9781846033841

The Mannerheim Line 192039 Finnish Fortifications of the Winter War

by ;
  • ISBN13:

    9781846033841

  • ISBN10:

    1846033845

  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2009-09-22
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing
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Summary

In the wake of the bloody civil war that followed Finland's independence from Russia in 1917, the border between the two countries was established across the Karelian Isthmus, an area long fought over by Russia, Finland and Sweden in their attempts to dominate the northern tip of Europe. Neither the Soviets nor the Finnish were comfortable with such a divide, which provided an open route for a potential invader to Helsinki on the Finnish side, and was only 32km from the important military and industrial city of Petrograd in Russia. As such, both sides began an intensive period of fortification and defensive planning. As the Winter War broke out in November 1939, the complex and heavily defended Mannerheim Line suffered intense bombardment and armored assaults. The armistice of May 1940 saw Finland cede control of the entire Karelian Isthmus to the USSR however, and a propaganda war ensued; the Russians emphasizing the strength of the line, and the Finnish downplaying its importance, accentuating instead the heroism and bravery of the common Finnish soldier. Through a detailed analysis of the background, design and operational history of the Mannerheim Line, Bair Irincheev attempts to dispel such myths and provide an accurate assessment of its immense historical importance.

Author Biography

Bair Irincheev was born in 1977 in St. Petersburg, Russia. He is a keen re-enactor of the Winter War, and has created a website documenting the fortifications of the Mannerheim Line (www.mannerheim-line.com). Bair runs his own travel company, which organizes tours of military sites in the former Soviet Union and Finland. He is married, and lives in Helsinki, Finland. The author lives in Helsinki, Iceland.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 4
The historical background
Chronologyp. 5
Design and Developmentp. 9
The first fortifications
The modernizations of the 1930s
The weapons of the Mannerheim Line
Standard elements of bunker design
Field Fortifications on the Mannerheim Linep. 18
Trenches
Wooden bunkers
Obstacles
The Principles of Defencep. 23
The Living Sitesp. 24
Operational Historyp. 25
The Inkila sector
Karhula
Summa village (Summankyla)
Lahde
Leipasuo
Taasioniammet
Suurniemi
Muolaa
Saimenkaita
Kekkiniemi cannon fort
Taipale and Patoniemi
The rear position around Vyborg
Aftermathp. 59
The Sites Todayp. 61
Bibliographyp. 62
Appendixp. 63
Indexp. 64
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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