Operation Hokki, Aug/Sept 1944

Discussions on the Winter War and Continuation War, the wars between Finland and the USSR.
Hosted by Juha Tompuri
Lotvonen
Member
Posts: 535
Joined: 25 Jun 2007 11:17
Location: Finland

Operation Hokki, Aug/Sept 1944

Post by Lotvonen » 14 Nov 2011 09:43

Did anybody already read the new book "Operaatio Hokki" by Mikko Porvali ?
(Link: http://atena.fi/kirjat/kirja/400 )Sorry, Finnish only but the cover pic is authentic

Seppo Koivisto
Member
Posts: 559
Joined: 20 Nov 2006 22:49
Location: Finland

Re: Operation Hokki, Aug/Sept 1944

Post by Seppo Koivisto » 14 Nov 2011 10:25

Iltalehti wrote a fairly sensational article about the book:
http://www.iltalehti.fi/uutiset/2011102 ... 7_uu.shtml

Vaeltaja
Member
Posts: 886
Joined: 27 Jul 2010 20:42

Re: Operation Hokki, Aug/Sept 1944

Post by Vaeltaja » 14 Nov 2011 12:16

And managed to include pictures to the story that are totally out of the context. Of course, who actually expects tabloids to present their stories truthfully?

Lotvonen
Member
Posts: 535
Joined: 25 Jun 2007 11:17
Location: Finland

Re: Operation Hokki, Aug/Sept 1944

Post by Lotvonen » 15 Nov 2011 14:01

The publisher's blurb on the book translated, to give an idea what Operation Hokki was:

"The largest landing operation by the Finnish army was kept secret."
"Capt. Ilmari Honkanen, MHC, was ordered during the last weeks of the Continuation war to lead a commando strike at the Petrozavodsk railway yard. Fifty patrolmen were to be flown in by floatplanes in the enemy rear. The purpose of this “Operation Hokki” was to cripple the enemy railway transports to Olonez and Northern Carelia for several days just as the armistice negotiations were about to start."
"The book tells for the first time the entire story of the largest ever Finnish landing operation. The plan was excellent as well as the troops , but as the strike was launched almost everything went awry: one of the transport floatplanes crashed, a material supply plane was crashed by its drunken pilot, and the patrol commander was injured. Despite the changes in the plan, active enemy pursuit and heavy backpacks the patrol harassed the railway traffic to the west from Petrozavodsk almost for a month in the enemy rear. The action was interrupted by the message from the GHQ: “Armistice effected yesterday 0700hrs: all hostilities to be ended.” The plan had been to fetch the Hokki men with floatplanes but at the end they had to return to Finland on foot."

"The operation is one of the most colourful incidents of the Continuation war. The story was suppressed after the war because the patrol was active after the armistice had taken effect. After Capt. Honkanen was incapacitated Lt. Antti Porvali, the author’s grandfather, took the command and led the men to Finland. The book is based on Lt. Porvali’s private diary that he had hidden, on veteran’s interviews and photographs that have survived."

Tommy R
Member
Posts: 77
Joined: 08 Aug 2008 22:07

Re: Operation Hokki, Aug/Sept 1944

Post by Tommy R » 15 Nov 2011 19:10

Interesting operation and new to me. Also the cover picture is interesting, it seems that he has an German camouflaged zeltbahn rolled onto his backpack, does anyone have any information on the use of zeltbahn by the Finns?

User avatar
JTV
Member
Posts: 1886
Joined: 11 Mar 2002 10:03
Location: Finland

Re: Operation Hokki, Aug/Sept 1944

Post by JTV » 15 Nov 2011 20:07

Tommy R wrote:Interesting operation and new to me. Also the cover picture is interesting, it seems that he has an German camouflaged zeltbahn rolled onto his backpack, does anyone have any information on the use of zeltbahn by the Finns?


The larger picture version of the cover doesn't seem to open (mistake in html of the page or the file is missing?), so it's difficult to exactly what that is. Might be captured Soviet plash-palatka, which were relatively common in Finnish use (as far as I know they were not officially issued, but lacking any real rain-gear it was quite common for Finnish soldiers to take those to their own use when ever they succeeded to find some). As far as known Finnish use of German zeltbahn was notably more rare - likely they were at least partly items picked from battlefield to own use or stolen from the Germans. Some may have also been issued by the Germans to some of those Finnish use serving under their command in Lapland during Continuation War.

However it is also worth noting that Finnish long range patrols (units comparable to modern day special forces and the category to which this patrol seems to belong?) were better equipped than normal Finnish Army units and often capable of acquiring non-standard issue items for their use. Hence items used by this patrol might be poor reference to the items typically issued to Finnish soldiers. The small inflatable rubber boat also visible in the photo would be one of the items sometimes used by long range patrols - but not issued to normal Finnish infantry.

EDIT: I located somewhat larger version of the photo:
http://www.ts.fi/online/kulttuuri/arvio ... 0_515h.jpg

Jarkko

Tommy R
Member
Posts: 77
Joined: 08 Aug 2008 22:07

Re: Operation Hokki, Aug/Sept 1944

Post by Tommy R » 16 Nov 2011 14:47

Wierd, I could open the large picture fine yesterday but not today, I have it saved though, so I can try to attach it later when I am at the right computer.

The large pictures quite clearly shows the Heeres Splitter Muster 31 so the origin should be German.

