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Back in the day, Russian despot Joseph Stalin noticed that Leningrad was only 32 clicks from the Finnish border. Sensibly enough, Jo worried that the Germans would invade Mother Russia from the west, through Finland. “Negotiations” for “troop deployment” failed. In the winter of 1939, Stalin claimed the Finns shelled a Russian border town. He sent 23 Soviet divisions (460,000 men) and over 2,000 tanks to capture Suomen tasavalta. The Finns’ nine divisions (135,000) troops gave the Russians what-for, exposing the Red Army’s many tactical and logistical weaknesses.

By March, the Finns lost, with 20 percent of their population killed. Finland surrendered 16,000 square miles to their not-so-friendly neighbor. And then allied themselves with the Germans, re-armed with more mobile equipment, regrouped into 16 divisions (400,000 men) and recaptured lost territory (declining to jon in the siege of Leningrad). And then fought the Germans in the Lapland War.

So, to sum-up, it’s no wonder that modern Finns favor the “shoot and scoot” capabilities of AMOS (Advanced MOrtar System), which can be mounted on a truck, track, boat or flying reindeer. reports that they celebrated Christmas by ordering some more. Guns that is.

Finland has ordered another 18 Amos 120mm mortar turret systems for use on its wheeled armored vehicles. The AMOS is a twin barrel 120mm mortar design that allows the self-propelled mortar to get out a large volume of fire before moving (to avoid counterbattery fire from a foe equipped with shell spotting radar that can quickly locate where the firing weapon is located.)

AMOS can fire GPS guided shells. These are expensive, so Amos can also put 14 unguided shells on a target simultaneously using a computer controlled system that quickly fires shells at different times and angles so that they all arrive at once. Maximum rate of fire is 26 shells a minute. Max range of AMOS is ten kilometers.

Finland’s now has 32 AMOS-equipped vehicles. That’s not much considering the strength of Russia’s troops or, for that matter, nukes. But the Finns are a fighting folk with a semi-conscription military, 350,000 reservists and a defense plan that depends on mobility and terrain to wear out aggressors.

Regardless, AMOS’s guns would certainly give its opponents a black eye. As the Finns would say, Ei sellaista tietä, jota ei ennen ole käyty, or “there’s no such path that has not been walked along before.”

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  1. It warmed my Minnesotan heart when I saw the driver of the tracked vehicle attempt a Scandinavian flick.

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