Battle of Bengtskär

The Battle of Bengtskär was an amphibious landing action fought between Finnish and Soviet forces on 26 July 1941 during the Continuation War.

Battle of Bengtskär
Part of Continuation War
Bengtskärin majakka vuonna 1941.jpg
Bengtskär Lighthouse in 1941
Date26 July 1941
Location
Result Finnish victory
Belligerents
 Finland  Soviet Union
Commanders and leaders
Lieutenant Fred Luther First Lieutenant Kurilov
Units involved
2 gunboats

41 men (garrison)
10 MO-class patrol boats

31-100 men (landing party)
Casualties and losses
31 killed, 45 wounded 1 patrol boat sunk

31-60 killed, 24-29 prisoners

BattleEdit

Soviet landing troops made a surprise attack on the skerry of Bengtskär with the goal to blow up the lighthouse situated on the skerry so that it would not disturb Soviet military operations. Finnish troops situated on the skerry managed to defend the lighthouse and eventually drove the Soviets back with the help of support troops.[1] The landing was made with four MO-class patrol boats, while another 6 boats were later dispatched to retrieve the Soviet forces once it was clear the demolition attempt had failed. Finnish gunboats Uusimaa and Hämeenmaa engaged the Soviets, with Uusimaa sinking the patrol boat PK-238 with gunfire.[2]

ResultsEdit

The battle resulted in a Finnish victory, due to the intervention of the gunboats. 16 Soviet sailors were saved and captured from the sinking PK-238, while another 13 were captured on the Island. Some Soviet soldiers committed suicide with hand-grenades. Finnish estimates puts Soviet losses at 60 killed (40 of them on land), while Finnish suffered a loss of 16 men in the garrison and 4 men on the ships, while the next day a Soviet aerial bombing killed another 11 men waiting to be evacuated.[3] Soviet sources report that the landing party consisted of only 31 men: casualties were 31 killed (including 8 sailors) and 24 prisoners (including 16 sailors).[4]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "History". Archived from the original on 20 July 2011. Retrieved 3 January 2012.
  2. ^ "Battle of BengtskÄr". Archived from the original on 16 April 2018. Retrieved 29 March 2018.
  3. ^ "Battle of BengtskÄr". Archived from the original on 16 April 2018. Retrieved 29 March 2018.
  4. ^ "The fight against lighthouse Bengtskär (Russian)". Archived from the original on 6 April 2018. Retrieved 5 April 2018.