Monday, 6 August 2007

Tatar Soldier in the Finnish Army, WW2

On August 28, 1941, private Taufik Fathullah was mortally wounded at Kiestinki. He died at a field hospital three days later. He was 23 years old.

In the veteran book published by Suomen Islam-seurakunta, an article is devoted to his memory. Taufik had been born in Suksu at the Volga, one of the native villages which the Mishär Tatar immigrants left for Finland. Taufik was reputedly well liked among his friends, well-behaved, decisive and active in Tatar cultural activities. He had to break off his studies for the national student exam when the Winter War broke out in 1939.

Taufik served as a machine gunner at infantry regiment 53, which belonged to the Finnish III. Corps under Germany's Armeeoberkommando Norwegen during the Continuation War. The goal of their operation was to cut off the railroad to Murmansk. Taufik's fate was to be one of the many fallen during the fierce battles between regiment 53 and the Red Army at the village of Kiestinki in Viena Karelia. The Finnish forces were surrounded by the Russians in a motti, that is, the same tactic of encircling the enemy that the Finns themselves were famous for. 900 Finns were killed or lost.

Kiestinki is today Kestenga in the Republic of Karelia, Russian Federation.

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