What If-Finland had been prepared for the Winter War?

Discussions on the Winter War and Continuation War, the wars between Finland and the USSR.
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Re: Foreign Correspondents....

Post by Juha Tompuri » 31 Aug 2012 20:02

CanKiwi2 wrote: Image
Image sourced from: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/c ... posion.jpg
“Symposium” painted by Alex Gallén (1865-1931): the painting shows the organist and composer Oskar Merikanto as well as Kajanus, Sibelius and Gallén at a table full of empty bottles.
A sidenote:
An idol of mine when I was a kid.:

Regards, Juha

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Re: What If-Finland had been prepared for the Winter War?

Post by CanKiwi2 » 04 Sep 2012 18:58

Newspaper correspondents in the Winter War, 1939-40

For the record, here’s a list of all the foreign correspondents in Finland over the course of the Winter War, together with their country of origin and the Media Organisation(s) they worked for. The Year shown is their Date of Birth as per Finnish Records. After the list, we’ll take a deeper dive into a few of these correspondents (only a few, not all, I promise…), their backgrounds and their reporting over the course of the Winter War (but be warned, some of the Winter War stuff will be “ATL-ized” – but not all of it).

Some of these reporters are still remembered, others who were “names” in their day are not, some of them were incredibly good writers but as most never wrote books, or if they did they’re long out of print, they’ve been forgotten. In the next couple of Posts, I’ll endeavour to bring some of these men and women back to life. For the record, this list is historically accurate and everyone listed was in fact a correspondent in Finland over the course of the real Winter War. Virginia Cowles, Martha Gellhorn, John Langdon-Davies and one or two others recorded their experiences in books and I’ll be using these here and there as “quotes” and sources. There’s also some very good background to many of these reporters in Paul Preston’s outstanding book about the war reporters in the Spanish Civil War – “We Saw Spain Die: Foreign Correspondents in the Spanish Civil War.” I recommend this book highly if you want to dig some more into the War Correspondents of this period – Preston gives a pretty good idea of what many of them got up to after the Spanish Civil War and some of them are fascinating indeed – Martha Gellhorn being a prime example. I’d also recommend watching “Hemingway and Gellhorn” when it comes out on DVD – it does have footage of Martha Gellhorn (played by Nicole Kidman) reporting from the Winter War. (For the extended trailer, see

Beattie, Edward William: 1909, United Press (UP)
Bloch, Curt, New York Times Picture Service (Pressens Bild)
Bonney, Mabel Therese: 1897, Free lancer, Finnish Gov.,
Bradley, David John: 1915, Lee Syndicate, Wisconsin State Journal
Burdett, Winston: 1913, Brooklyn Eagle
Calcraft Eric: News Paper Enterprise (photographer)
Cowles, Virginia: 1910, London Sunday Times, North American Newspaper Alliance
Day, Donald Setterlee: 1895, Chicago Tribune
Denny, Harold: 1889, The New York Times
Deuel, Norman B.: 1908, United Press (UP)
Doherty, Edward: 1890, Liberty Magazine (author)
Elliston, Herbert Berridge: 1895, Christian Science Monitor
Forte, Ralph E.: 1906, United Press (UP)
Gellhorn, Martha: 1908, Colliers Weekly
Harrelson, Max: 1906, Associated Press (AP)
Hartrich, Edwin Eugene: 1912, Colombia Broadcasting Co (CBC)
Hawkins, Thomas Fay: 1908, Associated Press (AP)
Heinzerling, Lynn Lenis: 1906, Associated Press (AP)
Irwin, Warren Edward: 1896, National Broadcasting Co (NBC)
Kerr, Walter B.: 1911, New York Herald Tribune
Lodge, Joseph N.: 1899, Associated Press (AP)
Low, Robert: 1911, Liberty Magazine
Menken, Arthur:1903, Paramount (cameraman)
Miller, Webb: 1891, United Press (UP)
Moller, Grogers Antoine: New York Times, Politiken
Muto, Frank: 1908, International News Photos, Hoover Finnish Relief Committee
Mydans, Carl Mayer: 1907, Life Magazine
Powell, Bonney: 1903, Fox (film director)
Schulman, Samuel: 1906, International News Photos
Stevens, Edmund W.: 1910, Christian Science Monitor, National Broadcasting Co (NBC)
Stowe, Leland: 1899, Chicago Daily News
Sullivan, Neil: 1897, RKO movies
Terret, Courtney: 1903, International News Service (INS)
Tolischus, Otto D.: New York Times
Wason, Betty (Elisabeth): 1912, Transradio Press Service, Indianapolis Star
Werner, ("Wade") Oscar Emil: 1893, Associated Press (AP)
Wertenbaker, Charles: 1901, Time
White, William Lindsay: 1900, Columbia Broadcasting Systems (CBS)

Aldridge, Harold Edward James, 1918, Australian Newspaper Service, assisting Daily Express

de Becker, Raymond Jean Charles: 1912, L'ouest
Despeigne, Odette: 1913, Red Cross
Van Ermengen, Frans: 1893, La Nation Belge,
Gazet, van Antwerpen: Le XXe Siecle
Huysmans, Marthe Camille: Le Peuple and 4 other Belgian Soc. Dem. newspapers
de Moreau, Chevalier Jean: 1906, Vers l'Avenir a Namur
de Pret, Roose:
de Calesberg, Claudine Marie: 1901, La Metropole

Kures. Woldemar: 1893, Uus Eesti
Raud, Mart: 1903, Päeväleht, Briva Zeme
Vellner, Harald: 1893, Päeväleht
Woitk, Evald: 1907, Rahvaleht
Tamm, Uno: 1912: Estonian News Agency

Beck, Herbert: 1885, Reuter, Daily Telegraph, News Chronicle
Black, Walter: Daily Express
Busvine, Richard Ernst: 1904, Reuter, Chicago Times
Csato, Tibor: 1906, Daily Telegraph (doctor)
Dancy, Eric Burton: 1901, News Chronicle
Donegell, Lord Edward: 1903, Sunday Dispatch, Daily Mail
Forrest, William Francis: 1902, News Chronicle
De Gallienne, Owen: 1900, London Illustrated, New York Times, (artist)
Garratt Geoffrey, T.: 1888, Manchester Guardian
Gourlie, Norah Dunclas: 1895, Glasgow Herald
Goulding, Edward: 1909, (newspaper editor)
Hartin, William Francis: 1900, Daily Mail
Hewins, Ralph: 1909, Daily Mail
Langdon-Davies, John: 1897, Evening Standard
Malleson, Constance: 1897, Manchester Guardian, Time and Tide
Marchant, Hilde: 1915, Daily Express
Morgan, Vernon Eversfield: 1904, Reuter
O'Brien-Hitching, Alphonsos James: 1913, The British Press Combile (photographer)
O'Brien-Hitching, Madelaine: 1916,
Romilly, Giles Samuel: 1916, Daily Express
Steer, George: 1909, Daily Telegraph
Sullivan, Barry S.: 1915,
Tighe, Desmond: 1906, Reuter
Urch, Reginald Oliver Gilling: 1884, The Times
Ward, Edward Henry Harold: 1905, British Broadcasting Co (BBC)
Young, Gordon Fussel: 1905, Reuter

Birnbaum, Immanuel: De Telegraaf
Broersma, Sjoerd: 1908, Algemeen Handelsblad,Arbeiderspers,Katholieke Pers
Haakma, Siebren: 1917, Rotterdammer,Friesch Dagblad
Hazelhoff-Roelfzema, Erik:1917, Rotterdamsch Niewsblad, Dordrechts, Nieuwsblad, Haagse Courant
Hermans, Hubert: 1908, Residentiebode Den Haag
van Heuven-Goedhart, Gerritt Jan: 1901, De Grote Provinciale Dagbladen
v. Niftrik, Nora: 918, De Telegraaf
Werumeus-Buning, Johan Wilhelm: 891, De Telegraaf

Appelius, Mario: 1892, Stefani,Il Popolo d'Italia
Artieri, Giovanni: 1904, La Stampa (Dr. Pol. Sc.)
Bellotti, Felice: 1909, La Stampa
Beretta, Cesare: 1912, Il Popolo dTtalia, Giornale d'Italia Gazzetta del Popolo
Bonscossa, Cesare: 1914, Gazzetta dello Sport
Gamisa, Attila: 1911, Gazzetta dello Sport
Caputo, Massimo: 1899, Gazzetta del Popolo
Dall'Ongaro, Carlo: 1887, Giornale d'Italia, Il Piccolo, La Voce d'Italia
Faroni, Cesare: Il Popolo dItalia
Mantovani, Vittorio: 1902, Fox-Movietone
Montanelli, Indro: 1909, Corriera, della Sera
Rivelli, Cesare: 1906, Gazzetta del Popolo
Zingarelli, Italo: 1891, La Stampa di Torino

Adachi, Tsurutaro: 1906, Domei
Kitano, Kichiano: 1892, The Asahi Newspapers

Stefanovic, Milutin: 1902, Vreme de Belgrad

Halton, Matthew: Toronto Star
Pyper, Charles Bothwell: 1885, The Evening Telegram

Doganis, Theodore: 1905, Vradyni Ateena

Baltkajis, Viktors Rits: 1908, Briva Zeme
Kagis, Irikis (Henri): 1902, Janaukas Zinas
Kalninš, Bruno: 1899, Lietuvos Zinios

New Zealand
Cox, Geoffrey Sandford: 1910, Daily Express

Aas, Oddvar: 1910, Arbeiderbladet, Arbeidernes Pressbyrå (Socialdemokraten)
Bellisön, Thorolf Magne:1909, Nordisk Presse Syndikat
Berset, Odd: 1913, Dagbladet, Sunmöörsposten, Bergene Tidning
Bjertnaes, Erik K.: 1916, Morgenposten
Borge-Asserud, Rolf: 1919, Fremtiden, Arbeidernes Pressekontor
Bödel, Sigurd: 1909, Dagen (missionary)
Böhn, Leif: 1909, Aftenposten
Fangen, Ronald: (Tidens Tegn) (author)
Fasmer, Hans Berent: 1875, Tidens Tegn, Bergens Tidende (industrialist)
Gjesdal, Tor: 1909, Arbeiderbladet, Soc.dem. Pressbyrå (Stockholm)
Hammer, Ruth: 1907, (photographer and lecturer)
Juve, Jorgen: Tidens Tegn
Kandahl, Torolv: 1899, Aftenposten
Mangs, Frank: 1897, (pastor)
Meinich-Bache, Abel Leo: 1915, Morgenposten,Dagsposten,Drammens Tidende
Munsterhjelm, Ida: F. 1889, Aftenposten,Stockholms-Tidningen ym.
Schübeler, Ludwig Christian: 1890, (mission vicar)
Sinding-Larson, Henning: Aftenposten
Svenneby, Arne:1913, Nationen, Ragnarök
Wyller, Anders P.: 1903, Tidens Tegn (professor)

de Freitas, Amadeu: 1904, Seculo

Berson, Jan Ottmar: 1903, Agence Telegraphique Polonnaise à Paris (PAT)

du Bief, Felix Andre: 1897, Le Matin
de Coquet, James: 1898, Le Figaro
Coulond, Lucien Marie: Le Journal, Gringoire
Danjou, Henri: 1897, Paris Soir
Foucault, Andre :1880, Candide
du Guerny, Yves Chassin: 1904, Havas, Le Temps
Hamre, Louis: 1892, Le Journal
Kessel, Georges: 1904, Match, Paris Soir
Rieffel, Robert: 1913, Havas
Valery, Bernard: 1914, Paris Soir, Paris Midi, Match
Zucca, Andre: 1897, Match (photographer)

Marinescu, Cezar: 1897, Rador

(Albihn-)Dassel, Karin: 1912, Veckojournalen (photographer)
Almstedt, Gunnar: 1903, Västmanlands Länstidning ym.
Alving, Barbro: 1909, Dagens Nyheter (pen name Bang)
Andersson, Kurt: 1907, Social-Demokraten
Attorps, Karl Gösta Bruno: Svenska Dagbladet (Ph.D., author)
Aurén, Sven Anders G.: Nya Dagligt Allehanda, (pen name Griggs)
Axelsson, Georg: 1898, New York Times
Axelsson, Ingvar: 1904, Nya Dagligt Allehanda
Backlund, Sven: 1889, Representantive for Swed. Soc.Dem. newspapers in Geneva and Paris
Bardack, Sven Herman: 1895, Paramount (cameraman)
Beer, Allan: 1916, Stockholms-Tidningen
Björnberg, Signe: 1896: Ahlen & Åkerlund och Veckopressen (author)
Boge, Gustaf Adolf Alexander: 1891, A.B. Svensk Filmindustri
Braathen, Alma: 1906, Dagens Nyheter
Byström, Dan: Aftonbladet
Carlsson, Folke: Pressens Bild A.B.
Eidmark. Henry: 1897, Folket i Bild (photographer)
Ekman, Olof: Europa-Filmen
Elgström, Anna-Lenah: 1884, Veckojournalen (author)
Enblom, Anders: 1908, Dagens Nyheter, Stockholms läns och Södertälje Tidning
Enström, Hans Emil: Bergelagsposten (photographer)
Ericson, Erik Olof Gillis: Göteborgsposten, 16 provincial newspapers
Ericsson, John Gunnar: 1910, Östersundsposten
Flood, Per Olof: Arme och Marinfilm, Stockholm
Floodqvist, Hans Joachim: 1912, Ahlen & Åkerlund (photographer)
Fors-Bergström, Einar: 1891, Svenska Dagbladet, working for the Finn. Gov.
Forsberg, Sven: Dagens Nyheter (photographer)
Frösell, Gunnar: 1899, Aftonbladet
Grönwall, Olof Richard Alexis: 1914, Aftonbladet
Gullera, Karl Werner: 1916, Se, Black Star (New York)
Gunnarsson, Gunnar: 1907, Dagens Nyheter
Göth, Stig Arne: Rotogravyr (?)
Hammar, Karl Anders: 1903, Paramount
Hansson, Sven Edward: 1905, Sydsvenska Dagbladet, Göteborgsposten
Hedström, Karl Olof Hilding: 1901, Stockholms-Tidningen
Hillgren, K. Erik: Idrottsbladet, Sport och Kultur, G.H.T.
Holmqvist, Nils Gustav: 1909, Text och Bilder
Holmström, Arne: 1912, Frihet
Horney, Nils: Social-Demokraten
Jennes, Elly Maria: 1907
Jerring, Sven Alfred: 1895, Sveriges Radio
Jäder, Astrid Charlotta: 1896, Svenska Morgonbladet
Kellgren, Nils: 1915, Stockholms Extrablad (M.A.)
Kjell, Ture: 1901, Tidningarnas Telegrambyrå (TT)
Kristofferson, Karl Gustav: 1918, Se, Associated Press (AP) (photographer)
Larson, Elsie: 1919, Stockholms-Tidningen
Landin, Sven: 1915, Ny Dag
Lilliehöök, Gustav Malcolm: 1884, radio commentator for the Swed. army
Lindgren, Emil Gustav Wilhelm: 1900, Norbottens Kurir
Ljungström, Astrid Hulda Viola: 1905, Svenska Dagbladet
Lundberg, Gunnar Oscar: 1900, Representantive for Swed. Soc. Dem. News Agency
Lunden, Gustaf: 1882, Elfsborgsläns Annonsblad (railway functionary)
Malmström, Erik: Dagens Nyheter
Melander, Paul: 1902, Se (photographer)
Meyerhöffer, Per-Axel: 1912, Text och Bilder (photographer)
Müllern, Gunnar: 1904, Aftonbladet
Nilsson-Tanner, Per: Östersundsposten
Nordemar, Olof Harry: 1914, GM. Filmo, Finland-Film
Nordh, Joel-Bernhard: Folket i Bild
Nycop, Carl-Adam: 1909, Se
Ollen, David: 1891, Svenska Dagbladet
Ollen, Olof: 1912, Svenska Morgonbladet
Olsson, Erik Hilbert: 1915, Förbundskamraten, H.S.B., Lärarinneförbundet, L.O.
Onne, Bertil: 1914, Social-Demokraten
Palme, Einar: Nya Dagligt Allehanda (cartoonist)
Palme, Knut Gustaf A.: (artist)
Pekonen, Aili: 1907, Stockholms-Tidningen
Persson Per 1916, Svenska Dagbladet
Persson-Rommerud (Sid Roland) 1915, Länstidningen (Östersund), Nya Norrland, Social-Demokraten, Västerbottens Folkblad
Petterson, Otto Bertil: Svenska Morgonbladet
Saastamoinen, Armas: North Sweden newspapers
Santensson, Maj: Husmodern
Selander, Sten Nils Edvard: Svenska Dagbladet (author)
Skjöld, Carl Hilding: 1899, Filmo, Folkrörelsernas Filmorganisation
Skoglund, Gunnar: 1899, A.B. Svensk Filmindustri
Stenbeck, Gustaf Folke: 1893, Director of Swedish Advertisers, Chief propagandist of Sw. volunteers
Stolpe, Sven: 1905, Tidens Tegn, Politiken, Svenska Morgonbladet, Veckojournalen ym., (Ph.D., author)
Stomberg, Sten: 1911, Svenska Dagbladet
Svalander, Agne: 1905, Frisksport, Göteborgsposten, Stockholms-Tidningen (pen name Windmark)
Svedlund, Gylfe: 1887, Stockholms-Tidningen, Fritzes Bokförlag
Söderberg, Sten: 1908, Nya Dagligt Allehanda
Söderlund, Oscar: 1892, Stockholms-Tidningen
Tegner, Torsten: Idrottsbladet
Thyllin, Henning: Östgöten
Thylin, Karl J.: 1898, (newspaper editor)
af Trolle, Elsa: 1886, Veckojournalen
Wennberg, Elin Birgitta: 1909, Aftonbladet
Wermelin, Per Gösta: 1909, Se
Wickbom, Tord Gustaf: Nya Dagligt Allehanda (M.A.)
Viksten, Isak: 1889, Nordens Frihet, Finlands-kommitten (author)
Wilhelmsson, Yngve: 1903, Göteborgs Morgonpost
Wiren, Ingeborg: Eskilstuna Kuriren
Wästberg, Erik: Veckojournalen
Örke, Nils: Stockholms-Tidningen

