Erillinen Pataljoona 4

Erillinen Pataljoona 4 (4th Detached Battalion, ErP 4) was a Finnish Army special forces unit during the Continuation War.

The battalion was founded on July 1, 1943 from the existing long range reconnaissance patrols (Kaukopartiot).


The different companies were named after their commanders.


No long range reconnaissance units were used during the Winter War, but training for these began during the spring of 1940. Most of the men were veterans from the war, but some were refugees from eastern Karelia and Ingria. About 150 men were trained before the beginning of the Continuation War. At first the units only had as few as 15 men, but during the war this was increased up to 60 men. On July 1, 1943 the units were organised in the 4th Detached Battalion. In 1944 a special unit with amphibious He 115 planes was founded to support the battalion. The total strength of the battalion was 678 men, and 76 women (see Lotta Svärd).

In the Battle of Ilomantsi, soldiers of the 4th disrupted the supply lines of the Soviet artillery, preventing effective fire support. “The Finnish victory [at Ilomantsi] ended the Soviet offensive in Finland and persuaded the Soviets to give up their demand for Finland's unconditional surrender".[1] Peter Provis (1999) concludes his essay on point, “By following [self-censorship and limited appeasement] policies and fulfilling the Soviet Union's demands [for great reparations]...Finland avoided the same fate as other nations that were 'liberated' by the Red Army...Finland had once again defended her independence in a global conflict that engulfed and destroyed many other nations...The Finns had once again demonstrated their determination to avoid defeat by the Soviet Union and maintained their independence".[2]

The battalion made over 50 missions in 1943 and just under 100 in 1944. The battalion also took part in the Lapland war, and was disbanded November 30, 1944.

Other special forces units

There were other Finnish units that were assigned similar tasks, although more limited in range, as the ErP 4. These include:


  1. Dan Reiter, How Wars End, Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ (2009), p. 136.
  2. Provis, Peter (1999). "Nordic Notes: Finnish achievement in the Continuation War and after JSSN 1442-5165". Celsius Centre for Scandinavian Studies.

External links

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