Women played a very important role in the Winter War. They were forced to perform the heavy duties of the men, who were largely away at war, both near the front lines and at the home front.
Lottas taking care of food deliveries in Elisenvaara. Lottas were involved in a multitude of jobs behind the front lines. On the front line, food was prepared in field kitchens and catering was mainly taken care of by the home front and Lottas.
Production had to go on, even though the men were at the front. Wartime led, therefore, to a period of change for Finnish society, with women taking men’s places in many sectors.
Women preparing artillery shells in a factory in Helsinki.
Transport authority workers cleaning the tram tracks in Helsinki.
Younger members of the Civil Guard, under the age of 18, on a ski patrol on the outskirts of Helsinki. Adult and younger Civil Guard members took care of tasks on the home front, such as monitoring key sites. Helsinki alone had 600 Civil Guard members under the age of 18 carrying out monitoring tasks.
The wounded received first aid close to the front lines, after which they were transferred to war hospitals near their homes.
Lottas in Kalajoki packing bread they have baked. During the war, Lottas baked dry, rectangular bread, known as ‘plywood’, producing more than 100,000 kg a day at times. The greatest local amounts were made in mansions in Southwest Finland. For example, the village of Panelia in the municipality of Kiukainen was tasked with baking bread from a provision of 3,000 kg of flour each week.