The War Illustrated No 31 Vol 2 April 5th 1940

32-1 The War Illustrated April 5th, 1940 Half a Million Finns Flee Before the Reds Standing on the balcony of the town hall in Hango (left) is Mayor Wennstroem, who is taking a last look at the city which has just been leased to Russia. Above, a Finn farmer is putting his children on the van loaded with his household goods prior to his trek from his home. the village priest accompanied his little flock, and there trudging with his people through the snow went the village head­man. Slowly the stream of people, of strangely-assorted vehicles, of complain­ing cattle, moved on, leaving behind them to the enemy ground which Finnish arms had successfully defended to the very end. I twas decreed that Viipuri, so famed in Finland’s story, so important in her modern economy, was to be overhanded to the Russians on the morning of March 16, and so the Finns had abut couple of days in which to remove everything of value which had escaped destruction in the course of the city’s long-sustained bombardment. Members of Ihe City Council hastened back to superintend the work, until nothing was left to await the invaders' coming but houses stripped to the bare walls. Caught in the stream of civilian evacuation were many soldiers who had been wounded in the course of Finland’s gallant stand against overwhelming odds. This photograph shows some of them just descended from the motor-bus which has brought them into Helsinki. Most were what is called “walking wounded,” but in other cases they had to rely on the willing help of their comrades for support as they trudged through the snow Photos, WorldWide aiul Keystone Farewell to H ango Hango, too, was similarly stripped and there the work was all the greater because the city had been spared much of the devastation th a thad come upon Viipuri. B y day and night its 8,000 citizcns were removed into the interior, and as they went they took with them so far as they could their personal belong­ings, their bedding and household furni­ ture—anything and everything, indeed, which they could carry away and so save from the rapacious foe. Even the great piles of timber on the quaysides were loaded into the waiting trucks, and yachts which had been frozen in the harbour for months were hurriedly dugout and hauled away to the railway station. Cranes and derricks were dis­mantled and taken away and the ice­breakers which had performed a last service in breaking the ice so that the Finnish ships in the harbour were able to escape to Turku, steamed away in their wake, loaded to the water-line with a motley cargo. By midnight on the eve of the day appointed for the Russian entry into the city Hango was practically deserted by its populace. Where only a few months before had echoed the cheer­ful sounds of a flourishing port and town, reigned now the silence of the grave.
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