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Archive for May 12th, 2016

The Post-War Finnish Air Force from 1944 to the present

Posted by Picard578 on May 12, 2016

The Baltic Post

The Period of Reconstruction – 1945-1960

With the end of the war, the operations of the Finnish Air Force were cut back drastically, and the service did not start to recover in full until the latter half of the 1950s. The end of the Continuation War almost brought the Finnish Air Force to a complete halt. The prohibition of all combat types from flying duties came into effect from the truce between Finland and the Soviet Union during 1944 to August 1945. Further restrictions imposed by the Allied Control Commission brought flight training to a complete standstill.

Valmet Vihuri (VH-18) Keski-Suomen ilmailumuseo. Valmet Vihuri (VH-18) Keski-Suomen ilmailumuseo.

The domestic made Valmet Vihuri advanced trainer helped the Finnish Air Force to make it through the difficult post-war years. The aircraft was built making use of war surplus materials to the maximum extent.

The peace also implied material cutbacks and changes in the service’s doctrine and structure.

The Paris Peace Treaty signed…

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Finnish Ski Troops – Finland’s Elite Light Infantry

Posted by Picard578 on May 12, 2016

The Baltic Post

Sissi Unit Emblem. Sissi Unit Emblem.

Finnish Ski Troops or “Sissi” are light infantry which conducted reconnaissance, sabotage and guerrilla warfare operations behind enemy lines. The word sissi, first attested in the modern meaning “patrolman, partisan, spy” in 1787, comes to Finnish from Slavic and refers either to a forest bandit or his yewbow.

The Finnish Army Sissi units are trained to conduct long range reconnaissance patrols, gather intelligence from concealed observation posts, raid enemy installations (especially supply depots), conduct road side ambushes and pursue and destroy enemy special forces units.

A Finnish Ski patrol with reindeer. A Finnish Ski patrol with reindeer.

In Finland, long-range patrols (kaukopartio) were especially notable during World War II. For example, Erillinen Pataljoona 4 (4th Detached Battalion), a command of four different long-range patrol detachments; Detachment Paatsalo, Detachment Kuismanen, Detachment Vehniäinen and Detachment Marttina operated throughout the Continuation War phase of the war…

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