Great-Britain pushed Finland to cooperation with Germany

Discussions on all aspects of the The United Kingdom & its Empire and Commonwealth during the Inter-War era and Second World War. Hosted by Andy H
Sid Guttridge
Member
Posts: 6549
Joined: 12 Jun 2008 11:19

Re: Great-Britain pushed Finland to cooperation with Germany

Post by Sid Guttridge » 25 Sep 2017 12:11

Your position is a little clearer than "Great-Britain pushed Finland to cooperation with Germany" implies.

You write, "British Government didn't try to make Finland as an enemy, but forcing it to use German goods. As I wrote before, "In the end of July MEW's minister Dalton had a speech in the House of Commons and said that Finland should be forced to get it's oil products from Germany." Germany was short of gasoline and it was worthy to get Finns too to use it. Every gallon was away from Luftwaffe." I wouldn't argue with that. As I posted before, the Navicert system was directed at all neutrals who might pass imported materials, such as oil, onto Germany.

Of course, the UK did "Not care about Finland", if to do so might damage Britain's own national interests. After all, the British Government is elected by the British population to act in its own national interest, not someone elses.

Britain did not want to "Push Finland towards Germany", but there was little the UK could do to prevent it anyway. Finland did not conduct a parallel war beside Germany against the USSR because of anything the UK had done. It did so because it resented the territorial losses of 1940 and took the first opportunity that might redress them.

Cheers,

Sid.

StrangerHereMyself
Member
Posts: 48
Joined: 23 Nov 2012 01:57
Location: Fuck off.

Re: Great-Britain pushed Finland to cooperation with Germany

Post by StrangerHereMyself » 25 Sep 2017 19:08

Not just the territorial losses of 1940, Sid: Suur-Suomi or ‘Greater Finland’ had its adherents. Note Mannerheim’s Order of the Day of July 10, 1941 (the ‘Scabbard Order’):
In the War of Liberation in 1918 I said to the Karelians of Finland and Eastern Karelia that I would not put my sword back in its scabbard before Finland and Eastern Karelia were free. The freedom of Karelia and a great Finland are glimmering in front of us in the enormous avalanche of world historic events. May the Providence that directs the fate of nations allow the Finnish Army to fulfill my pledge to the Karelian people. Soldiers! The earth on which you are about to tread is holy land soaked with the blood and suffering of our people. Your victory will liberate Karelia …
(Reproduced in Fingerroos, 489.)

References:
Fingerroos, Outi. “ ‘Karelia Issue’: The Politics and Memory of Karelia in Finland.” Finland in World War II: History, Memory, Interpretations, edited by Tiina Kinnunen and Ville Kivimäki, Koninklijke Brill, 2012, pp. 483–517.
Mannerheim’s Order of the Day of February 23, 1918, English translation available at: http://heninen.net/miekka/p-1918_e.htm
Mannerheim’s Order of the Day of July 10, 1941 in Finnish, available at: http://www.mannerheim.fi/pkaskyt/pk3_41.gif
This forum is shit. I would delete my account and posts but this forum is so shit it does not have this function. Shit forum. Shit mods. Shit everyone and everything.

Seppo Jyrkinen
Member
Posts: 317
Joined: 21 Dec 2010 17:51
Location: Finland, Lappeenranta

