Memorial in Suomussalmi village

Attacking from the direction of Juntusranta in the north the Soviet forces reached Suomussalmi village on 6th December 1939. The retreating Finns were faced with a difficult decision, namely to burn the village before abandoning it to the enemy. This would deny the aggressor shelter from the snow and frost in the houses of the village. Only a few buildings remained intact and the village centre was completely destroyed.

On the wall of one hut which served as a stock of explosive for a shop in the village stands the grim text:
“During 6.-27.12.1939 fierce battles raged in Suomussalmi village. This war-battered “building” is all that remains to tell of those days.”

Suomussalmi