Friday, February 12, 2016

Finnish Hämeen Cavalry Regiment in Velikaja Niva

Finnish Hämeen Ratsurykmentti (Hämeen Cavalry Regiment) in a winter patrol through the snow-covered trail in Velikaja Niva, Kareliya (Soviet Union), 15 March 1942. Horses played a vital role in the Finnish Army, supplying front-line troops and enabling the rapid transport of troops and equipment. Virtually all army units employed horses, and during the Winter War some 90,627 animals served the nation. Despite the greatly increased degree of mechanisation, 45,426 horses continued to serve between 1941 and 1944. The horses suffered high casualty rates compared to the men handling them. The horse-driven supply columns were also favourite targets for enemy airplanes and artillery. During the Winter War, the casualty rate for horses was 16.6 per cent and during the Continuation War 12.8 per cent.

Source :
Book "Finland at War: The Winter War 1939-40" by Vesa Nenye, Peter Munter & Toni Wirtanen

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