Again, you unduly blame the Air Force
Vaeltaja wrote:And yes, a balanced force would have been required. Finns did no have such at 1939. There were no front line fighters at all thanks to decisions of FAF and board of acquisitions.
for the negligence of building up a strong enough fighter force.
Col. Veli Pernaa's text explains the history of the decision-making process quite accurately, please refer back to page 2.
The lack of front line fighters was due to the stingy political climate
regarding defence spending, which insisted on getting the cheapest available short-term solution.
Because it was believed that domestic production will become cheaper, and the civilian politicians refused to grant funding for the Seversky fighter with the familiar "too expensive" argument, no better alternative was left on the eve of WWII than producing the Fokker D.XXI within the limits that time and resources allowed.
"The Council of Defence discussed fighter procurement again in the spring of 1937. The Commander of the Air Force proposed more Fokkers with unlimited license and domestic production. The outcome was a decision on purchase of the license rights and an order on 21 aircraft from the Aircraft Factory. The license production of Blenheim bombers commenced respectively in 1938 and went on till the war years."
Valtion Lentokonetehdas (State Aircraft Factory)
had limited production capacity, and once the production line started working on the Blenheims, reversing it back to producing Fokkers would have only created chaos, plus increased the number of an obsolescent fighter that in many respect was no match for the best fighters of the time, which the Air Force knew quite well.
The outcome, i.e.
, the produced number of Fokkers and that of Blenheims, plus whatever could in addition be hastily purchased from abroad (Fiats, Moranes, Hurricanes, Brewsters), was simply the best available compromise after civilian politicians had blundered, wasting the time and opportunities
to build up an affordable and effective fighter force early enough to gain operative readiness before WWII.
Pernaa's text does not mention it, but I believe at one stage Marshal Mannerheim threatened to resign from his Chairmanship of the Council of Defence, just because the politicians repetedly turned down his pleas for funding.
The question of the right or wrong balance between fighters and bombers is just splitting hairs on matters that no one could know for certain, as there really was no combat experience on the aircraft of the 1930's other than the Spanish Civil War to look for evidence, and those results might not have applied in the event of a Russo-Finnish war, so the question of fine-tuning the balance is less relevant than the question of adequate and affordable funding for the whole branch of defense.
To jump into another blunder in 1930's defence expenditure is the shelving of the Suomi submachine gun production
, after the initial production batches had successfully come out from the Tikkakoski factory.
Just think of the impact that this weapon could have made in the Winter War, if instead of the coastal defence ships Väinämöinen
(see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finnish_co ... %C3%B6inen
) the same amount of budget money had been spent on producing Suomi-kp's by the thousands.
But this is all just wisdom in hindsight, always so easy...