From: Cologne, Germany
It would probably fit in this engine. I daresay it would make a great mini campaign for Close Combat too...I really enjoyed Luers Finn mod for the Close Combat games.
Actually, it would suit the engine very well. It would be somewhat like POE's Brevity scenarios, regarding scope and number of possible approaches.
'Finnish losses were over 100 dead and 250 wounded. The Soviet losses are thought to be over 1000 dead and a lot of equipment: the guns of two artillery batteries, AT-guns, some twenty tanks (T-26s for example) and 60 machineguns. The battle was an important offensive victory for the Finns and was very important for the morale of the whole Finnish Army.'
So not as dramatic as your entry.
Soviet losses were downplayed after the war, but even the finnish losses seem to be a bit low in that wiki article. The "1000+" reflects the actual official rough body count, but the Russians kept finding bodies in all theaters during the following spring and summer, when the warm weather then allowed for accessing areas like swamps and lakes, which were covered with snow and ice, before, and it seems that they did not include these numbers. There's still debate about the Russian casualty numbers, but it seems like Russian historians indeed estimate some 5,000+ killed Russian soldiers, some Finnish (imho exaggerating) estimations seem to range up to 10,000 casualties. Some ppl on Feldgrau estimate that some 4000 Russians and some 2000 Finns were killed. Whatsoever, this first vital victory led to the almost complete destruction of the Russian 139th Rifle Division, around 10 days later. There were Russian Coys where only 1 survivor came back.
Right before the battle, the Russian 718th Regiment was actually assembling/preparing for an attack, they expected just the 4 known Finnish Bns to be in the area, as only these had faced the Russians for 2 weeks. In fact, the 4 Bns (Bn 11, detachment Räsänen [3 Bns] and a bigger artillery detachment from the 6th Division) had been reinforced by the Inf Reg 16, which had been deployed just east of Kotisaari island, at the western bank of Lake Tolvajärvi, in order to stop the Russian progress.
Considering the Finnish Inf Regiment and 4 Inf Bns faced 1 full-blown Russian rifle division (139th) in the area and another Russian Rifle Division (75th) entering the area (at the northern bend of the lake, IIRC), I'd say the Finns did pretty well, even though the northern pincer attack was repulsed. The southern pincer destroyed the Russian Inf Reg 364 defending the Kotisaari Island, after it had stopped the Russian progress at the south eastern bend. The southern pincer then either could not make any progress, or it was considered to be useless to proceed, as the northern pincer had failed. A costly attack on the Russian center, across the open (well the frozen lake), then enabled the Finns to capture a couple of positions on the eastern bank, forcing the Russian 609th Reg to withdraw. The operation showed that the Finns, who knew the area and knew how to use the terrain, could beat a superior and better equipped enemy force that obviously had a hard time to coordinate defensive measures.
The planned pincer movement during the Battle of Tolvajärvi is quite interesting, as the Finnish plan involved crossing the frozen Lake Tolvajärvi by not just 2 pincer contingents, but by a center force as well. The Command Ops engine can't render frozen lakes/rivers currently, I guess, unless someone creates a new terrain layer that reflects the difficulties frozen waterways impose on foot units and/or motorized units.
According to author Jari Leskinen ("Talvisodan pikkujättiläinen", book from 1999) 26,662 Finnish soldiers were killed during the Winter War, so Mannerheim's memoirs from 1950 seem to be quite truthful there, as he stated 25,000 (he would only admit 15,000 publicly right after the Winter War) killed troops, in these memoirs. The Red Army indicated 60,000 Finns killed, afaik, a bold exaggeration triggered by internal political pressure.
The official Russian statements (after the war) regarding the number of casualties indicate around 48,000 Russians killed and some 159,000 wounded. Russian historians today estimate 127,000 killed and missing, and 265,000 wounded or sick.
In turn, Finnish historians estimate that 230,000 - 270,000 Russians were killed and 200,000 - 300,000 wounded and sick (starvation and frost bites caused by lack of food and lack of proper clothing). The number of wounded and sick soldiers sounds realistic: afaik, the Russian food supply system worked very well during WWII, especially 1943-1945. Advancing Russian units were well fed and other supplies were available too, generally, but before the army reforms, means before the Winter War, quite some units were not equipped for operating under the weather conditions in Eastern and especially Northern (arctic) Finland.
That said, it's quite impressive how such a small force/country had put up such a stubborn resistance against superior numbers, until the Russians finally put more effort (and troops) into the operation. By the end of the war, the Russians had pumped 1 million troops into this campaign's treadmill.
< Message edited by GoodGuy -- 10/3/2012 1:43:38 PM >
General Anthony McAuliffe
December 22nd, 1944
"I've always felt that the AA (Alied Assault engine) had the potential to be [....] big."
8th of August, 2006