Pro Patria – August Nestor Lohio

Jaeger August Nestor Lohio was killed in action during the failed counter attack on the 23rd December 1939.

Born on the 9th January 1902, August Nestor Lohio’s young life was spent in the small southern municipality of Vihti. At some point he moved to the Rural Municipality of Helsinki, where he worked as a labourer.

His quiet family life was disrupted when he was recalled from the reserves in October 1939. He was posted to the famous Light Detachment 4, also known as the ‘Company of Death’.

Light Detachments were divisional level light infantry unit made up of cavalry, bicycle and machine gun units. They were intended for tasks such as screening, rearguard, vanguard and scouting. As they were highly mobile, they were also an effective mobile reserve, helping to plug holes in the line or counter attack.

On the morning of the 22nd, Light Detachment 4 received orders to participate in the planned counter attack at Muolaanjärvi. The unit move towards their starting point and were in place by 0200 on the morning of the 23rd. At 0630, Finnish artillery opened up on the Soviet lines and the Finns started their offensive. It wasn’t long before the assault petered out, heavy Soviet defences cut down the advancing Finns and very little gains were achieved. Some platoons saw 90% casualty rates and Light Detachment 4 was no different. By 1500, orders were given for Light Detachment 4 to cancel the offensive and take up defensive positions.

As the unit licked their wounds, the butchers bill revealed that 13 had fallen. Jaeger August Lohio’s body was unable to be recovered. He left behind a wife and child.


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