Advent Calendar #6: Independence Day

6 December is Finland’s independence day, so we will head back in the archive. Pictured is a mortar crew of JR 13 at the frontline at Yandeba (also spelled Jandeba), a small tributary to the Svir (Fi. Syväri). JR 13 spent the better part of the Continuation War here on the Olonets Isthmus northeast of Lake Ladoga, along the frontline that roughly followed the river. The regiment was one of two regiments fully made up by Swedish speaking Finns in the Continuation War, the other being JR 61, and was also home to a company of Swedish volunteers following the disbandment of the Svenska Frivilligbataljonen (Swedish Volunteer Battalion) after the fighting at the Hanko peninsula had ended. My grandfather served with the unit’s mortars, both as a forward observer and as part of the mortar crew, for the better part of the Continuation War until he was wounded at the battle of Tali in June 1944. Picture source: SA-kuva