Borgmann Friedrich Wilhelm: 1897, Deutsche Wehr, Marine Rundschau, Wir und Welt
Boveri, Margret Antonie: 1900, Frankfurter Zeitung
Ege, Friedrich: 1899, Die Tat
Gramlich, Bernhard Jakob: 1909, Berliner Börsenzeitung, Europapress, Transozean
Haasemann, Hans: 1898, Nationalzeitung, Preussische Zeitung, Niedersächsische Tagezeitung,
Pressezentraldienst Berlin (Ph.D.)
Klingeberg, Werner: 1910, Deutsche Nachrichtenbureau (DNB). (physical educ. teacher, technical advisor of the International Olympic Committee)
Koester, Hans: 1912, Transozean, Europapress ym.
Roth, Franz: 1911, Associated Press (AP) (photographer)
Schönebeck, Axel: 1914, Münchener Neueste Nachrichte, Hamburger Fremdenblatt, Wstdeutscher Beobachter, Danziger Vorposten
v. Uexkull, erbert Gustaf (Gösta) Adolf:1909, ited Press (UP)
v. Zwehl,Otto:1894, Dutsche Nachrichtenbureau (DNB), German legation)

Budry, Claude: Mission des Lieux de Geneve (photographer)
Debran, Isabella: 1875, Tribune de Geneve, Radio Fenille d'aira de Neuchatel
Hagenbuch, Hermann: (pen name Diviko) 1903, National-Zeitung (Red Cross specialist)
Karcevski, Serge: 1885, Dernières Nouvelles
Lindt, August Rudolf: 1905, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Züricher Illustrierte
Lodygensky, Wladimir: 1917, Service de Presse anticommunistique
Mehlem, Max: 1901, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Sport
Stauffer, Erwin Oscar: 1912, Berg & Heimat Film
Unger, Frida: 1899, Schweizer Illustrierte Zeitung
Unger, Hans: 1894, Journal de Geneve, Weltwoche
Werner, Paul: 1910, Die Weltwoche, Tribune de Geneve, St. Gallen Tageblatt
Zbinden, Carl: 1910, Peka-Film

Bast, Jorgen: 1894, Berlingske Tidende Boisen. Ingolf 1909, Minerva Film A/S
Börresen, Ingolf: 1912, Politiken (photographer)
Christensen, Johannes Theodor Christen: 1914, Minerva Film A/S
Christensen, Tage: 1903, Politiken
Christensen, Rich: Berlingske Tidende
Dührkop, Johannes: 1903, Jyllandsposten, Berlingske Tidende (painter)
Eskelund, Karl Johannes: 1918, Politiken, Exchange Telegraph
(Galling-),Ernst Paul: 1882
Gudme, Peter (de Hemmer): 1903, Nationaltidende
Hansen, (Vagn) Agne: 1914, Berlingske Tidende (photographer)
Hansen, Ernst Henry: Politiken (painter)
Hansen-Kvolsgaard, Hans: 1918, Den danske konservative provinspresse
Helweg, Halvdan: 1884
Hjeltholt Gunnar, Fyns Tidende
Holbech, Kai Gersdorff: 1901, Berlingske Tidende (photographer)
Irgens-Hansen, Svend: 1911, Skive Folkeblad
Juul, Ole Valdemar: 1918, Holbeks Amts Avis, Jydske Tidende
Kjelstrup, Olof T.: 1907, Berlingske Tidende (photographer)
Lunning, Ester: 1905, Aftonbladet
Moltke-Huitfeldt, Leon Nicolas Henri: 1899, Röda Kors Tidskrift, Das Neue Tagebuch
Munck, Ebbe Hans: 1905, Berlingske Tidende
Månsson, Walther: 1901, Berlingske Tidende (photographer)
Nielsen, Ove Carl: 1895, Socialdemokraten
Nielsen, Hakon: 1902, Billed-Bladet, Bilder, Se, Illustrated (photographer)
Nörgaard, Arne: 1903, Fyns Tidende
Ott-Knox. Saith Estrid: 1900, Politiken, Ryefelt Wichmann
Schwarz, Walter: 1891, Politiken
Wilquin, Svend: 1907, Dansk Film Co, Universal Pictures, Polygoon
Zeltner, Knud Valdemar:

Andor, Leon Andreas: 1900, So'raj Ujsag, Intantia Press
Demaitre, Edmond Peter: 1906, Petit Parisien
Hortobagyi, Jänö: 1906, So'raj Ujsag
Kreutzer, Sandor: Hung. and Swed. papers
Laszlo, Berthold: 1882, Hung. papers
Lengyel, Janos: 1919, Magyar Hemzet, Pesti Hirlap (sports editor)
Lovacsy, Peter: 1915, Magyar Hemzet (forestry student)
Lovass, Janos (Jean): 1904, Uj Magyarsag, Pesti Ujsag
Nyiregyhazi, Theodor: 1916, Hung. papers
Racz, Stefan Paul: 1908, Nepszava
Simonyi, Mihaly: 1914, Uj Magyarsag, Esti Ujsag

Russian (emigré)
Karcevski, Serge: 1886, Nernieres Nouvelles (professor)
Monossohn-Schwarz, Salomon: 1883, Socialdemokraten, Populaire, Courrier Socialiste
Wartanoff, Boris: 1909. Je suis partout, Civilisation et Bolchevisme, Courrier de Geneve
Zenzinoff, Wladimir: 1890. Le Temps, La Nouvelle Russie

Newspaper attachés
Enesen, Mikael: Bulgarian legation (Rador)
Granberg, Gunnar (Dr): Swedish legation
Joly, Pierre: French legation (Havas)
Kenney, Kit: British legation
Kulai, Sandor: Hungarian legation (Esti Ujsag)
Metzger, Hans (Dr): German legation (DNB)
van den Pol, Nic: Dutch legation
Thomas, David: British legation
Viralt, Eric: Hungarian legation (Esti Kurir, Lloyd)

Finnish correspondents for foreign newspapers
Alfthan, Bertil von: Chicago Tribune, The Times (assisting R. G. Urch)
Angervo, V. August: Raivaaja, New York in Uutiset, Industrialisti, Päivälehti
Fager, Oswald: Faedrelandet
Fock, Eric:
Hällsten, Runar: Nord-Press
Itkonen, Veikko: Picture Post
Lavonius, Kari: Havas (in Rovaniemi)
Leppä, Åke: Lincoln, Carl Richard: International News Service (INS)
Mårtensson, Gunnar: Nya Dagligt Allehanda
Nyman, Carl: Daily Herald
Oranen, Lars Albin: Twentsch, Dagblad, Tubantia
Salminen, Sally: Husmodern (in Rovaniemi)
Sevelius, Sven: Svenska Morgonbladet
Sjöblom, Paul: Associated Press (AP)
Söderhjelm, Martin: Havas

As you can see, quite a few of them, from a wide range of different countries.

Next: A deeper dive into a few of these correspondents in no particular order[/b]
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Re: What If-Finland had been prepared for the Winter War?

Post by CanKiwi2 » 04 Sep 2012 19:32

A Deeper Dive

Again, this is meant as a bit of background to the War Correspondents. You read articles by these people, but by and large nobody knows that much about them. Here’s some background, fairly random I admit, as well as some of the articles they wrote at the time where I’ve been able to track some down. I’ll be using material from these correspondents as the ATL moves ahead into the actual fighting of the Winter War, but for now, this is historically accurate material. If anyone has any other snippets on any of these War Correspondents, feel free to add it in – especially for the non British Commonwealth / American correspondents.

Martha Gellhorn, Colliers Weekly

Martha Gellhorn arrived in Helsinki the day before the war broke out by ship from Abo, in Sweden. She had been approached by Colliers Weekly in mid-October 1939 and asked if she would go to Finland to cover the growing tensions between that country and the Soviet Union. She wrote her first WW2 article, "Slow Boat to War" while on a boat to Belgium.

Slow Boat to War, by Martha Gellhorn, Colliers Weekly, January 6 1940

Fourteen days through submarine zones, a blockade control port and the mine fields of the North Sea. Ships being blasted on every side. Mines—and sometimes bodies overside. Martha Gellhorn, en route to Finland for Collier's, gets a taste of the war on the sea.

FRIENDS and relatives of the departing Belgians sang the Marseillaise dolefully. An old Austrian with pink cheeks and a neat, pointed white beard said goodby to another man, a young blond man. They put their arms around each other and shook hands and wept in a decent, dignified way. A harshlooking woman stood near the gangplank and talked to a man with a tired, lined face. "Be sure to send the money every week," she said. "Every week! Don't forget, money every week." Many people with undistinguished faces, looking the way passengers always do in the first hours on shipboard, drifted about the decks, cold and restless. The ship was six hours late in starting; bells rang and the ones who had come to say goodby filed down the gangplank and lined the grimy Hoboken pier, and you could see them under dusty electric lights bobbing their heads and wiping their eyes and waving and fluttering handkerchiefs. The water was dark and the lights of New York were as handsome as always and the boat pulled out slowly and we were off to the war.

At eleven the next morning there was a lifeboat drill. No one paid much attention to this but, privately and with some self-consciousness, everyone had found his way up to the boat deck to take a quick look at the lifeboats. No lifeboat looks reassuring if you think you are really going to have to use it. People had also gone about making discreet inquiries concerning the cargo. "What are we carrying?" you would ask in a bright, casual voice. The cargo was wheat consigned to the Belgian government. As the boat was heavily loaded it would ride well, which was comforting news since it was a small boat; there were only forty-four passengers aboard and a crew of two hundred and forty. Belgians who had been working at the World's Fair and were going home to join their army took over the lounge by squatters' rights. A Puerto Rican who had already managed to lose his luggage in New York joined up with the Austrians and they pre-empted the corner of the smoking room and talked together in low voices or read or simply waited for time to pass. Two well-dressed Dutchmen played chess always, at the same table. Irishmen, an English couple and two Scotchmen and Americans wandered around the decks, chose good positions for their deck chairs, established hearty relations with the barman and wondered privately what they would find to talk about at the table.

There was no reason either to go to bed or to get up, so that people began to keep very rare hours, floating around at five in the morning and sleeping until three the next afternoon, or going to bed at seven and arising to walk the deck before it was light. Food was always the same—nourishing, no doubt, but as interesting as boiled cardboard and by the sixth day drink seemed to make people liverish rather than gay. The English did not know what they were going to find when they got home or whether the men would be called up to fight this second war. The Belgians remembered their invaded country of twenty-five years ago and knew what they could fear. The Dutch realized that part of their land was flooded and the army mobilized. They knew also how hard it was to remain neutral and salvage the economy of a nation through long years of war. Americans were traveling rather unwillingly to straighten up business affairs and they had detached feelings that to lose money was one thing but to get dangerously involved in other people's messes was one thing more.

The eighth day was clear and beautiful and we were in the mine fields. You ad to tell yourself this twice to believe. Every night two six-foot-high electric signs on both sides of the ship announced that we were from The Netherlands and lights on the boat deck illuminated the colors of Holland flying from the mast and painted around funnels. But now two great black-andwhite signs saying "Holland" appeared on the top deck and lifeboats were checked and swung oversides. Everyone spoke of mines rather shrilly. I learned from the mate that mine fields are often fifty miles long and there are frequently as many as ten thousand mines floating about in the mined area and that individual mines weigh from 400 to 600 pounds and maybe more. This information seemed too gloomy to dwell on, but what made it most depressing was the element of idiot chance. There is just a sea full of mines which you may or may not run into at any given moment. We plowed through this now ominous sea and at ten we saw the first lights on the coast of England and the lights of freighters bobbing between us and the shore. At one o'clock in the morning the sea suddenly burned with little lights like winking phosphorus. The boats seemed as small as a child's toy floating on a pond.

We called up to the bridge to ask what this was and were told it was a fishing fleet carrying on as usual. The Englishwoman went to bed then, perfectly reassured, saying, that if those pitiful little boats could come out and do their work normally she guessed she could go to sleep without more fuss. The point, of course, was that the draft of fishing boats is so slight that they could float over a solid carpet of mines and not notice it. It seemed strange, after eight days of loneliness, to see the smoke of many freighters against the sky and low, dark boats sinking down in wave troughs. An unmarked plane flew over toward England, and the radio announced the Simon Bolivar, a Dutch ship one day ahead of us, had struck a mine and gone down with 150 lives lost.The crew was definitely shocked by the news of the Bolivar. Many of them had sailed on her and the stewards all had friends on board and, besides, it was a boat of their own nationality. The barman had been chief steward on the Simon Bolivar in happier days and he went progressively to pieces as the day continued. In the afternoon another unmarked plane flew, silver-gray, into the sunset, and you could see the white, chalky, stiff coast of England.

Our ship turned around and stopped. It was too dangerous to cross that water at night. By now the boredom of the passengers had changed into something else. I wheedled an officer into showing me their charts, those delicately traced maps so incomprehensible to a landlubber. On a chart marked in pencil were the mine fields. As far as I could make out, the English, French, Dutch and Belgians all mined their coasts and ports for protection, leaving a passage resembling the eye of a needle free for neutral shipping, and what had not been mined by the Allies or neutrals was largely and loosely mined by the Germans. I was surprised then that any boats got through at all. We sailed at dawn and anchored in the Downs off Ramsgate in midafternoon. The Downs is the flat, cold-looking stretch of water where the English halt shipping. More than a hundred ships lay anchored here, so thoroughly anchored and so dead-seeming that this place became a sort of Sargasso Sea. Boats must pull in for inspection because the only free passage is through the Downs; waters surrounding it being fatal with mines. If, however, a boat could slip through it would be hailed and picked up and escorted into the Downs by an English destroyer. This is what a blockade really means and it is a very effective piece of work indeed.

The English have blacklists which in the last war increased from three hundred to three thousand names, this blacklist being firms in neutral countries who do business in contraband with the enemy. But now almost everything is contraband, since anything from shoes to toothpaste is helpful in winning a war. Cargo is inspected and unloaded in case there is any question about it. Certain cargo destined for the enemy is confiscated. Mail also is taken off and censored. It is a very slow process. Boats have been delayed three and four weeks and longer in the Downs, but it is certainly thorough and in the end, though less spectacular, it would seem that the Downs was a greater weapon than any number of submarines. Neutrals must submit to this because there is nothing they can do about it. and while they are gracefully complying with the polite but firm orders of the English they receive bitter complaints from the Germans, who say that in accepting inspection they are aiding the British blockade and not behaving as neutrals. It's surely not an easy thing to be a small, free country that must go on doing business or go bankrupt but at the same time would like to remain small, free and peaceful.

At noon that first day in the Downs we were treated to an air raid which was, on the whole, a very pretty and unimportant affair. One high-flying plane came over and was shot at madly by coastal antiaircraft, the shells leaving round, decorative smoke rings in the blue sky. News came over the radio that two more ships had been blown up just ahead of us. We walked about looking at the other ships. Near us lay a Japannese liner with a fancy 'thing like a laundry mark painted on its side. There were Norwegian and Italian and Dutch boats. There were every make and nationality and size, rusty red and black and gray and one rather garishly camouflaged. At night our decks were curtained in canvas, and lights were dimmed or extinguished and we joined England in a black-out, which is the most gloommaking contraption yet devised by man. The English and American passengers wanted special permission from the British Admiralty to go ashore here, as the North Sea in the last few days had definitely become the worst battle zone of the war. It was very interesting to watch the passengers, and I remembered Spain and the air raids in Barcelona and the bombardments in Madrid, and again, as then, I felt the sharp excitement of not knowing what would happen next and the equally intense feeling of curiosity to see how human beings reacted. They reacted as people must react to this oppressively silent war—with their nerves. If anything did actually happen it would be almost a relief and everyone would behave well. But there were no lights and the radio constantly announced disaster, and we had been onboard forever and still nothing happened. Nothing at all, and the shaken and temperamental barman did a thriving business.

Two British officers came aboard in the morning and checked our passports. They were charming and apologetic. An
old Austrian, an enemy alien by rights, got through all right, to our intense relief. He had left a good job in Guatemala to return to Holland to be at least that near to his wife, who could not leave Germany. They had been married twenty-five years and he loved her really, the way people love in the old storybooks, and we could not have endured to see him stopped in his pitiful effort to be closer to her. He had only four dollars left and no one on board spoke German easily, and he had walked the decks all these days with the same smooth, unstopping stride, his face sad but calm. Now you could almost feel him straining forward to be there sooner. To be where he could anyway hear her voice speaking over a telephone across that insurmountable frontier. The English and Americans were refused permission to land and they talked together in furious, indignant and anxious voices about being condemned to death by red tape. The Japanese boat, which had been lying alongside us in the night, was sunk by a mine two hours out of the Downs that morning, the radio announced in a reasonable voice.

At eleven o'clock we heard the hum of airplanes, muffled in thick gray clouds. The noise of the motors was directly above us but we could see nothing through the clouds. Then we heard the sharp, hammering noise of machine guns and the planes droned off. In the afternoon the radio announced that two more boats had been sunk with so and so many missing. That made eleven boats in three days and all just ahead of us. The general feeling was that we were only waiting for our turn, and black-out beginning at five in the afternoon was more than anybody could bear. We had been at this now for eleven days. "And no matter what happens, if it would only happen soon!" I thought. There was a dance that evening, our first and only dance in the dimmed lounge, with three out of four women present and we all got very happy and staged a noisy bullfight on the lower deck at three in the morning and forgot about the radio and that cultivated BBC voice saying the last words over all destroyed ships. Near morning, word came that the British and Americans who so desired would be taken ashore in a launch, and there was loud rejoicing and much whistling on deck and a great deal of bustle with packing. That left as English-speaking travelers an American boy and myself. And the English rather sweetly, but we thought quite goofily, urged us to get off too, as "what was the use in going on into certain danger and, you know, it's silly to drown, I mean, and you can always get a plane or something from England." But we both had our business to do farther north and by then I would not have missed the remainder of the trip for anything.

The captain was a wonderful man, one of the funniest and soundest I had ever met. And I have not the kind of imagination that can foresee unknown and unexperienced catastrophe. I thought we would certainly get through all right, no matter what happened to other boats, and I thought the next few days might be quite exciting—which they were. The American boy and I dropped in uninvited on the captain before lunch for a drink the next day. By now we were members of the family. A shy and pleasant British officer showed up in a vast raincoat and gave us our clearance papers. The British also returned several sacks of diplomatic mail which they had taken off by mistake. "A good thing too," said the American boy. "I'd like to see them interfering with our government business, dammit!" "Nothing like war," I said, "to bring out the patriot in everyone." "You bet," he said. "Let's have some more of that Dutch gin and drink to The Netherlands, our home away from home." We ate very well that day for the first time, eating with the captain, who had sent special orders to the kitchen. "We may as well," said the captain cheerfully. "We don't know when we're going to eat again." At dinner, for no reason and rather frighteningly, the Dutch and Belgian national anthems were played and we all rose and stood solemnly looking at the tablecloth. "This is the music they play when a ship goes down," the American boy whispered. "They're just getting in their practice.". The next day would be the last as far as we were concerned. The radio had announced three more ships
sunk in the North Sea.

