Had a lot of fun running this little scenario at Broadsword 9 over the weekend, so I thought I'd share it here! We played the Battle for Honkaniemi (Feb. 26, 1940), also known as the only (and therefore "largest"!) tank battle of the Winter War.

As you may know, while the Soviets had thousands of tanks at their command, the Finns had very few indeed. They threw them into a desperate attack late in the war that they hoped would throw back the Soviet forces that were closing on Viipuri (only 15km away at this point in the conflict) and spearhead a larger Finnish offensive operation.

Well, it turned out to be a terrible day for the Finns, from losing more than half of their thirteen operational tanks to mechanical trouble, to friendly artillery falling on the heads of the supporting infantry, to a complete lack of reconnaissance that could have revealed the Soviets were planning their own attack operation at the very same place and the very same time!

While a conventional victory was probably out of the question, we decided to judge the results of this scenario against what the plucky and hopeless Finnish tankers achieved historically. And for all that, the Finns did very well during the game! Have a look and see what you think…


Here is an historical map of the scenario. The village of Honkaniemi is shown north of Lake Näykkijärvi. The Soviets were deployed to the southwest and the Finns would attack from the northeast. The railway in the middle of the map runs from Leningrad to Viipuri (some 15km northeast).

The Karelian Isthmus front in February, 1940. Lake Näykkijärvi can be seen at the point of the advancing Soviet 50th Corps (50th RC), some 15km southeast of Viipuri (Vyborg). Image courtesy of Talvisota.fi.

The Game

Dave Lister