Alternative re-entry of the Winter War volunteers .------

Counterfactual discourse or WHAT IF-study. .Historian Max Jacobsen wrote: "Many a modern day Byron on skies voluntarily appeared on the battleground, and though only a few* were at the frontline, in most western countries there are men, who with a little drop of sadness think of Finland as the one country they nearly did die for." Trotter, da. ed. p. 338.

Danes of the Winter War: 1018 danes volunteered for active duty in the Finnish Army, mostly army officers and men and a dozen military pilots. The Danish Finland-Volunteers Battalion was formed in Oulu, neighbourghing the American Volunteers Battalion**. The force was partly finances by the Danish Finland Volunteers Society: Per-man equipment sums to Finland and travel. Prime contributors and negotiator facing a most reluctant danish government: The Copenhagen businessman H.P.Daehl (Daehls Varehus) and the shipowner, A.P.Møller (Now Mærsk). When after three month of hard fighting, 25.000 finns killed, 200.000 russsian, and finnish army reserves zero, by March 1. and 2., the colonel commanding the danish force was asked to commit two rifle coys (the Americans were asked for one coy) - he said no: The force still needed weapons... This turning down caused anger in all levels of the force. The finns had to sign a grim peace-treaty by March 12. 1940. Expecting fighting to break out again, they asked the danes to stay and moved the force south.

Some 300 left during the week after the peace-treaty, among them the first CO (Battalion strengh by March 13th note 3 bottom). And some returned, when Denmark hersef was attacked by the Nazi-Germany on April 9. 1940. Cabinet"") Decision not to fight except for a symbolic couple of hours became a rough turn to the force (note 4). - Our source fifty years later left it to his listeners to do the experimental thinking by themselves: - 600 danes under arms and ready but 500 nautical miles away: What if you had been there yourself?

This idea (source, see top front) of the early hours of Apr. 10th 1940 orbited among officers of the battalion. (This website do not discuss the history of individuals in any way of which some had nazi-sympaties, others certainly not) The scope of this "wargame" is to point out, that even this small force fighting the nazi-german invasion had served as an "eye-opener".

"Why not retake Bornholm! - The finns recon our rigth to go. This force is capable of taking out the one german regiment there."

I. NOW, WHAT IF... OUTLINE... WHAT-IF" games are fiction.

Instant allied co-operation - TWO FRENCH destroyers visiting Helsinki got a SIGNAL D'ACTION from Amiral d'Escadre Skagerrak (Quai d'Orsay consent) to take
Le Corps Danois 440 nautical miles to Bornholm, Denmark, and land it. FACT: April 1940 french PM Paul Renaud was one prime-mover combating Nazi-Germany.

The two Torpilleurs (700 tons depl) each embarked one reinforced jaeger compagny, six Nimbus motorcycles and three Morris C8 Quads#. HQ, B-coy and Support with six Ford 1937 buses, ten Morris C8 Quads (with 26 two-wheel ex-artillery 1-ton trailers ready-loaded), two 1936 Ford Radio (ex-police) cars, one GMC and one Ford ambulance, two Triangel wood
log trucks, three heavy mortars, 92 bicycles, 12 tons of rifle ammunition (37.200 7.62 rounds), 406 mortar bombs, 182 mines, 4 field radios (52 pounds a piece), signals, medical and
eng. equipment reached Gudhjem South Harbour with the S/S JOHN VUORINEN, 1.762 TDW ice-steamer (from the war locked Aalborg Atlantic Shipowners AS), gunsmiths, nurses and welldrillers with an Indiana ex air field fire truck (a new minelaying tech), 4.000 field rations, 40.000 cigarettes and 18 tons of petrol. Resourceful local resistance, met by one female agent in due time flown in at night to an air strib east of Klemensker, found a 1937 Ford Bakers Van, a Berliet log wood crane and a Triangel Bus refurbished for RAIL^ service.

