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One of them was the commander of the rifle division, Brigade Commander Alexey I. Vinogradov. The Finns also cut the first, northern supply route on 13 December, and the Soviets were forced to open a new supply route through Lake Kiantajärvi. The despairing Soviet troops began to escape north over Lake Kiantajärvi. The Battle of Raate Road was a battle fought during the Winter War between the Soviet Union and Finland in January 1940, as a part of the Battle of Suomussalmi. Around Easter, the Soviets made a request that they would like to gather the dead and bring them back home, but the Finns did not allow Soviet Army officials to cross the border but the Finns delivered 300 bodies from near the village of Raate to Soviet officials. Edited map from the work Raunio, Ari, Sotatoimet – Suomen sotien 1939−45 kulku kartoin (Military Operations – The Course of Finnish Wars in 1939–45 with Maps), 3rd edition, Karttakeskus 2013. As they reached the Soviet lines four days later they were court-martialed, found guilty and sentenced to death; the executions were carried out immediately. Detachment Kari comprised two battalions (15th SepBn and IV/FRBtry) and a light detachment (22nd LDet). During the battle of Suomussalmi, the Finns cut the Raate road on December 11, 1939. The Finnish 9th Division was split in four squadrons, each named after their commanders. [6], Today, the former battlefield is the site of the Monument of the Winter War dedicated to all who died in the war on both sides. The Raate road was a battlefield during the entire Winter War. It's cold and snowy out there, get things done quickly to save lives! The 163rd Division was nearly surrounded and suffered major casualties in Suomussalmi. It took up defensive positions near the national border. By the following morning, the Finnish troops held strong blocking positions reinforced with mines at several points in the midst of the Soviet column. The fate of the Ukrainian Division remained unmentioned in Soviet historiography for decades. After that, it received orders to destroy the Soviet 44th Division, which was stopped on the road near Haukila, 12 kilometers from Suomussalmi. Most officers of the Soviet 27th infantry regiment put casualties at 70%. At the same time, the fresh 3rd NKVD Border Guard Regiment was just arriving to assist the Soviet 44th Division. The Soviet forces (163rd RD) that escaped across Lake Kiantajärvi from Suomussalmi stopped Group Susi’s advance on the western bank of the Kelojoki River, near Juntusranta. Trotter’s book covers the Winter War in its entirety and should not be confused with this book by Mika Kulju, whose full title is “Frozen Hell – The Legend and the Tragedy of Raate Road” and whose subject is solely the Battle of Raate Road. The Finnish army captured a tremendous amount of materiel in this battle. The Finnish 9th Division was split in four squadrons, each named after their commanders. The Er.P 15 had received an order to renew it's attack along the Raate road on 4 Dec, but after marching the previous night, and the still unclear situation near Puras postponed the attack by a day. It was the high water mark for the Finns and showed the Russians that taking the grossly outnumbered, but skilled Finns would not be a cake walk. The battles focused on Haukila, where most of the Soviet troops were located and where squadrons "Mandelin" and "Mäkiniemi" attacked. On December 7, 1939, the Soviet 163rd Rifle Division attacked and captured the town of Suomussalmi, Eastern Finland. The Russians hunkered down along the road between Suomussalmi and Raate in what the Finns called motti formations, a logging term doubling in meaning that the 44th’s sub units could be broken into smaller chunks, enveloped, and cut up individually like so many logs. Approximately five battalions were transported to the enemy division’s southern flank utilising the frozen waters of Lake Vuokkijärvi. Its a beautiful place to wake up (in the summer anyway). The Soviets attempted to overrun Finnish roadblocks with armor, losing numerous tanks in frontal attacks, but were unsuccessful. During the battle of Suomussalmi, the Finns cut the Raate road on December 11, 1939. Over the next week, Colonel Hjalmar Siilasvuo's outnumbered 9th Division stopped and decisively defeated the Soviet forces on the Raate-Suomussalmi road. The Soviets attempted to overrun Finnish roadblocks with armor, losing numerous tanks in frontal attacks, but were unsuccessful. this is based on interrogations of prisoners and the amount of rifles captured by the Fins. The memorial includes a field of thousands of stones as symbolic gravestones of the Soviet soldiers who fell in the battle. Furthermore, some battles were fought on the east side, near the border, on the road during the rest of the Winter War.