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601

 

ARTILLERY IN BATTLE, PART I

(Hanko Cape in the Second World War, Niilo Lappalainen) 

June 1941 to December 1941 

- As the frontline wasn't moving too much in the area of Hanko Cape, the artillery was in use constantly. The Finnish artillery fired every day, trying to soften the Russians to surrender. It describes the situation quite well, that the Finnish batteries were given the minimum amount of shells it had to fire each day to the Soviet side, which was at least 150 shells per day. Only on 6th of October were these requirements loosen and the artillery could only fire targets, which were connected to activities in the Russian side. But starting again from 23rd of November 1941, the artillery could fire around the clock, targets that it deemed important. The situation was very different from the Winter War, when the Finnish artillery couldn't fire effectively due to the shortage of ammunitions. 

- In the rare situations where the artillery was resting, the infantry was wondering that are the artillery men sleeping, because they are not firing? The cooperation between the Finnish infantry and artillery was poor and the infantry really didn't understand the meaning of artillery. Sometimes they even cut off the artillery cables. 

- The Russian artillery also fired heavily and effectively. Even when the Finnish batteries were moved often, the Russian artillery usually adjusted their fire quickly and again the batteries were under artillery fire. The backbone of the Russian artillery was the 305mm railroad guns in the 9th Battery. These massive guns shot 591 shells in total for example to Skogby, Tammisaari, Karjaa and Bengtskär.

601, Picture 1

- The actual accommodation dugout remains does not look like much. Just a faint shapes are visible to a sharp eyes.

601, Picture 2

- Few stones can be found near of the remains, which have been part of the dugout construction. Much more interesting is what we found near of the remains.

601, Picture 3

- These had been lined up, like someone was supposed to come and take these away in any minute.

601, Picture 4

- Partly exploded artillery grenades were lying right next to the remains.

601, Picture 5

- All of the grenades were badly rusted.

601, Picture 6

- All of these are used, meaning that these were fired, but the explosion has been only partial.

601, Picture 7

- Cone giving a comparison of the size of these.

601, Picture 8

- Looking how these have been arranged here, makes it probable that these have been here for the past sixty years and were suppose to be taken away when the troops left from the area.

Ammunitions found from the Russian positions.

- Ammunitions found from the Russian positions in December 1941. (Picture: N. Helander. Published 1942 in a book Kampen om Hangö)

601, Picture 9

- Next to the grenades were rusted parts from the grenades.

601, Picture 10

- These had been piled on top of a stump.

601, Picture 11

- Close up shot to one of the completely rusted objects.

601, Picture 12

- More of the same...

601, Picture 13

- Lying close by was also a piece from a sea mine.

601, Picture 14

- The thick iron shell seems to have been pierced by a bullet.

601, Picture 15

- A907.

601, Picture 16

- The ammunition findings were informed to the Finnish Defence Forces, which cleared the grenades from the area at the beginning of May 2006. It really is no joke, that it is not wise to start digging up metal objects from the ground in the Hanko Cape area. The war here in a way is not over yet...

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Copyright © 2005, 2006 Kimmo Nummela