Capture of Äänislinna (1-10-41)

Finns had reached the outskirts of the town of Petrozavodsk (promptly renamed by the Finns as ‘Äänislinna’ or ‘Onega-Castle’) by the end of September 1941. Heavy fighting had continued all the way to that point. However the Finnish advance from multiple directions forced the Soviet defenders to escape towards north during the night between 30th September and 1st October to avoid being encircled. Some Soviet destruction (demolition) platoons are seen blowing up a number of buildings during the night. And on 1st October 1941 the Finns entered the town from multiple directions without facing any resistance.

The town itself wasn’t much of a prize. It was a small, grey and muddy Soviet town. However the adventurous men soon found the real prize. The Soviet booze factory. The problem was that the precious nectar was in a large tank (thousands of litres of it) and no one knew how to get it out. But the solution was quickly found - after the booze was in a tank and the troops had anti-tank rifles… One shot later the party began. The town filled up from the drunken Finns. Plenty of singing was heard, alongside occasional submachine gun bursts and satchel charge explosions. Some of the men fortified themselves (and even arranged armed guards to keep the MPs away) to the town sports field with their ‘loot’…

This wasn’t the last time Finns locating booze storage ended up as it did during the course of WW II. There is after all the “magical night of Tornio” (fi: “Tornion taikayö”) during the Lapland War.

Source for most parts: Jatkosota Kronikka (Continuation War Chronicle). 1991.