17.4.2018

Some wagons...

                                 Mikkeli (city and province) and Tankhill 

                      
                               Kockum Landswerk

I hope these links worked

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f5/T-28_tank_in_Mikkeli_20130531_001.jpg

http://www.heppu.jossain.com/jalbum/museot/Mikkeli/Panssarikumpare/index.html

                      
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Parola Armory Museum, some new shelters

Panssarimuseo /  Parola Tank Museum

                      Henkilön Parolan Panssarimuseo - The Armour Museum in Finland - Pansarmuseet kuva.

14.4.2018

Armenian Battalion

The 812th There were a number of other units that Armenians also served in aside from the 812th Battalion, their total number, according to Joris Versteeg, reaching 33,000. Of these, 14,000 were placed in field battalions, while another 7,000 served in logistical and other non-combat units. Ailsby puts the number of Armenians in "the legions and replacement battalions" closer to 11,600.  
The other units included:
808th Battalion
Formed in July 1942 in Poland . Consisted of 916 Armenians and 41 Germans. Participated in the battles in the area of Tuapse . In October 1942, the battalion was disarmed and reformed into road construction.
809th Battalion "Zeytun"
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Armenische Legion oli natsi-Saksan puolella toisessa maailmansodassa taistellut armenialaisista koottu pataljoona joka koostui lähinnä sotavangeiksi jääneistä neuvostosotilaista. Pataljoonaa johti Drastamat Kanayan. Pataljoonan joukoilla oli SS-koulutus. Legioona aloitti toimintansa 1942 ja se lopetettiin kesäkuun 8. 1944.

Armenialainen pataljoona koottiin noin 18 000 armenialaisesta vangiksi jääneestä sotilaasta. Halukkaita riitti sillä armeijapalveluksen vaihtoehtona oli huonomaineiset saksalaiset sotavankileirit. Pataljoonan johtoon tuli ensimmäisen maailmansodan jälkeen Yhdysvaltoihin paenneita armenialaisia sotaveteraaneja.

Legioona otti osaa Saksan armeijan Kaukasuksen offensiiviin. Kuten muutkin vapaaehtoiset yksiköt, he taistelivat lähinnä partisaaneja vastaan. Armenialaiset olivat natseja myötämielisempiä juutalaisia kohtaan ja auttoivat juutalaisia sotavankeja karkuun saksalaisilta. Hitler ei luottanut vapaaehtoisiin yksiköihin joten monet niistä lähetettiin länsirintamalle, armenialaiset joutuivat Belgiaan ja Alankomaihin. 
Sodan lopussa he antautuivat länsiliittoutuneille jotka luovuttivat heidät Neuvostoliittoon. 
Neuvostoliitossa he joutuivat sotavankileireille joissa monet kuolivat.
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Formed on 29 August 1942 in Poland. Consisted of 913 Armenians and 45 Germans. Part of the 128th Grenadier Regiment, 48th Infantry Division. Commander was Hermann Becker. On 18 November 1942, was sent to join operations in the Caucasus. Participated in the battles in the areas of Nalchik , Mozdok , Kuban and the Battle of the Kerch Peninsula . Later served in the Netherlands, and on 16 October 1943 the battalion arrived in Belgium.

From 29 November to 20 December 1943, the battalion conducted training exercises at the training ground in Sissonne. On 8 January 1944, it was moved to South Beveland and occupied a defensive line for the defense of the Atlantic Wall. The number of all personnel at the beginning of February 1944 the year was 844, consisting of 792 Armenians.
The battalion was transferred to Normandy in August 1944, where as a result of the Allied Operation Overlord ceased to exist due to large losses.

810th Battalion
Formed in 1942 in Poland.

812th Engineering Battalion
Began organization on 25 November 1942 and was finally formed on 1 February 1943 in the city of Puławy , Poland. The battalion service in the Polish city of Radom . It was relocated on 10 March 1943 to the Netherlands in order to strengthen the defense capability of the Atlantic Wall and was placed near the town of Bergen op Zoom . The battalion had its own priest and the ability to carrying out religious activities. 
Strictly in accordance with the Armenian calendar, the battalion observed Christian holidays and baptisms were held.

813th Battalion
Formed in February 1943 in Poland. Served on protecting the Atlantic Wall.

814th Battalion
Formed in the summer of 1943 in Poland.

