Organisation of Finnish Army in Late War In late 1943 the Finnish army had been reorganised so that each infantry division was reduced to two regiments with three battalions of infantry each, and one independent battalion. On the plus side infantry divisions now had more anti-tank guns at the regimental and divisional level. Artillery was also strengthened, with many 76mm guns being replaced by 105mm or 122mm guns. The Panssari Division was by now at full strength, with the StuG assault guns (Sturmi) forming a new battalion of assault guns, to join the Panssari and Jääkäri brigades. Unfortunately T-26 still was the most numerous tank supported by a handful of T-34s and T-28s as well as two KV-1s. Several separate battalions were combined into brigades. The Sissi units were of little use in the positional phase of the Continuation War, and had been largely phased out by 1944.
At the start of the Soviet offensive the Finnish army consisted of fifteen infantry and one Panssari division, and was deployed as follows.
Karelian Isthmus: IV Corps – Lt General Laatikainen 2nd Division 10th Division JR 200
III Corps – Lt General Siilasvuo 15th Division 19th Brigade
East Karelia Group Aunus – Lt General Oesch V Corps – Maj General Svensson 11th Division 7th Division
VI Corps - Maj General Blick 5th Division 8th Division 15th Brigade
Reserve 20th Brigade
Reserve of Supreme HQ 17th Division
II Corps (Former Group of Maaselkä) – Lt General Talvela 1st Division 6th Division 21st Brigade
Reserve of Supreme HQ 4th Division
Rukajärvi 14th Division
Depicting Finnish Troops Most of the uniforms and equipment used by Finnish forces in the Mid-War period were still used by the Finns in the Late War period. Remember that most of the 1944 fighting against the Soviets occurred in the summer. All of Battlefront’s range of Finnish infantry and vehicles are still appropriate. Equipment still included captured T-26, T-28, T-34/76, and KV-1 tanks as well as BT42 assault guns, Anti IIs anti-aircraft tanks, 20mm and 40mm anti-aircraft guns, 37mm, 45mm, 50mm and 75mm anti-tank guns and 76mm and 105mm artillery. These were joined by Sturmi (StuG III G), captured T-34/85 and two ISU-152s. Infantry had a higher proportion of Suomi SMGs and, critically, good numbers of Panzerfausts (called Panssarinyrkki) and Panzerschrecks (called Panssarikauhu).
The latter rapidly supplanted Lahti ATRs after June 1944. The 122mm and 152mm artillery may be represented by the 122mm and 152mm Soviet artillery models with Finnish gun crew.
We'll be adding some extra Finnish models to the range soon.
Markings and insignia remained the same as for the Mid War Finnish army, with a greater use of the 3 colour (moss green, sand brown and light grey) camouflage scheme on vehicles. Even captured Soviet vehicles were quickly repainted to avoid confusion. A handful of German supplied vehicles were still in their dunkelgelb colour scheme, although this was rare.
In the latter fighting against the Germans in Lapland there was the odd spectacle of a Finnish army using captured Soviet and purchased German weapons fighting a German army with captured French tanks! For this fighting Finnish winter uniforms would be appropriate, with ATRs and some older tanks having been replaced. Sturmi assault guns were not used, due to their insufficient ground clearance.
Finland 1944: Intelligence Briefing for Finnish Forces Facing the Soviet Union in 1944
Finland 1944 Intelligence Briefing is now inGrey Wolf..