Finnish Air Force 1939-45 (Squadron/Signal Aircraft Special, by Kari Stenman, Kalevi Keskinen

By Kari Stenman, Kalevi Keskinen

As a resull of either the 1st international conflict and the Russian revolution. Finland declared its independence from Czarist Russia on 6 December 1917. Believing a Bolshevik rebellion in Finland could convey the coun­try again to the Soviet Union, the innovative executive in Russia supported the statement. in spite of the fact that, Finland went via a brief civil warfare in early 1918 with executive troops, the "White Army." support­ed through a few German devices, combating the rebel "Red Army" supported via a couple of Russian devices. The combating ended victoriously for the White military in could of 1918. The Treaty of Dorpat, signed with the Russians in 1920. officially well-known Finland as a sovereign nation.
During the civil warfare. on 6 March 1918. the Swedish count number Eric von Rosen donated the 1st airplane to the White military, a French designed Morane-Saulnier variety L Parasol. The Rosen relations brand of excellent success, a blue swastika, was once painted at the wings. This marking turned the nationwide insignia carried on all plane of the Finnish Air strength. This hlue swastika had not anything to do with the later Nazi swastika, which grew to become reputable in Germany purely after Adolf Hitler took energy in 1933. a few fifteen years after the creation of the Finnish insignia.
Throughout the civil struggle the Finnish Air strength had just a handful of plane. utilizing kinds just like the Parasol, the German designed Albatros B. II and D.F.W. C.V. and French equipped Nieuport 10s and 23s. the Finnish Air strength flew just some 70 missions, mostly scouting and aerial pho­tography, besides the fact that, the price of airplane used to be fast learned and the floor paintings used to be laid for the systematic improvement of an air strength, albeit, limited for a few years by way of an absence of funds...

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Com 47 encirclement and meet up with 7th Armoured Brigade. It was hoped that the two forces would meet at El Duda at around 1600hrs. Sappers had worked through the night to clear minefields, move barbed wire and erect four bridges over the anti-tank ditch in front of the advance. At dawn the attack began with infantry supported by the slow, ponderous Matilda tanks of the 32nd Army Tank Brigade. Ahead of them were a number of strongpoints thought to be held by Italian troops of the 25a Divisione ‘Bologna’, but which were in fact held by the German 90.

The desert war had finally become a war of tank attrition with the Germans gradually gaining the upper hand, although Crüwell’s tanks did not escape unscathed from the mêlée for their numbers were also whittled away in the close-quarter encounters. Then came the news that 15. Panzer-Division was on the move, circling round from the south-west towards the battle. Major-General Gott knew that this development could sound the death knell for his division. He decided to disengage his three brigades and ordered them to fall back to the positions held by the 5th South African Brigade near the southern escarpment just as night was falling.

Panzer-Division to destroy the enemy threat in the south. Oberstleutnant Stephan was ordered to take his Panzer-Regiment 5, reinforced with 12 105mm howitzers and four 88mm anti-tank guns, to confront the enemy near Gabr Saleh. The advancing Germans met the Stuart tanks of Brigadier Gatehouse’s 4th Armoured Brigade, less elements of the 3rd and 5th RTRs which were supporting some armoured cars to the north-west, in the late afternoon. Kampfgruppe Stephan with its mix of Panzer IIIs and Panzer IVs and a few Panzer IIs, 85 tanks in total, was more or less matched in numbers by 4th Armoured Brigade’s remaining tanks.

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