Encounter at Kotajarvi - Winter War
Encounter at KotajarviBy Ozgur Budak
0 - 0 - 2
|Second Side:||Red Army|
12 DECEMBER 1939, WESTERN SHORE OF LAKE KOTAJARVI, UOMAA ROAD: The strong Russian advance on the Eastern side of Lake Ladoga was a nasty surprise for the Finnish command that didn't expect a full corps with armor in the area. Russians advanced with two rifle divisions as spearheads. The 168th Rifle Division turned westwards to the shore of Ladoga and reached Kitila, while the 18th Rifle Division moved towards Lake Syskyjarvi. Russian command left the 97th Rifle Regiment along the eastern part of the road network to defend the vital supply line between Lemetti and Uomaa. At this point, Major General Hägglund's IV. Corps launched their planned counterattack to isolate the advancing Russian formations. The Finnish 13rd Division committed its 6 battalions to the attack. Finnish command sent a large group (Group Autti) against the Russian rear with a wide flanking movement in the wilderness East of Lake Kotajarvi. At the same point, another formation (JR38) was to attack the Uomaa Road through the Western shores of the Lake Kotajarvi, thus cutting the logistical lines of the huge enemy formations at Northwest. On December 12th, the III. Battalion of the 38th Regiment made contact with elements of the Soviet 97th Rifle Regiment on the western side of Lake Kotajärvi. Finnish troops immediately launched their attack against the Russian roadblock.