Mannerin Konepaja has had a colourful history in times of war and peace 6/9

We have reached the late 1930s in our story, and a new world war is about to start.

Mannerin Konepaja had moved to its new premises in Pitkäkatu in Hanko, where there was now space enough for the factory and warehouse. A large part of the business was now manufacturing the company’s own products, machinery and equipment, such as machines for the food industry, household appliances, plumbing supplies and cast products. New products included tall and long iron structures. Manner first built and erected radio masts in Hanko and later also in Oulu, Vaasa and Turku, where the mast was 152 meters tall.

After the outbreak of the war, Manner’s contribution was once again needed in the war industry. The enemy also knew this and actively bombed Manner’s factory buildings. With the bombings damaging the factory, it was decided at first to spread operations across the Hanko area, but instead, by order of the Army Headquarters, production was soon moved inland to Lohja. During the Winter War, Manner manufactured parts for various weapons and naval mines, modified cannon ammunition to fit the equipment and loaded shells, made stretchers for the wounded and repaired ships.

When the Moscow Peace Treaty came into effect on 13 March 1940, Hanko was ordered to be handed over to the Soviet Union as a naval base. The area had to be evacuated in a hurry; in only ten days. It was a miracle that Manner managed to move its equipment first to Lohja, and later to Lahti. However, the Soviet Union demanded that Manner’s machines be returned to Hanko, and – after negotiations – this was done, fortunately with financial compensation.

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