Hanko Leased Territory 1940-41
Porkkala Leased Territory 1944-56


In the Peace Treaty of Moscow on May 12, 1940 Finland was compelled to lease to the Soviet Union Hanko headland and the town of Hanko for a naval base for a time period of 30 years. The area of the territory was 115 sq.km. and it comprised 400 islands and islets.

The time for change-over was May 22, 1940 midnight. The prevailing population of approximately 3,000 persons had been evacuated. Part of them had moved away even earlier. About 8,000 people lost their homes.

After the war broke out again on July 22-25, 1941, small confrontations of various magnitudes continuously occurred in Hanko area. However, no major offensives were taken by the Finns. The Russians retreated from Hanko on December 2, 1941. The town was left as heavily mined, which despite of precautions caused much damage. The Russians renunciated Hanko as a base finally in the later peace treaty of Paris in 1947.

Home page of the town of Hanko.


The Russians set a new demand for a naval base at Porkkala, 20 km to the west from Helsinki. This was stipulated in the Truce of Moscow on September 19, 1944. The lease was confirmed in the Peace Treaty of Paris in 1947. The term of the lease was set to 50 years (planned to run out in 1994).

The total land area of the territory was 380.5 sq.km. The evacuation time was set to ten days that meant an instant loss of their homes for 10,000 people. After changes in internal and international situations the Soviet Union waived the agreement and the territory was handed over to Finland again in 1956. The inhabitants were able to regain their lost homesteads.

Lieutenant General Sergei Ivanovich
Kabanov (1901-1973) headed first
Hanko and then Porkkala bases.
Still visible graffiti near a historic manor.
Cemetery in Porkkala.

For literature (in Finnish and Swedish), see the respective pages in Finnish or Swedish.

Kabanov photo
Gangut. 1941. Collection. Collected by K.K.Grishchinskii. Lenizdat 1974.

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