Väinö Olavi Majanen was born in the small town of Mänttä, Pirkanmaa, on the 17th February 1902. He was a labourer with a wife and 4 children.
Called up from the reserves for the Additional Refresher Training in October, he was assigned to the 3rd Machine Gun Company, 3rd Battalion, Infantry Regiment 16.
The Regiment was stationed at Taavetti when the war broke out. As they were still receiving equipment, they were not moved to the frontlines. When Group Talvela was formed on the 4th December, Infantry Regiment 16 was assigned to it.
The Regiment was moved to defend the Tolvajärvi area on the 8th December. The 3rd machine Gun Company was assigned to defend the village and stop any advance taken by the Soviets.
During the attack at Tolvajärvi, PFC Majanen and the 3rd Machine Gun Company were used as a reserve. After the struggle at Kotisaari, the entire 3rd Battalion was pushed to help secure the island.
On the 14th December, Group Pajari went on the the offensive. The 2nd and 3rd Battalion of Infantry Regiment 16, alongside Separate Battalion 9, took the lead and crashed against the 28th Rifle Regiment’s defensive positions at Ristisalmi. Fierce fighting took place which saw 46 Finns killed, including Private 1st Class Väinö Olavi Majanen.
The defenses at Ristisalmi wouldn’t fall until the afternoon of the 15th.