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TRENCH LINE

 

ARMORED SHIPS IN THE HANKO FRONT

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

July 1941 to November 1941

04.07.1941: The armored ships flotilla came under an enemy aerial bombardment. There was no damage.

12.07.1941: The armored ships bombarded the area of Hanko. The targets were the storages of the dynamite factory, airfield and the railroad batteries. After the bombardment, the ships moved to the archipelago of Åland.

14.07.1941: The armored ship Väinämöinen fired four heavy calibre grenades to Tulliniemi.

19.07.1941: Enemy dive-bombers and SB-planes bombed the armored ships in Högsår without causing any damage. After this bombing the coastal fleet moved to Sorppoo.

26.07.1941:Enemy dive-bombers attacked against the armored ships. Armored ship Ilmarinen received small damage. One enemy bomber was destroyed. Our own casualties were three killed and twelve wounded.

02.09.1941 – 03.09.1941: The armored ships flotilla bombarded the area of Hanko with their heavy guns. The targets were the batteries in Tulliniemi, harbour area, airfield and Hangonkylä. Hits were seen in the target areas. This firing took place in the south-east side of the island group of Bolaks. After firing, the ships moved to Attu.

15.11.1941: The armored ship Väinämöinen bombarded with its heavy guns the area of Hanko. The target was the railroad battery in the area. First target for this bombardment had been the enemy transport ship near Russarö, but as the target could not be identified during the night, the bombardment was performed to a secondary target. After this bombardment, the armored ship Väinämöinen moved to Attu.

Lieutenant Commander T. Peltola

Trench line, Picture 1

- One of the many dugout remains in the area. This one is located close to the narrow isthmus. As a result of the stone reinforcements, this one has kept its shape quite well. 

Trench line, Picture 2

- The same dugout from an opposite direction. On the upper part of the picture, you can see the road, which finally leads to the narrow isthmus, which these positions are mostly guarding. Many of the trenches and firing positions were also facing towards that road.

Trench line, Picture 3

- Firing position facing the main road in the area, which can be seen in the upper left corner of the picture.

Trench line, Picture 4

- Intersection in the trench line, with a firing position in the upper part of the picture. Behind that firing position you would get even today a clear view to the main road in the area, which goes through the narrow isthmus.

Trench line, Picture 5

- Another position in the trench line. The road is just behind the position.

Trench line, Picture 6

- If you are not looking carefully enough, you might miss some sections from the trench line, as moss and vegetation has covered it so well. During the summer months it might be really difficult task to find anything from here.

Trench line, Picture 7

- More positions facing the main road.

Trench line, Picture 8

- Near the Båtviken and Hangistviken, there's a very large pit in the ground to which the trench line is connected. Taking a picture from the actual pit was another matter, but the picture shows you the place where the trench line entered into the "pit", meaning a possible dugout.

Trench line, Picture 9

- If you then start to follow the trench line, which is cut in two by the road...

Trench line, Picture 10

...you finally end up to another pit, which is within 50 meters from the pit, seen in the previous pictures.

Trench line, Picture 11

- A rather wide and well preserved trench line near of the construction 238.

Trench line, Picture 12

- Most heavily fortified area is the area before the narrow isthmus, which leads to Tronsböleträsket area. Most of the machine gun positions are pointing towards that area, as it has been the most obvious place where the enemy would have needed to try to penetrate the defensive line here. As such, it's also the most advantageous place to defend any attack, as there is a tall hill rising in front of the narrow isthmus. The isthmus also contains trenches, which due to the size of the isthmus is not a huge network of trenches. It still would have slowed down the enemy before the main position in the hill, which is overlooking the isthmus. This fire position points towards the sea and the isthmus.

Trench line, Picture 13

- Trench line in the small isthmus. This position is right next to the sea, which can be seen peeking between the trees.

Trench line, Picture 14

- Trenches are all over the place.

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Copyright © 2005, 2006 Kimmo Nummela