In 1943 and 1944, the Finnish Army received a total of 59 StuG III Ausf. Gs from Germany and used them against the Soviet Union. Thirty of the vehicles were received in 1943 and 29 in 1944. The 1943 batch destroyed at least 87 enemy tanks for a loss of only 8 StuGs(some of which were destroyed by their crews to avoid capture). The 1944 batch saw no real action. After the war, the StuGs were the main combat vehicles of the Finnish Army until the early 1960s.
The Finns bought 15 new Panzer IV Ausf J in 1944, for 5,000,000 Finnish markkas each(about twice the production price). The tanks arrived too late to see action against the Soviets, but were instead used against the Germans during their withdrawal through Lapland.
The Ilyushin DB-3, where "DB" stands for Dalniy Bombardirovschik meaning "long-range bomber", was a Soviet bomber aircraft of World War II. It was a twin-engined, low-wing monoplane that first flew in 1935. It was the precursor of the Ilyushin Il-4 (originally named DB-3F). 1,528 were built.
The Tupolev ANT-40, also known by its service name Tupolev SB , and development co-name TsAGI-40, was a high speed twin-engined three-seat monoplane bomber, first flown in 1934.
The design was very advanced, but lacked refinement, much to the dismay of crews and maintenance personnel – and of Stalin, who pointed out that "there are no trivialities in aviation".
Numerically the most important bomber in the world in the late 1930s, the SB was the first modern stressed-skin aircraft produced in quantity in the Soviet Union and probably the most formidable bomber of the mid-1930s. Many versions saw extensive action in Spain, the Republic of China, Mongolia, Finland and at the beginning of the War against Germany in 1941. It was also used in various duties in civil variants, as trainers and in many secondary roles.
Successful in the Spanish Civil War because it outpaced most fighters, the aircraft was obsolete by 1941. By June 1941, 94% of bombers in the Red Army air force (VVS RKKA) were SBs.
Many Soviet SBs crashed or force-landed on Finnish soil during the Winter War, with the Finns salvaging as many aircraft as possible, with those in the best condition being sent to Valtion lentokonetehdas for possible repair for use by the Finnish air force. By the time of the Continuation War against the Soviet Union, when Finland moved to recover the territory lost in the Winter War, five SBs had been repaired (with a further three added later), being used to equip Lentolaivue 6, flying Maritime patrol and attack missions.These aircraft were supplemented by a further 16 SBs purchased from Germany, who had captured them during the initial weeks of the invasion of the Soviet Union. These SBs employed the first air-dropped depth charges used in combat. Finland lost seven SBs to accidents during the Continuation War, with none being lost in combat, with Finnish SBs claiming three Soviet submarines and a 4,000 ton merchant ship sunk.
The Fokker D.XXI fighter was designed in 1935 for use by the Royal Netherlands East Indies Army Air Force .As such, it was designed as a cheap and small, but rugged aircraft, which had respectable performance for its time. Entering operational use in the early years of World War II, it provided yeoman service for both the Luchtvaartafdeling (Dutch Army Aviation Group) and the Finnish Air Force, and a few were built by the Carmoli factory before the factory fell into Nationalist hands during the Spanish Civil War.
The result of these changes was the M.S.406. The two main changes were the inclusion of a new wing structure which saved weight, and a retractable radiator under the fuselage. Powered by the production 641.3 kW (860 hp) HS 12Y-31 engine, the new design was over 8 km/h (5 mph) faster than the 405, at 489 km/h (304 mph). Armament consisted of a 20 mm (0.787 in) Hispano-Suiza HS.9 or 404 cannon with 60 rounds in the V of the engine and fired through the propeller hub, and two 7.5 mm (0.295 in) MAC 1934 machine guns (one in each wing, each with 300 rounds). A weakness of the MAC 1934 was its operation at high altitudes. It was found that at altitudes over 20,000 ft, the guns had a tendency to freeze. Heaters were added to the guns for high altitude use.
In 1936, the Finnish Air Force ordered 18 Blenheim Mk Is from Britain and two years later, they obtained a manufacturing license for the aircraft. Before any aircraft could be manufactured at the Valtion lentokonetehdas (State Airplane Factory) in Finland, the Winter War broke out, forcing the Finns to order more aircraft from the UK. A further 24 British-manufactured Blenheims were ordered during the Winter War. After the Winter War, 55 Blenheims were constructed in Finland, bringing the total number to 97 aircraft (75 Mk Is and 22 Mk IVs).
