The crazy story of Finn Aimo Koivunen, who ran 400 km under the influence of a drug
Categories: HistoryBy Pictolic https://pictolic.com/article/the-crazy-story-of-finn-aimo-koivunen-who-ran-400-km-under-the-influence-of-a-drug.html
It is well known that drugs are a terrible evil. Oddly enough, but many believe that they help to get away from problems. But most often these substances themselves turn out to be the biggest problem, without which everything would be relatively good. The story of Finnish soldier Aimo Koivunen is an excellent example of just such a case. The adventures of an unlucky fighter under the influence of pervitin do not fit into my head and seem like a crazy invention. But they are absolutely real.
The morning of March 18, 1944 in Lapland turned out to be frosty. 27-year-old Finnish soldier Aimo Koivunen and his comrades had just made a long two-day journey and needed rest. They set up camp at the edge of the forest and sent two fighters to look around while the others cooked food and brewed tea.
Aimo and his friend went skiing very close to the camp when they saw a chain of Soviet soldiers approaching. After a moment, it became clear that the enemy was approaching from the other side, trying to take a small group in a pincer. The scouts returned to their own and a small detachment fought off the enemy for 10 minutes. But the forces were not equal and the Finns decided to leave.
Koivunen was the most experienced skier, so he was put in front of the squad to lay the ski slope. The chase turned out to be long and Aimo, who did not have time to rest at the halt, was exhausted. He began to stumble and it seemed that he was about to fall. And then he remembered that he had a box of pervitin in his backpack.
This drug was used by German troops to keep their soldiers "in good shape." This is methamphetamine, after taking which a person ceases to feel tired and shows miracles of strength and endurance. Before the start of the operation, Aimo was appointed senior in pervitin and was given a supply of the substance for the entire small detachment.
It's hard to say what moved Koivunen when he poured a handful of pills from a container into his palm and swallowed them. All 30 doses designed for the squad went into Aimo's stomach and were "washed down" with snow. From that moment, one of the craziest stories of the Second World War began.
After taking methamphetamine, Aimo flew several kilometers on skis in one breath. His comrades could no longer keep up with him and he broke out far ahead. But gradually the overdose symptoms increased and Koivunen felt the world around him changing.
Aimo himself could not remember later how he ended up in a snowy forest alone, with a discharged weapon. Most likely, the comrades, seeing his condition, discharged his machine gun and took the cartridges from the pouch. Perhaps they deliberately left him in the woods so as not to risk it. When Koivunen briefly regained his sanity, he realized that he was standing on skis in the middle of the forest and was far from his own.
But gradually calmness returned, along with another portion of the narcotic fumes. Aimo even decided to eat, but then a surprise was waiting for him. The groceries from the backpack disappeared along with the cartridges. After that, the soldier's brain shut down again.
In the following days, Aimo sometimes fell into delirium, then came to himself for a while. He talked to living and dead friends and relatives, saw angels and monsters. And he was moving forward all the time. When consciousness returned briefly, he ate pine buds and snow.
After a few days of wandering, he saw a fire ahead. It was a bonfire in a military camp and Finn decided that these were his compatriots or German allies. He even started crying with happiness and started skiing down the hill with all his might. But it turned out to be a detachment of the Red Army, where Aimo was not expected at all.
The soldier saw that he had made a mistake, it was too late and he could not stop. He accelerated even more and just flew past the military bivouac and got into the forest again.
But the chase still took place. True, the Red Army soldiers did not have the slightest chance to catch up with the Finnish fighter who was beaten by Pervitin and soon fell behind. Then Aimo ran on skis alone, not sorting out the road and almost without stopping.
So a couple more days passed. The methamphetamine began to gradually leave Koivunen's body, and the enlightenments became more and more prolonged. But the nights were still filled with nightmares and hallucinations.
One day a soldier decided to make a night halt. He brewed tea from the crumbs found in his backpack and ate pine buds again. After that, he dozed off and a werewolf came to him. Aimo fought him off with a knife and managed. In the morning it turned out that he was stabbing a tree.
The victory over the imaginary enemy did not bring joy — in a fever, Finn broke the compass and completely lost his orientation in space. Then only the stars and the sun helped him. The next day, Aimo went to the hunting lodge, where there was a supply of dry firewood.
Unfortunately, the narcotic delirium did not give him a chance to spend the night in peace. For some reason, the soldier lit a fire on the floor of the house and barely managed to jump out of the burning building at night. He was lucky that there was a sauna nearby and there the burned man was able to hide from the snowstorm.
Aimo was not oriented in time and did not know how long it was already going. Sometimes he saw a light ahead and ran towards it, inspired, until he realized that it was a star. But sooner or later this narcotic journey had to end. The soldier saw the barbed wire ahead and realized that he had come to some kind of defense line.
Judging by the situation, these were German positions. But no one met the fighter on them. He unbuckled his skis and walked among the trenches and dugouts in search of help. Wandering between the fortifications, he heard a click and realized that he had stepped on a mine. Aimo rushed to the side, but the explosion still got his leg.
Waking up, the soldier saw fragments of bone and exhausted muscles. Until pervitin stopped working and Koivunen didn't suffer too much from pain. But he realized that his journey was over and he was going to die soon. The wounded soldier crawled to the nearest dugout and opened the door, but there was also a mine, and an explosion was heard again.
Aimo lost consciousness again, and when he woke up, he found himself 30 meters from the dugout. He was almost unharmed by the second explosion, but the flash greatly impaired his eyesight. Koivunen bandaged the wounds on his leg with a T-shirt and socks and lit a small fire. Despair came over Aimo and he began to howl at the whole neighborhood. Was his march in vain and would he die anyway?
But fate had its own plans for Aimo. His cry was heard by Finnish soldiers from the patrol. They were looking for their officer, who had also been blown up by a mine. First, the soldiers evacuated their commander, and then returned for Koivunen. The wounded soldier was taken to a hospital in the community of Salleh.
It turned out that Aimo Koivunen's drug trip lasted two weeks. During this time, he ran 400 km on skis through the forest! That was the end of the war for the soldier. His leg was saved, but his frostbitten fingers had to be amputated. After receiving a disability, Aimo went home. In 1978, he described his adventures under Pervitin in the story "Pervitinny Way". It was published in the Finnish magazine Kansa taisteli.