Petrovski Jam

Discussions on the Winter War and Continuation War, the wars between Finland and the USSR.
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Mangrove
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Re: Petrovski Jam

Post by Mangrove » 13 Feb 2014 19:31

SA Nr. 115963:

Image

kuuskajaskari
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Re: Petrovski Jam

Post by kuuskajaskari » 22 Feb 2014 16:29

Another map, same place but no date... I believe made by finnish map.
SSHS ry. Sotahistorialliset kohteet/Venäjä/Karhumäki/Petrovski Jam.
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kuuskajaskari
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Re: Petrovski Jam

Post by kuuskajaskari » 23 Mar 2014 10:23

Looking for a route to PJ.
igor_verh, do you know if it is possible to drive across the canal barrier # 9 Telekino.
Is there a swing bridge for local traffic.

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igor_verh
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Re: Petrovski Jam

Post by igor_verh » 24 Mar 2014 06:50

I didn't hear about any bridge or ferry in Telekino area, to get Petrovskiy Yam from Segezha usually used a boats at summer and snowmobiles at winter, because there are no good roads at south part of Vygozero. But sometimes groups on SUVs arrives there from Valday (on east bank of Vygozero) or from Medvezhegorsk and Povenets. Condition of road (off-road :D ) you may see at links and on video (from 24:00):
http://karhu1977.livejournal.com/352185.html
http://geodezer-spb.livejournal.com/74980.html

Route map:
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kuuskajaskari
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Re: Petrovski Jam

Post by kuuskajaskari » 24 Mar 2014 12:46

Ok, thank you.
I already knew that video, and now all others can watch it.

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Gamle Lode
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Re: Petrovski Jam

Post by Gamle Lode » 25 Sep 2014 18:15

kuuskajaskari wrote:
Jagala wrote:Image

Out in October 2013.

I read the book, a lot of things still remain unclear.
The book is written very objectively, Finnish are not accused of war crimes.
Lost and corrected memos and reports do not make things any easier.
I recommend reading the book, a lot of repetition of the old, but a lot of new information.
Not making accusations is only part of being objective. Leaving out data and giving out truisms is however not objectivity, it is lying, or would be seen as such in a court.

Now, on to this what I would call 'projection'.

The book lets it seem that most personnel Finns killed were merely medical personnel, a statement that leaves little room for interpretation. Petrovski Jam was a sheer war crime, according to the testimony presented by Irincheev and Repnikov. And Finns collected an elite force, just to effect some violence at a completely soft, undefended target? This is what Mannerheim Crosses were granted for?

The book claims that Petrovski Jam as a successful commando strike is merely a myth created by wartime media, and that all the history is a based on a newspaper article from 1942 - just as if no other sources ever were available for historians. It is actually difficult to think of any instance where merely some newpaper articles were even regarded as the source, in Finland, when there was a plenty of primary sources available already after the war. Newpapers were better suited as... I tell not.

Details are given on many circumstantial matters, like about the medical organization of the Soviet 71st Division and about Finnish forces in the early war of 1941. The commander of the 5th Division is presented as Koskimaa, not Koskimies. The actual battle is not reconstructed, but is 'approached' from many angles. Generally, the Finnish account is of course deemed an exaggeration on a heavy scale, but the Soviet sources are given out as the more reliable source. Here come the first truism: the reliability of the Soviet sources is explained as an exact causation of the Soviet system itself, if you didn't tell the truth, they'd put you away.This does not sayingly-say, but suggests that the Soviet sources are dead-honest.

It is said though that if a Soviet Soldier lost his helmet because of some accident or just of some random goof, he would tell it was lost in a battle. Credible, but will it work analogously: if a Soviet pilot lost his plane due to a motor malfunction, he would put it to the enemy cause. Would he? The airplanes of world war two era were lost to many causes, and some random engine failure would be among the most acceptable ones, but losing a plane to the enemy was a more due to a mistake in combat. All enemy action left cernible evidence to the plane itself: if your engine overheated your plane would still not get bullet holes.

