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Finland in World War II

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Last month the Finnish Defence Forces put an archive of 160,000 WWII-era photographs online. The images record the war years from 1939 to 1945, spanning three conflicts the Finns recognize as the Winter War (against an invading Soviet Union), the Continuation War (striking against the Soviets alongside the Germans) and the Lapland War (against the Germans for control of Lapland). After spending hours poring through this fascinating archive, I've gathered this collection, just a glimpse of what was made available. A couple of notes on the images -- the swastika was used as the official national marking of the Finnish Air Force and Tank Corps between 1918 and 1945, and all captions were relatively brief, and written in Finnish, so please let me know in the comments if there are any mistakes, or if you can elaborate on what is pictured. See also World War II in Photos on in Focus. [49 photos]

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A soldier with a pack Reindeer, on slippery ice, near the tiny village of Nautsi, in northern Lapland, Finland, on October 26, 1941. (SA-kuva)
A soldier with a pack Reindeer, on slippery ice, near the tiny village of Nautsi, in northern Lapland, Finland, on October 26, 1941. (SA-kuva)
Flamethrower in action in the woods near the village of Niinisalo, on July 1, 1942. (SA-kuva) #
Pilots in flight above Jämijärvi, on July 17, 1942. (SA-kuva) #
Propeller-driven snowmobile near Haapasaari, Finland. The swastika was used as the official national marking of the Finnish Air Force and Tank Corps between 1918 and 1945. (SA-kuva) #
Looking out toward approaching aircraft with binoculars and listening with a huge acoustic locator. (SA-kuva) #
Muzzle flashes greet enemy bombers. Picture taken during bomb attacks in April-May 1943. (SA-kuva) #
62-year-old Finnish-American volunteer soldier Hyvönen going to the front, in Mikkeli, Finland, on September 4, 1941. (SA-kuva) #
Finnish tank crew, July 8, 1941. (SA-kuva) #
Evacuation of civilians, on July 1, 1941 (SA-kuva) #
A downed Russian plane. (SA-kuva) #
Hitler's visit to Finland. Adolf Hitler, leader of Nazi Germany, made a brief visit to Finland in June of 1942. (SA-kuva) #
Anti-aircraft fire over Suomenlinna, Helsinki. (SA-kuva) #
The Soviet bombing of Helsinki, on November 30, 1939. On this day, the Soviet Union invaded Finland with 21 divisions, totaling some 450,000 troops. (SA-kuva) #
A wounded man is carried away after bombardment of a civilian area. (SA-kuva) #
The bombing of Helsinki. The main building of Helsinki University, on Senate Square, burns during the night. This scene today, on Google Maps. (SA-kuva) #
A street scene after enemy bomb attacks. (SA-kuva) #
Finnish anti-aircraft crew in action in Helsinki. (SA-kuva) #
Icicles hang inside a bombed-out building in Viipuri, Finland (now Vyborg, Russia). (SA-kuva) #
A Finnish armored train. (SA-kuva) #
Firing toward a Russian watchtower near Koitsanlahti. (SA-kuva) #
An experiment in troop transportation in cold weather. (SA-kuva) #
At the Hämeenlinna war dog school. (SA-kuva) #
A small rocket launched in the woods. (SA-kuva) #
Street fighting in Medvezhyegorsk, Russia. The town was occupied by Finland for three years. (SA-kuva) #
A dead soldier, his body frozen. (SA-kuva) #
Some of an estimated 400 Russian soldiers killed in a battle, on February 1, 1940. (SA-kuva) #
A dead horse lies frozen in the snow near Ruhtinaanmäki, on January 21, 1940. (SA-kuva) #
A soldier shows off gas attack equipment. After 1940, Finnish forces were able to buy arms and equipment from Germany, eventually cooperating to battle the Soviets together. (SA-kuva) #
A downed Russian plane. (SA-kuva) #
Destroyed by bombing, tram lines are repaired in February of 1944. (SA-kuva) #
Two girls, in ruins near Martin's Church in Turku, Finland. (SA-kuva) #
German ammunition depot explosion, February 9, 1942. (SA-kuva) #
Russian prisoners of war. (SA-kuva) #
A barge lifts a wrecked locomotive. (SA-kuva) #
The hospital's bomb shelter in Mikkeli. (SA-kuva) #
An explosion at a military port facility in Helsinki, on September 14, 1941. (SA-kuva) #
The HNLMS Gelderland, built for the Royal Netherlands Navy, seized by the Germans in 1940 and re-named the "Niobe", sunk by Soviet bombers in Kotka harbor, on July 16, 1944. (SA-kuva) #
Aftermath of a bombing attack. (SA-kuva) #
The body of a dead German soldier. (SA-kuva) #
Soldiers carry a wounded man on a path. (SA-kuva) #
Vyborg Cathedral, after the bombing. (SA-kuva) #
Doctors perform abdominal surgery on a wounded captain. (SA-kuva) #
Thirteen-year-old Veikko Rantala lies wounded in Lieksanjoki Military hospital. (SA-kuva) #
Stuka dive-bombers fly over, Immola, July 2, 1944. (SA-kuva) #
Wounded soldiers. (SA-kuva) #
Nurmoila village, shortly after Russian bombers attacked. (SA-kuva) #
Lunkula island, Jumitsa bay on the south side of village of Varpahainen. Helmets of dead Russians, on July 28, 1941. (SA-kuva) #
Finnish motorcycle and tank. (SA-kuva) #
A parked bicycle, camouflaged. Ontrosenvaara, August 17, 1941. (SA-kuva) #

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