Recommended books on the Winter War & Continuation War

Discussions on the Winter War and Continuation War, the wars between Finland and the USSR.
Hosted by Juha Tompuri
User avatar
John Hilly
Member
Posts: 2590
Joined: 26 Jan 2010 09:33
Location: Tampere, Finland, EU

Re: Recommended books on the Winter War & Continuation War

Post by John Hilly » 14 Jun 2011 10:13

Alex Yeliseenko wrote:You can name books or articles pro-soviet era Baryshnikovs? Published in 2000th years.
Yes, but still using Soviet Marxist-Leninist methods of History-science!

Regards
Juha-Pekka :milwink:
"Die Blechtrommel trommelt noch!"

User avatar
Bair
Member
Posts: 420
Joined: 01 Nov 2002 14:32
Location: Finland, Helsinki

Re: Recommended books on the Winter War & Continuation War

Post by Bair » 01 Jul 2011 13:15

OK,

most of my books are now available on Amazon

Winter War: Forgotten Images

http://www.amazon.com/Winter-War-Forgot ... 251&sr=8-4

War of the White Death

http://www.amazon.com/WAR-WHITE-DEATH-F ... 251&sr=8-2

Finland Strikes Back: Karelian Isthmus Volume 1

http://www.amazon.com/Finland-Strikes-K ... 251&sr=8-5

Regards,

Bair

OJJE
Financial supporter
Posts: 93
Joined: 04 May 2009 19:26
Location: Sweden

Re: Recommended books on the Winter War & Continuation War

Post by OJJE » 23 Jul 2011 18:00

Jagala wrote:Since Bair doesn't seem to be terribly keen on advertising himself, let's mention (and recommend) his "Talvisodan kadonneet kuvat".

FWIW the review in HS (19.12. C3) was favourable - and I see no reason to disagree with it - but unfortunately it isn't available online unless you're a subsciber to the digitized version of the newspaper.

PS since the title suggests and the blurb boasts that the over 200 photographs are previously unpublished and/or have been unavailable, it is perhaps a bit "ironic" that the photograph (of three Soviet soldiers with Asiatic facial features posing next to a stuffed bear on top of an improvised road block/tank barrier on Kannaksenkatu in Viipuri) chosen by the reviewer was already featured in "Viipuri toisessa maailmansodassa" (1991) by Niilo Lappalainen. (OTOH the reviewer appears to place the location on the wrong side of the front line on March 13th, 1940...)
Just a note about the Swedish translations in this book, they are quite badly made. Fortunately the Finnish and English translations where fine.

OJJE
Financial supporter
Posts: 93
Joined: 04 May 2009 19:26
Location: Sweden

Re: Recommended books on the Winter War & Continuation War

Post by OJJE » 23 Jul 2011 18:26

Me olimme nuoria sotilaita - tuntemattomat sotakuvat kertovat (We where young soldiers - unknown war pictures..) by

Gustav Hägglund, John Lagerbohm and Matti Simula
ISBN: 978-951-1-23831-7

Containes pictures from the frontlines taken by soldiers.. text in finnish

Image

Mangrove
Member
Posts: 1849
Joined: 25 Dec 2004 01:33

Re: Recommended books on the Winter War & Continuation War

Post by Mangrove » 17 Oct 2011 18:39

I heartly recommend reading Sotasavotta: Korsuelämää 1939-1944 published by Otava in 1974. It is edited by A. Nyman, E. Salminen and U. Vento from material sent to a writing contest in 1973. The content is arranged as following:

1. Departure
2. Dugout home
3. Field toilet and sauna
4. Zoo
5. Our boys
6. Food
7. Booze and tobacco
8. Officers and Sirs
9. News
10. Brothers in arms and enemies
11. Games
12. Substitutes
13. Trench art
14. Christmas
15. Celebration
16. Women
17. At leave
18. War love
19. In foreign country
20. Death or alive
21. Peace
22. Epilogue

Jagala
Member
Posts: 439
Joined: 29 Apr 2009 13:11

Re: Recommended books on the Winter War & Continuation War

Post by Jagala » 23 Oct 2011 17:34

A forthcoming book, titled "Finland in World War II": http://www.brill.nl/finland-world-war-ii

The price is perhaps a little bit prohibitive, but thanks to good libraries, even those who dislike the usual nationalistic, anti-Communistic and Russophopic fare they have learned to expect from Finnish historians should find something worth reading in this "rich array of original contributions".

adam7
Member
Posts: 42
Joined: 13 Oct 2011 12:13

Re: Recommended books on the Winter War & Continuation War

Post by adam7 » 15 Nov 2011 20:07

I read the first 137 pages of the earlier mentioned Ziemke's bookon a website, due to that I read a more recent book that in a large part was based on Ziemkes book. Not bad but mainly from the first generation of sources, i.e. German official sources and German memoirs published abt. 15 years after the war. Ziemke as an American being knowledgeable in German language used much German sources.
Since many other wells of sources have become available since this book, the picture painted by modern reasearch is somewhat more varied since the time of Ziemkes book.

