I just want to thank you all for the kind cooperation, so far now!
Grab into your photo-albums and shoe-boxes and have a look.
Without any doubt there will be more to be shown. Let it be a "feast for the eyes"!
If my father would have lived, he surely would have been proud to see his face at this forum.
He surely would have enjoyed a beer or two (or three)!!
Last edited by Wilhelm Saris; 07-20-2013 at 12:31 PM.
"Wir sollen auch unser Leben für die Brüder lassen" (1.Joh.3.16):
zum Gedächtnis Wilhelm Schenk. Er starb fürs Vaterland am 13. Juni 1916
Here's a little something from other side of the war.
My Great-Grandfather, Second Lieutenant Engineer Technic (special officer) Armas Valdemar Kivelä
Armas was born 29.06.1906 in Parkano, South-West-Finland. He was a building contractor (constructions master) by profession.
When he got into the war is quite unclear. I guess it is safe to assume, that he avoided Winter War of 1939-1940, because there's no mention of his places of battles during Winter War, in a article I found about him.
When Winter War begun, he had a constructions company called Kujara. He owned the first trucks and modern constructions machines of Tampere (3rd largest city in Finland). Naturally alot of his machines were taken (forcedly bought) from him, into the service of Finnish army against invading Soviet Union.
Assumedly his brother, Mikko Pentti, fought in Winter War. He later volunteered to SS Division Wiking, among with other Finnish volunteers.
All these pictures have been taken by Armas from his journey in the war.
In 1940, Armas was promoted Corporal. Was it in Winter War, or after Winter War in some military training, I dont know.
In 1941 when Germany launched Operation Barbarossa to Soviet Union, Finland joined the offensive (after Soviets bombed Finnish territory and that way broke the peace), Armas was called to war. Finland's goal was to conquer territories stolen in Winter War (Petsamo, Karelia) and to take some of the Soviet owned Karelia also, which had strong Finnic ancestry, even amongst its people.
Due to Armas' experience with trucks and amongst constructions works, he was assigned to Autokomppania (Car Company) and later to Tienhoitokomppania (Road Maintenance Company). His journey started from the Northern side of Laatokka (Lake Ladoga), in Northern-Karelia.
First picture: Gate to Hiitola. Decorated by Soviet invaders.
Second picture: Bombed Sortavala. Capital of Karelia.
He went with the offensive towards Eastern-Karelia. He fought in Lotinapelto, Syväri and Vitele. The map shows locations of Lotinapelto and Syväri.
In 1943 Finns halted near the old border, some way beyond it. From that day started a phase, when neither side didnt actually try to move the frontline to any direction. That lasted into the summer of 1944, when Soviet Grand Offensive began.
1940 - Korpraali (Corporal)
1941 - Alikersantti (roughly translated: Low Sergeant)
1941 - Kersantti (Sergeant)
1943 - Ylikersantti (Staff Sergeant)
Second Lieutenant hasn't been marked in this, though pictures show that he had that rank sometime during the war.
Second picture: Notice Wehrmacht soldier, second from left.
Third picture: Bombed Sortavala.
He told a couple stories about the war to my father.
During winter he was pushing snow from road with a truck equipped with a plough. Suddenly he heard shots and saw enemy soldiers (possibly partisans) shooting towards him from forest. A few bullets hit the cabin. He lifted his plough up and the bullets richocheted from it. He reversed with the plough as cover, full speed till the got to safety.
Sometime in summer he was watching from shore how Soviet attackers tried to get to shore. Finnish artillery fire was so precise that EVERY Soviet boat got hit. The landing failled horribly, leaving most Soviets dead and the rest captured.
First: The truck he was ambushed in.
Second: Soviet bomber shot down somewhere in Karelia.