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Encyclopedia > Winter War
Winter War
Part of World War II

Finnish machine gun team during the Winter War.
Date November 30, 1939 - March 13, 1940
Location Eastern Finland
Result Interim Peace
Territorial
changes
Moscow Peace Treaty
Combatants
Flag of Finland
Finland
Flag of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
Commanders
Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim Flag of Finland Kliment Voroshilov Flag of the Soviet Union
Semyon Timoshenko Flag of the Soviet Union
Strength
250,000 men
30 tanks
130 aircraft[1][2]
1,000,000 men
6,541 tanks [3]
3,800 aircraft[4][5]
Casualties
26,662 dead
39,886 wounded
1,000 captured[6]
126,875 dead or missing (estimate)
264,908 wounded
5,600 captured[7]
2,268+ tanks[8]

The Winter War (Finnish: Talvisota, Swedish: Vinterkriget, Russian: Зимняя война, also known as the Soviet-Finnish War or the Russo-Finnish War[9]) began when the Soviet Union attacked Finland on November 30, 1939, three months after the invasion of Poland by Germany and the Soviet Union that started World War II. Because the attack was judged as illegal, the Soviet Union was expelled from the League of Nations on December 14. Soviet leader Joseph Stalin had expected to conquer the whole country by the end of 1939, but Finnish resistance frustrated the Soviet forces, who outnumbered the Finns 4:1 in men, 200:1 in tanks and 30:1 in aircraft[4]. Finland held out until March 1940, when the Moscow Peace Treaty was signed ceding about 10% of Finland's territory (excluding its population) and 20% of its industrial capacity to the Soviet Union. Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... Image File history File links Winter_war. ... is the 334th day of the year (335th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1939 (MCMXXXIX) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 72nd day of the year (73rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1940 (MCMXL) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display the full 1940 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Interim Peace was a short period in the history of Finland during the Second World War. ... Areas ceded by Finland to the Soviet Union The Moscow Peace Treaty was signed by Finland and the Soviet Union on March 12, 1940. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Finland. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... This article is about the Finnish statesman and Commander-in-Chief. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Finland. ...   (Russian: ), popularly known as Klim Voroshilov (Russian: ) (February 4 [O.S. January 23] 1881 – December 2, 1969) was a Soviet military commander and politician. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Marshal of the Soviet Union Semyon Timoshenko Semyon Konstantinovich Timoshenko (Russian: Семён Константинович Тимошенко) (February 6 O.S (February 18 N.S.), 1895-March 31... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Combatants  Finland Germany Italy1  Soviet Union  United Kingdom2 Commanders C.G.E. Mannerheim Kirill Meretskov Leonid Govorov Strength 530,000 Finns[1] 220,000 Germans 900,000–1,500,000[2] Casualties 58,715 dead or missing 158,000 wounded 1,500 civilian dead[3] 200,000 dead or missing... Combatants Germany Finland Commanders Lothar Rendulic Hjalmar Siilasvuo Strength 200,000 60,000 Casualties 950 killed 2,000 wounded 1,300 captured 774 killed 3,000 wounded 262 missing The Lapland War (Finnish: ; German: ; Swedish: ) is a name used for the hostilities between Finland and Germany between September 1944 and... The Battle of Tolvajärvi [tolva,jærvi] was fought on December 12th in 1939 between Finnish and Soviet forces. ... Combatants Finland Soviet Union Commanders Colonel Hjalmar Siilasvuo General Dashitsev Strength Three regiments and separate battalions, 11,000 men Two divisions, one tank brigade (cca 45,000-50,000 men) Casualties 900 killed, 1770 wounded 27,500 killed and missing 85 tanks 537 trucks 1,620 horses 138 guns 6... Combatants Finland Soviet Union Commanders Öhquist, Östermann, Mannerheim Timoschenko Strength Third Division  ? Casualties  ? The Battle of Summa was fought between the Soviet Union and Finland. ... Combatants Finland Soviet Union Commanders Hjalmar Siilasvuo Kombrig Vinogradov Strength 6,000 25,000 Casualties 900 killed 17,500 killed, wounded and missing 1200 captured The battle of Raate-Road was fought between Soviet Union and Finland in January, 1940 as a part of the battle of Suomussalmi. ... The Battle of Honkaniemi was fought between Finnish and Soviet forces on 26 February 1940. ... Combatants Finland Soviet Union Commanders general Hägglund colonel Svensson Strength 1 division and some small units 4 divisions, 1 tank brigade The Battle of Kollaa was fought on December 7, 1939 - March 13, 1940 in the Ladogas Karelia, Finland as a part of the Winter War. ... Combatants Finland Soviet Union Commanders Major General Kurt Martti Wallenius  ? Strength Several battalions Two divisions Casualties  ?  ? The Battle of Salla was fought between Finnish and Soviet troops near Salla in northern Finland during the Winter War. ... The Battle of Petsamo was fought between Finnish and Soviet troops in the area of Petsamo in the far north of Finland. ... is the 334th day of the year (335th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1939 (MCMXXXIX) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... The League of Nations was an international organization founded as a result of the Paris Peace Conference in 1919–1920. ... is the 348th day of the year (349th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Josef Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili (Georgian: , Ioseb Besarionis Dze Jughashvili; Russian: , Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili) (December 18 [O.S. December 6] 1878[1] – March 5, 1953), better known by his adopted name, Joseph Stalin (alternatively transliterated Josef Stalin), was General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Unions Central Committee from... Areas ceded by Finland to the Soviet Union The Moscow Peace Treaty was signed by Finland and the Soviet Union on March 12, 1940. ... Evacuation of Finnish Karelia was the resettlement of the population of Finnish Karelia into Finland from the territory ceded by Finland to the Soviet Union. ...


The results of the war were mixed. Soviet losses on the front were tremendous, and the country's international standing suffered, especially following its earlier attack on Poland. Even worse, the fighting ability of the Red Army was put into question, a fact that contributed to Adolf Hitler's decision to launch Operation Barbarossa. Finally, the Soviet forces did not accomplish their primary objective of conquest of Finland but gained only a slice of territory along Lake Ladoga. The Finns retained their sovereignty and gained considerable international goodwill. For Nazi Germanys military action against Poland under the same alliance, see Nazi Germanys invasion of Poland (1939). ... For other organizations known as the Red Army, see Red Army (disambiguation). ... Hitler redirects here. ... Combatants Germany Romania Finland Italy Hungary Slovakia  Soviet Union Commanders Adolf Hitler Wilhelm Ritter von Leeb Fedor von Bock Gerd von Rundstedt Heinz Guderian Günther von Kluge Franz Halder Ion Antonescu C.G.E. Mannerheim Giovanni Messe, CSIR Italo Garibaldi, ARMIR Iosef Stalin Kliment Voroshilov Semyon Timoshenko Fyodor Kuznetsov... Map of lake Ladoga Towpath Bridge between Lake Ladoga and Lake Onega (from a photograph taken ca. ... “Sovereign” redirects here. ...


The March 15 peace treaty thwarted Franco-British preparations to send support to Finland through northern Scandinavia (the Allied campaign in Norway) which would also have hindered German access to northern Sweden's iron ore. Germany's invasion of Denmark and Norway on April 9, 1940, diverted the attention of the world to the struggle for possession of Norway. is the 74th day of the year (75th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... For other uses, see Scandinavia (disambiguation). ... The Allied campaign in Norway took place from April 1940 until early June 1940. ... The Swedish iron ore was an important theme in the World War II debate. ... Combatants Germany Denmark Norway Operation Weserübung was the German codename for Nazi Germanys assault on Denmark and Norway during World War II and the opening operation of the Norwegian Campaign. ... is the 99th day of the year (100th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1940 (MCMXL) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display the full 1940 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...

Contents

Background

The Mannerheim Line saw some of the fiercest fighting of the Winter War
The Mannerheim Line saw some of the fiercest fighting of the Winter War

Image File history File links The Mannerheim Line. ... Image File history File links The Mannerheim Line. ... The Mannerheim Line was a defensive fortification line on the Karelian Isthmus built by Finland against the Soviet Union. ...

Pre-World War I

Finland had long been part of the Swedish kingdom when it was conquered by Imperial Russia in 1809 and turned into an autonomous buffer state within the Russian Empire to protect the Russian capital. For other uses, see Sweden (disambiguation). ... The right of conquest is the purported right of a conqueror to territory taken by force of arms. ... The subject of this article was previously also known as Russia. ... An autonomous (subnational) entity is a subnational entity that has a certain amount of autonomy. ... A buffer state is a country lying between two rival or potentially hostile greater powers, which by its sheer existence is thought to prevent conflict between them. ... The subject of this article was previously also known as Russia. ... Saint Petersburg (Russian: Санкт-Петербу́рг, English transliteration: Sankt-Peterburg), colloquially known as Питер (transliterated Piter), formerly known as Leningrad (Ленингра́д, 1924–1991) and...