There was also an account where it is said where the armed defenders of Petrovski Jam withrew to some nearby lake and blind-shooted at the village from the ice. Were these soldiers also patients, or did the garrison squad just leave their posts and leave the field hospital unguarded? I wish the exactitude that knowingly-knows that only 18 litres of gasoline was lost in each of the destroyed cars would give some more details about this matter too. Shellshocked soldiers, perhaps.

It is explained that the truth about Petrovski Jam was silenced in the past decades because of a need to maintain friendly neighbourly relations, but the reality is that there has never been any kind silenzio about the war in Finland. The leftie-radicals of the 1960's and 1970's just threw all kinds of crap at the veterans, and it was considered all plausible too. Kansa Taisteli -magazine bitterly wrote in some of its articles how a Soviet veteran sitting in a train in Leningrad, displaying all his medals, could enjoy respect from his younger countrymen, while in Finland some similar youngsters were constantly yelling "fascist murderer" at the veterans of their country and perfectly got away with it.

Well, the book is interesting, certainly. Yet "a lot of things still remain unclear" indeed.

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Re: Petrovski Jam

Post by kuuskajaskari » 17 Jul 2015 22:10

Data / image according to Finnish intelligence forces have achieved the goal , Petr Jam has been inspected in July.
Well done.

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igor_verh
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Re: Petrovski Jam

Post by igor_verh » 24 Jul 2015 08:33

kuuskajaskari wrote:Data / image according to Finnish intelligence forces have achieved the goal , Petr Jam has been inspected in July.
Well done.
Have any report about this trip? How did you arrive there?

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Re: Petrovski Jam

Post by durb » 26 Jul 2015 20:56

Very controversial topic and I find it very difficult after all the decades to find truth (but nothing but the truth) of the events that took place in Petrovski Jam. Whereas it was in the interest of Soviet propaganda to blackpaint Finns as much as possible it may well be also that Finns did leave out in their official combat reports some things which the veterans were later reluctant to remember. We have Soviet/Russian version of thruth and Finnish version of truth and patriotism or political views play always more or less part in our judgements (sometimes this is unconscious). Perhaps the truth is somewhere between Soviet and Finnish versions. Anyway, brutal things happen in war and no party is completely innocent of war crimes - something that veterans preferred to forget or avoid to talk about. I probably would have done so also if I had been involved or witnessed such things.

Although it is another completely different topic and probably discussed elsewhere in this forum, I want to mention also the attacks which Soviet partisans made against undefended Finnish villages during the war killing many civilians (including children). However in the official Soviet history these partisans were commandos making successfull raids against "legitimate targets" destroying valuable enemy assets. I bet that there have been very few partisan veterans who wanted to remember such things and tell about them - in Soviet times that would have been impossible and after the Soviet-era the few surviving partisan veterans understably preferred to forget, remain silent or deny that war crimes happened during those missions in which they were personally involved.

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Re: Petrovski Jam

Post by kuuskajaskari » 30 Oct 2015 22:46

igor, sorry for the late answer.
There are some photos and stories about the trip.
offipalsta.com/tapahtumat/uikujärven ympäri.
I guess you know some places on the way after oz Uikujärvi and you were right, looks like those roads are made offroads cars only...

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Re: Petrovski Jam

Post by Vaeltaja » 31 Oct 2015 16:37

durb wrote:Very controversial topic and I find it very difficult after all the decades to find truth (but nothing but the truth) of the events that took place in Petrovski Jam. Whereas it was in the interest of Soviet propaganda to blackpaint Finns as much as possible it may well be also that Finns did leave out in their official combat reports some things which the veterans were later reluctant to remember. We have Soviet/Russian version of thruth and Finnish version of truth and patriotism or political views play always more or less part in our judgements (sometimes this is unconscious). Perhaps the truth is somewhere between Soviet and Finnish versions. Anyway, brutal things happen in war and no party is completely innocent of war crimes - something that veterans preferred to forget or avoid to talk about. I probably would have done so also if I had been involved or witnessed such things.

