Ancient history

Sausage Secret Weapon:Full Enemy Pots, Hunger, Defeat

Last updated:2022-11-07

Food is one of our basic needs, along with water. It doesn't take a genius to figure out why. Our body needs nourishment from all these different foods. Their lack has dire consequences for everyone, much less for hard-fought troops in the field.

This also happened during the so-called Winter War, when hunger sapped the energy of the Red Army in the winter of 1939-40. Ironic that Russian troops were once again left without food in Ukraine. Frederick the Great as well as Napoleon said that an army advances on its stomach. They weren't wrong. Well fed troops fight better. "Food is as necessary as ammunition," says Eric Maria Remarque through the protagonist of "No Younger Than the Western Front," and no general from the beginning of the world can disagree with this view.

On November 30, Stalin's Soviet launched the "operation to liberate Finland" from the "imperialists". Did he also go for de-Nazification? In any case he believed that conquering the small country would be a cakewalk. But things didn't turn out exactly like that. Soviet forces invading Finland's eastern border were destroyed. Cause; The inexperience and irresponsibility of the Soviet commanders, the poor training of the men, the stupid orders of Stalin, the tragic logistical situation of the Soviet forces.

Does all this remind you of something more modern? On the contrary, the Finns, who could only be described as "professional" soldiers, fought adapted to the environment of their homeland, having a good supply of food and winter provisions. Besides, they also had another "secret weapon", the... sausage. On December 10, 1939 the Soviet 718th Rifle Regiment launched an attack against the Finns in the village of Ilomantsi at a distance of 16 km from the border. The Finns retreated, leaving behind their food, a kind of sausage stew.

The Finns ate sausages with fat because it gave them energy in the freezing environment they were fighting. The Soviet soldiers who had marched through the snow for 5 days, with little hot food, literally fell on their faces in the food that their opponents had left behind when they stopped the battle! So the Finns, under Major Pajari, regrouped and counterattacked against the Soviets. Some men of the Finnish 16th Infantry Regiment took part in the attack, along with the cooks who had abandoned the food and logistics men.

A fierce conflict ensued that lasted until December 11 and resulted in the Soviets being driven out with bayonets. The said battle, which went down in history as "the sausage war", was indeed one of the few of the said war that was decided by the use of the bayonet. The Finns had 20 dead and 55 wounded while the Soviets lost at least five times as many.