Battle of Salla (1939)

Battle of Salla (1939)

Infobox Military Conflict
conflict=Battle of Salla

caption=Initial Soviet advance November 30 – December 17
partof=Winter War
date=November 30 1939 to 28 February 1940
place= Salla, Finnish Lapland
result= Finnish victory
combatant2=flag|Soviet Union|1923
commander1=Major General Kurt Martti Wallenius, Swedish General Ernst Linder
strength1=Several battalions, from 10.2 1940 9,400 scandinavian volunteers
strength2=Two divisions
casualties1=187 dead, 211 wounded, 21 captured (finns) 23 volunteers dead, 39 wounded, 7 captured
casualties2=5,000 dead, 8,000 wounded, 180 captured

The Battle of Salla was fought between Finnish and Soviet troops near Salla in northern Finland during the Winter War. The Soviets had orders to advance through Salla to Kemijärvi and Sodankylä, and from there to Rovaniemi in just two weeks. From there they were to advance to Tornio and cut Finland in two. The Finnish troops managed to stop the Soviet advance just east of Kemijärvi. During the last days of February 1940 the Finnish troops were replaced with the Swedish, Norwegian and Danish volunteers of the Stridsgruppen SFK.

Order of battle


There were only a few Finnish troops in the area at the start of the war. The 17th Separate Battalion ("Er.P 17") or the "Salla Battalion" was mobilized before the war. Its main components came from a company of the Frontier Guard. The Finnish troops were part of the Lapland Group ("Lapin Ryhmä") which was commanded by Major General Kurt Martti Wallenius.

oviet Union

The Soviets attacked with two divisions, the 122nd and the 88th.

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