A painful mission
The Winter War had broken out. We numbered about a dozen men tasked with escorting and guiding people and cattle to take the Savukoski road towards the west. In Kotala, we shot the cows in the barn since we could not take them with us. When we left Kotala, the soldiers immediately set the buildings on fire. All buildings had to be burned down; we could not leave anything behind that might have been of benefit to the enemy. Even all chopped firewood was burned. It was a bitter moment for many farm owners and their wives to know that soon their houses and possessions would be burnt to ashes.
Kaarlo Niemelä alias Mettä-Kalle