Quotes from Stalin/Hitler about Finnish military prowess?

Discussions on the Winter War and Continuation War, the wars between Finland and the USSR.
Hosted by Juha Tompuri
jjschm20
Member
Posts: 5
Joined: 25 Jun 2006 06:59
Location: Washington, DC

Quotes from Stalin/Hitler about Finnish military prowess?

Post by jjschm20 » 03 Apr 2009 06:13

What are some of the things that Stalin and Hitler had to say about Finland's military achievements from 1939-1945?

I can't seem to find a good resource into the minds of the 2 dictators when it came to Finland.

Thanks for anything you can tell me!

User avatar
Juha Tompuri
Forum Staff
Posts: 11552
Joined: 11 Sep 2002 20:02
Location: Mylsä

Re: Quotes from Stalin/Hitler about Finnish military prowess?

Post by Juha Tompuri » 03 Apr 2009 07:03

After all these it is interesting to ask yourselves what Finnish Army is all about? Many of you observed its agility, discipline and saw how it applied some tricks and some envy was noticed to the Finnish army. Question: Can we call it a quite modern army? In my opinion, not. In terms of defense, fortified lines, Finnish Army is more or less satisfactory but not modern. Because it is very passive in defense and looks at the fortified district lines as Muslims at Allah. Some fools are seating in concrete protected fox holes, drinking tea there and consider that nobody can cope with their fox holes. This is not an attitude to the defense line which is require by the modern war. Modern army can not passively treat defense line.
This passiveness in defense and this passive attitude to defense line characterize the Finnish Army as not a quite modern when they sit under stones. Finnish army showed itself as not quite modern because it is too religiously consider their fortified districts as unbreakable.
Finns’ offensive cost nothing. Three months of combats. Do you remember any single case of the massive offensive of the Finnish army? It didn’t happen. They didn’t have guts even to undertake a counter-attack while seated in their fortified strongholds, where all space was measured as on polygon and where they can close eyes and shoot since all space (territory) is measured, drawn and despite that very rarely they undertook a counter-attack. And I don’t know a single case when they didn’t fail in counter-attack. As far as any serious offensive or our front breakthrough is concerned you will not see any single fact of these. Finnish army is not capable for offensive actions. The main drawback of this army that it (Finnish Army) is not capable for large offensive actions, passive in defense and very stingy for a counter-attack. It organizes a counter-attack in extremely clumsy way and always suffered losses in counter-attack.
These are the main drawbacks (deficiencies) of the Finnish army. It is created and grown up not for offensive but for defense, and not active defense but passive defense. Defense with deep, blind belief in invulnerable fortifications. I can not call such an army as modern. What are their capabilities and what some Comrades envied for? Small envelopments and entering from the rear? Or blocking and piling up in forest? They just know their terrain conditions. All these blockages (in forest) can be considered as tricks. A trick is a good thing: cunning, quick wits etc. But one can not survive on tricks. Once deceived by entering from rear, second time deceived by entering from rear but third time failed to deceive. Army can not be built based on tricks if it wants to be a real army. If it does not have it then it is not valuable. Here is my assessment of the Finnish army. I take tactical sides not touching that Finnish army is weak and has lack of artillery. And not because that they are pure. Nothing like this. Only now they started to understand that without artillery a war will be lost. I am not talking about their other drawback – lack of aviation. And not due to lack of money for aviation. They have a lot of capitals. They have advanced Pulp and Paper factories, which manufacture gun powder, and gun power is quite costly. They have twice more Pulp and Paper factories then we have. We produce 500 thousand tons of cellulose per year and now got factories from them, which will manufacture 400 thousand tons of cellulose more but twice more (manufacturing capacity) remained in Finland. This is the rich country. And if they don’t have aviation this is because they didn’t understand the power and significance of aviation. Here is another deficiency.
An army, which is not grown up for offensive but for a passive defense. An army, which does not have a serious artillery. An army, which does not have a serious aviation, though has all capabilities for that. An army, which leads skillfully partisan warfare: entering to rear, blocking up and piling up (in forest) etc.
I can not call such an army as an army.
Final Conclusion: What is significance of our victory and whom we defeated? We were fighting for 3 months and twelve days, then Finns kneeled, we did them a favor and war ended. I ask you: Whom we have defeated? They say Finns. Of course, we defeated Finns. But this is not the main thing in this war. To beat Finns is not a big deal. Of course, we had to beat Finns. We have defeated not only Finns, we defeated their European teachers: German defense (fortifications), English defense (fortifications), French defense (fortifications). (We) defeated not only Finns but the defense of the advanced European states. (We defeated) not only defense of advanced European states but defeated their tactics and strategy. All defense of Finland was conducted as per advice and indications of England and France. Earlier Germans helped them a lot and their defense fortification line was built by half in accordance to their advice. This is conclusion.
We have defeated not only Finns, this task is not that great. The main significance of our win that we have defeated machines, tactics and strategy of the advanced European states, whose representatives were teachers (instructors) of Finns. In this point is our main victory.

