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Finland`s War Of Choice: The Troubled German-Finnish Alliance in World War II by Henrik Lunde

Discussion in 'ETO, MTO and the Eastern Front' started by PzJgr, Jun 20, 2012.

  1. PzJgr

    PzJgr Drill Instructor

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    Now this would be an interesting read:

    The German-Finnish alliance is a historical curiosity, because only one democratic country allied itself with Nazi Germany. The official story is that Finland coincidentally fought a war with the Soviet Union (the "Continuation War") that happened to be taking place at the same time as the Germany invasion of the U.S.S.R. and that also happened to involve German troops operating on Finnish soil. The alliance really was quite strange: Hitler wanted the complete destruction of the Soviet Union, but Finland basically stopped active warfare after it achieved its limited territorial ambitions of recapturing the Finnish area lost in the Winter War.

    'Finland's War Of Choice' | ThinkProgress
     
  2. Volga Boatman

    Volga Boatman Dishonorably Discharged

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    I'm not so sure that this alliance was 'strange'. Whats the expression?, "My friend's enemy is also my friend."

    'The Winter War' was an outrageous and disgusting piece of paranoia all emenating from the mind of Jospeh Stalin. The Soviet Supremo turned an essentially neutral country, and one that would have stayed that way, into a border enemy with bully boy Imperialism. Finland would, most likely, have given Stalin more than a little co-operationhad he not been so quick to push Timoshenko's troops into invasion.

    This German-Finnish alliance was really not much more strange than Stalin getting into bed with Hitler to begin with, and then Stalin getting into bed with Churchill as well. Both Hitler and Churchill were dyed-in-the-wool anti-communists anyhow.

    What did contemporary people expect from Finland after the Winter War? They had just lost over 20% of their national territory and sustained far too many dead and wounded for a country of their size. Germany was the only non-Scandinavian country to offer any tangible assistance, that is, assistance that actually transferred into solid help, rather than promises in the manner of Britain/France. The Finns must have observed the complete lack of assistance that the Allies gave to Poland and learnt a thing or two from that.

    Mannerheim was not really enthusiastic about Barbarossa's chances of success, as demonstrated by Finland's lukewarm help, and solid reluctance to enter Leningrad. This city had never been viewed by Finns as soverign territory, so it would have looked extremely aggressive and opportunistic for them to set foot in the place. Finland had fought a war of independence against the Soviets in 1918, so it's not surprising at all to see the Finns viewing the Soviets as 'The Old Enemy', nor them seeing Leningrad as the real spiritual capital of Russia proper.

    So why all the mystification over the 'strange' alliance between Finland and Germany? War often makes for incredible partnerships. Britain could be said to be 'strange' in their weak partnership of the Entente Cordial with France, considering their long history of conflict before 1914. Remember, Britain went to war then to guarantee Belgian neutrality, not to assist France with 'revanche'!

    Mannerhiem played his cards skillfully, and directed Finland's affairs with the welfare of Finland in mind, nothing else. They had one eye firmly fixed on postwar Soviet policy, and the likely implications for Finland, rather then trying to grab chunks of soverign Russian territory and spread the animosity wider and further than it already was. Hats off to Mannerheim; the 'Lion' of Finland continued to roar postwar, whil;e the rest of eastern Europe and half of Germany becam Soviet clients.

    Good one for Soulmi!
     
  3. PzJgr

    PzJgr Drill Instructor

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    I am surprised Finland got off without being totally occupied but then again, Stalin was busy looking Westward. Perhaps he did not want a formidable fight on two fronts. Mannerheim did play it skillfully. As for Stalin's invasion, being the bully looking for an easy fight, he picked on the wrong kid
     

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