Recommended books on the Winter War & Continuation War

Discussions on the Winter War and Continuation War, the wars between Finland and the USSR.
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Re: Recommended books on the Winter War & Continuation War

Post by Juha Tompuri » 28 Mar 2012 19:56

This one came out from the print yesterday, and being readind it for two days now.
An interesting one.
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http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 0#p1672026

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Re: Recommended books on the Winter War & Continuation War

Post by Hanski » 11 May 2012 20:34


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Re: Recommended books on the Winter War & Continuation War

Post by Swing » 13 Jun 2012 08:51

Brand new book "Islands in the heart of battle"about Koivisto and Bay of Viipuri in 1944 from Axis forum members Art, Vyacheslav_M and Swing (unfortunately in Russian only):
http://www.ruslania.com/entity-1/contex ... 08473.html
A number of previously unreleased footage and archival documents. Lot of thanks to C.-F. Geust and Juha Tompuri.

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Re: Recommended books on the Winter War & Continuation War

Post by mars » 17 Aug 2012 23:54

Man, I wish this book will be translated into English

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Re: Recommended books on the Winter War & Continuation War

Post by Fliegende Untertasse » 21 Aug 2012 14:41

Timo J. Tuikka," Kekkosen takapiru – Kaarlo Hillilän uskomaton elämä "

http://www.otava.fi/kirjat/tieto/2011/f ... _takapiru/
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Biography of Kaarlo Hillilä, governor of Lappland during WWII and cabinet minister in 1944 peace government.

Hillilä was top Finnish civil servant in German operational area during Barbarossa , personal friends with general Dietl and had close contacts with Finlands war time leadership.

Well sourced, bit gossipy in nature as sources are largely private correspondence and personal diary entries.
Gives some interesting new insight to motives and reasoning of political decision makers during WWII.

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Re: Recommended books on the Winter War & Continuation War

Post by CanKiwi2 » 21 Aug 2012 17:30

Not so much a book as a new movie. "Hemingway and Gellhorn." Martha Gellhorn was one of better know war reporters of WW2 and was married to Ernest Hemingway for a time. Movie is about the two of them but the interesting thing here is that Gellhorn covered the Winter War from Finland and there is apparantly a fairly large segment of the film set during the Winter War. Steven Wiig appears as Simo Häyhä in the movie. Nicole Kidman plays Martha Gellhorn. Trailer looks good. Movie is directed by Philip Kaufman ("The Right Stuff" and "The Unbearable Lightness of Being").



It first aired on HBO on May 28, 2012. Amazon says its available for pre-order. In the extended trailer, you see some shots set in Finland starting around 3.58
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Re: Recommended books on the Winter War & Continuation War

Post by CanKiwi2 » 30 Aug 2012 15:43

Anyone have any comments on this book and whether it's useful?

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Re: Recommended books on the Winter War & Continuation War

Post by CanKiwi2 » 07 Sep 2012 10:36

"The Red Army Moves" by New Zealand journalist Geoffrey Cox (published in 1941)

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Picked the following up from:http://khakiliterature.com/authors-c/10 ... army-moves
Cox was a New Zealander working as a journalist out of the UK who was in Finland for the Winter War. Looks like an interesting book - trying to locate a copy for myself right now and if I do, will post a review. In the meantime, here's what I found on the book.

This is an enthralling book, and a book of that very rare type – one which is at once of great topical interest and of permanent historical importance.

Cox is one of the great newspaper reporters of the world. His work in Spain will always be remembered: and when, therefore, he was assigned to Finland on the outbreak of the Russia-Finnish War, English readers looked forward eagerly to his Daily Express dispatches. They were not disappointed.

In the present book Cox gives a detailed account of the whole course of the Finnish War, paying equal attention to the military aspects of it on the one hand and to the political and diplomatic aspects on the other. A passion for truth – becoming so rare in the modern world – is seen in every page; ''objective" would be the word to describe the book, if that word did not suggest a certain dullness, whereas the note of the book is one of the greatest excitement.
Cox is neither ''pro-Soviet" nor "anti-Soviet" he has no axe whatever to grind. For instance, he is equally ruthless in exposing the propaganda of professional ''pro-Sovietists" and in pillorying the manner in which certain elements sought to use the situation for anti-Soviet ends.

