During WWII, Finland was twice involved in military confrontation with the Soviet union. For the capital, Helsinki, the most intense air raids and bombings occurred in February 1944, a campaign which is usually referred to as The Great Raids Against Helsinki. These amazing photographs, created by the Finnish Defence Forces Combat Camera unit, mash up haunting photos of wartime destruction with modern pics from a couple years back, in nice black and white plus colour images.
The USSR was under the impression its bombing campaigns were more successful and expected Helsinki to be pretty much gone by the end of the war. The Soviets didn’t learn of the relatively limited damage until after the war when Allied Control Commissioner Andrei Zhdanov visited Helsinki.
It’s, of course, a great joy that so much of Helsinki was repaired after the war rather than being bulldozed to be replaced with modernist downtowns, which usually are pretty rubbish looking. Post-war Helsinki has mostly grown in suburbs scattered around the region, leaving the old city core that existed during the war mostly intact.
Credit combination pictures: Finnish Defence Forces Combat Camera – (Tommi Kangasmaa, Markus Kontiainen, Anssi Uusitalo, Thomas Litchfield, Timo Kankkunen,Nico Stalberg, Niko Tiranis)