British bombers arrive in Finland


Blenheim light bomber of the RAF being towed away by horses after landing on the frozen Jukajärvi lake, near Juva village, Finland, 25 Feb 1940

Andrew Croft, a noted Polar Explorer, had been sent with Malcolm Munthe to liaise with the Finnish army and co-ordinate the supply of British equipment. He was based in the Norwegian port of Bergen for most of the time, arranging the onward shipment of munitions by rail to Finland:

Britain’s supplies to Finland in weapons and war material included one hundred and forty-four aircraft, of which twenty-four were bombers; some Lysanders which could land on a flat area about forty yards long, as well as aircraft such as the Gloucester Gladiator to which skis could easily be attached. There was a large quantity of hand-grenades, anti-tank rifles and machine-guns, as well as a considerable number of howitzers and field guns. Altogether ten ships, most of them Finnish, passed through my hands in Bergen; there may have been additional ships when I was recalled to England for a month. The very large number of rifles which we supplied were all of .303 calibre, equivalent to 7-7 mm. The German calibre of rifle which the Finns had adopted was 7-6 mm. The Finns filed down much of our ammunition to fit their own rifles; many of them were specialists in squirrel shooting and during the war they shot to kill as usual. They were also expert in forest warfare and in due course were to train the Germans, but without the success expected since the Germans were never attuned to such an individual role.

See Andrew Croft: A Talent for Adventure

Earlier in the war:

Later in the war: