This film is the second silver screen adaption of the Finnish war book by Väinö Linna with the same name as the film. The story is based on Linna's experiences as an infantry man in the Finnish army during the so called "Continuation War" (1941-1944). The film tells the story of the fate of a machine gun platoon made up of young conscripts from various parts of Finland fighting against the Russian army from the beginning (summer 1941) to the end (summer/autumn 1944) of the war. Many of the characters are based on author Linna's brothers in arms.
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