But it is the assessment of the Soviet Union's strengths and weaknesses from a military point of view which gives the book its greatest fascination and its permanent importance. In the years to come, a great deal may depend on the world's judgement of that question; and it will be of immense value to have a book in which no axe is ground, but the truth is told by a man who was passionately anxious to discover the truth, and had a unique opportunity of doing so.

Author's Introduction

This book was written in the intervals between three campaigns. I began it when I first returned from Finland at the end of the war. I wrote a great part of it in Brussels in April and early May, while I waited for the blitzkrieg against the Low Countries to begin. One copy of the manuscript I sent off from Brussels by the last air mail ever carried before the city airport was bombed by the Germans. The other copy fell into the hands of the Gestapo in Lille, where I left my luggage during the Flanders campaign.

I worked at it again between spells of filling sandbags for the Chelsea Home Guard, when I returned to England after France had fallen. I finish it now under the grey skies and amidst the autumn mud which the Finnish troops had known in their time as they trudged forward on the Karelian Isthmus to face the Red Army. I wrote this book because I felt deeply that it ought to be written. I was, in Finland, one of the few spectators of an event which gave rise to great controversy, and which will continue to rouse such controversy. I find myself in possession of evidence about the Finnish war which no other observer has, and I feel that it should be brought into print before it is too late. As I worked at the book I have realised that parts of it will anger and hurt people I have been proud to count as my friends – people who were for Finland, and others who were for Russia in this war. To them I can only say one thing – so far as I have been able I have written here the truth.

Contents

November Night
The Helsinki Raids
What Stalin Wanted
Invasion
Kuusinen
Air War: Stage One
War in the Snow
Forest General
Artic War
Troop Train
Wallenius
The Battle of Kemi River
Road to Battle
Battle Scene
Finnish Town
Stockholm Christmas
Volunteer Route
The Battle of Suomussalmi
The Rattee Road
Kuhmo Front
Why Russia Failed in the North
Tolvajarvi Battle
Mannerheim
The Mannerheim Line
Air War: Stage Two
Petsamo: Forgotten Front
Ghost Patrols
Salla Front
The Volunteers
Lottas
On the Isthmus
Ladoga and the 34th Tank Brigade
Intervention?
The Summa Offensive
Break Through
Peace Treaty
Foreign Aid
Why Peace Came
The Last Day
Hango
The Red Army
The Red Air Force
The Finnish Army
The Propaganda War
Cost of Defeat
The Press and Finland
Personal View
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Re: Recommended books on the Winter War & Continuation War

Post by Juha Tompuri » 19 Sep 2012 19:38

Another nice one:
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http://www.bookplus.fi/kirjat/uola,_mik ... 4-19062379
A well written and detailed book about the war and it's backgrounds in the North.
In except few minor equipment related mistakes well worth reading.
Good and many photos.
Also nice to notice AHF mentioned as one of the book sources.

Regards, Juha
Last edited by Juha Tompuri on 19 Sep 2012 19:38, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: adding info

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Talvisota muiden silmin

Post by CanKiwi2 » 27 Sep 2012 15:08

Talvisota muiden silmin ("The Winter War through the eyes of Others" by Antero Holmila

The Winter War did draw wide international attention. Holmila's book looks into how foreign press viewed the conflict, with examples covering ten countries and three continents. The articles from Greece, Japan, Hungary and Great Britain show that foreign press emphasised and marvelled at the unity of the Finnish nation. Holmila says: "It is important to acknowledge that they did this for their own national and often political purposes." War loomed over the world and all countries were preparing for it.

Correspondents were also fascinated by the arctic aspect of the war. The snow, the cold climate and soldiers on skis wearing white camouflage formed novel and exotic experiences. This aspect is not far from what appeals foreigners in Finland today. Many correspondents chose to cover battles in Lapland, although the main struggle was fought on the Karelian Isthmus, in the southeastern part of Finland. Correspondents weren’t sent to Finland immediately after the war broke out. Finland was expected to fall quickly, following the examples of Poland and Czechoslovakia. "The ensuing rush of war correspondents show a genuine interest in the turn of events" says Holmila. All major publishing houses sent out correspondents, including thirty from Britain alone. The fact that the conflict took place in a time when news agencies had invested in wide networks of war correspondents but other fronts were rather quiet was an added reason for the attention.

