Battle of Kollaa

Battle of Kollaa

Infobox Military Conflict
conflict=Battle of Kollaa

partof=the Winter War
date=December 7 1939 to March 13, 1940
place= Kollaa river, Finland
result= Finnish victory
combatant2=flag|Soviet Union|1923
commander1= Woldemar Hägglund
Antero Svensson
strength1= 1 division and some small unitsFact|date=February 2007
strength2= 4 divisions, 1 tank brigadeFact|date=February 2007

The Battle of Kollaa was fought from December 7, 1939 - March 13, 1940 in the Ladoga's Karelia, Finland as a part of the Winter War.

Despite having far fewer troops than the Soviets, the Finnish forces (12th division) repelled the Red Army because the Soviets were only prepared to proceed along roads. The Kollaa area had very few roads, all of them guarded by Finnish troops, and the Soviets were not able to proceed cross-country without skis.

Although they stopped the Red Army, the 12th Division suffered heavy losses, with the Battle of Kollaa continuing until the end of Winter War. The Finnish defence came close to collapse at the very end - in fact, the Finnish troops left the main positions on the River Kollaa on March 12, but counter-attacked on March 13.

A memorable quote from the Battle of Kollaa is Major General Hägglund's question, "Will Kollaa hold? (Kestääkö Kollaa)", to which Lieutenant Aarne Juutilainen replied, "Kollaa holds (Kollaa kestää), unless we are told to run."

Legendary sniper Simo Häyhä served in the Kollaa front.


* [ Antti Maunuksela: Laatokan Karjalan taistelut talvisodassa] (in Finnish)

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