Re: Great-Britain pushed Finland to cooperation with Germany

Post by Seppo Jyrkinen » 26 Sep 2017 19:20

John T wrote: 1. You try to mak a general British policy look like it was targeting Finland specifically.
I'm analyzing the relations between Finland and Great-Britain, not Great-Britain's foreign policy in generally.
John T wrote: 2. You seem unaware of the blockade rules British authorities adhered to, your reference to "State terrorism" is plain hot air.
Finland's Parliament had not accepted a paper which had given to foreign countries a permission to limit Finland's foreign trade. GB had legal rights to limit her own trade with Finland, but this has no place in my analysis.
John T wrote: 3. You are consistently avoiding comparison with Germany
Like that Germany did not allow Finland and Sweden to freely export goods.
In your parlace that would that been state terrorism too?
Yes. Germany's policy was state terrorism too.
John T wrote: And why do you claim that Finland had no political contact with Germany before "17.8.1940" that could affect British policy?
Relations between Finland and Germany cooled dawn when Winter War broke out and Finns realized that Germany had really sold Finland to Russians. Germany had also several actions against Finland. After Winter War Germany kept distance to Finns until 17.8.1940 when arms dealer Veltjens came to visit and told that Germany was willing to sell weapons. There were no important military or political contacts between Finland and Germany between the outbreak of Winter War and Veltjens's visit.

MEW had started to limit Finland's foreign trade clearly before Veltjens's visit. Especially restrictions to oil transport 16.7.1940 was destructive to Finns. MEW gave a clear advance to Stalin.
A word irony is baked into the word history.

Seppo Jyrkinen
Member
Posts: 317
Joined: 21 Dec 2010 17:51
Location: Finland, Lappeenranta

Re: Great-Britain pushed Finland to cooperation with Germany

Post by Seppo Jyrkinen » 26 Sep 2017 19:23

Sid Guttridge wrote: As I posted before, the Navicert system was directed at all neutrals who might pass imported materials, such as oil, onto Germany.
Oil trade was limited so low that even ambassador Vereker pointed out the consequences in he's message 25. July 1940: not enough for Finland's needs. And one oil tanker only was playing Russian roulette with Finland's oil logistics: Northern Atlantic was not a safe place to a ship, which only protection was a flag.
Sid Guttridge wrote: Britain did not want to "Push Finland towards Germany"
How would you comment Sir Hugh Dalton's (force Finland to get gasoline from Germany) and Sir Gordon Vereker's (forcing Finns to make "a contract with the Devil") words?
A word irony is baked into the word history.

Seppo Jyrkinen
Member
Posts: 317
Joined: 21 Dec 2010 17:51
Location: Finland, Lappeenranta

Re: Great-Britain pushed Finland to cooperation with Germany

Post by Seppo Jyrkinen » 26 Sep 2017 19:24

"What did happen and why" is my question. Moral questions comes after you know what has happened. And consequences are totally different matter.

Gentlemen, I gave a list of history what happened between Winter War and Barbarossa. Do you find there something which didn't happen after you knowledge?
A word irony is baked into the word history.

StrangerHereMyself
Member
Posts: 48
Joined: 23 Nov 2012 01:57
Location: Fuck off.

Re: Great-Britain pushed Finland to cooperation with Germany

Post by StrangerHereMyself » 27 Sep 2017 00:00

The US State Dept.’s Office of the Historian has considerable relevant documentation available online. As I earlier noted, USG was as critical of Finland’s conduct as HMG:
740.0011 European War 1939/15616a: Telegram
The Secretary of State to the Minister in Finland ( Schoenfeld )
Washington , October 4, 1941—4 p.m.

I replied that without going into detail as to the location and numbers of Finnish troops that have advanced into Russian territory, it is the view of my Government that the Finnish troops have gone considerably beyond the limits that would be legitimate for the mere protection of the true [Page 75] Finnish boundaries and that, therefore, this action goes beyond the reasonable interpretation and application of the Tanner statement of some weeks ago. The Minister tried to make it appear that these advances into Russia were necessary safeguards of Finnish territory. I replied that this would signify exactly nothing at the peace table and that it all depends on who wins the war. Having thus brushed aside this contention, I said that if Finland persists in these excesses then the Minister must understand clearly, and his Government must understand definitely, that in the end this Government is with Great Britain in every sense and that the Minister must recognize instantly that there is no other course that my Government could pursue except a suicidal one.