(Jaeger coy.: fi. army vocabulary: Fast-moving rifle-coy. with bikes or skies)

The picture below of april 1945, somewhere in Sweden, shows a group of danish resistance fighters doing a Ground Battle Update Course, to be ready for battles in the open with the german occupation forces in Denmark. The men wearing the outfit used by the "DANFORCE" by 1944-45. Danish Army Brigade in Sweden, formed after agreement with Sweden, legally an army unit in exile, allowed a number of 4.800, danish officers, resistance-fighter and other young men and women fugitives. A unit of Allied Forces Europe and part of 21. ARMY (Brit. gen., B.L. Montgomery). Brigade HQ plus five battalions, a small air-group and naval squadron in Karlskona of units escaped on Aug. 29 1943. - The picture makes a good impression of WWII scandinavian light-infantry.

A web-search found the BELOW PICTURE used WITHOUT permission by a site of .de TLD. Main problem to users being a negligent text-writer's messing about with concepts as Danish Finland Volunteers of 1939-1940 active in Finland - returning to Denmark after the Winter War, eight weeks after the German occupation of Denmark. And the Danish Brigade, "DANFORCE" establ. Nov.1943, part of Allied Forces, members shown below.


FIGHTING this fight had probably ensured that British PM Winston Churchill, who a few days after the Liberation 1945 of "western" Denmark - but not Bornholm - in a letter to the new US president Harry Thumann put into words his strong image of the Cold War Europe, quote: "From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic an iron curtain has descended" unquote:

1) had pointed out the sharp eastern bend to that Curtain right south of BORNHOLM - and 2) WOULD NOT May 7 or 8 have accepted the delay produced by Allied CO Europe Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower when the British General "Dick" Dewing asked London for permission to fly to Bornholm to accept the german surrender after the russian bombings of Rønne and Nexø. GEN D. D. Eisenhower whatever his cause, see below, allowed for the russians - who didn´t answer telegrams for two days - to go there before Dewing and his men in Copenhagen.

Dewing via FO´s Owen Sargent got Churchill´s GO, states Bent Jensen [Now head of Danish Center of Cold War Studies], in his book, Den lange Befrielse, 1996 pag. 72. [Eng. summary: A New Type Of Occupation 1945-1946]. - The source mentioned below might not have been trackable by the mid-nineties. But BJ in pag. 317 does show that the american view on the matter island bases by 1946-1948 certainly was not an improvisation.

This is what US State Deparment recommended in a Potsdam Briefing Paper, Spring 1945*:
Litterature online: *Elliott W Converse: Circling the earth, orig 1984. Dissertion 1984, Princeton, USA

State Department anticipated that The Sovjet Occupation on Bornholm would lead to them requesting Base-Rights - precisely as with the finnish island of Hangö - in the negotiations of March 1940. If that should happend at Potsdam, State Department adviced that US negotiators NOT OPPOSE Sovjet demands. State wouldn't endanger the US Case for Greenland Base-Rights. That is: Don´t quarrel with Mr. Stalin over this baltic island. - Bornholm's the Danes' case - not a US one, unlike Narsarsuaq AB or Sondre Stroemfjord AB in Greenland on the western hemisphere.

The Game we let loose is what the professionals TODAY call "Amphibian Warfare": Rule No. one: You must control the sea to come and go. In the early part of WWII we didn´t have the elaborated conceptions and experience. This is our SEA-C bid: Two warships, two disguised merchant vessels. First to land 1) to grap control of local telephone lines and 2) take out enemy patrol vessels to ensure our force be free to disengage in six days, were: Two Fast Reconnaissance Units, a Motorized Heavy Mortar Unit and a Demolition Engineers Unit. Enemy navy at Bornholm reduced to patrol boats because of ships lost at Norway sec. week of April. German forces on Bornholm est. 1.100 infantry.

