In Hanko at last. The Swedish volunteers are checking the city, house by house


- I am most confident that something has been left missing from this presentation. It is nearly impossible task for just two people to search through the defensive line thoroughly. In this, I need Your help. I would be very grateful if people could send some short descriptions about additional fortifications, which are not shown in this presentation. Every discovery is a valuable one and you can send a note to me even from the tiniest discoveries. Additionally if possible, it would be a good thing to mark the location of the fortification to the map.

- The map link below is a good tool for informing the locations. The coordinates are displayed in the upper right corner of the map screen. When you click the area where the possible fortification is located, the coordinates are displayed in the upper right corner of the screen. These coordinates are enough to inform the location, if you cannot use any other map. You can also mark locations to the map, if you click: Create link. After this a red pin appears to the screen: Show location. When you have clicked the pin, you can mark a location to the map. You can zoom in and out by using the + and - buttons next to the map. The arrows in the edges of the map move the map so you can find the correct location.

Citizen's MapSite - National Land Survey of Finland

- Descriptions can be sent to be to the following address:

- Additionally I welcome all sorts of memories, opinions and stories about Harparskog-line or from the Hanko Front generally speaking.



- The Copyright Law (8.7.1961/404), which is currently valid in Finland, defines a copyright period of 50 years for a photograph, from the moment that it has been manufactured. This means, that the photographer can solely determine the use of his or her photograph for 50 years after the manufacturing. The photograph can also be determined as a piece of work and in such a case, the copyright period is 70 years from the date that the creator of this work in question died. Unfortunately the law does not describe what is a photograph and what is a piece of work. For the photographs from Hanko Front, which are shown in this presentation, I asked the opinion of Kuvasto Ry, and in their opinion these photographs can be seen as a photographs and not as a piece of work. Kuvasto Ry is a copyright association for the visual artists. The historical photographs in this presentation have been manufactured in 1940, 1941 and in 1942. So the copyright period has ended in 1990, 1991 and in 1992. Some of the historical photographs have been published in 1942 in two different books: Hango belägras - Bilder från fronterna kring Hangö sommaren och hösten 1941 and Kampen om Hangö. Additionally there is also historical photographs, postcards and postal matters in the presentation, which are either from my personal collection or from my father's collection. The source of the pictures have been written to the historical photographs, postcards and to postal matters. 

- There is few exceptions to the above law. The pictures, which have been taken by the personnel of the Finnish Defence Forces, belong still to the Finnish Defence Forces and you need to have a permission to use them. Also the one photograph from Pohja Local History Archive is property of the archive and you need to ask a permission to use it.

- I want in this connection to thank the Finnish Defence Forces and Pohja Local History Archive once more, for giving the permission to use the pictures in this presentation.

- If there is something unclear, questionable or some comments regarding the historical photographs, I would appreciate if you could contact me.

- The present day photographs in this presentation has been taken by me or by my father during the years 2003, 2005, 2006 and 2007. So the copyright period for these photographs will end in 2053, 2055, 2056 and in 2057. I can give out the permission to use the photographs for example in educational purposes, just as long as I'm asked in advance.

- Most of the maps in this presentation are old maps of the Finnish Defence Forces. Today the maps can be found from the Military Archives of Finland. There is no restrictions for the use of the fortification map of Harparskog-line, as long as the source of the map is mentioned along with the map. Rest of the maps in this presentation are drawn by me.



- If the photographs appear to be too bright, dark or otherwise unclear, it might be a good idea to check at least the brightness level of the monitor. If your monitor is set for too dark, this will affect a lot to looking at the photographs taken inside the bunkers.

- Most of the pictures have been taken with the standard optic, which came along the Canon EOS 350D. I have also used wide-angle lens in order to fit a difficultly photographed objects into a one single picture. The wide-angle lens does distort straight angles and the edges of the photographs. Due to this, in the photographs, which have been taken in a forest, it might seem like that the trees are "falling" and in cramped bunkers the walls might not seem to be straight. This is perfectly normal in the pictures, which have been taken with a wide-angle lens.



