Produced by the Soviet Union to justify its 1939-40 Winter War in Finland, this outstanding documentary---more than any other such cinematic record---visually depicts the much vaunted Mannerheim Line in all its actual emplacements, as seen but two weeks after their capture, and as filmed by Red Army combat photographers onsite, directed by Vasili Belayev.
Considered almost the equal of the more famous Maginot and Siegfried Lines between France and Germany at the same time, these Finnish in-depth defenses are shown here in unprecedented great detail, augmented by animated maps that make understanding these complex fortifications easy to grasp and understand by all viewers.
Considered by most worldwide military experts as unassailable, the Soviets saw them as a ready base from which third countries could---and later did---launch an assault on both the USSR and its second largest city, Leningrad.
Fully eight first defensive lines of fortifications were built along the Soviet-Finnish frontier, cutting through the entire Karelian Isthmus from Lake Ladoga to the Bay of Vyborg.
Consisting of strategically placed artillery and tactically sited machine guns, these mighty structures consisted of dirt, granite, and poured concrete. As shown in the film, however, all were breached by the Red Army’s combat engineers, called sappers in European armies then and now.
The destruction and conquest of the Mannerheim Line was achieved by the combined operations of Soviet land, sea, and air forces. “There isn’t a fortress that the Bolsheviks can’t take!” the film boasts, and as seen here, that oath was proven true.
Here, the startled viewer sees in this stunning film the crushed forts, overrun emplacements, and dead bodies of slain Finnish Army soldiers, along with thousands of captured artillery, shells, tanks, trucks, and prisoners-of-war---not to be missed!
Directed by Vasili Belayev, USSR, 1940, B&W 74 Minutes.
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES:
3 Historical Slideshows:
- The Man For Whom Mannerheim Line was Named: 1867-1951
- The Mannerheim Line
- Scenes From The Film
- Interactive Scene Selections
- Switchable English Voice-Over Soundtrack or Original Russian with Optional English Subtitles
- Digitally Restored from Highest Quality Extant Original 35 MM Lavender Film Print.
NTSC Region 0 encoding (Entire World)
Libraries and Institutions Please Note: Educational Editions with PUBLIC PERFORMANCE RIGHTS and DIGITAL SITE LICENSES are available.