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.
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.)