User avatar
John Hilly
Member
Posts: 2590
Joined: 26 Jan 2010 09:33
Location: Tampere, Finland, EU

Re: Recommended books on the Winter War & Continuation War

Post by John Hilly » 16 Nov 2011 15:54

Jagala wrote:A forthcoming book, titled "Finland in World War II": http://www.brill.nl/finland-world-war-ii
Looking at the authors, this book represents the most modern Finnish history reseachers - a feminist included! :wink:
Warmly recommended!

Cheers
Juha-Pekka :milwink:
"Die Blechtrommel trommelt noch!"

User avatar
Pips
Member
Posts: 1137
Joined: 26 Jun 2005 08:44
Location: Canberra, ACT, Australia

Re: Recommended books on the Winter War & Continuation War

Post by Pips » 15 Jan 2012 22:46

I'm just getting into this theatre of war, finding it quite fascinating. I've read 'The White Death' and 'A Frozen Hell'. Excellent books.

I've noticed a couple of others at my local, they being:
"The Soviet Invasion of Finland, 1939-40" and
"Finland's War Of Choice: The Troubled German-Finnish Alliance in World War II"

Can anyone offer an opinion of the these books? Cheers. :)

Vaeltaja
Member
Posts: 886
Joined: 27 Jul 2010 20:42

Re: Recommended books on the Winter War & Continuation War

Post by Vaeltaja » 16 Jan 2012 17:02

Pips wrote:I'm just getting into this theatre of war, finding it quite fascinating. I've read 'The White Death' and 'A Frozen Hell'. Excellent books.

I've noticed a couple of others at my local, they being:
"The Soviet Invasion of Finland, 1939-40" and
"Finland's War Of Choice: The Troubled German-Finnish Alliance in World War II"

Can anyone offer an opinion of the these books? Cheers. :)
Link to the post in this thread: http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 9#p1192867 (Trotter's and Van Dyke's books are there)

Following are just my opinions of course but...

Though Trotter's book gives quite a good overview of the Winter War I would refrain from rating it too highly. It does offer a treatise of from (pretty much solely from) the Finnish perspective to the Winter War, but that is riddled with errors (which luckily usually remain on the small detail level). Finnish translation of the book (which i have) has several/numerous fixes inserted by the Finnish editor/translator, but even then they missed quite a few issues from the original text (like Finnish coastal defense ships had 2x2 ten inch guns + 4x2 four inch guns). You can get a good overview of the events from this book, but it would be smart to verify the exact details from other sources. It is however in my opinion well written and easy to read book and well worth having, even with its flaws.

Lunde's "Finland's War of Choice" is a book that concentrates on the war of 1941-44 and also has description of Lapland War though only a bare mention of the Winter War. In my opinion its 'better' than Trotter's book - in that it does not wonder off after details too often. The book is still limited in that it does not really handle the events from the Finnish or Soviet point of view since the writer had to rely on '3rd party' descriptions (or the few translated works). Still, in my opinion a good book, especially within the topic stated in the second part of it's name. Review in wiki military history project

As for the "The Soviet Invasion of Finland, 1939-40" that i have not read, but according to review on Amazon.com it seems to be offering a view from the Soviet side, or rather to Soviet side failings of the Winter War. How truthful that review is that i do not know.

User avatar
CanKiwi2
Financial supporter
Posts: 1013
Joined: 26 Nov 2010 15:48
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: Recommended books on the Winter War & Continuation War

Post by CanKiwi2 » 16 Jan 2012 22:59

[quote="Vaeltaja] As for the "The Soviet Invasion of Finland, 1939-40" that i have not read, but according to review on Amazon.com it seems to be offering a view from the Soviet side, or rather to Soviet side failings of the Winter War. How truthful that review is that i do not know.[/quote]

Speaking as the Amazon reviewer in question, that book really is a very Soviet view of the war. Interesting if you are really getting down into the detail but as a more introductory read, don't bother. It's also very dry reading.

