War Memorials and Sites

Muistomerkit - Paikanselkä - Tykki (pikkukuva).jpgPaikanselkä War Memorial Area

When the Winter War ended on 13 March 1940, the frontline ran through Paikanselkä, which now features various war memorials. In Paikanselkä, Marshal Mannerheim gave his speech of thanks to Swedish volunteers.

Dyrssen Memorial

The Dyrssen Memorial was erected in Paikanselkä in 1949 at the site, where LTC Magnus Dyrssen, the commander of the Swedish forces, was killed on 1 March 1940.

Memorial for the End of the Winter War

The Memorial for the End of the Winter War was erected in Paikanselkä in 1971, and the Memorial for the Knights of the Mannerheim Cross in 1992.

The association of the Swedish volunteer forces donated a Bofors 37 mm anti-tank gun to be placed in Paikanselkä in 1995. During the war, the Swedes used a similar gun to destroy a Soviet tank in Paikanselkä. The memorial area also features a fully restored dugout.

Cellar of Sotka

Heikki Sotkajärvi and his family moved to ’Sotka’ from the village of Märkäjärvi (present Salla village centre) in the 1910s. It became the location of a state-owned croft that served as a rest stop for travellers on the journey between Hautajärvi and Märkäjärvi. The cellar of Sotka is the only building in the area that survived the Winter War and it was restored in 1996. During the Winter War, four Finnish soldiers were using the cellar to warm up when a Russian patrol crept up on them. The Finns locked themselves in the cellar and the Russians tried to kill them there using hand grenades. The Finns blocked the ventilation pipe with their backpacks so that the grenades exploded inside the wall structures, not harming them.

Memorial for the Wilderness Jaegers

The memorial of the Jaeger Regiment 12 is located in Hautajärvi. The memorial, designed by Professor Ensio Seppänen, was revealed in 1977. The JR 12 were called the Wilderness Jaegers because they were used to acting in wilderness conditions. Col Albert “six-shooter” Puroma acted as commander of the Backwoods Jaegers.

Memorial for the Victims of Russian Partisans

The memorial, located in Hautajärvi, was erected by music group Vikapartio and the Hautajärvi Village Committee. It was unveiled in 1992. Russian partisans killed five Finnish civilians who were making hay in Kiviaava on 15 July 1943. The memorial rock is part of the anti-tank defensive line from Aholanvaara. Another memorial for the victims of Kiviaava is located on the site where they were captured.

Memorial to Those Who Lost Their Lives in Post-War Mine Explosions

The memorial, located in Särkelä, was designed and made by artist Kari Tiukuvaara, and commissioned by the Kotala Village Committee. The memorial, revealed in 1997, was erected to commemorate the seven civilians killed by uncleared mines in the Kotala - Mukkala areas in 1945–1949.

Ancient pine tree at the Salmivaara railway station

The pine tree at the Salmivaara railway station was used as a benchmark when rail lines were drawn during the Interim Peace in 1940–1941. The old pine tree was placed under protection in 1991.

Salpa Line

The defence line constructed along the eastern border of Finland against possible Soviet invasion, extending for 1,200 kilometres or so, is called the Salpa Line (Salpalinja in Finnish). The construction of the Salpa Line of Salla lasted from the autumn of 1940 until the summer of 1941. In addition to rock obstacles, the defence line included wire obstacles, machine gun and gun nests, dugouts and trenches. Some remains of the Salpa Line can be seen in the centre of Salla, on the right side of the road when heading for Kuusamo and on the left when taking the road to Kemijärvi.

In addition, some 2 km from the village centre towards Savukoski, at Ruuhijärvi, signs show the way to a Salpa Line site on the left side of the road. An anti-tank obstacle belonging to the Salpa Line can be found in the village of Aholanvaara, in southern Salla, and a fortified company base is located in Kukasviita, near Tuohilampi. In the village of Särkelä, in northern Salla, a strong centre of defence is located, tasked with blocking the Saija Road, stretching to both the southern and western sides of the Särkijärvi Lake.

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