Sunday 26 May 2019

Mapping the traces of the Battle of Bengtskär (26.7.1941)

On the early morning of May 17th our WW2 conflict archaeology team drove to the boarder guard station at Cape Tulliniemi in Hanko. From there we were escorted, very professionally, to the island of Bengtskär, where we spent the whole day studying and mapping the traces of the fierce fighting that took place here in 1941.

Bengtskär lighthouse, seen from the direction of the soviet assault in the early hours of July 26th 1941.

GPS mapping.

The aim of the visit was to register all traces of battle no matter how large all small. The survey included GPS mapping of grenade impact traces as well as the registration of areas with finds from the battle.

Grenade impact trace in the bedrock near the lighthouse.

During the day we encountered several traces and even finds from the battle which were promptly registered in our database. Already at this early stage it is quite clear that the results of the survey propose a partially new hypothesis about the battle. The accurate 3D model of the battlegrounds are now well underway and will be displayed in an upcoming exhibition in Hanko and a forthcoming publication.

Preliminary map of the battleground by Aleksi Rikkinen and Teemu Väisänen. The dots mark traces of battle and different areas of future interest for our research

Thank You all who participated and especially Hangö Sommaruniversitet, The personnel at The Boarder Guard Station in Hanko and Paula Wilson at the Bengtskär lighthouse for taking such good care of us during our visit. And last but not least thank you all 400 nesting Eiders for "the look" :)

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