815th Battalion
Formed in August 1943 in Poland.

816th Battalion
Formed in late 1943 in Poland.

I / 125 Battalion
Formed in February 1943 in Ukraine.  Was transferred to the Western Front to defend the south of France, located 30 kilometers north of the city of Marseille, near the town of Aix-en-Provence.

I / 198 Battalion
Formed in September 1942 in the Ukraine. Was transferred to the Western Front to defend the south of France, located on the south-west of Toulon.

II / 9 Battalion
Formed in September 1942 in the Ukraine. Was transferred to the Western Front to defend the south of France, located in the small town of Hyères , in the direction of Saint-Tropez by the coast. (German: Armenische Legion; Armenian: Հայկական լեգիոն Haykakan legion), also known as the Armenian Legion , was a military unit in the German Army during World War II . It primarily consisted of Soviet Armenians , who had been taken prisoner by the Nazis, and commanded by General Drastamat Kanayan.

The Israeli scholar Yair Auron has noted that Turkish nationalist efforts to thwart recognition of the Armenian Genocide have resulted in the dissemination of various Turkish propaganda publications in regard to the Armenian Legion, aimed at portraying Armenians in negative light.

The short-lived Republic of Armenia , established in 1918, was conquered by the Russian Bolsheviks in 1920 and incorporated shortly after into the Soviet Union. This was something which members of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF; Dashnaks) political party never reconciled themselves with, as many of them were imprisoned, killed, or expelled by Soviet authorities following the Soviet takeover.

In 1942, in order to fight Turkey's anti-Armenian politicking, a number of Dashnaks entered into negotiations with Berlin, and reluctantly agreed to participate in the formation of a military legion. This was a move, however, that was officially repudiated by ARF party organs. 

The majority of the soldiers in the 812th Battalion legion were drawn from the ranks of the Red Army , prisoners of war who had opted to fight for the German Army rather than face the brutal conditions of the Nazi POW camps, [6] though a number of Armenian veterans who had escaped to the United States after World War I also came back to Europe to join it. Command of the unit was given to a former Defense Minister of Armenia , General Drastamat Kanayan (Dro). Kanayan was among the minority in the legion who volunteered, under the hope of freeing Soviet Armenia from the control of Moscow. 

French genocide scholar Yves Ternon, who has studied the battalion, suggests that while there were no "substantial" fascistic inclinations among the Armenians in general, Kanayan was an exception. Ternon characterized Dro as possessive of substantial "fascist deviation.
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Through the span of active service, the 812th Battalion participated in the occupation of the Crimean Peninsula and the North Caucasus . One unit comprising a part of the Armenian Legion, was the 4th Battalion of the 918th Grenadier Regiment, 242 Infanterie-Division, one of the few Eastern Legion units to be given German insignia after March 18, 1944. The battalion participated in the unsuccessful defense of Toulon.

At the end of the war, morale among the men in the unit began to collapse many in the legion deserted or defected.  Hans Houterman reported that in one case a battalion in the Netherlands where the legion was stationed even revolted. Many men surrendered to the Western Allied forces . If not detained by them, they were turned over to Soviet authorities who, in accordance with an order proclaimed by Joseph Stalin , sent them to camps in Siberia as punishment for surrendering to Axis forces and "allowing themselves to be captured," a fate suffered by nearly all of the former Soviet prisoners of the war. 

It is interesting to note that several Jewish Red Army POWs were saved by some of the Armenians in the Legion and there were several instances of Jews being sent to the battalion to evade detection by the Nazis. Josef Moisevich Kogan, a Red Army soldier captured by the Germans, for example, stated that he received help by an Armenian doctor in the 812th Battalion when he was sneaked into the battalion itself, later escaping with the help of Dutch underground. Other examples included Jews being sent to the battalion to evade detection by the Nazis. 

Nazi perspective 
In spite of Nazi Germany acknowledging the Armenians as an Aryan people, Adolf Hitler personally did not trust them,  and as a result the Armenian battalion was mainly stationed in the Netherlands. Speaking about military units from Soviet peoples, Hitler said: "I don't know about these Georgians. They do not belong to the Turkic peoples...I consider only the moslims to be reliable...All others I deem unreliable. For the time being I consider the formation of these battalions of purely Caucasian peoples very risky, while I don't see any danger in the establishment of purely Moslim units...In spite of all declarations from Rosenberg and the military, I don't trust the Armenians either."


