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War dead, battlegrounds and more...

02.09.2020 Wednesday (day three).Today we visited one of several scenes of the ferocious battles that raged in the Hanko archipelago in the summer and autumn of 1941. The main reason for our fieldtrip was to gain as much information about the island in question before the large scale battlefield archaeology fieldwork scheduled on the group of islands in 2021.

First off was the site of a grave marker with the text "39 Soviet seamen, died in 1941". The cross could mark a grave somewhere in the vicinity or it could be a cross raised in memory of the fallen. I will return to this mystery in upcoming blog posts.

Next we visited the areas of intense battle on the island all of which will be carefully documented and mapped next spring. This was both exciting and very tragic at the same time as traces of the battle could be observed everywhere despite the 79 years that had passed since the battle took place. It was quite shocking to think about the horrors that took place in this beautiful setting.

The third assignement was to try to locate the traces of an aircraft crash site from 1941. Areas of debris was documented and plotted on a map. We will see what can be done here in 2021 in co-operation with the Finnish Aviation Museum.

The Hanko 1941 team would like to thank the landowner for his co-operation in documenting the WW2 remains. A big thanks to the crew from the Finnish Television (MTV 3) for the professional interviews and filming of our hard work today.



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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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