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Searching for a lost WW2 massgrave of 13 Soviet soldiers

We are at it again, looking for the remains of KIA soldiers from 1941. The weather is windy and gray but not very rainy so our search got a good start almost right from the beginning.

This time the search takes place in the outer archipelago, good thing we got a safe transport with a larger boat from the mainland. Well on the island we almost imediately began work on site. This time too the work proved difficult because of the contradicting stories about the location and preservaton of the grave. This is actually the third time we try to find the grave site (!).

We started work by opening up a an 8 meter long and 1 meter wide trial excavation trench. The sandy soil was very easy to dig but approximately 30 cm:s beneath ground level we hit undisturbed soil over almost the entire excavation area, apart from the northernmost end of it where the soil was very dark, almost black in colour underneath the fine grayish sand.

Then suddenly the first finds, a small button, textile fragments, remnants of a green rain cloak, shoe and leather fragments and finally a piece of human bone, probaby from the right shoulderblade.

The finds indicate that we have finally found the long lost grave site of one of the major battles for the islands off Hanko. We will continue documentation work tomorrow and hopefully also on Monday to get as much information as possible about the site before autumn and winter sets in.


To be continued...

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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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