Photo Archives: Finnish Wars of 1939-1945

In “Photo Archives” Bird In Flight explores interesting photo archives on the Web. In today's column — Finnish military photos from 1939-1945.

Last year, on the eve of Veterans Day, the Ministry of Defense of Finland published more than 160,000 photos from the Winter War of 1939-1940, the Continuation War of 1941-1944 and the Lapland War (between Finland and Germany, September 1944 – April 1945).

The photos depict the everyday life of a soldier, the destruction of bombing, the military industry, as well as life on the home front — in particular, harvesting, family portraits, boxing and football matches, and weddings.

In 1941, the Finnish General Staff founded nine news agencies that employed about 150 photographers working on the front. Many of their pictures appeared in the press, but most were never published. Digitizing the film took the photo department of the Finnish Defense Forces three and a half years. In 2014, the archive was updated — 800 more pictures and videos have appeared, including news stories 1940-1944.

Visitors to the site can edit the descriptions of photos and leave comments (there are already more than 10,000). For example, some seek to identify the places, equipment and people in the pictures. In August, the site became part of the national service, a project of the National Digital Library, initiated by the Ministry of Education and Culture of Finland.

The archive search is only in Finnish, so non-Finnish speakers can sort by date or category (Winter War, Continuation War, Lapland War). The oldest pictures in the archive are dated January 1939, the last — November 1945.

{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/fin_03.jpg”, “alt”: “The SA Photo Archive 03”, “text”: “Anti-aircraft artillery fire, 1943.”}

{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/fin_02.jpg”, “alt”: “The SA Photo Archive 02”, “text”: “Crossing the Simo river, 1944.”}

{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/fin_04.jpg”, “alt”: “The SA Photo Archive 04”, “text”: “Air surveillance of the Lutto river, 1942. “}

{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/fin_05.jpg”, “alt”: “The SA Photo Archive 05”, “text”: “Nurmoyla airport, 1943.”}

{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/fin_06.jpg”, “alt”: “The SA Photo Archive 06”, “text”: “Parade in Vyborg, 1941.”}

{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/fin_07.jpg”, “alt”: “The SA Photo Archive 07”, “text”: “Skiing, 1942.”}

{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/fin_08.jpg”, “alt”: “The SA Photo Archive 08”, “text”: “Räisälä, 1939.”}

{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/fin_09.jpg”, “alt”: “The SA Photo Archive 09”, “text”: “Summa, 1939.”}

{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/fin_10.jpg”, “alt”: “The SA Photo Archive 10”, “text”: “Karelian Isthmus, 1939.”}

{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/fin_11.jpg”, “alt”: “The SA Photo Archive 11”, “text”: “Watchman. Summa, 1939.”}

{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/fin_12.jpg”, “alt”: “The SA Photo Archive 12”, “text”: “Lavajärvi, 1940.”}

{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/fin_13.jpg”, “alt”: “The SA Photo Archive 13”, “text”: “Vyborg, 1939.”}

{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/fin_14.jpg”, “alt”: “The SA Photo Archive 14”, “text”: “Helsinki, 1939.”}

{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/fin_15.jpg”, “alt”: “The SA Photo Archive 15”, “text”: “Kuolemajärvi (now Pionerskoe village, Leningradskaya Oblast), 1939.”}

{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/fin_16.jpg”, “alt”: “The SA Photo Archive 16”, “text”: “February, 1940.”}

{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/fin_17.jpg”, “alt”: “The SA Photo Archive 17”, “text”: “Heinjoki (now Veshevo village, Leningradskaya Oblast), 1939.”}

{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/fin_18.jpg”, “alt”: “The SA Photo Archive 18”, “text”: “Kannus, 1939.”}

{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/fin_19.jpg”, “alt”: “The SA Photo Archive 19”, “text”: “Tour of Karelian Isthmus. Kannus, 1939.”}

{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/fin_20.jpg”, “alt”: “The SA Photo Archive 20”, “text”: “October, 1939.”}

{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/fin_21.jpg”, “alt”: “The SA Photo Archive 21”, “text”: “Evacuees in Kotka and Heinola, 1939.”}

{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/fin_22.jpg”, “alt”: “The SA Photo Archive 22”, “text”: “Vyborg, 1939.”}

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