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[LAPPOHJA 01.07.1941] [STORKROKAN
01.07.1941] [DRAGSVIK 06.07.1941]
ANTI-AIRCRAFT UNIT IN ACTION IN LILLMARS 17.07.1941
Air attack against "Fiskars II"-ship in between of Gullö and Lillmars on 17.7.41
Commander of the unit: 2nd Lieutenant R. Lilius.
Troops: Two 20/60 Maden A-guns, one anti-aircraft machine gun (all in Lillmars) and one anti-aircraft machine gun in the "Fiskars II"-ship.
- At 19:53 noises from an airplane was heard from the direction of Hanko. Private 1st Class Wennerqvist who was in guard duty alarmed the whole unit. I was with the first Madsen-gun. At 19:55 we noticed suddenly three fighter planes lined behind of each others approaching from the direction of Hermansö at an altitude of 100 meters towards the Fiskars II-ship, with was trying to move towards east with its barge. The ship and the barge had just reached the north side of Bastholmen.
- All of our guns and machine gun were combat ready and we waited until the planes were approximately 100 meters from us. At that time we noticed that there was red stars in the wings of the planes (we hadn't heard anyone firing the planes, before we opened fire). We opened fire against the planes on my command. All weapons concentrated their fire to the first plane in line. When the planes had passed us, both Madsen-guns fired the last fighter plane. At that time the anti-aircraft machine gun wasn't firing anymore.
- A hit was scored to the first plane by the anti-aircraft machine gun and one of the Madsen 20/60 A-guns. The Madsen-gun hit the plane just below the pilot, where an explosion happened. We all noticed this and saw that the plane was shaking violently in the air, after which it went into a deep dive towards Odensö, managing however to fire few bursts from its machine guns towards the barge. The plane crashed to the west side of Odensö. The plane most likely was attempting to reach the sea between of Odensö and Skogby, but didn't manage to reach the that far.
- The second most plane in the line fired with its 20mm guns and with machine guns against Fiskars-ship and its barge, after which it turned towards north and disappeared. The anti-aircraft machine gun on board of Firskars opened now also fire against the planes. The Madsen-guns were still firing against the last plane in the line, which flew straight into the iron storm from the guns. Private 1st Class Wennerqvist who was acting as an observer, claimed that this plane received a hit also to somewhere in the middle part of the plane. This plane didn't fire a single shot against Fiskars. It turned towards north, flying unsteadily.
Result of the action
- One Russian fighter plane shot down, second one received a hit. As every men were in position well before any action, our fire became very effective. We could not prevent the second plane from firing towards "Fiskars" and its barge, because we needed to concentrate our firing to the closest plane first and because the planes came in so low altitude and so quickly. The result from our firing however was, that only one of the planes managed to fire accurately against the ship. The Madsen-guns worked perfectly and without any disturbances. The guns are well suited to this type of rapid firing situations. Even the anti-aircraft machine gun worked also this time without any disturbances.
- There was no losses.
- Two 20/60 Madsen A-guns and two anti-aircraft machine guns, from which one was located in Lillmars and one in "Fiskars".
Especially distinguished men
- Corporal Osterman H., who was firing the first 20/60 Madsen-gun. The same man has scored a hit to a Russian fighter plane wing on 16.7.41. The plane was firing with machine guns against our positions, but disappeared when a hole was shot to its wing.
- Private 1st Class Fasth E., an accurate shooter, who at this time scored a hit at least to the first plane.
- Private Smedslund R., firing with the anti-aircraft machine gun. Has also before been firing with 20/60 Madsen A-gun.
Communiqué: 17.07.1941 - 20.07.1941:
- Air: At 19:30 to 19:50 three Russian fighter planes flew over Hermansö, Stormars and Lillmars. Anti-aircraft fire was opened against the planes. One plane was hit, which crashed in Odensö. The two other planes flew over Hermansö towards west. One of them was hit by an anti-aircraft machine gun and a huge pieces from the fuselage was seen falling away. It was not seen whether or not the plane crashed.
- The above combat report is almost completely based to the report, which can be found from the war diary of II/4.Coastal Brigade. I have also used the communiqués as a source.
- According to the war diary of Hanko Group anti-aircraft office, the "Fiskars II"-ship and its barge came also under an attack, before the attack which is described above. The earlier attack happened at 18:30 o'clock, when three Russian fighter planes flew from the east side of Lillmars and opened fire with machine guns and with automatic cannons, against the Fiskars-ship and its barge. Four soldiers from the Infantry Regiment 13 was wounded in this attack.
- Lillmars island is located eight kilometers to south-west from Tammisaari. Distance from Lillmars to Hanko, which is located in south-west, is 24 kilometers.
Copyright © 2006, 2007 Kimmo Nummela