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Finnish Signals equipment situation

in the Winter War






Before the Winter War, the Finnish communications-industry was very small, being able to assembly only. The sole exception was the "Suomen Kaapelitehdas" (Finland's Cable factory) , producing monthly 1 300 km of field cable and 780 km of field wire.
    The domestic radio-industry could serve only the small civilian needs.



Telephone and cable

The telephone and cable situation at the start of the "YH" ("Extra rehearsal" or Mobilization) and the war, was sad. From the numbers needed (based on the 1934 estimations) , the shortage was 30-50 %.
During the YH, the army confiscated all stocks of wire throughout the country. The improvement of the situation was very hard, due to lack of funds and because the foreign trade, in general, was almost coming to a standstill.
    In addition to a little shipment of thin steel wire (used to produce field cable and field wire) from Sweden, 5 000 km of field cable was bought from France and 2 000 km from Spain. The domestic production of field cable ceased during the YH, when the cable factory ran out of steel wire. As the war started, the cable shortage forced regiments and even battalions to use local public telephone lines when possible.

(To give some indication of the effects of the constant Soviet artillery bombardment, the average daily losses of phone cable during December were 10 km in the Taipale-sector alone, after the Red Army reached the Mannerheim Line.)


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The telephone and cable situation on 30 November 1939

Field telephones 4 650
10-line center 786
40-line center 71
Central units 1 830
Cable drums 22 400
Cable-carry devices 4 360



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The radio-situation was even worse. In fall 1939 a radio-commission was formed and it was assigned with the task to design and produce Corps(AB-), divisional(B-), sub unit(C-) and artillery(D-)level field radios.
    During the war 332 radios were produced. Finland tried to buy foreign equipment and bought 75 D-radios from France and 20 C-radios from Sweden (by an unusually expensive price) . Only a handful of these arrived during the war. 180 radios bought from Hungary didn't arrive until April 1940.
    165 radios were captured from the soviets and also many radios on the captured tanks were repaired and taken into use.

The need by civil defense and air surveillance was satisfied by using amateur- and local radio-stations.


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The Radio situation, 30 November 1939

B-radio   24      units (Morse-code, range 0 - 75 km and 120 - 200 km)
C-radio 165    units   (Morse-code, range 0 - 30 km)
D-radio   50      units (range in Morse-code 0 - 30 km, and by audio 0 - 10 km )

(NOTE: radios of the Navy and the Air Forces are excluded)


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The Radio situation, 13 March 1940

AB-radio 12       units
B-radio 65       units
C-radio 196     units
D-radio 68       units
CD-radio 7         units

(NOTE: radios of the Navy and the Air Forces are excluded)



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The Finnish Army
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