Western Karelia had a different history from the rest of Finland. Most of the area paid tribute to the Russian Novgorod feudal republic and was the arena of Swedish-Novgorodian Wars. The southwestern area, from the River Sestra to the River Vuoksi and Lake Saimaa (including Viborg) was annexed by Sweden at the same time as the rest of Finland, and the border was defined between Sweden and Novgorod at the Treaty of Nöteborg in 1323. In 1617 (when Russia was still recovering after the Time of Troubles), the rest of the Western Karelia was captured by Sweden. During the Swedish sovereignty this region lost all of its Russian ecclesiastical and bourgeois inhabitants and much of its Russian Orthodox Karelian population, with much of it moving to the Tver region. In 1721, as a result of the Northern War, the Karelian isthmus, the Ladoga Karelia, and later in 1743 the southern Karelia, was captured by Russia. In 1812, Russian emperor Alexander incorporated this region (Old Finland) into the Grand Duchy of Finland. Map showing the parts Karelia is traditionally divided into. ... The Republic of Novgorod and medieval Sweden waged a number of wars for control of the Gulf of Finland, an area vital for the lucrative Hanseatic trade. ... Viborg refers to: Viborg - a city in Denmark Viborg - a city in Karelia (also known as Vyborg) This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... The Treaty of Nöteborg, also known as Treaty of Orekhovo signed at Orechovets (Pähkinäsaari) on August 12, 1323, was a treaty between Sweden and Novgorod regulating their border. ... The Time of Troubles (Russian: Смутное время, Smutnoye Vremya) was a period of Russian history comprising the years of interregnum between the death of the last of the Moscow Rurikids, Tsar Feodor Ivanovich in 1598 and the establishment of the Romanov Dynasty in 1613. ... The Russian Orthodox Church (Русская Православная церковь) is that body of Christians who are united under the Patriarch of Moscow, who in turn is in communion with... Tvers coat of arms depicts grand ducal crown placed on a throne. ... The Northern War can mean: Northern Wars (1655-1660) Great Northern War (1700-1721) This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... Old Finland (Vanha Suomi in Finnish) is a name used for the areas that Sweden lost to Russia in the Great Northern War and in the Hats Russian War. ... The Grand Duchy of Finland was a state that existed 1809–1917 as part of the Russian Empire. ...


World War I era

Following the October Revolution that brought the Communists to power in Russia, rights of self-determination was declared by Bolsheviks as one of founding stones of the "new order". Taking advantage of Bolshevik's standing, Finland declared itself independent on December 6, 1917. Strong ties between Finland and Germany began when Imperial Germany supported Finland's underground independence movement during World War I. In the subsequent Finnish Civil War, German-trained Finnish Jäger troops and regular German troops played a crucial role. Only Germany's defeat in World War I hindered the establishment of a Germany-dependent monarchy under Frederick Charles of Hesse as King of Finland. Following the war, German–Finnish ties remained close, although Finnish sympathy for the National Socialists was very sparse.[citation needed] For other uses, see October Revolution (disambiguation). ... Bolshevik Party Meeting. ... is the 340th day of the year (341st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1917 (MCMXVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar (see link for calendar) or a common year starting on Tuesday of the 13-day slower Julian calendar (see: 1917 Julian calendar). ... For German colonial territories, see German Colonial Empire. ... “The Great War ” redirects here. ... Combatants Whites: White Guards, German Empire, Swedish volunteers Reds: Red Guards, Russian SFSR Commanders C.G.E. Mannerheim Ali Aaltonen, Eero Haapalainen, Eino Rahja, Kullervo Manner Strength 80,000–90,000 Finns, 550 Swedish volunteers, 13,000 Germans[1] 80,000–90,000 Finns, 4,000–10,000 Russians[1... Finnish Jägers parading at the town square of Vaasa The Jäger troops were volunteers from Finland in Germany trained as Jägers (elite light infantry) during World War I. It was one of many means by which Germany intended to weaken Russia and to cause Russias loss... For the documentary series, see Monarchy (TV series). ... ... The Grand Duchy of Finland was a state that existed 1809–1917. ... Nazism in history Nazi ideology Nazism and race Outside Germany Related subjects Lists Politics Portal         Nazism or National Socialism (German: Nationalsozialismus), refers primarily to the ideology and practices of the Nazi Party (National Socialist German Workers Party, German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei or NSDAP) under Adolf Hitler. ...


Interwar period

The relationship between the Soviet Union and Finland had been tense—the two periods of forced Russification at the turn of the century and the legacy of the failed Soviet-backed socialist rebellion in Finland along with two Finnish military expeditions (Viena expedition, 1918 and Aunus expedition, 1919), when Finnish volunteers tried to take Russian East Karelia which had never been a part of the Swedish-Finnish state or the Great Duchy of Finland, contributed to a strong mutual distrust. Stalin feared that Nazi Germany would eventually attack, and with the Soviet-Finnish border crossing the Karelian isthmus just 32 kilometres (20 mi) away from Leningrad, Finnish territory would have provided an excellent base for the attack. In 1932, the Soviet Union signed a non-aggression pact with Finland. The agreement was reaffirmed in 1934 for ten years. However, the Soviet Union violated the Treaty of Tartu in 1937 by blockading Finnish merchant ships navigating between Lake Ladoga and the Gulf of Finland. The policy of Russification of Finland, 1899–1917, aimed at the termination of Finland’s autonomy but resulted in fierce Finnish resistance that ultimately led to Finlands declaration of independence in 1917. ... Combatants Whites: White Guards, German Empire, Swedish volunteers Reds: Red Guards, Russian SFSR Commanders C.G.E. Mannerheim Ali Aaltonen, Eero Haapalainen, Eino Rahja, Kullervo Manner Strength 80,000–90,000 Finns, 550 Swedish volunteers, 13,000 Germans[1] 80,000–90,000 Finns, 4,000–10,000 Russians[1... The Viena expedition was a military expedtition by Finnish volunteer forces to liberate White Karelia (or Vienan Karjala in Finnish) from the Bolsheviks in March 1918. ... The Aunus expedition was an attempt by Finnish volunteers to occupy parts of East Karelia in 1919, during the Russian Civil War. ... Saint Petersburg (Russian: Санкт-Петербу́рг, English transliteration: Sankt-Peterburg), colloquially known as Питер (transliterated Piter), formerly known as Leningrad (Ленингра́д, 1924–1991) and... A non-aggression pact is an international treaty between two or more states, agreeing to avoid war or armed conflict between them even if they find themselves fighting third countries, or even if one is fighting allies of the other. ... The Finnish-Russian border was decided in the Treaty of Tartu. ... Map of lake Ladoga Towpath Bridge between Lake Ladoga and Lake Onega (from a photograph taken ca. ... The Baltic Sea The Gulf of Finland is an arm of the Baltic Sea that extends between Finland (to the north) and Estonia (to the south) all the way to the city of Saint Petersburg in Russia, where the river Neva drains into it. ...


In April 1938 or possibly earlier, the Soviet Union began diplomatic negotiations with Finland, trying to improve their mutual defence against Germany. The Soviets were mainly concerned that Germany or France and Great Britain would use Finland as a bridgehead for an attack on Leningrad, and demanded territory swap to move the border farther away from Leningrad. More than a year passed without considerable progress, and the political situation in Europe worsened. This article is about the word bridgehead. For the Canadian coffeehouse business, see Bridgehead Coffee. ... Saint Petersburg (Russian: Санкт-Петербу́рг, English transliteration: Sankt-Peterburg), colloquially known as Питер (transliterated Piter), formerly known as Leningrad (Ленингра́д, 1924–1991) and...


