Tuesday 26 July 2016

Reindeer Raid

"To the Chief of Staff of the Karelian Front

The attachment is a proposition from a cadet of the 82nd Reserve Anti-Aircraft Artillery Regiment comrade Butakov for using deer transport for a deep raid of military units into the north-western part of Finland for your study and use of certain suggestions on using reindeer transport.

Attachment: 17 pages."

Now, using reindeer for transport isn't all that unusual in and of itself, but 17 pages of notes gives you a hint regarding the scope of cadet's daring plan. Here's an excerpt:

"Transport from the Yamalo-Nenetskiy and Hanta-Manskiyskiy okrugs will move along the 65 degrees north latitude line, with a slight deviation to the south, passing Arkhangelsk from the south. Transport will be assembled east of Nurmic (Finland) near Onega Bay. 250,000 reindeer will be assembled in this manner. This amount of reindeer will have the following size of pasture will be needed: the Naryan-Mara reindeer station gives consumption of one reindeer per day as 3.3 ar or 330 square meters. For 250,000 reindeer, 825 hectares of pasture per day will be needed. I do not have data regarding pastures of the European north, but I am inclined to think that reserves of lichen in the north-western part of the USSR will be able to supply 250,000 reindeer for a long time."

That's right, 250,000 reindeer and 200,000 men, with the assistance of a British amphibious landing force. To give you some indication of the feasibility of this plan, the aforementioned Yamalo-Nenetskiy okrug already gave up 10,000 trained reindeer to the army, leaving only the breeding males, females, and juveniles.

Via kris-reid.

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