The Winter War: Russia's Invasion of Finland, 1939-1940 by Robert Edwards isn't bad.

For fiction, try The Winter War by Antti Tuuri - the DVD based on the book is also excellent.

..........Nigel
ex Ngāti Tumatauenga ("Tribe of the Maori War God") aka the New Zealand Army

Philip S. Walker
Member
Posts: 1113
Joined: 06 Jan 2011 17:44

Re: Recommended books on the Winter War & Continuation War

Post by Philip S. Walker » 29 Jan 2012 13:23

@Pips

I have to disagree with you on "The White Death". To me it reads as typically British Thatcher-period commercial history writing, with all the good (Finnish) guys having sweet and gentle smiles, and the Russians being mono-browed with brutally curved lips. Well, that's an exaggeration perhaps, but I'm just trying to give an indication of the literary style.

A much more objective choice would be history professor Richard W Condon's "The Winter War - Russia against Finland". The bibliography at the back of the book is depressingly limited to English and German publications, but he clearly has used considerably more sources than those stated, including some in Finnish. According to his biography at the front he was educated at Suomi College in Hancock, Michigan, and later at various universities where he specialised in Finnish history. He looks well-qualified to me and is presumably of Finnish descend. The book is actually quite brief in text, but as an overview it is great, with lots of photos and some excellent maps. I really can't recommend it enough as an introduction to this war, unless you can read Finnish or Swedish - and even if you can, it is still good in my opinion - at least until someone comes along and tells me why it shouldn't be ...

"Hitler's Arctic War" by Chris Mann and Christer Jörgensen, currently discussed elsewhere in regard to the Lapland War, is also a fine introduction, evocatively but soberly written with lots of photographs. The name Jörgensen indicates a Nordic background (with Swedish "ö" and Danish-Norwegian "sen"!), always a good sign in these matters. However, the chapters about the Interim Peace are very dated and misses out on the last 40 years of historical research in Finland. To get a better introduction to the period you most definitely should get hold of Mauno Jokipii's essay "Finland's Entrance into the Continuation War", as printed in Revue internationale d'historie militaire 53, p. 85-103. It doesn't seem to be available on the net, at least not for free, but perhaps your local library can help you there. A Swedish version is on the net, but that will probably not be of help to you.

Also, if you have a lot of money to spend, there is the highly recommendable "Finland in World War II", which covers all kinds of aspects of the issue: military, political, civilian, memory-related, POWs, ethnic issues, Finnish concentration/transit camps, and much more. Written by academics and very up to date (2011) it is the ultimate investment for an English reader interested in the subject.

Regards, Vely

User avatar
Pips
Member
Posts: 1137
Joined: 26 Jun 2005 08:44
Location: Canberra, ACT, Australia

Re: Recommended books on the Winter War & Continuation War

Post by Pips » 30 Jan 2012 13:29

Thanks Philip, I appreciate the comments. Finland in World War II definitely fits the bill.

Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but in my searching I've found very few books (in English) covering the Finnish efforts in WWII, as opposed to the Winter War. Why is that? Is it because the Continuation War doesn't sit as comfortably with Finland as the Winter War? Or is that too simplistic a view?

User avatar
CanKiwi2
Financial supporter
Posts: 1013
Joined: 26 Nov 2010 15:48
Location: Toronto, Canada

From Heroes to Enemies: Finns in canada, 1937-1947.

Post by CanKiwi2 » 31 Jan 2012 19:44

Haven't read this myself yet but thought I should post this review (it's not mine) that I came across in case anyone is interested. Aspasia books publish Finnish books in English, and also books by and about Finns in North America. Good quality and reliable in case you're interested.

From Heroes to Enemies: Finns in canada, 1937-1947. Varpu Lindstrom.

Beaverton, ON: Aspasia Books, 2000. 265 pp. $28.00 sc.


From Heroes to Enemies: Finns in Canada, 1937-1947 covers an area of ethnic history that has up to now remained very much a mystery. The manuscript represents a pioneering attempt to de-mystify this critical period. Little has been written about many of these World War II events, and that which has been written has often been incorrect or based on simple conjecture. Dr. Lindstrom's book is thus a welcome attempt to set the record straight. The book is the culmination of ten years of painstaking research, including the examination of numerous primary sources, often with the costly use of the Freedom of Information Act. The research is exemplary. Her investigations, which included oral interviews, the use of letter collections and many diaries, give depth and meaning to many of the events she describes. The book succeeds in taking a balanced approach -- she views the historical record in an objective fashion, favouring neither the left or right side of the Finnish-Canadian political spectrum.

