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Author, film researcher and member of the Swedish Military History Commission.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Petsamo Front Bunkers Today

Highlights from a summer of 2011 offroad/battlefield trip on the former Petsamo Front in northernmost Russia.

I have no connection with the company behind the above video and thus cannot endorse their trips, but it is evident that they can take foreign tourists - in this case Swedes - to some amazing places on the Kola Peninsula.

The main goal of the tour is the former Petsamo (after 1944 Pechenga) Front or Eismeerfront, the northernmost stretch of the WWII Eastern Front.

I recognize several locations in the film. Many roads are German built and I have myself been inside the bunker that has an inscription that proclaims "TOD DEM FEIND", i.e. "death to the enemy" and "2. GEB. DIV." = 2nd German Army Mountain Division. We also see some coastal artillery I have not visited, I reckon it is Soviet 1950s.

I am not able to make out the German unit insignia visible at, 3:50. Can you?

You should watch this video in large format because the landscapes are just awesome.

Remember, WWII battlefield trips are risky even if you take many precautions. Do not pick up anything that even remotely looks like ammunition. E.g. German antitank mines are still very lethal.

BTW I just found this other video about recent finds around Rajakoski in the southern part of the former Petsamo area, now Pechenga:

Friday, December 23, 2011

Swedish-based Marder III

The caption states it is "real restored" but actually this very convincing Marder III is the result of a conversion project.

An Englishman has done what I once imagined could be done, back in the 1980s. It is Mr. Alan Swatman who has converted a Swedish/Czech tank m/41 into a German Marder III tank destroyer.

I learnt this from the latest issue (December 2011) of that most excellent British military vehicle journal, Classic Military Vehicle.

On the one hand it is obviously a successful conversion, using also a genuine Pak 40 AT gun. On the other hand there are very, very few Swedish m/41s around. Well, perhaps the information on the web I have found is not quite correct in stating an m/41? I suspect that what Mr. Swatman converted was in fact a pbv 301, i.e. an armoured personnel carrier based on the m/41 tank. Perhaps someone reading this can confirm my suspicion?

Friday, December 09, 2011

Blood Road, Arctic WWII Documentary

The first WWII documentary film I worked on, by providing research, was released in 2000. It has now gone online with English subtitles, and can be seen via the above links.

The subtitles appear more clearly if you watch not the small version above but instead click on the above link to the site Cultureunplugged.

It all started with film director Gunilla G. Bresky who saw a photo of one starved man in Arctic Norway. She started to look for him, but she found a hundred thousand. They were Soviet prisoners of war, forced to build Hitler’s Arctic Railway, parts of which remains in service today. For those who survived, a new shock was waiting back home.

What I like most about the film is the indefatigable spirit of the ex-prisoners, the landscapes and that I believe Gunilla, against all odds, succeeded in identifying the man it all started with.