I said that unfortunately the Finnish Government … has been advancing further and further into the interior of Russia, which is calculated seriously to affect the situation of the Russians in the direction of Murmansk and eastward and this amounted to material aid to Germany. …
Foreign Relations of the United States, Diplomatic Papers, 1941, General, The Soviet Union, Volume I, eds. Matilda F. Axton, N.O. Sappington, Shirley L. Phillips, Rogers P. Churchill and Irving L. Thomson (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1959), Document 84. https://history.state.gov/historicaldoc ... 941v01/d84
740.0011 European War 1939/16078: Telegram
The Secretary of State to the Minister in Finland ( Schoenfeld )
Washington , October 25, 1941—4 p.m.
220. Your 507, October 23, arrived most opportunely for since the return of the Harriman Mission we have knowledge of the extent to which Finnish military operations by their strong offensive character at points far beyond the Finnish frontiers are influencing the German–Russian campaign and thus as I stated to Procopé in my conversation of October 3 Finland can only be considered at this time as conducting a campaign directly against those policies to which the United States is committed. …

[­I]f Finland desires to maintain our friendship now and later, satisfactory evidence must be given that it is the intention of the Finnish Government to discontinue immediately all offensive operations against Soviet territory and that to that end Finnish troops in principle will promptly be withdrawn.[Note ]60 You should also state that should war material dispatched from this country via the Arctic Ocean to northern Soviet territory be attacked en route even allegedly or presumably from Finnish-controlled territory, such an incident in the present status of American opinion must be expected to create an immediate crisis in American–Finnish relations.

[W]e wish to remind the Finnish Government that on August 18 the Under Secretary told Procopé that we had been informed that should the Government of Finland be so disposed the Soviet Union was prepared to negotiate a new treaty of peace with Finland involving territorial concessions by [Page 82] the Soviet Union to Finland. …

[W]e must hold the Government of Finland responsible for the fact that no indication has been given that this possible method of settling by peaceful negotiations its just grievances against the Soviet Union has been explored, and consequently by its own choice the Finnish Government has been associating itself with a policy of world aggression in a manner and to an extent entirely contrary to the American concept of legitimate self-defense.

[Note ]60: Through an error in the code room, at this point the following words, although crossed out on the original copy of the telegram, were transmitted: “from Soviet territory to a line corresponding to the 1939 Soviet–Finnish frontier.” …
Foreign Relations of the United States, Diplomatic Papers, 1941, General, The Soviet Union, Volume I, eds. Matilda F. Axton, N.O. Sappington, Shirley L. Phillips, Rogers P. Churchill and Irving L. Thomson (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1959), Document 89. https://history.state.gov/historicaldoc ... 941v01/d89

Finland was ‘pushed’ to do nothing—it leaped eagerly.
This forum is shit. I would delete my account and posts but this forum is so shit it does not have this function. Shit forum. Shit mods. Shit everyone and everything.

Sid Guttridge
Member
Posts: 6549
Joined: 12 Jun 2008 11:19

Re: Great-Britain pushed Finland to cooperation with Germany

Post by Sid Guttridge » 27 Sep 2017 12:11

Hi Seppo,

Limited oil reserves was a crucial German vulnerability. It made good sense, from a British point of view, to have the Finns drain German reserves further, if possible.

However, Finland was a very minor part of the picture. The main British goal was to keep deliveries of food and oil to Spain to such a low level that Madrid was made forcibly aware (1) that Germany could not supply the lack of either and (2) the only alternative was supplies allowed through the British blockade. The result was that Spain did not dare enter the war on the side of the Axis at a moment of critical vulnerability for Britain in 1940-41. This policy was therefore totally successful. Any damage to Finland was peripheral to this.

Cheers,

Sid.

StrangerHereMyself
Member
Posts: 48
Joined: 23 Nov 2012 01:57
Location: Fuck off.

Re: Great-Britain pushed Finland to cooperation with Germany

Post by StrangerHereMyself » 27 Sep 2017 19:24

More interesting material from USG’s Office of the Historian:
760D.61/1597½
Memorandum by the Acting Chief of the Division of European Affairs ( Atherton ) to the Secretary of State
[ Washington ,] November 17, 1941.

