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[LAPPOHJA 01.07.1941] [STORKROKAN
01.07.1941] [DRAGSVIK 06.07.1941]
RECONNAISSANCE ATTACK TO STACKÖRN 13.07. - 14.07.1941
ORDER FOR A RECONNAISSANCE ATTACK:
1. During the night of 13.07. - 14.07.1941 reconnaissance attack will be made to the island of Stackörn in order to determine the strength of the Russian troops in the island.
2. The combat outposts Kauppila and Niemelä will carry out the reconnaissance attack.
3. Both combat outposts will send a boat patrol consisting of three men, with the task of making observations. 2nd Lieutenant Kauppila will move to the east island, as was done during the night of 12.07. - 13.07.1941. Staff Sergeant Niemelä will move to the island of Tallkarlgrund. Their task is to observe the effectiveness of the artillery bombardment, which starts at 22:40 o'clock. Observations must be done especially on those areas, that are hit by the artillery fire. Additionally their task is to observe all movement on the Russian side, during the time, that the observation patrols are in the islands. Also the positions of Russian fire arms and accommodation areas must be determined. Observation task will end on 14.07.1941 at 06:00 o'clock.
4. Shock squad from Platoon Kauppila, which strength is eight men led by a non-commissioned officer, will make the attack moving through the ford to the northern tip of Stackörn, from where the shock squad will move in two patrols to the southern shore of the island. If the patrols reach the south shore, they will stay there and prepare positions for themselves. Information about this must be sent immediately to the platoon leader.
5. To support the attack, three machine guns will be reserved to the south-west shore of Gunnarsholm as a fire support. Fire support will be given only in a case that the Russians open fire against the attacking shock squad. Additionally the artillery will fire to the island of Stackörn during 22:40 to 22:50 o'clock and to the northern tip's of Horsön during the 22:50 to 23:00 o'clock. After the artillery bombardment, Field Artillery Regiment 8 will be a support battery for the attacking shock squad. The attack to the island of Stackörn will start at 22:50 o'clock on 13:07.1941.
6. Results of the reconnaissance must be informed via the telephone line.
Commander of the I/4.Coastal Brigade Major Kiveliö
- The 11. Frontier Jaeger Company performed the reconnaissance attack as ordered. Shock Squad Koski attacked at 22:40 o'clock in two waves across the ford. The shock squad advanced from the northern tip of the island to the central part of Stackörn, where the Russians opened rifle, light- and machine gun fire from a prepared positions against the squad.
- Half Shock Squad Pekkarinen despite of the firing advanced steadily. Half Shock Squad Koski engaged the Russians from a close distance using sub-machine gun fire and piled-up charges. Two Russian machine gun positions were destroyed in this battle. The movement of Koski and his men however had stopped. Because of this, I sent another shock squad led by a Frontier Jaeger Rautala as a reinforcement. With the help of reinforcements, Finnish forces managed to push through the Russian lines, but at that time the troops were scattered around the island.
- The difficult terrain, where fallen trees made movement very difficult, darkness of the night, smoke and the fact that the leader of the shock squad was killed, affected to the cohesion of our troops. At that time I ordered the men to retreat, because in my opinion the task had been completed. During the retreat, the Russian artillery and mortars fired the troops.
- Stackörn contained a lot of varied equipment. As a loot we got few rifles. The Russian troops in Horsön didn't participate to the battle other than firing with their mortars. Russian gunboat moved on the north side of Medö, from where it fired Stackörn and Elmholm. From the Hanko Cape Russian heavy batteries fired from five spots to the islands of Storholm, Furuön and Elmholm.
Commander of the combat outpost of Gunnarsholm 2nd Lieutenant Kauppila
- Strength of the Russian troops in Stackörn was about 100 men. The positions were extremely well prepared under the trees and to rock cuttings. There were Finns among the Russian troops. The misconception from this resulted Frontier Jaeger Rehnström being killed. Russian losses are estimated of being 40 to 50 men and three destroyed machine guns. The losses for Finns were two non-commissioned officers and two men killed in action. One man was wounded and two were mission in action.
Communiqué: 14.07.1941 - 15.07.1941:
- During the night of 13.07. - 14.07.1941 two shock squads made a reconnaissance attack to Stackörn. The Russians in the island were in strongly fortified positions under the trees and in rock cuttings. The Russian strength is estimated of being around 100 men. During the attack, three Russian machine gun positions were destroyed with piled-up charges. Losses for the Russians is estimated of being 40 to 50 men. There was also Finnish speaking soldiers among the Russians. The misconception from this resulted one of our own men getting killed. Our own losses were four men killed in action, one wounded and two men mission in action.
- To build this presentation, I have mostly used the combat report and partly war diaries and communiqués. Information from these sources I have cross-checked with the book Hanko Cape in the Second World War by Niilo Lappalainen. The maps which are part of this presentation, are drawn by using the maps attached to the combat report. Also the actual text has been used to draw the maps.
- This presentation differs rather much from the events described in the book by Lappalainen. According to Lappalainen, the shock squad which attacked, contained 11 men from which 9 were killed in action! The same 11 man shock squad and 9 men killed haunts several dissertations, even when war diary or the combat report does not back this claim. Additionally the strength of the Russian troops is estimated of being around 70 to 80 men in the book by Lappalainen. I cannot give the reason why the figures differ so much, but I have decided to trust to the original papers, despite of the fact that the Russian losses and strength are most likely too high.
- One of the two missing Finnish soldiers is marked as a wounded in the combat report. The communiqué also lists two men missing. The missing wounded man however cannot be found from the File of the Fallen Soldiers During the Second World War in Finland 1939 - 1945 or from the prisoner of war register. According to the war diary of 11. Frontier Jaeger Company, the "missing" man was only wounded to the shoulder, so it is most likely that he got away from Stackörn, especially since the retreat from the island seems to have happened in good order.
- No real structures cannot be found from the area where a probable accommodation area has been marked according to the observation information. Either the observation information is incorrect or there has been a tent village in the area, from which nothing has remained. The crossing with a ferry has been located in the area to which it has been marked to the map. The area however today contains a private pier, which makes impossible to investigate the area closely.
Copyright © 2006, 2007 Kimmo Nummela