Hanko 1941-1944

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A webpage  about the ongoing multidisciplinary  Conflict- and Battlefield Archaeology research project ”Hanko 1941-1944”. 

The project surveys, documents and excavates remains  from the Second World War in Hanko S. Finland .

All photos copyright Hanko 1941-1944 .

The excavations of general Kabanovs underground command post continue from the 21st of August to the 8th of September 2023!

In 2023 the excavations of Soviet General Sergei Kabanovs ”Bunker” will continue  during a three-week-long period. The main scientific excavations in 2022 are financed by Mr. Kari Karvinen.

Part of the 2023 excavations will be organized as a Field Course in Conflict Archaeology for schoolchildren and financed by Thure Galléns stiftelse. Adults can partcipate in the excavation by participating in an course at Hangö Sommaruni. 

WW2 Battlefield Archaeology of the Hanko front for schools 8th to 11th of May 2023.

New pedagogic excavations are now confirmed for the 2023 field season!

  • In May 2023 we will excavate the front lines of the battles in 1941 near the Hanko front museum. Please send us a letter of interest to [email protected] if you think your school would be interested in spending a day as a conflict archaeologist!
  • The scientific work ”on site” in 2023 will be led by MA Jan Fast and other Hanko 1941 team members. Swedish speaking schoolchildren can participate for free thanks to a grant from Thure Galléns stiftelse.

Finding the fallen of the Hanko front in May 2023

The scientific work with locating the remains of fallen soldiers from the Second World War in the Hanko archipelago continues in May 2023. This year the focus will be on the fallen and missing soldiers on the Finnish side.

  • The important forensic work is made possible with the financial support from a local artist who donates all the incomes from her art sales to the humanitarian work of identifying the unknown war dead and giving the fallen a proper grave.
  • Click on the links below to look closer at our work ”Finding the Fallen of the Hanko Front”.

Deutsches Lager Hanko 1942-1944

The multidisciplinary PhD research of the German Second World War Transition Camp in Hanko continues in 2023.

  • The PhD titled ”Deutsches Lager Hanko – The Modern Conflict Archaeology and History of a German Second World War Transition Camp in Hanko S. Finland” will be completed in 2022/2023.

Academic works

The authors are responsible for the contents in their respective works and the texts do not necessary represent the views or general research results of the ”Hanko 1941” project. Please feel free to contact the authors directly if you have ay questions or disagree with issues that are presented in the papers. Your input is valuable for the students and helps them to advance on their scientific journey.

"Tvärminnen vuoden 1941 venäläiset sotavainajat - Arkeologin etiikka hautakaivauksilla"

BA thesis about ethics and the conflict archaeology of war graves.

Elisa Melasniemi

Turku Open University 20.4.2020 (in Finnish)

"Bakom främsta linjen - Militärläger i Hangö från II:a världskriget som konfliktarkeologiska objekt"

BA thesis about the materiality of a DRK dumpsite inside the German WW2 transition camp on Cape Tulliniemi, Hanko S. Finland.

​Fanny Fagerholm

Umeå Universitet 24.9.2019 (in Swedish)

Find of The Month

A Luftwaffe Officer´s Visor Cap Eagle. 

The item was found in 2015 during one of the first excavations of the ”Ukrainer Lager” area in ”Deutsches Lager Hanko”.The cap eagle is missing it´s swastika.

In 2017 a group of items pointing towards fabrication of trench art items by POW:s or German soldiers were found nearby. These included crude unfinished brass finger rings and Finnish and Soviet coins with the Finnish coat of arms and  the hammer and the sickle removed.

It is possible that the swastika was cut off from the broken cap eagle to serve as a decorative part in for instance a finger ring.

Photo: Jan Fast for his PhD research of ”Deutsches Lager Hanko 1942-1944”