At seven o'clock in the smoky, bluecold morning darkness the steward pounded on my door. He said, "Will you kindly get up and dress as warmly as possible." What a way to be wakened, I thought. I put on flannel slacks over woolen underwear and sweaters and leather jacket and fur coat and heavy shoes and wool socks and rummaged in my suitcase for fur-lined gloves. We were moving through a light fog, and the ship throbbed very unnaturally. The chief engineer said he had her up to full speed and a half and I wondered whether we wouldn't just blow up of our own accord, we were rattling so hard. After breakfast the decks seemed unusually crowded with crew. They hung about wearing life belts and doing trifling jobs, washing bulkheads and arranging deck chairs. Light-clad, thin and grimy men who almost never seem to emerge from the engine room were appearing on the lower deck in shifts, as apparently the chief officer had shortened their period of duty below decks- It was deadly cold. The Belgians were wonderfully bundled up and wearing ffimsy, narrow-brimmed city hats, and they sat in the hallways with their uncomfortable life belts on and looked placid but ready.

In the smoking room the old Austrian sat by himself and read Faust. I went over to talk to him and he said we had already gone safely through an hour and a half, and then he said serenely and sweetly: "God's will be done." At nine o'clock we passed a dead body wearing a life belt and floating face down. Gray, bulky and casual and not even pitiful, only dead. "From the Simon Bolivar, probably," the steward said, and nobody said anything more about it. You could see by the wake of the boat that we were zigzagging across the North Sea like pussy wants a corner. Then two hundred yards away, looking like very large black footballs, we saw two floating mines. The radio announced that, completing yesterday's toll, there were five more boats sunk by mines in the North Sea. Also a boat lying anchored in the Downs, a 9,000-ton freighter which we had passed, was blown up two hours ago when a mine drifting down into that water had struck its side. It was too cold on deck and there was nothing much to see anyhow. This was just a day to live through. A rather long day and the only thing to do was wait. This is a very foul kind of war, I thought. You never hear or see anything, there is no place to take shelter. You feel like an awful fool, I thought, waiting to get sunk.

The Belgians clung to the lounge from habit. In the smoking room everyone was prepared. I had put a flask of whisky and two packages of cigarettes and my essential papers in a shoe bag, and this with my gloves lay on the table beside me. A Dutch boy had his camera in a small oilcloth bag. The old Austrian looked rather swollen with all the things he was carrying in his pockets. The American boy said that everyone was certainly awfully well dressed and gotten up for shipwreck except him but he would know better the next time. He would certainly bring the right clothes. The old Austrian told me comfortingly to be sure to rub my nose frequently when we got in the lifeboats because the nose froze first and when you didn't feel it any more it was too late. We listened politely and when he left roared with laughter, thinking what a fate, to go through life with a frozen nose. Boy, what a fate!

The steward came in and announced we had just passed some floating mines but we did not get on deck in time to see them. At the noon news broadcast we were told that the ship that had followed us out of the Downs in the blue morning fog had sunk. We went on deck and looked moodily at our zigzagging wake. Then we went down to lunch, feeling rather heroic and business-as usual. The dining saloon was on C deck and definitely not the best place to loiter in. No one ate much and conversation lagged. I stood it for another hour in the smoking room and then I had had enough. The Belgians had returned to their checkers and cards, leaving their life belts strewn all around the lounge. The Dutchmen were playing chess. The old Austrian seemed lost in Faust. The crew was still pretty evident on deck, looking frozen and ungainly in their life belts. I decided to go down to my cabin and sleep. Waiting to get sunk on and off for fourteen days was very exhausting work.

At five I was awakened by the American boy knocking at my door. "Come on up and see the lights of Ostend," he said. "Everything's under control now." I joined him on deck and we leaned on the rail enjoying the lights and dark line of land. "Some captain," he said. "A cuter little captain you couldn't meet anywhere." "He is certainly some captain," I said. And suddenly the whole trip seemed very long ago and only a thing to remember. "The next problem," I said, "is how to get to Finland." "Listen," he said. "Take it easy. Why not wait till we actually land?" The moon came up large and clear and incredibly beautiful and the stars swung about the mast in the accepted way. And the boat, so lighted and so gleaming, looked very fine as it moved slowly into the Scheldt River. The river was wide and like the Mississippi, and the sandbanks shone white under the moon along the low, black shore. We stood on deck underneath the bridge and admired this loveliness and this peace and the captain called down to us saying: "We'll be there in a few hours."

We told him very warmly that he had certainly done a fine job and it would not be exaggerating to say we appreciated
it. "All in the day's work," he said. "Sure," I said. "All in the day's work."

For those who haven’t heard of her, Martha Gellhorn (1908-1998) was an american novelist and short story writer as well as one of the better known war reporters of her time. She was born in St. Louis, Missouri, the daughter of George Gellhorn, an eminent gynecologist, and Edna (Fischell) Gellhorn. Both of her parents had strong views about the world both were half Jewish, but religion did not play a prominent role in the upbringing of their children. Gellhorn attended the John Burroughs School in St Louis and then studied for one year at Bryn Mawr College, Pennsylvania. Deciding to become a journalist, she never graduated. In 1929 she worked for the New Republic and the Hearst Times Union, though she had no training in journalism. At the beginning of the 1930s, Gellhorn went to Europe to start her career as a foreign correspondent. To save money, she talked the Holland America shipping line into giving her free passage in return for an article for their trade magazine. She worked in Paris for various papers, including Vogue, the United Press, and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. During this period she met her first husband, Bertrand de Jouvenal, a French political scientist, journalist and marquis. His stepmother was Colette. Gellhorn called the French writer "a terrible woman. Absolute, utter hell".

Gellhorn returned to America in 1934 and made her debut as a novelist with “What Mad Pursuit” (1934), which she had written in Europe. The highly autobiographical work of the lives of three American students after college was called in the New York Times crude, fresh, and appealing. Through her work and her mother (who knew Eleanor Roosevelt), Gellhorn also met the President and Eleanor Roosevelt, who became her lifelong friend. Harry Hopkins, director of the Federal Emergency Relief Administration, then hired her to report on the Relief Programme in industrial areas. “The Trouble I've Seen” (1936) was her report in the form of four short stories. Its preface was written by H.G. Wells, with whom she had a liaison. H.G. Wells had on open invitation to visit the White House, and in 1934 and 1935 Gellhorn and Wells were both guests of the first family. During a trip to Washington, Wells met Gellhorn and began to correspond with her. After spending some time in Hollywood at the home of Charlie Chaplin, Wells went with Gellhorn to Connecticut. He later recalled: "Martha in skiing trousers with her shock of ruddy golden hair in disorder, her brown eyes alight and her face rosy with frost, is unforgettable." Wells and Gellhorn continued their friendship for many years.

At the end of 1936 she traveled to Key West in Florida, where she met Ernest Hemingway at Sloppy Joe's. Gellhorn was twenty-eight, a natural blond with long legs, an established writer and ambitious journalist, whose independence and good looks attracted Hemingway. While covering the Spanish Civil War for Collier's Weekly in 1937-38 in Madrid, she met Hemingway again. "Thanks to Collier's," Gellhorn once said, "I had the chance to see the life of my time, which was war." While many who fought in Spain, including the English writer George Orwell, became disillusioned with the policies of the Republicans and especially the Communists, Gellhorn never changed her opinion that she was on the right side, fighting against the combined forces of European fascism. The relationship between Gellhorn and Hemingway flourished, and in 1939 they settled in Cuba..

In the late 1930s Gellhorn traveled to Czechoslovakia and Finland. She witnessed in 1939 the first weeks of the Winter War between Finland the Soviet Union. When the Soviet air forces bombed the city with no declaration of war, she was already in Helsinki. "An Italian journalist had remarked in Helsinki that anyone who could survive the Finnish climate could survive anything and we decided with admiration that the Finns were a tough and unrelenting race, seeing them take this war as if there were nothing very remarkable in three million people fighting against a nation of 180 million." (Gellhorn in “The Face of War”, 1959). On the Karelian front Gellhorn interviewed Finnish fighter pilots, and was astonished by their age: "they ought to be going to college dances," she remarked. Gellhorn's reports emphasized that Finland was not the aggressor and deeply influenced public opinion in the United States about the war.

After the end of the Winter War, the Fall of France and the Battle of Britain, Gellhorn returned to the USA, where she married Hemingway on November 20, 1940, in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Hemingway's friend, Robert Capa, photographed the ceremony for Life. The author dedicated his famous novel about the Spanish Civil war, For Whom the Bells Toll (1940), to Gellhorn.

Photo sourced from http://cache.boston.com/resize/bonzai-f ... 4/539w.jpg
Martha Gellhorn with Ernest Hemingway at the Stork Club, New York City, 1941, a year after the two were married.

The first years of their marriage were happy, although Gellhorn was never really attracted to Hemingway, or believed in romantic love. Hemingway taught her to ride, and shoot, and fish. In the afternoon they played tennis. Gellhorn's second novel, A Stricken Field (1940), was set in Prague and dealt with European refugees. It was followed by a collection of short stories, The Heart of Another. (1941) In 1941 Gellhorn took Hemingway with her on a 30,000 mile long journey to China where she had been sent by Collier's to report on the China-Japan war. They met General Chiang Kai-shek ("he had no teeth") and continued on to Burma, where they stayed for a period. Hemingway returned to Hong Kong and Gellhorn left for Singapore and Java. "She gets to the place," Hemingway told readers of the magazine, "gets the story, writes it and comes home." In “Travels with Myself and Another” (1978) Gellhorn returned to her adventures with her 'U.C.' or 'Unwilling Companion.' She had also other terms for Hemingway – 'Ernest the monster,' 'Ernest the myth,' and 'E' ("seriously unkempt as usual"). Hemingway himself called Gellhorn "the most ambitious woman who ever lived."

In the early 1940s, Hemingway remained in the Caribbean, while Gellhorn covered World War II from England. In 1942 she joined him on his boat in the Caribbean but tried to lure him to Europe, saying "the place is crying out for you". From 1943 to 1945 Gellhorn reported from England, Italy, France, and Germany. Just before the Invasion of Normandy in 1944, Hemingway travelled to England as a correspondent, but he did not help Martha to get a seat on the same flight. And he had replaced Gellhorn as Collier's leading correspondent. Two weeks later she arrived to London – she had crossed the Atlantic on Norwegian freighter carrying dynamite and amphibious personnel carriers. At the Dorchester Hotel she met Hemingway. He had bruises and a concussion after an automobile crash. They quarreled fiercely, Gellhorn took a separate room, and from that moment Gellhorn continued her life without him. Hemingway had also found another woman, Mary Welsh, who become his fourth wife. Gellhorn left him behind in the UK and instead travelled to Finland where she went ashore with the troops, landing on the outskirts of Tallinn on E-Day while Hemingway observed the D-Day landings.

She wrote a series of articles and filed reports from the Finnish frontline, covering in detail the Soviet and Nazi atrocities that had been committed on the peoples of the Baltic States and Poland. She was on the spot as General Paton’s US Divisions liberated Treblinka and Chelmno and the graphic detail and horror of her accounts of these, together with earlier mass murders committed by the NKVD in the Baltic States and Eastern Poland, inflamed American and British public opinion. Her accounts of the Soviet attempts to betray the Polish Home Army in Wilno and during the siege of Warsaw, as well as the rescue of Polish People’s Army from the clutches of the NKVD as they were entrained for shipment to the Camps in Siberia after having fought heroically to liberate their country from the Nazi’s dealt a body-blow to Roosevelt’s portrayal of “Good ‘ol Uncle Lavrenti” and went a long way towards hardening Truman’s attitudes to the Soviet Union. In writing these articles she began to equate the evils of Soviet Communism with those of the Nazi’s and in this, her articles had an impact on public opinion. She was by no means objective in her articles, “I don’t give a damn for this objectivity shit” she was once quoted as saying, and she expressed her opinions articulately and persuasively.

The following articles give an idea of her reporting over the course of the Winter War.

“Russia attacks Finland: Martha Gellhorn reports from Helsinki, December 1939”

“War started at nine o'clock promptly [on 30 November]. The people of Helsinki stood in the streets and listened to the painful rising and falling and always louder wail of the sirens. For the first time in history they heard the sound of bombs falling on their city. This is the modern way of declaring war. The people moved unhurriedly to bomb shelters or took cover in doorways and waited.

That morning Helsinki was a frozen city inhabited by sleepwalkers. The war had come too fast and all the faces and all the eyes looked stunned and unbelieving. The sky had been slate-coloured all day, with a low blanket of cloud folding over the city. The second air raid came at three o'clock. No siren gave the alarm; there was only the swift breathtaking roar of the bombs. The Russian planes flew high and unseen and dived to within 200 metres of the ground to dump their bombs in heavy loads. The raid lasted one minute. It was the longest minute anyone in Helsinki had ever lived through.

There were five great explosions and afterward the stillness itself was dreadful. Then a rumour flew through the quiet, broken streets: poison gas. Anything was believable now. Guided by the tremendous sound of the bombs, we could see in that direction a high, round, grey cloud of smoke blowing slowly between the buildings. We had no gas masks. They shut the doors of the hotel, but as the hall skylight had already been broken by concussion this seemed feeble protection. From a fifth-floor window I saw the light of fire, pink around the sky. "Not gas yet," we said to one another, greatly cheered. "Just incendiary bombs."

We shuffled through broken glass in the streets. The grey afternoon was darker with smoke. The bombed houses on this block were so shrouded in flames that you could not see through into the ruins. Turning left, we ran toward the light of another fire. The technical school, a vast granite square of buildings, had been hit. The houses around it and on the next street were gutted clean, with flames leaping out of all the empty windows. Firemen worked fast and silently but there was nothing much to do except try to put out the fire. Later they could dig for the bodies.”

From “Bombs On Helsinki”, published as part of the collection The Face of War © The Estate of Martha Gellhorn
Last edited by CanKiwi2 on 04 Sep 2012 19:43, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: What If-Finland had been prepared for the Winter War?

Post by CanKiwi2 » 04 Sep 2012 19:33

The following article is typical in its way of the many “human interest” stories that were filed from Finland in the early days of the Winter War. Martha Gellhorn was perhaps better than most correspondents at capturing the “feeling” of the moment in her articles.

“Blood on the Snow” by Martha Gellhorn, from Colliers Weekly, 20 January 1940

Over mined bridges where skidding means death, over icy roads and paths where skidding is the least of dangers, Collier's Martha Gellhorn visits the front in Finland and sees there the things she tells about in this vivid article.

“THE road was just wide enough for the car and here it narrowed at a bridge. The blued lamps of the car only dimly lighted the frozen snow four feet ahead. "Be careful," the soldier said to our driver. We had been driving in low and now seemed barely to move. Suddenly the tail-light showed a red-painted pole to the left. The bridge felt different from the road, smoother and even more slippery. When we were across, the soldier let out his breath. "That's pretty dangerous," he explained. "Those mined bridges—if you skid, I mean. One of our men hit such a mine and we couldn't even find him. There's another to cross now." The car had cleared the side of the bridge by less than a foot. Our civilian driver turned on his full lights; he wasn't crossing any more of those bridges in the dark. The black, close-growing pine forest stood out against the snow, and the ice on the road flickered. We crossed the second bridge and the driver sighed and the soldier offered me a cigarette.

Ahead of us a staff car painted dead-white—the camouflage color here—blinked its lights twice, turned a corner and suddenly sped along a narrow road past an open, snow-covered field. We followed with full lights at a more sensible pace. The soldier muttered something, then the forest closed in again and the soldier spoke in a pleasant, conversational voice to the driver. The driver answered quickly. I asked what they were talking about. Finnish is not a language you can pick up in a short time. "He says," the driver translated, "that I really should not have kept my lights on going past that field, or else I should have gone faster. The Russians can see you from there, but he says they are poor marksmen and they have not managed to hit the road yet."

Nothing surprised me any more. This night war in snow and ice with unending forest hiding the armies was too fantastic to be true. Our soldier guide, a lieutenant, wore a gray astrakhan cap and a romantic looking but practical coat with astrakhan collar and trimming, and high, over-the-knee leather boots with turned-up toes, and he was twenty-one and answered to the nickname of Viskey. I had no idea where we were or where we were going because we had been driving for three hours since leaving Viipuri on these unmarked glassy roads. Now Viskey said stop, and we piled out and joined the four staff officers from the car ahead. We spoke in whispers. Gun flashes from the Finnish batteries burned like summer lightning against the sky and the noise of the outgoing shells was very loud and blurred, and, like an echo, we would hear the explosions as they landed. For an hour I had been waiting to hear the Russian batteries reply and still they were silent.

Ahead of us a line of soldiers loaded the small lightweight sledges they use for transport. Sledges are the nearest you can come to mechanized efficiency in these forests and on these roads. The line of soldiers stretched far forward probably a company of 150 men but I couldn't be sure; most of them, wearing white overalls over their uniforms, seemed part of the snow and the dark-dressed ones were lost against the dark trunks of the trees. They moved fast but in absolute silence, and from time to time the gun flashes would light up a man bending to fix his boots or another slapping his hands for warmth. Then a clear, crackling word was shouted down the line. It came from the leading officer commanding this action and was passed on by every twentieth man, and now it sang out over the road, and the sledges and men began to move forward. “Follow!" called a voice from the darkness. "Follow!" the other voices echoed.

This was the first big night operation of the war. The Russians were less than three quarters of a kilometer ahead, and all that day they had been maneuvered into a trap. The Finnish colonel in command of this sector believed there was an entire Russian division caught in the pocket. Two battalions of soldiers with sledges, moving into the darkness, were to circle and pass the Russian lines and attack from the rear while other mobile units attacked from the front. So now we watched these go, and heard behind us the rumble of trucks and we stepped backward into the ditches to leave the road clear as heavy ammunition trucks, burning glowworm lights, drove up and stopped. The road seemed to be blocked with incoming supplies. An officer I had known for three hours, and who was therefore an old friend, loomed up and said, in German, "Get in your car. You must go back. This is the height of stupidity, and besides your cars are in the way." He said something sharply to Viskey, who laughed and took my arm. The officer who ordered us back had been an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Helsinki. He had a puckered, thoughtful face and wore glasses and took his responsibilities seriously.

