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The main myth of the Continuation War

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

  1. Karjala

    Karjala Don Quijote

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    Never heard or seen this "declaration of war" you mention. Better proof needed.

    The state of war existed between Finland and Soviet Russia because red Russians had created the civil/Independence war in Finland, armed the Finnish red traitors, led them and fought along them. No further declarations were needed.
     
  2. Karjala

    Karjala Don Quijote

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    No - Finland used the German invasion to get her own back, to stop the continuous air and land attacks and to form borders which could be defended more easily - and to liberate Karelian (ethnic Finnish) people, which SU had betrayed and murdered. Karelia is "Russia" as much as Finland...

    Poland got (a very small) part of Czechoslovakia, because Hitler wanted to give it to her as a meaning to show the world, how slicing Czechoslovakia was an international affair - and not only greediness of Germany. Poland accepted this "gift on a silver plate", because that tiny area had been part of Poland before. The majority of the people also spoke Polish...
     
  3. Karjala

    Karjala Don Quijote

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    [​IMG] Originally Posted by hyde [​IMG]
    E.g. Finnish official policy towards the Western allies during the Continuation war was that Finland needs a better defensible terrain for its border with the Soviets (the three isthmus line) and preferably farther away in the east than the old border. That is pretty much the same rhetoric used by the Soviets to justify the Winter war ;)
    Except that Finland had not launched an attack on SU and was not planning for one - not to mention the total inability to even think about it prior 1941.

    On the other hand SU had attacked Finland and was planning for a new attack.

    One also must not forget the fact, that SU's population was 50 times bigger than Finland's (3,7 millions versus 186(?) millions) - and it was armed to teeth. Therefore all the talks about "the Finnish threat" are ridiculous.
     
  4. Karjala

    Karjala Don Quijote

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    As I stated before, this is simply NOT TRUE!

    Eastern Karelia was NOT annexed by Finland - never.

    Finland did not invade Russia in 1918-1922. Some volunteers did, but Finnish government never supported them - unfortunately.

    In 1918 there was no "Russia", since the state had collapsed and everybody was fighting with everybody else. All the nations were fighting for their independence - including the Finns, the Estonians and the Karelians. The last ones were the only ones who didn't succeed.

    In the Tartu peace treaty 1920 the Karelians were given an autonomy - "naturally" Soviet Russia betrayed them. That's why the Karelians rebelled in 1921-22. Some Finnish volunteers tried to to help - the Finnish government did not.
     
  5. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    Karjala, you are a passionate defender of Finland's heritage and that is a fine thing, but I fear it does blind you to perception that things look differently to people on the other side of the river.

    You write that not all jews under German Control were killed, that is correct but Wiki states that,

    90% of all German, Austrian, Polish and Baltic Jews were killed.
    85% of all Czech Jews were killed.
    76% of Greek and Dutch Jews were killed.
    70% of Hungarian Jews were killed.
    65% of Byelorussian Jews were killed.
    60% of Ukrainian, Belgain and Yugoslavian Jews were killed.

    Only Rumanian Jews had a death rate similar to the one you cite, so yes there is a difference between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.


    You write that during the 1918 revolution Russia was not a country. Neither the Reds or the Whites saw it that way, and they saw themselves as the hiers to the Romanov's, which included all territories controlled by the Czars.

    You state that Finland did not Invade Russia in 1918-22, but volunteers did. True, but not completely accurate is it? There were 3 seperate 'volunteer invasions', one of which occured after the peace treaty in 1920. Finland may not have openly supported such moves, but they did nothing to stop them either, implying thier support for the goals of the 'Volunteers'. Concurrently with this Russia saw English, american, French, Japanese and Canadian Troops enter and occupy parts of Russia, reason enough for a bit of paranoia I think.

    The Tartu Treaty may have stipulated 'Autonomy' but not outright freedom. If it had the land would have been Finnish from the outset not Russian.The Finnish Government knew this when it signed the treaty and accepted this leaving the East Karelians to thier fate. Finland made the reasonabe choice that most of a loaf was better than none at all. Governments thoughout history hvae made such face saving deals and will continue to do so. This case was not a matter of Noble Finns versus Perfidious Russia, but rather two pragmatic peoples working a deal palatable to its own public.

    You gloss over the end of the Winter War. Yes Finland fought valiently and with skill, but at the time of the treaty her Army was near collapse and the whole country was in danger of occupation. Russia aggreed because of both western Allied pressure and that of Germany and desired to offer a better impression than that of Germany. Another difference between the two I think.

