The Battle of Tolvajärvi – The First Victory

The battle of Tolvajärvi was the first major Finnish victory of the Winter War and came at a crucial time for the morale of the entire Finnish military. Its importance to not only the fighting on the northern shore of Lake Ladoga but for the entire conflict cannot […]

Pro Patria – Veikko Olavi Pulkkinen

Veikko Olavi Pulkkinen was born Vesanto on the 29th June 1912. He worked as a farmer before being called up to the colours in October 1939. He was part of the artillery force assigned to Group Talvela and after the 718th Rifle Regiment broke through the lines, he […]

The Sausage War – An Army Marches on its Stomach

Reading through history brings up some bizarre episodes and military history is no exception either. Like the time a group of French Hussars captured a Dutch fleet, or the US officer who strapped bazookas to his light observation aircraft and strafed German panzers. There were a number of […]

Pro Patria – Kalle Juntunen

A native of Suomussalmi, Kalle Juntunen was born on the 14th August 1906. He was a farmer and had a small family with a wife and 4 children. Called back from the reserves for Additional refresher training in October 1939, he was assigned to the 34th Military Police […]

Pro Patria – Martti Ilmari Ala-Turkia

Born on the 11th January 1904, Martti Ilmari Ala-Turkia was a farmer in the municipality of Anjala. Married and with 5 children, he returned to service when the reserves were mobilsed in October 1939. As a senior sergeant, he was an inspiration to his men and during fighting […]

The First Dogfight

When the Soviet Air Force struck at Finnish targets on the opening of the Winter War it was an unstoppable force. Anti-Aircraft positions either failed to get into action soon enough or couldn’t score a hit. It was worse for the fighter wing, whose job it was to […]

Pro Patria – Eino Johannes Varis

Born in the small South Karelian village of Rautajärvi, Eino Johannes Varis was a farmer like many of his peers. He served as part of the soon to be famous 6th Company, Infantry Regiment 34, with the likes of Simo Häyhä and Lieutenant Aarne Juutilainen. He was killed […]

Order of Battle – Finnish Infantry Regiment

When Finland mobilised its wartime army on 14th October 1939, the vast majority of units were the Infantry Regiment. In 1935 a regional mobilisation system was established in order to efficiently mobilise a war time army if needed. It was broken into military provinces, with each province corresponding […]

Pro Patria – Aarne Jalmari Manninen

Born on the 20th November 1914, Aarne Jalmari Manninen grew up in Jämsä, Central Finland. He was an electrician. Called up to serve as the tensions grew in October 1939, he was killed during intense fighting at Taipale. Source

Weapons of War – Molotov Cocktail

On the morning of the 30th November 1939, 21 Soviet Divisions crossed the Finnish border with the aim of installing a puppet government. Soviet commanders had watched how the Whermacht had stormed into Poland using tanks, artillery, aircraft and infantry in a coordinated fashion and wanted to copy […]