2017 is an important year for Finland – the 100th Anniversary of Independence. Finnish nationalism developed in the east of the country, on what is now the border with Russia, and after the country’s birth on 6th December 1917, its independence was first tested in the Winter War 1939-1940 when the Soviet Union invaded.
It’s an opportunity for historians and enthusiasts to explore the battle sites of the Winter War, including the most famous site, the Raate Road. There are a couple of tour operators that I’m aware of, who have put together special battlefield tours in the area.
Finland-based Wild Taiga will be visiting Suomussalmi, the Raate Road, the current border, and battlefield sites around Kuhmo. Their 5-day itinerary will cost around 950 Euros (£822) per person depending on the size of the group (5-30).
UK-based Regent Holidays will be operating a 5-day Frozen Hell tour visiting the same area from £1285 per person (including flights from the UK). They named their tour after the American writer William R Trotter’s novel of the same name.
Photo: Finnish soldiers inspecting an abandoned Soviet T-26 at Raate. January 1940 – Public domain.