Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Erik: Continuation war infantryman

On passing over the bridge at Kivenlahti Eric said that we were entering foreign soil, and that up until the mid 50's the Russians occupied the Porkkalan peninsula. Just imagine battalions of Russian troops just 30km away from Helsinki.

He talked about "Porkkalan Blue" apparantly the Russians painted everything blue. He knew his history and told about the Hakkapeliitta whose war cry was hakkaa päälle (English: hack on or hit on; Swedish: hacka på), but most commonly translated as "Cut them down!". Even today you will hear this shouted at ice-hockey matches.

He said during the war the Russians used battle cries to encourage each other as they rushed forward, many of them drunk on vodka. Seems that going to war requires a lot of chanting, or being out of you skull with alcohol or berserk on poisonous mushrooms.

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