Sunday, September 21, 2014

Ihantala 1944.07.13

Ihantala 1944.07.13

The Battle of Tali-Ihantala

The Battle of Tali-Ihantala (June 25 to July 9, 1944) was part of the Finnish-Soviet Continuation War (1941–1944), which occurred during World War II. The battle was fought between Finnish forces—using war materiel provided by Germany—and Soviet forces. To date, it is the largest battle in the history of the Nordic countries.

The battle was one of attrition, with the Finns suffering proportionally more casualties than the Soviet forces. It marked a point in the Soviet offensive when the Finnish forces first prevented the Soviets from making any significant gains. However, already earlier at Siiranmäki and Perkjärvi the Finns had halted advancing Soviet forces. Finnish forces achieved a defensive victory, although Russian historian N. Baryshnikov criticizes this as an exaggeration.

After the Soviets had failed to create any breakthroughs at Tali-Ihantala, Viborg Bay, or Vuosalmi, the Soviet Leningrad Front started the previously planned transfer  of troops from the Karelian Isthmus to support Operation Bagration, where they were encountering particularly fierce resistance.[Though the Leningrad Front failed to advance into Finland as ordered by the Stavka, some historians state that the offensive did eventually force Finland from the war