Beginning of World War II

The Soviet Union and Nazi Germany signed a mutual non-aggression pact, the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, on August 23, 1939. The pact also included a secret clause allocating the countries of Eastern Europe between the two signatories. Finland was consigned to the Soviet "sphere of influence". The German attack on Poland on September 1 was followed by the Soviet invasion of Poland from the east. Within a few weeks, they had divided the country between them. Molotov signs the German-Soviet non-aggression pact. ... {| style=float:right; |- | |- | |} is the 235th day of the year (236th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1939 (MCMXXXIX) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Pre-1989 division between the West (grey) and Eastern Bloc (orange) superimposed on current national boundaries: Russia (dark orange), other countries of the former USSR (medium orange),members of the Warsaw pact (light orange), and other former Communist regimes not aligned with Moscow (lightest orange). ... For the astrodynamics term, see sphere of influence (astrodynamics). ... For the Soviet Unions military action against Poland under the same alliance, see Soviet invasion of Poland (1939). ... is the 244th day of the year (245th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Soviet invasion of Poland can refer to: the second phase of the Polish-Soviet War of 1920 when Soviet armies marched on Warsaw, Poland Soviet invasion of Poland of 1939 when Soviet Union allied with Nazi Germany attacked Second Polish Republic Category: ...


In the autumn of 1939, the Soviet Union demanded that Finland agree to move the border 25 kilometres (16 mi) back from Leningrad. It also demanded that Finland lease the Hanko Peninsula to the USSR for 30 years for the creation of a naval base there. In exchange, the Soviet Union offered Finland a large part of Karelia (more than twice the size). This offer was referred to in Finland as "two pounds of dirt for one pound of gold". Hanko, (Hangö in Swedish) in Finland is a small bilingual port town on the south coast of Finland, 130 kilometers west of Helsinki. ...


The Finnish government refused the Soviet demands. The Soviet General Staff under Boris Shaposhnikov and Alexander Vasilevsky was already drawing up plans for an offensive. On November 26, the Soviets staged the shelling of Mainila, an incident in which Soviet artillery shelled areas near the Russian village of Mainila, then announced that a Finnish artillery attack had killed Soviet troops.[10] The Soviet Union demanded that Finns apologise for the incident and move their forces 20-25 kilometres from the border. The Finns denied any responsibility for the attack and refused to give in. The Soviet Union used it as an excuse to withdraw from the non-aggression pact. On November 30, Soviet forces attacked with 23 divisions, totalling 450,000 men, bombed civilian boroughs of Helsinki and quickly reached the Mannerheim Line. Marshal of the Soviet Union Boris Shaposhnikov (with Joseph Stalin, 1935) Boris Mikhailovitch Shaposhnikov (Russian: Борис Михайлович Шапошников) (October 2, 1882 - March 26, 1945), Soviet military commander, was... Aleksandr Mikhaylovich Vasilevsky (Russian: , September 30, 1895 – December 5, 1977) was a Soviet military commander, promoted to Marshal of the Soviet Union in 1943. ... is the 330th day of the year (331st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Location of Mainila on the Karelian Isthmus (according to the borders prior to the signing of the Moscow peace treaty). ... is the 334th day of the year (335th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... An 88 mm AA-gun at the Finnish anti-aircraft museum Search lights at the Finnish anti-aircraft museum The capital of Finland, Helsinki was bombed several times during the second World War. ... The Mannerheim Line was a defensive fortification line on the Karelian Isthmus built by Finland against the Soviet Union. ...


The Terijoki Government, a Soviet puppet regime created in the occupied Finnish border town of Terijoki (now Zelenogorsk) on December 1, 1939, was also called the Finnish Democratic Republic. It was headed by Otto Ville Kuusinen and was used for both diplomatic purposes (it was immediately recognized by the Soviet Union) and for military ones (they hoped it would encourage socialists in Finland's Army to defect). This republic was not particularly successful but lasted until March 12, 1940, and was eventually incorporated into the Russian Karelo-Finnish SSR on March 31. A puppet state is a state whose government, though notionally of the same culture as the governed people - owes its existence (or other major debt) to being installed, supported or controlled by a more powerful entity, typically a foreign power. ... Zelenogorsk is a suburb of Saint Petersburg, located in part of the Karelian Isthmus on the shore of the Gulf of Finland. ... is the 335th day of the year (336th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1939 (MCMXXXIX) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Finnish Democratic Republic (Finnish: Suomen Kansanvaltainen Tasavalta) was a short-lived Communist regime in those minor parts of Finland that were occupied by the Soviet Union during the Winter War. ... O. W. Kuusinen The Soviet Union signed a treaty with the Finnish Democratic Republic. Stalin, Vyacheslav Molotov, Kliment Voroshilov and Andrei Zhdanov participated at the ceremony, as did O. W. Kuusinen. ... Socialism is a social and economic system (or the political philosophy advocating such a system) in which the economic means of production are owned and controlled collectively by the people. ... A defector is a person who gives up allegiance to one political entity in exchange for allegiance to another. ... is the 71st day of the year (72nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1940 (MCMXL) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display the full 1940 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... State motto: Kaikkien maiden proletaarit, liittykää yhteen! (Workers of all countries, unite) Image:SovietUnionKarelia. ...


Hostilities

Attack directions of the Red Army and the major formations of both sides.
Attack directions of the Red Army and the major formations of both sides.

Initially, Finland had a mobilized army of only 180,000 men, but these troops turned out to be fierce adversaries employing small-unit surrounding "motti" tactics, fast-moving ski troops in white camouflage suits, and local knowledge. Many had spent most of their lives in the forest; the vast majority of Finns were rural dwellers until the 1950s. The conditions of the winter of 1939-40 were harsh; temperatures of -40 °C (-40 °F) were not unusual, and the Finns were able to use this to their advantage. Often, they opted not to engage the enemy in conventional warfare, instead targeting field kitchens (which were crucial for survival in the cold weather) and picking off Soviet troops huddled around camp fires. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (341x800, 42 KB) File links The following pages link to this file: Winter War ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (341x800, 42 KB) File links The following pages link to this file: Winter War ... For other organizations known as the Red Army, see Red Army (disambiguation). ... In military terms, a salient is a battlefield feature that projects into enemy territory. ... Cross-country skiing (skating style) in Einsiedeln, Switzerland. ... This article is about protective camouflage used to disguise people, animals, or military targets. ...

Finnish ski troops in Northern Finland on January 12, 1940.
Finnish ski troops in Northern Finland on January 12, 1940.

At the beginning of the war, only those Finnish soldiers who were in active service at the time had uniforms and weapons. The rest had to make do with their own clothing, which was their normal winter clothing in many instances, with a semblance of an insignia added. These mismatched "uniforms" were nicknamed "Model Cajander" after the Prime Minister Aimo Cajander. The Finns alleviated their shortages by making extensive use of equipment, weapons and ammunition captured from the enemy. The army had not changed the calibre of its weapons after independence and was able to use Soviet ammunition. The deployment of poorly trained and badly led Soviet troops gave the advantage to the Finns, allowing the latter ample opportunities to capture war booty. Though the Finns had few anti-tank weapons, they had the Molotov cocktail, an improvised petrol bomb adapted from the Spanish Civil War, which was used with great success in destroying around 2,000 Soviet tanks. ImageMetadata File history File links Finn_ski_troops. ... ImageMetadata File history File links Finn_ski_troops. ... is the 12th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1940 (MCMXL) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display the full 1940 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Aimo Kaarlo Cajander (1879–1943) was, outside of Botanics, best known as Prime Minister of Finland up to the Winter War. ... The word caliber (American English) or calibre (British English) comes from the Italian calibro, itself from the Arabic quâlib, meaning mould. ... Molotov cocktail is the generic name for a variety of crude incendiary weapons. ... Not to be confused with the Spanish Civil War of 1820-1823. ...


The Soviets attacked in regimental strength, with their dark uniforms easily visible against the white snow, so they were easily targeted by the Finns' snipers and machine guns. Corporal Simo Häyhä was credited with more than 500 known kills. When the Red Army tried to use their own snipers, the Finns countered with the "Kylmä-Kalle" (Cold Charlie) tactic. A mannequin or other doll was dressed as a tempting target, such as an officer sloppily covering himself. Soviet snipers usually were unable to resist the target. Once the Finns determined the angle from whence came the shot, a heavy-calibre gun, such as a "Norsupyssy" ("Elephant rifle") anti-tank rifle, was fired in the Soviet sniper's direction to kill him. For other uses, see Sniper (disambiguation). ... Simo Häyhä During The Winter War Simo Häyhä (December 17, 1905–April 1, 2002), nicknamed Belaya Smert (Russian Cyrillic Белая Смерть; in English, The White Death; Finnish Valkoinen kuolema) by the Soviet army, was a Finnish soldier, and is widely considered to be the most successful sniper in history. ... For other uses, see Sniper (disambiguation). ... The L-39 Lahti 20 mm Anti-Tank Cannon was a Finnish anti-tank rifle used during the Second World War. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...

