Finnish reconquest of Ladoga Karelia (1941)

Finnish Reconquest Of Ladoga Karelia (1941)

Finnish reconquest of Ladoga Karelia (1941)

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The Finnish reconquest of Ladoga Karelia (1941) refers to a military campaign carried out by Finland in 1941. It was part of what is commonly referred to as the Continuation War.

Initial layout of forces

Initially the Finnish army was deployed in a defensive posture, but on June 29 Mannerheim created the Army of Karelia, commanded by Lt. Gen. Erik Heinrichs, and ordered it to prepare to attack Ladoga Karelia. The Army of Karelia consisted of VI Corps (5th and 11th Divisions), VII Corps (7th and 9th divisions) and Group O (Cavalry Brigade, 1st Jaeger Brigade and 2nd Jaeger Brigade). Also later when the 1st division and two regiments of the German 163rd division arrived in the area, they were given to the Army of Karelia.

Opposing them were the Soviet 7th Army with the 168th Rifle Division near Sortavala and 71st Rifle Division north of Jänisjärvi ("Hare Lake"). The Soviets had prepared field fortifications along the border across Sortavala and at the important road crossings at Värtsilä and Korpiselkä.

The beginning of the offensive

On July 9, the order for the offensive was given. The task to break through the Soviet defences was given to VI Corps, commanded by the hero of Battle of Tolvajärvi, Maj. Gen. Paavo Talvela. He had borrowed as much artillery as possible from other units of the Army of Karelia and even from the 1st Jäger Brigade. (Col. Ruben Lagus) from Group O. With strong artillery support he unleashed the 5th Division (Col. Eino Koskimies)...
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