Pictures of T-34 wreck at Ihantala road 30/6 -44

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Tommy R
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Pictures of T-34 wreck at Ihantala road 30/6 -44

Post by Tommy R » 10 Jan 2011 23:37

Hi, I've been collecting some photos from this very famous incident and I've found the following ones, anyone know of some additional pictures and where they can be obtained?
(I'm looking forward to when they are digitized as per http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 2&start=15 )

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The pictures are from the Internet, “Jatkosodan Pikkujättiläinen”, “Veitsen terällä” and “Finland 1944 – Krig, samhälle, känslolandskap”.

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John Hilly
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Re: Pictures of T-34 wreck at Ihantala road 30/6 -44

Post by John Hilly » 11 Jan 2011 13:43

Here's the Vehichle of StuG.Brig. 303 that destroyed the T34: (scroll down)

http://forum.panzer-archiv.de/viewtopic ... highlight=

There are more pics, but I haven't saved them.

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Juha-Pekka :milwink:
"Die Blechtrommel trommelt noch!"

Jagala
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Re: Pictures of T-34 wreck at Ihantala road 30/6 -44

Post by Jagala » 11 Jan 2011 13:50

Not of any great help to you, but FWIW Antti Juutilainen wrote about "The most photographed tank kill of the Continuation War" in "Sotilasaikakauskirja 13" (1994). (AFAIK there weren't any photos that you don't already have above, but IIRC he refers to the original numbers, which might make finding the photographs when they eventually become available in digitized form easier than the usual "Source: SA-kuva".)

Tommy R
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Re: Pictures of T-34 wreck at Ihantala road 30/6 -44

Post by Tommy R » 11 Jan 2011 14:58

Thanks to both of you, I was guessing that the StuG picture was taken at the same spot but I wasn't sure.

I'll see if I can track down that publication somehow then.

Anyone know to which unit the T-34/76 belonged to, 30th Separate Guards Tank Brigade?

He surely had the odds against him with a PAK40, a horde of Panzerfaust armed infantery and two ambushing StuGs oposing him.

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Re: Pictures of T-34 wreck at Ihantala road 30/6 -44

Post by Alanmccoubrey » 11 Jan 2011 16:40

Tommy, that gun is not a Pak 40, it is a Pak 38/97, just look at the "round" breechblock and the Pak38 carriage and shield.
Alan

Michael Kenny
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Re: Pictures of T-34 wreck at Ihantala road 30/6 -44

Post by Michael Kenny » 11 Jan 2011 16:45

What stands out is the total demolition of the T34. That much damges and so low down normaly indicates a demolition charge.
Is there a clear record showing how it was destroyed and is a post knock-out destruction totaly ruled out?

UMachine
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Re: Pictures of T-34 wreck at Ihantala road 30/6 -44

Post by UMachine » 11 Jan 2011 17:12

Is that last pic altered?

Tommy R
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Re: Pictures of T-34 wreck at Ihantala road 30/6 -44

Post by Tommy R » 11 Jan 2011 17:55

Thanks Alan, you're right, It's sure is a "Mulatti", I shouldn't trust Internet captions.

As i understand it both StuGs fired at it at very close range (15meters) disabling it, and then it was hit by a panzerfaust which made the turret fly of, but I suspect that there was an internal ammo explosion as well...

I don't think the last pic is altered, its probably staged though and it's taken from an slightly different angle.

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John Hilly
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Re: Pictures of T-34 wreck at Ihantala road 30/6 -44

Post by John Hilly » 12 Jan 2011 11:25

Actually, the Pak pics are from a film. A film group happened to be there and reacted the scene so as the Pak had shot the T-34.
The Panzerfaust men came later. Sergeant Nikulassi, the first in the pic was KIA the next day.

So, the kill was all from the one StuG from 10 to 15 meters.

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Juha-Pekka :milwink:
"Die Blechtrommel trommelt noch!"

Tommy R
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Re: Pictures of T-34 wreck at Ihantala road 30/6 -44

Post by Tommy R » 12 Jan 2011 12:16

Interesting information, then I guess that the two topmost pictures are from the same filmcrew?

By the way I think the T-34 should be the one marked #2 in the below map from this
( http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... &p=1492178& ) earlier thread, or is it #1?:

Image

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John Hilly
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Re: Pictures of T-34 wreck at Ihantala road 30/6 -44

Post by John Hilly » 12 Jan 2011 12:41

Tommy R wrote:By the way I think the T-34 should be the one marked #2 in the below map from this
( viewtopic.php?f=59&t=167588&p=1492178& ) earlier thread, or is it #1?:
It's #1. It had obviously lossed its way and was returning back to Soviet front-lines.
Obviously the Finns and German StuG crews had thought it was an own one, and so it succeeded to slip throug this back-up AT-defence line and was destroyed only when coming back and defences were finally alarmed! 8O

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Juha-Pekka :milwink:
"Die Blechtrommel trommelt noch!"

