Welcome to the Anti-Aircraft Museum!
The Anti-Aircraft Museum is located in the municipality of Tuusula, approximately 14 km from the Helsinki-Vantaa airport by road. We are open from February until late November from 11-17:00 EEST. During the summer season we are open from Tuesday until Sunday, and on winter season (September-November, February-May) our doors are open for visitors from Wednesday to Sunday.
On winter season 2022-2023, we will open the museum on January 12th 2023. The museum will be open from wed-sun from 11:00 to 17:00. Welcome to our exhibitions! On this winter season, we are also open until December 10.
Our exhibitions are comprised of three different buildings and a big yard area. On the museum grounds you can find AA guns from the winter war, S-125 Isajev Neva/Pechora AA missile system, and parts of the BUK M1 missile defence system. Inside the three buildings, our exhibitions are divided as follows:
Tuusula-halli (Tuusula Hall):
Anti Aircraft weaponry from 30.11.1925 to the modern day. On the 30th of November in 1925, a separate AA unit was established in Suomenlinna island, the current UNESCO world heritage site in Helsinki, to be included in the Finnish army. During this time most of the army aviation and naval artillery units were housed on the Suomenlinna island. The island was then only for military usage, and its also known as the birthplace of Finnish aviation industry. The date is considered the birthday of the AA branch in the Defence Forces to this day. Exhibitions range from WW1 weaponry to a Stinger MANPADS missile launcher donated by the Defence Forces in 2017. Inside this building, you can get a general view of the Anti Aircraft units of the Finnish Defence forces from the late 1920s to circa 2017. The exhibitions include anti-aircraft guns, fire-control systems, personal equipment, missiles and target drones. Some of the more modern equipment visible in this hall is still in use for training or stored for potential crisis and war time usage.
Anti Aircraft Artillery and AA units in the second world war: Beginning with the horrors of Winter War, when the armed forces had to fight the numerically vastly superior and skillful Soviet air power with outdated weaponry and an assortiment of foreign WW1 hand-me-downs, donations from Italy and Denmark to modern, but rare Swedish prototype weapons. From the lessons learned from the Winter War, the exhibition moves on to the days of Continuation War from 1941 and culminates to the Air Defence Victory of 1944. The Soviet Air Forces planned a terror bombing campaign to remove German allies from the war, based on the experiences of UK and US air forces against Hamburg, the firebombings of Tokyo, Japan and the Ruhr area in Germany. The prototype attack, based on the lessons from Bomber Harris and many other flying aces of the west, was decided to be tested on Helsinki. The United States delivered dozens of modern A-20 Havoc bombers, Bell P-39Q Airacobra fighters and B-25 Mitchell bombers for the Soviet Air Force for this Eastern Front bombing campaign, as a lend-lease aid delivery. The American planes were heavily used together with domestic bomber planes. Despite the assertion from Soviet High Command that the operation against Helsinki would be a cake walk, it ended up being a bitter defeat for the Soviet Bomber Force. Dozens of planes were lost, and Helsinki was saved. This was made possible by the modern radars and weapons delivered by the Germans, as well as the relentless training and high morale of the Finnish AA crews. In addition, the Finnish counter intelligence did great deeds in confusing the Soviet spy rings operating in Helsinki and neighbouring neutral Sweden. Also, most of the AA crews were native Helsinki boys and men, who fought with everything they had to protect their homes. The battle over the skies of Helsinki is a classic example of training and morale over material superiority and low morale: The defender had relentlessly trained the AA crews and got the upper hand in battlefield morale after the air raids failed to break Finnish morale or force the government to the negotiation table. Meanwhile, the war weary Russian pilots and commanders began to see the operation as pointless, when the race to Berlin was beginning. The exhibition was housed in the Helsinki Museum during 2013-2014, and was moved to the Anti Aircraft Museum later, when the memorial year for 1944 ended. It was then re-built and extensively updated and developed at our museum, until it was opened as a whole new exhibition after many months of hard work.
More information on the Helsinki bombings and our exhibition can be found from this booklet:
Air Defence Victory Helsinki 1944
Kapteenin Puustelli (Captains lodging):
The Captains lodging, or the Puustelli, as it is more commonly called, is the oldest recorded still-standing building in the Tuusula region. From the war archives of the Swedish crown it was discovered that the house indeed is the original house from 1721. Many older inhabited farmhouses still do exist in Tuusula region, but their main buildings, auxiliary houses and animal shelters have been rebuilt or lost to accidents like house fires or lost to time by the 2020s. The house is a cultural historical object on itself, representing the early 1700s Swedish standard farm house and military housing architechtural style. It was used as a lodging for military personnel until the 1960s, so it has housed officers from Swedish, Czarist Russian and Finnish armies. Though Puustellis’ windows, one could see the eclipse and the final sunset of the Swedish great power era, the turmultuous periods of Russian Empire from the Crimean War and Russo-Japanese war to the Soviet Revolution, and also witness the Civil War in Finland, and the still often told horrors of the Second World War. When the last soldiers to live in the house left the building, Hyrylä and the nearby Helsinki-Vantaa airport had already witnessed the departure of the first UN peacekeepers to Suez and Cyprus from Finland. Puustelli houses a compact but bigger than it looks exhibition of this local war history in the eyes of Lake Tuusula region and Hyrylä, from the late 1400s to the present times.