Soviet commissar during Winter War.
Soviet troops trying to maintain their tanks in severe sub-zero temperatures.
Soviet troops trying to maintain their tanks in severe sub-zero temperatures.
Finnish soldiers.
Finnish soldiers.
Semyon Timoshenko
Semyon Timoshenko

Soviet ignorance and incompetence were important factors in the Finnish success during the war. The attackers were not expecting much resistance; General Kirill Meretskov estimated it would take only 10 to 12 days for his 26 well equipped 14,000 man divisions to reach Helsinki. Their propaganda had been so convincing that it was felt that the Finns would be waving flags and welcoming the Red Army with open arms. Image File history File links Russian_political_officer_(during_winter_war). ... Image File history File links Russian_political_officer_(during_winter_war). ... Image File history File links Bt5_10. ... Image File history File links Bt5_10. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (860x575, 72 KB) Finnish soldiers during the Winter War Picture taken from the Swedish wikipedia By w:Harri Blomberg File links The following pages link to this file: Winter War ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (860x575, 72 KB) Finnish soldiers during the Winter War Picture taken from the Swedish wikipedia By w:Harri Blomberg File links The following pages link to this file: Winter War ... Image File history File links Semyon_Konstantinovich_Timoshenko_(1895-1970),_Soviet_military_commander. ... Image File history File links Semyon_Konstantinovich_Timoshenko_(1895-1970),_Soviet_military_commander. ... Kirill Afanasievich Meretskov (Russian: Кирилл Афанасьевич Мерецков) (June 7, 1897 - December 30, 1968) was a Soviet military commander. ... Location of Helsinki in Northern Europe Coordinates: , Country Province Region Uusimaa Sub-region Helsinki Charter 1550 Capital city 1812 Government  - Mayor Jussi Pajunen Area  - Total 187. ... For other uses, see Propaganda (disambiguation). ...


Because of Stalin's purges, the commanders of the Red Army had suffered 80% peacetime losses. These were commonly replaced by people less competent but more "loyal" to their superiors, since Stalin had superseded his commanders with Commissars or political officers. Tactics which were obsolete by World War I were sometimes employed. Tactics were strictly "by the book," because failed initiative carried a high risk of execution. Many Soviet troops were lost because commanders refused to retreat; commissars disallowed them from doing so and often executed commanders that disobeyed. The Great Purge (Russian: , transliterated Bolshaya chistka) refers collectively to several related campaigns of political repression and persecution in the Soviet Union orchestrated by Joseph Stalin during the 1930s, which removed all of his remaining opposition from power. ... Commissar is the English translation of an official title (комисса́р) used in Russia after the Bolshevik revolution and in the Soviet Union, as well as some other Communist countries. ...


The Soviet army was poorly prepared for winter warfare, particularly in forests, and heavily used vulnerable motorized vehicles. These vehicles were kept running continuously so their fuel would not freeze, which led to increased breakdowns and aggravated fuel shortages. One of the most remarkable losses in military history is the so-called "Raatteentie Incident," during the month-long Battle of Suomussalmi. The Soviet 44th Infantry Division (c. 25,000 troops) was almost completely destroyed after marching on a forest road straight into an ambush of the Finnish "Kontula detachment" (a unit of 300 men). This small unit blocked the advance of the Soviet Division, while Finnish colonel Hjalmar Siilasvuo and his 9th Division (c. 6,000 troops) cut off the Soviet retreat route, divided the enemy force into smaller units and then destroyed it in detail. The Soviet casualties amounted to up to 23,000 men, while the Finnish lost around 800 men. In addition, the Finnish troops captured 43 tanks, 71 field and anti-aircraft cannons, 29 anti-tank cannons, AFVs, tractors, 260 trucks, 1,170 horses, infantry weapons, ammunition, medical and communication materiel. Combatants Finland Soviet Union Commanders Hjalmar Siilasvuo Kombrig Vinogradov Strength 6,000 25,000 Casualties 100-250 killed 17,500 killed, wounded and missing 1200 captured The battle of Raate-Road was fought between Soviet Union and Finland in January, 1940 as a part of the battle of Suomussalmi. ... Combatants Finland Soviet Union Commanders Colonel Hjalmar Siilasvuo General Dashitsev Strength Three regiments and separate battalions, 11,000 men Two divisions, one tank brigade (cca 45,000-50,000 men) Casualties 900 killed, 1770 wounded 27,500 killed and missing 85 tanks 537 trucks 1,620 horses 138 guns 6... Hjalmar Fridolf Siilasvuo (1892 - 1947) was a Finnish general who led troops in the Winter War, Continuation War and Lapland War. ...


The Soviet commander, Vinogradov, and two of his chief officers survived the battle. When they reached the Soviet lines four days later they were court martialed, found guilty and sentenced to death; the executions were carried out immediately. The charge was losing 55 field kitchens to the enemy. This article does not cite any references or sources. ...


Following this battle, on January 7, for the disastrous failures Kliment Voroshilov was replaced with Semyon Timoshenko as the commander of the Soviet forces in the war (and four months later as the People Commissar [Minister] of Defense as well).   (Russian: ), popularly known as Klim Voroshilov (Russian: ) (February 4 [O.S. January 23] 1881 – December 2, 1969) was a Soviet military commander and politician. ... Marshal of the Soviet Union Semyon Timoshenko Semyon Konstantinovich Timoshenko (Russian: Семён Константинович Тимошенко) (February 6 O.S (February 18 N.S.), 1895-March 31...


The Soviets failed to take advantage of their numerical superiority at the start of the war. Finland massed 130,000 men and 500 guns in the Karelian isthmus, the main theater of the war; the Soviets attacked with only 200,000 men and 900 guns. 1,000 tanks were ineffectively used and took massive losses. The Karelian Isthmus is the narrow stretch of land between the Gulf of Finland and Lake Ladoga in northwestern Russia. ...


Aerial

In air combat, Finland used the "finger four" formation (four planes, split into two units of two planes, one unit flying low and the other high, with each plane fighting independently of the others yet supporting their wingman in combat), which was superior to the Russian tactic of three fighters flying in a delta formation. This formation and the credo of Finnish pilots to always attack, no matter the odds, contributed to the failure of Russian bombers to inflict substantial damage against Finnish positions, cities or population reserves. Aerial warfare is the use of military aircraft and other flying machines in warfare, including military airlift of cargo to further the national interests as was demonstrated in the Berlin Airlift. ... The Thunderbirds form up into the Delta. ...


Other considerations

The vast bulk of the Red Army's troops that fought in the Winter War were taken from the southern regions of the Soviet Union. It was Stalin's opinion that Soviet troops from the area immediately bordering Finland could not be trusted to fight against the Finns. These southern Red Army soldiers had no experience with Arctic winter conditions and virtually no forest survival skills. Not only were they up against the Finns who were experts in winter warfare and knew the land, the weather during the war was one of the three worst winters in Finland in the 20th century.[11]


To the surprise of both the Soviets and the Finns, it turned out that the majority of the Finnish Socialists did not support the Soviet invasion but fought alongside their compatriots against the common enemy. Many Finnish Communists had moved to the Soviet Union in the 1930s to "build Socialism," only to end up as victims of Stalin's Great Purges, which led to widespread disillusionment and even open hatred of the Soviet regime among Socialists in Finland.


Another factor was the advancement of Finnish society and laws after the civil war that helped decrease the gap between different classes of society. This healing of the wounds and rifts of the Finnish Civil War (1918) and from Finland's language strife and the coming together of different factions of society is still referred to as "the Spirit of the Winter War". The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact between the Soviet Union and Germany had shaken the world views of both the bourgeois as well as the working class Finns. Many Finns had believed that Germany would eventually aid Finland against the Soviet Union as Imperial Germany had in 1918. In similar fashion the ordinary workers had believed that Soviet Union was a guarantee for peace and force against Nazi Germany. After the signing, Germany was in pact with Soviet Union against Finland. The workers had witnessed the Soviet Union invading Poland instead of fighting the Nazis. On the eve of war there was very little trust for any foreign power—be it socialist internationalism, German military, League of Nations or western powers. Nonetheless, some communists were not allowed to fight in Finland's conscripted army because of their political background. Combatants Whites: White Guards, German Empire, Swedish volunteers Reds: Red Guards, Russian SFSR Commanders C.G.E. Mannerheim Ali Aaltonen, Eero Haapalainen, Eino Rahja, Kullervo Manner Strength 80,000–90,000 Finns, 550 Swedish volunteers, 13,000 Germans[1] 80,000–90,000 Finns, 4,000–10,000 Russians[1... The language strife was one of the major conflicts of Finlands national history and domestic politics. ... The Spirit of Winter War (Talvisodan henki) is a term referring to the national unity that saved Finland from breaking under the Soviet invasion during the Winter War in November 30, 1939 until March 13, 1940. ... Molotov signs the German-Soviet non-aggression pact. ...