The first four chapters of the book cover the period when the Finns were regarded as "heroes." The theme changes for the last four chapters when Finland became a "reluctant enemy." Chapter 1 covers events in the 1930s that served as a prelude to the outbreak of war in Europe. Chapter 2 deals with the issue of the "divided loyalties" that Finnish-Canadians faced after Canada declared war on Germany on 7 September 1939. Finnish-Canadians were thus faced with an interesting dilemma -- whom to support? Would it be the Canadian or Finnish Army? Other important questions also arose such as what to do about the leftish Finnish-Canadians.

Chapter 3 surveys the role played by the Finnish American Legion in Finland, an army unit that was designed to integrate the North American Finns into the Finnish armed forces. In Chapter 4, Lindstrom covers the internal "civil war" that raged within Canada between Finnish factions with opposing political agendas. Considerable attention is given here to information contained in the files of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Some Finns are characterized as "desirable," whereas others were now considered "undesirable." The role played by the Finland Aid organization in Canada is looked at, as is the proposition by Premier Mitchell Hepburn to settle 100,000 Finns in the Clay Belt of Northern Ontario.

The setting of the book changes dramatically following Germany's attack on the Soviet Union on 22 June 1941 and the subsequent era of Finnish-German cooperation. Overnight the "heroic" Finns were now viewed as being on the "wrong side." In Chapter 5, the book deals with the severing of diplomatic relations between Finland and Canada. It is demonstrated that the Canadian press reported Finland's difficult position with understanding. However, the situation became far more serious when Canada was forced to declare war on 7 December 1941. Lindstrom deals at length with the consequences of Finns being declared enemy aliens, and the associated requirements for fingerprinting and registration. By 1942 public opinion toward Finland had changed for the worse. Chapter 6 covers the reversal of roles assumed by the leftist and rightist factions of the ethic community; now it was the rightist groups which fell under the scrutiny of the government. As well, Lindstrom sheds light on one of the consequences of the Finn's c hanged position in Canada, i.e., the increased "Canadianization" of Finnish communities and a higher enlistment in the Canadian armed forces. Chapter 7 deals with the complex situation of the Finnish merchant seamen who were caught in Canada following its declaration of war against Finland. Chapter 8 deals with the end of hostilities, the return to friendly relations, and the post-war aid effort to Finland. The epilogue ends with the following statement: "Throughout the war years, Finnish-Canadians did not change, their needs and desires and loyalties did not change, but international politics shifted them from heroes to enemies to heroes as if buffeted by crosswinds."

The photographs and newspaper captions illustrate aspects of the book's topical matter from amore personalized perspective. The tables listing the Finnish-Canadian volunteers in the Winter War and Finnish-Canadians in the Canadian Armed Forces during World War II depict the reality of the wartime setting as it effected many families in Canada.

It was a pleasure to have read this important contribution to Canadian immigrant history.
ex Ngāti Tumatauenga ("Tribe of the Maori War God") aka the New Zealand Army

Jagala
Member
Posts: 439
Joined: 29 Apr 2009 13:11

Re: Recommended books on the Winter War & Continuation War

Post by Jagala » 01 Feb 2012 08:43

"Chapter 2 deals with the issue of the "divided loyalties" that Finnish-Canadians faced after Canada declared war on Germany on 7 September 1939. Finnish-Canadians were thus faced with an interesting dilemma -- whom to support? Would it be the Canadian or Finnish Army? Other important questions also arose such as what to do about the leftish Finnish-Canadians."

It would appear that the reviewer managed to get confused in a quite fundamental way. 7 September 1939 did not in any way cause Finnish-Canadians to face a dilemma or a choice between supporting either Canada or Finland!

For leftist Finnish-Canadians of the diehard Communist persuasion it was another matter, though, i.e. that of following the Moscow party line and choosing between supporting Canada or the Soviet Union.

PS www.migrationinstitute.fi/art/pdf/SM_2004_2.pdf "Participating in Canadaś Victory; the Finnish Community in Canada during World War II" by Lennard Sillanpää

Return to “Winter War & Continuation War”