miles
from Leningrad.
... German officialdom
cheered the Finns. Reichsfuehrer Hitler
telegraphed to Field Marshal Baron
Mannerheim that he was "full of admiration for
the bravery of the Finnish soldier,"
and he
conferred the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross
on the Field Marshal. ... To Finland's
President, Risto Ryti, Herr Hitler telegraphed:
"The capture of Viborg is a significant
milestone on the way to complete liberation of
... German news dispatches said
Finnish and German troops east of Salla, on
the northern Finnish front, had destroyed an
officers' school occupied by the 88th Russian
Division. ... ... Helsinki, Finland, By
Telephone to The New York Times,
By Svend
Carstensen, Sat., August 30, 1941: Finland
received today the big news that Viborg had
been wrested from the Russians. While the
announcement was being made on the radio the
salute guns roared from the fortress of
Suominlinna and flags were hoisted all over the
city. ... The normally calm population
rejoiced with great enthusiasm,
not only over
the recapture of the city itself, but also because
this may mean that the hardest part of the war
is over for Finland.
... An eyewitness account
from Viborg tonight said that the railway
station and the neighboring quarters had been
completely razed, harbor facilities hammered to
pieces, bridges blown up, and great factories
set afire.
However, churches, the famous
castle, and Round Tower are undamaged. The
statue of Peter the Great, put into a museum by
the Finns after 1918, was standing in the
square, where the Russians had placed it. ...
The Finns found the center of the city
uninhabited and only a few Russian soldiers
were met there. ... Two Finnish patrol
both former citizens of Viborg,
climbed the tower, hauled down a Red banner,
then found themselves without a blue and white
Finnish flag [but they later fashioned a
... In the final combat for the city
the Finns advanced yard by yard in bitter
fighting. On Thursday street fighting raged in
and yesterday huge fires were reported.
Last night the castle was taken by the Finns.
... Viborg is virtually a ruined city, but already
members of the Town Council have left for the
Karelian capital. ... Moscow, Associated
Press, The New York Times,
Sat., Aug. 30,
The Soviet Information Bureau issued
the following communique today: "During the
night of Aug. 29-30 our troops fought the
enemy along the entire front." ... Moscow,
Associated Press, The New York Times,

Sunday, August 31, 1941: [Late Saturday,
U.S. time]
The Soviet Information Bureau
issued the following communique today:
"During Aug. 30 fierce fighting continued
along the whole front."

[Stay tuned for late breaking war bulletins.
... Globalization41.]

Last edited by Globalization41 on 20 Jul 2004 07:29, edited 2 times in total.

instant karma
Posts: 21
Joined: 05 Jan 2003 03:02
Location: new jersey, usa

Post by instant karma » 29 Jan 2003 04:30

Thanks, an interesting article. (The article should have called it Viipuri, the Finnish name for their second largest city.)

User avatar
Antti V
Posts: 296
Joined: 12 Mar 2002 18:54
Location: Finland

Post by Antti V » 29 Jan 2003 09:47

Thanks for news, it was nice to read what others did write about recapture of my family´s hometown :)

Here is some photos from recaptured Viipuri:

Finns acrossing the Bay of Viipuri:

Victory parade 31st August 1941:

Victory parade 31st August 1941:

Viipuri´s historical museum and the statue of Torgil Knuttson, founder of Viipuri castle (founded in year 1293):

Propably the last known Finnish colour photo about the Castle of Viipuri on the Day Of Fallen Soldiers 19th May 1944.

Some more photos from recaptured town can be found from ... PIC_ID=152

Tapani K.
Posts: 871
Joined: 09 Jul 2002 11:29
Location: Helsinki, Finland

Post by Tapani K. » 29 Jan 2003 11:08

instant karma wrote:Thanks, an interesting article. (The article should have called it Viipuri, the Finnish name for their second largest city.)
Actually, Viborg is quite correct, too, since this is the Swedish language name and Swedish is an official language here in Finland. In foreign press it was at the time quite usual to use either the Finnish or Swedish names for Finnish cities. To some extent, this practice can be seen even today, although Finnish names are nowadays more often used by the foreign press. For the record, the Russian form is usually written Vyborg in the Latin alphabet.

Tapani K.

instant karma
Posts: 21
Joined: 05 Jan 2003 03:02
Location: new jersey, usa

Post by instant karma » 29 Jan 2003 12:10

Tapani; you're quite right. My point was that the Finnish name is rarely used.

Posts: 1403
Joined: 13 Mar 2002 02:52
Location: California

Axis of Evil

Post by Globalization41 » 29 Jan 2003 14:30

Great pictures and info. We Americans tuned
into the U.S. mass media are bombarded
numerous times daily with mentions of the evil
Nazis and Hitler, but Finland and Stalin's
contribution to World War II are rarely

Britain declared war on Finland for propaganda
coincidentally a day or two prior to the
Pearl Harbor raid. However America's
Congress refused to declare war on Finland.


Also from 1941:

Stalin Gives Rare Radio Broadcast
Last edited by Globalization41 on 25 Mar 2004 07:44, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Antti V
Posts: 296
Joined: 12 Mar 2002 18:54
Location: Finland

Post by Antti V » 29 Jan 2003 16:14

Does you have a knowledge that Britain and USA did congratulated Finland for its victories in recaptured Finnish part of Karelia? Does you have text about such news? I would love to read how that was published, if at all.