One. The Finnish note makes the point that in order to safeguard Finland against further attacks from the Soviet Union, Finland must occupy certain strategic Soviet territory. This same contention was advanced by the Soviet Union in 1939 vis-à-vis Finnish territory. We protested in no uncertain terms against this Soviet policy and the means employed to put it into effect. It must be clear to Finland from its own experiences that such a policy as that previously followed by the Soviet Union and now advocated by Finland only sows the seeds of future wars.

Two. Finland has made much of certain strategic railroads, airfields, et cetera, built by the Soviets within their territory. In Finnish eyes these installations were conceived only for attack on Finland. No consideration seems to have been given to the probability that the installations were built primarily to defend Soviet territory against attacks from Finnish territory.

Five. With respect to East Karelia and the Finnish contention that this territory rightly should be incorporated into Finland proper, and that this is a justification for Finland’s occupation of this territory by force, the most casual study of history will show that such population problems as this have never been solved by forceful conquest of the territories involved.

Seven. The note also expresses the hope that “the great American nation will recognize the right also of a small nation to live and defend itself”. We unquestionably recognize such a right. We also recognize that the same right appertains to large nations.
Foreign Relations of the United States, Diplomatic Papers, 1941, General, The Soviet Union, Volume I, eds. Matilda F. Axton, N.O. Sappington, Shirley L. Phillips, Rogers P. Churchill and Irving L. Thomson (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1959), Document 103. https://history.state.gov/historicaldoc ... 41v01/d103 [Italics in original; bold added]

It is plain that Finland allied themselves with Nazi-Germany and joined in their attack on the USSR in order to pursue their irredentist aims, the same goal of ‘Suur-Suomi’ pursued from the moment Finland’s independence was unilaterally declared in the wake of the collapse of Tsarist Russia.
This forum is shit. I would delete my account and posts but this forum is so shit it does not have this function. Shit forum. Shit mods. Shit everyone and everything.

Seppo Jyrkinen
Member
Posts: 317
Joined: 21 Dec 2010 17:51
Location: Finland, Lappeenranta

Re: Great-Britain pushed Finland to cooperation with Germany

Post by Seppo Jyrkinen » 29 Sep 2017 17:37

Sid Guttridge wrote:Limited oil reserves was a crucial German vulnerability. It made good sense, from a British point of view, to have the Finns drain German reserves further, if possible.
What's good for one side is bad for the other one. That's what conflicts are.

Obviously you haven't found mistakes in my list so I can keep it as correct.

Conclusions are naturally everybody's own. One of mine is that Finland was pushed into the hands of Germany and Stalin was strengthening this process with he's aggressive policy (suggested by the British). German's didn't had to lure Finns much in the beginning, but just wait until the time was ready.
A word irony is baked into the word history.

User avatar
Juha Tompuri
Forum Staff
Posts: 11423
Joined: 11 Sep 2002 20:02
Location: Mylsä

Re: Great-Britain pushed Finland to cooperation with Germany

Post by Juha Tompuri » 30 Sep 2017 20:54

I think Seppo has a point here.

As Sid too:
Sid Guttridge wrote:Of course, the UK did "Not care about Finland", if to do so might damage Britain's own national interests. After all, the British Government is elected by the British population to act in its own national interest, not someone elses.