We returned as we came, following the almost invisible white staff car. We drove on the slant toward the ditch to let more trucks pass and behind them came caravans of supply sledges, and three Red Cross sledges that would serve as ambulances. We brought Viskey to what seemed nothing more than one pine tree out of many but was actually the point of entry into the clearing where his tent stood. Later we drove slowly alongside a company of soldiers returning from the front.Their light field guns were on horsedrawn caissons; their sledges were piled high with bicycles and skis, the cavalrymen slept on their horses, the wagon cookstove smoked faintly, and in two large trucks men slept rolled up together, dark and shapeless.

Half-frozen and very tired, we reached the great bombed city of Viipuri at five thirty in the morning. We had left Helsinki at five-thirty the morning before. That was the end of the night but all of it had been strange enough. At eight o'clock, in the beginning of the night, we had come upon GHQ. It was on a large, rambling country estate with many barns, stables and outbuildings. We found staff headquarters and were ushered into a ballroom with pale blue walls, lace curtains, cut-glass chandeliers and a grand piano. From this we were led into a small, equally elegant salon where scale maps were pinned on the wall and a long, businesslike table was the only furnishing. The general, a gray, slender, shy man, came in presently from a trip to the front. The talk was friendly and formal and unrevealing, as it always is with high army officers, and at last I asked for permission to go to the front. The general said presently that it would be impossible—I would have to walk eight kilometers through these forests where every inch of ground seems either taken up by a tree or a granite boulder, and between rocks and trees the snow driftsas high as your neck. I said, from French to Finnish via the aide de camp, that I was perfectly prepared to walk through anything. I had argued with officers before and knew that it was a losing game. Nothing was decided, as far as I could make out, though a rapid discussion went on in Finnish.

Image sourced from: http://www.unz.org/Pub/Colliers-1940jan20-00009
“We found staff headquarters and were ushered into a ballroom with pale blue walls, lace curtains, cut-glass chandeliers and a grand piano…”

We shook hands with the general, and a sentry guided us across the grounds to a remodeled church where supper was being served. You helped yourself from a side table. Piles of butter over a foot high stood on the table and there was macaroni with cheese and fine meat in a creamy brown sauce and every kind of bread and many pitchers of milk and lemonade. This is the sort of extraordinary food that is given the army everywhere. The entire army—officers, men, and even aviators—function on total prohibition, which is a comment on its discipline and the excellent state of its nerves. After dinner we were told to get in our cars. I still did not know where we were going. It took us two hours to drive twenty-five miles. We stopped at a farmhouse and picked up a guide. After a few minutes we stopped again and followed our guide into the forest and almost stumbled on a large round tent. The troops who had been fighting a retreating guerilla action for five days, giving the army time to get in its present position, were now encamped invisibly in these woods and catching up on their sleep.

We crawled through the tent opening and twelve soldiers woke up in surprise. They were all very young—boys who were doing their regular military service and had gotten a war instead of academic practice. They came mostly from central Finland and were farmers' sons. The tent was the warmest place I had been in that day. Their officer, a young man with Prince Albert sideburns, spoke English and translated as they recounted how they had stopped tanks at twenty meters and how Russian infantry attacked. Here, as everywhere else, I heard the same story about the Russian infantry column. They attacked en masse in line, and the hidden and dispersed Finns mowed them down with machine-gun fire. And here, as everywhere else, I heard soldiers and officers express regret that other men should have to die stupidly and wastefully like slaughtered animals.

We connected with Viskey here and the next step was field headquarters, another tent equally warm and comfortable and lost in the woods. The colonel showed us positions on his scale map and answered questions and joked and all this time an attack was starting. It is not usual to find a field headquarters so calm and good-humored when real business is under way. Only once division headquarters telephoned to ask how things were going, and the answer was, "Fine!" Meantime, the Finnish batteries, scattered through these woods, were preparing the attack with a fairly heavy bombardment. The sound of an outgoing shell is a cozy thing. The Finnish batteries, eighteen guns here, were using three- and six-inch shells. The colonel told me that the Russians used ten-inch shells but that the firing was inaccurate, there were many duds, and the shells had a low explosive value. He also said that the Russians used 150- to 250-kilo bombs on this front, and despite low flying they were inaccurate in their work. He showed me on a map how his men, divided up into small, swift units, attacked in five different places over a fifty-kilometer radius in one day. They can and do fight like Indians, in woods which they know as well as we know the orderly streets of our own neighborhoods. The weather now was not the best for them, as it was too snowy for bicycles and too early for skis, but the snow had started and the whole army would soon change to skis, which gives them a tremendous advantage of speed.

Image sourced from: http://www.unz.org/Pub/Colliers-1940jan20-00009
“Every Finn moves on skis as other people walk.”

From this place you could see the sky marked with fire from burning villages, and we had passed on the road numerous small fires reflected in a lake. These small fires were from burning hay; the Finns systematically destroy anything that may be of use to the enemy, and the burning villages before the lines were either fired by occasional Russian shells or by the retreating villagers themselves or by the Finnish army. The Russians come to a bare and unfriendly country where there is nothing to eat and little or no shelter. Also in the dark, we had passed the Mannerheim Line; the Finnish Army was still in front of its own fortifications. The Mannerheim Line crosses the bottleneck of the Karelian Peninsula in a triplicate defense of granite border tank traps, barbed wire and trenches. But nature itself has provided the Finns with the best defense—the forest studded with rocks and broken with countless lakes, icy weather and a gray, cloud-thick sky.

I don't know what is going on in the north, where it is no more than 125 miles from the Russian border to the Finnish coast of the Bothnian Gulf and the vital railway line that connects Finland with Sweden. Nor does anyone know what the Russian army has in store or what the Russian aviators can produce. But, those days on the southern front, I thought it would not be fun to be a Russian soldier.

At eight-thirty in the morning, after three hours' sleep, we heard the siren wail over Viipuri and we descended to the concrete-walled hotel garage. Nothing happened. Then the snow started, soft and steady, and the day promised to be safe. We went to the Viipuri prison to visit the captured Russians. The chief warden of this prison was a spare gray man with pince-nez and a stammer and the gentle manner of a professor. He was talking in Russian with a Soviet flier. The flier was a man of thirty-two with a sad, tired face and two days' growth of beard, and he stood as straight as his fatigue would let him and answered questions in a humble, soft voice. I asked whether he had any family. He did not move and his voice did not change, but standing so, tears rolled down his face, and the warden and the jailers turned away because they did not want to look at this. The flier said in the same soft voice that he had two children, one so high and the other so high, and his beloved wife and another child on the way. He simply stated these facts, not asking for pity, but his loneliness was terrible to see.

We walked down stone steps into the cellar and two Russian soldiers were let out of barred cells. They also stood in this tight, rigid manner, and I thought probably they expected to be shot every time they were called out of their cells. One was a tall man of thirty-seven, and the other a boy of twenty-three. They had had two and three months' military training respectively. Tfiey were very thin, their clothes were the crudest cotton pants and coats in this desperate climate, and the Finns were shocked because they were so louse-infested. These prisoners answered questions shiveringly also, and repeated what all the others had said: They were told Finland was attacking them, and so they were fighting to save Russia. The individual man, in trouble and alone and lost, is pitiful, and these were as pitiful as any I had ever seen. The warden allowed me to give them cigarettes, thus breaking a prison rule of seventeen years standing and proving also that he was a kind, unhating old man.

The roads are as ghastly by day as by night. The cars spin like coins, skidding on ice and gently descending into ditches. We arrived in the dark at the town where we were to sleep, and the next morning they gave a fine imitation of the best London fog. The Finns seemed very lucky in these matters. This town was a bombing objective for the enemy and an unhealthy place to be in clear weather.

I was taken to the great airfield of this sector, where fighting planes are stationed. Not much can be written about it. Even when you were on the field you could see nothing. The planes were hidden in the woods and in their own dugouts and all the vastly complicated organization work was carried on in dugouts which looked from the ground like snowdrifts. The planes—fast single-seater pursuits—were imported from Holland; some of them had been copied in Finnish factories. We stepped over sweet-smelling pine boughs that camouflaged a dugout where the crack pursuit squadron of Finland has its quarters. As always, one is astounded by the age of the pilots; they ought to be going to college dances, you feel, or cheering at football games. Their dugout was warm and cheerful and one of the pilots played a guitar. The squadron commander, a new hero of Finland, answered questions for a time politely and then said, "Do you want to hear a sad Finnish love song.'" I said I would be delighted, and one aviator sang while the blond one played his guitar and the squadron commander, when it was over, remarked with a lovely quick, humorous smile, "Paris et l'amour."

The flight lieutenant, a tall man of thirty with a beautifully chiseled face, brought down two planes in one day. The second one, from a distance of thirty meters, splashed him with oil as it fell. All these men were modest and jolly, the way the brave men are. I learned that they go up, alone or in twos. to fight off any number of oncoming bombers. The flight lieutenant on his big day had been fighting alone against thirteen Russian bombers. He told me, in passing, that some years ago he tried to get a job flying transport between New York and Boston but that he failed to get the job because the American company didn't think he was good enough. He said, of course, it was much easier, to fly pursuit planes in war.

The colonel of this air regiment told me about the Russian bombers. He said he thought they were good planes but slow. The Finnish pursuits have a greater speed at low altitudes and their speed increases with height. The Russians' top altitude for maneuvering is eight thousand meters, but they have been flying low throughout this war, both over the cities and above military objectives because the ceiling forces them down. A Russian squadron is nine planes and they have been flying bombers without any accompanying protective pursuit planes, which he could not understand. The colonel believed they were flying now from their field at Nogorod, which is several hundred kilometers inland from the Russian coast, and their pursuits simply did not have enough fuel capacity to convoy the bombers, fight and return. The bomb load of these Russian planes is approximately a thousand kilos and they carry their very light incendiary bombs in barrel containers.

At this field all the captured Russian pilots were interviewed and the Finns were surprised that such inexperienced men had been sent against them. They found that the average actual flying hours of these Russian pilots was ten hours per year, and one Soviet flier stated that in Russia the aviators have been told the Finns have neither antiaircraft nor pursuit planes. The Finns have both in small quantity, but splendidly manned.

One cannot know what will happen in a war from one day to the next and certainly guessing is even more hazardous in a war between such unequal forces, but it is safe to say that the Finns have a trained army, helped by knowledge of the terrain; the soldiers are well equipped and wonderfully fed and the pilots are apparently, from results already shown, extra good. The army has that sound and comforting gaiety of good troops. It has confidence in its leaders. And it has the determination of those who fight on their own soil. The flight lieutenant spoke for them all when he said, "They will not get us as a present."

Fear Comes to Sweden, by Martha Gellhorn, Colliers Weekly, 3 February 1940

“Swedish hearts are with the Finns but their trade is with the Germans. The Russians may invade this great storehouse of iron ore or the Germans may come to protect their supply. Swedes wonder how much longer they'll have their abundant life”.

“THE workers' apartment buildings are pale green, yellow, blue, rose or white. They have balconies and many windows and are rigidly modern in design, very big and clean and all the people of Stockholm are proud of them. In this place there were seven great co-operative buildings, with a rocky, pine-treed park between them, and the waters of Lake Malar to the left. The apartments seemed small, but fresh and pretty with model electric kitchens and tiled bathrooms and rents no higher than twenty dollars a month. The children of the people who live here have a lovely time. At seven in the morning their parents park them downstairs, with all the other fat, roistering babies of the house, and pick them up again at night, when returning from work. All day they live together—sixty children under twelve years of age—eat their meals in a bright dining room, play in their kindergarten or study in a quieter room if they are old enough to study, rush about their playground with its swings and slides and parallel bars and sand piles, take their naps on tiny cots, and clamor for anything they want from "Tante Use," the young child specialist who runs this day nursery.

For the three meals and the care the parents pay eighteen cents a day. The three-year-olds had unlaced their shoes, pulled off their pinafores, wrapped their small blue blankets around them, and now in principle they should sleep for two hours after lunch, in their doll beds. Instead they were sitting up and whispering together and one very small blond boy chewed his handkerchief thoughtfully, and refused to take off his shoes. There was too much noise, a big booming noise, which made the children restless. They were blasting out a bomb shelter in the park across the street.

They showed us their co-operative mill with great and justified pride. It was a fine establishment, producing every year 80,000 tons of flour, corn flakes, oat flakes and the toothbreaking hard bread that Scandinavians enjoy. The workers had pretty modern houses, excellent working conditions, and every form of legal guarantee: the eight-hour day, paid vacations, health and accident insurance, the right to belong to a union. In this they were no different from other industrial workers in Sweden but it was a fine, busy mill and we admired each room, all the vast mysterious machinery, and especially the floors, which were as polished and clean as a dining-room table. Then we were shown the beginning of the great hole in the ground. "Our new bomb shelter," the manager explained. "It will hold us all and our families. We have one already, under the grain silos, but we don't think it's good enough."

The main Stockholm market is next door to the concert house. It is as enchanting as markets always are, with a lavish display of fish and fowl, fat red cheeses and mountains of butter and masses of meat. In front of the concert house stand the famous Milles statue of Orpheus playing his lyre, surrounded by graceful, small bronze figures. But now it is hard to get a decent view of Orpheus and you have to worm your way into the market because the square between the market and the concert house is being excavated for a bomb shelter that will protect 3,000 people but will not be ready before May. The Stockholmers come to look at this hole that is ruining the appearance of their concert house and making shopping so difficult, and they seem to look at it with distaste and dread.

Meantime, there is a war next door in Finland, and Germany is just across the Baltic, Russian submarines are in the Gulf of Bothnia, and the passage between Denmark and Sweden is deadly with German mines. The British have a blockade, too, and Swedish ships go down in the North Sea and the Russians are fighting the Finns outside Petsamo, too close to the Swedish frontier. The Swedes cannot forget these things and they do not live happily though they still live well, during whatever time remains to them. No one is very rich and no one is very poor in Sweden. Whether you eat at the gilt and red velvet Opera Keller or in the bright modern "Norma," you eat excellently. If you have a dollar or two you can play tennis on the wonderful indoor tennis courts where King Gustav plays every afternoon, and if you have the Swedish equivalent of two bits you can swim at the sports palace in the biggest, surely the cleanest and probably the coldest indoor pool in Europe. If you are well off, you probably go to your own place in the country to ski. And if you are a worker, during your twelve days of paid vacation you can take a tour to the same snow and have the same fun.

For almost nothing you go to the opera, if you like it. In the row in front of me sat a man in a blue denim coat and beside him a man in a dinner jacket and neither of them found this odd. Everybody works hard but not too hard for eight hours a day and there are only 9,800 people on relief. You can shop at cooperative stores, and perhaps get the goods at a slight saving, and in any case get dividends on your expenditures at the end of the year. Or you can shop at the nonco-operatives and be sure that the prices will be always kept down by the competition of the co-operatives. If you are a worker you do not need to fear sickness because you have health insurance, or excellent hospital care and medical treatment for fifty cents a day. If you are fairly rich, you are not worried about Red revolution, nor are you ashamed to be warm and comfortable during the hard winter, because you know that no one in the country is homeless, inadequately clad or hungry. You know there is no illiteracy in Sweden and the people are constantly engaged in adult education and are well equipped to think for themselves and defend their rights. The Swedish social system is headed by a king whom the people call "Mister G" and administered by a Social Democrat prime minister, and it is solid and enduring, because it guarantees a good life to the majority of the Swedes.

But Sweden is not situated on the moon and, after 130 years of peace and 50 years of intensive social reform, the outside world—the disorderly, passionate, war-darkened outside world—pushes in on the Swedes who love peace and the due processes of law. Beyond the enormous red Stockholm barracks is the training field, looking like Central Park. Here in the cold gray afternoon, soldiers were learning to handle antiaircraft guns, searchlights and listening apparatus. Others practiced on the rifle range; and two motorized companies were doing a miniature war game. The problem was to stop the enemy, who was advancing behind tanks, with four antitank guns so placed that the enemy would be destroyed by enfilading fire and fire in depth. On paper the enemy would surely have been exterminated and we and the soldiers and the officers accompanying us had a grand time rushing down the roads in trucks and cars, scrambling up the hills to the positions chosen for the antitank guns, taking cover behind pine trees, and waiting for the enemy (a slow-moving truck) to come into firing range. The light, short-barreled antitank guns can be handled by two men; it took two minutes for the soldiers to unload themselves from their trucks; everything went off breathlessly and on time; and was somehow inordinately funny.

I had never seen any war except the kind where someone shoots at you, and this sort was as absurd and entertaining as playing soldiers in the back yard. But all the time, watching this, you thought: They are getting ready, they are in a great hurry, they know this is only the easy beginning. On the soldiers' faces you could see that they were listening carefully to their orders and learning everything they could, because they would need to be as expert as possible, and probably too soon. Sweden has at this moment a standing army of about 140,000 men, but due to their compulsory military training they could put half a million men into the field if need be.

The Island of Gotland, protecting the entrance to Stockholm, is the great fortified position of the south; the fortress of Boden on the Arctic Circle at the Finnish frontier guards the north. Both of these are now fully militarized. The difficult, jagged coast line of the south is defended by antiaircraft guns and heavy artillery, and it is likely that the coastal artillery regiments are at their stations also.It is said that two infantry divisions are in place along the Finnish frontier. For the size of their army, the Swedes are well equipped with Swedish-made rifles and the famous Bofors antitank guns and antiaircraft guns, which fire 140 forty-millimeter shells a minute; with light and heavy artillery and tanks. The air force comprises between 285 to 350 planes (it is impossible to find out exactly) of German and English make. These are good, new planes: Gloster Gladiator fighters, the light Northrop and the Junker 86 bomber, the Fokker observation plane and other types. The navy consists of about 100 vessels: sixteen submarines, sixteen destroyers and a few cruisers, reputedly not too modern in type. But all figures are relative, though surely, for a pacifist country of 6,000,000 inhabitants, Sweden is well armed, with all branches of the military well trained. They do everything thoroughly in Sweden. Sweden now lies between two fires, and half a million is not many against the forces of Russia and of Germany.

