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Old 01-04-2020, 06:03 AM   #691
Dowly
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1 October 1944 THE LAPLAND WAR BEGINS

LtGen Siilasvuo attacks Tornio.

Siilasvuo decided to open the battle against the Germans with a risky operation: an attack to the rear. Initially, Tornio was to be a diversion attack, with the main attack targeting Kemi. On 30 September, Siilasvuo changed his focus to Tornio. Perhaps it was about deceiving the German intelligence. In addition, Tornio had better opportunities for further operations. The headquarters considered the landing too dangerous because it would have to be carried out by unarmed merchant ships without air support, but Siilasvuo was adamant.
Even before the landing changed from Kemi to Tornio, it had been decided to seize the city with local forces. Thus, the operation began with a attack led by Chief of the Länsi-Pohja Civil Guard, Major Larjo. The 300-man ad-hoc unit was to occupy the city. The Germans had 300-400 men in Tornio, mostly rear troops. The Larjo's men surprised the Germans and most of Tornio was soon occupied by the Finns, with the exception of three German bases.
LtCol Halsti's Infantry Regiment 11 was loaded on three merchant ships in Oulu and reached Tornio's outer port, Röyttä, on October 1 at 7.45am. The unloading of some 3000 men and equipment took approximately five hours in total. The operation came as a surprise to the Germans, so the Finns could carry it out in peace. The aim of the Finns was to expand the beachhead as quickly as possible and to capture the bridges in the vicinity.
The Germans were still expecting for the Finns to attack Kemi, where Detachment Pennanen had taken over the port of Ajos. Thus, no additional troops would be sent to Tornio, and within the first day the Finns occupied the Tornio train station and the German supply center, known as Little Berlin.
During the day, the Germans were still trying to put an end to the hostilities by negotiating. However, the Finnish headquarters did not reply to the messages.

Suursaari island in Gulf of Finland is handed over to the Soviet Union.

Finnish daily losses: 35


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Old 01-08-2020, 09:23 AM   #692
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2 October 1944

Commander of the 3rd Division Major-General Aaro Pajari arrives at Tornio's Röyttä harbor with his HQ and elements of Infantry Regiment 53 to take command of the forces fighting in the city.
Progress out of the harbor/train station area is slow due to faulty intelligence information indicating much stronger German presence in the city as is reality.

Finnish daily losses: 30
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Old 01-09-2020, 10:49 AM   #693
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3 October 1944

German counter-attack from Kemi towards Tornio is repulsed by the Finns.
Afterwards the II/IR 11 tries to outflank the enemy, but suddenly come in contact and are pushed back by German gebirgsjäger in the area.
Dive-bombing of the Röyttä harbour begins, slowing down Finnish operations in Tornio.

Finnish daily losses: 53


Damaged German vehicles on the Tornio-Kemi road.

***

4 October 1944

German counter-attack from Kemi pushes back Finnish troops, but the attack fails to reach the train station area in Tornio.

Finnish daily losses: 72
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Old 01-10-2020, 04:36 AM   #694
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5 October 1944

Germans attack in Alavojakkala to the north of Tornio and push the Finns southwards towards river Keropudas.

Finnish daily losses: 73


Men and equipment loaded on ships headed to Tornio. (Oulu)

***

6 October 1944

German attack stalls at river Keropudas and is called off as the orders are to start withdrawing within the next two days. At the same time the strengthened Infantry Regiment 50 slips through the German caps and partially encircles the enemy (Maschinengewehr-Ski-Brigade "Finnland") at river Keropudas.

Finnish daily losses: 154
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Old 01-22-2020, 07:14 AM   #695
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dowly View Post
Let me know how that book is, can't say I'm familiar with the German-Russian bit of the fighting in North Finland.

Quote:
Petsamo and Kirkenes 1944
THE SOVIET OFFENSIVE IN THE NORTHERN ARCTIC
CAMPAIGN 343
Sorry for the delay Dowly about the book review, it seems in that area the German's were holding four nickle mines which in most part they defended well with fewer numbers and the terrain helped them. The usual story of wait of numbers against them at that time, one point I picked up on there were Norweigan troops in the area fighting on the German side. Hard read as the book bogged down in to much detail that was not needed for a overview book.