Later Brits changed their attitude, partly because of the pressure of Stalin. Roosevelt didn´t needed to do that, especially after Finland and USA agreed that Finns won´t cut Murmansk railroad track. Finns did also buy american movies by Finnish-American agreement (secretly of course) later during war. I guess also one advisor of Roosevelt who had Finnish roots may have helped with this declaration of war case generally :)
Too bad I always forgot his name. Does anyone remember it? I´m not sure how long he was advisor but I think he was from the beginning of Roosevelt´s presidency until his death.

instant karma
Posts: 21
Joined: 05 Jan 2003 03:02
Location: new jersey, usa

Post by instant karma » 30 Jan 2003 01:29

I know that Britain declared war on Finland, and if I'm not mistaken, India, Australia and New Zealand did as well.

However, I have never heard if there was a peace agreement signed after the war between these countries. If not, does it mean that Finland is still at war with them?


Tapani K.
Posts: 871
Joined: 09 Jul 2002 11:29
Location: Helsinki, Finland

Post by Tapani K. » 30 Jan 2003 08:25

A peace treaty was signed in 1947 between Finland and the Allied countries including the British Commonwealth countries that had declared war on us.

Tapani K.

Posts: 1403
Joined: 13 Mar 2002 02:52
Location: California

Finns Reject British Warning

Post by Globalization41 » 30 Jan 2003 20:35

[I collect news articles from 1941. Other
than that and books on World War II, I
don't know much about Finland. In
general, Americans in the know admire
Finland's heroic resistance to being
"swallowed" by Stalin's Soviet Union.]

London, Special Cable to The New York
Tue., Oct 7, 1941: Finnish rejection of
the British note warning Finland that if she
continued to invade purely Russian territory
she would be regarded as an open enemy by
was received here today. ... Officially
it was said only that a reply to the British note
had been received and was being studied.
Beyond that the British refused to [comment],
but there was no reason to doubt the [recent]
Finnish broadcast that the reply was a
rejection, and the British obviously were laying
their plans accordingly. ... The British are not
likely to accept the Finns' statement that this
war is only a continuation of the Russo-Finnish
war of 1939-1940
and that it is necessary for
the Finns to continue their attacks on Russia
because by doing so they are attacking air
bases that Russia might use against Finland.
... Less than two years ago Finland was "brave
little Finland," defending herself against
totalitarian aggression.
There was actually a
British expeditionary force at sea on its way to
aid her when she capitulated. ... The British,
however, are now doing their best to forget
this, although the British and Finns actually are
not enemies
and will not be if the British can
help it. On the other hand the British are
committed to helping Russia,
and they may
have to swallow their prejudices, including any
feeling of friendship for Finland. ... When a
Foreign Office spokesman at a recent press
conference said that London had no contact
with Finland, a reporter was heard to murmur,
"Well, come over to the Savoy bar tonight and
I'll introduce you to the Finnish Minister." ...
It is true that the Finnish Minister, who has no
relations with Britain officially, still can be
seen nightly in London. That is perhaps the
best example of the fantastic situation brought
about first by Russia's adhesion to the Axis
and then the Axis attack on Russia.
... Finland
has obviously pinned her faith on Germany,
but she still manages to maintain a foot in the
opposite camp.

Washington, Special to The New York Times,
By Frank L. Kluckhohn, October 7, 1941:
The United States today threw its influence into
the scales in an attempt to induce Finland to
withdraw her troops from Soviet territory
thus reduce pressure on Russian troops in the
north at a time when Germany is hurling huge
forces forward in a reported attempt to break
the Russian center and capture Moscow.
Secretary of State Cordell Hull made it clear in
his press conference that the United States
supported the British stand
that Finland was
engaging in a general war if Finnish troops
continued their drive into Russia or remained
in Soviet territory. [Hull was also complaining
of a German propaganda report alleging that
the U.S. had refused to pass a note from the
British to the Finns, implying that the U.S.
supported the Finns in their war against the
... Mr. Hull indicated that this
government had expressed its concern to
Finland, but insisted that the Finnish
government had not yet informed the State
Department of its reply to Britain. ... American
influence with Finland's population has been
greater, perhaps, than that of any other nation,
not only because of unusually close relations
with Finland since the founding of the Finnish
republic after the Russian debacle in the World
but also because this country aided
Finland with cash and supplies during the
Soviet attack on the northern republic in
... Finland is said to have ten to 12
divisions opposed to the Russians in the north
and these have born the brunt of the fighting in
the extreme north of Russia from Murmansk to
Lake Ladoga and to the north of beleaguered
Not only are many Soviet divisions
needed on the southern and central fronts tied
up by these Finnish troops, but the Finns hold
the territory north of Leningrad, while the
Germans operate to the west, south, and,
allegedly, the east.
... ... [Sweden controlled
Finland from 1157 until Russia conquered
Finland in 1809. In 1917, the Finns declared
independence, while the Soviets considered
Finland part of Russia (like Taiwan & China).]

Washington, Special to The New York Times,
By James P. Reston, Tuesday, October 7,
President Roosevelt, it was learned
today, has approved the creation of a new
government agency, called the Office of Facts
and Figures,
to cooperate with the established
government departments in presenting to the
American people a more detailed and coherent
of the Administration's defense and
foreign polices.

Chicago, Associated Press, The New York
Tuesday, October 7, 1941: Food
requirements of the United States Army next
year were estimated today by Lieut. Col. Paul
of the Quartermaster Corps as including
the following: 277-million pounds of fresh
meat and sausage, 82-million pounds of cured
and smoked meats, 26-million pounds of
canned meat, 50-million pounds of butter, 50-
million pounds of poultry, and 55-million
dozen eggs. Colonel Logan made his estimates
in a speech before the annual convention of the
American Meat Institute.

[Stay tuned for late breaking war bulletins.
... Globalization41.]

Return to “Winter War & Continuation War”