Neither side in our Game has enough troops for full area control. Bornholm measures 35 kilometres from Rønne in the west to Gudhjem in the east. - Succes demands reconnaissaince, timely deployment and local overweight. (In France during the retreat to Dunkirk May 21 First Battalion/Royal Irish Fusiliers was assigned 10 km of The La Basses Canal Perimeter.)
source: Guy F. Gough: Thirty Days To Dunkirk. 1990


When I asked Mr. Tom Nielsen, harbourmaster in Tejn, in JanuarY 2010, he actually agreed that a small destroyer anno 1940 might sneak in, most vigilant of course, place the foreship across the entrance of the inner basin - in 1940 the only harbour basin - quickly debark the troops and then back out using both propellers to steady the move; easy on the revolutions not to get propellers "dig down" the heck, and draught not exceeding 4 meters. That´s a vessel at roughly 700 tons deplacement like these french ships, or two by Apr '40 uncompleted at Copenhagen Navy Yard, Nymfen and Najaden, at 710 tons, 200 tons less than the swedish "Ehrenskiölds" (Svenske eskorter scroll to image). Years ago his former college who also performed as a pilot told me that even bigger ships go in, if the skippers got the nerves:

- In bad weather all you see from the sea will be the waves hammering the stones, you can´t hesitate, he said: - "Make some revolutions. Ready to turn port and go reverse the moment you see the angle to the entrance open up!" By 1940 the outer pier and western basin were not built. Below maps show the old navigation marks, churches and windmills.

The two Torpilleurs left the north east corner of Bornholm with first light. Since 01:45 AM they had disembarked troope. LOUP BLANC (illustration above) in Tejn/ Lynx Blanc in Allinge.

All Quads were unloaded in Allinge. They then went full ahead, 35 knots, north around the island to Rønne, bombarding for twenty minutes, (82 rounds 100 mm) air strip and enemy base camp, running through the Sound to join The Allied Skagerrak Force of three french 2.200 t. destroyers (this force a historical fact, the only allied ships believed to be fast enough to risk encounted with german air power). Passing Skagen, north edge of Jutland 07:00.

The Danish Battalion now moving uphill Bornholm numbers 662 off. and men.


FACTS (HISTORY) - By March 1940 the Sovjet "Vojt" Josef Stalin had had enough of the die-hard finnish army, as Jowlett & Snodgrass state. (Source: Osprey booklet: Finland at war, 1939-1945. 2006). Northern Europe 1940 April 8 - May 10 or where the Hell is Bornholm?


By April 9 the danes in Louisa had three weeks to shape the battalion for a new war on wheels, gasoline and firepower; the new CO and EO were both cavalry officers. BTN OO Capt. William (Røde) Troost served in the Foreign Legion under Lieutenant-Colonel Prins Aage af Rosenborg. Capt. T.(Ted) Jorgensen turned up after a year with The Royal Can. Mounted Police. None doubted the Copenhagen government would come out in extreme outrage, as with the danish minister Henrik Kauffmann in America. And declare "us" privateers.

Infantry operating in southern scandinavian landscapes, even in the spring cannot be caught in motti like road-dependant russian units in snowcovered Mid-Finland. By May garden-owners finished digging. - This force prepare the battle ground: Minefields, meadow-swampings, wood cuts to redirect enemy troops, fire angels and evac air strips or havens. Right flank driving fast inland from Allinge, while left flank concentrate forces west and south west of Røø.

Plan of attack: Left Flank with B- and P-coys (with sappers & marksmen's units), mortar platoon (2 ex-russ 120 mm/38 mortars) prepare The Final Debunking from positions between Almindingen (south), Rø (north) and Østerlars Church (east) - as enemy shift focus after two days, from The Early Diversion Attack by Right (Allinge-Tejn) Flank: A- and C-Coys with recce units TO-4, TO-3, 1 mortar (ex-russ 120 mm/38) and engineers demolition team.