What was Finland's point of view of there neighbour's in Finland?
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Old 02-07-2020, 04:15 AM   #696
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7 October 1944

Finns attack Kemi.

The 15th brigade's attack plan was completed on October 6. The objective of battlegroup Ojala is to circle around to the bridges north of the city. Detachment Pennanen joins the attack from Karihaara and Pajusaari. Battlegroup Pakkanen is attacking from the direction of Oulu road. In the northernmost of all, battlegroup Heiskanen advances separately. Its mission is to capture the Kemijoki bridges intact.
On October 7, battlegroup Ojala reaches the northeastern clearings of the city and the battle soon rages against the Germans who have dug-in into the cellars of the Kivikko district. Detachment Pennanen is attacking from the west and at 5.10 pm the siege is believed to be complete. However, the fighting continues throughout the whole evening. Estimates of the number of prisoners and dead range between 300 to 600.

All available transport planes of the Finnish Air Forces are given to the use of Flight Detachment Jauri, which is responsible for transporting HQ's long-range patrols.

Finnish daily losses: 150


View of Kemi during the fighting.

***

8 October 1944

The war's first four HQ's LRRP units head off, two by foot and two by aircraft.

German troops withdraw from Tornio and Kemi.

Finnish daily losses: 138


Fallen German soldier in Tornio.

***

9 October 1944

Lagus' flanking attempt fails in Portimojärvi.

After the battles in Tornio and Kemi, the Finns pursued the Germans towards north. Progress was slow due to Germans having destroyed or mined all north leading roads and bridges.
The aim was to block the retreat of the Germans in the direction of Rovaniemi through Muonio to the north. As soon as Monday (9th), Finnish and German troops were in combat in the Portimojärvi terrain between Ranua and Rovaniemi. Jaeger Brigade's Jaeger Battalion 2 and 4, led by Lagus, sought to flank into the rear of the Germans heading towards Rovaniemi. When the situation began to look like the Germans were about to break away, the Finnish jaegers were ordered to go advance on the road directly towards Rovaniemi so they would be in better position to chase after the Germans. At the same time, the Germans counterattacked the Finns, and the surprise attack drove the Finns off road. Finnish casualties rose up to 295 while Germans only lost few dozen men.

33,587 Soviet citizens currently in Finland have announced they'd like to go back to the Soviet Union.

Finnish daily losses: 96
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Old 02-08-2020, 11:10 PM   #697
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The daily losses were as bad as they were in quieter days in June 1944. Quite a picture, of that fallen German soldier, btw.
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Old 02-14-2020, 09:18 AM   #698
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10 October 1944

Germans begin the destruction of the city of Rovaniemi.

On the 9th, Rendulic informs the Finns that as a revenge for their "lowly and cowardly actions" German troops will destroy all state owned buildings in Rovaniemi. However, there is no time to figure out who owns what and so all sizeable buildings are burned. To add to the destruction, a German ammunition train explodes at the station and causes further fires in the city.

Finnish daily losses: 41


Finnish officer with what appears to be a KP-44 submachine gun. (Tornio area)

***

11 October 1944

The 11th Division, led by Major-General Heiskanen, begins its advance from Tornio towards Muonio in the north via Kolari.

Former Foreign Minister Rolf Witting dies.

Finnish daily losses: 26


Finnish sentry in Kemi with Suomi KP-31 (w/ stick magazine).

***

12 October 1944

N/A

Finnish daily losses: 28

***

13 October 1944

Soviet news agency TASS opens office in Helsinki.

Finnish daily losses: 19

***

14 October 1944

The vanguard of Group Lagus reaches Rovaniemi.

Finnish daily losses: 38


Detachment Pennanen's jaegers crossing a river after Germans blew up the bridge.

***

15 October 1944

Infantry Regiment 11 tries to flank the Germans leaving Rovaniemi by advancing from the southwest of the city, but the lack of ammunition and exhaustion prevents the Finns from effectively blocking the German retreat towards Kittilä north of Rovaniemi.

