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How did the "Continuation War" begin

Discussion in 'Winter and Continuation Wars' started by Artema, Mar 13, 2010.

  1. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

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    AirdefMike,

    I understand that you are quite passionate about the topic at hand but it seems philosophy does not outrank international law...

    Unless, you find a clause in the 1921 League of Nations decree or in the Moscow peace treaty (which Finland signed) stating that Finland had the right to remilitarize the Islands and arrest the Soviet consulate if felt threatened, im afraid your opinion of morality, while noble holds no ground in the international arena of politics and diplomacy...

    The common view held in the academic community regarding the increase of hostilities between the two nations comes from not a Russian but a Finn by the name of Mauno Jokipii. This Finnish professor and a WW2 buff wrote a book, The Continuation War: An Investigation of German-Finnish Military Collaboration 1940-1941 (a book which seems you are unfamiliar with) in which he, not I, states that "Finnish militarization of the Islands was a violation which started the war". The book established him as a world scholar on the subject.

    If you care to challenge his view, please provide some sources (credited, if you dont mind); I for one enjoy learning something new.

    There is really nothing funny about it. Can you name me any international treaties which Stalin violated?

    You would have to ask the Finnish Govt. and Estonia about the matter. Though, relations between Finland and Estonia were much better than they were between Finland and Russia.

    What are you trying to imply here?

    Because it was only Nazi Germany that started the world conflict. After Europe Germany went after Russia and needed all the help she could get. Tensions between Finland and Russia were evident. Convincing Finland to fight alonside Germany was just good politicking by Hitler.

    Because USA wasnt starting a global war and didnt need Finland's help.

    Because GB, France and Russia were all at war with Germany. Russia did tell Finland something similar when Finland turned on Germany.

    Whats interesting is how you "brush" off the treaty when philosophically pushing for Finlands interests and moral rights, but then immediately throw up the treaty "card" when trying to distance yourself as Germany's ally. Bizarre, but so are all double standards...

    Fine,

    Co-belligerent.

    Not sure what you are trying to say here, but this isnt the best way to make friends when your new.

    The British declaration of war on Finland, IMO was more symbolic than anything else. BG, showed the world what she felt and whos side she stood on.
     
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  2. Volga Boatman

    Volga Boatman Dishonorably Discharged

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    Sloniksp....

    Now I know why the owners of this site made you a trustee/moderator for this forum.

    I may have been harsh on you in the past, but let me state now that your input has been rather knowledgable. Atrema strikes me as an example of a biased Russian poster towing an old Party line.

    You don't seem to suffer from this.

    Hats off to our fellow Russian rouges of Sloniksp's ilk...we need them
     
  3. AirdefMike

    AirdefMike Member

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    to Sloksnip:

    Here you are:

    Mauno Jokipii: Jatkosodan synty

    I could'nt find the "one" Jokipii book in the library, so this one had to do. Doesn't seem to make that much of it.

    About the League of Nations from wikipedia:

    Aland Islands from wiki:

    Aftermath from wiki:

    Autonomy of Åland Islands from wiki:

    On Fenno-Soviet negotiations in 1938 -1939 from Wikipedia:

    According to Eero Auvinen (Panssarilaivat ja niiden miehet):

    The Threat of war in the Baltic sea, if to become a reality, formed a problem to Finland's foreign trade. The lifeline of Finnish naval trade the so called "Turku - Stockholm -line" safety was threatened. The position of the Aland Islands as a demilitarized zone has always been the political thermometer in the area. The controller of the Islands would enjoy naval supremacy in the Baltic
    sea and would have to ability to shut down all naval access into Finland. The situation of Islands between Stockholm and Turku offered a chance to cut the lifeline of Finland.

    All Baltic sea powers including England had plans to occupy the Islands.

    According to Robert Edwards (White Death):
    When Soviet Union planned to area demands they wanted from Finland before Winter War, the list included the Aland Islands. The Islands were dropped form the list as it would propably antagonise Sweden.

    Soviets seem to have asked about getting these Islands from the Franco-British delegation, before entering the Molotov-Ribbentrop treaty. Juri Kilin also mentioned this, if I remember correctly (correct me if I'm wrong).
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I think your obsession with the League of Nations at this point since Soviet Union wasn't a member anymore and thus not one of the signatories...makes it a rather moot point.

    As far as violating the Moscow Peace Treaty goes...it's a bit another matter. Then again Soviet Union had already breached the Treaty before Finland not once but...

    Russia militarized the Aland Islands during WWI with permission of her allies. The Islands were declared as a demilitarized zone after the Crimean War.