AFAIK The British interest was to weaken Germany, and by trying to break the German-Soviet pact, trying to get Soviet Union to the Allied side.
During Winter War Finland was useful for Allied side as draining the Soviet resources ( less being left for aiding Germany) and as country that could have called the Allied troops to help her (giving the Allied an excuse to invade the Swedish iron ore mines).
But after the war things changed.
Mr. Vereker to Viscount Halifax

Helsingfors, October 9, 1940.
(No. 834.)
(Telegraphic.)
YOUR telegram No. 536.
1. I have no desire to minimise the seriousness of the Finnish action, but feel that extenuating circumstances can be invoked.
2. Finns, to my mind, are far from ungrateful to us for our assistance, but evacuation of Northern Norway has been regarded as an indication that we were abandoning northern countries to their fate. Finns may be pardoned for suspicion that we would prefer to see absorbed by Russia to seeing her help German war effort in the slightest degree, whereas Finland at the same time cannot be gainsaid the right to seek means of keeping herself alive and free.
3. Public opinion, as far as I can gather in absence of all press comment, is bitterly and solidly opposed to the passage of German troops which it regards as an insult to the country's sovereign rights. Government and General Staff may hope that this development creates a new German interest in Finland which might help keep Russians out of the country, but if would be unfair to forget that our nickel policy may have contributed to drive Finland into the arms Germany, and that drowning men are apt to clutch at straws. Once we force Finns into making a pact with the devil it would be invidious to complain that they are coming off second best, seeing that the devil is not easy person to deal with.
4. I submit that our aim should be to retrieve the position in so far as may prove possible, and not to aggravate it by closing Petsamo route, although threats to its continuance, combined with circumstance that Finnish Government have patently placed themselves in the wrong by their unneutral act, should contribute to conclusion of as satisfactory an agreement as can be hoped for.
5. As regards attitude of Finnish press and General Staff, I defy any country in Finland's position not to make some attempt to trim its sail according to the wind, but Finnish Government, to my knowledge, have not deliberately taken any step calculated to prejudice our interests in order to curry favour with Germans. Neither do I consider that there is any justification for the accusation of Germanophilism against Finnish Government. They are just as anxious as ever that we should win the war, as long as our victory does not involve loss of Finnish independence, and you may rest assured that they will only submit to German demands under extreme pressure.
6. I do not believe there is any intrinsic difference in the attitude of Finnish General Staff, though in their case urge to appear pro-German to Germans may be more pronounced. My military attaché agrees, as also with view that it would never occur to Finnish General Staff to import war material for the German's benefit.
(Repeated to Stockholm, No. 33, Saving.)
http://www.histdoc.net/history/greatpower1939.html

Regards, Juha

User avatar
Juha Tompuri
Forum Staff
Posts: 11423
Joined: 11 Sep 2002 20:02
Location: Mylsä

Re: Great-Britain pushed Finland to cooperation with Germany

Post by Juha Tompuri » 30 Sep 2017 20:59

BTW... comparing to the Finnish situation, from where did Sweden get its oil products after the occupation of Norway?
Seppo Jyrkinen about the situation in 1940 wrote:In the end of July MEW's minister Dalton had a speech in the House of Commons and said that Finland should be forced to get it's oil products from Germany.
Was it the same with Sweden, or was Finland an exeption among the Nordic neutrals?

Regards, Juha

John T
Member
Posts: 1151
Joined: 31 Jan 2003 22:38
Location: Stockholm,Sweden

Re: Great-Britain pushed Finland to cooperation with Germany

Post by John T » 01 Oct 2017 11:03

Seppo Jyrkinen wrote:
John T wrote: 1. You try to mak a general British policy look like it was targeting Finland specifically.
I'm analyzing the relations between Finland and Great-Britain, not Great-Britain's foreign policy in generally.
And thus you fail in your analysis, as you ignore the context.
You simply have to look at both sides options to make sense of it.

Seppo Jyrkinen wrote:
John T wrote: 2. You seem unaware of the blockade rules British authorities adhered to, your reference to "State terrorism" is plain hot air.
Finland's Parliament had not accepted a paper which had given to foreign countries a permission to limit Finland's foreign trade. GB had legal rights to limit her own trade with Finland, but this has no place in my analysis.
Ahh, so Finlands parlament where the place where international law where set?

