The Defence Forces publishes wartime photographs on the internet

2013-05-23 finland
Author: Teuvo Joronen
The Defence Forces publishes wartime photographs on the internet

The Defence Forces' Photographic Centre will publish around 170,000 wartime photographs on the internet. The collection "From the front line to the home front 1939-1945" can be found on the internet at the address The photographic material is made available to all Finnish people by the Defence Forces.


The archive's pictures are mostly taken by photographers of the intelligence companies subordinate to the General Headquarters. Experts on the history of Finnish photography consider the cultural and historical value of the wartime photos to be unique.


The collection includes photos of the ground, naval and air forces as well as the home front. The photos also show free time occupations and the work of the women's auxiliary services. Some of the photos portray the brutality of war, which may be shocking to more sensitive viewers.


The photos may be published and used freely. It is possible to search the collection using a date or word search, and photos can be printed up to A3 size. When publishing photos, "SA-kuva" should be mentioned as the source.  The photos are mainly from the time of the Winter and Continuation Wars as well as from the Lapland War.


It has taken the Photographic Centre three and a half years and ten person years to digitise the negatives. It is possible to further add to and comment on the information and captions of the archive's photographs. The Defence Forces will add verified information to the archive.


This service will be made public on the eve of Finnish National Veteran's Day in support of its theme "Don't leave a brother, don't forget our young people". By means of the SA-kuva service, the Defence Forces wish to honour the legacy of our war veterans and transfer it from generation to generation in the form of an internet service. 


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