Minister of the Occupied Territories and Racial Theorist Alfred Rosenberg declared that the Armenians were Indo-European , or Aryans , and thus they were immediately subject to conscription. According to Versteeg, however, "Although Armenians officially were considered 'Aryans', the notion of them being 'Levantine traders', similar to the Jews, was deep-seated in Nazi circles, and racial 'purists' along with Hitler himself were prone to look upon the Armenians as 'non-Aryans.'" 
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There were a number of other units that Armenians also served in aside from the 812th Battalion, their total number, according to Joris Versteeg, reaching 33,000. Of these, 14,000 were placed in field battalions, while another 7,000 served in logistical and other non-combat units. Ailsby puts the number of Armenians in "the legions and replacement battalions" closer to 11,600.  

The other units included:
808th Battalion
Formed in July 1942 in Poland . Consisted of 916 Armenians and 41 Germans. Participated in the battles in the area of Tuapse . In October 1942, the battalion was disarmed and reformed into road construction.
809th Battalion "Zeytun"

Formed on 29 August 1942 in Poland. Consisted of 913 Armenians and 45 Germans. Part of the 128th Grenadier Regiment, 48th Infantry Division. Commander was Hermann Becker. On 18 November 1942, was sent to join operations in the Caucasus . Participated in the battles in the areas of Nalchik , Mozdok , Kuban and the Battle of the Kerch Peninsula . Later served in the Netherlands , and on 16 October 1943 the battalion arrived in Belgium.

From 29 November to 20 December 1943, the battalion conducted training exercises at the training ground in Sissonne . On 8 January 1944, it was moved to South Beveland and occupied a defensive line for the defense of the Atlantic Wall . The number of all personnel at the beginning of February 1944 the year was 844, consisting of 792 Armenians.
The battalion was transferred to Normandy in August 1944, where as a result of the Allied Operation Overlord ceased to exist due to large losses.

810th Battalion
Formed in 1942 in Poland.

812th Engineering Battalion
Began organization on 25 November 1942 and was finally formed on 1 February 1943 in the city of Puławy , Poland. The battalion service in the Polish city of Radom . It was relocated on 10 March 1943 to the Netherlands in order to strengthen the defense capability of the Atlantic Wall and was placed near the town of Bergen op Zoom . The battalion had its own priest and the ability to carrying out religious activities. 
Strictly in accordance with the Armenian calendar, the battalion observed Christian holidays and baptisms were held.

813th Battalion
Formed in February 1943 in Poland. Served on protecting the Atlantic Wall .

814th Battalion
Formed in the summer of 1943 in Polannd.

815th Battalion
Formed in August 1943 in Poland.

816th Battalion
Formed in late 1943 in Poland.

I / 125 Battalion
Formed in February 1943 in Ukraine . Was transferred to the Western Front to defend the south of France, located 30 kilometers north of the city of Marseille , near the town of Aix-en-Provence .

I / 198 Battalion
Formed in September 1942 in the Ukraine. Was transferred to the Western Front to defend the south of France, located on the south-west of Toulon .

II / 9 Battalion

Formed in September 1942 in the Ukraine. Was transferred to the Western Front to defend the south of France, located in the small town of Hyères , in the direction of Saint-Tropez by the coast.

10.4.2018

Vasily Blokhin

Vasily Mikhailovich Blokhin ( Russian: Васи́лий Миха́йлович Блохи́н; 7 January 1895 – 3 February 1955) was a Soviet Russian Major-General who served as the chief executioner of the Stalinist NKVD under the administrations of Genrikh Yagoda, Nikolai Yezhov, and Lavrentiy Beria.

Hand-picked for the position by Joseph Stalin in 1926, Blokhin led a company of executioners that performed and supervised numerous mass executions during Stalin's reign, mostly during the Great Purge and World War II. 

He is recorded as having executed tens of thousands of prisoners by his own hand, including his killing of about 7,000 Polish prisoners of war during the Katyn massacre in spring 1940,  making him the most prolific official executioner and mass murderer in recorded world history. 

Forced into retirement following the death of Stalin, Blokhin died in 1955, officially reported as a suicide.

