Briefly about Winter War at Kollaa front

Some of the most significant battles of the Winter War took place north of Lake Ladoga in the area of municipality of ​​Suistamo, Kollaa. Or as it was also known Kollaajoki, Kollasjoki etc. The beloved child had many names. The Winter War began when the Soviet Union attacked Finland on November 30, 1939 without declaring war. The first battles that the visitors have to fight in Kollaa started immediately after the war started, after the enemy attacked through the so-called Hyrsylä bend towards the Suvilahti settlement, where there was, for example, a wood processing industry.
The men of Rautjärvi and Simpele (then still their own municipality) had been invited to an extra exercise (YH) which was a cover for launching a movement. Most of the men from Rautjärvi were assigned to Infantry Regiment 34 (JR 34) and the men from Simpele to Field Artillery Regiment 12 (KTR 12). These units belonged to the 12th Division, which together with the 13th Division and some separate units formed the IV Army Corps responsible for the defense of the northern side of Lake Ladoga.
The men of Rautjärvi formed the core unit of 6/JR34, the commander of the company was the famous reserve lieutenant Aarne Juutilainen, the Terror of Morocco. Some of the men were placed in other companies of the second battalion, II/JR 34, and in the column. Company of Juutilainen therefore participated in the battles right from the first day.
However, during the first week, the Finns had to retreat some twenty kilometers all the way to Kollaajoki, where the front was established. It is said that the commander of the army corps, Major General Hägglund, had asked Juutilainen: 'Will Kollaa last?' The Juutilainen had answered: 'Yes, it will last unless you tell him to run away'.
JR34 fought in Kollaa until February 18, 1940, when it was rested and responsibility of frontline was transferred to JR 69. The rest shift consisted of building new stations and practicing. However, this was soon interrupted when JR34, along with the others, was ordered to repel an enemy attacking from the south of Kollaa through Ulismainen. The Finns' counterattack began on March 6, 1940, when Simo Häyhä, among others, acted as a group leader, being badly wounded in this attack. On March 9, 1940, the Finns had to withdraw to better positions in the terrain of Korpijärvi, where they then fought until the end of the war, on March 13, 1940.
At the same time as the Ulismainen battles, JR69, which had taken responsibility of frontline, fought at Kollaajoki, but in the end the coming of peace saved the regiment from complete destruction.