Foreign support

World opinion at large supported the Finnish cause. The World War had not yet begun in earnest and was known to the public as the Phony War; at that time, the Winter War was the only real fighting besides the German and Soviet invasion of Poland, and thus held major world interest. The Soviet aggression was generally deemed unjustified. Various foreign organizations sent material aid, such as medical supplies. Finnish immigrants in the United States and Canada returned home, and many volunteers (one of them future actor Christopher Lee) travelled to Finland to join Finland's forces: 1,010 Danes (Including Christian Frederik von Schalburg, a Captain in Christian X of Denmark's bodyguard and later commander of Frikorps Danmark, volunteer unit created by the Nazi Germany in Denmark during WWII), 895 Norwegians, 372 Ingrians, 346 Finnish expatriates, 346 Hungarians[12] and 210 volunteers of other nationalities made it to Finland before the war was over. Foreign correspondents in Helsinki wrote, and even greatly exaggerated, reports of Finnish ingenuity and successes in combat. British Ministry of Home Security Poster of a type that was common during the Phony War The Phony War, or in Winston Churchills words the Twilight War, was a phase in early World War II marked by few military operations in Continental Europe, in the months following the German... For other persons named Christopher Lee, see Christopher Lee (disambiguation). ... Christian Frederik von Schalburg (April 15, 1906 - June 2, 1942) was a Danish officer and the second commander of Frikorps Danmark. ... His Majesty Christian X, King of Denmark, Greenland, and The Faroe Islands Christian X of Denmark (September 26, 1870—April 20, 1947) was King of Denmark 1912-1947 (and of Iceland 1918-1944), a period including two World Wars. ... Schalburg Cross Frikorps Danmark (Free Corps Denmark) was a Danish volunteer army corps established to fight against the Soviet Union during the fighting in the USSR. On the 29th of June, 1941, days after the invasion of the USSR, it was set up at the initiative of the SS and... Nazi Germany, or the Third Reich, commonly refers to Germany in the years 1933–1945, when it was under the firm control of the totalitarian and fascist ideology of the Nazi Party, with the Führer Adolf Hitler as dictator. ... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... Ingria may be seen represented in the easternmost part of the Carta Marina (1539) Ingria (Finnish: , Russian: , Swedish: , Estonian: ) is a historical region, now situated mostly in Russia, comprising the area along the basin of the river Neva, between the Gulf of Finland, the Narva River, Lake Peipsi in the... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...


Pope Pius XII condemned the Soviet attack on December 26, 1939, in a speech at the Vatican and later donated a signed and sealed prayer on behalf of Finland. [13] Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Wycliffe Tyndale · Luther · Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch of Constantinople Christianity Portal This box:      The Pope (from Latin... The Venerable Pius XII, born Maria Giuseppe Giovanni Eugenio Pacelli (Rome, March 2, 1876 - October 9, 1958) served as the Pope from March 2, 1939 to 1958. ... is the 360th day of the year (361st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1939 (MCMXXXIX) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Norway

In addition to those 895 that volunteered to fight for Finland, amongst whom were later war heroes such as Max Manus and Leif "Shetland" Larsen, there were numerous nationwide collections campaigns of supplies and money in Norway to help the Finns. This included a special Finnish day held at the Holmenkollen skiing games in Oslo to collect money for the Finnish cause [4]. In all 50,000 pairs of shoes, 100,000 backpacks filled with supplies and 16,000 blankets were shipped off. Collections of rifles (mostly Krag-Jørgensen models) and home knitted shooting gloves also took place, and the Norwegian government secretly sold the Finns numerous old field guns and allowed the transfer of aircraft to Finland via Sola Air Station. Sigrid Undset, Norwegian author and Nobel laureate, donated her Nobel medal to Finland on January 25, 1940 [5]. The North Norwegian county of Finnmark received over 1,000 Finnish refugees from Petsamo by February 6, 1940 [6], as the Red Army advanced through that lightly defended area Finnish civilians sought shelter on the Norwegian side of the Pasvik/Paatsjoki River. Max Manus was a famous Norwegian World War II resistance fighter. ... Leif Andreas Larsen (9 January 1906 - 12 October 1990), popularly known as Shetlands Larsen, was probably the most famous of the men that operated the Shetland Bus escape route during WWII. Escaping Norway in February 1941 in the fishing boat MOTIG 1, he trained with the Linge Company, and... View from the tower in summer The Holmenkollen ski jump, located in Holmenkollen, Oslo, Norway, is host to the worlds second oldest ski jump competition still in existence (the oldest being hosted by a small, local club named Medicinernes Skiklub Svartor in nearby Seterkollen). ... This article is about the capital of Norway. ... The Krag-Jørgensen is a repeating bolt action rifle designed by the Norwegians Ole Herman Johannes Krag and Erik Jørgensen in the late 19th century. ... Sola Air Station is the militarized area of Stavanger Airport, Sola, Norway. ... Sigrid Undset as photographed by Carl Van Vechten in 1927. ... Nobel Prize in Literature medal. ... is the 25th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1940 (MCMXL) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display the full 1940 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Nord-Norge (Norwegian for Northern Norway) is the name of the geographical region of northern Norway, consisting of the three counties Nordland, Troms and Finnmark. ... County NO-20 Region Nord-Norge Administrative centre Vadsø County mayor   Area  - Total  - Percentage Ranked 1 48,618 km² 15. ... The area of Petsamo (Pechenga in Russian) in northern Lapland, indigenously inhabited by Samis, came to Finland in 1920 and to the Soviet Union in 1944. ... is the 37th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1940 (MCMXL) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display the full 1940 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... River Paatsjoki (Norwegian: Pasvik elv) is the outlet from Lake Inari to Barents Sea. ...


Sweden

Sweden, which had declared itself to be a non-belligerent rather than a neutral country (as in the war between Nazi Germany and the Western Powers) contributed military supplies, cash, credits, humanitarian aid and some 8,700 Swedish volunteers prepared to fight for Finland. Perhaps most significant was the Swedish Voluntary Air Force, in action from January 7, with 12 fighters, 5 bombers, and 8 other planes, amounting to one-third of the Swedish Air Force's number of Fighter at that time. Volunteer pilots and mechanics were drawn from the ranks. The renowned aviator Count Carl Gustav von Rosen, related to Hermann Göring, volunteered independently. There was also a volunteer work force, of about 900 workers and engineers. The Winter War was fought over four months following the Soviet Unions invasion of Finland on November 30, 1939, three months after the German invasion of Poland that triggered the start of World War II. Sweden did not become actively involved in the conflict, but did indirectly support Finland. ... A non-belligerent is a person or country who does not take part in aggression. ... Neutrality: Neutrality in international law is the status of a nation that refrains from participation in a war between other states and maintains an impartial attitude toward the belligerents. ... The Swedish Voluntary Air Force, F19, operated from Kemi in northern Finland for the last 62 days of the Winter War. ... is the 7th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Count Carl Gustav von Rosen (1909–Swedish pioneer aviator, son of the explorer Erik von Rosen (1879–1948) and nephew of Karin Göring, wife of Hermann Göring. ... Hermann Wilhelm Göring ( ) (also Goering in English) (January 12, 1893 – October 15, 1946) was a German politician and military leader, a leading member of the Nazi Party, second in command of the Third Reich, and commander of the Luftwaffe. ...


The Swedish Volunteer Corps with 8,402 men in Finland — the only common volunteers who had finished training before the war ended — began relieving five Finnish battalions at Märkäjärvi in mid-February. Together with three remaining Finnish battalions, the corps faced two Soviet divisions and were preparing for an attack by mid-March but were inhibited by the peace agreement. Thirty-three men died in action, among them the commander of the first relieving unit, Lieutenant Colonel Magnus Dyrssen. The Swedish Volunteer Corps(Svenska Frivilligkåren) during the Winter War numbered about 8000. ... Symbol of the Austrian 14th Armoured Battalion in NATO military graphic symbols This article is about the military unit. ... Armies have military rank systems that are often used by other military services such as air forces or marines. ...


The Swedish volunteers remain a source of dissonance between Swedes and Finns. The domestic debate in Finland had in the years immediately before the war given common Finns hope of considerably more support from Sweden, such as a large force of regular troops, that could have had a significant impact on the outcome of the war — or possibly caused the Russians not to attack at all.


