Salpa Line . Finland.

Discussion in 'WW2 Battlefields Today' started by panssari, Jul 28, 2010.

  1. panssari

    panssari Junior Member

  2. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    Excellent photographs.

    Thank you for posting.

    Regards
    Tom
     
  3. difecost43

    difecost43 Junior Member

    Thank you Pannsari, very interesting gallery.
     
  4. RemeDesertRat

    RemeDesertRat Very Senior Member

    Very interesting, thanks for sharing.
    Looking at the photos, I see a tank made in Leningrad with a Swastika on it. This reminds me of an air show I went to where some Finnish airmen were displaying an aircraft, they had a Swastika on their display stand. What is the history of the Swastika in Finland? I know the Swastika is widely use by other people and religions than the Nazis?
     
  5. Juha

    Juha Junior Member

    When the Swedish Count von Rosen donated to the Finnish Air Force its first aircraft, a Thulin Typ D, in March 1918, he painted his symbol of luck, swastika, in blue on it. It became the nationality insignia of the Finnish Air Force. When the time came to paint the nationality insignia on tanks, the same insignia as already used by the Air Force was chosen, but with a shorter arms and in black with a white border.
     
  6. Juha

    Juha Junior Member

    Back to the topic
    Salpa-asema, scroll down to the English text

    I was there 15 years ago and walked southwards along the bunker line, I went inside into 2 -3 bunkers. I went southward from the Route 6.
    - my drawing of a standard Salpa-line bunker, some 45 years ago, kk = mg, pst = A/T, panssariovi = steel door, dimensions in millimeters.
    - Map of the area, bunkers are marked in dark blue and named as C 11 etc.
    - More tactical map
    - walking through A/T barrier towards bunker C11, one mg and room for 20 men
    - better photo of the bunker C11, one bitter lesson from the Winter War was that bunkers needed A/T defences. So many Salpa-line bunkers had both an A/T gun
    and a mg. The A/T problem of bunkers with only a mg was solved later by putting a turret of a war-booty BT tank next to it, the rusty thing just right to the bunker.
    Its cannon and mantle are removed, producing the rectangle hole.
    - a standard bunker with a 45 mm A/T gun and a mg
    both are flanking fire bunkers

    More later
     

    Attached Files:

    dbf, Capt.Sensible and Owen like this.
  7. Juha

    Juha Junior Member

    More photos
    - the entrance of the bunker C11
    - the steel door
    - the business end i.e. machine gun mount
    - the same
    - the observation slit
    - view to cupola from below
    - the stove and part of the ventilation system
    - the water tank, the stove and part of the ventilation system
    - the stove
    - bunks on the right, the stove on the left
     

    Attached Files:

    dbf and Owen like this.
  8. Juha

    Juha Junior Member

    A walk around a bunker armed with a 45 mm A/T gun and a mg with accommodation for 20 men.
     

    Attached Files:

    Owen likes this.
  9. Juha

    Juha Junior Member

    Next lets say a buried fixed mg-cupola.
    - the steel cupola looked like this
    - position from side, firing direction to the right
    - views from the front sector
    - way in
    - the entrance
    - the vision slit
    - view from the vision slit
    - the machine gun mount
     

    Attached Files:

    ltdan and Owen like this.
  10. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Thanks for posting those photos.
    My lad was interested too.
    Hope we get to see them.
    Impressed at the lack of graffiti.
     
  11. ltdan

    ltdan Nietenzähler

    Lähitaistelu or: the fine art of filleting aggressors:

    (From min 13:16 it gets really exciting for us old-fashioned bayoneteers)

    You think you're in the best army in the world - until the snow next to you suddenly calls out "perkele".
     
    Juha likes this.
  12. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Juha and stolpi like this.
  13. Juha

    Juha Junior Member

    Thanks for the video, I looked the close-combat with bare hands and with knife parts, those tricks were taught us still in 1975-76. We were taught only the very basics of bayonet combat.
     
  14. Juha

    Juha Junior Member

    IIRC the line at Vattajankangas was very recently renovated and opened to visitors. I noticed that the vertical supports of the trenches are anchored with steel wire loops as they should.
     
  15. Juha

    Juha Junior Member

    Hello Owen
    nice that you and your son found the pictures interesting. There are also several actual bunker museums in Finland. In the southeast, for example, there is the Salpalinja Museum in Miehikkälä and the Bunker Museum Bunker Museum | Salpakeskus in Vironlahti. In Eastern Finland there is at least one in Joensuu, I have not been to any of them. Luumäki part is very nice at least because it is right along the main road to Eastern Finland.