    I guess there are one set of rules for some countries and another set for other countries...

    I'll go over your other points later...
     
  4. edhunter76

    edhunter76 Member

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    Are you serious? Please reade the following.

    "The theory, law and policy of Soviet treaties", Jan F. Triska, Robert M. Slusser. Stanford University 1962. Chapter 26 "Treaty violations".

    The theory, law, and policy of ... - Google-kirjat

    Very clear example.

    To put this short, I wouldn't be so proud if the Soviet regime didn't violate for example the treaty of Versailles. Every treaty with another nation is international treaty and should be respected. Soviet regime violated nearly all treaties that they had with their neighbouring nations.
     
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  5. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

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    Thank you Volga, the next shot which ill take will be in your name. ;)
     
  6. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

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    Edhunter,

    There is a fine line between sneaking around a treaty and outright breaking it. Yes, Stalin was a lot of things but among them also a sly and shrewd politician. Unfortunately for the Eastern European countries, as far as Stalin was concerned were Imperial Russia's territory and were only ceded to Germany in return for peace. Finland ceded her territory to Russia after the Winter war in the similar fashion. It can be said that Stalin felt about Poland in the same way that Mannerheim felt about Karelian Isthmus.

    Also Stalin, did not sign the 1921 peace treaty with Poland so he went around it... Politics is and was a dirty game and Stalin played it very well. As for actual treaties which Stalin signed, none were broken.
     
  7. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

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    Thank you for a more constructive post AirdefMike. Unfortunately what you have posted are only nagotiations between countries and not clauses for militarizing the islands in the case for Finland.

    AirdefMike, I personally believe that Finland wanted nothing to do with either one of the Dictators. Finland, however; found herself (IMO) between a "rock and a hard place", war was imminent and a side had to be choicen, maybe even for her own survival...

    A hard choice had to be made by Finland, either Soviet Russia, which went to war with Finland or Nazi Germany which sold them out to Russia (not an easy choice). I believe that Finland chose the side which had more to offer. Siding with Germany guaranteed them trade and an opportunity for revenge. What also has to be mentioned is the fact that Finland (along with the world) thought that Gemany would win, afterall; Russia wasnt very convincing during the Winter War.

    What is interesting regarding these negotiations though, was that Russia offered Finland the opportunity to militarize the islands TOGETHER against Germany. Whether this was sincere or just a ploy is up for debate, however; what is undeniable is the fact that such an offer was presented. Finland's refusal (cant say that I blame her) shows us that she had already choicen a side. With that in mind, Finland was well aware of the consequences which might be fall her for making such a decision. Siding with Germany meant war with Russia, the threat which Finland felt was warranted. Feeling threatened, Finland did the logical thing and sent troops to her islands (the demilitarized islands). The problem, however; lies in the fact that the threat which Finland felt was created by Finland when she took the side of Germany against Russia.

    Regardless of the circumstances/feeling threatened, remilitarizing the islands was a breach of the Moscow treaty which Finland signed. The fact that Finland decided to brake the treaty with Russia, on the same day as Hitler broke his, showed Russia that Finland sided with Germany and war was at hand. Considering the stratigical importance of the Aland Island in the Gulf, made them a prime target along with the rest of Finland which was now fair game...

    I must also mention that not once did Russia even attempt to occupy the islands during all of WW2. This helps reinforce the notion that perhaps Finland's paranoia regarding the islands was un-warranted. ;)

    There is no obsession regarding the League of Nations. Perhaps the only obsession that I may have is stating facts. The fact is that Finland NOT Russia was a member of the League of Nations. Thus, only Finland NOT Russia could have violated the 1921 decree...

    Again, Soviet Russia breached no treaty as she was not a member of the League of Nations, GB on the other hand...
     
  8. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Considering the Aland islands question it definitely , in my view, was more important to the Germans, and Swedish and Finns on the matter of trade than the USSR. I cannot see Germany accepting Soviet troops on Aland islands as it would be putting in danger the iron ore shipments from Sweden sooner or later, even being a possible threat would be a major problem. At several times the Finns suggested though that the islands would be under Finniish-Swedish units, but this was refused both by Germans and Soviets. The All Nordic military co-operation was also heavily rejected by both the Germans and Soviets before the war as things were "hotting up". So not having any defensive military plans between the Nordic countries was the politics for both Germany and the USSR.
     
  9. AirdefMike

    AirdefMike Member

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    to Sloniksp:

    The actual treaty seems to be a bugger to find so far...but this will have to do:

    According to the treaty of 1922 (League of Nations) Finland has the right to mine the waters around Aland and place necessary forces on the Islands to protect the neutrality of the Islands in case of a threatening attack.