However the help from volunteers, especially the Scandinavian ones, was appreciated by the Finns. This is shown by the fact that during the Norwegian Campaign against the German invasion in April 1940 a Finnish group of volunteers formed an ambulance unit and helped the defenders until forced to return home because of the success of the German armed forces. A group of Swedish and Finnish volunteers fought along Norwegian soldiers against the German invaders near Os, on May 2 as well. German battle cruisers in a Norwegian port in June 1940 The Norwegian Campaign, lasting from 9 April to 10 June 1940, led to the first direct land confrontation between the military forces of the Allies — United Kingdom and France — against Nazi Germany in World War II. The primary reason for... Combatants Germany Denmark Norway Operation Weserübung was the German codename for Nazi Germanys assault on Denmark and Norway during World War II and the opening operation of the Norwegian Campaign. ...


Franco-British plans for a Scandinavian theatre

Within a month, the Soviet leadership began to consider abandoning the operation, and Finland's government was approached with preliminary peace feelers (via Sweden's government), first on January 29. Until then, Finland had fought for its existence as an independent and democratic country. When credible rumours of this reached the governments in Paris and London, the incentives for military support were dramatically changed. is the 29th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ...

Franco-British support was offered on the condition it was given free passage through neutral Norway and Sweden instead of taking the road from Petsamo. The reason was a wish to occupy the iron ore districts in Kiruna and Malmberget.(Borders as of 1920–1940.)
Franco-British support was offered on the condition it was given free passage through neutral Norway and Sweden instead of taking the road from Petsamo. The reason was a wish to occupy the iron ore districts in Kiruna and Malmberget.
(Borders as of 1920–1940.)

In February 1940, the Allies offered to help: the Allied plan, approved on February 5 by the Allied High Command, consisted of 100,000 British and 35,000 French troops that were to disembark at the Norwegian port of Narvik and support Finland via Sweden while securing the supply routes along the way. The plan was agreed to be launched on March 20 under the condition that the Finns plead for help. On March 2, transit rights were officially requested from the governments of Norway and Sweden. It was hoped this would eventually bring the two still neutral Nordic countries, Norway and Sweden, to the Allied side by strengthening their positions against Germany — although Hitler had by December declared to the Swedish government that Western troops on Swedish soil would immediately provoke a German invasion, which in practice meant that Nazi Germany would take the populated southern part of Scandinavia while France and Britain would fight in the furthest north. Image File history File links Based on Brion Vibbers map of Europe. ... Neutrality: Neutrality in international law is the status of a nation that refrains from participation in a war between other states and maintains an impartial attitude toward the belligerents. ... The area of Petsamo (Pechenga in Russian) in northern Lapland, indigenously inhabited by Samis, came to Finland in 1920 and to the Soviet Union in 1944. ... The Swedish iron ore was an important theme in the World War II debate. ... Kiruna View from just outside Kiruna, with European route E10 left to LuleÃ¥ and right to Narvik, Norway. ... Categories: Sweden geography stubs ... This article is about the independent states that comprised the Allies. ... is the 36th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... is the 79th day of the year (80th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 61st day of the year (62nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


However, only a small fraction of the Western troops were intended for Finland. Proposals to enter Finland directly, via the ice-free harbour of Petsamo, had been dismissed. There were suspicions that the objective of the operation was to occupy the Norwegian shipping harbour of Narvik and the vast mountainous areas of the north-Swedish iron ore fields, from which the Third Reich received a large share of its iron ore, critical to war production. If Franco-British troops moved to halt export to Germany, the area could become a significant battleground between the Allies and the Germans. As a consequence, Norway and Sweden denied transit. Despite the Allies' pretense of mounting a defense for Finland against the Soviets, after WWII it became known that the commander of the Allied expedition forces had been ordered not to engage Soviet forces once his troops were in Finland. The area of Petsamo (Pechenga in Russian) in northern Lapland, indigenously inhabited by Samis, came to Finland in 1920 and to the Soviet Union in 1944. ...


The Franco-British plan initially hoped to secure all of Scandinavia north of a line StockholmGothenburg or Stockholm–Oslo, i.e. the British concept of the Lake line following the lakes of Mälaren, Hjälmaren, and Vänern, which would contribute with good natural defence some 1,700–1,900 kilometres (1,000-1,200 miles) south for Narvik. The expected frontier, the Lake line, involved not only Sweden's two largest cities, but its consequence was that the homes of the vast majority of the Swedes would be either Nazi-occupied or in the war zone. Later, the ambition was lowered to only the northern half of Sweden and the rather narrow adjacent Norwegian coast. For other uses, see Stockholm (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Gothenburg (disambiguation). ... This article is about the capital of Norway. ... Location map Mälaren details, with Stockholm urban area to the right in pink. ... Lake Hjälmaren (see red arrow) Lake Hjälmaren is Swedens fourth largest lake. ... Map of Sweden; Vänern in the middle south. ...

Field Marshal Mannerheim in Mikkeli

The Swedish government, headed by Prime Minister Per Albin Hansson, declined to allow transit of armed troops through Swedish territory. Although Sweden had not declared itself neutral in the Winter War, it was neutral in the war involving France, Britain, and Germany. Granting transit rights to a Franco-British corps was at that time considered too great a departure from international laws on neutrality. Image File history File links Mannerheim_during_Winter_War. ... Image File history File links Mannerheim_during_Winter_War. ... Mikkeli (or St. ... Per Albin Hansson Per Albin Hansson (October 28, 1885–October 6, 1946), leader of the Swedish Social Democrats, was Prime Minister in four governments between 1932 and 1946, including the coalition government which was formed during World War II, and included all major parties except the communists. ...


The Swedish Cabinet also decided to reject repeated pleas from the Finns for regular Swedish troops to be deployed in Finland, and in the end the Swedes also made it clear that their present support in arms and munitions could not be maintained for much longer. Diplomatically, Finland was squeezed between Allied hopes for a prolonged war and Swedish and Norwegian fears that the Allies and Germans might soon be fighting each other on Swedish and Norwegian terrain. In addition, Norway and Sweden feared an influx of Finnish refugees should Finland lose to the Soviets. Also, Hermann Göring was through his private channels in Sweden offering distinct advice for peace and concessions — Göring suggested that concessions "could always later be mended." The Winter War was fought over four months following the Soviet Unions invasion of Finland on November 30, 1939, three months after the German invasion of Poland that triggered the start of World War II. Sweden did not become actively involved in the conflict, but did indirectly support Finland. ... Hermann Wilhelm Göring ( ) (also Goering in English) (January 12, 1893 – October 15, 1946) was a German politician and military leader, a leading member of the Nazi Party, second in command of the Third Reich, and commander of the Luftwaffe. ...


While Germany and Sweden pressured Finland to accept peace on bad conditions, Britain and France had the opposite objective. Different plans and figures were presented for the Finns. To start with, France and Britain promised to send 20,000 men to arrive by the end of February, although under the implicit condition that on their way to Finland they were given opportunity to occupy North-Scandinavia.


By the end of February, Finland's Commander-in-Chief, Field Marshal Mannerheim, was pessimistic about the military situation. Therefore, on February 29 the government decided to start peace negotiations. That same day, the Soviets commenced an attack against Viipuri. Commander-in-Chief (in NATO-lingo often C-in-C or CINC pronounced sink) is the commander of all the military forces within a particular region or of all the military forces of a state. ... C.G.E. Mannerheim wearing the rank insignia of sotamarsalkka, Finnish field marshal. ... This article is about the Finnish statesman and Commander-in-Chief. ... February 29 is a day added into a leap year of the Gregorian calendar. ... A view of Vyborg from the castle tower Vyborg (Russian: ; Finnish: ; Swedish: ; German: ) is a town in Leningrad Oblast, Russia, situated on the Karelian Isthmus near the head of the Bay of Vyborg, 130 km to the northwest of St. ...


When France and Britain realized that Finland was considering a peace treaty, they gave a new offer for help: 50,000 men were to be sent, if Finland asked for help before March 12. Only 6,000 of these would have actually been destined for Finland. The rest were intended to secure harbours, roads and iron ore fields on the way. is the 71st day of the year (72nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


Despite the feeble forces that would have reached Finland, intelligence about the plans reached the Soviet Union and contributed heavily to their decision to sign the armistice ending the war. It is argued that without the threat of Allied intervention, nothing would have eventually stopped the Soviets from conquering the entirety of Finland because of the Soviet Union's large number of troop reserves. A white flag is traditionally used to represent a truce. ...