Although it is another completely different topic and probably discussed elsewhere in this forum, I want to mention also the attacks which Soviet partisans made against undefended Finnish villages during the war killing many civilians (including children). However in the official Soviet history these partisans were commandos making successfull raids against "legitimate targets" destroying valuable enemy assets. I bet that there have been very few partisan veterans who wanted to remember such things and tell about them - in Soviet times that would have been impossible and after the Soviet-era the few surviving partisan veterans understably preferred to forget, remain silent or deny that war crimes happened during those missions in which they were personally involved.
Difference is that Finns never said that there wouldn't have been a hospital in Petrovski Jam. When it became clear that there had been a hospital at that location that information wasn't buried or hidden - but it was admitted. It was also admitted that Finns didn't have clear information as to what existed in each and every target locations - only that they were in use. Soviet partisans however continued depicting those civilian villages as 'hostile garrisons'. That is rather significant difference between the two.

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Re: Petrovski Jam

Post by durb » 02 Nov 2015 18:25

Finnish documents are actually a bit contradictory or inconsistent when it comes to the acknowledgement of the destroyed field hospital in Petrovski. Repeating ltn. Ilmari Honkanen´s statement on 9.5.1942 as a reply to Soviet claims published in the newspaper "Leninskoje Zmaja" on 21.3.1942:

[...]
Päämajan Tiedusteluosaston Päällikölle

Saatuani tilaisuuden tutustua asiakirjaan (PM:n Tied.os. Ssaal.asiak. N:o 37.), jossa mm. mainitaan Petrovskij Jam'issa olevan sairaalan tuhoutumisesta ja koska sanotun asiakirjan sisältämä tieto ilmeisesti liittyy allekirjoittaneen johtaman komennuskunnan 8-16/2 1942 tekemään retkeen, jonka yhteydessä tuhottiin Petrovskij Jam'in asutus- ja huoltokeskus, saan vastineena asiakirjassa esitettyyn syytökseen sairaalan tuhoamisesta esittää, ettei mitään tuhoamistamme rakennuksista oltu merkitty Punaisen Ristin merkillä eikä muillakaan sairaalaan viittaavilla tunnuksilla. Myöskään ei komennuskunta hävitystoimintansa aikana havainnut mitään muuta sellaista, mikä olisi viitannut sairaalan olemassa oloon jossakin hävitetyssä kohteessa.

Luutnantti Ilmari Honkanen."


I repeat in English only the last phrase which is perhaps the most important statement: "The expedition force during its destruction activity did not note anything such which would have hinted to the existence of hospital in some of the destroyed targets" (of Petrovski Jam).

However other wartime documents in Finnish archives about the results of the Petrovski Jam operation clearly acknowledge that among the destroyed targets there were a animal hospital and indeed also a field (human) hospital: http://digi.narc.fi/digi/view.ka?kuid=4471906

So it seems to me that in original combat report the destruction of field hospital was recognized but when Soviets made a strong propaganda case of it Honkanen changed his mind and he made a statement that the Finnish expedition force was not aware of its existence during the operation? Or how we should understand his statement?

Was the destruction of field hospital sealed anyway because it unfortunately was located in Petrovksi Jam which was considered by Finnish war command as a very valuable military base to be destroyed by a special attack force? Could the compound of Petrovkski Jam have been destroyed in the way that the field hospital would have been spared of any significant damage? If not, then even the visible Red Cross markings would have not prevented the destruction of field hospital if it was located in the midst of targeted area to be burned by fire.

When comparing the Petrovski Jam operation and the operations of Soviet partisans against "soft" (civilian) Finnish targets they were of different nature from the very beginning. Petrovski Jam was a military base whereas the "soft" Finnish targets were not. The destruction of field hospital in Petrovski Jam may have been more or less unintended "collateral damage" of military operation and it is open to discussion if it was a warcrime or unfortunate incident. The partisan attacks against undefended Finnish civilian villages were deliberate terrorising actions against civilian population and clear war crimes.

