The Finns have camouflaged the road with pines hanging in the air

Saturday, September 16th, 2023

When tiny Finland faced Stalin’s Soviet Union, it camouflaged everything with trees and foliage:

According to the caption that Hedenström attached to the photo, “The Finns have camouflaged the road to Raate, about 10 km from Russia, with pines hanging in the air, because right on the border there is an observation tower erected by the Russians.”

Finnish Road Camouflaged with Trees

The lines of trees wouldn’t obscure the road from a plane flying overhead, but it could block the view from a tower. From a low perspective, down the road, the lines gave the illusion of an uninterrupted sequence of trees. Upon scrutiny, it is possible to see wires connected to a series of poles on the right side of the road. The whole pines were hung from such poles or other trees with cables. Due to Hedenström’s angle, viewers can’t see the attachments of the first row of trees, so they seem to be floating in the air. (The weird shape on the top of the photo is just a defect in the negative.)


“The Finns didn’t have funds to buy artificial camouflage such as nets in vast quantities,” says Colonel Petteri Jouko, a military historian at Finnish National Defence University, “so they used trees, leaves, and foliage to confuse the enemy. They were accustomed to wilderness and took advantage of the forest, unlike the German soldiers operating in northern Finland.”

Finnish ShipCamouflaged with Trees

Finnish Bicycle Camouflaged with Trees

Finnish Airfield Camouflaged with Trees


  1. Bert E. says:

    The best soldiers of WW2, according to Sir John Keegan, were the Finnish troops.

  2. Jim says:

    The White Asiatic is an especially tricksy creature.

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