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195

 

AIR COMBAT ON 5TH OF NOVEMBER 1941, PART II

(History of the Hanko Group, T-22005, Military Archives of Finland) 

5th of November 1941


- It was not possible to disengage from the dogfight, by flying to a lower altitude and heading home, because we were above the open sea in the east side of Hanko. There would have not been any land features for the planes to take some cover if we would have tried to disengage. Also the fighting spirit of the men was so high, that it was out of the question to try to hide in the clouds. 

- Also it might have happened that some of our planes might have not noticed that others were leaving from the battle, which would have left them to fight against the growing number of Russian planes. The Russians could "feed" the battle constantly by sending more planes from their nearby airfield in the Hanko Cape. In total some seven I-16 and two I-153 planes took off from the Russian airfield in Täcktom. Six of the I-16 planes participated to the battle, while the plane of the commissar remained near of the clouds to observe and raise the fighting spirit of his men. 

- We fought the battle to the end and while getting back to our airfield we heard from the radio that it was reported that one of the enemy I-16 planes had crashed to the sea and one had headed towards the Täktom airfield smoking badly. We had also lost one of our planes. Second Lieutenant Alpo Lakio never returned from the flight. He was one of the most enthusiastic men in the squadron and had already destroyed several Russian planes. 

- The other men in addition to Lakio who participated to the battle were Sergeant Major Satomaa and Sergeant Erkinheimo. 

Commander of Section Hanko: Captain Kullervo Lahtela.

195, Picture 1

- A large pit in front of the gun position, which is the dominating construction in the position 195.

195, Picture 2

- A view towards Björnholmen, which is covered in the fog.

195, Picture 3

- The gun position seen from the high hill from, which when the trees would have been cut, would have given an excellent view towards Björnholmen. Even today it does give a good view to the gun position.

195, Picture 4

- The same gun position in its summer shape.

195, Picture 5

- The edges of the gun position are barely visible from under the snow and soil.

195, Picture 6

- Stones used in the construction peaks out clearly during the summer.

195, Picture 7

- The earthwork for the position.

195, Picture 8

- Gun position seen from a distance.

195, Picture 9

- Trench line or memories from something else?

195, Picture 10

- The narrowest part of the channel, which leads to Tammisaari. In 1940 and 1941 these shores have been full of life and men. Today just a casual passer-bys come here, although from a boat the gun position is quite visible and many boats visit Tammisaari during the summer months.

195, Picture 11

- The right flank of the gun position contains rather huge earthworks. Obviously these have been positions that have supported the defences here. Today it is however quite difficult to say with a certainty, what has been located in each of the positions. However machine gun nest was planned to this location. Additionally the gun position from the Crimean War confuses even more, to see the gun position from the Continuation War.

195, Picture 12

- Notice that there is a person standing on the left side of the construction, giving you a hint of the size of this construction. The huge size of the structure is because of the gun position from the Crimean War, which has been used as a foundation for the newer position.

195, Picture 13

- There's a memorial stone next to the gun position, which reminds about the Crimean War. The plaque, which is attached to the stone, contains the following text: During the Crimean War, on this same place a gun battle was fought between two English ships and a Russian-Finnish battery on 20.5.1854. This six cannon battery wasn't build until during the next year.

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Copyright © 2005, 2006 Kimmo Nummela