OPERATION WET WHEEL - rough draft, the first hours, fiction. It did NOT happen.

[samples Day 1]

Extract 0020 of Battalion War Diary of May 1940
Fr. Torpilleur T-124 May 3 GMT 01:35 east of Allinge [A-coy on deck] - reacts to fire from house north of harbour. Fire 7 rounds from fore gun mount - A-coy landed unopposed: 2. platoon took 21 prisoners most of whom wounded by splinters. Made expected contact to lokal resistence. Platoons 1. & 3. both mounted (bikes) reconnoitre Hammer-Lake-walley then south at west coast. TO-4 escorted signals to Telephone-House, briefing with resistance representative [image above] at road-Y behind Cafe Hut-Li-Hut. ORDERS: Motorized advance, best speed. Recce coastal area through Jons Kapel. If no enemy contact, halt at Runic Stone east of Hasle, awaiting téte of C-coy, keeping visual contact to mortar's three observation teams advancing from Klem´sker.

A) May 3 GMT 2:20 A coy 4. platoon advanced inland along the stream to the Tileworks where two Volvo 38 TLV were taken. Cought up with 2.plt 47 off. & men carried, (bikes left as expendable). Motorized advance, best speed. A-coy HQ section [2 off. 1 nco radiooprator & 3 riflemen, messengers] found as planned two local taxies, a Buick 1931 soft top and a Fiat Convertìbile, once Cardinal Camillo´s, and caught up with the TLVs, GMT 3:52 1 kilometer (1 km = 0.6213 mile) south of Hammer Haven.

Extract 0038 of Battalion War Diary of May 1940
A) May 3 GMT 4:20: TO-4 pos. hill 069 near deserted stable, 600 meters east of Jons Kapel park area ops and engage enemy with 2 Lathi, 2 MG and 10 rifles: A coy platoon 1 pos. 500 meters south og hill 069 engage with 3 MG, 3 Lathi. Enemy infantery unit, reinforced coy-strenght mounted advance in four busses. Two busses hit, enemy though several casulties quickly deployed at both sides of road. All buses shot up GMT 4:55. A-coy plt 1 took 5 casulties. Called Bn ambulance, which reached pos. at GMT 5:25. TO-4 and 1 plt rounded up 17 ememy inf. 11 wounded by bus explosions. All sent back on ambulance support lorry. Force proceeded south. Artillery Observer Quad (1 off. 3 riflemen) met by SGT TO-4 at GMT 6:30.

Extract 0046 of Battalion War Diary of May 1940
M) May 3 GMT 5.11: Mortar platoon in pos. north of hill 142 and 10 km stone. 3 Tampella 120 mm mortars operational. 5:34: First enemy engagement, 26 shots on radioed direction from Forward Field Artillery Observer No.3 pos. 2.2 km west of Mortar plt. According to FFAO, 200 m road unusable, 2 enemy motorcycle units hit. No visible movements. - Notice to Transport off in charge: Mortar platoon aquired one Triangel with 1.5 m sided semitrailer taking all 18 crew, weapons and 256 rd of ammunition.

Extract 0091 of Battalion War Diary of May 1940
S) May 3 GMT 10:30: PLT (First Lieutenant) Signals/Telephone-unit II announce command of still existing telephone-lines in triangel Hammeren/Hasle/Gudhjem North. Battalion signal units able to make field connection to net as needed. Two colloquial-stations manned. All civilian traffic terminated.

... until objects secured May 7 2000. Rearguard of 61 off., men and women evac. by the lumber schooner ALMA IV on May 8 0300. See illust. below: Rearguard with BTL CO Capt. William (Røde) Troost, Capt. Ted Jørgensen, Members of Resistance and other Rearguarders watching the schooner coming in out of the fog.