- There is a lot of settled areas today in the Harparskog-line area in the former Hanko Front area. The most important tip that anyone can give to you regarding a trip to the line is to act like you would like people acting near of your own yard. I would also recommend talking with the people if they happen to be around. In this way a lot of misunderstanding can be avoided and on the other hand, the local people know a lot more interesting places, than just the ones, which are shown in this presentation. During the past year, I have not met a one single person in the area, who would have had a negative attitude towards exploring the Harparskog-line. On the contrary, discussion about Harparskog-line usually drifts towards other interesting historical locations in the area of Hanko Cape.

- The Hanko Front can be called as an island front and this means that for visiting some of the structures of Harparskog-line, you will need a boat of some kind. It is perfectly safe to visit Storholmen with a rubber boat, if the weather is good. However it is absolutely madness to try to reach Björnholmen with a rubber boat, as you would need to cross the channels where there is a lot of traffic. The other three islands where there are structures from Harparskog-line, I would advice to leave alone, because of the houses and summer cottages. Excluding Bastholmen, all the structures, which can be found from Svedjeholmen and from Skallholmen, are shown in this presentation. For Bastholmen, I would hope that some summer resident of the island, would give a permission to anchor to their shore, because otherwise it is impossible to find a spot, where to anchor without disturbing anyone. You can contact me through the address:


- It is advisable to leave the car behind and go hiking. Some of the roads in the area are in such a condition, that during the autumn and spring, a car can even get effectively stuck in mud. There is also a lot of private roads in the area, making the hiking the best option. Moreover, you will see a lot more this way, than just by looking from the car window.

- One of the structures of Harparskog-line is located inside a military area. This particular structure is best to leave alone, especially if you are a foreigner. Additionally the Nylands Brigade might practice especially in the area of Harparskog. So it is advisable to take in account this possibility, while planning the trip. You can check the web page of the brigade, that there aren't any practices during your visit: Nylands Brigade. The first page will show the dates of the practices. It is in Finnish, but if you can spot a word Harparskog from the text, it is advisable to make the trip on some other date.

- The Law of Ancient Relics protects the structures of Harparskog-line. Damaging or altering the structures is forbidden and will result a penalty. Because the structures and their remains are still visible and recognizable after over 60 years, it is advisable to try to walk in the area so, that no additional erosion is caused to the structures or remains.

- One might still found material of the Finnish Defence Forces from the area that dates to the time of Hanko Front. All material is still owned by the Finnish Defence Forces, no matter how old the material is. Additionally for possible ammunition findings, you should contact the Police of Raasepori or any other authority. You can also tell the findings to a local resident and ask them to contact the police.

- It is good to reserve something to eat and drink in advance for the trip, as there is only very few areas of Harparskog-line, where you can find a kiosk or a shop. Ordnance survey map from the area will also make it a lot easier to find the structures. The Citizen's MapSite in this regard, is an excellent web site. Additionally a compass will make it much easier to find certain structures and will guarantee that you don't get completely lost to the forests. Flashlight is a mandatory, if you plan to visit the interiors of the bunkers. Rubber boots or otherwise sturdy and waterproof footwear is recommendable, because of the snakes and for some of the bunkers, which are very moist.



- There is four bigger entireties in the former Hanko Front area: Harparskog-line, the Russian fortifications, which contain several different defensive lines, the Finnish advance positions and the areas where the biggest battles of Hanko Front were fought in 1941. From these four, the Harparskog-line was and is the easiest one to document, because there is so much material from it in the Military Archives of Finland. The sources and material from the Finnish advance positions is very scarce, limiting mostly to some written accounts. For the Russian fortifications, there is material in the History of the Hanko Group, which was combined by the Finnish troop, but this is also quite limited. I know that there must be material in the archives of Russia about the fortifications which were build to Hanko Cape and to the nearby islands, but unfortunately I really do not have any chances to use this material.

- So this leaves the areas, where the biggest battles of Hanko Front were fought in 1941. The idea has been to start the documentation of these areas in the Spring of 2007. This idea however is just developing, but what is sure is that the documentation of Hanko Front will continue.


Copyright © 2005, 2006, 2007 Kimmo Nummela