To the average Swede, Germany is a far more serious menace than Russia. If the Russians «an take Finland, and the Aland Island, they can stop Swedish shipments of iron ore to Germany. Or worse, if the Russians are on the Finnish frontier, it is not far to the Lapland ore fields and the great iron mine of Kiruna. Germany buys nine and a half million tons of highgrade iron ore each year from Sweden and cannot under any circumstances afford to lose this supply. So the Swedes ponder this problem with desperate anxiety. Should they help Finland, which is what they want to do, and expose themselves to a German attack from the south? Or, if they fail to help Finland, will Germany move in anyhow to protect her iron supply from the advancing Russians? Dreadful and delicate questions these, complicated by the sympathy the Swedes feel for Finland, the certainty that the future of Finland is inseparable from the future of Sweden, the horror of imagining Sweden invaded and Stockholm bombed and the knowledge that the small, good Swedish army could not wage a winning war against two great powers at once. War material is shipped to Finland and volunteers cross the frontier to join the Finnish army; ambulances are sent and doctors and nurses, and food and clothing and money.

In a factory where all the workers were left-wing socialists, two workers spoke up in defense of Russia's invasion of Finland. The Swedes are accustomed to allowing anyone to say what he thinks, but the other workers jumped these two and beat them soundly and told them not to come back to the factory to work. In the marvelous clubhouse of the Stockholm College, the students were discussing Finland with passion. They sat in a beautiful room and despised their comforts and were furious at their own helplessness. The lovely blond girl, whose father was a rich businessman, said, "We must do something, we must do something now. Everything is too slow in Sweden. We sit here and talk and think and argue, and the Finns are getting killed." The mechanics rested in the warm office of the garage and talked about a friend of theirs who had volunteered in the Finnish army. The roly-poly one, who was sixty, knew he could be no use to the Finns, and the other, handsome enough to be in the movies and grave as Swedes are, turned over in his mind the thought of his wife and his small daughter, and weighed that against the anger that was in his heart, and the need to help men he considered his brothers. The young manicurist in the luxury hotel, painted red varnish on well-kept nails, suddenly put down her tools and said, "They are great people, the Finns, they are fine people. And brave. And we must help."

The Swedish government does not declare itself because it cannot. The nation, indifferent to declarations, only wants to help the Finns in some way that will be most useful to Finland and least harmful to Sweden. The Swedes have made their own world, and if they could they would find the middle way through war, as they have found the middle way through peace. But the choice is not theirs, and perhaps in three days or three months, they will be forced, whether they desire it or not, whether they can survive it or not, into the violence that is spreading over the earth. The only thing you can know is that if one foreign soldier steps on Swedish soil, the Swedes will fight. At the beginning of the eighteenth century Charles the Twelfth of Sweden led his hard-fighting triumphant armies like a scourging wind, across Europe. The Swedes have a time-long record of bravery, and if they had to go to war again, they would suddenly know how.

All over Sweden there are signs: three golden crowns stamped on midnight-blue paper and underneath, this inscription: Serious times demand civil responsibility, watchfulness, silence. The Swedes obey these signs. The country looks calm and quiet and sane. But behind the silence and the discipline there is a strong, growing tension. The Swedes worked hard to make their country good, and they know how good it is and they know what excellent lives they have. But besides the model houses, and the generous food, the playgrounds, the hospitals, the work and the satisfying inexpensive play, there are the beliefs that made these things possible. They feel they will have to defend these beliefs sooner or later, and probably with arms. To the east and thesouth the great cities of Europe lie nightly in darkness. Every night the lights of Stockholm shine on the waters of the Norrstrom and Lake Malar, festoons of light hang over the main streets, the shop windows and the cafes are brilliant, and the snow gleams under the street lamps. The city is beautiful and alive. But the Swedes are wondering unhappily how long they can keep their lights burning.”

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War Correspondents in the Winter War

Post by CanKiwi2 » 05 Sep 2012 19:13

Webb Miller, United Press (UP)

Webster Miller (February 10, 1891 in Michigan – May 7, 1940) was an American journalist and war correspondent. His father, Jacob Miller, was a tenant farmer and Webb attended elementary school and high school in Michigan, where he was a track and field runner and football player as well as a reporter for the school paper. After graduation from high school, he worked as a captain on a passenger steamboat (he was fired after wrecking the ship) and as a schoolteacher in Minnesota. In 1912, he moved to Chicago began work as a "legman" - reporting on the scene by telephone to journalists in the office who would rewrite his work and get the byline. During this time, he shortened his name to "Webb Miller" because it made for a better byline. In 1916, Miller went to work as a freelance journalist, following Gen. John J. Pershing into Mexico as part of the Punitive Expedition pursuing Pancho Villa. Having spent most of his life walking (not driving) from town to town in Michigan, Miller was one of the few journalists able to keep up with Pershing's expedition as it marched through the Mexican desert. Miller's reporting led to a job with the United Press later that year.

In 1917, UP sent Miller to London to cover World War I. His reports of the terrifying air raids on London brought him worldwide notice. UP named him London Bureau Chief as a reward for his success. Miller reported on both the British and American fronts in Europe, covering the Battle of Château-Thierry, the Second Battle of the Aisne, and the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. Miller was the first American journalist to report that an armistice had been reached with Germany, after which he covered the Paris Peace Conference. While reporting from Versailles, Miller met and became acquainted with an Italian journalist, Benito Mussolini. In late 1918, Miller was assigned to cover the aftermath of the Easter Rising in Ireland, interviewing Sinn Féin founder Arthur Griffith and political activist Michael Fitzgerald, both then in hiding.

In 1920, he covered the Rif War in Morocco, where he met and became friends with the former Spanish dictator, Miguel Primo de Rivera. In 1921, Miller was named Paris Bureau Chief for UP, and was promoted in 1925 to European Bureau Chief. In 1922, while traveling in France, Miller saw Henri Désiré Landru (known as "Bluebeard") guillotined in a Versailles street for murdering 10 women and a boy. Miller reported that the executioners threw Landru onto the upper platform of the guillotine which such force that the deck partially collapsed. The executioners clamped him to the deck, and executed him. Miller's report won worldwide acclaim for on-the-spot reporting and noted that the entire execution took only 26 seconds. His report, with its graphic description of Landru's death, led to a nomination for the Pulitzer Prize.

In 1930, Miller undertook a 12,000-mile airplane trip across the Middle East and India. While in India, he met with Gandhi, who was launching the Salt Satyagraha. Miller’s reports helped turn world opinion against the British occupation of India and his Middle East experiences later landed him a job reporting on the Italian invasion of Abyssinia in 1935. Once more, he walked alongside an army traveling in the desert, telling his audience how his shoes and socks turned to bloody rags as he marched through the sand and rocks. Miller reported on the "surprising efficiency" in which the Italians—armed with bombers, tanks, field artillery, gasoline and napalm—massacred thousands of natives armed only with spears, slings and the occasional handgun. His reports, conveyed by courier across the desert to the nearest telegraph and then to the world, often reached Rome before the official Italian military reports did. Miller's articles were the only news reports to come from the front line during the opening of the war. He was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize a second time, in this instance for a 44-minute report delivered by telephone at the start of the war. Exhausted from his constant travels and depressed after seeing so much bloodshed, Miller flew to the United States on the inaugural trans-Atlantic flight of the Hindenburg, after which he worked on his memoirs. His book, “I Found No Peace”, was published by Simon & Schuster in November 1936.

Image sourced from: http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/5 ... SS500_.jpg
“I Found No Peace” by Webb Miller

After completing his book, UP assigned Miller to cover the initial stages of the Spanish Civil War in late 1936. In 1937 and 1938, he traveled to the Soviet Union, where he covered the Stalinist purges and smuggled his reports out of the country. Miller reported widely on many of the key early events leading up to World War II. He attended the Munich Conference, and interviewed Adolf Hitler, Neville Chamberlain and Mussolini. He traveled to Czechoslovakia immediately afterward, and reported on the advance of German troops into the Sudetenland. He remained in the country for the next six months, and again reported from the front lines on March 12, 1939, when German troops occupied the rest of Czechoslovakia. As tensions rose between Germany and France, Miller returned to Paris. During the Phoney War, Miller rushed to the Low Countries and filed numerous reports, then went to Finland after the Soviet Union invaded on November 30, 1939. He spent Christmas Eve in four inches of newly-fallen snow with Finnish soldiers on the front lines of the Winter War, “cigarettes freezing between puffs".

Miller died on the evening of May 7, 1940, on the Karelian Isthmus, while reporting on the fighting. He had stepped out of the bunker to observe the artillery fire and when he did not return after some time, his accompanying Information Officer went in search of him. His body was found some distance from the bunker, where it appeared he had fallen over a bank, struck his head on a rock and died. There were no eyewitnesses to his death. He was however, not the only foreign war correspondent to die in the course of the Winter War.

Photo sourced from: http://www.rivercountryjournal.com/wp-c ... Miller.jpg
Webb Miller, United Press. "Webb Miller Is There" went promotional ads for his dispatches from Finland like one which appeared in the Cleveland Press. In 1943, the U.S. government announced that Liberty ships would begin to be named after distinguished journalists who had died in action. The first Liberty ship to be named for a war correspondent was the SS Webb Miller.

Edmund Stevens, Christian Science Monitor, National Broadcasting Co (NBC)

Edmund W. Stevens was born in Denver on July 22, 1910. He went to the Soviet Union in 1934 after graduating from Columbia University, where he studied international law. "The feeling was that there was a brave new world emerging," he said in an interview in 1990 with the magazine Moskva. He added that it did not take long for him to become disillusioned. In 1935, he married Nina Bondarenko and lived in a communal apartment with three other families during Stalin’s purges. He initially worked as the Moscow agent for the Cunard Line, and around the same time began writing for The Manchester Guardian and The Daily Herald of London in 1938. Starting in the late 1930's, he worked for leading British and American publications, building a formidable network of contacts even while battling Stalin's censors. He bought a log cabin in central Moscow that remained his home for years.

It was this knowledge of the Soviet Union that led to Stevens beginning reporting on the Russo-Finnish negotiations in November 1939. In a November 4, 1939 article he reported that talks had stalled over a Russian demand for a naval base located in the northern part of the Gulf of Finland. “This base would completely control Finland’s trade and could completely cut off Finland from Sweden at a moment’s notice” he wrote. Five days later he again returned to Finland and spent the next two weeks reporting on the on-again off-again negotiations. He foreshadowed the Winter War in a dispatch date November 15 – “Finns prefer no Pact to poor Pact.” In mid-November Stevens toured the Karelian Isthmus and met Marshal Mannerheim. “I had the honour of meeting Marshal Carl Mannerheim at the Karelian mansion of the noble family where Mannerheim had his headquarters and was taken on an extensive tour of the so-called Mannerheim Line. It made maximum use of the extremely rugged terrain, a combination of lakes, rocky slopes and heavily wooded hollows. The few roads were easily targeted from carefully prepared artillery positions. Mannerheim impressed me as a typical officer of the Imperial Tsarist Army. He seemed more Russian than Finnish in his manners and education.” Stevens produced a profile of Mannerheim that was more flattering than compelling, describing him in an article published on December 30 1939 as “a man of wide interests and accomplishments – scholar, soldier, statesman, social reformer and sportsman – but unlike so many others of his class, there is nothing of the social dilettante about him”. (“Stevens, “Mannerheim the military Leader”, Christian Science Monitor, 30 December 1939).

On December 4, 1939 Stevens reported from Tallinn, Estonia that “the new 24,000 ton battleship Kirov, pride of the Soviet fleet, limped into port here yesterday as a result of two direct hits by the Finnish Coastal Artillery” (Stevens, “Finns Victorious”, Christian Science Monitor, 4 December 1939). Stevens had taken the train from Moscow to Tallinn, intending to fly from there to Helsinki. On arrival in Tallinn, he was told that flights had been cancelled as the Soviets were bombing Helsinki Airport. As travel by air was impossible, he boarded a small Estonian ship bound for Stockholm. In the Grand Hotel in Stockholm he encountered Leland Stowe (more on Stowe in another Post), now of the Chicago News after he had left the Herald Tribune, and Warren Irvine of NBC. The editor-in-chief, Wilbur Forest, had told Stowe that at the age of 40 he was too old to cover a war. Lowe was determined to prove otherwise. Irvine had just come from Berlin. All three were determined to get to Finland somehow.

They managed to board a Swedish ship, the Christina, where the accommodation was luxurious and every meal was a smorgasbord. The trip to Turku on the Finnish side would normally have taken a few hours but instead of going directly, the ship circled the Gulf of Bothnia, hugging the coast. Two nights later they finally arrived, landing in a complete blackout and finding passengers eagerly boarding the ship to leave even before they had disembarked. The three intrepid correspondents managed to cadge a ride in the back of a truck, bundled up in blankets with a temperature of minus ten, driving through the blackout to Helsinki where they were deposited outside the Hotel Kämp. The next morning they experienced their first air raid. They found the Press Centre at the Hotel Kämp most helpful with ample opportunities to visit the front. Stevens first trip to the Isthmus visited the unit he had visited a month earlier. He found the Finnish soldiers in fine fettle. They told me that “as soon as the Russians approached the first town, the booby traps started going off, and in that first onslaught they perished by the hundreds. The artillery proved most effective. Evidently the Soviet strategists had completely misjudged the military situation.”

Stevens knowledge of Russian proved highly useful. He talked with many prisoners, establishing that some of them were hastily conscripted farmers, mere cannon-fodder, ill-equipped, ill-clad, ill-armed, while others were well-trained soldiers. Most Soviet troops didn’t even have gloves according to Stevens. One of Stevens first articles from the front focused on the tragic impact of the war on the lives of the Russian soldiers and their families back home. Stevens articles out of Finland, the datelines and the firsthand accounts of the battles proves he had access to the frontlines. Stevens reported on the brilliant tactical moves and the courage of the Finns but never went so far as to predict their victory. Stevens was one of the war correspondents in Finland who played a significant part in sorting fact from fiction, reporting accurately from the front. He skied into enemy territory with Finnish Army ski patrols in temperatures averaging thirty degrees below zero, witnessing the first modern war fought above the Arctic Circle. He recorded the devastation the war brought down on the Red Army.

In a January 6, 1940 article, Stevens interviewed Russian soldiers captured by the Finns. These soldiers were from Soviet forces who had carried out the invasion of Poland in September and were then thrown into Finland without any explanation of where they were going or the nature of their mission. With a dateline of eastern Finland, Stevens used a question and answer method for part of the article. “Didn’t they say that Finland threatened Leningrad or that the Finns had attacked the Soviet Union?” he asked. “We heard something of the sort over the radio but we didn’t believe it,” the soldier replied. “We have lived on friendly terms with Finland for years. Anyway, everyone knows there are only three and a half million Finns.” On January 12 1940, Stevens submitted an article reporting on the arrival of twenty five Fiat pursuit aircraft donated by Italy in Helsinki. This was the start of his documenting Finland’s struggle to find support from the West.

During my previous visit to Helsinki I stayed in the Torni where several Italian correspondents were booked. When I returned to Helsinki after the outbreak of the war, they were still there, including Indro Montanelli, today Italy’s most famous journalist. From then on we covered the war together. We went to Rovaniemi, which was virtually on the Arctic Circle and in peacetime was a ski resort. That part of Finland was the waist, with the narrowest segment between the Soviet border and the sea. The Soviet strategy was to cut Finland in half at this narrow waist. One division of about ten thousand men set out from Soviet Karelia and heading for the coast, or so they thought. They were soon cut off by Finnish ski patrols in their rear and pinned down. We were taken to view them and I will never forget the sight. It was as if the Soviet force were part of a wax works exhibition. All the men and their equipment were clearly visible. The only thing wrong was that they were frozen fast by the thousands.”

Stevens documented the Finns stunning early victories and reported on the Soviets lack of military experience with skis. With the headline “The Suomussallmi Front, Finland”, he sent an article dateline 16 January 1940 that read in part: “The booty captured by the Finns in their victory last week included thousands of pairs of brand news skis that had never been used and thousands of manuals on skiing that still smelled of printers ink.” Stevens skied with Finnish troops and accompanied them deep behind Russian lines to observe how they attacked the enemy. “What undermined Russian morale more than anything else, it appeared, was the manner in which the Finns, invisible in their snow capes and silent on their skis, passed through the Soviet lines each nigh blowing up bridges in their rear and tossing grenades into their dugouts.” (Stevens, “Reds Trapped, Still Learning to Ski,” Christian Science Monitor, 16 January 1940).

The following day he wrote, “Finnish salvage crews have been working day and night for a week cataloguing and removing the captured equipment whose value runs into several hundred marks.” He also reported that many of the weapons had never been fired and then included the translation of a Russian artillery officer’s unfinished letter, a note he found inside one of the tanks. “In this wilderness of lakes and forests the enemy seems everywhere and nowhere. Our intelligence service is insufficient. Consequently, although we have good guns and plenty of ammunition, we don’t know where to shoot. Then when the Finns start pounding on us we cant come out above ground.” In an article written January 22nd, he documents the arrival of volunteers from Denmark, Sweden and Norway. Two days later, from the Salla Front, his story begins, “For the first time in history a modern war, with all the accessories like tanks, flame-throwers, machineguns and aircraft, is being waged above the Arctic Circle. On the Salla Front in Finnish Lapland, for eight weeks small Finnish forces have been holding back an avalanche of Soviet troops, variously estimated at between two and three divisions.

Stevens would remain in Finland, reporting on the Winter War through to the end, after which he travelled to the UK. After covering Europe and North Africa during World War II, spending time with the British Eighth Army in the Western Desert, he returned to Moscow as correspondent for The Monitor from 1946 to 1949. He won the Pulitzer Prize for international reporting in 1950 for "Russia Uncensored," a series on life under the Stalin dictatorship that he wrote for The Christian Science Monitor. He then worked as The Monitor's chief Mediterranean correspondent for six years. In 1956, Mr. Stevens went back to the Soviet Union for Look magazine, and stayed for the rest of his life, writing for Time, Life, Newsday, The Saturday Evening Post, NBC radio, The Sunday Times and The Times of London and London's Evening News. Asked why he endured the harsh conditions of life in Moscow for more than four decades, he said he simply "got stuck with the story," as quoted in "The Moscow Correspondents," a book by Whitman Bassow. When his cabin was torn down in the 1960's, Mr. Stevens - who remained an American citizen -persuaded city authorities to give him a three-story mansion near Arbat Street, where he housed his collection of icons as well as Impressionist art works. Mr. Stevens was accused over the years of collaborating with the Soviet authorities, even with the K.G.B., an assertion he always denied. "I always kept my nose clean," he once said. "Who wants to get mixed up in that?" He died in Moscow in May 1992 aged 81 years old. Besides his wife, Nina, he was survived by a son, Edmund Jr., a Boston architect; and two grandchildren, Nicholas and Francesca. A daughter, Anastasia, died in 1991.

