Who and with whom was at war in Lapland?
Every third Sunday of May Finland celebrates the Day of memory of fallen... The first half of the last century was given bloody for the country. Her sons perished. And daughters. And during Civil war. And during Winter. And on bloody fields of War - continuations.
But today I would like about Lappish. Why? Probably, because inexcusably a little we know about it. And whether we know that in general? And, meanwhile, events of this war tell a lot of things about Finns.
Well, in - the first, that they - not enemies. Neighbors. And between neighbors there is a miscellaneous. Sometimes and misunderstanding. Especially, if someone with the Charter climbs. And not just climbs, and tries to force to live on it. How here not to be indignant? But … If up to the end and frankly, then … Finns, in difference it some other neighbors, do not defy that wore the German uniform, do not sport a swastika and do not like to remember that in troops of CC there was also the Finnish legion in due time. And still … We somehow forget that our neighbors were at war not only together with Germans. But also - against them.
And in - the second … Finns - extremely honest and sincere people, and, having pledged the word, the majority of us keep also strong, as well as.
And events 44 - go - one of arguments in confirmation.
In order that the September Agreement on a truce concluded with the Soviet Union turned into the Peace treaty, Finland was obliged to demobilize army to numerical structure of a peace time and to clear the country of the German troops by own efforts.
And therefore on September 2, 1944. the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Finland, Karl Enkhel, handed to the German ambassador Wippert von Blucher a note with the requirement about withdrawal till September 15 of the German troops from the territory of the country.
One cannot say that Germans were not ready to it. Even in the summer of 1943 the German command began to develop plans for a conclusion case the northern ally of the separate peace treaty with the USSR. For defense of nickel mines under Petsamo (nowadays the settlement Pechenga in the Murmansk Region) nearly 80% of this metal giving to defense industry of Germany, began concentration of army army group in the north of Finland.
Winter of 1943 - 44 years Germans seriously equipped roads between Norway and the Finnish part of Lapland. At these works the prisoners of war captured in the summer were involved. For them, naturally, nobody worried about a winter form. And if another still it is possible to think of something, then in the north of Finland it is possible to tell about roads in a literal sense: “ constructed on bones “.
Generally, Germans were ready to the Finnish withdrawal from a war. But the beginning of September passed rather quietly. Finns do not interfere with evacuation of the German troops (service personnel of Luftwaffe and to Krigsmarina, part of supply, the 303rd crew of assault artillery) from the South and the center of the country. Germans, as reciprocal courtesy, allow to evacuate civilians from the northern regions of Finland.
Everything changed in the middle of September when Germany began implementation of the operating plan Tanne Ost (East Fir-tree) on occupation of the island Gogland (finsk. Suursaari). The matter is that the island held strategic position, being directly almost in the middle of the Gulf of Finland, and Germans fairly believed that, having in due time appropriated it, they will continue to block the Baltic Fleet further. But … Everything to them was spoiled by Finns.
Placed on the island 16 - y the regiment of coastal artillery refused to transfer voluntarily positions, and Germans remained nothing else how to take Suursaari with fight. 15 - go September they tried to land a landing. Quietly nobody began to look at it: Germans lost 1253 persons the killed and 900 people the drowned together with the vessels sunk by coastal artillery. Survived were forced to be given.
This date - - is considered on September 15, 1944 official start date of the Lappish war though Germans destroyed the same airfield in Pori one day earlier, and separate small skirmishes between patrols happened and before.
From September 13 to September 25 Finns throw four divisions and two crews on the North. Of course, that it 60 thousand 3 - go the Finnish army case in comparison with 200 - thousand 20 - y army of Wehrmacht which the general Lothar Rendulitsch …
But not always and furthermore in the war, everything solves number ordered. Ability too a lot of things mean. The general Yalmar Siylasvuo ordered Finns. That that in the winter 39 - 40 - go, crushed under Suomisalmi 163 - yu and 44 - yu the RKKA divisions. And the Finnish parts considerably surpassed the opponent in fighting training and technical providing. If the most part of divisions 20 - y armies never in fights happened, then all parts 3 - go cases had rich five years` fire experience. And Germans had an equipment … Mediocre, so to say. For example, the captured tanks captured in France in 1940 - m. And here the Finnish tank division, among other things, had not only fought off the Soviet army T - 34, but also Quarter
Is advantage of the Finnish parts was brightly shown already on September 28 in one of the first large battles of the Lappish war - under Pudasyarvi.
However, it had no strategic importance. And to achieve an essential change, Siylasvuo begins impudent landing operation: On September 30 it loads 11 - y an infantry regiment on the ships in Oulu. And already next afternoon unexpectedly lands it in Tornio. And … straight off takes the city.
Week fierce counterattacks of Germans with assistance of aircraft do not yield result. Simultaneous attack from Tornio and Kemi`s areas Finns reject parts of Wehrmacht and begin to develop approach in the direction of Rovaniemi. But …
the community of our characters affects Here. The Finnish soldier - it almost, as well as Russian. 7 - go October of the huntsman 15 - y crews take Kemijoki. And that is am … German warehouses of alcohol. And approach started slipping. To a full devastation of all that in those warehouses was.
War, meanwhile, gains the hardened character. Accusing Finns of treachery, Rendulitsch gives the order to apply in Lapland tactics “ scorched earth “. Later allies will remember to it it, having accused the general of war crimes and having sentenced to 20 years of prison. But then …
Then Germans begin to destroy methodically and punctually everything on the way. More than a third of all housing in the north of Finland was destroyed. From Rovaniemi, that city where there lives the Finnish Father Frost - Joulupukki, there is no nothing left, except chimneys. Besides the property losses estimated approximately at 300 million US dollars at the rate of that time, more than 100 thousand inhabitants of Lapland became refugees. What, of course, added a headache to Finns after the end of war.
Advance of the Finnish parts was slowed down not only resistance of Wehrmacht, but also … by own demobilization which rates were fixedly watched by the Soviet commission led by Andrey Zhdanov. Therefore after capture of Rovaniemi the Finnish army stops on the German strengthened lines around Ivalo and Kaaressuvanto. Without being valid on storm in a forehead and apart from it necessary, Finns strenuously maneuver. However, without what special result. The German parts everything are avoid an environment or blockade. Their main part within December, 1944 - January, 1945 recedes to Norway.
But the separate fixed divisions of Wehrmacht and diversionary groups continue to be at war in Lapland till spring. Only on April 27 the last German soldiers leave Finland. Officially this date is considered in the afternoon of the end of the Lappish war during which Finns lost 774 persons the killed and 262 missing persons, 2904 Finnish soldiers were wounded.
All of them and war of that remember in Finland. And not only today.
And me it would be desirable that remembered not only there. But also here. Because the Lappish war - sign and for us. Since that fall 44 - go we - not against. We nearby. Side by side. And - together, in one direction.
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