    Finland did not need to ally itself to Germany to prevent a Soviet attack. Operation Barbarossa would occupy Russia fully and Finland was well aware of it's impending start. Nor was its part in the fighting wise, If Finland thought Germany would win then it would be easy to retake the land in the chaos of a Soviet collapse without the stigma of being a German Ally. If the Soviet Union would win then any attempt to retake the area would meet with disaster as was the historical case. Considering that Finland ended up with worse terms than 1940, the 200,000 casualties and the renewed risk to Finnish independence must be viewed as an extremely foolish and wastefull risk.
     
  6. Markus Becker

    Markus Becker Member

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    No argument that Finland would have done better with a wait and see policy but they and the USSR were two pragmatic people? Allow me to rephrase that:

    "This case was a matter of the free and democratic Finland working out a palatable deal to its own public with the not just perfidious but also totalitarian and mass murdering scum that ran the USSR."

    Seriously, this is the f…ing USSR we are talking about! You can not equate this monstrous regime with the Finish government.
     
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  7. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    I will stand by my acertion that both parties were pragmatic. the embryonic Soviet Union had no wish to give up Finland but lacked the means to prevent it, so they made the best aggreement they could that Finland would accept. They could have done as Nazi Germany would have and kept fighting with no realistic end in sight and at the risk of losing other more important parcels of land. To my way of thinking that is Pragmatism. Even if they were the effing Soviet Union.
     
  8. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

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    Relax, take a deep breath and play some Beatles Markus.... Back in the U-S-S-R.
     
  9. Markus Becker

    Markus Becker Member

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    Apologies! I misundersatood that. Pragmatic USSR in the sense of accepting the status quo until it can be changed by force makes sense.


    Thanks, but no thanks. The Commies were already killing millions when Hitler was still a hillbilly making noises in Bavarian pubs. Certainly this qualifies for describing them as 'pure evil' and reminding others of it, doesn't it?
     
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  10. Karjala

    Karjala Don Quijote

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    I'm a passionate defender of truth. I'm fed up of soviet whitewash and lies, which still continues even today.



    Here are some other percentages of killed jews from four different sources (not wiki), one of them Wiesenthal Center (in bold). The difference in figures depends on mainly whether you include only the citizens or all. In some countries large numbers of jews managed/were allowed (by Germans) to escape before the war - or even during it.

    Austria 27 - 36 %
    Belgium 38 - 44 - 60 %
    Bulgaria 0 - 14 %
    Denmark 0,8 %
    France 22 - 26 %
    Germany 25 - 55 %
    Italy 17 - 20 %
    Luxembourg 29 - 56 %
    Norway 45 - 55 %
    Romania 33 - 47 - 84 %
    Estonia 44 %

    For me it doesn't make any difference in principal whether Germans were more effective in killing or not. The idea was the same: in both countries people were killed and persecuted because what they were, not only because what they chose or did. The soviet regime managed to kill more civilians than the German one, but the amount of guilt is the same.


    I agree that the Reds and the Whites didn't see it that way. That was still the reality: the empire as it was did not exist anymore - whether the different parties realised or accepted it or not. The Russians themselves were fighting against each other and all other nationalities were declaring themselves independent.


    There were several small "invasions" of Finnish volunteers during those few years, same men taking part in one or more. The sizes of "invasions" were 1.500, 2.500, 100, 580 and 550 - hardly any "armies" of great significance.

    Finland not taking part to these enterprises were a sign of neutrality, not a sign of support.


    Yes, Karelians were granted autonomy, not outright freedom (unfortunately). Soviets broke this treaty and did not give them any autonomy.

    I don't know about "the Noble Finns", but I DO know a very real thing or two about "Perfidious Russia"...
    Yes, Finland could not force Soviet Russia. Is that a surprise? What should Finland have done - start a new war? The Finnish negotiators did what they could.



    Are you sure you are not mixing the Winter War and the Continuation War together - two different wars?

    At the end of the Winter War we did not have any other choice but to make a piece - fast. I'm pretty sure I have never stated anything else.

    At the end of the Winter War there was nothing about "offering impressions", it was simpy surviving.

    At the end of Continuation War the situation was very different. The Finnish army was at it's strongest ever. We could have kept fighting for long - but of course eventually it would have ended badly, when the supplies from Germany had dried up.

    Well - Finland did not ally with Germany, but the help from Germany was essential. Without Germany Finland would have been very vulnerable to Soviet imminent new attack.

