22 AUGUST 1941, SAINIO, SOUTH OF VIIPURI, KARELIAN ISTHMUS
The Finnish attack of the 1941 has started with multiple thrusts at Northern and Central Finland. However the main attack on the Karelian Isthmus has been delayed for several days. The Karelian Isthmus operation started on August 22 with the 4th Finnish Corps' attack on Viipuri. Viipuri was the second biggest city in Finland before the Winter War and had been ceded to the Soviets in the 1940 Moscow peace treaty. Finnish command sent the 8th Division to the Russian left flank over the frozen surface of the Gulf of Viipuri, while JR25 and the 4th Divisions attacked the town from North. Russian command's reaction to the Finnish movement was slow. Finnish troops had already established strong bridgeheads by the time Russians realized the dangerous situation caused by the 8th Division's movement on their coastal left flank.
The 123rd Rifle Division was ordered to abandon Viipuri and retreat Southwards to escape the trap. However the retreat order was late and Finnish troops had time to set roadblocks on the roads South of Viipuri. The Finnish attempt to isolate three Russian Divisions near Viipuri was almost complete. Leading elements of the 123rd Rifle Division encountered a Finnish roadblock at Sainio. Russian commander immediately launched an attack on the Finnish positions before they bring more reinforcements.