Finnish daily losses: 42

***

16 October 1944

N/A

Finnish daily losses: 36


First Finnish troops march in burning Rovaniemi.
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Old 02-22-2020, 01:56 PM   #699
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17 October 1944

The government sets up a war compensation industry delegation within the Ministry of Trade and Industry to handle the $300 million war preparations dictated in the Moscow treaty.

TASS accuses Finns of being passive and slow in driving out the Germans from the country.

Mannerheim criticized Siilasvuo for being too passive in the north after the capture of Rovaniemi, and especially about the failed encirclement by Lagus' forces. In response, Major General Lagus threatens to give up his command.

Finnish daily losses: 25


Rovaniemi

***

18 October 1944

Finnish troops take control of the partially destroyed Kemijärvi parish.

18th Division captures Pelto.

Finnish daily losses: 26

***

19 October 1944

The headquarters orders the forces operating in northern Finland to form the Lapland Group, commanded by Lieutenant General Harald Öhqvist.

Prime Minister Castrén receives a list ('List 1') from the Allied Control Commission containing the names of 61 people suspected of war crimes. Due to the rather sloppy way the list was made, only 45 people are found and from those only 14 are found guilty.
(The list had a lot of misspelled names, wrong ranks and people who were accused of doing something somewhere they never were at.)

Finnish daily losses: 16

***

20 October 1944

The Armoured Division captures Sodankylä.

Finnish daily losses: 25


Released soviet POWs on their way back to the Soviet Union. (Lahti)

***

21 October 1944

N/A

Finnish daily losses: 14

***

22 October 1944

11th Division captures Kolari.

The Allied Control Commission relaxes its demands of a more swift advance against the Germans in the north. Due to this the HQ orders 15th and 6th Division along with 15th & 19th Brigade to halt their advance.

Finnish daily losses: 25
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Old 03-06-2020, 10:40 AM   #700
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23 October 1944

The Jaeger Brigade attacks against German positions in Vuotso held by three Grenadier Regiments of the 169th Infantry Division. First advances by 2/JP4 are quickly halted by German artillery fire.

Finnish book stores are requested to remove from their selections books that contain matters seen as hostile towards the Soviet Union.

Finnish daily losses: 33


Swedish soldiers help an elder Finn who is returning to Tornio.

***

24 October 1944

Second attempt by the Jaeger Brigade to break the German line at Vuotso fails.

President Mannerheim orders end of blackout regulations with exception of Lapland.

The number of displaced population raises to 307,000.

Finnish daily losses: 23


Pioneers keeping warm near the destroyed bridge over Pellonjoki river.

***

25 October 1944

German forces withdraw from Vuotso to their second defensive line at Tankavaara.

Finnish forces capture Kittilä.

Finnish daily losses: 35

***

26 October 1944

Finnish troops arrive at the front of German positions in Muonio.

Finnish daily losses: 16

***

27 October 1944

N/A

Finnish daily losses: 38

***

28 October 1944

Germans apply scorched earth tactics as they withdraw from Finnmark, Norway.

Finnish daily losses: 22
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Old 03-16-2020, 08:42 AM   #701
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29 October 1944

Finnish Jaegers launch an attack at German positions in Tankavaara.

SKDL (Finnish People's Democratic League) is founded.

Finnish daily losses: 52




Two German operated Somuas (?) destroyed near Tornio.



***

30 October 1944

Finnish forces capture Muonio.

Finnish daily losses: 31




Finnish soldier sitting by a burning building in Muonio.



***

31 October 1944

SKP (Communist Party of Finland) is registered.

Fighting in Tankavaara ends as Germans begin to withdraw north according to plan.

President Mannerheim proposes the dissolution of the Civil Guard.

Anti-aircraft units are given strict orders not to engage targets other than those positively identified as German.

Finnish daily losses: 27

Finnish losses in October: 1,439

Finnish losses in the war: 64,786
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Old 03-20-2020, 06:39 AM   #702
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1 November 1944

The Allied Control Commission demands all POWs taken and then recruited into the Finnish Army to be handed over to the Soviet Union by 10 November.

Schools start again.

Finnish daily losses: 30

***

2 November 1944

Finnish troops briefly encircle a German regiment in the Kaunispää area. The Germans, however, manage to break out by evening.

Finnish daily losses: 39

***

3 November 1944

The Parliament accepts President Mannerheim's proposal to abolish the Civil Guard.

