Unpublished private photos from wartime Hanko found!
Last summer an elderly gentleman who participated in the Battlefield Archaeology excavation of the ”Hamsterbo” shelter asked me if I would be interested in looking at some wartime pictures that had been taken bu his father in Hanko.
The pictures proved to be a real treasure trove. They included never before published pictures of the arrival of German soldiers in Hanko in January 1942 and pictures of Soviet prisoners of war in the war ridden town of Hanko.
Four extremely rare pictures of Finnish officers in the company of Soviet prisoners in the grim process of burying remains of Soviet soldiers killed in the battles of 1941 are of particular interest to our research project ”Finding the Fallen of the Hanko Front”. They add a sense of tragic reality to the efforts by the Finnish side to find their own missing soldiers one year after the fierce and bloody battles in the archipelago in the summer of 1941. This daunting task was almost impossible and the search for the missing and killed from both sides is still going over 80 years later in 2022.
I have now scanned the pictures and will start researching them next week. These pictures together with accompanying archive finds will be published in 2025.
Photo: Soviet prisoners of war are beeing hurdled of a truck by Finnish guards in January 1942.
Exciting article in SEURA magazine 4.11.2021!
Reporter Hanna Koivisto and photographer Linda Baarman visited us during the autumn dig of general Sergei Kabanovs underground command post 1.10. – 5.10.2021. The result is a very nice article
Kabanovs underground command post is massive!
The trial excavations 1.-5.10.2021 have proved that the remains of the underground command post are much larger than anticipated. The excavations on site will continue in 2022 and 2023! The
Excavating a large WW2 underground command post is very hard work. On the second day of the dig and after two days of hard work we have just scratched the
Excavating General Sergei Kabanovs ”luxurious” underground command post.
Was general Sergei Kabanov leading the defence of Hanko from a re-inforced and fortified underground shelter or was the reality possibly something very different?
Hamsterbo revisited 22.-26.9.2021
During the last week of September 2021 we finished the excavations near Hanko Front Museum. A reconstruction of the shelter will now be built by the Hanko Front Museum on
New WW2 Battlefield Archaeology Excavations coming up in Hanko S. Finland in September and October!
New scientific WW2 battlefield archaeology excavations coming up this autumn. The registration fee is only 20 euros for five days (you can participate for as many days as you want).
Beautiful finds on day eight of the excavations of Hamsterbo
Today we managed to collect and document all of the finds on the floor level of the shelter. Many nice finds at Today we managed to collect and document all
A bayonet and the possible cause of fire revealed!
Today was the 7th day of the battlefield archaeology excavation in Hanko. Work continued with the careful excavation of the floor level of the burnt down shelter where our team
Charred documents attributable to Waffen SS volunteer Åke Kretz recovered in Hanko S. Finland.
Day 6 of the WW2 battlefield archaeology dig in Hanko S. Finland where archaeology students BA Fanny Fagerholm (University of Uppsala) and BA Jaakko Ervasti (University of Oulu) today made
Day five of the ”Hamsterbo” dig – Drone photography and more amazing finds!
On the fifth day of the excavation we took it very slow and excavated level 2,5 of the shelter. It seems we are approaching the floor level because the finds
Two charred backpacks full of finds
After a wonderful evening and calm night in the archipelago it was back to business as usual. The excavation of the burnt down WW2 shelter continued and we were all
The third day of the ”Hamsterbo” (Hamsters nest) shelter was a hot one. During the day the temperature rose to over +30 degrees Celsius which is very much for Finnish
Second World War history frozen in time.
Today was the second day of our ten day long project to excavate and document a burnt down underground shelter on the Hanko front. Hanko is a lovely seaside resort
WW2 Battlefield Archaeology of the Hanko Front. ”Excavating the Hamsterbo Shelter” (Day 1/5)
I woke up at 5 AM and took the two hour long drive from Helsinki to Hanko to meet up with ”Sjöba” at the Hanko Front Museum. In the early
Sodan jäljet lähelläsi – Arkeologit etsivät sotavainajia Hangossa
Updated: Nov 27, 2020 Toisessa maailmansodassa, vuosina 1939-1945 kuoli maailmanlaajuisesti yli 60 miljoonaa ihmistä. Monet omaiset eri maissa eivät vieläkään tiedä miten heidän rakkailleen sodassa kävi tai missä heidän viimeinen
Exclusive opportunity to participate in post excavation work!