Image sourced from: http://www.bibliovault.org/thumbs/978-0 ... tcover.jpg
“An Accidental Journalist: The Adventures of Edmond Stevens 1934-1945” by Cheryl Heckler.

When an idealistic American named Edmund Stevens arrived in Moscow in 1934, his only goal was to do his part for the advancement of international Communism. His job writing propaganda led to a reporting career and an eventual Pulitzer Prize in 1950 for his uncensored descriptions of Stalin’s purges. This book tells how Stevens became an accidental journalist for the Christian Science Monitor — and eventually the dean of the Moscow press corps. Stevens was a keen observer and thoughtful commentator, and his analytical mind was just what the Monitor was looking for in a foreign correspondent. He began his journalism career reporting on the Russo-Finnish War in 1939 and was the Monitor’s first man in the field to cover the fighting in World War II. He reported on the Italian invasion of Greece, participated in Churchill’s Moscow meeting with Stalin as a staff translator, and distinguished himself as a correspondent with the British army in North Africa.

Drawing on Stevens’s memoirs as well as his articles and correspondence and the unpublished memoirs of his wife, Nina, Heckler traces his growth as a frontline correspondent and interpreter of Russian culture. She paints a picture of a man hardened by experience, who witnessed the brutal crushing of the Iron Guard in 1941 Bucharest and the Kharkov hangings yet who was a failure on his own home front and who left his wife during a difficult pregnancy in order to return to the war zone. An Accidental Journalist is an important contribution to the history of war reporting and international journalism, introducing readers to a man whose inside knowledge of Stalinist Russia was beyond compare as it provides new insight into the Soviet era.

Next: More on War Correspondents in the Winter War
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Re: What If-Finland had been prepared for the Winter War?

Post by CanKiwi2 » 10 Sep 2012 21:01

(Harold Edward) James Aldridge, Australian Newspaper Service, assisting Daily Express

James Aldridge was born 10 July 1918) in White Hills, a suburb of Bendigo in the State of Victoria, Australia and would go onto become a Journalist and a well known novelist and writer of children’s books. He was the son of an English writer who settled in Australia shortly before his son’s birth. By the mid-1920s the Aldridge family had moved to Swan Hill, and many of his Australian stories were inspired by, and are based on, his life growing up there. As a boy of fourteen he worked part-time as a messenger for the editor of a Melbourne newspaper, while continuing to attend school. He worked for the Melbourne Herald and Sun over 1937-38 before moving to the UK in 1938, where he lived in London and pursued a career in journalism. He attended summer courses at Oxford University and actively worked for several London newspapers at this time.

He worked for the London Daily Sketch and Sunday Dispatch in 1939; was the European and Middle East war correspondent for the Australian Newspaper Service and the North American Newspaper Alliance between 1939 and 1944 and Tehran correspondent for both Time and Life in 1944. Aldridge was 21 years old when he went to work in Finland as a war correspondent for the Australian Newspaper Service and for the UK-based Daily Express. According to a Russian article, he “correctly assessed events as they unfolded before his eyes. This perspicacious correspondent reported the destructive anti-national policy of the Finnish ruling circles of the time and the recognized the historical correctness of the Soviet Union. For this he was sent outside Finland.” Aldridge certainly had pronounced left-wing sympathies, with the events of the Spanish Civil War having given him a definite nudge to the left of the ideological spectrum. If he was in fact sent out of Finland as the Russian articles seems to state, he was probably one of very few journalists expelled. There is also an inference that he was spying for the Soviet Union.

Photo sourced from: http://www2.hs.fi/english/archive/pics/41toimittaja.jpg
Australian reporter James Aldridge writing up a story in the Hotel Kämp in December 1939

The Miami News of 24 February 1940 carries a short article by Aldridge: “Aldridge describes Terrible Weather in Finland.”

"Blizzards sweeping across the Karelian Isthmus to Lake Ladoga have stepped in to aid the Finns in their bitter, grueling fight to maintain their new rear position on the Mannerheim Line. High winds are driving the snow in fierce gusts across the Isthmus lakes and through the bending pine forests, building new high drifts, shortening gunfire visibility to a few yards, reducing walking, riding and skiing to a minimum and practically ending any sort of transport. This is a brick wall that all soldiers find hard to butt against.Only by persisting through rain, hail or snow is the Russian artillery still able to shell the Mannerheim Line. With 14 Divisions packed between Kuolemjaervi and Kamara, the Russians are looking for something to keep them occupied while listening to natures intervention. In some positions, Finnish ski patrols report that the Russians have built three story dugouts, good and warm. But a blizzard that holds up 14 idle Divisions in such a small space, even in three story dugouts, is disastrous to the renewed “Blitzkrieg” which the Russians have been successfully waging on the Mannerheim Line.

The 108th, 103rd and 48th – those crack Russian Divisions of the 14th Red Army – which occupies the new positions, are now tied up between Summa and Kamara, which is another jumping off place to Viipuri. The Finns in their Mannerheim dugouts are waiting and taking the Russian artillery fire, and are also listening to nature’s intervention on their behalf. To go on patrol duty is a dreadful task in this fierce winter. Moving on skis is hard work. The snow is blown in your face and you cannot look ahead. And even if you could, all you would see would be a few dim yards in front of you. The rival patrols are on each other before they know it. Rifles are useless, and machinegun-pistols are not much better. Fighting is hand to hand with pistols, knives and bayonets, a method of warfare to which the patrols of both sides are becoming accustomed. Always when these patrols meet and battle hand to hand, their shouts are almost as loud as the shots of their weapons. Russian curses are picked up by the wind, tossed through the moaning pines and echoed along the few valleys. This is no place for a woman.

The Summa Road, which has almost the same significance as the road to Mandalay, is practically no more. It has been shelled for the last two weeks by the Russians advancing under the cover of a barrage. It was pock-marked when they took it more than a week ago. Now, as the Finnish artillery is singing a song along that road which is the main artery of supply of the 100th Russian division in Summa, it is being made into a graveyard for scrapped tanks, guns and human bodies. Bringing new long range guns into action and operating them from their newly gained positions, the Russians are making Viipuri the hottest spot in this year. Shelled and bombed by day and night. It is a completely silent and empty city. Its loneliness is broken only by the sudden explosion of a shell in some sidestreet or on the outskirts. These guns the Soviets are using have just been brought up to replace the long range guns which shelled Viipuri. Firing in batteries of three, they alternate cleverly, between 30 and 20 shots a minute, so that it is impossible to calculate how many guns there are. But there are approximately 30 according to Finnish experts.Even in this bitter cold the guns must be water-cooled and after each shot a gun must remain silent for five minutes until it cools off.

While the blizzard continues, the Finns are relieved of their worries about Russian advances. For they did worry about them and still admit it. During the blizzard the artillery will continue to be most active, as though both sides wish to remind each other that the war is still going on. Meanwhile, the towns are being spared bombardment. The residents of Helsinki, which has been having up to seven alarms daily, some at midnight, will be able to get some sleep and a little business done. And everybody in Finland, even the Russians, wonder – will the blizzard ever end?”

(Ref http://news.google.com/newspapers? ... 1,1924763)

His despatches as a war correspondent were published worldwide and became the basis of several of his novels, including “The Sea Eagle”(1944) about Australian troops in Crete. He also visited the Soviet Union, where he spent almost a year (over 1944-1945) and was “an eyewitness to the selfless struggle of the Soviet people, who gave everything for the victory and played a crucial role in defeating of Hitler's war machine.” After WW2, Aldridge lived in Cairo for many years, writing several books about the Middle East. He also lived in Switzerland for a time, before returning to London where he now lives in Battersea. Aldridge was awarded the World Peace Council Gold Medal for his 1944 novel, “The Sea Eagle” and was also awarded a Lenin Peace Prize in 1972 for "his outstanding struggle for the preservation of peace", which perhaps gives you an idea of his writing (his children’s novels are, by way of contrast, non-political and actually rather good). In a later novel, "Matter of Honor" Aldridge paints a vivid picture of the People's Liberation Movement in Greece and how selflessly the poorly armed Greek soldiers fought for their country, from the invasion by the Italians in October 1940 up to the capture of the country by the Nazis in April 1941, contrasting in the novel the Greek soldiers with the treacherous role played by the Metaxists and representatives of the Supreme British command.

He didn’t particularly stand out as a journalistic writer, not when compared to Virginia Cowles or Martha Gellhorn, but he serves as a good example of the many journalists who reported from Finland and the type of articles they turned out.

Mattew Halton, Toronto Star, CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation)

Matthew Henry Halton (September 7, 1904 – December 3, 1956) was born in 1904 in Pincher Creek, Alberta. 200 kilometres south of Calgary, the son of Henry and Alice Halton, who had emigrated from England two years earlier. His mother was a writer for the tiny local community paper, The Pincher Creek Echo and she fostered his interest in journalism. As a teenager he wanted to be a foreign correspondent; but with mo easy path to this, instead, he qualified as a teacher at the Calgary Normal School, taught for two years, then enrolled at the University of Alberta where he gained journalistic experience as reporter and later editor of the university newspaper, The Gateway. In 1929, he graduated and won an Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire scholarship; this enabled him to go to London, where he studied at King's College of the University of London and the London School of Economics. While in England, he wrote over 200 stories and articles on European affairs for various Canadian newspapers.

On his return to Canada in 1931, he joined The Toronto Star as a cub reporter, at first covering the university beat and writing obituaries. The next year he attracted attention with his coverage of the Imperial Conference in Ottawa by likening the assembled colonial prime ministers to characters from Alice in Wonderland. Later that year, he became London correspondent for the Toronto Star and he and his bride of two days left for England. His instructions were to travel anywhere in the British Isles or Europe to cover a story. "It was a newspaperman's dream come true," he wrote in his 1944 account of his experiences, "Ten Years to Alamein". In this role he filed many stories about the rise of Nazism in Germany, as well as covering the Spanish Civil War (1936-39) and the Russo-Finnish War (1939-40). His voice was first heard on radio when he was asked to file reports for the CBC during the Munich crisis. By early 1940 he was a fixture in Canada with his radio reports for CBS from “the frontline in Finland.”

Today, well over five decades after his death, this journalist who was once venerated by a generation of Canadians is almost forgotten. His voice has become silent except for occasional Remembrance Day programs, when the CBC airs short clips from his reports. Halton - of whom it has been said, "Canadian journalism may never see his like again" - deserves more. His broadcasts document the role Canadians played in the Russo-Finnish Winter War as graphically and as eloquently as any movie or book. When you listen to soundclips of his broadcasts, it's his voice that gets to you first. His is a clear unhurried voice that manages to convey a sense of urgency with just enough of a clipped British accent to make it sound authoritative. It's a convincing voice that still demands attention. Even now, more than 50 years later, coming over a speaker system from an old recording from the CBC archives, it grabs you and takes you to another place, another time.

"Viipuri on May 8, 1940. The Red Army has been driven back but the cost has been high. Four out of five buildings...had been destroyed - that is, completely leveled or completely gutted. This did look like the end of the world. Through the rubble and ashes of Viipuri I didn't recognize streets I had known well from two months earlier. We were lost for a few minutes in that utter ruin and silence, in the end of the world. I was afraid." Suddenly I am no longer sitting listening to old tapes. Instead, I am moving with Matthew Halton into the "still-smoking and burning" city of Viipuri as the Red Army is driven out. His fear becomes my fear, his pain mine. The voice hypnotizes and the script - it is more like an essay - mesmerizes. As I listen to these soundclips, carefully transcribed from the original glass discs, the years roll away and I am in the presence of a great storyteller. I picture the owner of the voice to be a tall, imposing figure, not unlike a stern English master at a British boarding school. In fact, Halton was slightly built, about five foot nine, with thinning hair that he often covered with a battered forage cap.

He was a man to whom image and appearance were important. There is a story, probably apocryphal, about how Halton once spent much time searching for the perfect trench coat for a foreign correspondent. After finding it in an exclusive store in London, he carefully mucked it up to make it look authentic. "There was a streak of ham in him. In the heat of battle we would hear him spouting poetry or muttering that it was not a time to work, it was a time to live." Sometimes when he was especially pleased with one of his broadcasts, he would repeat it over and over again to his colleagues. One of them finally became fed up with this posturing and suggested that if Halton kept re-fighting the battle of the Summa Gap, one day he was going to get killed in it. It was this flair for the dramatic that gave Halton's broadcasts such depth and emotion. And his war lent itself to that kind of treatment. For him and his fellow journalists, reporting on the Russo-Finnish Winter War was a holy crusade.

Today their reports might be considered somewhat less than objective. All the correspondents accepted censorship and discipline. They were accompanied to the battlefront by Maavoimat officers. The Maavoimat set up press camps, supplied communication equipment, transportation, combat uniforms and rations, in the hope reporters could persuade or influence via public opinion the governments of their countries to contribute to the war effort. Halton himself flew back to Toronto more than once to participate in North America-wide fund raising campaigns that featured such Hollywood stars as Bob Hope, Jack Benny, Clark Gable and Walter Pidgeon. Halton would appear in full Finnish Army uniform, usually accompanied by one or two Finnish soldiers recovering from injuries along with a Lotta or two who spoke English - glamourous figures from the battlefield. "It was all considered part of the job. Often we were more of a cheering section than we were journalists. There were only good guys and bad guys- and the Finns and our people fighting with them were the heroes."

Photo sourced from: http://www.cbc.ca/75/images/halton.jpg
“The Maavoimat set up press camps, supplied communication equipment, transportation, combat uniforms and rations.” Mathew Halton, CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) Senior War Correspondent with a mobile recording unit assigned to the CBC by the Maavoimat’s Puolustusministeriön Tiedostustoimisto. The CBC was unique in its broadcasting of war actuality from the very first. The American networks were not allowed to broadcast the sounds of battle and the BBC chose not to.

"The Russians were devils; the Finnish soldiers were possessed by demons," Halton began his July 26th, 1940, broadcast on the fighting on the Syvari. "The more murderous the battle, the harder both sides fought. There was something different there, something heroic and almost superhuman and, at the same time, dark as night." The drama that Halton injected into his broadcasts was not always appreciated by members of the press corps in Finland. "Matt either aroused affection or scorn. The top dog doesn't always get a hell of a lot of sympathy from envious colleagues. Remember, this was the era before celebrity journalism, and critics felt Matt was prostituting journalism by turning it into entertainment." But Halton didn't pay any attention to this criticism - he wrote and spoke exactly as he felt, says his wife, Jean, whom he married in 1932. "Matt was also awfully lucky. He always wanted to do just what he did. He loved words. He could quote poetry at a moment's notice. In fact, he considered himself a failed poet." Sometimes Halton's stories were not well received by his readers. He had been one of the early journalists to recognize the menace of Hitler, and in 1933 he began a series of articles this way: "During the last month in Germany, I have studied the most fanatical, thoroughgoing and savage philosophy of war ever imposed on a nation. Unless I am deaf, dumb and blind, Germany is becoming a vast laboratory and breeding ground for war."

Jean Halton recalls that in the mid-1930s he was accused of war mongering and sensationalism; he was even called a communist in the Canadian Parliament’s House of Commons. Unfazed, Halton watched and chronicled as his predictions became fact and the world moved towards disaster. Wherever there was a story to be told, Halton was there. He covered the Spanish Civil War from its beginning in 1936, and noted with dismay the lack of French and British support for democracy in Spain. In early 1940, he was in Finland reporting on the heroic stand of the Finns against the Russian army. In late August 1940, he stood in the suburbs of Leningrad reporting on the massive Red Army attacks on the Finns, who stood their ground and defeated the Red Army again and again. As well as reporting for the Toronto Star, Halton was doing regular broadcasts for the CBS and by mid-summer 1940, his “Report from Finland” had won him international respect and made his voice familiar to almost all Canadians. He was the link between the Canadian Volunteers who were already in the thick of WW2 and the people at home. Even thirty years after the war, people recalled the effect the words "This is Matthew Halton of the CBC reporting from..." had on them. It was a signal to stop everything and huddle round the radio in anticipation. And they were not disappointed.

He told listeners about the Canadians fighting in Finland: "These men were new to battle. They'd never heard the screaming shrapnel before. They hadn't been machine-gunned or sniped at. They hadn't been overrun in their slit trenches by tanks. But they have now, and they know there are no better fighting men on earth." He brought them the sounds of war: "In the following recording you will hear Russian and Canadian machine guns, and the Russian shells that fell on us, and my attempt to describe something of what I saw. Fortunately for you, the sounds as recorded on a disc are quiet and tame compared to what they are when we hear them. Even bursting shells that shook us and blasted us sound pretty tame on a disc. Listen to this and then imagine it at least 10 times as loud." Halton was the best known of the Canadian correspondents, and many of his reports were carried by the BBC as well. In 1941, King George VI awarded him the Order of the British Empire for his war reporting from Finland. In many ways he was exactly what the CBC wanted him to be: slightly left wing, enthusiastic, vibrant and exciting to listen to.

Image sourced from: http://taylorempireairways.com/wp-conte ... 58x460.jpg
Engineer Paul Johnston of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation setting up equipment to record a broadcast by CBC correspondent Matthew Halton, Syvari Front, Finland 14 August 1940.

Away from the mike, though, altogether different things happened around Matt Halton. He played hard and he drank hard. Entertaining and argumentative, he loved good food, good drink and good company. And he was at his best when he combined all three. One such occasion took place in a restaurant in Helsinki, Finland, in 1940. A group of American correspondents were seated round a large table. Halton was there, and so too was a colleague from the old days in Spain, Ernest Hemingway, who, goaded by Martha Gellhorn, had finally decided to abandon patroling for U-boats from his fishing boat in the Carribean amd come to where the action was. There was much roistering – the whiskey and the vodka was flowing freely. Halton, far from sober, was telling Hemingway how much he admired his writing. But Hemingway was not allowed to bask in the glow of appreciation for very long. Halton, always one to speak his mind, took the opportunity to tell Hemingway that the one thing he did not write well about was sex. Perhaps, Halton suggested, this was because Hemingway had not had much experience in that area. Hemingway's reaction was not long in coming: "Nobody knows more about fucking than I do! And nobody writes about fucking like I do! And any fucker who fucking well says I can't write about fucking is a fucking liar."