    Finland could not be sure about Germany's real intentions until late spring 1941. Germany gave Finland mixed signals about ongoing negotiations (did not happen) between SU and Germany etc. Finland had to prepare for all kinds of situations. The actual date of Barbarossa was given to Finland only one day before.

    It's easy to know everything afterwards. I think that the decisions our government did were logical and right with the knowledge that was available for them at the time.
     
  11. knightdepaix

    knightdepaix Member

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    According to the book Hilter's Arctic War (a discussion thread is available on this site) (Mann, Jorgensen p.70-73, "

     
  12. knightdepaix

    knightdepaix Member

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    According to the paragraphs quoted, H demanded D to attack Murmansk. Was Ryti noted for his remarks about taking Kola and East Karelia for Greater Finland ?
     
  13. SKYLINEDRIVE

    SKYLINEDRIVE Member

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    I see PBC is back at it again! We are about to be treated to more world class comedy! Da Capo!
     
  14. Karjala

    Karjala Don Quijote

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    Am not sure if I understand your question. Of course he was informed. Germans could not be trusted though. Finland - among others - had been sold by Germany to the soviets already before. Finland hoped for the German protection but could not totally trust her.

    Once again: Finland DID NOT annex Eastern Karelia!
     
  15. knightdepaix

    knightdepaix Member

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    Let me concentrate on the Continuation War.
    1) Please note that I was only asking whether Ryti remarked about taking Kola and East Karelia.
    2) Hilter's Arctic War (Jorgensen, Mann p.63-67),

    3) (Jorgensen, Mann p.16, 18, 21),

     
  16. Karjala

    Karjala Don Quijote

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    1. When the Germans in May 1941 asked for the Finnish border wishes while pretending (to the Finns) to be negotiating (did not happen!) with the soviets, then yes. The Finns gave the initial answer on 30th May 1941, which included 5 different options for 5 different scenarios - ranging from peaceful treaty to a possible war and the soviet defeat. However none of the options included Kola peninsula. See below:

    View attachment 23635

    However the German question/offer lead to further discussions in Finland and in June the Kola peninsula was added as one optional wish. There was never any great enthusiasm for Kola, but if the Germans were willing to possibly fight for it and then hand it over then why not?

    Few remarks about your quote:

    "The Finnish troops" clashing with the British in Petsamo area in 1918 were a handful of Finnish volunteers - unfortunately not supported by the Finnish government.

    The Finnish-soviet border of 1920 was almost exactly the same as what the border of the Autonomous Grand Duchy of Finland had been for 100 years. Only the Petsamo area, which had already been agreed on with the Emperor decades ago, was finally attached to Finland. Nothing new nor ambitious then.

    The map of the Grand Duchy of Finland in the 1800's:
    View attachment 23636

    Otherwise the quote is correct.
     

    Attached Files:

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  17. knightdepaix

    knightdepaix Member

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    As Karjala showed enthusiasm in replying to this thread, let us continue.

    So can all agree on that Finland government did want East Karelia, based on the map of 5 options. Whether Finland did take East Karelia is another thing.

    If there were no great enthusiasm for Kola but German would be willing to fight for it without respect to how H***** or Dietl directed the deployment and lines attack, Fas**** Italian participation under Mussolini would then be a better alternative historical scenario. In summer 1941, Italian committed 3 divisions which deployed bicycles, light tanks, tankettes, horses and mules: the CSIR. The CSIR also had less than 100 fighter, recon/light bomber and transport aircraft.

    Therefore, given that Italian leadership is known to German ones that the former was less competent than the later, why not let Dietl and his staff led the CSIR into Finland via Norway or Baltic Sea. Further discussions become alternative history.
     
  18. Karjala

    Karjala Don Quijote

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    Am not that sure about my enthusiasm...

    "Wanting" East Karelia was never the top priority for the Finns - and definitely not any reason for co-operation with Germany. The top priority was always to survive the next inevitable soviet attack. The next priority was to get the lost part of Finland back. Then came the need for push the soviet forces and attack airports away from the Finnish borders. Shorter and more easily protectable borders were also seen important.

    At the same time those objectives also made it possible to help the suffering kinsmen - the East Karelians. The ideal way for that was either an independent nation or as part of Finland.

    Those plans for different border options were a response to the German enquiry. It was not a Finnish iniative, although there certainly was some amount of Finnish support.

    About the Italian participation: Personally I still can't see that happening, in any realistic scenario with the information of 1930's and early 40's. Of course with hindsight, knowing what we do know now, a lot could have been done differently. However there were good reasons why things happened in the way they did.
     
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  19. knightdepaix

    knightdepaix Member

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    Apparently, Italian participation is what-if scenario. May it be hindsight that Italian CSIR participated in Army Group South was a bad choice, it seems each co-belligerent nation concentrated effort on neighboring land.

    For the OB to be successful, German forces would better be concentrated under German command; similarly all co-belligerents forces were under each nation's own command. The fact that small unit level soldiers during the Winter War came from the same geographical area and often addressed each other by names showed that comradeship was a factor of Finnish success in the Winter War (Battlefield TV series: Scandinavia - The Forgotten Front, Winter War section). Because their home nation bordered the SU, the factor also meant their effort was united against the Red Army -- "The top priority was always to survive the next inevitable soviet attack"

    The conflict between the Red Army and some Karelian in early 1920s suggested so -- indirectly showing the comradehsip presented on the TV series was accountable.

    Only Italian troops did not conflicted with the SU in geography, similarly not with Finland. The fact the Italian volunteers offered to Mussolini leadership to help Finland in early 1940 showed ideological comradeship would be a factor for unity. In reality, only the CSIR was deployed near the beginning of OB. Mannerheim would not welcome more German influence in the military. Italian CSIR, despite its weakness, came without that issue.

    Looking at reality, CSIR fought the Red Army under AGS on the Russian side of the European plain. Using tanks comparison as example, captured SOMUA S35 and Hotchkiss H35 were deployed for German forces in 1941 Finland. Soviet KV1 which appeared in the Winter War was challenging for panzer 3 and 4 to fight against. S35 and H35 were weaker than Pz3 and 4. CSIR's light armor vehicles were weaker than S35 and H35 so they would be much weaker than KV1. Therefore CSIR's armor would be weak to start OB against Kv1.

    Soviet industry outprooduced German in tanks and the border conflict between Finland and the SU lasted before 1941 and after. Note that the outlook was not just 1941 but 1941 onwards. So CSIR's armor vehicles will only be increasingly obsolete against Soviet tanks. Therefore deploying CSIR in the south -- Ukraine -- was not suitable in 1941 or rendered it t more to non-frontline duty, which was more or less its role in 1941. How to let Italian light armor be more effective on the battlefield ?

    Therefore a landscape that favored lighter tank combat than heavy tanks would improve the CSIR's effectiveness: Finland was that piece of land, KV1 was often Molotov-cocktailed during the Winter War. Even I can deduce from what were actually used; Italian leadership should know.

    Italian volunteers offered help in early 1940; if Italian leadership would help Finland on ideological grounds, these volunteers could be trained in Finland -- or the Alps for their worth -- after the War. By the start of the Continuation War, a brigade -- thousands of mountain trained troops -- could have been deployed under Dietl, in addition to CSIR. The fact that they did not help Finland eventually showed something about co-belligerent organization or planning for deployment.

    The argument that the Allied forces in ww2 were more organized than co-belligerents' was one on books about ww2.
     
  20. Karjala

    Karjala Don Quijote

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    KV-1 was a rare sight in the Winter War. The soviets used mainly T-26, BT-series and T-28s. But overall you are right - the Italian tanks would have probably worked better in Southern Finland than in Ukraine. But that's about it.

    The Allies were of course better co-ordinated than the Axis/co-bellingerents. The Allied had more or less common goal and actively co-ordinated their actions. The Axis(+) did so much less, because they lacked the united target and the will to fully co-operate.

    After the Winter War there naturally would have been enough time to train the Italians in Finland - in theory. However Germany was a soviet ally and had actively helped the soviets during the Winter War, e.g. by not letting the Italian aid to go through. The same frosty German attitude towards Finland continued until late summer 1940.

    Also the peace treaty with the soviets banned all such enterprises. It would have been impossible to have Italian troops training in Finland in 1940. That would have been a casus belli for the soviets. Without German help - not available then - Finland would have been doomed.

    By 1941 Germany was already supplying Finland. At first the new war was not in sight - so no Italians needed. Also I don't think, that neither the soviets nor Germany would have allowed it. Towards the summer the war was more and more likely, but in the case of war the Germans were supposed to do most of the actual fighting anyway - so still no need for the Italians.

    The weakness of your what if - theory is, that all countries against the soviets should have acted together. With hindsight you are probably right, but in the real world there just were too many cooks and recipies to bake a good enough cake!
     

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