Lest We Forget
War History – Lest We Forget
Travel back through Finland’s war history at exhibitions, walk on military history trails, visit war monuments, and feel the history.
It froze, the river of death,
froze too the boat of death in the nights of the Winter War,
in the Winter War's nights.
The men shed blood,
shed blood ,
and it froze, the river of death.
In the nights of the Winter War, it froze, the river of death.
Located on the border, Ilomantsi has always been at the crossroads. Apart from the Ilomantsi battle, all the battles of the Winter War and the Continuation War took place on the eastern side of the current border, so the only battles within the current area of Finland were the ones that took place in Ilomantsi. War history plays an important role in the history of Ilomantsi and the border areas. It has left its scars in the nature and people. The importance of the battles in Ilomantsi was emphasized even in Marshal Mannerheim’s memoir.
Two main war history attractions in Ilomantsi are the Fighter’s House in Hattuvaara village and the Border General’s Cabin in Parppeinvaara Bardic Village. Another interesting area is found in and around Möhkö village.
The Fighter’s House was built in 1988 as a tribute to our war veterans. Besides the main exhibition that focuses on the Ilomantsi battles and the summer of 1944 events, there are several different exhibitions to explore. The artillery seen at the Fighter’s House is the second largest in Finland.
The course of the Hattuvaara battle is exhibited outdoors on the battle terrain on the 1.5-kilometre-long Fighter’s Trail (Taistelijan taival) with 13 information boards about the waiting for the enemy and the ferocious battle in the early morning hours of 30th July 1944, told by the combat veterans.
Border General’s Cabin
The Border General’s Cabin acted as Major General Erkki Raappana’s headquarters on the battlefront in Rukajärvi, Russian Karelia during the war years 1941-1944. The cabin was moved to Parppeinvaara Bardic Village in 1984. The exhibition with his weapons and badges of merit depicts Raappana’s character as an outstanding war strategist but the exhibition also shows him as a nature and dog loving person.
Border General’s Cabin
Oinassalmi and Taivallampi Battle Sites
As for the Winter War, the Oinassalmi and Taivallampi battle sites near Möhkö are the most interesting ones. On 7th December 1939 the Soviet division occupied Möhkö village, and the occupation phase lasted until March 1940. Ilomantsi lost around a third of its land area due to the war.
Mobile Guide for the Öykkösenvaara Military History Trail
The end of the battle phase in Möhkö in 1944 had a significant impact on the outcome of the war. Highly interesting is the battle field of Öykkösenvaara 6 kilometres from Möhkö, in the direction to the Russian border. The area was part of Ilomantsi’s defence line towards the end phase of the Continuation War and has been categorized as a first-priority military history site by the National Board of Antiquities.
The mobile guide for the Öykkösenvaara military history trail shows you 17 places on the authentic terrain. Besides English, Öykkösenvaara mobile guide is available in German, Russian and Swedish.
Link to the mobile guide: https://citynomadi.com/route/d7ed72abe76881ce4c365a22c2ea8f2?lang=en_US
Location: Leminahontie 56
Exhibition Möhkö in War in Möhkö Village
The exhibition Möhkö in War, located in Pytinki mansion in the Möhkö Ironworks, showcases the various stages of the Winter War and the Continuation War, the fate of the evacuees and post-war reconstruction and shortages.