From Kankaanpään seudun tykistökilta by Pekka Termala, this is my slightly shortened translation from the original article
The Finns honour their horses for making the army mobile during the Winter- and Continuation wars. No motorized vehicle could compare to a horse in cross country. For road logistics a horse was slower and couldn’t take as much load as a car, though.
Horses where used in transporting gear, ammunition, food, mobile kitchens, the wounded, the fallen, biggest artillery and they also served the riding messengers. Some horses transported feed to others. It took eight horses to pull the biggest guns. Standard carriage for a horse was 300 kg.
Finnish Defence Forces had horses until 1993, and artillery department educated horsemen until 1971. The last horse-driven guns attended an army practice in 1969. The Niinisalo Riders and Kankaanpää Artillery Guild (Kankaanpään Seudun Tykistökilta) decided to take the horse heritage in artillery to their agenda. There are only a few similar horse-mobilised artillery units in Europe.
The gun is pulled by two pairs of horses. There is one soldier per two horses to guide them. The gun is a Russian 76 mm field cannon,from the year 1902. The gun and its wagon weight approximately 1500 kg, and the field of range was about 10,8 km. The group performs in different occasions and parades.
Related articles & links
- Hakkapeliittas, the Finnish Cavalry
- Arto Paasilinna’s Sotahevonen plays at Oulu theatre
- Christmas calendar, day 6: Leaving for war
- Tough self-defence course
- Horse sculptor Herman Joutsen
- Facebook event for war horse on 6th December 2012 (all welcome to join in honour of the war horses)