Onni's own stories:

Hazardous Orienteering

Letter From The Finnish Winter War

The Scout Movement on The March

A Visit to Kilimanjaro

Onni Goes Flying

Onni Goes On a Lion Hunt

Letter From The Finnish Winter War

Letter from Onni Niskanen published in Duvbo IK's Annual Magazine 1941

Onni Niskanen, who has once more gone away to Finland as a volunteer, has sent the below letter to the annual magazine's editorial office. The military censorship have been strict and crossed out a few lines. What is hiding under the black strokes is up to the reader's imagination.=====

Letter from the Finnish "Winter war" Letter from Onni Niskanen published in Duvbo IK's Annual Magazine 1941 Onni Niskanen, who has once more gone away to Finland as a volunteer, has sent the below letter to the annual magazine's editorial office. The military censorship have been strict and crossed out a few lines. What is hiding under the black strokes is up to the reader's imagination.=====

Full winter is almost here. The cold is hard and the snow fell rather heavily the other night. When the moon broke through the snow clouds and spread its silvery light over the ground, and the trees stood out as beautiful shadowy silhouettes against the white duvet, it was fabulously beautiful. Such magic weather conditions are not often seen. Then, when the rising sun coloured the sky and together with the moon's fading light created a colour scheme that was enchanting, you actually forgot that there was a war. I wish I could have painted all that. It was completely silent and calm. The only sound was the birds singing. Birds, which were still there and had not been frightened away by the otherwise predominant sounds of grenades and gunshots.

Unfortunately, I was woken from all this beauty by a volley from a machine gun that hastily reminded me that I was on dangerous ground, in close proximity to the enemy.

That was fortunate, because I had to finish my job before it turned light. My task was to check our telephone lines that were not working. The connection to the firing range had to work, so that from our advanced position, we could lead the fire, make observations and make changes, so that the missiles from our canons did the greatest possible damage to the enemy.

Such is life here: a mix between dream and reality. And reality is at present far from pleasant. I will try to relate a few bits and pieces of life at the front-line. I hope that the censors are not so strict that they cross it out. = = = = =

It is night. It is freezing cold and the moon lights up the terrain and makes it hard to move around, both for the Russian and for us. To go on a reconnaissance mission is such weather conditions can be risky. You are too visible.

Hush! I listen. A faint crackling sound is heard. Slowly I raise my weapon. Now I can clearly hear that the sound is approaching and I prepare to meet the enemy. Then all is quiet again. I hold my breath to be able to hear better and not lose contact with the enemy. But everything is quiet. Quite some time passes without anything happening.

Had I really been mistaking? No! Now I clearly sense the suspicious sound again. Some exciting seconds pass. Long seconds. Now I can clearly hear the sound getting closer. I hold my breath and slowly raise my arm with the weapon. Cannot see anything suspicious but hear that the sound from the enemy is quite close. Will I be able to get him? My hand that holds the weapon is almost trembling from the effort to hold so still. It is exciting. Will I succeed?

But no. Quick as thought the rat scurries out of its hole and over to another hideout and I squat down in the shelter with the knife still raised. Fooled by the quick enemy. The moon is still spreading its silvery light over the front-line with its trenches and barbed wires. = = = = =

Another little story that also has its funny moments, but is considerably riskier. I was out with a couple of = = = = = = = = = =

We nod to the guard where he stands on his watch on the lookout for the enemy. He nods back to us when we slowly and carefully pass him and continue out through the dangerous area. We arrive at our intended site = = = = = = = = = =. The other one is right behind. He peels the insulation off the cables, so that he will not have to cut them, and connects the telephone. He tries to link up but there is not a sound from the firing range. He checks his cable connection for faults but all looks fine. In spite of this, there is still not a sound over the telephone.

Time is valuable, a new inspection of his connection and the cables is carried out, and it is revealed that one of the cables is not connected. "Of course I did" says the signaller and shows the telephone. At close inspection, we see that he has connected one pole to the ignition cable to a detonator that was close beside us. If we had carried on a bit longer, we would possibly have got a very loud and painful sound in the receiver.

Well, I suppose I have to stop writing for now. I do hope that the censorship has not destroyed too much of my little stories. In that case, you will have to guess the rest.

Kindest regards to all D.I.K. people.

Onni