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[LAPPOHJA 01.07.1941] [STORKROKAN
01.07.1941] [DRAGSVIK 06.07.1941]
PATROLLING IN THE AREA OF BORGARS 21.10. - 22.10.1941
Patrol No. 1: Strength of the patrol is one non-commissioned officer and four men from the 6.Company of the Infantry Regiment 55. Patrol leader will be Sergeant Haupt.
Patrol No. 2: Strength of the patrol is one non-commissioned officer and five men from the 6.Coastal Engineer Company. Patrol leader will be Staff Sergeant Herrgård.
Weather: It was raining a bit in the evening and sky was cloudy. Later in the night, the weather cleared and during the patrols, it was a bright starry sky. Wind was gusty.
Patrol No. 1: The men will leave from "Brickans". Heading will be 35,00.
- The first objective for the patrol is to reach the ditch, which leaves from the Borgars hills and goes down to the fields of Lappvik Mansion. After reaching the ditch, the patrol will continue advancing along the ditch towards the road. Patrol must penetrate the Russian barbed wire obstacle before the anti-tank ditch, which is located in the Borgars hills. A hole will be blown to the barbed wire obstacle and through this hole the patrol will continue its advance over the anti-tank ditch, finally reaching the Russian communication trench. Patrol will continue its advance in the communication trench and towards the strongpoint number 67. The strongpoint number 67 is the final objective for the patrol. After reaching the objective, the patrol will blow up the strongpoint and return back, using the same way as from where they came from. In order to get through the barbed wire obstacle without difficulties on their way back, the patrol will leave while on route, two men securing the way back for the others.
Patrol No. 2: The men will leave from "Brickans". Heading will be 30,00. The patrol will start advancing at 04:30 o'clock and find a way over the Skogsholmen. After reaching Skogsholmen, the patrol will advance to the Russian barbed wire obstacle and blow a hole to the obstacle. If the explosion does not receive any reaction from the Russians, a second set of explosives will be blow. If neither of the explosions receive any reaction from the Russians, the patrol will wait until 05:15 and then blow the last set of explosives and return back.
REQUIREMENTS FOR A SUCCESSFUL ACTION:
- A detailed plan was made for the actions of the patrols. Aerial photographs and reports of the observers were examined carefully. All the men who were part of the patrols were volunteers and additionally all of them had previous experience from patrolling in the Hanko Front. The patrols assembled on 21.10.1941 at 13:00 o'clock. At that time the action plan was gone through carefully. After this, the men moved to the front line, where the terrain was looked and memorized carefully. The artillery and mortars remained silent through out the late evening. This way the Russians were lulled to a false sense of security and to their own thoughts. This peacefulness would be broke down by the actions of our patrols. The action was based to a surprise.
- The patrol No. 1 moved out at 04:00 o'clock and reached the ditch, which was the first objective, rather quickly. Everything went as planned and step by step the patrol advanced in the ditch. As the patrol was advancing, the sky started to clear up and a bright starry sky came visible due to this. After 35 minutes from the start of the patrol, the men stopped to listen, if any movement would be heard from the Russian side. No movement however was heard from the other side of the barbed wire obstacle. The men staid put for a few more minutes and then stood up and continued to advance carefully.
- Nearly immediately as the men had stood up, a Russian sub-machine gun opened fire from a distance of about 20 to 30 meters. Men noticed, that the fire had been opened from a Russian sentry position, where there was two Russian soldiers. As the Russian sentries had noticed our patrol, the patrol started to pull back from the immediate contact of the Borgars hills. As our men were retreating, they opened fire towards the Russians and three grenades were thrown towards the sentry position. Five minutes from this, the Russian sentries run to the Borgars hills, from where a flare was shot. It illuminated the fields of Lappvik Mansion, where our men were trying to reach own lines.