    The basic principle of treaty of 1922 is that the signatory powers would leave the area outside of their military operations.

    source: Ahvenanmaan maakunta – Wikipedia

    Now, I guess I was right about the principle of a sovereign state and its' territory.

    Hmm...

    January 7. 1939 Finnish and Swedish Foreign ministers sign a treaty which states that both states will mutually defend the Islands. This treaty will have to ratified by the signatory powers of the 1922 treaty. After that the treaty is subjected to the League of Nations.

    Jan. 27. 1939 Krasnaja Zvezda (a Soviet navy's paper) writes that the Aland fortification -program is a fascistic offensive ploy in the Baltic sea.

    Jan. 30. 1939 Estonia agrees to the fortification plans of Aland.

    Feb. 3. 1939 Great Britain agrees to the fortification plans of Aland.

    Feb. 12. 1939 A Swedish news agency telegram is published in Finland which states that Great Britain agrees to the fortification plans if other interested parties are also asked about it (meaning Soviet Union).

    Feb. 20. 1939 France's answer to the fortification plans will depend on the agreement of all interested parties.

    Mar. 4.-5. 1939 Among other questions Boris Jartsev asks about the fortification of the Aland Islands. Maxim Litvinov says to Yrjö-Koskinen that to improve the trade relations and to solve the question of the Aland Islands, a better athmosphere would result if Finland would rent the following islands to SU (Suursaari, Lavansaari, Seiskari and the Tytärsaaret (Tytär-islands)) for 30 years. SU will trade this for land areas from Eastern Karelia.

    Mar. 8. 1939 Finland refuses on the ground that these islands a part of Finland whose borders SU has recognised.

    May 8. 1939 The Finnish goverment gives an proposition to Finnish parliament about the fortification of Aland Islands.

    May 19. 1939 Molotov inquires from Finland about the quality of the fortification plans.

    May 23. 1939 SU announces that it has not been given the information requested from Finland about the fortification plans.

    May 27. 1939 The Aland fortification is considered in the League of Nations -council. Soviet rep. Maiski demands postponement of the issue. Sweden backs down.

    May 30. 1939 Helsingin Sanomat (a Finnish paper) writes that the Aland -issue is done with and the fortification plans should be put in action.

    May 31. 1939 Molotov takes the opposite view on the fortification plans. In Soviet papers Soviet Union's historical rights to the Islands is mentioned.

    Dec. 1. 1939 Finland asks if Sweden would be willing to send troop to the Islands.

    Dec. 2. 1939 Sweden refuses. Swedish foreign minister, Sandler offers his resignation.

    Dec. 3. 1939 Finland begins mining the sea area around the Islands.
     
  10. AirdefMike

    AirdefMike Member

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    to Sloniksp:

    If you mean pre-Winter War...Germany and SU were already in bed with each other. The Molotov-Ribbentrop treaty.

    If the Nazi-Germany sold Finland to the Soviet sphere of influence (along with Estonia etc.) how on earth can Finland side with Germany.

    Finland and the other Nordic countries declared neutrality when WWII began.

    As far as we know here...Molotov said: The Soviet Union will never accept a neutral Finland.

    So your logic doesn't hold.

    If you mean during Interim Peace...I have no knowledge of Soviet proposals for Aland after Winter War.
     
  11. AirdefMike

    AirdefMike Member

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    to Sloniksp:

    You are right in that SU never attempted to occupy the Islands. Germans planned it (Operation Tanne West). Soviet's waged submarine warfare in Aland Sea though.

    And since SU wasn't a signatory anymore...it wasn't expected to respect the treaty as SU didn't respect the Peace treaty either (which you will naturally deny or ignore ;)).

    Hmm...in Sodan Totuudet by Markku Jokisipilä, Prof. Juri Kilin claims that Soviet Union prepared for the invasion and conquest of Finland since early 1930s. And the Vyborg-Petrozavosk -operation (summer 1944) was also an attempt for the conquest of Finland as the 1st goals of the operation were situated 10 kilometers behind the 1940 border. Another goal of the operation was the total destruction of the Finnish Army.

    There is such amount of proof that to even claim to otherwise that the Soviet were never about conquering Finland (especially in Winter War) is just ridiculous.
     
  12. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    The Terijoki government lead by Otto Wille Kuusinen is proof enough that Stalin wanted to conquer Finland.