His best report from Finland though was the day he reported that the war was ended. Before I put away the soundclips and turn out the lights, I want to hear once more the broadcast Halton waited so many months to make, and that so many never got to hear at all. "The Winter War is over." There is incredulity in the voice, as if Halton scarcely believes what he is saying. "During the long weary months and weeks, and during hours that seemed like years, one sometimes wondered if the carnival of death wasn't a nightmare from which one would happily awake. And now that the nightmare is over, one has to wonder if it isn't a pleasant dream from which we shall wake to find the usual mad mornings of blood and death. Today the sun rises as it hasn't risen for nearly ten months, and soldiers I have talked to don't quite know what to do about it. They shave and have breakfast. They clean their rifles and their Suomi submachineguns. They try to brush the mud off their clothes. They ask if there is any mail. After all, they've lived strange, dangerous lives. It's hard to believe that no shells will come screaming over, no waves of tanks and enemy infantry will try to overwhelm them. It's hard to believe that if they stand up in the open nobody will shoot at them. Death has walked at their side every hour of every day for months now. It's hard to believe, for a day or two, that the nightmare is over and they can drink the wine of life."

Photo sourced from: http://taylorempireairways.com/wp-conte ... 58x422.jpg
Matthew 'Matt' Halton, CBC war correspondent, making a recording in Finland on the day the Winter War ended, late September 1940. (CBC/Library and Archives Canada).

Halton was no sooner back in the UK than he was briefly reassigned to the Star's Washington, DC bureau in late 1940, but was almost immediately sent back to cover the North African campaign. He reported extensively for the CBC from North Africa over the next two years, his voice again heard regularly on Canadian radio, filing reports for the CBC on the exploits of the “Desert Rats” of the British Army. He then briefly returned to Canada to write and publish his memoir, Ten Years to Alamein. In 1943, Halton ended his 12-year career with The Toronto Star and joined the CBC full-time as senior war correspondent and assigned to the CBC Overseas Unit in London. In this role, he covered all the major war events of the next two years, including the invasions of Sicily, Italy and Northwest Europe – where he filed reports from the D-Day beaches, as well as covering the ensuing grinding progress of Allied forces as they pushed the enemy back across France, Belgium and Holland and into Germany itself. His final reports from that front were from Berlin on VE Day, May 8th 1945. Matt’s choice of words in his reports, and the dramatic and almost poetic style with which he delivered them, struck a uniquely responsive chord in the ears of all Canadians who listened to him on the CBC and brought home to them the stark realities of the drama which was unfolding before his eyes. For his unparalleled work as a war correspondent during WW2 he was awarded a bar to his OBE in 1945.

Matt stayed on in London after the war as the CBC’s senior foreign correspondent reporting on the general conditions of post-war Europe, contributing British, European and African stories to many radio programs, including Capital Report, News Round-Up and Report on Britain. The BBC also used him on several British radio series. For the CBC he covered both the funeral of King George VI and the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. He proved as adept at reporting on British elections and political clashes between continental countries as he had been in bringing the war home to Canadian listeners. His travels took him all across Europe in pursuit of stories; in 1954 he covered the Summit Conference in Geneva, and in 1955 Matthew was out on the Gold Coast of Africa, producing a radio documentary for the CBC.
Matthew Halton died in a London hospital in December 3rd, 1956, some months after undergoing stomach surgery. He was 52 years old.

Geoffrey Sandford Cox: 1910, Daily Express

Geoffrey Sandford Cox, the son of a bank manager, was born in Palmerston North, New Zealand, on 7th April 1910. He grew up in Invercargill and was educated at Southland Boys' High School before entering the University of Otago where he completed an M.A. in History. In 1932 Cox won a Rhodes scholarship to Oriel College. He then spent three years at Oxford University. During his first year at Oriel, in 1932, Cox made his first trip to Russia and Germany. In 1934 he was invited by a German student to see what life was like in Nazi Germany and as a result "Cox served for three weeks in the Arbeitsdienst, the Nazi youth service, draining marshes and drilling with spades instead of guns" and attending the Nazi Party’s Nuremberg Rally. In his memoirs, Cox reflects on the wartime fate of men he shared songs with at the Labour Camp: “I thought I should counter [the seamen's ballads and hiking songs] with some Antipodean culture, so I taught them a Maori haka. They took readily to its drilled, rhythmic gestures and its full-throated chants ... I have since wondered whether fate decreed that any of those who chanted or watched the haka that night were later, as soldiers in Crete, the Western Desert, the Baltic States or Poland, to hear its like roared out in reality as the Maori Battalion came towards them.”

In his memoir of Europe in the 1930s, Eyewitness, he write that it was his experiences in the Arbeitsdienst and an article he wrote on these that was published in The New York Times and The Spectator.that provided him with an entry into journalism, leading to him joining the News Chronicle. The following year he was sent to Spain to cover the Spanish Civil War. The News Chronicle’s correspondent in Madrid, Dennis Weaver, had been captured by Franco’s forces and Cox, because he was still relatively new to journalism was given the opportunity to go to Madrid. According to Paul Preston, the author of We Saw Spain Die: Foreign Correspondents in the Spanish Civil War (2008): "He (Cox) was chosen because his paper did not want to risk losing a more celebrated reporter when the city fell." Cox arrived in Madrid on 29th October 1936 and ably covered the conflict from late October to mid-December 1936. Cox was grateful that experienced journalist, William Forrest, looked after him in Spain. He later recalled how the "small open-faced Glaswegian, with a quiet, wry manner." taught him to "give colour to a story by the deft inclusion of a picturesque detail." Cox was surprised by the freedom given to journalists: "we were free to go where we would - or where we dared."

On the 1st November 1936, 25,000 Nationalist troops under General José Enrique Varela had reached the western and southern suburbs of Madrid. Five days later he was joined by General Hugo Sperrle and the Condor Legion. This began the attack on Madrid that was to last for nearly three years. Francisco Largo Caballero and his government decided to leave on 6th November, 1936. This decision was criticized by the four anarchists in his cabinet who regarded leaving the capital as cowardice. At first they refused to go but were eventually persuaded to move to Valencia with the rest of the government. Another journalist, Rubio Hidalgo, chief of the Republican Foreign Ministry censorship bureau, offered to take Cox to Valencia by car. However, Cox refused: "I could validly argue that my work could now be better done from Valencia, that even if I witnessed the fall of the city Franco's censors would never allow me to send out the story, that I might find myself for several weeks in a Franco gaol. But I opted to stay. I did so less from a journalistic desire to cover the big story than from the feeling that history was about to be made, and I had the chance to witness it."

Francisco Largo Caballero appointed General José Miaja as commander of the Republican Army in Madrid. He was given instructions to set up a Junta de Defensa (Defence Council), made up of all the parties of the Popular Front, and to defend Madrid "at all costs". He was aided by his chief of staff, Vicente Rojo. Paul Preston has pointed out that as a result of this decision "Cox was able to secure the scoop of announcing to the world the arrival in Madrid of what he called the International Column of Anti-Fascists. The first units of the International Brigades reached Madrid on 8th November. Led by the Soviet General, Emilo Kléber, the 11th International Brigade was to play an important role in the defence of the city. The Thaelmann Battalion, a volunteer unit that mainly consisted of members of the German Communist Party and the Communist Party of Great Britain, was also deployed to defend the city.

Immediately after he returned to England from covering the “Battle for Madrid”, Cox had found that more senior journalists were now clamoring for the opportunity. Realising that he would not be sent back in the short term, Cox sat down and wrote a book covering the period, the “Defence of Madrid”. His eyewitness report, first published in early 1937, has become one of the classic accounts of the Spanish Civil War. It was recently republished in a new edition by Otago University Press on the 70th anniversary of the battle. The “Defence of Madrid” is a brilliantly vivid account of daily life in the city as Franco’s Nationalist army began battle the Loyalist’ troops in October 1936. Franco was held back by the fierce resistance of the Republican militia and indeed, at this stage except for Seville no other major city had been taken from the Republican forces.

Image sourced from: http://www.otago.ac.nz/press/gfx/newboo ... madrid.jpg
“The Defence of Madrid” by Geoffrey Cox

Cox writes a myriad of stories of his approximate eight week stint in the city, of the characters that were part of everyday life, of the bombardment that shocked citizens into rallying and the horrors of the killings and maiming from those shells. He tells of the heroics of the International Brigade who were immediately thrown into the frontline at the city’s University where the fighting raged; how the Brigade marches through Madrid, and of the people coming out in their thousands to line the Gran Via to welcome them. The International Brigades get a long mention in the book. Germans from Nazi work camps, Italians disillusioned with Mussolini’s Fascism, French leftists, IRA members fighting alongside ex-British officers from the First World War. Cox gives us a sense of the commitment and comradeship of these volunteers regardless of nationality and gender.

Cox builds us slowly to the fight. His chapters, which are short and powerful, tell us that buses and trams, ran on time, that the underground trains ran beyond Franco’s frontline and that generally, life continues as it always has except now and again the sound of gunshots ring out on cold dark nights. People getting on with their jobs, journalists are drinking in the best hotels and telling each other stories of the frontline, prostitutes are plying their trade, life was pretty normal. But as Franco’s troops begin to move more and more steadily inwards, the fighting heats up, propaganda from both sides is either dropped from the sky or posted on walls. Fifth columnists are within the city walls, suspicion is rife and food becomes scarce. Then the bombs drop on Madrid from nationalist bombers. Franco’s Generals maintained they were only after military targets such as the Telefonica tower and Government buildings. Cox witnessed otherwise. He sent over some vivid despatches of the outcome of the bombing that can be read at the back of the book.

He describes women and children torn apart by shrapnel. How two women were standing next to each other, a shell hitting one literally ripping her from limb to limb, whilst the other was unscathed. How a militia entered a café with two small unexploded shells and began to toss them around in front of terrified customers. Each chapter describes a different slice of activity in Madrid under siege, and of the bravery of ordinary working class men and women who stood with their ideals and their Russian-supplied guns against the Spanish Nationalist forces attacking them. Of the heroics and humour that got them through their struggle to defend the city. The book is a tribute to those that fought and died in the conflict and is written from Cox’s point of view, supporting the Republicans, the “anti-fascists”, communists, anarchists and liberals alike. Cox pulls together his despatches to his newspaper and neatly ties them in to a narrative of a city under attack and holding out – barely..

The publishing of the book ed to an offer from Arthur Christiansen to join the Daily Express as a foreign correspondent. Cox then worked in Vienna and Paris before covering the Anschluss in Austria in 1938. Cox was in Czechoslovakia when Hitler took the Sudetenland. He was also in Finland when the Red Army invaded in November 1939. Returning to France he was one of the last reporters to leave the country before the German Army arrived. In late 1940 he joined the New Zealand 2nd Division and was appointed as chief intelligence officer to the Divisional Commander, General Bernard Freyberg. In 1941 he compiled four issues of a newspaper for New Zealand soldiers in Crete and published “The Red Army Moves”, his account of Russia's invasion of Finland. He served in Greece, Crete, Libya and at Monte Cassino. In 1943 he took part in the Pacific War Council that was attended by Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt. He then spent two years representing New Zealand in Washington.

Image sourced from: http://khakiliterature.com/images/KL_C/Cox_RedArmy.jpg
In “The Red Army Moves”, 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.

The book is ''objective", 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. Cox began writing the book when he first returned from Finland, with a great part of it written in Brussels in April and early May, while he waited for the blitzkrieg against the Low Countries to begin. One copy of the manuscript was 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 Cox left his luggage during the Flanders campaign.

He finished the book in England after France had fallen. Writing the 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.

Image sourced from: http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/files/style ... ey-cox.jpg
Geoffrey Sandford Cox: His extensive writings include: Defence of Madrid (1937), The Red Army Moves (1941), The Road to Trieste (1947) and in the years that followed, A Tale of Two Battles (1987), Countdown to War (1988), Pioneering TV News (1995) and lastly “Eyewitness: A Memoir of Europe in the 1930s” (1999). To write this memoir, Cox drew on letters he wrote to his parents, “intermittent diary notes”, accounts he had written of particular incidents and events and articles he had written as a journalist. It is a dynamic account of events in Europe as he witnessed them, but also one written with the benefit of hindsight.

Though Cox returned to print journalism after the war Cox turned down an invitation from his employer, Lord Beaverbrook, to become a Daily Express leader writer. He later explained his decision: "I had not become a journalist in order to tell other people what they should do. I was... not a preacher or advocate. I wanted to tell other people what was happening in the world about them and leave them to make up their own minds." Cox now became political correspondent for the News Chronicle before working as a news reporter for the BBC but he also had an eye on a new medium - television. In 1956 he was appointed editor and chief executive of the news service of Independent Television News (ITN) in the UK. One of the pioneers of the industry, Robin Day, described Cox as "the best television journalist we have ever known in Britain". It has been argued: "At the time ITV was on the verge of collapse. Aidan Crawley, ITN's first editor (and, somewhat incidentally, husband of Virginia Cowles), had resigned in a row over budget cuts, and journalistic talent was drifting to the BBC. Cox soon began to prove himself as a pioneer in developing TV news in Britain. His achievement was to spot the appeal of a news service that would present complex issues in a fair and balanced way."

Cox wrote of this stage of his career in See It Happen - The Making of ITN (1983) and Pioneering Television News (1995). He is credited as a pioneer in the development of television news in Britain, in particular for the introduction of half-hour long news bulletins (Cox campaigned for a half-hour news programme in prime time in place of the traditional, 14-minute bulletin. Eventually he won the argument and News at Ten started on 3rd July, 1967). In 1968 Cox become deputy chairman of Yorkshire Television. He later became chairman of Tyne Tees Television, and of LBC, the London commercial radio station. In 1966 Cox was knighted for services to journalism. In 2000 was appointed a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to New Zealand and its interests in the United Kingdom. Sir Geoffrey Sandford Cox died on 2nd April 2008, just days before his 98th birthday. The obituaries highlighted his role as a TV trailblazer but they also drew attention to his role as an eyewitness to the momentous events that occurred in Europe during the 1930s and 1940s.

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Re: What If-Finland had been prepared for the Winter War?

Post by CanKiwi2 » 12 Sep 2012 16:09

Leland Stowe of the Chicago Daily News

Leland Stowe (November 10, 1899 - January 16, 1994) was born in Connecticut. After graduating from Wesleyan University in 1921, he started working as a journalist and became a foreign correspondent in Paris in 1926 for the New York Herald Tribune. He won a Pulitzer Prize in 1930 for his coverage of the Paris Reparations Conference. In the summer of 1933, Stowe visited Nazi Germany. Shocked by its militarism, he wrote a series of critical articles that were not published as the articles were seen as too alarmist. Stowe published the articles in a book, “Nazi Germany Means War”; it was, however, not a success. He also reported extensively on the Spanish Civil War.

When World War II started in Europe in 1939, he left the Herald tribune and worked as a war correspondent for the Chicago Daily News and the New York Post. Stowe was a runner-up for a second Pulitzer Prize in 1940 for his coverage of the Russo-Finnish Winter War. In an article he wrote on the Red Army in 1943, he mentions the Winter War: “The Russian forces started in Finland in low gear, with inferior equipment and very spotty leadership. I saw the first Russian prisoners taken by the Finns on the Karelian Isthmus, and they were poorly-clad and ill-equipped. That condition did not continue. Only three weeks later at Tolvajaervi I saw hundreds of frozen corpses of an utterly different, first-class Russian division. From that time through the remainder of the Finnish war the caliber of Soviet troops was maintained at a high level. Officials in Helsinki believed that Soviet Russia, misled by the reports of their agents from inside Finland, had expected the Finnish Government to capitulate without a fight. Later in Moscow I saw indications that the Russians had counted on securing Finnish bases without actually going to war and had found themselves compelled to use force before they were completely prepared. That fact, I believe, chiefly explains the early setbacks of the Red Army in Finland -- plus, of course, the superb all-round quality of the Finnish officers and soldiers and the terrible cold of the winter of 1939-40….”

Leland Stowe greatly admired the Finns and the fight that Finland put up against the USSR. His articles filed from Finland, and his many pleas for support for Finland reflected this, as did his later criticisms of Norway and Sweden (illustrated in the article below from 1941), especially when he compares them to Finland as he does in this article. (Note that I have modified this somewhat – for those interested, the link to the original and unmodified article here http://fultonhistory.com/newspaper%2011 ... 00930.pdf).

LELAND STOWE Writes: “Twilight of the Swedes: They Played Safe”, New York Evening Post, early 1941

“When I look at Sweden, I think of a people who put their trust in pacifism rather than preparedness, a people who had never been taught that if you want freedom you must be ready, first and foremost, to defend it yourself. When I think of Finland I think of the gallant three million. I think of a little people who have fought giants all down the centuries and are alive and free today because they have always known how to die. The Finns have always known there is only one road to freedom.

These thoughts of mine are merely outgrowths of the record of events in these three northern countries, Norway, Sweden and Finland, since the European war began: the inevitable crystallization of what I have seen, heard and experienced there. They are not things of my own making, but rather things which have been done to me. That is why some of them are painful and sharp with disillusionment. Like most Americans, I had always regarded Norway and Sweden as the well-nigh perfect democracies. I had always admired their progressive social legislation, their cleanliness and industry, their enlightened relations between capital and labor—all these so much more advanced than in most other countries.

In Oslo, last April, I saw Norway's capital occupied by 1,400 Nazi infantrymen without a hand being lifted or a boo being uttered among more than 30,000 Osloans, nearly half of them men of military age, who lined the streets, looking on. Everything we saw during the next four days was painful in the extreme. The people were dazed and bewildered. They seemed to forget that part of their army, still true to traditions of long ago, was fighting desperately and bravely only 60 miles to the northward. Certainly there were many courageous Norwegians, but there were many others who never dreamed of the necessity of fighting for anything. Like the Swedes, they had had more than 100 years uninterrupted peace. Their socialist governments had always belittled the idea of strong national defense forces. They had placed social security far above national security. More than that, they believed in the immunity of geography. When Norwegians talked about the North Sea they sounded as many Americans do today when they talk about the Atlantic Ocean being 3,000 miles wide which it was until a few decades ago. Now it is less than 24 hours wide. The Norwegians understand all about that now, after their own disaster and when it is too late.

