Karelia wrote: ↑
01 Feb 2016 05:47
However the otherwise valuable and important part of the Estonian volunteers was not one of them, neither the efforts of the very small number of the Swedish volunteers (in 1944).
Estonian volunteers compared to Finnish army of 14 infantry divisions, 1 armoured division, 6 infantry brigades, 1 cavalry brigade, 6 border jaeger battalions + coast defence forces? The role was of course marginal. The "thanks to Estonians" is more a moral thing, not based on military facts.
When it comes to Gefechtsverband Kuhlmey there is looming reality that most of Finns have been fooled by normal rather humane military exaggeration. Let's not forget the fact that not a single German soldier or German aircraft operated in Karelian Front and still Finnish forces managed to block Soviet offensive in U-line (Battle of Nietjärvi). Same little bit later in Ilomantsi. So if Gefechtsverband Kuhlmey was "crucial" or "vital" then how in heck Finns managed as well in U-line/Ilomantsi as in Tali-Ihantala or Vuosalmi (or as i'm thinking ever better)? When VVS successfully bombed their air base in Immola (2 July 1944 evening) the humiliation been taken pants down, loosing 10 aircraft and at least 15 damaged didn't change the battle result at all. Nor did the order to decrease aviation fuel consumption little bit later. Maybe role of Gefechtsverband Kuhlmey was important but not as vital as so often claimed. After all it was relatively tiny force with (at least western standards) rather obsolete Stuka aircraft.
The narrative of Gefechtsverband Kuhlmey in Finland is veiled with myths and legends because the careful deep study has not been done so far (Valtonen had hardly no Soviet data backing claims of Kuhlmey unit). Dr. Markku Jokisipilä wrote interesting article in Tieteessä tapahtuu (2005
). He mentioned that the narrative of German "crucial military aid" actually was what Soviet Union and Finnish Communist Party wanted to be cemented to history books. Kuhlmey fanboys in Finland have walked to minefield.
If someday some deep going military historian study found that Gefechtsverband Kuhlmey results were let's say: ~35-40 shot down Soviet aircraft, 8 destroyed enemy tanks, 50 destroyed enemy vehicles, few small vessels and 10 pontoon bridges (which Soviet forces again and again rebuilt) are we still saying its role was crucial or important? Perhaps the role of normal logistical problems of advanced Red Army played bigger role than Gefechtsverband Kuhlmey? What is rather well known fact is that Red Army artillery rounds fired in Tali-Ihantala were far below those numbers of rounds fired in 10 June and even 14 June. We also know that flying missions of VVS decreased even before Gefechtsverband Kuhlmey arrived to Immola.
"Military history is nothing but a tissue of fictions and legends, only a form of literary invention; reality counts for very little in such affair."
- Gaston de Pawlowski, Dans les rides du front