German sources reveal the use of sleds (Ackja) by the Finns to meet the
problems of winter transport.
A small flat-bottomed boat-shaped sled, the keel of which forms the running
surface, is used for the transport of light loads of different kinds: ammunition,
rations, radio equipment, wounded, and light weapons. The following types of
sled, modelled on the Finnish pattern, have recently been introduced into
the German Army:
| German Designation
|| English Equivalent |
|Schlitten 300 kg
Schlitten 500 kg
Schlitten 1,000 kg
||Sled, 660 lbs
Sled, 1,100 lbs
Sled, 2,200 lbs
Boat-type (clinker-built) Ackja
Ackjas may be constructed either of three-ply wood or of ordinary
planks, clinker-built (with planks or plates put on so that one edge of each
overlaps the edge of the plate or plank next to it, like clapboards on a house).
(1) Plywood Type
An example is shown in the accompanying sketch, figure 1. The various
sections of plywood are cut out, partly shaped by soaking in water, and nailed
or riveted into position. The stern of the sled is braced by a 3/4-inch-thick
wooden batten secured at each end by strips of 1/64-inch strap iron. Dimensions
and design are varied to suit the purpose for which the sled is built, but
in every case the sled should be as light as possible.
(2) Clinker-Built Type
These are stronger but also considerably heavier than the plywood type. They
are constructed exactly like a small boat, and move on a single broad
runner along the keel.
Ackjas can be pulled in two ways:
(1) By Dogs
The normal team is of two dogs, the first being led. Dogs must be
specially trained for this work.
(2) By Men on Skis
In deep snow, a team of men commonly go ahead to clear a track of
sufficient width to accommodate the sleds.
c. Light Snow Drag
A simple horse-drawn drag, suitable for transport of light loads, is
shown in figure 2 of the sketch.