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Soviet WW2 map case with full content discovered in Hanko

During a thorough renovation of an old building near Hanko harbour an intriguing find was made. In the attic, among other rubble was a small Soviet (1940-1941) map case containing pencils and seven tightly folded different maps. The maps mostly cover the area of the Finnish South coast and curiously even one of the town of Jyväskylä in the middle part of Finland (!)

Yesterday on the 12th of February 2020 me together with MA archaeologist Teemu Väisänen and museum curator Kim Kidron had a first very careful look at the contents of the map case. The maps are very fragile and require immediate conservation before they can be studied further.

One of the maps immediately stood out. It is very large and covers the entire length of the Gulf of Finland. The borders of the Soviet Marine Base or "Gangut" is clearly marked.

Markings in red, made with a pencil, probably show flight routes and directions (in degrees) fom Hanko to Tallinn and from there through different locations to Leningrad. Did the map case belong to a Soviet airman?

The complete find will be published in english later this year as soon as conservation work is finished. The map case and its contents will be put on display at the big "Hanko 1941" exhibition in the spring of 2025!

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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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