Hot answers tagged

71

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 ...


30

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 ...


17

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....


16

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 ...


14

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 ...


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 ...


10

The short answer is Finland had no official involvement in the siege of Leningrad. They did have a significant indirect involvement, however. Also, the Finns did do what little they could in an unofficial manor in regards to helping individuals who came to their border looking for food. What they could do didn’t amount to much but they were in a no-win ...


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 ...


8

Fitting to your understanding, the stated purposes of Finland's involvement with Germany in the Siege of Leningrad was to regain lost lands from the Winter's War. To this end, they didn't participate in the direct siege far beyond the pre-war border, by Mannenheim's orders. However, they did aid the Germans in blockading Russia's supply routes. Had peace ...


7

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


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

Any gain of such a construction would have been minimal. If you look at the graphic from the Wikipedia article on the Road of Life, it shows relative positions held. The Finns already held the entire Northern boundry of the lake, so would make no gain in mobility by such a construction. The Germans actually held territory much closer to the ice road, so ...


6

I don't disagree with what others have said about Finland's actions during the Siege of Leningrad. But I wish to point out that Finland's official war aims in 1941 do not tell the whole story. Finland's official war aims in 1941 were merely to recover the territories lost in the Winter War of 1939-40, but statements by Finnish politicians reveal that ...


6

Joe Hobbit summarises the bulk of the war, but it is important to note that during the Winter War (1940), the Soviets were collaborating with Germany, and not yet allies with UK or France. In fact, UK and France tried to send military support to Finland, and many volunteers actually fought alongside the Finns. Basically, Finland was caught in the middle of ...


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

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.


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

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 ...


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

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 ...


2

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 ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible