In February 1940, following one of the largest artillery bombardments since World War I, the Soviets renewed their onslaught and overran the Finnish defenses on the Karelian Isthmus. There was mistrust between the two countries.
A Finnish ski patrol, lying in the snow on the outskirts of a wood in northern Finland, on the alert for Soviet troops, 12 January 1940. Outside help never materialised. Chinese and Indian winter warfare equipment is moving to the front. Hear about life in the trenches and the freezing conditions for soldiers. New Delhi: The Delhi government launched a ‘Green War Room’ Thursday to aid its battle against the pollution crisis that envelops the national capital, among other parts of north India, every winter. Citing concerns about a potential attack by the Germans, Stalin demanded that Finland’s border with Russia be moved back 16 miles along the Karelian Isthmus to create a buffer zone around the city of Leningrad. Greetings Winter Warriors, As you know, our country currently finds itself in the midst of a pandemic caused by COVID-19. The treaty ending the Winter War forced Finland to cede 11 percent of its territory to the Soviet Union, yet the country maintained its independence and later squared off … Though vastly outnumbered and outgunned in what became known as the “Winter War,” the Finns had the advantage of fighting on home turf. The Winter War proved a costly victory for the Soviets. The Finns were badly outnumbered in all areas during the conflict with the Soviets also possessing superiority in armor (6,541 to 30) and aircraft (3,800 to 130). Their guerilla tactics were only aided by the freezing Finnish winter, which bogged the Soviets down and made their soldiers easy to spot against snowy terrain.
Soviet forces were overseen by the skilled Marshal Kirill Meretskov but suffered heavily at lower command levels from Josef Stalin's purges of the Red Army in 1937. Winter is Coming and Both India and China are Preparing for War .
By early February 1940, the Finnish Army was exhausted and their defensive lines eventually overrun.
Under threat from Germany, both countries denied the request. World War II in Europe: Blitzkrieg and the "Phony War", Operation Barbarossa in World War II: History and Significance, What Is a Molotov Cocktail? Some hope did arrive when the Allies, then fighting World War II, offered to send 135,000 men to aid the Finns. HISTORY reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it is complete and accurate. Britain and France declared war on Germany two days later. Upon hearing of the plan Adolf Hitler stated that should Allied troops enter Sweden, Germany would invade. There was mistrust between the two countries.
Less than two years before the Soviet Union faced off against Nazi Germany during World War II, it waged a bloody war with another adversary: the tiny nation of Finland. The catch in the Allies' offer was that they requested that their men be allowed to cross Norway and Sweden to reach Finland. Not to be denied, the Soviets began massing approximately 1 million men along the Finnish border. Casualties for the Finns numbered around 26,662 dead and 39,886 wounded. This would have allowed them to occupy the Swedish iron ore fields that were supplying Nazi Germany. With all hope of substantial outside assistance lost and the Soviets on the outskirts of Viipuri, Finland dispatched a party to Moscow on March 6 to begin peace negotiations. Over 2,000 Soviet tanks were destroyed using this method. On November 30, 1939, following a series of ultimatums and failed negotiations, the Soviet Red Army launched an invasion of Finland with half a million troops. We here at Winter War care deeply about the health and well-being of our attendees, and also wish to follow all guidelines and mandates regarding social …
Russia’s feud with its Nordic neighbor began in 1939, when Soviet leader Joseph Stalin looked to expand his influence over Eastern Europe. Years of international tension and aggressive expansion by Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany culminated in the German invasion of Poland on 1 September 1939. He has appeared on The History Channel as a featured expert. © 2020 A&E Television Networks, LLC. Led by Marshal Carl Gustaf Mannerheim, they hunkered down behind a network of trenches, concrete bunkers and field fortifications on the Karelian Isthmus and beat back repeated Soviet tank assaults. Finland had been under pressure from both Sweden and Germany for nearly a month to seek an end to the conflict, as neither nation wished to see a Soviet takeover. The ‘Winter War’ of 1939-1940, also known as the Russo-Finnish War, saw the tiny Finnish Army take on the might of the Soviet Union’s gigantic Red Army. On March 2, the Allies officially requested transit rights from Norway and Sweden. Termed as exchanging "two pounds of dirt for one pound of gold" by the Finns, the offer was flatly refused.
The Red Army was ill-equipped, poorly led, and unable to deal with the Finnish terrain and winter weather. In exchange, the Soviets offered a large tract of the Karelian wilderness. The Finns renewed their conflict with the Soviets in June 1941, with their forces operating in conjunction with, but not allied to, the Germans. Following the Soviet invasion of Poland in the fall of 1939, they turned their attention north to Finland. Advancing, the Soviets had not anticipated meeting heavy resistance and lacked winter supplies and equipment. Four days later, 450,000 Soviet troops crossed the border. Angered by Meretskov's failure to break the Mannerheim Line or achieve success elsewhere, Stalin replaced him with Marshall Semyon Timoshenko on January 7. While the Finns put up a spirited resistance during the winter of 1939-1940, their troops were ultimately no match for the sheer immensity of the Red Army. Talvisota: Winter War is a community created full conversion mod, utilizing the majority of core gameplay mechanics from Rising Storm 2: Vietnam to explore an entirely different theater of war … The 'Molotov Cocktail' proved to be a primitive but effective anti-tank weapon against Soviet forces. However, it was only a matter of time before the balance of power tipped in the Soviet Union’s favour. After several days of talks, a treaty was completed on March 12 which ended the fighting. Their command structure was reorganised, modern equipment was brought in and there was a badly needed change of tactics and personnel. Isolating the Soviet 44th Infantry Division (25,000 men), the Finnish 9th Division, under Colonel Hjalmar Siilasvuo, was able to break the enemy column into small pockets that were then destroyed. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us! The Finns held Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov responsible for the outbreak of the Russo-Finnish War and named an improvised incendiary grenade after him. Utilizing four-man teams, the Finns would jam the tracks of enemy tanks with a log to stop it and then use Molotov Cocktails to detonate its fuel tank. All Rights Reserved. Denying responsibility, the Finns refused. To the north Finnish troops moved to intercept the invaders. Over 17,500 were killed in exchange for around 250 Finns. On November 26, 1939, the Soviets faked the Finnish shelling of the Russian town of Mainila.
Soviet forces began the war on November 30, 1939, and it was concluded on March 12, 1940, with the Peace of Moscow. For five days the Finns beat back the Soviets inflicting horrifying casualties.
One Finnish sniper, a farmer named Simo Häyhä, was eventually credited with over 500 kills. The Soviet's poor performance in the Winter War led Hitler to believe that Stalin's military could be quickly defeated if attacked. The situation continued to worsen through February with the Finns falling back towards Viipuri on the 26th. He also wanted the Finns to hand over several islands in the Gulf of Finland and lease the Soviets territory on the Hanko Peninsula for construction of a naval base.