IV. THE ART of getting out the men

.DESPITE SET-BACKS mainly by the Luftwaffe, on May 6 this AWWV attack secured success. Strategically the Battle of Norway drained the Kriegsmarine.
.The battlecruiser Gneisenau was damaged. Sistership Scharnhorst developed defects. One heavy cruiser, Blücher, was sunk. Two, Hipper and Lutzow damaged.
.Light cruisers, Königsberg & Karlsruhe and ten destroyers were sunk. - TOO LITTLE WAS LEFT to stop The AWWV evacuate into exile in Sweden, MAP-SKETCH

.A CORNER KICK reached AWWV-Intelligence when the screwschooner ALMA IV May 4 0.20 docked in NEXØ and reported Nazi concentration of troop transports
.steering west in three groups observed 2 and 3 May off Öland, off Libau and north of Rügenwalde. Later 10 May we knew it preceded the attack on France.

.But a wise IO look both ways - The Boston Gazetteer and Casablanca-based La Vigie Marocaine* recognized the Campaign as proof the Wehrmacht was mortal.

.*RED, WE FIGURE by The Foreign Legion´s 13. Demi-Brigade. When earmarked for Finland it ran "Sahara-Narvik-Brest", Svend R Christensen wrote in 1942.

[ Uddrag fransksproget Casablanca-avis La Vigie Marocaine + english summary St.Siebken 30042021 ]

The drawings down-page are our presentation of Fictive Reference-Groups. The Volunteers' TO-platoons awaiting evacuation.
(some 70 off. & men, TO: the Finnish Army 1940 code for Light Reconnaisance Unit)

To fetch sec. half of rearguard (32 men, 3 women + 1 marten) one schooner-rigged fish oil steam tanker is also part of the solution. Illust. page down

Cognitions of war

ONE COGNITION, this "IF" campaign of Bornholm PREFIGURES is the necessity of Air Superiority - and CHEAPER this early in the war than Crete 1941 - where The British Mediterranean Fleet nearly succumbed to Luftwaffe medium bombers. The Game predicates Day 3 german JU-88 [quite robust] medium bombers hit The Volunteer´s heavy morters. They thus lost the edge this "batterie-demi" provided. But the fighting got tougher: More men shot to kill: German soldiers frustrated by the cleft between experience and propaganda that danes were friendly; while the danish soldiers developed a drive to end with honour what they came for... get "the grand idea" in maps Campaign.html

One TITLE of a dissertation on individual motives of Danish Finland Volunteers, 1998, by Henrik Højlund Olsen was: "They stole our honour and the right to fight back". They the PM & the FS.

The number of troops in this study are ONE to FOURTY of Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower´s thump-rule "on the edge of too little", against the german army, autumn 1944.
Crusade in Europe, 1948 pag. 352 or... Some 1.000 troops pr kilometer /webmasters estim. (See above: Amphibian, LC Guy Gough´s II/RIF SW of Dunkirk 5.1940)

The Game disentangles our two destroyers to join the Allied Skagerrak Patrol, DCT 8, of the 40 knots destroyers Le Triomphant, Le Malin & L'Indomptable. Their operations of April 23 1940 is history. Four (200 - 300 tons) typical scandinavian three-mast schooners serve, sniffing through darkness and haze, as infantry evac-vessel. In the text, Alternative re-entry, we use a french mot, eskadron-demi, to give a french connection of our Volenteer Battalion, inspired by Svend R. Christensen, author of Sahara-Narvik-Brest, who with the French Foreign Legion took
part in The Battle of Narvik and The Fight for France.

Disengagement .as the one above with nearly no bloodshed would be an uncommon event of World War Two. Realities being for example The Evacuation of Boulogne ten to fourteen days later by 4.368 Welsh and Irish Guard and some civilians after a fierce fight against advancing german armour. RN destroyers engaging enemy tanks at point blank.

Vigilance re-destilled - May 5 1945 the germans surrendered in Holland, Northwestern Germany and Denmark. Bornholm got but an extra 11 months of occupation! The Red Army left April 5 '46. The British adviced da. policymakers showed readyness to take military responsibility. Then the russians pulled out. To Copenhagen the new bipolarity was still veiled.

BORNHOLM 1658. This way of fighting for yourself has one special Bornholm-derivative (Fully webmasters expression): "Fighting For Your Right To Stay A Member Of The Kingdom Of Denmark!" - With proud humour the islanders tell their 1658 story of Captain Jens Pedersen Kofoed, Vikar Poul Anker and Sheriff Peder Olsen Bornholm, the three of them caught the Swedish colonel, Johan Printzensköld, in Rønne and shot him. Others lured the swedish soldiers into surrender. Later, islander envoys gave back the island to The King of Denmark.

Thank you for playing along

St. Siebken

NOTION: counterfactual:


* One of them later left his white panted finnish army skies for my farther-in-law to use for the sport of it. - The Finland Volunteers, mr. Folmer Rasmussen, my bookdealer in the eightees once said: as a rule were older than us... By "us" he ment the Danish Resistance... Want of adventure and foreign experience were typical motives for danish officers. Wages symbolic, one must be economic independent. One example being Prince Aage of Rosenborg, who served as an officer of the French Foreign Legion. - Max Jacobsen quotation [top]: W. Trotter: Den finske Vinterkrig. 2004, page 338.

** Strengh (americans with finnish roots) differs between writers. But some did see action in the last days of the war.

TOP if you want to...

'3 Strenght of force March 13, commanding officer now LC J.H. Skjoldager, 944 = 35 officers 96 ncos and 813 men. 412 left before orders deployed the battalion as frontier guard at the Hangø Peninsula opposite to the island base now on russian hands. Strength of force March 18: 532 all ranks. Later some of those who left returned. (Source: I orkanens øje, Jan Ahtola Nielsen, 2006)

"") and '4: Decision-makers at Amalienborg Castle, during the german attack, studying the ultimatum recieved in the early hours of April 9: Danish Prime, Th. Stauning, Foreign Minister, P. Munch and Adm. Hjalmar Rechnitzer (shortly after forced to resign by four other senior naval officers, because of his appeaser-attitude) - wanted to give in, against opinion of Gen. William W. Prior, Army C-in-C, and short questions of King Christian X. - Since November 1939 Cabinet obstructed support to Finland. When by 1941 6.000 (Hist. Bo Lidegaard 2003) - incl 225-235 former Finland-volunteers (Henrik Højllund Olsen, RUC unpublished 1998) - joined the Nazi-forces against Russia they did it with the later redrawn blessing of government. Danish Finland-Volunteers Society broke up June 25 1941 on the question of participation in Finlands second war against Russia, the so-called Continuation War.

# Finland purched modern war-materiel from Britain, Sweden, USA, Italy and others, but sure made changes to their own need: Fi.1940 Bus-truck wiki

#The Morris Quad C8s - In this game, are honouring the tales by my first math-teacher on his personal experience with the C8s in [postwar dan.service]

^The Ford Bus 1937s front engined model.

^Triangel Bus "refurbished" for rail service, picture from North Jutland

Distance Turku - Bornholm approx. 440 nautical miles, 20 hours at 22 knots. The torpilleurs arrive 3 hours before first light: Astron. twilight medio Apr 05:00 AM/ latitude N 55 30'.

New York Times Aug. 30 2003 notes: .

At the 60 anniversary of the end of WWII, on the collaborationist government, Apr. 9 1940 to Aug. 29 1943, danish prime, Anders Fogh Rasmussen marked War Era Collabotration with Nazi occupation force as "morally unjustificable".thus being the first danish prime to do so publicly. source

30 Nov. 1939 - 13 March 1940: The Winter War between Finland and Sovjet-Russia. This edition Alternative Re-entry Of The Winter... 30 Apr. 2021 All rights reserved Steen Siebken