Purasjoki line

The field fortification of the Purasjoki Line at the River Purasjoki fell into three stages:
Stage I: 16.10. – 11.11.1939 (period of additional training)
Stage II: January – February 1940
Stage III: April 1940 – June 1941

During Stage I the field fortification of the Purasjoki Line was the task of reserves from the Suomussalmi Training Centre along with groups of non-reserve civilians. On either side of the road defence posts of some 300 men were set up. A reinforced anti-tank barrier was erected along the western bank of the river. Remains from this are still visible today at the bend in the river. Behind the anti-tank barrier a trench was dug and reinforced with wood. This also contained machine-gun posts, againprotected with wooden constructions, and a number of covered observation points. Behind this trench connecting trenches were dug. No dugout buildings as such were constructed. Instead shell-resistant bunkers were built at the sides of the connecting trenches. After capturing the defence post the Red Army forces, which had no tents, used these bunkers for accommodation, fitting them with temporary “wood stoves”. During the second stage, on retaking the defence post the Finns repaired it and improved its fortifications as far as circumstances would allow. This work was performed by the 64th Infantry Regiment and 15th Special Battalion. In Stage III during the period of interim peace the defence post was further reinforced as part of the Salpa Line (= a defensive line from the Gulf of Finland up to Salla in north) Work was carried out by both soldiers and civilians. The constructions from the above-mentioned three phases are difficult to distinguish from one another as they were built and reinforced one on top of each other. Some of the original constructions were destroyed during the straightening of the road and building of the new bridge.

The Purasjoki line is located on the Raate museum road, near Raatteen Portti Winter War Exhibition and Frontier Guard Museum. The specific location can be seen on the Kainuu outdoors map.
Street address: Raatteentie 97, Suomussalmi

Suomussalmi