Oiva
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Re: Pictures of T-34 wreck at Ihantala road 30/6 -44

Post by Oiva » 13 Jan 2011 00:42

Members and Mr. John Hilly, I enjoyed the topic and was amused that John's name was changed to the english version as was my last name when my Grandparents arrived in the USA in 1911. Regards Oiva Warvi

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Re: Pictures of T-34 wreck at Ihantala road 30/6 -44

Post by Tommy R » 13 Jan 2011 09:04

That explains why I can't see any traces of the transmission and motor since I've been looking at the wrong end of the tank... :)

This is my intepretation of the positions of the vehicles and the PAK shown in the pictures:

Image

Jagala
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Re: Pictures of T-34 wreck at Ihantala road 30/6 -44

Post by Jagala » 13 Jan 2011 11:49

Yes, you can see outhouses of the Korpela farm in this photograph:

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According to Juutilainen, the photographer at the scene was Osvald Hedenström. It was of course the first happy fact that there was a TK-photographer there. The location "safely" one kilometer behind the front line was another, as were the fire that kept burning, the presence of different types of tank-killing weapons and crews, and last but not least the spectacular manner of desctruction.


The topmost picture is "SA-kuva 155 331", "A Russian tank of the "Sotka"-type. Note the StuG in the field, the other StuG hiding in the bushes to the left and the German soldier in between."

The third picture from the top is "SA-kuva 155 334", "AT-gun and a tank destroyed by it."

The second picture from the bottom is "SA-kuva 155 431", "Finnish AT-men observe a destroyed tank as they pass it."


There are two other photographs, "SA-kuva 155 336", "The charge of a Russian "Sotka"-type tank has ended in this bend of the road", and "SA-kuva 155 429", "German StuG ("assault gun") and a tank destroyed by it burning on the road."

It can probably be deducted from the numbers that there must be more pictures featuring the destroyed tank either at close range or burning in the distance. IIRC I have seen only two; they are of the first type in "Ihantalan murskattu teräs" ("The crushed steel of Ihantala") by Eino Pohjamo, but the reproduction is of an unusually poor quality.



Juutilainen mainly makes light fun of the different and incorrect captions under the photographs in various publications. He refers to the description of the events by Pohjamo, but rather inexplicably he also mentions a Panzerfaust shot (that together with the simultaneous second shot from the StuG results in an instant blow up of the turret), but doesn't give a source, although Pohjamo (whose book is all about the men with the Fausts and the Schrecks) doesn't mention any such thing.


The tank was one of the first three that crossed a bridge that was left undestroyed (apparently because the engineers/sappers were killed by artillery fire before they managed to blow it up or because the wires had been cut). The first two advanced with their turrets pointing backwards, which led to everyone, the riflemen in the front line and the AT-men in their positions along the road to assume (in the confusion and the fog of the war) that they were friendly ones returning from combat. The first tank advanced "at road march speed" along the road, while the second tank turned left(?) (and was destroyed by a Faust shortly after the first one was killed). The crews of the StuGs were in a state of "await" and were completely surprised by the passing tank. It seems that it was at this point that it dawned to the Finns and the Germans that the tank was Russian and to the tank crew that "something was not right".

About two hundred meters after passing the StuGs the Russian tank stopped, and started to proceed back along the road, whereupon the now prepared and ready StuG shot at close range, slightly from the rear left, hitting it in the side at extreme close range. The first hit stopped the tank, which started burning. One man managed to climb out and to rush into the forest on the other side of the road just as a second hit caused an explosion, which sent the turret flying high. The turret landed upside down right next to the tank. The burning oil and grease caused a plume of smoke that was visible in the distance and for a long time. The fire consumed everything that would burn and there was no sign whatsoever left of the crew members who had remained inside the wreck.


The tankman who escaped proceeded to run back south. During his run he suddenly came upon a group of Finnish AT-men who were eating and resting. He shot one of them (who received a chest wound) with this Nagan and was about to shoot another whoi had left his weapon outside his arm's reach, but inspiration born out of desperation got the AT-man to grab a rock and throw it at the tankman, who apparently took it for a hand grenade, ducked and darted off in another direction. Soon afterwards he met with another group and he was killed in a short fire fight.

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John Hilly
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Re: Pictures of T-34 wreck at Ihantala road 30/6 -44

Post by John Hilly » 13 Jan 2011 13:38

Oiva wrote:Members and Mr. John Hilly, I enjoyed the topic and was amused that John's name was changed to the english version as was my last name when my Grandparents arrived in the USA in 1911. Regards Oiva Warvi
Thanks for joining in the discussion, :welcome: Oiva!
Mäkinen aka "Hilly" is so common surname in Finland that I took my silly translation as my nickname. I'm still a true Finn with my "Herra Mäkinen" name! :lol: :lol: :lol:
Jagala wrote:Yes, you can see outhouses of the Korpela farm in this photograph:
Thanks, Jagala! The story of the run-away crew member, the Commander perhaps, was quite new to me! :D

Best regards
John-Peter Hilly :milsmile:
"Die Blechtrommel trommelt noch!"

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