The Finns also received 20 half-completed ex-Yugoslavian Mk IV Blenheims captured by Germany, together with manufacturing tools and production equipment, as well as a huge variety of spare parts. Yugoslavia had ceased production of the Mk I and commenced a production run of Mk IVs just prior to the April 1941 invasion.
The Finnish Blenheims flew 423 missions during the Winter War, and close to 3,000 missions during the Continuation War and Lapland War. Blenheim machine-gunners also shot down eight Soviet aircraft. Thirty-seven Blenheims were lost in combat during the wars.
After the war, Finland was prohibited from flying bomber aircraft by the Paris Peace Treaty, with Finland's Blenheims being placed into storage in 1948. However, in 1951, five Blenheims were re-activated for use as target tugs, with the last flight of a Finnish Blenheim taking place on 20 May 1958.
No. 26 Squadron (Finnish: Lentolaivue 26 or LLv.26, from 3 May 1942 Le.Lv.26), renamed No. 26 Fighter Squadron (Finnish: Hävittäjälentolaivue 26 or HLe.Lv.26 on 14 February 1944) was a fighter squadron of the Finnish Air Force during World War II. The squadron was part of Flying Regiment 2 during the Winter War and Flying Regiment 3 during the Continuation War.
The Panzerfaust (lit. "armor fist" or "tank fist", plural: Panzerfäuste) was a cheap, single shot, recoilless German anti-tank weapon of World War II. It consisted of a small, disposable preloaded launch tube firing a high explosive anti-tank warhead, and was operated by a single soldier. The Panzerfaust was in service from 1943 until the end of the war.
Many Panzerfäuste were sold to Finland, which urgently needed them as the Finnish forces did not have enough anti-tank weapons that could penetrate heavily armored Soviet tanks like the T-34 and IS-2. The Finnish experience with the weapon and its fitness for Finnish needs was mixed and only 4,000 of 25,000 Panzerfäuste delivered were expended in combat.
Paavo Talvela (1897, Vantaa - 1973) was a Finnish soldier and a Knight of the Mannerheim Cross. He was one of the volunteers who served in the Finnish Jaeger battalion in Germany in 1916 to 1917. He was a battalion commander in the Finnish Civil War. In 1919 he took part in the Aunus expedition as Commander in Chief.
During the Winter War (1939 - 1940), Talvela commanded "Group Talvela" which took part in the Battle of Tolvajärvi. For this success he was promoted to Major General in December 1939, the first promotion to general's rank during the war. In February 1940 Talvela took the command of the Finnish III Corps in the Karelian Isthmus. When the war ended on 13 March 1940, Talvela returned to civilian life. However, once the Finnish-German relations warmed, he was used in semi-official missions to Germany in late 1940.
During the early Continuation War Talvela commanded the Finnish VI Corps in Karelia. From January 1942, when he was promoted to Lieutenant General, until February 1944 Talvela was the Finnish representative at the German High Command. Once back in Finland, Talvela commanded first the Finnish II Corps in northern Karelia until June 1944 when he took over the command of the Aunus Group. In July 1944 Talvela was sent back to Germany, where he remained until Finland made peace with the Soviet Union in early September 1944. When he was about to depart for Finland, Himmler reportedly asked Talvela to become the head of a pro-German faction in Finland. Talvela refused out of hand.
After the war Talvela spent some years in South America as a representative of Finnish paper industry, until returning to Finland. He was promoted to General of Infantry in retirement in 1966.
Talvela was very able and aggressive commander in offense, but he was less well suited to defensive warfare. He was prone to vanity and temper tantrums and his stubbornness made Talvela a very difficult subordinate. He performed best when given independent commands. Talvela was awarded the Mannerheim Cross in 1941.
The BT tanks (Bystrokhodny tank, lit. "fast moving tank" or "high-speed tank") were a series of Soviet cavalry tanks produced in large numbers between 1932 and 1941. They were lightly armoured, but reasonably well-armed for their time, and had the best mobility of all contemporary tanks of the world. The BT tanks were known by the nickname Betka from the acronym, or its diminutive Betushka.
The direct successor of the BT tanks would be the famous T-34 medium tank, introduced in 1940, which would replace all of the Soviet fast tanks, infantry tanks, and medium tanks in service.
The Focke-Wulf Fw 44 is a 1930s German two-seat biplane known as the Stieglitz ("Goldfinch"). It was produced by the Focke-Wulf company as a pilot training and sport flying aircraft. It was also eventually built under license in several other countries.