Blokhin's most infamous act was the April 1940 execution by shooting of about 7,000 Polish prisoners interned in the Ostashkov prisoner of war camp in the Katyn forest. The majority were military and police officers who had been captured following the Soviet invasion of Poland in 1939. (The event's infamy also stems from the Stalin regime's orchestration of the murders and subsequent propaganda campaign in order to blame Nazi Germany for the massacres.)
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In fact, Katyn did not have a camp. Victims (about 4,400) were delivered from Kozelks monastery, which served in war prison camp.

The camp was supposed to be suddenly empty because Stalin's idea and purpose was planned bring Finland, the new customers to the camp and same destiny's 

This was Stalin's idea and purpose that was not realized, immediately after Winter War's
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In 1990, as part of Glasnost, Gorbachev gave the Polish government the files on the massacres at Katyn, Starobelsk and Kalinin (now Tver), revealing Stalin's involvement. Based on the 4 April secret order from Stalin to NKVD Chief Lavrentiy Beria (as well as NKVD Order № 00485 , which still applied), the executions were carried out over 28 consecutive nights at the specially constructed basement execution chamber at the NKVD headquarters in Kalinin, and were assigned, by name, directly to Blokhin, making him the official executioner of the NKVD. 

Blokhin initially decided on an ambitious quota of 300 executions per night; and engineered an efficient system in which the prisoners were individually led to a small antechamber —which had been painted red and was known as the "Leninist room"—for a brief and cursory positive identification, before being handcuffed and led into the execution room next door. The room was specially designed with padded walls for soundproofing, a sloping concrete floor with a drain and hose, and a log wall for the prisoners to stand against. Blokhin would stand waiting behind the door in his executioner garb: a leather butcher's apron, leather hat, and shoulder-length leather gloves. 

                      Kuvahaun tulos haulle German Walther Model 2 .25 ACP pistol 1938
                                           Walther P-38 / 9mm
                     
                      Kuvahaun tulos haulle German Walther Model 2 .25 ACP pistol
                                        Walther model 9 / cal 2.25 acp.

Then, without a hearing, the reading of a sentence or any other formalities, each prisoner was brought in and restrained by guards while Blokhin shot him once in the base of the skull with a German Walther Model 2.25 ACP pistol. He had brought a briefcase full of his own Walther pistols, since he did not trust the reliability of the standard-issue Soviet TT-30 for the frequent, heavy use he intended. ....
The use of a German pocket pistol, which was commonly carried by German police and intelligence agents, also provided plausible deniability of the executions if the bodies were discovered later.

An estimated 30 local NKVD agents, guards and drivers were pressed into service to escort prisoners to the basement, confirm identification, then remove the bodies and hose down the blood after each execution. Although some of the executions were carried out by Senior Lieutenant of State Security Andrei Rubanov, Blokhin was the primary executioner and, true to his reputation, liked to work continuously and rapidly without interruption. In keeping with NKVD policy and the overall "wet" nature of the operation, the executions were conducted at night, starting at dark and continuing until just prior to dawn. 
The bodies were continuously loaded onto covered flat-bed trucks through a back door in the execution chamber and trucked, twice a night, to Mednoye , where Blokhin had arranged for a bulldozer and two NKVD drivers to dispose of bodies at an unfenced site. Each night, 24–25 trenches, measuring eight to 10 meters (24.3 to 32.8 feet) total, were dug to hold that night's corpses, and each trench was covered up before dawn. 


Blokhin and his team worked without pause for 10 hours each night, with Blokhin executing an average of one prisoner every three minutes. At the end of the night, Blokhin provided vodka to all his men. On 27 April 1940, Blokhin secretly received the Order of the Red Banner and a modest monthly pay premium as a reward from Joseph Stalin for his "skill and organization in the effective carrying out of special tasks". 

His count of 7,000 shot in 28 days remains the most organized and protracted mass murder by a single individual on record, and saw him being named the Guinness World Record holder for 'Most Prolific Executioner' in 2010. 

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Vasili Mihailovitš Blohin (7. tammikuuta 1895 – 3. helmikuuta 1955) oli neuvostoliittolainen kenraalimajuri, joka toimi NKVD:n pääteloittajana Stalinin vainojen ja toisen maailmansodan aikana. 

Hänen on arvioitu ampuneen omakätisesti 7 000 puolalaista sotavankia Katynin joukkomurhassa ja ehkä useita tuhansia muita Neuvostoliiton sisäisissä puhdistuksissa. 

