Portrait of a wounded Soviet Army soldier following the Battle of Vuosalmi on the Karelian Isthmus during the Finnish-Soviet Continuation War. Although the battle ended with a decisive Finnish victory, the area would later be taken by the Soviets and annexed into the USSR. Near Vuosalmi, Äyräpää municipality, Viipuri Province, Finland (now, Druzhnoye, Baryshevo rural municipality, Vyborgsky District, Leningrad Oblast, Russia). Early July 1944.
Finnish soldier with a Suomi SMG-31. At the Vuosalmi bridge.
Finnish defenses on the Vuosalmi consisted initially with only the 2nd Division (Martola, later Blick). But this got later reinforced with the Armored Division (Lagus) after the battles in the Tali-Ihantala region started to slow down.
The Finnish positions were very unfavorably located in the ridge of Äyräpää, with the wide River Vuoksi behind. Though position was very unfavorable the Äyräpää ridge dominated the lower lands on the northern shore requiring the defensive lines to be placed on the ridge. The Red Army 98th Corps started heavier attacks on July 4 and heavy battles raged on the control of the ridge until July 9 when Finns finally withdrew to the northern shore. Soviet 115th Corps then continued the attack and crossed the Vuosalmi on July 9.
Soviet 115th Corps reinforced the bridgehead and had all its three divisions in the bridgehead on July 11. Finns also received reinforcements in form of the depleted Finnish Armored Division directly from Ihantala and on July 11 both sides were attempting to attack simultaneously. Attempts on both sides were halted when they ran into attacking enemy formations. Though Soviets now had access to the fields on the northern side, which were advantageous to the Soviet armor, the Finns were able to stop all further Soviet advances. The following Finnish counter attacks in Vuosalmi at this point amounted to not much success either, and thus both sides were on defensive here in mid-July, 1944.
The Finnish artillery fired altogether over 122,000 rounds of ordnance in Äyräpää and Vuosalmi, from June 20 to July 17, 1944 – same amount, as in the Battle of Tali-Ihantala, which was fought during exactly the same time period in a near vicinity, on the relatively narrow Karelian Isthmus of Finland.