Mannerheim line near Leipäsuo, Suursuo swamp area,


All photos were taken at 23.12.2001.

Leipäsuo area saw heavy battle during Talvisota (Winter war, 30.11.1939-13.03.1940). Soviet troops many times tried to break the Mannerheim line in Leipäsuo - Summajärvi area. Soviets tried to get to Kämärä railway station by road (through Summajärvi) and by railway (through Leipäsuo sector of defence, 3kms to S from Leipäsuo village). Another choice was to get to Leipäsuo village through Suursuo swamp, which shallow Western path was frozen during that cold winter, and then through Taasionlammenkangas grove. This sector hadn't any concrete bunkers, and the breakthrough there could give possibility with (as Soviet chiefs thought) estimately small efforts encircle both Summa sector in the West and Muolaa sector in the East. But the attempts to make a breakthrough with small forces had reduced to fights for small islands in the swamp. And even when 11.02.1940 the Mannerheim line was broken, all the Soviet attacks were beaten back on the shore of Suursuo. The situation was the same during 12 and 13 of February. Only at 14.02 Finns had retreated through Taasionlammenkangas grove to Kattilanoja near Leipäsuo.

Suursuo swamp

Suursuo swamp

Suursuo swamp. Look from the Finnish positions to the South (toward Soviet lines). Note the patch of pine trees in the right. It is an island on the swamp. It was crossed by Finnish barbed wire line. It was the neutral line where Finnish and Soviet patrols fought. At last Finns were forced to retreat from this island to the main line (the hillock from which the photo was taken). The main Soviet line was approximately in the middle of the distance to the forest far ahead (there are a line of small islands in the swamp, but without wood now). But some forces had been sent to this island and to the island on the left. These islands were used as closest positions for Maxim MG, Degtyarev LMG, 45mm ATG - Maxim ammo belts, Degtyarev ammo discs, 45mm cartridge cases were found there. Also Finnc succeded to damage T-26 Soviet tank - several tracks were found on the left side of the island.

Taasionlammet lakes


One of Taasionlammet lakes between Suursuo swamp and Taasionlammenkangas grove (looking towards SW). The landscape here is perfect for long frontal defence - several high ridges spreading their slopes from East to West along the Northern shore of the swamp. Slopes are long, they are about 10 meters high and their width is also about 10m. And to the South (to left in the photo) from these ridges is a great open Suursuo swamp with several low islands. It is impossible to make an attack through the swamp toward this ridge without being noted. But at last Soviets managet to make a breakthrough in Summa - 10km to the West, and Finns were forced to retreat to escape from possible encirclement.


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