    Hankoniemi, some 120 km west of Helsinki has as many as two fortress museums. The Hanko Front Museum, Visit us - Hangö Frontmuseum , is roughly where the front line intersected Road 25, with the landmark of British BL 6in Field Gun Mk VII. When we drove past it about 11 years ago there was a couple of graffiti painted on the cannon, picture. Graffiti was a problem here in Helsinki, especially 10 to 15 years ago, not so much in the countryside. My Salpalinja photos were taken in 2007. I haven’t been into the museum, my wife is a pretty strict pacifist, so she doesn’t care at all about anything military..On trips together, he usually waits in the car when I trot around looking field works and bunkers or tour military/aviation museums. Now we were just on a day trip to Hanko, so he had no reading with her, so we stopped only for a moment, I photographed the cannon, and took a quick 10-minute glimpse into the woods. Another museum, Bunker Museum, Bunkkerimuseo Irma - Hangö Frontmuseum on along the same road 25 about 4 km northeast. I haven’t been there either, but about 40 years ago I went there to see a couple of bunkers. There were no museums or signs at the time, but I knew that somewhere there was a fortified line and the anti-tank barrier was seen from the road, so finding the bunkers wasn’t very difficult. Military training was useful in that and after finding the first one, looking at the terrain and guessing where the next situated was not so difficult. The bunkers were, of course, locked, and it is now known that they were armed at the time. After the Czechoslovak crisis in 1968, they had been secretly re-inspected and re-armed. Based on the photo on the museum's website, the museum bunker is a standard Salpalinja bunker.

    -A model of a bunker and a Finnish defense position. Although the model is said to depict the position of the Karelian Isthmus in 1939, the bunker is in fact very similar to the bunker of Salpalinja with a mg and a A/T cannon and an accommodation for 20 men, and does not resemble the individually designed large bunkers built in the 1930s. The closest to the model of the bunkers built on the Isthmus is the one-mg bunker Model 39, which were started as a series in the autumn of 1939 in Muolaa and Salmenkaira, but they had thinner walls and a slightly different interior solution.
    Some photographs of the Salpa Line at Raikuu
    - excavated trench behind a bunker
    - mg and A/T cannon bunker
    - its firing sector
    - mg bunker
    - a view from the top of the mg bunker
    - map, a rather poor quality photo
     

    Attached Files:

    Owen likes this.
  16. Juha

    Juha Junior Member

    Hello Owen
    A need for an update. As we say here, development develops, the old Route 6 has been replaced by a new motorway, the current Route 6. The nearest junction if you want to see Salpalinja and arrive from the west is the Junction 48, the sign reads JURVALA. Just before the road sign there is, or at least should be, the sign is shown in the google streetview filmed in 2018 and I checked last night that at least the hotel's homepages are still up, a signpost for accommodation that reads Salpa and its arrow shows you should turn off the motorway at the next junction. Then turn left towards Jurvala and Lappeenranta over the bridge across the motorway and you are on Kuutostie, Google Streetview, filmed in August 2018, shows that there would be a big road sign after the bridge that reads ITSENÄISYYDENTIE (Independence Road). From there it is about 7 km to the Salpalinja. There is a white sign at the position of the line that reads SALPA-ASEMA, and some 50 yards ahead is a rest / parking space where you can leave your car. After going around Salpalinja, you continue for about 3 km to the east, and then you can reach the motorway again, turning in the direction of Lappeenranta. I'm so old-fashioned that I still rely upon the maps.

    Ps.At the Lappeenranta airfield/airport there is a small Aviation Museum, Karjalan Ilmailumuseo
    Saab 35 Draken (DK-213)
    Saab 91 D Safir (SF-31)
    MiG-21 F (MG-77)
    MiG-21 Bis (MG-127)
    MiG 21 UTI (MG-106)
    Folland Gnat (GN-103)
    Folland Gnat (GN-106)
    Fouga CM 170 Magister (FM-42)
    Fouga CM 170 Magister (FM-50)
    Nieuport 17 replica 7/8 (OH-U323 / 1.D.453.)
    Harakka
    MI-8 (HS-4)
    Mi-4 (runko)
    Antonov An-2
    Vinka ohjaamosimulaattori
    MiG-21 ohjaamosimulaattori
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2022
    Owen likes this.
  17. Juha

    Juha Junior Member

    BTW, also in Raikuu there was access into one of the bunker, a one mg bunker with accommodation for 20 men, a photo taken through the mg embrasure
     

    Attached Files:

Share This Page