Part 1.4

Battles along the Railways in 1918




Besides the main three north - south railways also the railways of southern Finland saw quite a bit of battles with armoured trains during April of 1918. That month two German units, whose arrival resulted from Finnish Senate requesting assistance from Germany earlier, landed to Finnish south coast. While this request for help pissed off General Mannerheim and considerably complicated political relations between Finland and western nations still fighting World War 1 against Germany the units sent by Germany to Finland also proved valuable assistance to White Army. Larger of these two German units was Ostsee Division (Baltic Sea Division) of about 9,500 men strong, which was led by Major-General von Goltz and landed to Hanko. The another smaller German unit was Brandenstein's Brigade named after its commanding officer Colonel Otto von Brandenstein. This unit about 2,500 men strong landed to Loviisa four days after landing of Ostsee Division. The Reds basically unprepared for these landings, which combined with their weak leadership, made their chanced for resisting the Germans very difficult. When in came to armoured trains of the Reds they didn't prove very effective against the Germans, likely at because of their better discipline, training and higher level of experience. In these battles the Red armoured trains adopted the role of rear guard, which protected the retreat of their infantry.

PICTURE: Offensive of White Army in Karelian Isthmus. Advance to White Army units to Lahti from the north and advances of German troops to Helsinki and Lahti. CLICK THUMBNAIL TO SEE LARGER PIC (135 KB).

Battles along Karelian railway:





Paavo Tavio: Suomen Puolustusvoimain panssarijunat vuosina 1918 - 1939 ja niiden edeltäjät vapaussodassa in Sotahistoriallinen aikauskirja 4 (Armoured trains of Defence Forces 1918 - 1939 and their predecessors in War of Independence in Journal of Military History 4).

Paul Malmassari: Les Trains Blindés 1826 - 1989.

Heikki Ylikangas: Tie Tampereelle.

Jouni Eerola: Pasilan konepaja 1903 - 2003.

Jussi T. Lappalainen: Punakaartin sota parts 1 - 2.

Vapaussodan historian komitea: Suomen Vapaussota vuonna 1918 (published 1924).

J.O. Hannula: Suomen Vapaussodan historia (edited edition published 1938).

Simo Eronen ja Antti Komonen: Karjala Vapaussodassa I (published 1930)

Suomen vapaussota IV (published 1924). Toimittaneet Kai Donner, Th. Svedlin ja Heikki Nurmio

Suomen Vapaussota kuvissa parts 1 - 2 (published 1934).

Stig Roudasmaa: Helsingin Suojeluskuntapiirin historia 1918 - 1944.

Jouni Sillanmäki: Panssarijunia Suomessa, suomalaisia panssarijunissa

Maksim Kolomiec: Brona Russkoj Armii, Broneautomobili, bronepoezda v permoj mirovoj vojne.

Lecture Punaisten panssarijunat (Armoured trains of the Reds) by Jouni Eerola in semilar of Association of Military History in Finland (6th of September 2008).

Armoured Units of the Russian Civil War, White and Allied by D. Bullock and A. Deryabin

Armoured Units of the Russian Civil War, Red Army by Andrei Aksenov and Peter Sarson.

Article: Panssarijunat Suomessa 1918 - 1944, part 1 by Kari Kuusela in Kansa Taisteli magazine vol. 2/1986.

Article: Panssarijunat Suomessa 1918 - 1944, part 2 by Kari Kuusela in Kansa Taisteli magazine vol. 3/1986

Article: Pietarilaiset joukot Suomessa 1918 (Russian troops from Petrograd in Finnish War of Independence 1918) by Ohto Manninen in Journal of Military History 17 (1998).

Article: Panssarijunakuvia vuodelta 1919 by Tuomo Schering in Resiina Magazine volume 4/1990

Article: Punaisten ja valkoisten panssarijunat 1918 by Paavo Talvio in Resiina Magazine volume 4/1994

Russian Armoured Trains website by Pavel Voylov, Edited by Ben Turner and Jeremy Mac Donald (website no longer active).

Last updated 3rd of May 2023
Webmaster: JTV
Copyrights (text and graphics): Jaeger Platoon Website. Copyrights of photographs vary on case to case basis and are marked along each picture.