Many unique finds were found during the past excavation season of the Hanko 1941 project and now it´s time to clean, sort and identify all of the goodies. The work
Pedagogic Battlefield and Conflict Archaeology Day
It was a tremendous pleasure to be part of this day when a large group of forty students from Kallion lukio visited the WW2 sites of Hanko. With young people
The rebirth of a lost and forgotten WW2 shelter of the Hanko Front
Last summer we successfully located and trial excavated the site of the Hamsters nest (”Hamsterbo”) shelter that burned and collapsed during the fighting on the Hanko Front in September 1941.
Facing Violent Death – Communicating Repatriation of WW2 War Dead in Different Medias
What is the ethical justfication of exhuming KIA soldiers in the 21st Century within the EU and elsewhere in the world? Why is this important, who should be doing this
Modern Conflict Archaeology day with students from Hankoniemen Lukio and Hangö Gymnasium
On Saturday 12th of September I met up with junior and senior students from both highschools in Hanko at the Hanko Front Museum. The day was a very rainy one
British 55 (13,9mm) Boys anti-tank rifle stopped Soviet reinforcements in the archipelago
The first evidence of the use of British55(13,9mm)BoysAnti-TankRifles in the WW2 (1941) battles for the islands in the Hanko archipelago surfaced last week when we surveyed the sites of battle
A forgotten WW2 grave site found and documented
After some really hard work we can now conclude that we have found the final resting place of thirteen Soviet soldiers killed in July 1941 on the Hanko Front. The
Searching for a lost WW2 massgrave of 13 Soviet soldiers
We are at it again, looking for the remains of KIA soldiers from 1941. The weather is windy and gray but not very rainy so our search got a good
A forgotten grave of a German ”Kriegsmarine” soldier in the archipelago?
Today an article was published in the local newspaper about the repatriation/reburial of the seven KIA Soviet soldiers discovered near the defensive positions of the 3rd battery of 204th air-defence
Reburial ceremony of 7 Soviet soldiers
Today we attended the reburial ceremony of 7 KIA Soviet soldiers that our team found and excavated between 2018 and 2019. The ceremony was attended by approximately 50+ people and
War dead, battlegrounds and more…
02.09.2020 Wednesday (day three).Today we visited one of several scenes of the ferocious battles that raged in the Hanko archipelago in the summer and autumn of 1941. The main reason
Excavating and mapping the WW2 battlefields of the Hanko front
31.8.2020 Tuesday (day two). Today was a rather busy day that started with a lengthy web lecture associated with my doctoral studies. Then a two hour long drive to Hanko
Excavating the WW2 battlefields of the Hanko front
31.8.2020 Monday (day one). After introductionary lections at the Hanko Front Museum our small but efficient team of nine opened up a couple of trial excavation areas in close proximity
Busy battlefield archaeology week coming up!
On Monday 31st of August we will kick off the last leg of this years community archaeology digs on the Hanko front. First we will excavate the immediate surroundings of
First documentation dive to the Junkers JU 88 A-5 crash site
On August 5th our dive team made the first documentation dives to the wrecksite of the German Junkers JU 88 A-5 off Hanko. Due to the Covid 19 situation the
Next week (with the weather permitting) we will attempt the first scientific battlefield archaeology documentation dives to the German Junkers JU 88-A5 bomber shot down over Hanko in early July
A WW1 British gas mask from the burnt down shelter!
The excavation nears it´s end and today we filed up excavation area I on the hillock of death. The second excavation area here with remains of wooden structures was documented
The burnt down shelter is full of items from WW2
Today we finally reached the find layer of the ”Hamsterbo” shelter and lot´s of different finds from the last days and hours of the shelter started to emerge! Now we
Deep down in the burnt down WW2 shelter
Hanko in WW2. The 2020 battlefield archaeology excavation. Day 6/10. Today we concentrated on the burnt down ”Hamsterbo” shelter in order to find out just how deep down the remains
Schrapnel and timber constructions
During the last day of the first leg of excavations we mainly concentrated on documentation. But we also encountered a couple more interesting finds. The first find testifies to the
Burnt, uniform related finds!
Day four of the battlefield archaeology dig produced the first uniform related finds. Military insignia burnt and twisted by the extreme heat of the fire that turned the shelter to
Burnt uniform details and exploded handgrenades
Today we continued the excavations of the burnt down ”Hamsterbo” shelter. The finds confirm the story written down by ”SS Hauptsturmführer” Åke Kretz in 1942. We found exploded rifle and
Were incendary bullets the cause of the fire that destroyed the shelter?
