Operation 1st Battle of Summa

The '1st Battle of Summa' was fought near the village of Summa (now Soldatskoye), on the main road linking Leningrad and Viipuri, between Soviet and Finnish forces as the first of a two-phase battle within the 'Winter War' (16/22 December 1939).

The Finnish defence of the village of Summa barred the Soviet axis of advance on the city of Viipuri. The Finns had built 41 reinforced concrete bunkers in the Summa area, and the defence line was stronger than elsewhere in the Karelian isthmus. However, the Finns had made mistakes in their planning and the nearby Munasuo swamp, to the east of Summa, had a 0.6-mile (1-km) gap in the line. At least 20 Soviet tanks drove through the line in the first day of battle, but the Soviets lacked the degree of co-operation between branches of service, and as a result, their tanks, artillery and troops fought what were in effect their own separate battles. For lack of adequate types and number of anti-tank weapons, the Finns remained rooted in their trench lines and allowed the Soviet tanks to move behind the defence line on 19 December. After the Finns had repelled the attack of the Soviet infantry, the Soviet armour cut-off behind the Finnish line aimlessly attacked various Finnish strongpoints, but once these vehicles, lacking infantry support and protection, had been eliminated, the threat to the Finns had been overcome.