Soviet Captain is shot in Lauttasaari, Helsinki as he was leading a column to Porkkala. Soviet Union blames Finns for his death, but as Finnish authorities are not allowed to examine the body or question any witnesses the case is closed.

Finnish daily losses: 14

***

4 November 1944

According to preliminary calculations, the total material losses of the displaced populace is over 30 million Finnish Marks. (~5.2mil euros)

Finnish daily losses: 24

***

5 November 1944

The Jaeger Brigade captures Ivalo.

Last of HQ's LRRP units is flown back from behind enemy lines by Flight Detachment Sauri.

Finnish daily losses: 20


Jaegers crossing a stream near Ivalo.

***

6 November 1944

Finnish advance halts at Palojoensuu.

Finnish daily losses: 12


Not much was left of Ivalo after Germans left.

***

7 November 1944

N/A

Finnish daily losses: 22
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Old 03-20-2020, 12:31 PM   #703
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In other news, I got my great uncles service records at hand. Unfortunately, and as I expected, they do not shed any light to what happened to him on 7 July 1944 in Äyräpää where he went missing.


But, as I have them now, here's what it reads:



Page 1

Physical description: 175cm/70kg, blue eyes
Gas mask number (size?): 2
Boot size: 44

Name: Tikkanen, Martti Leo
Date and place of birth: 28.10.1920, Keitele
Place of residence and religion: Keitele, Lutheran
Father's name: Heikki
Closest relative and his/her place of residence: (father) Heikki, Keitele
Married/Unmarried: Unmarried
Occupation: Farmer
Education: Elementary School
Language: Finnish
Sentences before service: None
Time in Civil Guard: None
Date of military oath: 21.7.1940
Sentences/punishments during service: None
Basic properties: Punctuality/good, diligence/good, observation/good, individual progression/good, behaviour/good
Type of service: Armed
Description of service: AT-gun assistant loader, 12 months

Notes:
-Transferred to I/KTR.14 (1st Battalion/Field Artillery Regiment 14) on 15.6.1940
-Transferred to Tyk.K./7Pr. (Gun company/7th Brigade) on 1.11.1940
-10.6.1941 Tyk.K./JR 7 (Infantry Regiment 7 was formed from 7th Brigade)

On the side of page 1 there is other misc. information about his service. Note that the records are not in chronological order and a lot is repetition.

Specialized as: AT gunner
Rank: Private

Draft group number and place: 57/5/40, Kuopio
Date of draft: 21.3.1940
Draftee class: A1 (in full condition for service)
Ordered to begin military service on: 28.3.1940
Ordered to: Infantry Training Center 6 (Jv.k.k.6)
Arrived on: 28.3.1940
Discharged as fully served on: 27.3.1942
Length of service: 2 years
Place of residence: Keitele
Transferred to reserve: 27.3.1942

By decision of Ministry of Defence on 7.11.1947, declared KIA on 7.7.1944.

***

Page 2 (Service after general mobilization for the Continuation War)

Arrived on/to: 10.6.1941/Infantry Regiment 7
Dog tag #: 497978
Ordered to: Gun Company(14.)/IR 7, assistant loader
Closest relative and place of residence: (mother) Hilja, Keitele
Transfers: 21.7.1944 Iisalmi Civil Guard precinct (Some internal re-organization stuff I guess, he had been MIA for 2 weeks by now)
Description of service: AT-gunner (assistant loader) 14./IR 7 10.6.1941 - 7.7.1944

Promotions/medals: Medal of Liberty, 2nd class
Battles:
Tyrjä 30.6.-4.8.1941
Fighting in SW of Lake Ladoga 6.-20.8.1941
Karelian Isthmus 28.8-5.9.1941
Karelian Isthmus 4.10.1941-7.7.1944

Wounded in Ohta on 13.7.1943.
(I read their war diaries sometime ago and there was a mention of private Tikkanen being wounded in the arm from a mortar frag, might be this occasion)

Notes: MIA on 7.7.1944 at Äyräpää, company commander 2nd Lieutenant [signature I can't make out)


The rest two pages are his KIA/MIA reports, stating his name, closest relative and place of disappearance.
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