The war also engaged some war correspondents strongly on an emotional level. The most prominent example of this is John Langdon-Davies, the prolific British journalist most famous for founding the aid agency Plan International and for his coverage of the Spanish Civil War. "The title of his war memoirs, Finland: The first total war, is quite telling," says Holmila. It is also a welcome foreign input into Finnish history.

"Finnish history writing is limited by the fact that it is written by Finns. The language sets such strong barriers. What would have become of the history of Vichy, France if it had been left to Frenchmen to study?" asks Holmila. "Having foreign input has done the history of great powers a lot of good," he goes on. Luckily some of Finnish history, such as the Winter War, can also be analysed through Russian and Soviet sources.

(quoted from http://finland.fi/Public/default.aspx?contentid=180095)

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Re: Recommended books on the Winter War & Continuation War

Post by adam7 » 28 Sep 2012 02:04

Vaeltaja wrote:
Pips wrote:...
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.
Lunde's books title is obviously chosen by an editor, since the contents do not really support the title.

It's in places a copy of the Ziemke and another book. Since colonel Lunde, as a Norvegian-American can read Swedish sources, there are swedish language sources but all Finnish language sources have been taken in by helpers, and even thoug historians, colonel Lunde gets a number of details wrong. He also does quite a bit of moralizing, from an A,merican point of wiev, which i could, if I were moralizing, note that since the USA could not fight both against das Reich and the Soviet union, who could have expected that Finland would have had the capacity. I off course wouldn't dare to utter something like that. Mr. Lunde's book is more on a level of late fifties, early sixties level history, since it is so heavily dependet on the two main sources from that era.

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Re: Recommended books on the Winter War & Continuation War

Post by adam7 » 28 Sep 2012 02:10

JTV wrote:
revans618 wrote:Recently picked up a copy of this and will be reading it soon. Anybody else read it and what did you think?
(the picked thing being Lunde's "Finland's War of Choice")
I would not put that book to this section, since I most certainly would not recommend it. I heard about the book beforehand and expected it, but it proved to be quite a disappointment. It's not such a big deal that it contains obvious mistakes (not that uncommon) or that the names of persons involved and place-names often have typos (apparently no data checking concerning them before printing). The major issue is that author did not use Finnish sources basically at all, which while writing about Finnish political decisions and Finland fighting a war causes shall we say "interesting" effects. Apparently Lunde's doesn't have any language skills with Finnish or Swedish and therefore decided to go easy way and use only English and German language sources. As a result of this he doesn't really doesn't seem to understand Finnish politics and while he covers the operations in northern part of Finnish front which was a German responsibility rather well, his explanation of operations in Finnish - Soviet part of the front (with much larger troops and notably bigger battles) is so poor it is borderlines useless. The difference between Lunde's poor sources and best latest Finnish books that use Finnish and Soviet (plus also German when needed) archive materials as their sources is simply staggering. Anthony Beevor he certainly ain't. At best the book somewhat works as description of German - Finnish co-belligerence from German perspective, but does not succeed beyond that and shows once again that there is a need for good book (series) written about history of Continuation War in English.

Jarkko
Actually Lunde has used Swedish language sources, but they are mainly secondary sources written the next decades after the war.

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Re: Recommended books on the Winter War & Continuation War

Post by adam7 » 28 Sep 2012 02:17

St.George wrote:
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"Karelska näset 1944" by Johan and Christian Lupander.

I can really say its Is the best Swedish language book about the Soviet offensive 1944.

It use both Finnish and Soviet sources.

I highly recommend this book.
This book I also higly recommend. The book includes modern research and is in my opinion a very well balanced description of the Russian invasion that started three of four days after D-day (depending on whether you count the initial attacks or the main attack) and was several times larger than D-day was in its initial phase. This strategic Soviet attack is, however virtually unknown, even though it was the only Soviet strategic attack after Stalingrad, that did not succeed as planned by the Soviet Stavka.