[7]. Remnants of Soviet units had already tried to escape to the east, but were blocked by squadron "Kari". In February, Group Susi’s area of responsibility was extended to include the Kuusamo area, where Detachment Seppälä was deployed. The Finns quickly buried the Soviet dead as the weather warmed during the early spring to reduce the risk of epidemics. Then in 1939 as part of the none aggression pact signed by the Soviet Union and Germany she annexed the eastern half of Poland. The Soviets challenged the number of casualties published in the Western world immediately in January and claimed to have lost no more than 900 men, mostly from frostbite, while inflicting an estimated 2,000 Finn fatalities. The decisive battle was ordered to begin on January 5, 1940, 08:30. According to Morozov the Finns returned prisoners of war, but none of them managed to get back to Ukraine as the Soviet secret service NKVD executed them all in summer 1940. Finally, at 21:30, Alexei Vinogradov belatedly ordered his division to retreat back to the Soviet border. Most recent Finnish studies indicate that the Soviets lost at least 7,000–9,000 men. Road of Raate is located at Suomussalmi, Finland. Before the main battle against the 44th Division, the Finns fought retreat battles against a part of 163rd Division on the Raate road. After that, it received orders to destroy the Soviet 44th Division, which was stopped on the road near Haukila, 12 kilometers from Suomussalmi. The fate of the Ukrainian Division remained unmentioned in Soviet historiography for decades. In response, part of the 44th Division, the 1st Battalion of the 305th Rifle Regiment, and the 3rd Battalion of the 662nd Rifle Regiment, were sent to reinforce the 163rd Division troops near Suomussalmi. Mass graves were marked on maps and were mounted with a cross or a pole. Before the main battle against the 44th Division, the Finns fought defensive battles against a part of 163rd Division on the Raate road. At the start of the battle of Raate road, Siilasvuo's 9th Division had already destroyed the Soviet 163rd Division. The Soviets attempted to break through Finnish road blocks using tanks however these were repelled with heavy losses. The Battle of Raate Road was fought during the Winter War between the Soviet Union and Finland in January 1940, as a part of the Battle of Suomussalmi. The lead up to the battle began in the 1930's as the Soviet Union annexed the Baltic nations of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. Always try If you find yourself in Finland, try following the road from Kemi to Suomussalmi and on to Raate for a daylong ride. The Russian monument was installed in September 1994, and the Ukrainians installed their own monument in the spring of 1998.[11]. if (d.getElementById(id)) return; (function(d, s, id) { Detachment Kari was formed under the North Finland Group in the Raate area. [10] Later Finnish historians conducted further efforts to ascertain the number of Soviet casualties in the battle. January 1940. The mopping-up went on for two days, during which the Finns rounded up hundreds of starving, frozen Ukrainians. Many froze to death due to improper clothing and without supplies. On December 7, 1939, the Soviet 163rd Division captured Suomussalmi, but found itself trapped deep inside Finnish territory, and the Soviet 44th Rifle … The Russian monument was installed in September 1994, and the Ukrainians installed their own monument in the spring of 1998. During January 6, heavy fighting occurred all along the Raate road as the Finns continued to break up the enemy forces into smaller pieces. Battle preparations during the Battle of Suomussalmi. [9] Western historians conformed their figures to Finnish estimations. The situation was getting worse, and on 20 December the commander of the 163rd Division, Andrei Zelentsov, asked permission to retreat from Suomussalmi. Road of Raate is located at Suomussalmi, Finland. The Stavka report did not mention casualties suffered on the Raate Road by other units, along the advancement of the 44th Division.[14]. Furthermore, some battles were fought on the east side, near the border, on the road during the rest of the Winter War. The Battle of Raate Road was a battle fought during the Winter War between the Soviet Union and Finland in January 1940, as a part of the Battle of Suomussalmi.. On December 7, 1939, the Soviet 163rd Rifle Division captured Suomussalmi, but found itself trapped deep inside Finnish territory, and the Soviet 44th Rifle (Ukrainian) Division was sent to aid the 163rd. On the morning of 5 Dec, the attack of the Er.P 15 and IV/KT-Pr. The statistics of the report start from 1 January, and by this time the division had already suffered heavy losses for two weeks. As the weather warmed the Fins quickly buried the dead without counting due to the risk disease epidemic. The action blocked the second, southern supply route to the Soviet 163rd Rifle Division in the town of Suomussalmi. Further in the east, squadron "Fagernäs" could not keep a strategic bridge under Finnish control. Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. It was fought in January 1940 as part of the battle for Suomossalmi. Zelentsov's concerns were not understood at Red Army headquarters, as the entire 44th Division was about to move along the Raate road. According to the Russian historian Yuri Kilin, the Stavka set up a research commission in January 1940 to investigate the number of casualties. In his history of the Winter War entitled, Frozen Hell, William R. Trotter has an entire chapter dedicated to the Battle of Raate Road. The Commission reported 4,674 total casualties: 1,001 dead, 1,430 wounded and 2,243 missing. An earlier and well-known book on the Winter War by William Trotter is also titled “A Frozen Hell: The Russo-Finnish Winter War of 1939-1940”. According to the Stavka report, this act had a fatal influence on morale. Lead your team and destroy all Red Army tanks in the Haukila motti area using Molotov Cocktails. The Commission reported 4,674 total casualties: 1,001 dead, 1,430 wounded and 2,243 missing.

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