- As the flare was shot, a heavy Russian machine gun opened fire from the Borgars hills. The machine gun most likely is located on the same level as the anti-tank ditch. The bullets from the machine gun flew accurately towards the target, our own patrol, which was trying to camouflage themselves as best as they could. More flares were shot from the Russian side. Flares were shot also from the edge of the forest after which a fire was opened. No detailed knowledge of the weapons is available, but the sound of onr weapon resembled a bit of a French made light machine gun. Although the noise was much more louder. Perhaps it was an anti-tank rifle. At the same time two Russian light machine guns had opened fire and additionally there was rifle fire coming against our patrol, from every spot of the Borgars hills. More flares were also shot to the air constantly. It was very obvious that the hills were strongly manned. On top of this all, one more Russian machine gun opened fire. At this time the situation for our patrol was really uncomfortable.
- There was no point of continuing the mission, as the surprise moment had been lost. There was no use for the patrol to try to blow up the barbed wire obstacle anymore. The patrol returned to own lines at 05:15 o'clock.
- Patrol No. 2 moved out at 04:30 o'clock in another direction. Skogsholmen was reached without difficulties. In one spot however the men had to climb over a two meter tall rocky cliff, which was covered with moss. As the men were crossing this "obstacle", the cliff collapsed under them, creating a hell of a noise. The Russian positions near of the barbed wire obstacle made an alert, because of this noise. A fire was opened immediately from the Russian side with two light machine guns. Additionally single rifle shots were heard from the Russian side. A flare was also shot from the area of the transformer. Our patrol noticed that the Russians in this area used explosive bullets. As our patrol had been noticed so early in the mission, the patrol leader decided to blow up all of the explosives that the patrol had. The four set of explosives were attached two meters apart. All of them exploded nearly simultaneously at around 05:00 o'clock.
- As the patrol was making their way to the own lines, a Russian machine gun near of the transformer opened fire and kept accompanying the men. The patrol however made it to the own lines, without any casualties.
- The patrol No. 1 in practice could not fulfill its mission to the end. Despite of this, the actions of the patrol got us plenty of useful observations. The most important observation was, that the Russians have two sentries at the bottom of the Borgars hills, in the fields of Lappvik Mansion. Additionally our patrol could observe the positions of the automatic weapons in the area. The Russians also occupy their positions very quickly after an alarm has been given.
- Patrol No. 2 fulfilled its mission to the end. The men managed to blow up a hole to the barbed wire obstacle despite of the difficulties. These kind of attempts are without a doubt continued also in the future, as these can be regarded as a low risk attempts.
- The failure of the patrol No. 1 can be mostly put to the weather and to the vigilance of the Russians. The visibility during the patrol was quite good and thus the Russian sentries near the barbed wire obstacle could observe the movement of our patrol for a quite long time.
- The failure of the patrol is hard to accept, but in the open terrain of the Borgars, which does not give much protection for the men, the patrols either are lucky, or they are not. When planning new patrols, the lessons learned from the previous patrols must be taken in account. The patrols must blow up the barbed wire obstacle quickly and then return back. Additionally before any patrols are sent, the location of the automatic weapons must be know, so that there are no new failures.
Communiqué: 21.10.1941 - 22.10.1941:
- Patrols have moved in front of the Russian positions in the Section Hanko Cape during the early morning hours. One of the patrols was forced to return, when a heavy machine gun fire was opened against it. When approaching two strongpoints, which are very close to each others, two Russian sentries spotted our patrol and alarmed the strongpoints into action. The patrol was moving in the area of Borgars.
- In the same direction was also another of our patrol, which task was to cut holes in to the Russian barbed wire obstacles. This task was successful. Both patrols returned without casualties.
- The text of the two patrols is based almost completely to the report, which can be found from the war diary of the II Battalion of the Infantry Regiment 55. The routes of the patrols and the location of the Russian weapons in the area, are based to the map, which is attached to the report. Additionally I have used the communiqués as a source.
- The report mentions Skogsholmen, which is a hill. It cannot be seen in the maps used in this presentation, as it is a very small hill. In modern orienteering maps the hill is visible.
- The point from where the patrols left to the missions, is named as "Brickans". The routes of the patrols has been drawn to the original maps, as starting from the Lappvik Mansion Road. It is unknown to me, whether or not this road has been once called "Brickans".
Copyright © 2006, 2007 Kimmo Nummela