Blohin on Guinnessin ennätystenkirjan mukaan kaikkien aikojen tuotteliain pyöveli. Hän on eniten yksitellen tehtyjä murhia toteuttanut henkilö maailmanhistoriassa.

Tunnettuja Blohinin ampumia ihmisiä olivat Moskovan näytösoikeudenkäynneissä tuomitut korkea-arvoiset neuvostojohtajat sekä marsalkka Mihail Tuhatševski. Samoin Blohinin entiset esimiehet Genrih Jagoda ja Nikolai Ježov heidän menetettyään asemansa.
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Itse Katynissä ei ollut leiriä. Uhrit (noin 4400) toimitettiin Kozelskissa sijaitsevasta luostarista joka toimi sotavanki leirinä.

Kozelskin leiri oli saatava nopeasti tyhjäksi koska leirille oli tarkoitus tuoda uusia vankeja Suomesta talvisodan jälkeen. Tämä oli Stalinin tarkoitus joka ei toteutunut
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Stalinin kuoleman ja Nikita Hruštšovin valtaannousun jälkeen Blohin erotettiin nopeasti kaikista tehtävistään ja hänen sotilasarvonsa julistettiin menetetyksi. Hän alkoholisoitui vakavasti.

Virallisen tiedon mukaan Blohin teki itsemurhan vuonna 1955.
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Blokhin, born into a peasant family on 7 January 1895, served in the Imperial Russian Army during World War I , and joined the Soviet state security agency Cheka in March 1921. Though records are scant, he was evidently noted for both his pugnaciousness and his mastery of what Joseph Stalin termed chernaya rabota (" wetwork *, or literally, "black work"): assassinations, torture, intimidation, and executions conducted clandestinely. Once he gained Stalin's attention, he was quickly promoted and within six years was appointed the head of the purposefully created Kommandatura Branch of the Administrative Executive Department of the NKVD. This branch was a company-sized element created by Stalin specifically for wetwork. Headquartered at the Lubyanka in Moscow , its members were all approved by Stalin and took their orders directly from him, a fact that ensured the unit's longevity despite three bloody purges of the NKVD.
Vasily Blokhin

Chief Executioner and Commander
Kommandatura Branch
Main Administrative-Economic Department, Moscow Oblast
People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs (NKVD)
In office
1926–1952
Personal details
BornVasily Mikhailovich Blokhin 
Василий Михайлович Блохин
7 January 1895
Suzdal , Vladimir Governorate , Russian Empire
Died3 February 1955 (aged 60) [1]
Moscow , Russian SFSR , Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
NationalityRussian
Political partyCommunist Party of the Soviet Union
AwardsOrder of Lenin ribbon bar.png Order redstar rib.png Order badge of honor rib.png Order gpw1 rib.png
Orderredbannerlabor rib.png Order of Red Banner ribbon bar.png Order of Red Banner ribbon bar.png

As senior executioner, Blokhin had the official title of commandant of the internal prison at the Lubyanka, which allowed him to carry out his duties with a minimum of scrutiny and no official paperwork. Although most of the estimated 828,000 NKVD executions conducted in Stalin's lifetime were performed by local Chekists in concert with NKVD troikas, mass executions were overseen by specialist executioners from the Kommandantura. In addition to overseeing the mass executions, Blokhin personally pulled the trigger in all of the individual high-profile executions conducted in the Soviet Union during his tenure,  including those of the Old Bolsheviks convicted at the Moscow Show Trials; Marshal of the Soviet Union Mikhail Tukhachevsky (convicted at a secret trial); and two of the three fallen NKVD Chiefs (Genrikh Yagoda in 1938 and Nikolai Yezhov in 1940) he had once served. He was awarded the Badge of Honor for his service in 1937. 

Blokhin was forcibly retired in 1953 following Stalin's death that March, although his "irreproachable service" was publicly noted by Beria at the time of his departure.
After Beria's fall from power in June of the same year, Blokhin's rank was stripped from him in the de-Stalinization campaigns of Nikita Khrushchev . He reportedly sank into alcoholism , went insane, and died on 3 February 1955, with the official cause of death listed as "suicide". 


Vasily Blokhin was married to Natalia Aleksandrovna Blokhina (1901–1967), and had a son, Nikolai Vasilievich Baranov (1916–1998).