The book is as mentioned based on both Finnish (Finnish and Swedish language) secondary sources as well as Russian language secondary sources.

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Re: Recommended books on the Winter War & Continuation War

Post by Seppo Jyrkinen » 29 Sep 2012 08:14

Some comments about Lunde's book elsewhere: http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 9&t=175884
A word irony is baked into the word history.

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Re: Recommended books on the Winter War & Continuation War

Post by CanKiwi2 » 17 Oct 2012 11:22

Salainen tiedustelija - Suomalaisen vakoojaupseerin kirjeet 1940-44 (”Secret Scout - A Finnish Espionage Officer’s Letters 1940-44”) by Mikko Porvali

New book sheds light on fate of Finnish wartime spies in the Soviet Union

According to author Mikko Porvali, more agents made it back to Finland than has previously been thought. Their trainer later served as a high-level interpreter in talks with the Kremlin leadership that shaped post-war Finland. A significantly larger number of the spies that Finland sent to Soviet Union during the so-called Continuation War (1941-44) made it back alive than has been previously thought. This is the opinion of Mikko Porvali, who has written a book about a Finnish intelligence officer, Igor Vahros.

Until now it has been believed that nearly all the secret agents sent by Finland were blown. “The Allied Control Commission (see link below) housed in Helsinki's Hotel Torni was told that none of them came home. There is sporadic information, however, that some did make it back. Based on this book, one can state quite confidently that a considerably larger number of them did return”, Porvali says. This fact has remained unknown, owing to the fact that “it is one of the characteristics of the branch that such matters are not discussed in public”.

“Slightly fewer than half of those sent out came back. Nevertheless, it is difficult to evaluate how many of them were still loyal to their Finnish masters. Many of them may have been caught and turned, and were sent back to Finland to spy for the Soviet Union instead.” Porvali spoke at the launch of his new book Salainen tiedustelija - Suomalaisen vakoojaupseerin kirjeet 1940-44 (”Secret Scout - A Finnish Espionage Officer’s Letters 1940-44”) in Helsinki on Thursday of last week. The book tells of Igor Vahros (1917-1996), who served as a trainer at the Finnish Spy School in the occupied Karelian town of Petrozavodsk (Äänislinna in Finnish) during the Continuation War.

Porvali calls Vahros the great scriptwriter of Finnish espionage, for Vahros’s task was to come up with cover stories for the would-be agents. Porvali reckons that around 140-150 spies were sent into the Soviet Union via the school. As far as their background is concerned, most of them were prisoners of war embittered by Soviet rule. Porvali’s book is based on Vahros’s journal entries and letters that he sent home to his wife during the war. “The letters were delivered by couriers or they were sent as official mail of the intelligence branch, which means they did not pass through the censorship of regular military mail. Hence Vahros has been able to be more candid with his thoughts and sentiments in them.”

Vahros moved to Finland already as a small child, when his father fled the Soviet regime in its early stages. His mother and siblings remained in the Soviet Union. Vahros’s father advised his son that in Finland one should become a Finn. He warned his son especially against getting tangled up in the embittered emigrant organisations. Vahros took heed of the advice. After the wars, Vahros became the only Professor of Russian language and literature in Finland. He was the trusted expert of the Russian culture that President Urho Kekkonen used as his personal interpreter in his unofficial discussions with the Soviet leaders. “Vahros was immensely gifted; a skilled violinist and a good writer, and he had some acting skills as well. When he acted through his Tolstoy lectures at the university, he brought tears to the eyes of the girls in the front row”, Porvali describes. “While in the spy school, he studied about toxins and psychology, took care of the normal intelligence work, and directed the school’s choir and orchestra.”

Porvali is particularly astonished at Vahros’s role as the secretary and interpreter of Finland’s delegation in the Agreement of Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance negotiations with the Soviets in 1948. “It is quite mind-blowing to think that only four years earlier he had sent spies into the Soviet Union. Molotov and Stalin were his mortal enemies. And yet there he was, sitting around the same negotiating table with them.” The agreement in question was part and parcel of Finnish political life during the Cold War years, and was only formally annulled in 1992.

http://www.atenakustannus.fi/kirjat/kirja/492
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