Finnish Forces: Operation Barbarossa, June-July 1941

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On 26th June Finland declared war on the USSR (although apparently Soviet aircraft attacked Finnish cities and airfields the day before). The Finns (under Mannerheim) launched their main attacks on 10th July 1941.

The Finnish Army and Finnish Air Force (Ilmavoimat) Forces Available to Support Operation Barbarossa from 22nd June to 10th July 1941

  • Karelia Army with 16 divisions and 302 600 personnel (total in the Finnish Army and Air Force Ground Forces).
  • 6 infantry corps HQs, 16 infantry divisions, 2 Jager (Rifle) brigades and 1 cavalry brigade.*
  • 79 tanks, tankettes and armoured cars, 222 combat aircraft (excluding 4 transport aircraft),^
  • 2 141 artillery pieces (including 486 AT guns, 2 rail guns, and all old fortress guns and coastal guns), 366 (20-76mm) AA guns, 714 (81-120mm) mortars, and 12 940 motor vehicles (excluding artillery prime movers, armoured cars and motorcycles).**
  • Commander: Marshal Mannerheim.
* Includes the 17th Infantry Division which was deployed against the Soviet Hanko Peninsula as part of the Finnish ‘Hanko Group’. It was transferred to East Karelia on 18th July 41.
^ An additional 148 combat and transport aircraft were in service but were not deployed with front line LeLv units (Lentolaivue or Aviation Squadrons). (Total 374 combat and transport aircraft).
** Figures include the ‘Hanko Group’, and 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 Coastal Brigades deployed at Helsinki, Kotka, Porvoo, Hanko, Turku, Vaasa and Mariehamm respectively.