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- The above map shows the plan for the fortifications for Hanko position (H-position) from the year 1940. However even when it is labeled as a plan, it is an accurate fortification map. The plan for the defensive line was obviously settled when the map was made, as nearly all of the structures which are shown in the map, can be found from the terrain.
- The only difference comes from the fact, that the map at first was most likely made in a office and only after that, did the actual terrain mapping start, where the actual locations of the different structures was determined. Why I assume it like that is that the place of the structures is not completely accurate. Generally speaking, all of the positions can be found within 50 to 150 meters from the place, where it has been drawn to the map. So if you go to the place where the structure has been marked to the map, you will not in many cases see much at all, but if you then start to walk in a circle from that spot, stretching the circle in some places even to 150 meters, you will find the structure. Also the documents in the Military Archives of Finland which concern Hanko Group, contains orders to adjust the position of certain structures a bit, in order to achieve a better defensive firing line.
- The second map, which I've used as a reference in the Harparskog area, is the fortification map of Major M. Kuumola: ("The fortification system designed after the Winter War, Isthmus section, Appendix; Major M. Kuumola's letter: The fortification constructions in the area of Hanko (II)"). A warm thank you for that person in Lappohja who gave a copy of the map.
- Kuumola at that time held a rank of Captain and was in charge of the fortification construction in the Harparskog-line. This map is not completely consistent with the fortification plan from 1940. Also the Kuumola's map hasn't been dated, so it is impossible to know when it has been drawn. The map also holds some strange conclusions especially concerning whether or not the construction was ready. Kuumola's map can be found from the Military Archives of Finland, from the documents, which concern Group Hanko.
- The defensive line in this area is in excellent condition. The anti-tank obstacle line is consistent through out the Hanko Cape, without any noticeable section of it being destroyed. In general, the layout of the whole line is such, that the anti-tank obstacle line is first, after that comes the trenches and after that the bunkers/dugouts. The distance from the bunkers/dugouts to the anti-tank obstacles according to the construction instruction at that time could not be less than 500 to 600 meters. It was recommended that the distance to the trenches from the anti-tank obstacles should not be less than 150 meters and not more than 200 meters. Still the actual construction varied a bit and in Salpa-line, there's even places where the distance from the trenches to the anti-tank obstacles is 300 meters! This variation is also very visible in this area of the Harparskog-line. The anti-tank obstacle line is not visible in the fortification plan from 1940 and I didn't start to draw it to the map, as I liked to keep the original appearance of the map as far as possible. Still if you like to see the anti-tank obstacle line, it is easily done by walking about 500 meters from the bunkers/dugouts towards the front line. Although the variation in constructions affects the distance, as in some parts of the defensive line, the anti-tank obstacle line is very close to the bunkers/dugouts and you can actually see the obstacle line from the bunker/dugout. Also in many parts of the area, the obstacle line is visible from the main roads.
- The trench line is also nearly completely preserved, with only sections near the Harparskog and Skogby villages being apparently destroyed. However, the trench line is just not the first line, which faces the direction of enemy. Additionally there are communication trenches and other supportive trenches going all over the place. For example a rather extensive trench system leaves behind the bunker number 307 and extends parallel with the Hanko - Hyvinkää railroad and present day Hanko - Hyvinkää road which is not visible in the fortification map from 1940, as Hanko - Hyvinkää road was build after the war. The trench line is also not visible in the fortification plan from 1940 and I didn't start to draw this either to the map. Still the trench line is easy to spot from the terrain, no matter where you stand. Only thing what makes it a bit difficult to determine what is an original construction and what is an later addition, is that the Finnish Defence Forces still practices a lot in the Harparskog area. Practically there are exercises all through the year and during these exercises new pits and trenches are being constructed. However all of the original lines have gotten a nice moss cover on top of them, thus making the newer constructions easier to separate from the old ones.
- Fire positions which can be found from the trench line, generally speaking means a positions for the light machine guns, machine guns, anti-tank guns and for single riflemen. Some of these positions are reinforced with concrete, but some are without any reinforcements other than soil and logs, which have decayed a long time ago. Even when concrete clearly has been used while building some of these positions, these are not visible in the fortification plan from 1940 or in Major Kuumola's map. As I haven't walked through the whole trench line, there still might be some additional positions, which are not shown in the pictures. I also didn't draw these positions to the map, but they can be found by walking through the trench lines, although some are very hard to spot, especially during the summer time.
- The code names for the bunkers are either Finnish man or female names or animals.
- My own personal notes below are based on the situation in the defensive line, during the years 2005 and 2006.
Copyright © 2005, 2006 Kimmo Nummela