Yesterday, I decided to drive to Finland (4-5 hours via Sweden) to visit a famous place in the Lapland war between Finland and Nazi-Germany in 1944-45.
The place is located in the North-Western part of Finland, showed by the fortification legend a little north of Munio.
Five flags are placed right besides the visitors centre, with the one to the right being the less famous Sami flag.
The main exhibition is the 1,3km restored trench system, beeing part of the huge defensive sectors the Germans built up there. These were built to cover the German retreat from Finland into the still occupied Norway. The trench is built party in the earth, partly in the solid mountain with the use of explosives.
Every now and then you can see the positions built for the MG-34/42s.
The 1300 meters of trench also have four or so shelters built to house some soldiers.
These primitive shelters could house 9 lucky soldiers in relativly luxuary, with protection from the elements, along with a fireplace.
Here is a position used to for an "heavy MG" (whatever that may mean), but you can atleast notice the good overview of the Finnish countryside.
I was told that these squarly shaped dug-outs were used to host a light mortar (5cm) on the frontline.
Here is another shelter. This was said to be shrapnel proof, and could house 10 men.
Note the well camouflaged roof, covered with alot of grass and vegetation.
The title on the plate reads "Rocketlauncher emplacement", which may have been the famous 15cm Nebelwerfer, but I've never heard about it beeing used in the Lapland war. Anyone knows?
You can altso clearly see the large flat area infront of the hilltop. Keep in mind that most of the vegetation were removed (as firewood or as material), and the few bushes and trees left gave very scarce cover.
Heres a small hidden observation shelter, possible used as artillery correction. Note the good field of view from such a small viewhole.
Here is the bunker/shelter of the defence-line commander. As the other shelters, its well hidden and well covered.
Too bad I forgot to take pictures of it, but the bunker was relativly luxurious equipped, with some large and comfortable chairs built from the local trees, and sleeping bunks for 12 men. On each of the two exists, a storage thingy for 6 rifles were located.
On the end of the restored trenchline were the communication bunker.
Note the large tables probably housing radios to communicate with the HQ.
To conclude this picture-tour, here is the German latrine (located with some distance to the trench itself :p).
I also got my hands on these two beauties; A German 7,5cm shell casing (HE shell for artillery guns, right?) and a German multitool, similar to the modern "Leatherman" multitools, just with a little less functions!
I hope you enjoyed this little pictorial! :)
nice, reminds me of my trip to the french/german trenches
Reminds me of WW1
Nice report, pictures give good impression of area. Could u please tell some more about this war? Where the Finns fighting against the Germans,because I thought Germans supported Finns against the Ruskies. I have been to Verdun,D-Day coast,and Bastogne,and live near the Atlantik Wall Ijmuiden Holland. Ijmuiden used to be the Haviest fortified Commando center along the Dutch Atlantik coast,there was a Subbase located also. http://home.zonnet.nl/atlanticwall/start.htm
The thing about Finalnd is that it wasn't Axis, it was Co-Belligrent(spelling?). Meaning it only saw one common enemy, the Soviet Union. And I feel the Continuation war was justified because of the Winter War. You can also see evidence in this because the US never declared war Finland and Britian never took any military action against Finland. But when the Soviet Union was closing in on Finland, Finland decided to sign a truce and part of it was to force the Germans out of Finland. There were only minor skirmishes when the Germans were pulling out to Norway. Interesting fact. Some 300 Finnish soldiers who were Jewish were offered the Iron Cross, but turned it down. See, Finland was VERY clear not to become an Axis nation. It never signed the Tripartite Pact.
Thanks for the info.:thatsgreat:
And while they retreated, they literally burned down every village they met. Nice pics though, I'll have to wisit that place next time I go to Lapland.
They probably burned it down to warm up their nuts!!! That's up there! Do you have any historical photos? Would you guys be interested in any revolutionary war or civil war sites? I am very close to Valley Forge and a couple of hours away from Gettysburg.
Nice pictures Gauntlet, do some more travelling to more sites. And take lots of pictures :)
Yeah, awesome pictures Gauntlet. It's great seeing these sites when they're so far away from where I'm located. You took some quality pictures and it's cool seeing that everything is preserved.
Nice job, would love to see more of other locations.