It was the use by kaukopartios that I was cuirious about, if there was any known purchases made by the Finnish army to equip the patrols or if it was an "individual" item.

Lotvonen
Member
Posts: 535
Joined: 25 Jun 2007 11:17
Location: Finland

Re: Operation Hokki, Aug/Sept 1944

Post by Lotvonen » 18 Nov 2011 07:11

There was co-operation with German military, e.g. the floatplanes used for this operation were on loan from Luftwaffe, with the original Luftwaffe emblems. FAF provided the aircrews and maintenance. Maybe even the time delay vibration activated fuses the patrol was using to mine the railway were of German origin. Minor quantities of special gear may well have been included in the war material supplied by Germany.

Mangrove
Member
Posts: 1716
Joined: 25 Dec 2004 01:33

Re: Operation Hokki, Aug/Sept 1944

Post by Mangrove » 18 Nov 2011 12:14

Tommy R wrote:It was the use by kaukopartios that I was cuirious about, if there was any known purchases made by the Finnish army to equip the patrols or if it was an "individual" item.


A nameless Finnish long-range patrol manual written in late 1944 or early 1945 mentions Luftwaffe rubber boats and Panzerfausts as the only special item of German manufacture used by Finnish patrols. The boats were first bought in 1943. These patrols did usually have two by two meter shelter "halfs", but I have understood that they were of Finnish manufacture.

Tommy R
Member
Posts: 77
Joined: 08 Aug 2008 22:07

Re: Operation Hokki, Aug/Sept 1944

Post by Tommy R » 18 Nov 2011 19:32

Interesting, here is a cropped version of the larger cover picture.

Some good pictures of Zeltbahns can be found here.
http://www.mp44.nl/equipment/zelt.htm
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

User avatar
John Hilly
Member
Posts: 2582
Joined: 26 Jan 2010 09:33
Location: Tampere, Finland, EU

Re: Operation Hokki, Aug/Sept 1944

Post by John Hilly » 21 Nov 2011 15:40

Very good review of Porvali's Operation Hokki by Jorma Pokkinen in:
http://www.aamulehti.fi/Kirjat/1194705904496/artikkeli/mikko+porvali+operaatio+hokki+paamajan+vaiettu+kaukopartio.html

Greets
Juha-Pekka :milwink:
"Die Blechtrommel trommelt noch!"

Mangrove
Member
Posts: 1716
Joined: 25 Dec 2004 01:33

Re: Operation Hokki, Aug/Sept 1944

Post by Mangrove » 09 Jan 2012 10:28

I read the book the other day and here are my impressions based on it. The book is based on very few archival sources, the most important being the patrol diary (not personal as stated before) kept by Lt. Porvali. The diary lies at the National Archive but is also published fully on the end of the book. Most of the time the sources are not referenced at all.

After one of the three transport flights crashed, the remaining 35 soldiers chose to abandon the original mission and start to harash the enemy transportations lines between Petroskoi and Ilomantsi. The patrol broke a kilometer worth of railway and derailed a train between Villavaara and Kutisma on 16 August 1944 and then moved to a track near Säämäjärvi-Kutisma where they arrived on 23 August 1944. The track was armed with time delayed bombs and left intact for the time being. After this the patrol moved around the region up to the morning of 4 September when they were informed about the armistice. There are some uncertainly between the interviewed men if the patrol shot two Soviet soldiers when crossing the line on the night of 4 - 5 September 1944, i.e. after the armistice.

Regarding the zeltbahn, there is another photograph on the book that shows three or four zeltbahns combined into one tent for Cpt. Honkanen. The camouflage is shown to be the same as in the other photograph discussed here.

User avatar
CanKiwi2
Financial supporter
Posts: 1009
Joined: 26 Nov 2010 15:48
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: Operation Hokki, Aug/Sept 1944

Post by CanKiwi2 » 10 Jan 2012 17:14

Tommy R wrote:Some good pictures of Zeltbahns can be found here.
http://www.mp44.nl/equipment/zelt.htm


Thx for the link, that site is interesting. Loved the detail. Bookmarked it and will be going back to browse in detail.

Question - is anybody aware of any similar sites with that sort of detail on WW2 Finnish military equipment? Shelters, tents, portable stoves, webbing, canteens, ponchos, winter and summer clothing, boots, packs, military skis, compasses, rations, all the usual bits and pieces that one runs around with.

Kiitos...........Nigel
ex Ngāti Tumatauenga ("Tribe of the Maori War God") aka the New Zealand Army

Mangrove
Member
Posts: 1716
Joined: 25 Dec 2004 01:33

Re: Operation Hokki, Aug/Sept 1944

Post by Mangrove » 22 May 2012 09:04

Martti Kujansuu wrote:Regarding the zeltbahn, there is another photograph on the book that shows three or four zeltbahns combined into one tent for Cpt. Honkanen. The camouflage is shown to be the same as in the other photograph discussed here.


http://www.ww2incolor.com/finnish_forces/Operation_Hokki_ill_Cpt_Honkanen_Aug1944.html
Image

Lotvonen
Member
Posts: 535
Joined: 25 Jun 2007 11:17
Location: Finland

Re: Operation Hokki, Aug/Sept 1944

Post by Lotvonen » 03 Dec 2012 15:17

Now the book is available in Swedish translation. "Bakom Röda arméns linjer : finska fjärrpatrullens sista uppdrag : Operation Hokki " Publisher Bokförlaget T Fischer &co.

Return to “Winter War & Continuation War”