Last night I had the opportunity to watch a fascinating movie about a story from World War II. It’s English title is Ambush and was made in Finland and released in 1999. The film is about a Finnish bicycle reconnaissance unit along the border with the Soviet Union in 1941.
Needless to say, I have never seen a Finnish movie, and certainly not one about a bicycle reconnaissance unit in any war. An additional captivating subplot dealt with maintaining a relationship with your lover during war-time. The movie and stories were fascinating and very understandable (with the help of subtitles). Please note that if you decide to rent or watch the film, there are nude scenes and graphic violence in the film, so it is definitely NSFW and not made for young people.
What intrigued me the most about the film was the bicycle unit. I am fairly certain that Finland was not the first or only nation to think of using bikes to move troops around, especially for covert activities, but I was more surprised that I had never even imagined the idea before hearing about this film. Guess I am not destined for the Pentagon anytime soon.
Using bicycles for military espionage, reconnaissance, and other semi to fully covert operations makes a lot of sense. They are fairly quiet, maneuverable, transportable, easy to hide, and can move forces more quickly than on foot.
If you are fascinated by cycling history, military history, or anything and everything Finland, consider checking out the movie Ambush.