Hanko Peninsula
The Hanko Peninsula also spelled Hango, is the southernmost point of mainland Finland
Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

. The soil is a sandy moraine, the last tip of the Salpausselkä
Salpausselkä is an extensive ridge system left by the ice age in Southern Finland. It is a large terminal moraine formation that formed in front of the Baltic ice lake during the Younger Dryas period about 12.250 - 10.400 years ago....

 ridge, and vegetation consists mainly of pine and low shrubs. The peninsula is known for its beautiful archipelago and long sandy beaches.

The town of Hanko
Hanko, Finland
Hanko , is a bilingual port town and municipality on the south coast of Finland, west of Helsinki. Its current population is , with a majority being Finnish speakers and a strong minority being Swedish speakers.-Politics:...

 is situated on the peninsula. The Baltic Sea
Baltic Sea
The Baltic Sea is a brackish mediterranean sea located in Northern Europe, from 53°N to 66°N latitude and from 20°E to 26°E longitude. It is bounded by the Scandinavian Peninsula, the mainland of Europe, and the Danish islands. It drains into the Kattegat by way of the Øresund, the Great Belt and...

 proper is demarcated by a line from the Hanko Peninsula to the Northwesternmost point of mainland Estonia
Estonia , officially the Republic of Estonia , is a state in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea, to the south by Latvia , and to the east by Lake Peipsi and the Russian Federation . Across the Baltic Sea lies...

. The battle of Gangut
Battle of Gangut
The Battle of Gangut took place on July 27Jul./ August 7, 1714Greg. during the Great Northern War , in the waters of Riilahti Bay, north of the Hanko Peninsula, near the site of the modern-day city of Hanko, Finland, between the Swedish Navy and Imperial Russian Navy...

 was fought outside the Hanko peninsula ("Gangut" is the Russian transliteration of the Swedish name for the peninsula "Hangö udde").

The Hanko Peninsula has played a major part during times of war. Here are e.g. the Hanko fortifications, part of Peter the Great's Naval Fortress
Peter the Great's Naval Fortress
Peter the Great's naval fortress or the Tallinn-Porkkala defence station was a Russian fortification line, which aimed to block access to the Russian capital Saint Petersburg via the sea. The plans for the fortress included heavy coastal artillery pieces along the northern and southern shores of...

. During the Finnish Civil War
Finnish Civil War
The Finnish Civil War was a part of the national, political and social turmoil caused by World War I in Europe. The Civil War concerned control and leadership of The Grand Duchy of Finland as it achieved independence from Russia after the October Revolution in Petrograd...

, the German Ostsee Division landed here in April 1918. Following the Winter War
Winter War
The Winter War was a military conflict between the Soviet Union and Finland. It began with a Soviet offensive on 30 November 1939 – three months after the start of World War II and the Soviet invasion of Poland – and ended on 13 March 1940 with the Moscow Peace Treaty...

, the peninsula was leased to the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 for 30 years as a naval base. However, the Soviets evacuated their 25,000 soldiers in the area during the Continuation War
Continuation War
The Continuation War was the second of two wars fought between Finland and the Soviet Union during World War II.At the time of the war, the Finnish side used the name to make clear its perceived relationship to the preceding Winter War...

and it was retaken by the Finns in December 1941.
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