Joseph Stalin – April 17th, 1940
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... rt=0&hilit

Circa eight years later:

"Nobody respects a country with a poor army, but everybody respects a country with a good army. I raise my toast to the Finnish Army"
Josef Stalin, April 6th, 1948


Regards, Juha

Mikko H.
Member
Posts: 1665
Joined: 07 May 2003 10:19
Location: Turku, Finland

Re: Quotes from Stalin/Hitler about Finnish military prowess?

Post by Mikko H. » 03 Apr 2009 12:50

Can someone please provide an original source for the famous toast quote?

User avatar
Juha Tompuri
Forum Staff
Posts: 11552
Joined: 11 Sep 2002 20:02
Location: Mylsä

Re: Quotes from Stalin/Hitler about Finnish military prowess?

Post by Juha Tompuri » 03 Apr 2009 19:05

Mikko H. wrote:Can someone please provide an original source for the famous toast quote?


Don't know if it is the original source, but at military magazine Sotilasaikakauslehti year 1971 LtGen Oinonen who was at the delegation signing the Agreement of Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance at Moscow mentions the following:

After signing the papers Stalin gave a toast speech addressed to the military members of the Finnish delegation, LtGen Oinonen and Gen Heinrichs:
Even I'm actually not a soldier, I can say that during peace time us soldiers are easily forgetted, but during war time everything depends on us.
Nobody respects a country with a poor army, but everybody respects a country with a good army. I raise my toast to the Finnish Army and the representatives of it here, General Heinrichs and General Oinonen
http://www.turunsanomat.fi/mielipiteet/ ... :0:0:0:0:0:

Regards, Juha

Mikko H.
Member
Posts: 1665
Joined: 07 May 2003 10:19
Location: Turku, Finland

Re: Quotes from Stalin/Hitler about Finnish military prowess?

Post by Mikko H. » 04 Apr 2009 09:26

Thanks, Juha. It would be interesting if we could trace the very first mention of this toast in print. One would expect that other persons present would remember and write about such an unexpected speech.

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

Re: Quotes from Stalin/Hitler about Finnish military prowess?

Post by adam7 » 01 Mar 2016 06:58

Mikko H. wrote:Thanks, Juha. It would be interesting if we could trace the very first mention of this toast in print. One would expect that other persons present would remember and write about such an unexpected speech.
A bit of an old thread, but here's an answer to your query
http://www.rukajarvensuunnanhistoriayhd ... Page_5.jpg

Apparently from Sotilasaikakausilehti 1971

Mikko H.
Member
Posts: 1665
Joined: 07 May 2003 10:19
Location: Turku, Finland

Re: Quotes from Stalin/Hitler about Finnish military prowess?

Post by Mikko H. » 01 Mar 2016 18:23

adam7 wrote:
Mikko H. wrote:Thanks, Juha. It would be interesting if we could trace the very first mention of this toast in print. One would expect that other persons present would remember and write about such an unexpected speech.
A bit of an old thread, but here's an answer to your query
http://www.rukajarvensuunnanhistoriayhd ... Page_5.jpg

Apparently from Sotilasaikakausilehti 1971
Thanks.

I've seen this quote also in a Finnish Communist publication about Stalin that was published in the dictator's lifetime, so the quote certainly is genuine.

Seppo Koivisto
Member
Posts: 756
Joined: 20 Nov 2006 22:49
Location: Finland

Re: Quotes from Stalin/Hitler about Finnish military prowess?

Post by Seppo Koivisto » 30 Aug 2022 08:30

A recent four-part TV series called Nazi Germany and Finland, has found from the Foreign Ministry's archives some reports of Hitler's opinion about the Finnish military.
https://yle.fi/news/3-12598549

kaipetri16#66
Member
Posts: 2
Joined: 15 Oct 2022 21:57
Location: Kotka,Finland

Re: Quotes from Stalin/Hitler about Finnish military prowess?

Post by kaipetri16#66 » 15 Oct 2022 22:56

In winter War Stalin said that a super power arms Finland. Indeed the CCCP did.

Return to “Winter War & Continuation War”