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Lapland War, 27.9.1944 - 27.4.1945

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#1 JCFalkenbergIII



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Posted 02 February 2008 - 07:42 PM

You dont hear too much about this part of WWII.

Lapland War, 27.9.1944 - 27.4.1945

The third war is called the "Lapland War" and was fought against Germany after the armistice with the Soviet Union. Finland didn't really want to fight the germans but the pressure from Allies (mainly Soviet Union) was so great that the "war" escalated into a real fighting between the former allies in the northern Finland (Lapland). Last german troops were out of Finnish borders on April 27, 1945.


The Lapland War (15) Sep 1944 - 27 Apr 1945

7 Sep 1944 Finnish peace delegation arrives to Moscow.
8 Sep 1944 First German troops start retreat in Kestenga sector.
14 Sep 1944 Finnish delegation starts negotiations on interim peace. Germans lay mines in the Gulf of Finland.
15 Sep 1944 German attempt to seize Suursaari island. Landing fails and Germans have to surrender. They lost 1253 men dead or POW, plus additional 900 drowned with 9 vessels. First losses in Northern Finland: 3-men motorcycle patrol is destroyed after refusing to surrender. Germans destroy airfield in Pori.
18 Sep 1944 Germans and Finns make an agreement concerning how Germans will leave Finland. This prevents all battles until Oct.
19 Sep 1944 Interim peace is signed in Moscow. Troops begin to withdraw to borders of 1940. Other terms include reparations for the sum of U$ 300 million, demobilization of armed forces and allowing the Communist Party to operate in Finland. Final peace is signed in 1947 in Paris.
22 Sep 1944 First members of Allied Control Commission arrive in Helsinki. Soviets take Tallinn, capital of Estonia.
28 Sep 1944 First actual battle between Finns and the Wehrmacht in Pudasjärvi.
29 Sep 1944 Last Finnish troops leave Soviet Union. Porkkala area is given to Russians.
30 Sep 1944 Soviets demand active war against Germans. Three merchant ships leave the port of Oulu, carrying 11th Infantry Rgt.
1 Oct 1944 11th Rgt lands in Tornio and takes the town. Armored Division begins to advance in Pudasjärvi.
2 Oct 1944 Germans counterattack in Tornio and battle rages for four days, then Germans leave.
3 Oct 1944 Hitler issues order that 20. Gebirgsarmee will evacuate Finland and retreat to Norway.
7 Oct 1944 15th Brigade and Det. Pennanen take town of Kemi. Finns find a German liqueur storage, and attacks is halted until storage is empty. Soviets launch a major attack in Petsamo and take nickel mines, which have been the main reason for keeping the strong German army in the northern Finland. Mines were producing 80 % of nickel required by German war industries.
9 Oct 1944 11th Division begins advance along to Swedish border.
10 Oct 1944 Town of Rovaniemi, the capital of Lapland, is completely destroyed by Germans.
13 Oct 1944 Germans issue the order to destroy everything in Lapland.
16 Oct 1944 Finns reach the ruins of Rovaniemi.
18 Oct 1944 Armored Division continues advance after battles in Rovaniemi slowly, because of thousands of mines. Border Guards Brigade takes Kemijärvi and ends it's war there.
1 Nov 1944 Demobilization of army to peacetime levels begins according to the terms of the interim peace. This begins to hamper action against Germans.
6 Nov 1944 Advance in north-west Finland stops in front of strong German defense line. No real attacks can be attempted since unit stregths are decreasing rapidly because of the demobilization. Soon only 1st Division is pushing the Germans to Norway. It's combat value is low and it waits until Germans leave voluntarily.
12 Nov 1944 Sales of alcohol is banned in Finland until 6 Dec, so that the demobilized soldiers can't make trouble.
14 Nov 1944 Central Council of Finnish Jews issues a statement that freedom and rights of the Finnish Jews have not been violated in any way during the war. 352 Jews fought in the Continuation War and 23 were killed in action.
18 Nov 1944 Germans leave the northernmost tip of Finland.
22 Nov 1944 Soviets return first batch of POW's.
5 Dec 1944 Demobilization is complete, the size of Puolustusvoimat is 37000 men (it's even now approximately of same size). Largest army in the history of Finland is history now.
31 Dec 1944 Mannerheim gives up the command of Puolustusvoimat. 1945

