The Finnish side
The Finnish 2nd Corps, defending the most important sector,
had grown during the war, until it could no longer be efficiently
led. On February 21st, Major General Laatikainen gave up
the command of the 1st division to Colonel A.Martola , and
took command of the new 1st Corps. On February 25th, the 1st and 2nd
divisions were committed to the 1st Corps.
On the last day of the war, the Finnish position looked grim.
Ammo shortage (especially the artillery) was catastrophic,
the thick ice that covered the Bay of Viipuri and Vuoksi-river gave
the Red Army good attack routes, since the Finnish AT-capability was
still very limited, despite of the recently arrived 25mm French antitank
guns and some captured 45mm guns.
Almost all planes of the Finnish Air Forces were
committed to the fight in Bay of Viipuri. Despite of the Soviet dominance
in the air, the Soviet troops on the ice were attacked by strafing
fighters and bombers, who made several sorties every day. The Finnish
coastal batteries fired every day hundreds of shells into the advancing
Soviet columns, but the shortage of sensitive fuses reduced their
On the Vuoksi (Äyräpää area) the situation
was also critical (most of the battalions helding the high
ground on the " Soviet " side
of Vuoksi near Äyräpää and containing the Soviet
bridgehead were down to 100 - 250 effectives, including all men from
supply & other non-combat units) .
By March 12th, the Soviet forces had advanced to the outskirts
of Viipuri (Vyborg) . On the following night the Finnish
forces were ordered to withdraw to a second defense line running through
the town. JR7, the defending regiment, wasn't attacked on the last
On the coastline of Bay of Viipuri, the Red Army
had made strong daily attacks on a broad front. The resulting Soviet
bridgeheads in Vilaniemi and Häränpääniemi were contained by heroic
efforts from a mixed variety of small sub-units (Groups Berg
and Varko) and badly mauled regiments.
The situation on the Viipuri coast area was so alarming, that the
Finnish high command had already drawn a plan, and was seriously considering,
a general withdrawal to a shorter line. The Finnish units, brought
to the area (even troops from the Lapland Group) were
immediately sent to the frontline. Communications proved to be severely
inadequate everywhere except in and around Viipuri.
(The total losses in the battles on the Bay of Viipuri were
some 1 200 dead, 3 500 injured and 450 missing, being app. 8 % of
the total Finnish losses in Winter War, a good indication of the bloody