Winter War, The

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The Winter War (1989)

The Winter War (Talvisota) is a Finnish movie from 1989. The film begins with the mobilization of the Finnish Army in October 1939 and ends on 13th of March 1940 with the Moscow Peace Treaty. We follow a few soldiers from their mobilization through the trench warfare and massive Soviet artillery barrages until their surrender. It's the most costly Finnish film to date and its historically very accurate considering they interviewed Finnish veterans prior to the filming.

SPOILERS.jpg WARNING! THIS PAGE CONTAINS SPOILERS!


The following weapons were used in the film The Winter War:

Contents


Handguns

Mauser C96

This weapon is never seen used on film, but the holster of the Mauser C96 (which distinct appearance is a tell-tale sign of it being a Mauser C96) can be seen on the belt of a Finnish officer in few scenes.

C96 "Broomhandle" Mauser fitted with holster/stock combo - 7.63x25mm.
A Finnish Company officer on an inspection of the trenches with his Mauser holster.

Luger P08

The Luger P08 makes an apperance at the end of the movie in the hands of a Finnish officer.

Luger P08 - 9x19mm (1917).
A Finnish officer summarily executes a wounded Russian soldier.

Tokarev TT-33 Pistol

2nd Lieutenant Jussi Kantola (Vesa Vierikko) carries a Russian Tokarev TT-33 Pistol

Tokarev TT-33 - 7.62x25mm Tokarev.
2nd Lieutenant Jussi Kantola (Vesa Vierikko) on the right is seen thawing his Tokarev on the stove so it can function properly. During the Winter War (Dec 1939 - March 1940) the cold was a major concern. The temperatures often dropped to -40 degrees C. (-40ºF).
Another view of 2nd LT "Jussi Kantola" (Vesa Vierikko) with his TT-33. Note the hammer and very large rear sight.
Jussi Kantola (Vesa Vierikko) is seen firing his TT-33 at the Russians during close quarter fighting.

Rifles

Mosin Nagant M1891/30

The Mosin Nagant M1891/30 is the main rifle used by Red Army soldiers throughout the film. The rifle is also seen in the hands of some Finnish soldiers. Historically the Finnish Army during the war had a severe lack of equipment and weapons and they used Russian weapons whenever practible.

Full-length, Soviet Mosin Nagant M91/30 - 7.62x54R
A Finnish soldier advising his comrades to use enemy bolts. Note the translation calls it "Breeches". In addition, the M91/30 he is holding seems to be a Finnish two piece "pot belly" stock variant.

Finnish M/28-30 Civil Guard Mosin-Nagant Rifle

The main character, Martti Hakala (Taneli Mäkelä), his brother Paavo (Konsta Mäkelä), and a few other characters are members of Suojeluskunta ("Civil Guard", also known as "White Guard") and can be seen using the M/28-30, a variant of the Mosin-Nagant designed for the members of the organization. The "White Guard" was a voluntary militia that had its roots in the Finnish Civil War of 1918, and later acted as a training organisation for Finnish reservists who wished to improve their military skills. In the beginning of the movie, the Hakala brothers are seen leaving their home as the Finnish army mobilizes, and they bring with them their own M/28-30 Mosin-Nagant rifles. The M/28-30 was an improved version of the earlier M/28 Mosin-Nagant variant designed by the White Guards, which can be distinguished from other Mosin-Nagant rifles by their distinctive foresight guards and shorter stocks, among other things. It is similar to the M/27 Infantry Rifle adopted earlier by the Finnish Army, the main differences being the barrel band design, which is a single piece compared to the M/27's hinged band, and an improved trigger design. In turn, major improvements of the M/28-30 over the earlier M/28 were the straight Mansner rear sight and screw-adjustable front sight.

The Finnish M/28 and M/28-30 rifles - 7.62x54R
One of the rifles being picked up in the beginning of the film.
Another image of the two rifles seen in the beginning.
Close up of the bolt.
Image of the front sight.
Close up of the front sight.
Close up of the cocking knob/safety of the bolt. Note how the screw head which is part of the firing pin is lined up and flush with the index mark on the knob. This indicates proper bolt assembly and firing pin protusion.
A sideview of the M/28-30 rifle.
Martti Hakala (Taneli Mäkelä) fires his M/28-30 at the advancing Russians.
Martti reloads his M/28-30. Note how it appears to be dummy rounds.
The Hakala brothers: Martti Hakala (Taneli Mäkelä) and Paavo Hakala (Konsta Mäkelä) with their M/28-30 rifles during a lull in the fighting. Note the blocky rear sight base and straight rear sight leaf of the m/28-30.

Mosin-Nagant Model 1891 Rifle

Several Finnish soldiers can be seen using earlier Model 1891 rifles. The rifles are either Russian M91s, Finnish M91s, Finnish M24s, or Finnish P26s.