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Re: Petrovski Jam

Post by Vaeltaja » 02 Nov 2015 19:49

durb wrote:However other wartime documents in Finnish archives about the results of the Petrovski Jam operation clearly acknowledge that among the destroyed targets there were a animal hospital and indeed also a field (human) hospital: http://digi.narc.fi/digi/view.ka?kuid=4471906
Here you are comparing apples with oranges. What you quoted indicates what the party was aware or learned prior to the action. While the reference to the hospital only becomes clear in the post-action report. So there is no real conflict between those two. Keep in mind that Finns did that POWs during the raid so that the Finns knew more of their target after the raid is hardly a surprise.
So it seems to me that in original combat report the destruction of field hospital was recognized but when Soviets made a strong propaganda case of it Honkanen changed his mind and he made a statement that the Finnish expedition force was not aware of its existence during the operation? Or how we should understand his statement?
Given the use of the term 'myöskään' it seems to be a reference to the previous statement in which Honkanen notes that none of the buildings were marked with either Red Cross insignia or with any other insignia depicting a hospital. So it seems to me that he is not stating that there couldn't have been a hospital just that they never saw any indication of it until the action had already started.
Was the destruction of field hospital sealed anyway because it unfortunately was located in Petrovksi Jam which was considered by Finnish war command as a very valuable military base to be destroyed by a special attack force?
I'm not seeing it being sealed away - not even in the statement you quoted.
Could the compound of Petrovkski Jam have been destroyed in the way that the field hospital would have been spared of any significant damage?
If they had been aware of the hospital beforehand or had it been marked with Red Cross insignia then, yes. Neither of those came to be.
When comparing the Petrovski Jam operation and the operations of Soviet partisans against "soft" (civilian) Finnish targets they were of different nature from the very beginning. Petrovski Jam was a military base whereas the "soft" Finnish targets were not. The destruction of field hospital in Petrovski Jam may have been more or less unintended "collateral damage" of military operation and it is open to discussion if it was a warcrime or unfortunate incident. The partisan attacks against undefended Finnish civilian villages were deliberate terrorising actions against civilian population and clear war crimes.
For hospital to have any level of protection it needs to have been clearly marked. No evidence of that could be seen. So Petrovski Jam was not a war crime.

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Re: Petrovski Jam

Post by Mangrove » 23 Feb 2018 13:11

I have been looking into the operation by going through various archives at the National Archives of Finland. In October 1943, there was another Finnish inquiry ordered by Mannerheim ("Ylipäällikön määräyksestä...") regarding the matter of the destroyed Soviet field hospital and other claimed Finnish war crimes after Soviet embassy in London published a pamphlet. It contains a translated witness testimony of the attack (see photo below). The same testimony is published on Irincheev's and Repnikov's book on page 206.

Colonel Kaarlo Somerto, head of Finnish military intelligence, claimed that Finns had no clue about a field hospital at Petrovski Jam during the attack and that they were fired upon from every building. There is also a POW interrogation report made of an unknown Soviet POW (captured on 3 March 1942) from the Soviet 313rd Division. He arrived with a supply column to Petrovski Jam at 9 a.m. on 12 February 1942. As a hearsay, he told that after realising one of the buildings was a field hospital, the Finns started helping the patients ("Kerrotaan, että sissien nähtyä, että heidän sytyttämänsä talo olikin sairaala, olivat he rientäneet auttamaan haavoittuneita; niinpä oli eräitä palaneesta rakennuksesta pelastuneita nostettu syrjään, jotta eivät palaisi.").

I think it is too easy to dismiss the POW interrigation reports as possible Finnish propaganda since they were not public documents and were not spread as propaganda. Furthermore, they contain names and information Finns couldn't possibly know otherwise.

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Re: Petrovski Jam

Post by Mangrove » 06 Apr 2019 06:44

Here's translation of the relevant part of Colonel Kaarlo Somerto's answer to Major General Selim Engelbert Isakson on 19 October 1943:

"There have been no punitive expedition or other formation tasked of destroying civilian population or settlements or other non-military targets organised by the Finnish Army. […] One of the accusations concerned a patrol dispatched to Petrovskij Jam, a village circa 65 kilometres NE of Medvezhyegorsk. A supply centre belonging to the USSR's Karelian Front was located there, one of the most important military targets imaginable. The attack against the supply centre began at 1 a.m. on 12 February 1942 (Finnish time).

During a fierce fight it was observed that all of the building in the village were used for military purposes and were armed. Patrol took fierce fire from all the buildings in the village. No sign of a military hospital located in the village could be observed during the fight. Even though there might have been a hospital in the village, it would have been theoretically impossible to observe for what purposes buildings were used for in a blackout village during a night in February. […]"

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