Hanko 1941

Photo: Bertel Nordenstreng on patrol, probably in the waters of Hitis (Hiittinen). Photographer unknown. Photo by courtesy of Mr Kaarle Nordenstreng.

This page is about the scientific  conflict and battlefield archaeology project "Hanko 1941" (2018-2025) in Hanko S. Finland.


The project surveys, documents and excavates remains on both sides of the conflict on the Hanko front 22.6-2.12.1941. 

Behind the frontlines the civilian population faced the horrors of war through prisoner of war camps, in military hospitals and morgues for the fallen soldiers. These rapidly vanishing memories and structures are also documented by the project.


All photos marked "photo Hanko 1941 project" may not be copied or distributed without permission.

New Russian documentary about the war on the Hanko Front

"In March 1940, the Soviet Union leased the Finnish Peninsula of Hanko to build a military base on it and local residents were given 10 days to leave the town. 


Appearing in the film are local historians Alexander Ishchenko and Ilkka Linnako, historian Karl Fredrik Geust, journalist Niklas Erlin, Yrjö Sahlstedt, Hanko resident Tatiana Halen and others.

The documentary was filmed in 2019 (English subtitles).

Guided Battlefield Archaeology tours

The day starts in Helsinki city centre and from there we will continue to the cold war fortifications in Kirkkonummi and the WW2 battlefield archaeology sites of the Hanko front.

The tour ends with a thorough visit to the ghostly remains of the German transition camp on Cape Tulliniemi!

Please click on the box and ask for more info!

The WW2 battlefield archaeology excavations of the Hanko front (1941) continue in 2021!!

Please follow our research on our FB page and tune in for regular updates!

We are happy to announce the the oninuaton of the WW2 battlefield archaeology excavations at the Hanko Front Museum. The excavation is set for July 2021. We speak English, Finnish and Swedish during the excavation.


We offer daily  lectures (safety issues, forensic archaeology, ethics and mapping and surveying techniques) and a battlefield archaeology field trip to the participants. 

Price only 20 euros/5 days (but you can participate for as many days as you want).


No previous knowledge of archaeology is required in order to participate.

Pedagogic WW2 Conflict Archaeology for Schools

12 September 2020 - May 2021

WW2 Conflict archaeology is an important educational tool in order to get a better understanding of the catastrophic and devastating effects of war for the individual and the community as a whole.


With a grant from the Finnish Cultural Foundation (Uudenmaan maakuntarahasto) we are happy to share our knowledge and work with schools and schoolchildren to increase the knowledge of the traces of war in the immediate surroundings of schools in the Uusimaa region during 2020-2021.

Contact us via at jfarchaeology@gmail.com for more information about our educational packages.

Visit Hanko Front Museum

The new "Hanko 1941" exhibition at the Hanko  Front Museum is now open!

The search for the fallen and missing on the Hanko Front

News on our with work "finding the fallen" and locating war graves on the Hanko Front.

Surveying the battle of Bengtskär 

Drone video from 17th of May 2019

by BA Aleksi Rikkinen

Academic theses

The authors are responsible for the contents in their respective works and the texts  do not represent the views or general research results of the "Hanko 1941" project. 


Feel free to contact the authors directly if you have ay questions or disagree with issues that are presented in the papers. Your input is valuable for the students and helps them to advance on their scientific journey.

"Tvärminnen vuoden 1941 venäläiset sotavainajat 

Arkeologin etiikka hautakaivauksilla"

BA thesis about ethics and the conflict archaeology of war graves.

Elisa Melasniemi 

Turku Open University 20.4.2020 (in Finnish)

"Taistelukentältä konservointistudioon

Hangon hautalöytöjen tutkimus ja konservointi" 

Thesis about the conservation of items found on the bodies of  the repatriated Soviet soldiers in Tvärminne.

Jarno Huusko.

Metropolia University of Applied Sciences 12.5.2020 (in Finnish)

"Bakom främsta linjen - Militärläger i Hangö från II:a världskriget som konfliktarkeologiska objekt"

BA thesis about the materiality of a DRK dumpsite inside the German WW2 transition camp on Cape Tulliniemi, Hanko S. Finland.

BA Fanny Fagerholm

Umeå Universitet 24.9.2019 (in Swedish)

Finnish troops attacking a Soviet held island in the Hanko archipelago in the summer of 1941. Photo SA-Kuva.

© 2020 by MA Jan Fast 

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