Full-length, Mosin Nagant M1891 - 7.62x54mm R
Private Pentti Saari (Timo Torikka) with his Model 1891. Note the three "Molotov Cocktails" underneath the rifle.
Private Vilho Erkkilä staying low with his Model 1891.
Private Pentti Saari (Timo Torikka) firing his Model 1891.

Tokarev SVT-40 Rifle

The Tokarev SVT-40 Rifle is seen in the hands of both Russian and Finnish soldiers as a stand-in for the historically correct SVT-38. The SVT-40 did not enter into Red Army service until July 1940, several months after the end of the conflict. During the war the Finns did use captured weapons such as the SVT-38 due to a lack of equipment and weapons. However, since SVT-38 is a much rarer weapon, it's understandable that the SVT-40 was used in production as a "stand-in" for the 38.

Tokarev SVT-40 Rifle - Soviet World War 2 Semi Automatic Rifle chambered for 7.62x54R
A Finnish soldier using the SVT-40. For some reason the soldier is seen sliding the bolt back manually after each shot, even though the weapon is a semi-automatic. It might have something to do with the weapon not being adapted for blank fire use or poor performance of the rifle automatics in the cold.
Private Vilho Erkkilä (Heikki Paavilainen) with his captured SVT-40 slung on his shoulder.

Submachinegun

Suomi KP/-31

The standard SMG of the Finnish Army was the Suomi KP/-31 and it is frequently seen during the movie.

Suomi M/31 - 9x19mm Parabellum
Corporal Erkki Somppi (Antti Raivio) fires his Suomi SMG.
Waiting for a Russian attack with the Suomi at the ready.
Another view of the Suomi SMG.
Frontal view of the SMG.

Light machine gun

Lahti-Saloranta LS/26

Lahti-Saloranta LS/26, the standard light machine gun of the Finnish army in that period, is used by the Finnish soldiers.

Lahti-Saloranta LS/26 - 7.62mmx54Russian
A Finnish soldier firing his "Lahti". Note the magazine on the ground. It seems to be loaded with live rounds, or possible "disabled" rounds with no powder and/or blasting cap but with a genuine projectile attached.

Degtyaryov DP-27/28

The DP LMG is used by both the Red Army soldiers and the Finnish soldiers.

Degtyarev DP-28 machine gun, 7.62x54mm R
Taking cover next to a knocked out Maxim, a Finnish soldier fires his DP.
A Russian soldier with his DP during an attack on Finnish trenches.
A Finnish soldier seen using the DP during an advance on the Russians.

Machine gun

Maxim M1910

The Maxim M1910 is used by Finnish soldiers against Red Army soldiers in one scene.

Maxim M1910 machine gun, 7.62x54mm R
A Finnish soldier firing a M1910 machine gun.
The M1910 machine gun seen at the left of the screen.

Explosives

Finnish stick hand grenade M32 (practice grenade mockup)

The Finnish soldiers during the Winter War made good use of the M32 stick hand grenade. In the movie though it is replaced by the a practice grenade, official designation "Harjoituskranaatti m41" ("practice grenade M41"). It is identifiable via the hole at the top of the cylinder and the rimmed top and bottom part of the cylinder which the original M32 hand grenade did not have. The practice grenade was fitted with a small blackpowder spotting charge which gave alot of smoke and noise but were small enough not to damage the cylinder and enable "reloading" of the grenade for further training use. The practice grenade was originally painted yellow.

The Hakala brothers: Martti Hakala (Taneli Mäkelä) and Paavo Hakala (Konsta Mäkelä) with a Finnish stick-hand grenade in the foreground.
More stick grenades lie in wait.

Molotov Cocktail

The Finns are also seen using the "Molotov Cocktail" against tanks. Although the "Cocktail" was an historical incendiary device named after the Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov it was not invented by the Finns except for the name and the specific "recipie" used in this case. The first recorded use of such devices was during the Spanish Civil War of 1936-39. It is basically a bottle filled with a mixture of incendiary substances and has a stick-fuse attached to the side for ignition.

Winterwarmolotov.jpg

RGD-33 stick grenade

The Russian RGD-33 stick grenade is also featured in the movie briefly.

RGD-33 high-explosive fragmentation stick grenade, shown with the diamond-patterned fragmentation sleeve.
A Russian soldier uses his RGD-33 to commit suicide after being captured for fear of being tortured & killed by the Finns.

Other

Anti-tank gun

The Finns use Swedish Bofors 37mm anti-tank guns.

Winterwarantitank1.jpg
Winterwarantitank2.jpg

Tanks

The movie features authentic T-26 tanks, originally captured by the Finnish Army in WW2.

A Russian T-26C tank.
A Russian T-26B tank.
T-26B on the right, T-26C on the left.
A flame-tank.



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