Armistice

By the end of the winter, it became clear that the Russian forces were becoming exhausted, and German representatives suggested that Finland should negotiate with the Soviet Union. Russian casualties had been high, and the situation was a source of political embarrassment for the Soviet regime. With the spring thaw approaching, the Russian forces risked becoming bogged down in the forests, and a draft of peace terms was presented to Finland on February 12. Both the Germans and the Swedes were keen to see an end to the Winter War; the latter feared the collapse of its neighbor. As Finland's Cabinet hesitated in face of the harsh Soviet conditions, Sweden's King Gustaf V made a public statement, in which he confirmed having declined Finnish pleas for support from Swedish troops. is the 43rd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Gustaf V (Oscar Gustaf Adolf) (June 16, 1858 – October 29, 1950) was King of Sweden from 1907 until his death. ... The Winter War broke out when the Soviet Union attacked Finland on November 30, 1939, three months after the start of World War II. The war lasted until March 1940 and during the conflict Finland received limited but crucial support from Sweden. ...

Fallen soldiers of the Red Army
Fallen soldiers of the Red Army
Evacuation of Finnish Karelia (Muolaa municipality)
Evacuation of Finnish Karelia (Muolaa municipality)

By the end of February, the Finns had depleted their ammunition supplies. Also, the Soviet Union had finally succeeded in breaking through the Mannerheim Line. On February 29, the Finnish government agreed to start negotiations. By March 5, the Soviet army had advanced 10–15 kilometres past the Mannerheim Line and had entered the suburbs of Viipuri. The Finns proposed an armistice on the same day, but the Soviets wanted to keep the pressure on and declined the offer the next day. Indeed, the fighting continued up to noon (Leningrad time), March 13, half a day after the peace treaty was signed, according to the terms of the protocol. Image File history File links KaatuneitaNeuvostosotilaita. ... Image File history File links KaatuneitaNeuvostosotilaita. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Evacuation of Finnish Karelia was the resettlement of the population of Finnish Karelia into Finland from the territory ceded by Finland to the Soviet Union. ... , Muolaa Lutheran church. ... The Mannerheim Line was a defensive fortification line on the Karelian Isthmus built by Finland against the Soviet Union. ... February 29 is a day added into a leap year of the Gregorian calendar. ... This article is about the day. ...


After the war, the situation of the Finnish army at Karelian Isthmus at the end of the war had created significant discussion. The orders were already given to prepare a retreat to the next line of defence in the Taipale sector. The estimates of how long the enemy could have been held in these kinds of retreat-and-stand operations varied from a few days[14] to a couple of months[15], most averaging around a few weeks[16], too little time for any foreign help to make a difference.


It is speculated that Stalin had practically wiped out his intelligence apparatus during the purges, thus damaging the effectiveness of spies in Finland and other countries, as well as cowing operatives into writing the kind of reports they thought Stalin wanted to read. Thus he was not aware the real situation in Finland and amongst the Western Allies[17][18].


Soviet intelligence sources were informing their leadership of the Allied plans to intervene in the war, but not of the details or the actual unpreparedness of the Allies. Therefore, the Soviets felt forced to seek a premature end to the war before the Allies intervened and declared war on the Soviet Union.


During four months of fighting, the Soviet Army suffered huge losses. One Red Army General remarked that "we have won enough ground to bury our dead." Casualty estimates vary widely — from 48,000 killed, died from wounds, and missing in action, as quoted by Soviet officials immediately after the war, to 391,800 according to some recent research[19] According to Nikita Khrushchev, 1.5 million men were sent to Finland and one million of them were killed, while 1,000 aircraft, 2,300 tanks and armored cars and an enormous amount of other war materials were lost. [7] The most reliable current estimate puts the figure at 126,875[7]. Finland's losses were limited to around 22,830 men[20]. Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev (Russian: , Nikita Sergeevič Chruščiov; IPA: , in English, , or , occasionally ); surname more accurately romanized as Khrushchyov[1]; April 17 [O.S. April 5] 1894[2]–September 11, 1971) was the chief director of the Soviet Union after the death of Joseph Stalin. ...


Peace of Moscow

Winter War: Finland's Concessions
Winter War: Finland's Concessions

In the Moscow Peace Treaty of March 12, 1940, Finland was forced to cede the Finnish part of Karelia. The land included the city of Viipuri (the country's second largest), much of Finland's industrialized territory, and significant parts still held by Finland's army: nearly 10% of pre-war Finland. Some 422,000 Karelians—12% of Finland's population—lost their homes. Military troops and remaining civilians were hastily evacuated; only a few score civilians chose to remain under Soviet governance. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (619x800, 52 KB) File links The following pages link to this file: Winter War Moscow Peace Treaty (1940) ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (619x800, 52 KB) File links The following pages link to this file: Winter War Moscow Peace Treaty (1940) ... Areas ceded by Finland to the Soviet Union The Moscow Peace Treaty was signed by Finland and the Soviet Union on March 12, 1940. ... is the 71st day of the year (72nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


Finland also had to cede a part of the Salla area, the Kalastajansaarento peninsula in the Barents Sea and four islands in the Gulf of Finland. The Hanko Peninsula was also leased to the Soviet Union as a military base for 30 years. While the Soviet troops had captured Petsamo during the war, they returned it to Finland according to the treaty. Salla is a municipality of Finland and is located in Lapland. ... Rybachiy Peninsula (Russian: Полуостров Рыбачий, Norwegian: Fiskerhalvøya, Finnish: Kalastajasaarento) is the Northernmost part of the European part of Russia. ... Location of the Barents Sea. ... The Baltic Sea The Gulf of Finland is an arm of the Baltic Sea that extends between Finland (to the north) and Estonia (to the south) all the way to the city of Saint Petersburg in Russia, where the river Neva drains into it. ... Hanko, (Hangö in Swedish) in Finland is a small bilingual port town on the south coast of Finland, 130 kilometers west of Helsinki. ...


As a whole, the peace terms were harsh for Finland. Russia received the city of Vyborg, in addition to their pre-war demands. Sympathy from the League of Nations, Western Allies, and from the Swedes in particular, did not prove to be of much help.


Only a year later, hostilities were resumed in the Continuation War. Combatants  Finland Germany Italy1  Soviet Union  United Kingdom2 Commanders C.G.E. Mannerheim Kirill Meretskov Leonid Govorov Strength 530,000 Finns[1] 220,000 Germans 900,000–1,500,000[2] Casualties 58,715 dead or missing 158,000 wounded 1,500 civilian dead[3] 200,000 dead or missing...


Post-Soviet demands for return of territory

After the war, Karelian local governments, parishes and provincial organizations established Karjalan Liitto in order to defend the rights and interests of Karelian evacuees and to find a solution for returning Karelia. During the Cold War, President Urho Kekkonen tried several times to get the territories back by negotiating with the Soviet leadership, but did not succeed. No one openly demanded return. After the breakup of the Soviet Union, disputes were revived. Some minor groups in Finland have been actively demanding the peaceful return to Finland of the ceded territories. The most active group in this field is ProKarelia. In the latest polls, these demands have met with 26– 38% support in Finland.[21] Although the peaceful return of Karelia has always been on its agenda, Karjalan Liitto has, for the most part, stayed away from these demands. Areas ceded by Finland to the Soviet Union. ... Karjalan Liitto (Karelian Association) is an interest group for Karelian evacuees. ... For other uses, see Cold War (disambiguation). ... Urho Kekkonen Urho Kaleva Kekkonen (September 3, 1900 - August 31, 1986) was a Finnish politician who served as Prime Minister of Finland from 1950 to 1956, and as the most long-standing president of Finland from 1956 to 1981. ... // The rise of Gorbachev Although reform stalled between 1964–1982, the generational shift gave new momentum for reform. ... ProKarelia is a Finnish NGO, that works for the return of Finnish Karelia, Petsamo, Salla and some islands in Gulf of Finland ceded to the Soviet Union in past treaties in Moscow and Paris. ... Karjalan Liitto (Karelian Association) is an interest group for Karelian evacuees. ...


Film

In 1989, the Finnish movie Talvisota was released. This film tells the story of a Finnish platoon of reservists from Kauhava. The platoon belongs to the infantry regiment "Jr23", which consists almost solely of men from Southern Ostrobothnia. The Winter War (Finnish: Talvisota, Swedish: Vinterkriget) is a Finnish 1989 film directed by Pekka Parikka. ... Kauhava is a municipality of Finland. ... Southern Ostrobothnia is one of the 20 regions (fi: maakunta / sv: landskap) of Finland. ...


