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73

Wikipedia article on the Winter War The 3 top Soviet officers (apart from Stalin): Kliment Voroshilov: died 2 December 1969. Semyon Timoshenko: died 31 March 1970. Kirill Meretskov: died 30 December 1968. Since Stalin died 5 March 1953, it is rather obvious that there were officers (at least three of them!) involved in the Winter War who were not executed ...


32

Certainly not "all officers", but some: According to Robert Edwards, the [44th] division's Commander A. Vinogradev managed to escape, but later, on the orders of Stalin's emissary, Lev Mekhlis, he was shot for incompetence following a sham trial. [...] Other records suggest that Commander (kombrig) Alexei Vinogradov was sentenced in January ...


20

Antony Beevor's Stalingrad contains some supporting material on perceived weaknesses of the Red Army esp. following Stalin's domestic purges: Such confidence [in the success of Operation Barbarossa] was, in many ways, understandable. Every foreign intelligence service expected the Red Army to collapse. The Wehrmacht had assembled the largest invasion ...


18

Albert Speer speaking in the 1973 documentary The World at War: "Barbarossa (June – December 1941)" "In August 39, when Hitler had signed the pact with Russia, in the evening there was a movie, and this movie showed the parade of the Russian troops before the Kremlin. He was very much impressed and was relived that now with the pact this army is neutralised....


17

While the integration of these territories into the Russian Empire took place at the same time, they were subject to wholly different methods of integration, one a conquest but a conquest which wasn't resisted by the local people, and the other a conquest which was actively resisted by the local population for decades. Finland The Russo-Swedish War of 1808–...


17

Finland was kind of a special case. They weren't a Warsaw Pact country, but geography put them in a position where if their Russian neighbor wanted to invade, no power on earth would really be capable of stopping them. Due to this reality, the country adopted a policy of not doing anything whatsoever that might prod the USSR in that direction. They signed a ...


15

See the description of the hashing applied to Finland "countries in the Soviet political economic and strategic block". While nominally independent, Finland was economically subservient to the USSR because of their losing out in the wars between the countries which happened in parallel to WW2 (the Soviet invasion of Finland led to Finland aligning with ...


13

The relevant archives are still closed and, I think, will continue to be closed for a long time. One, thus, has to look for memoirs of former Soviet leaders (of that time). Three of them wrote such memoirs: Kaganovich, Mikoyan and Khrushchev. The first two say nothing of interest (regarding your question), but Khrushchev (in book 1) did have something to say ...


13

The Soviets were indeed winning, but there were several reasons to stop: They'd basically fulfilled the demands they made of Finland before starting the war. Those were mainly about moving the border so that Leningrad wasn't so close to Finland. Making an aggressive war against a much smaller country was becoming politically embarrassing, even to Stalin. ...


10

However one should never forget that conditions in Finnish-Russo Winter War were hard, fighting was fierce, both Finns and Russians took quite a few POW's and partly the "poor level of Red Army" was a myth. Think about this one: 30 times more Soviet soldiers died than was captured. 40 times more Finns were killed than captured. Finnish-Winter War was just ...


8

The National Land Survey of Finland site has digital maps from before 1939 available for viewing, including Karelia (below).


8

With regards to Finland, it was the second country that the USSR invaded after signing the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, where Finland was one of the countries that had been assigned to the Soviet "Sphere of influence" together with Estonia, Latvia, Bessarabia and half of Poland. (The first country invaded was of course Poland). However, there is a dispute ...


7

At the Yalta Conference in February 1945 the following declaration was included in the conference proceedings in regards to Poland's Eastern border: "The three heads of Government consider that the eastern frontier of Poland should follow the Curzon Line with digressions from it in some regions of five to eight kilometers in favor of Poland. They ...


6

An important point not mentioned in the other two excellent answers is that Finland extradited political refugees, i.e., people who crossed the border over to Finland and asked for a political asylum were immediately arrested and escorted to the Soviet Embassy.


5

The Finns were very thorough about interning anybody who did not speak Finnish. Of course, this amounted to a mere handful of people. Finland was practically at war with the Soviet Union ever since the revolution, so there were very few Russians in Finland. The Finns and Soviets also had mutual trade bans so there was little or no economic traffic between ...


5

At least two different sites repeat the same claim, that he did have the tattoo, and removed it with a knife. From an article on historynet.com, FROM GERMAN WAFFEN SS TO AMERICAN GREEN BERET: In 1950, Törni moved to a Finnish community in Venezuela. He got a job on a freighter carrying ore to U.S. ports on the Gulf Coast. Once the freighter was in Mobile ...


5

Firstly, this greatly depends on how the GDP was back-calculated for those times. This is a difficult task as I've described elsewhere here. For reference, I've copied in the table for a quick comparison between "Finland" and "Russia" between 1830 and 1913 as given on the OP's link under "Europe 1830–1938 (Bairoch)": I quickly ...


4

There were several important differences between Poland and Finland, in Finland's "favor." 1) Ethnicity: The Poles were Slavic, and the Finns were not. The Russians fancied themselves the natural beneficiaries of a "Pan-Slavic" movement, aimed at Slavs further west and south. The Poles were crucial to this imperative, the Finns were not. ...


4

Present day linguists do not consider the two peoples related. There was once a theory that they were related, but it has been very far out of favor for half a century now. However, there was a historic time when the two cultures intertwined, and this could possibly be what you are thinking of. This is the history of what is now the European nation of ...


4

Is this (PDF) what you are looking for? I found it as part of this collection using the search string (without the quotes) "documents on German foreign policy series d" Historical document collection: Documents on German Foreign Policy Lists of documents in Documents on German Foreign Policy, Series D, volumes VIII-XIII (The War Years), published ...


4

The first flag of Portugal was the coat of arms of Henry of Burgundy, Count of Portugal and father of Afonso I (1109-1185), the first king of Portugal. It's an azure cross over a silver field. Crosses were popular motifs of the first coats of arms (perhaps because they were used in the First Crusade in 1099). According to the early heraldic rules of the ...


3

A. By what ages where men/women allowed to voluntarily join the Finnish army (upper and lower bounds if there was any, differences between men and women)? I have scoured my few Finnish sources and can't find a definitive answer to what ages men were allowed to join the Finnish army. I will note that Mannerheim, born in 1867, was 72 in 1939 when the Winter ...


3

Because that was the reality of the time. Note that even Sweden and France both have question marks. One year earlier, in 1946, Churchill had spoken of an Iron Curtain "from Stettin on the Baltic to Trieste on the Adriatic." He didn't extend it north through the Gulf of Bothnia (between Sweden and Finland), but he could have. In the case of Finland, this ...


3

Absolutely. What other conclusion could you draw from that war? Moreover, it was not an underestimation at all. The assessment was absolutely correct. When Germany attacked in June of 1941 the USSR was crushed, losing huge numbers of troops and territory. During that first summer the Soviet forces exhibited all the same obsolete equipment and incompetent ...


2

The head commander, Meretskov, was promoted after the winter war, in spite of all his inability. So, definitely, the answer is "no".


1

Finland had lost "11% of its territory and 30% of its economic power" (e.g. the Petsamo nickel mines to the Soviet Union in the "Winter War" of 1939-1940. http://www.ask.com/wiki/Winter_War The German invasion of the Soviet Union offered Finland a chance to get these back. Finnish troops advanced to the pre (Winter) war boundary, but no further. Finland ...


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