The FSB declassified the archives on the liquidation of the Finnish and Estonian sabotage groups of the Abwehr in 1942

We are talking about the operation to search for and eliminate the German reconnaissance and sabotage group, consisting of Finnish and Estonian saboteurs, which in the fall of 1942 was carried out by employees of the NKVD Directorate for the Arkhangelsk Region under the leadership of the 2nd Directorate of the NKVD of the USSR. In addition to the documents of the NKVD, photos of ammunition and weapons of neutralized saboteurs were published.

Click on the document to enlarge. Photo: TsOS FSB of Russia

According to the Center for Public Relations of the FSB of Russia, in 1942, German military intelligence was engaged in active reconnaissance and sabotage on transport communications in order to disrupt the supply of the Red Army, including through the supply of allies in the anti-Hitler coalition through the northern ports of the Soviet Union.

According to Soviet counterintelligence officers, in September 1942, the Cellarius Bureau, the German intelligence agency, which bore the official name Abvernebenstelle Revel, parachuted two reconnaissance and sabotage groups of 13 people into the Arkhangelsk region from an airplane. All agents were Estonians by nationality, most of them served in the German army.

As told in the TsOS FSB, the “Cellarius Bureau” was organized in Helsinki in 1939 under the name “Military Organization “Finland””. It received its original name by the name of Captain Alexander Cellarius, who headed it since 1941, the German military attache in Sweden and Finland and was a division of the Abwehr in Sweden and Estonia. After the German occupation of Estonia, it moved to Tallinn (German name – Revel) and changed its name.

Photo: TsOS FSB of Russia

The task of the Estonian and Finnish sabotage groups abandoned in the fall of 1942 included reconnaissance of the area in the areas: Konosha-Nyandoma and Lake Lacha-Kargopol. They had to determine the possibility of throwing out large German landings, which in turn were supposed to cut the northern communications of the Red Army and help the offensive operations of the Wehrmacht. From September to November 1942, the Finnish-Estonian reconnaissance groups transmitted about 200 radiograms to the Cellarius Bureau. On November 8, 1942, both groups were liquidated by the NKVD.

Here is what was said about this in a special message from the head of the NKVD USSR Directorate for the Arkhangelsk Region, Major of State Security P. Malkov, dated November 14, 1942:

“Two armed espionage and sabotage groups of paratroopers thrown into the Arkhangelsk region in September 1942 by German intelligence were completely liquidated on November 8. Of these groups, 9 paratroopers were detained and 4 were killed by our operational groups in a collision.

During the entire operation, five bases with food and equipment, two radio stations, ciphers, codes, topographic maps, diaries, 10 machine guns, 13 revolvers, one Finnish rifle, 13,000 rounds of ammunition, a device for wiretapping telephone conversations, a radio receiver, a camera, signal flashlights were seized. , 25 parachutes, rubber boats, binoculars, camouflage suits, etc.

Photo: TsOS FSB of Russia

The German Henkel-115 twin-engine naval bomber, which arrived on October 22 on the lake, was shot down and captured. Lacha to remove spy groups. The following were killed from the crew during the shelling of the aircraft: Lieutenant Helf Kurt, non-commissioned officer pilot Launhagen Ernst, sergeant major radio operator Acher Heinrich and non-commissioned officer flight engineer Kubala Stefan were captured alive. From the testimony of the detained intelligence officers and the documents seized from them, it was established that these groups included 13 people. […]”.

Photo: TsOS FSB of Russia

As noted in the FSB CSO, in the search for reconnaissance and sabotage groups, along with employees of the Arkhangelsk Directorate of the NKVD, employees of the central apparatus of the NKVD took an active part, including a brigade of radio operators of the 2nd Special Department of the NKVD of the USSR, who managed to establish the exact location of enemy radio transmitters.

In addition, the capture of enemy agents made it possible to conduct a radio broadcast with Finnish military intelligence. During these negotiations, the Soviet counterintelligence managed to reveal the plans of the Finnish military command. And also to obtain important information about the forms and methods of work of the Finns in training agents sent to the Soviet rear, and misinform the General Staff of the Finnish Army about the work being done in the ports of Arkhangelsk and Molotovsk (Severodvinsk) and the transportation of military cargo by rail.

In addition, employees of the 2nd Special Department of the NKVD of the USSR received important data that made it possible to control the radio networks of Finnish military intelligence, decipher radio transmissions between enemy intelligence centers and their agents located in the Soviet rear, and also identify the deployment of enemy radio centers.

As emphasized in the FSB CSO, the successful operation in the autumn of 1942 by the NKVD USSR Directorate for the Arkhangelsk Region under the leadership of the 2nd Directorate of the NKVD USSR of the operation to search for and eliminate enemy reconnaissance and sabotage groups helped to frustrate the plans of the German command to drop large landings that were supposed to cut the iron the road connecting Arkhangelsk with the central regions of the Soviet Union and contribute to the offensive operations of the Wehrmacht.

Source: Российская газета by

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