Seppo Jyrkinen wrote:
John T wrote: And why do you claim that Finland had no political contact with Germany before "17.8.1940" that could affect British policy?
Relations between Finland and Germany cooled dawn when Winter War broke out and Finns realized that Germany had really sold Finland to Russians. Germany had also several actions against Finland. After Winter War Germany kept distance to Finns until 17.8.1940 when arms dealer Veltjens came to visit and told that Germany was willing to sell weapons. There were no important military or political contacts between Finland and Germany between the outbreak of Winter War and Veltjens's visit.
No?
According to Vehviläinen's "Finland in the second world war, between Germany and Russia"
Vehviläinen_FinWW2_BtwnGerAndRus_p78_2.png
Seems like you missed something..

Kind regards
/John
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

John T
Member
Posts: 1151
Joined: 31 Jan 2003 22:38
Location: Stockholm,Sweden

Re: Great-Britain pushed Finland to cooperation with Germany

Post by John T » 01 Oct 2017 12:07

Juha Tompuri wrote:BTW... comparing to the Finnish situation, from where did Sweden get its oil products after the occupation of Norway?
Seppo Jyrkinen about the situation in 1940 wrote:In the end of July MEW's minister Dalton had a speech in the House of Commons and said that Finland should be forced to get it's oil products from Germany.
Was it the same with Sweden, or was Finland an exeption among the Nordic neutrals?

Regards, Juha
The big difference regarding oil where that Sweden managed to wriggel a trade agreement directly with Rumania so into 1941
Germany was out of the loop. Volumes where not that big, IIRC ~25% of need.

When it comes to Britain, trade where first cut during the Norwegian campaign but later Sweden first used Petsamo with British and German consent
and later where given right both by German and British to have some oversea trade with other neutral nations "the safe conduct traffic".

From British side the intention was that Sweden should be given just enough to resist further German pressure and the obvious
[edit]
condition that products imported would not be sent to Germany or her allies
[End edit]

Rememeber that Britain had accepted the Swedish-German trade agreement in 1939
Actually the Swedish-German and Swedish-British trade agreemnents where in some respect mutually dependant.


Cheers
/John

Seppo Jyrkinen
Member
Posts: 317
Joined: 21 Dec 2010 17:51
Location: Finland, Lappeenranta

Re: Great-Britain pushed Finland to cooperation with Germany

Post by Seppo Jyrkinen » 02 Oct 2017 18:14

Juha Tompuri wrote:The British interest was to weaken Germany, and by trying to break the German-Soviet pact, trying to get Soviet Union to the Allied side.
This was an another target of British policy. Actions against Finland told to Stalin, that British proposal in Moscow 1939, cooperation between Great-Britain and Soviet Union, was still possible.
Mr. Vereker to Viscount Halifax
- -
Once we force Finns into making a pact with the devil it would be invidious to complain that they are coming off second best, seeing that the devil is not easy person to deal with.
This original text is better than my translation.
A word irony is baked into the word history.

Seppo Jyrkinen
Member
Posts: 317
Joined: 21 Dec 2010 17:51
Location: Finland, Lappeenranta

Re: Great-Britain pushed Finland to cooperation with Germany

Post by Seppo Jyrkinen » 02 Oct 2017 18:15

John T wrote:And thus you fail in your analysis, as you ignore the context.
You simply have to look at both sides options to make sense of it.
Something relevant missing? Please tell. That's why I opened this thread.
John T wrote:According to Vehviläinen's "Finland in the second world war, between Germany and Russia"
Seems like you missed something..
Germany had refused to start trade negotiations with Finland during Winter War and after it relations between Finland and Germany were on lower level than before the war. Vehviläinen tells about trials to get normal trade working, not military or political connections.

In the beginning of summer 1940 Germany didn't even allow Finns to get those weapons, which Finland had bought during Winter War or instantly after it, but were in Norwegian harbors when the country was occupied. Veltjens's visit was the first time after Winter War when Germany was willing to sell weapons to Finns.
A word irony is baked into the word history.

Return to “The United Kingdom & its Empire and Commonwealth 1919-45”