View Full Version : A couple of questions about The Winter War

12-10-2009, 08:01 PM
Hello. I'm new to the forum but I've "wasted" (wrong word) more than a few hours in the photo-section of this page.

My story is that both my parents are from Finland but now live in Sweden. My mom is from Suomussalmi and my dad is from a place called Uusi Wärtsilä in Karelia. Both these places had some significant roles in the winter war. My late grandfather (my dads' dad) and many of my relatives served in the army during the winter war, as well as in the continuation war. Suomussalmi is really a great place to travel to if you want to see a bit of history. I always get sad when I think about the war-cemetery there with some boys not older than 13 years...

When my mom grew up in Suomussalmi (in the 60's) she and her friend went out in the woods in their backyard and literally picked up a handful of helmets and other military equipment. Sadly enough, they sold them to German and Russian tourists (she regrets that deeply, as do I...)

Now for my questions:

1. I have a Soviet SSH-36(M36) helmet at home that one of our relatives found in an swamp in the 60's. Although it misses all the fabric-lining (interior of helmet) it's in great, untouched condition with the Red Army star in the front visible etc. Rust has been kept at a minimum with hardly no blemishes at all. I've intended to keep this helmet for a good while (maybe forever) but what do you reckon these helmets are valued to today in money (for me the history behind it is worth much more than stamped paper...but still)?

2. One day when I was younger (aprox. 6 years old) I kicked some stones in to a ditch at my grandfathers (my mums dad) cabin in Suomussalmi when they hit something metal-ish. I picked it up and thought this was really heavy for such a little piece. I threw it on to the ground and played with it. It was an soviet tank-grenade round which I didn't know back then. The thing is that it hadn't gone off so it could very well have exploded then and there.

Anyone who knows what kind of tank-round it could have been? The shell-casing were missing so there was just the "tip" (about 15-25 cm long). One of our relatives had one real tank-round in brand new condition at home and it was really big...

What I've read about the area is that the soviet forces retreated over the frozen Lake Kianta in December 1939 and my (caugh*brilliant) theory is that it ended up there during that retreat. My grandpa's cabin is located directly in the path of the soviets retreating-road. He and is mother even took care of a wounded Soviet soldier back then.

3. Anyone here who sits at home thinking "damn it! If only his mom would have kept those helmets and equipment for herself to be preserved for later generations..."? :rolleyes: She tells me that the woods where full of old war equipment and there, the people didn't see those things with the same eyes as we do. For them it was just junk...


My grandfather (dads dad) also had some "cool" stuff at home but I had never the chance to meet him before he died so all those things are gone by now. My dad told me he had things lika a Firebomb, some small arms, equipment etc. But at home we have a stack of photos that he himself took in the war. Some pictures are taken many hundreds of km into Russia druing the continuation war etc. I don't know where he served but I can post some photos for you guys to see if you recognize something? It would be fun to know for me and there isn't so many people alive who can tell me about his and other relatives war experiences.

I'm really sorry for the off-school history lesson but I have no one to talk about these things so I get all excited when I finally found a place where I can do that.

Thank you,


12-11-2009, 09:20 AM
Hi Henri, the Winter War is a fairly popular subject in many countries, and on this board. You tube is full of clips about it,and the weapons used in those days.You will enjoy yourself here, lots to read about. Take care now

12-16-2009, 04:49 PM
In regard of your question number 2:

there were just 2 types of tank ammo used by the russian in that war, the 45mmm in the T-26/BT-5 and the 76mm used in T-28.

Information about the 45mm variantammunition you can find here: