REMINDERS OF WAR IN THE TERRAIN

The Winter War was fought between Finland and the Soviet Union in 1939–1940 after the USSR invaded Finland. As a result of the Winter War, Finland lost some of its easternmost parts to Soviet Union.

After the Winter War, a 1200-kilometer-long defensive chain was built to protect Finland’s eastern border: the Salpa Line. Its sole purpose was to guard Finland against Soviet Union’s attacks.  To this day, it is the largest construction project in our nation’s history. No battles were ever fought at the Salpa Line.

Sarsuinmäki cannon batteries and museum cannon
The cannon batteries located on Sarsuinmäki, Partalansaari, are part of the Salpa Line and were built during the interim peace in the mid-1940s. The open, high hillside was a good spot for the cannons since they were able to secure locations deemed to be militarily important.

WWII anti-tank defences

Vilkaharju is one of the locations in the defensive chain. This anti-tank obstacle was built during the Interim Peace, in the winter of 1940, by a worker company consisting mostly of locals and refugees of the Winter War. Stones and rocks were gathered from the surrounding forests and hauled to the site with horses.

The path heading left leads to a Salpa Line memorial, which was raised by the Sulkava area reservists in the summer of 2017, on Finland’s centennial.

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INFORMATION

Sarsuinmäki cannon batteries and museum cannon

Address: Hirviniementie 5

WWII anti-tank defences

Address: Vekarantie