Updated: Jul 19, 2020 Today we started excavating ”Hamsterbo” the frontline ”home” of four Swedish volunteers on the Hanko front. This is what I think a frontline WW2 closed find
We have found the shelter used by ”Haupsturmführer” Åke Kretz in the autumn of 1941.
”Hamsterbo” was a small timber built shelter on the Finnish side of the frontline, only some 100 meters from the enemy. The cramped space of only 4 square meters was
Hanko in WW2 – The 2020 battlefield archaeology excavations day 1/10
Updated: Jul 14, 2020 Today we kicked off the battlefield archaeology excavations in Hanko. As usual the first day was much about making preparations and getting to know the team
Team member Elisa Melasniemi to participate in osteological research of human remains in Turku
The Chapel of the Holy Spirit in Turku has been built from the ruins of the Holy Spirit Church and rediscoveredduring archaeological excavations in 1986. Preceding the chapel was a
Mapping the WW2 conflict archaeology of Örö
On May 25th our conflict archaelogy team headed out to Örö sea fortress. The main task was to gather as much information as possible about an area with possible WW2
Death and Repatriation
Last week I started work on texts for the ”Hanko 1941” temporary theme exhibition for Hanko Front Museum. The exhibition ”Death and Repatriation – Ethical WW2 Conflict Archaeology of Soviet
POW camp archaeology
Today we visited the site of the former prisoner of war camp for Soviet soldiers on the border between Lohja and Raseborg S. Finland. The camp was in use from
First WW2 conflict archaeology fieldwork in 2020 tomorrow
Finally, tomorrow, something happening on the ”Hanko 1941” front. Me and Mr Lasse Nyman will kick off the first leg of the painstaking work of documenting the area of the
Kriget och stoltheten
Kolumn i Hufvudstadsbladet 26.4.2020 av professor Laura Kolbe Tulludden är inte bara en naturmiljö utan en viktig historisk plats. Under coronakrisen har virtuella museer, digitala evenemang och online-konserter blivit vardag.
WW2 Conflict Arhaeology for schools in 2020-2021
WW2 Conflict Arhaeology for schools in 2020-2021 In the midst of these dark days suddenly a ray of light in the form of a new project that aims to present
Exploring the Second World War in my childhood
My career as an archaeologist started in my childhood in Hanko where me and my brother looked for treasure in the abandoned WW2 fortifications in the late 1960´s and early
The conflict archaeology of Feldluftpark 3/XI Pori
Archaeologist Teemu Väisänen whom many of you already know from the ”Hanko 1941” and ”Durchgangslager Hanko” projects has started an own intriguing WW2 conflict archaeology project near Pori W. Finland!!
Soviet WW2 map case with full content discovered in Hanko
During a thorough renovation of an old building near Hanko harbour an intriguing find was made. In the attic, among other rubble was a small Soviet (1940-1941) map case containing
Project presentation at the Finnish National Museum
On January 31st I presented the Hanko 1941 project at the annual field work presentations. The two day event was held in the auditorium of the National Museum with some
Junkers JU-88/A-1 Crash Site in Täktom, Hanko
On July 5th 1941 Soviet air defence managed to down one of three German JU-88 bombers. The aircraft crashed in the sea killing the entire German crew. Photos and map
The conflict archaeology research of POW camp number 7 (Mustio)
Updated: Jan 3, 2020
The scientific repatriation of seven Soviet war dead
Updated: Dec 29, 2019 During 2017-2019 seven forgotten graves of Soviet soldiers KIA in 1941 were excavated scientifically in order to get a name to the fallen. The repatriation work
The Soviet prisoners of war
Updated: Jan 3, 2020 In the late summer of 1941 prisoner of war camp number 7 was moved from Karkkila to Svartå on the border between Karis and Lohja. During
RAV documentation and battlefield archaeology surveying of the battle of Bengtskär
Updated: Dec 29, 2019 In May 2019 the Hanko 1941 project conducted a battlefield archaeology survey of the island of Bengtskär. The purpose of the survey was to document all
Updated: Dec 27, 2019 Under construction Photo Hanko 1941 project
The Hillock of Death
Today we accuired a real treasure trove of unpublished pictures relating to our ”Finding the Fallen of the Hanko Front” project.