See also

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Winter War

Image File history File links Commons-logo. ... The Finnish Army at the beginning of the Winter War in 1939 consisted of 9 field divisions, 3 brigades and a number of small independent battalions and companies. ... Combatants  Finland Germany Italy1  Soviet Union  United Kingdom2 Commanders C.G.E. Mannerheim Kirill Meretskov Leonid Govorov Strength 530,000 Finns[1] 220,000 Germans 900,000–1,500,000[2] Casualties 58,715 dead or missing 158,000 wounded 1,500 civilian dead[3] 200,000 dead or missing... Interim Peace was a short period in the history of Finland during the Second World War. ... The Spirit of Winter War (Talvisodan henki) is a term referring to the national unity that saved Finland from breaking under the Soviet invasion during the Winter War in November 30, 1939 until March 13, 1940. ... This is a list of wars fought by independent Finland between 1917 and 1945: The Civil War (1918) Treaty of Tarto (1920) Heimosodat by Finnish volunteers The Estonian Liberation War (1918-1920) The Viena expedition (1918) The Petsamo expedition (1918 and 1920) The Aunus expedition (1919) The Rising of East... The Lotta Svärd emblem designed by Eric Wasström in 1921. ... The Mannerheim Line was a defensive fortification line on the Karelian Isthmus built by Finland against the Soviet Union. ... Count Carl Gustav von Rosen (1909–Swedish pioneer aviator, son of the explorer Erik von Rosen (1879–1948) and nephew of Karin Göring, wife of Hermann Göring. ... Antti Johannes Rantamaa (1904-1987) was a Finnish member of the Finnish Parliament, figure of the Winter War, author and one of the heads of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland. ... Simo Häyhä During The Winter War Simo Häyhä (December 17, 1905–April 1, 2002), nicknamed Belaya Smert (Russian Cyrillic Белая Смерть; in English, The White Death; Finnish Valkoinen kuolema) by the Soviet army, was a Finnish soldier, and is widely considered to be the most successful sniper in history. ... The Winter War was fought over four months following the Soviet Unions invasion of Finland on November 30, 1939, three months after the German invasion of Poland that triggered the start of World War II. Sweden did not become actively involved in the conflict, but did indirectly support Finland. ... // At the end of the 19th century the Finno-Ugric linguistic affinity became widely accepted after extensive public debate. ... The Brewster Buffalo, or Brewster F2A, was a U.S. fighter plane which saw extensive service with both Allied and Axis air forces during World War II. The fighters, derided by some American servicemen as flying coffins,[1] had a reputation for poor construction and performance, though they were relatively...

Notes

  1. ^ Pentti Virrankoski, Suomen Historia 2, 2001, ISBN 951-746-342-1, SKS
  2. ^ Erkki Käkelä, Laguksen miehet, marskin nyrkki: Suomalainen panssariyhtymä 1941-1944, 1992, ISBN 952-90-3858-5, Panssarikilta
  3. ^ Kantakoski, Punaiset panssarit - Puna-armeijan panssarijoukot 1918-1945, p. 260
  4. ^ a b Tomas Ries, Cold Will - The Defense of Finland, 1988, ISBN 0-08-033592-6, Potomac Books
  5. ^ Ohto Manninen, Talvisodan salatut taustat, 1994, ISBN 952-90-5251-0, Kirjaneuvos, using declassified Soviet archive material, Manninen found 12 previously unrecognized infantry divisions ordered to Finnish front
  6. ^ Finnish Defence College, Talvisodan historia 4, p.406, 1991, ISBN 951-0-17566-8, WSOY, The dead includes 3,671 badly wounded who died after the war without leaving the hospital, some several years after the war.
  7. ^ a b G.F. Krivosheev, Soviet Casualties and Combat Losses in the Twentieth Century, 1997, ISBN 1-85367-280-7, Greenhill Books
  8. ^ Kantakoski, p. 286
  9. ^ Russo-Finnish War. Encarta. Retrieved on 2006-07-11.
  10. ^ Tanner, Väinö, The Winter War, 1957, Stanford University Press
  11. ^ Ilmatieteen laitos: Vuodenajat kolmen kalenterikuukauden jaksoissa (Finnish) Retrieved 9-16-2007.
  12. ^ Tapani Kossila: Foreign volunteers in the Winter War
  13. ^ Finnish Defence Forces - The Winter War 1939-1940 Retrieved 9-5-2007.
  14. ^ Laaksonen, Lasse, Todellisuus ja harhat, 2005, ISBN 951-20-6911-3, Gummerus
  15. ^ Wolf H. Halsti, Talvisota 1939-1940, 1955, Otava
  16. ^ Paasikivi, J.K., Toimintani Moskovassa, 1959, WSOY
  17. ^ C. Van Dyke, The Soviet Invasion of Finland 1939–40, 1997, London: Frank Cass
  18. ^ Rentola, Kimmo, Residenttimme ilmoittaa..., Suomen Historiallinen Seura, 2002
  19. ^ A.E.Taras, Soviet-Finland 1939-1940 war, Minsk, 1999.
  20. ^ Winter War Website, [1]
  21. ^ Karjala-lehti and MC-Info Oy 2005 (36 % vs. 52 %), Karjalan Liitto and Taloustutkimus 5.- 7.4. 2005 (26 % vs. 57 %)[2], HS-Gallup: Selvä enemmistö ei halua Karjalaa takaisin 21.8.2005 (30 % vs. 62 %)[3], STT / Suomen Gallup 2.7. 2004 (38 % vs. 57 %)

Encarta is a digital multimedia encyclopedia published by Microsoft Corporation. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 192nd day of the year (193rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Väinö Tanner (March 12, 1881 – April 19, 1966) was a pioneer and leader in the Co-op Movement in Finland. ... Juho Kusti Paasikivi (November 27, 1870 – December 14, 1956) was President of Finland from 1946 to 1956. ...

References

  • Engle, Eloise; Paananen, Lauri (1992). The Winter War: The Soviet Attack on Finland 1939-1940. Stackpole Books. ISBN 0-8117-2433-6.
  • Jakobson, Max (1961). The Diplomacy of the Winter War: An Account of the Russo-Finnish War, 1939-1940. Cambridge, MA: Harward University Press.
  • Öhquist, Harald (1949). Talvisota minun näkökulmastani. Helsinki: WSOY. (in Finnish)
  • Ries, Tomas (1988). Cold Will: Defence of Finland. Brassey's. ISBN 0-08-033592-6.
  • Schwartz, Andrew J. (1960). America and the Russo-Finnish War. Washington, D.C.: Public Affairs Press.
  • Trotter, William R (1991). A Frozen Hell: The Russo-Finnish Winter War of 1939-1940 (also published as The Winter War). Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill. ISBN 1-56512-249-6.
  • Van Dyke, Carl (1997). The Soviet Invasion of Finland, 1939-40. Frank Cass Publishers. ISBN 0-7146-4314-9.
  • Vehviläinen, Olli (2002). Finland in the Second World War: Between Germany and Russia. New York: Palgrave. ISBN 0-333-80149-0.

Max Jakobson (born in Viipuri, Finland, (now Vyborg, Russia) in 1923) is retired Finnish politician, journalist and diplomat. ... William R. Trotter (born 1943) is an American author and historian. ...

External links

Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Image File history File links Wikibooks-logo. ... Image File history File links Wikiquote-logo. ... Image File history File links Wikisource-logo. ... Image File history File links Commons-logo. ... Image File history File links WikiNews-Logo. ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
Winter War Campaign - Part I: Boulder Dash (865 words)
Finland ultimately lost this war and thus ceded roughly ten percent of its of its territory.
Although technically a loss for the Finns, the Winter War provided a victory in that it maintained its status as a sovereign nation rather than end up absorbed into the U.S.S.R. The Finns simply fought too well for the Soviets, and the Soviets proved themselves clumsy and ham-fisted opponent for the Finns.
The Winter War: The Soviet Attack on Finland 1939-1940.
Winter War (4677 words)
During the Winter War, the Finnish fighters normally dispersed in small numbers to auxiliary camouflaged airfields to avoid detection and attack on the ground.
The primary Soviet bombers of the Winter War, the Tupolev SB-2, discussed earlier in conjunction with their service in Spain and the Far East, and the larger and slightly slower Ilyushin DB-3, were both relatively fast aircraft with twin radial engines.
Even though the Finns did not have a very effective air-direction system during the Winter War, they were often able to receive engagement and sighting reports that were valuable in allowing them to concentrate their limited forces where they were most needed.
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