    Finnish Democratic Republic - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    The Soviet government entered into diplomatic relations with the "people's government". In the first day of its existence, the regime agreed to lease the Hanko Peninsula; to cede a slice of territory on the Karelian Isthmus; and to sell an island in the Gulf of Finland, along with sections of the Kalastajasaarento near the Arctic Ocean to the Soviet Union.
     
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  13. AirdefMike

    AirdefMike Member

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    Yeah, this shows just how sure Soviet Union was about the future and speedy victory.

    The absolutely hilarious part is the actual treaty paper which you can find in net. The treaty is between SU and the Terijoki government and in the treaty SU gives Terijoki's Finland the Eastern Karelia.

    So the "Greater Finland" would have become a reality in case of a total Soviet victory in Winter War. :)
     
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  14. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

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    Gentlemen,

    I think it is safe to assume that had Stalin truly wanted all of finland, the task would have been accomplished during WW2. ;)


    With that said guys, I think we have beaten this horse long enough and it is time for me to move on.


    Happy hunting.
     
  15. edhunter76

    edhunter76 Member

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    There is a big difference on that if Stalin wanted to occupy Finland pre war or for example in 1944-45. It's more than obvious that this was the case pre war or during early war. There are enough of clear evidence about this, I just can't understand why you want to deny this or do you really believe otherwise.

    During later stages of the war SU was too busy with the race to Berlin, so the invasion to Finland was left undone even if it was possible to execute at that time quite easily.
     
  16. Karjala

    Karjala Don Quijote

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    I agree with this post except with the last line.

    Of course SU could have conqueried all of Finland eventually from 1944 autumn onwards, but it would not have been "quite easy". Finnish army was at it's all time strongest and strength of soviet attacks - "4th strategic strike" and the others - had vanished because of heavy casualties.

    To take hole Finland SU would have needed new everything: troops, tanks, airplanes and so on. Of course that could have been done - but with lots of effort and above all time.

    Stalin thought he had time to take both Finland and Berlin. After soviet attacks against Finland were beaten Stalin had to choose - with long teeth - between Finland and Berlin. He chose Berlin...
     
  17. Karjala

    Karjala Don Quijote

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    Found this old post...

    Stalin broke several treaties SU had signed, for example the ones with Finland before the war.

    In Poland live/lived the Poles - and some Byelorussians and Ukrainians among others. No Russians to speak of.

    In Karelian Isthmus the inhabitants were basically only Finnish - not Russian.

    Of course Stalin could have felt what ever he felt, but it didn't have anything to do with anything else but pure greed. To compere Stalin's thoughts to those of Mannerheim's is totally missing the truth.
     
  18. Karjala

    Karjala Don Quijote

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    Although I generally agree with this post I feel I must correct some details in it.

    Finland did NOT agree to attack at the same time as the Germans. Finland agreed to take part ONLY if the SU attacked Finland first - what she did.

    No, Finland did NOT attack SU and did NOT start that war either. Finnish counter attack started only AFTER SU had attacked Finland first.

    When Germany started operation Barbarossa Finland officially declared herself neutral - meaning not taking part to the war. Of course our neutrality was biased.

    As I stated before, Finland did not start the Continuation war either. Of course we were much better prepared for it than prior the Winter War and hoped Germany to do it's magic with the soviets. We were also (eventually) aware of Germany's plans and had made our own plans since the possibility of a new war was very probable. It still doesn't mean that Finland started the war.
     
  19. Karjala

    Karjala Don Quijote

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    This is a very good post, except...

    Germany did NOT support Finland during the Winter War, because she was allied with the Soviet Union. On the contrary Germany helped SU's war against Finland by supporting soviet submarines, stopping foreign aid (e.g. Italian) to reach Finland and gave political pressure on Finland.

    Germany only started to support Finland from the second half of 1940 onwards.
     
  20. Karjala

    Karjala Don Quijote

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    Unfortunately cannot agree with this post.

    I'm not one of those what this writer calls "older Finnish generation". I'm also not one of those ones who were contaminated of the post-war bottom licking and history hush hushing - which unfortunately still exists even today. There's no need to invent justifications since there are plenty of them anyway.

    Finland was of course "committed" to the German help before June 1941. After all new Soviet attack was imminent and Finland desperately needed all the assistance she could get. The only source possible was Germany. This help was of course not free, since there is no such thing as a free lunch. Finland bargained as well as she could - which was naturally not much.

    Finland prepared for a new war and of course wanted Germany to somehow help Finland to get her lost area back. This doesn't mean Finland was an aggressor - which was proven when SU bombed Finland again from the morning 22.6.1941 onwards.
     

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