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RAV documentation and battlefield archaeology surveying of the battle of Bengtskär

Updated: Dec 29, 2019

In May 2019 the Hanko 1941 project conducted a battlefield archaeology survey of the island of Bengtskär. The purpose of the survey was to document all visible traces of the Battle for the Bengtskär lighthouse on the 26th of July 1941 .


The battle

In the cover of the night and smoke of fires on the frontline of the Hanko peninsula Soviet special troops made a surprise attack on the island of Bengtskär on the 26th of July 1941. Their goal was to blow up the Bengtskär lighthouse which was considereda danger to Soviet operations.

Finnish troops situated on the skerry managed to defend the lighthouse and eventually drove the Soviets back with the help of support troops.

The survey


The unintrusive survey was carried out both on land and underwater by a professional diving team under the supervision of archaeologist Stefan Wessman who is also a senior advisor at the Finnish Heritage Agency.

The results of the survey where very interesting and opens up different new interpretations of the events of the battle which will be published in a separate publication.


Survey photos and maps by Hanko 1941 project






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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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