6 Jan 1945 National dance-ban is lifted. It has been illegal to dance during the wartime.
10 Jan 1945 German 7. Gebirgsdivision retreats from it's positions in Lätäseno. Only a very small portion of Finland is still in German hands.
12 Jan 1945 General Heinrichs is appointed to the post of the commander of Puolustusvoimat.
25 Apr 1945 Last Germans withdraw to Norway. Two infantrymen are killed in the last clash of the Second World War in Finland.
27 Apr 1945 Last shots are fired in the Finnish territory. 28 Apr 1945 Commander of the III Corps, General Siilasvuo reports that the mission of Puolustusvoimat is complete. Second World War is over for Finland.

Finland in WWII: background and timeline

Lapland War
'''The Lapland War''' is a name used for the hostilities between Finland and Germany between September 1944 and April 1945. It carries its name since it was fought in the northernmost province of Finland, Lapland. As early as the summer of 1943, the German high command began making plans for the eventuality that Finland might make a separate peace agreement with the Soviet Union. The Germans planned to withdraw their forces northward in order to shield the nickel mines near Petsamo. During the winter of 1943-1944, the Germans improved the roads from northern Norway to northern Finland by extensive use of POW labour (many captured in southern Europe and still in summer uniform; casualties were high), and they accumulated stores in that region. Thus the Germans were ready in September 1944, when Finland made peace with the Soviet Union. While German ground troops withdrew northward, the German navy mined the seaward approaches to Finland and with Operation Tanne Ost attempted to seize Suursaari Island in the Gulf of Finland. Although some Wehrmacht and Finnish army officers tried to organize relatively peaceful withdrawal, fighting broke out between German and Finnish forces even before the Soviet-Finnish preliminary peace treaty was signed. Fighting intensified when the Finns sought to comply with the Soviet demand that all German troops be expelled from Finland. The Finns were Thus placed in a situation similar to that of the Italians and of the Romanians, who, after surrendering to the Allies, had to fight to free their lands of German forces. The Finns' task was complicated by the Soviet demand that the major part of Finnish armed forces must be demobilized at the same time, even during the campaign against the Germans. Finnish general Hjalmar Siilasvuo, the victor of Suomussalmi, led the operations against the Germans and in October and November 1944 drove them out of most of northern Finland. The German forces under General Lothar Rendulic, however, devastated large areas of northern Finland using scorched earth tactics. More than one-third of the dwellings in that area were destroyed, and the provincial capital of Rovaniemi was burned to the ground. In addition to the property losses, estimated as equivalent to about US$ 300 million (in 1945 dollars), about 100,000 inhabitants became refugees, a situation that added to the problems of postwar reconstruction. (After the War the Allies convicted Rendulic of war crimes, and they sentenced him to 20 years in prison.) The last German troops were expelled in April 1945. Military casualties were relatively limited: 1,000 lost lives for the Finnish troops, and about 2,000 for the Germans.

Here is a link to the entire site

For the first time I have seen "History" at close quarters,and I know that its actual process is very different from what is presented to Posterity. - WWI General Max Hoffman.

#2 Kai-Petri



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Posted 02 February 2008 - 07:50 PM

Yes, JC, great info, but I suggest though you tried first the search function as we have during the years went through quite a many threads....

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#3 JCFalkenbergIII



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Posted 02 February 2008 - 07:52 PM

Yes, JC, great info, but I suggest though you tried first the search function as we have during the years went through quite a many threads....


Just found this out a few minutes ago LOL. Thanks :). I noticed the thread was started in 2003. I didn't see that the latest responses were in Mar 2007 LOL.

For the first time I have seen "History" at close quarters,and I know that its actual process is very different from what is presented to Posterity. - WWI General Max Hoffman.

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