It is not difficult to comprehend the unhappy fate of Norway and the self-interested policies followed by Sweden if you take note of certain coincidences. Both these countries had had too much peace and too little hardship (perhaps too little danger is a more accurate expression) throughout several successive generations. Pacifism was their passion and so, too, was material well-being. The USA of 1926-1929 was very much the same. In regard to their frailties Americans and Scandinavians seem to have had a great deal in common. Wouldn’t it be ironical, a few years from now, if some editor should be asking for an article entitled "The American Twilight."

Sourced from http://fultonhistory.com/newspaper%2011 ... 200930.pdf).
SOMEWHERE IN FINLAND the defenders take shelter as Soviet planes appear, according to the censor of this war-time picture. "I think of a little people who have fought giants all down the centuries," writes Stowe, "and they are alive today because they have always known how to die."

Nation Unprepared to Defend itself

As an observer, watching the grim steamroller of war roll toward and over the Scandinavians, it seemed to me that these people were spiritually unprepared for the dangerous life which an era of revolution imposes, whether you like it or not. The dangerous life lay in their distant past. They had made a fetish of material progress, or a high standard of living, a la Calvin Coolidge and most Americans of his epoch. Even more than in the matter of weapons, they were psychologically unprepared for self-defense. This was why the Norwegians could not react swiftly, nor close up their ranks in time. Their peasants and sailors wanted to fight. Many of their white-collar class, at least in Oslo, did not seem to know how. Today there can be no question about what Norwegians of all classes would do and want to do. But today it is too late. Even so, the record stands that many Norwegians fought gallantly and so long as there was any possibility. They were those who were equipped to fight, those who were not betrayed, and those who understood the issue from the very beginning. These are the men who will lead the battle another day for Norwegian freedom.

Looking out for Selves Swedes Chief Concern

When I think of Sweden I can think of few things to make me happy. I think of Sweden and I understand Col. Lindbergh rather too well. I remember a conversation with a Swedish businessman, on a train, just after leaving Finland at the end of January, 1940, for a few days' leave from the war. With absolute solemnity, the Swedish business man assured me that America ought to save the Scandinavians by sending 400 airplanes to Sweden at once and 200 to Finland. The Finns had been fighting with their backs to the wall for two months and Sweden wasn't fighting at all. Nevertheless, my train companion really thought that the Swedes ought to get twice as many American planes as the Finns. I remember this remark so vividly because it became symbolic of so much else that one encountered in Sweden. The Swedes were always taking care of Number One, somehow rather too obviously and vociferously. They also contributed most generously to the Finns, in money and war materials—a natural thing when the Finns alone were keeping Bolshevism away from the Swedish frontier. But the national policy could be summed up in the phrase “No War – Not a drop of Swedish blood.” Maybe you have heard that expressed somewhere before.

Well, the Swedes have got through so far without shedding any of their own blood, save that of a few thousand volunteers who went to Finland and died in magnificent protest against a national policy which they (the idealistic and the lion-hearted) felt was as short-sighted and blind as it was selfish. I know a few Swedes like that and I shall never forget them. Unfortunately, I met so many others who had gone flabby with peace and prosperity. It was a common thing in Stockholm, during the days when the best of the Norwegians were fighting a lost cause just over the mountains, to see Swedish males expand their chests and declare, "The Nazis will never touch us. They know what we'll do to them!" Once I took the wind completely out of a young officer by remarking, "If you Swedes are such great soldiers, why are you always talking about it. Look at the Finns, they’re fighting the Russians and they were still prepared to take on the Germans and protect the Finnmark in northern Norway." Suddenly he became thoughtful. It was a fact that these were the most panicky people I have ever met anywhere (although I must admit I wasn't able to visit Wall Street in 1929).

With this much for background, consider how the Scandinavians tried to escape the war and what happened. Finland was bleeding, and needed soldiers more than anything else. Britain and France were ready to send them, but Norway and Sweden were being strictly neutral. They wouldn't let Allied troops through Narvik. Then Norway's turn came, and the Allied divisions—which might already have been in Scandinavia—couldn't get there in time. . . .United we stand. Divided we fall. Fortunately for Finland, she got some assistance through Petsamo, but not the Divisions that might have saved Norway.

Sourced from http://fultonhistory.com/newspaper%2011 ... 200930.pdf
DINNER TIME in a Swedish day nursery. The policy of neutrality at all costs has not saved Sweden, writes Stowe. The Swedes are completely under the heel of Hitler.

Finland's Distress Call to Sweden: Send Two Divisions

A month before the Soviets hit the main Finnish defensive positions, the Mannerheim line, Finland appealed to Sweden for two further army divisions in addition to the single Division of Volunteers that had come to fight for Finland of their own accord. Naturally the Swedes were afraid of Germany. Even so, had they been bold, they could have sent two divisions and called them "volunteers" just as the Nazis and Fascists had done in Spain. That was early in February 1940. It is doubtful whether the Nazis would have attacked then. They were not ready to strike until April. Two Swedish divisions would have been of great help to Finland at the height of the struggle.

In Moscow, in May of this year (1941), my own convictions of the previous February were more than confirmed by observers who have lived in the Soviet Union for many years. They said that a decisive counter attack at that point in the Russo-Finnish war would have completely shattered Soviet communications and morale. Chaotic conditions would have paralyzed most of the country and Stalin's regime would have been shaken to its foundations. In any case, the Red Army and the Bolshevist system would have been so weakened they would have been removed as a menace for the duration of the European conflict. Two Swedish divisions would have paved the way for this, and perhaps even for a revolution against Stalinism in Russia. Had Norway and Sweden taken the bold course of Scandinavian unity the Bolshevist bugaboo would have been exploded, allied troops would have been located where Hitler could not have conquered Norway in a single blow—the blitzkrieg against Holland and Belgium would necessarily have been postponed—quite possibly France would remain unconquered today, and most of Scandinavia, in all probability, would still be free. Blood would have been shed in these countries, but their people would not now be enslaved or faced with slavery. Certainly the whole course of Europe's fight for freedom would have been changed. As it stands, Stalin is with us no more thanks to the Finns, but the Bolshevist system is still in place and Stalin has been replaced by men no less stained in blood, France has fallen and Britain fights on alone.

A Whole Nation Had a Horror of Going to War

In Sweden there were a great many, beginning with the royal family, who had a horror of combat above almost anything else. Most of those with influence insisted that Sweden must play safe: Swedes must never fight unless they were attacked. They must never fight, except on their own soil. They must not lose their heads over the sufferings of their next-door neighbors. So the Swedes kept their heads—and what have they gained? The policy of neutrality at all costs, of material aid and "everything short of war," has not saved Sweden. The luckless Swedes are now surrounded on three sides by armed Nazi divisions. Their country is shot through with Hitler agents, Nazi "businessmen" and Nazi Gestapo spies. No Swede can resist the demands of Nazi representatives and hope either to keep his position or to make any real business profits. Very few Swedes today can call their souls their own. They are completely under the heel of Hitler.

Swedish "Independence" is a hollow sepulcher.

Sweden will be swallowed up gradually, at the whims or convenience of the new masters of Europe. Latest information from Stockholm assures me there is a great bandwagon rush toward "realism" among Swedish leaders today. "Realism" means playing partners with Nazi gangsterism. It means compromise with terrorism, resignation to fear, abjection before brutality and a way of life based upon falsehoods, abdication to the lowest instincts and practices of human beings. Yet there now remains scarcely any other alternative for the Swedes—unless they want to he martyrs. If they had been made of that kind of stuff, how could they have waited so long?

In brief outline this is the tragedy of the Scandinavian peoples. I have summarized it without emotion and with all the restraint that the facts will permit. The picture of Sweden is not a pleasant one, but I did not paint it. It has been painted by Swedish actions and words. You can understand how it happened. You can pity the Swedes but that sentiment is one of the saddest things on earth to be forced to feel toward any people. This is why I would rather not return there for a long time. It would be too unbearably sad.

Fate of Swedes A Lesson for America

Nevertheless, if there is a great and overwhelmingly important lesson for Americans anywhere in Europe today, it is to be found among the shades of the Vikings and in the torturing twilight of the Scandinavian countries. Some day they will have another dawn — provided they learn by bitter experience and provided they come to believe that dawn is something worth fighting for. Some day - provided Britain is not permitted to go down. But the Norwegians and the Swedes are not far away from the American people. They are very much like us in many respects. They honestly believed they could remain free, alone and all by themselves. They liked to think that their favorable geographic position had protected them from invasion for over 100 years, and therefore it would protect them just as adequately in an era when airplanes have made ponds out of both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

Sourced from http://fultonhistory.com/newspaper%2011 ... 200930.pdf
STOWE WRITES: "The Swedes have got through so far without shedding any of their own blood, save that of a few volunteers who went to Finland and died in magnificent protest against a national policy." Above is shown a ski troop composed of volunteers from Sweden and America.

The Scandinavians believed wholeheartedly in material well being, in social insurance and sensible labor laws and public hygiene. They believed in clean bodies, and forgot about fighting hearts — or made them entirely secondary in their education. They watched Hitler's expert propagandists and foreign agents boring from within, using the oldest bolshevik technique, all over Europe and in their own lands. But they chose to believe, as one young Swede expressed it to me, that "no Swede would ever betray his country." He might as well have said that no Swede or no human being anywhere loves money. So long as there are greed and selfishness and overweening ambition, treason will remain a powerful political factor throughout the world. Hitler is intelligent, he knows that very well.

Nation Being Conquered from Within

Sweden possessed good weapons and quite a strong army for the size of her population, but she didn't use her army and now she is being conquered from within. You cannot keep "realism" or "being sensible" or "adjustment to the new era” out of any country regardless of its size, with 60-ton tanks— even a million of them. You cannot bar treason with 16 inch guns or with thousands of flying fortresses. Sweden's frontiers are still technically inviolate, yet she now has parliamentary government only by sufferance. One of these days that, too will disappear, falling, falling to earth with the empty shell of what was once Scandinavian freedom. The Swedes played it safe or did they play directly into the hands of the expert propagandist poisoners of Hitler, Goebbels and Hiinmler?

The Scandinavians had a great and splendid idea, the idea o£ a progressive democracy. They showed what liberal parliamentary government could do for the material well-being of their citizens. But they got self-satisfied and somewhat fleshy! They were very human. They forgot that an idea, if it is great, must be worth living for and worth dying for. They forgot that until it was too late. That is why twilight has fallen over Scandinavia, as it may yet fall over America.

What About The Finns?

What about the Finns? They had the will to fight and to die when necessary, they won their war and they won a victory that will live forever. And now, unasked, of their own accord, they protect the Finnmark region of Norway and have pledge, without being asked, that if Sweden is attacked, the entire might of the Finnish military will come to the assistance of Sweden, unconditionally. There is no twilight in Finland. That’s all.”

The above article was published in the New York Evening Post in early 1941, well before Pearl Harbor, while the USA was still a neutral bystander in WW2 and before the German attack on the USSR. At the time the article was written, Britain fought on alone against Germany, continental Europe was ruled or controlled by Germany, a neutral Sweden was cowed by the German Reich and Finland alone stood free and undefeated, having signed a peace agreement with the Soviet Union

Photo sourced from: http://pictures.historicimages.net/pict ... 601018.jpg
Reporter Leland Stowe in 1944

He happened to be in Oslo on April 9, 1940 and therefore witnessed the German invasion, as well as the general confusion within the Norwegian forces, administration, and Allied Expeditionary Forces. Stowe "revealed the collaboration of Norwegian Vidkun Quisling in helping the Nazis seize Oslo without a shot." Stowe's critical reportage was claimed to be one of the influences that helped bring down Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain in the United Kingdom. His writings also gave the Norwegian government-in-exile considerable problems as they tried to organise the resistance after Norway had been occupied. In 1942 Stowe as a war correspondent visited Moscow and traveled to the front lines of the still retreating troops of the USSR. His travel companion and guide was Ilya Ehrenburg, a Russian-Jewish war journalist.

Stowe's book “They Shall Not Sleep” gives a rare insider view of an American journalist with the Soviet Army, and the events of the war from the Soviet side of the front. Stowe kept on working as a correspondent during the war, covering 44 countries on four continents. In mid-1944, Leland Stowe would again return to Finland from where he would cover the Finnish/Polish/Allied invasion of Estonia and the progress of the combined forces down the Baltic peripheral and through northern Poland into Germany. The sights he saw as he accompanied the Allied Army through the Baltic States, the evidence of both Soviet and Nazi atrocities and terror visited on the hapless peoples of the Baltic States and Poland, would lead to his becoming a firm opponent of Communism as well as of the Nazi’s.

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“They Shall Not Sleep” by Leland Stowe

After the war, Stowe became the director of Radio Free Europe's News and Information Service. In 1955, he became a Professor of journalism at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. During his tenure, he alternated between teaching one semester each academic year and working as an editor and staff writer for Reader's Digest. He taught at the university until he retired in 1970, after which he was a Professor Emeritus of Journalism. He remained in Ann Arbor until his death. In addition to the Pulitzer Prize, Stowe also received the Legion d’Honneur. the Military Cross of Greece, and honorary degrees from Harvard University, Wesleyan, and Hobart College, amongst other honors.
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Re: What If-Finland had been prepared for the Winter War?

Post by CanKiwi2 » 13 Sep 2012 15:24

Mabel Thérèse Bonney: Free lancer, Finnish Government

Thérèse Bonney (born Mabel Bonney, Syracuse, New York, July 15, 1894 - Paris, France, January 15, 1978) was an American photographer and publicist. Bonney‘s family had lived in New York State for several generations. Her mother, Addie Robey, was a bookkeeper and her father, Anthony Leroy Bonney, was an electrician. Her sister Louise was born in 1889. The family moved to California circa 1903, living first in Sacramento and then in Oakland. The family made sacrifices to educate their daughters; Therese also contributed by tutoring students at her Oakland high school in French and Spanish to earn money. Bonney received a bachelor-of-arts degree from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1916 and it was at this point in her life that she stopped using Mabel and began going by Therese. After graduation, she made the move back east alone, attending graduate school first at Radcliffe College in Cambridge, Massachusetts where she earned a Master’s Degree in Romance Languages and then at Columbia University to prepare for her Ph.D. Bonney obtained her first position with the Theatre du Vieux Columbier, on tour in North America. When Louise joined her sister, the two opened a French theater bookshop while Therese doubled as the official English translator of Sarah Bernhardt’s repertory.

At the first opportunity, months after war in Europe ended, Bonney was en route to France as a representative of the American Association of Colleges to set up a student exchange program. She settled in Paris and studied at the Sorbonne from 1918–19, publishing a thesis on the moral ideas in the theater of Alexandre Dumas, père, receiving a docteur-des-lettres degree in 1921 after passing her exam with the highest honors, and thus became the youngest person, the fourth woman, and the tenth American of either sex to receive the degree from the institution. She was also the first American to receive a scholarship from the Sorbonne. After her graduation she was awarded multiple scholastic honors, including the Horatio Stebbins Scholarship, The Belknap, Baudrillart, Billy Fellowships, and later (in 1936) the Carl Schurz Memorial Foundation Oberländer grant in order to study Germany's contributions to the history of photography.

Even though she had initially wanted to be an academic, her experiences in Europe caused her to change her plans. It was also now her goal to help develop cultural relations between the United States and France. In the years following her graduate studies she helped to establish the Red Cross' correspondence exchange between the children of Europe and the children of the United States. She also traveled throughout all of Europe lecturing and helping to organize Junior Red Cross groups in other countries. It was also during this time that Bonney became interested in journalism and the power of the media. She had assimilated herself deeply into French society and, based in Paris as she was, she soon became a correspondent for newspapers in the U.S., Britain, and France, taking up photography to provide her own illustrations. From 1923-1928, she served as Paris fashion editor for the New York Times.

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The studio apartment of graphic artist Jean Carlu was an early example of Bonney’s work, displaying her ability to encapsulate several trends in one shot.

Her signature achievement was the creation of the Bonney Service (1923), the first American illustrated press service, specializing in design and architecture, eventually supplying 350+ photos a month for publication in more than 20 countries. When Bonney had to hire additional photographers, rumors began to circulate that she couldn't do her own work. She was also criticized for promoting her own work. From ca. 1925, she thoroughly documented the French decorative arts through photography. An ardent self-publicist, Bonney acquired the images directly from the Salon exhibitions, stores, manufacturers, architects, and designers of furniture, ceramics, jewelry, and other applied art as well as architecture. However, at this time, most of the photographs were not taken by Bonney herself, but rather she gathered them from sources such as other photographers, photo agencies (such as Charles Chusseau-Flaviens, architects, designers, stores, and various establishments. She sold the photographic prints to various client-subscribers primarily in the U.S. (a small-effort precursor to today's illustrated news agency) and charged fees for reproduction rights in a more traditional manner. She typed captions and glued them to the backs of the photographic prints. Her own photographs as well as those of others, sometimes used without permissions, were widely published — both with and without published credits.

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Bonney used her position to disseminate what she considered the best modern design. Consider the architect Robert Mallet-Stevens (1886-1945) whose work was equally influential during the interwar years as that of Le Corbusier. Founder of La gazette des 7 Arts in 1924, his total design work in the rue Mallet-Stevens, including a villa for the design duo of Jan and Joel Martel compares more than favorably with the bleak urbanism of Le Corbusier. Unfortunately, for his posthumous reputation, Mallet-Stevens ordered that his papers be burned after his death while his rival promoted the myth of Le Corbusier, the prophet of modern design. (That's Joel Martel photographed in front of Villa Martel. The cat in the photo below at the building’s entrance remains anonymous.)

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The cat in the photo below at the building’s entrance remains anonymous.

A tireless promoter of modern design, Bonney arranged an exhibition of Modern French Decorative Art at Lord & Taylor in New York (1928) and several traveling exhibitions that appeared at the Metropolitan Museum and the National Gallery in Washington, D.C. In 1929 Therese Bonney added writing books to her list of accomplishments, writing a series of guidebooks which she prepared in collaboration with her sister Louise Bonney. These books included such titles as Buying Antique and Modern Furniture in Paris, A Shopping Guide to Paris and a Guide to the Restaurants of Paris. She also beat Julia Child by decades with her book French Cooking for American Kitchens. About her native country, Bonney wrote: “our furniture and our homes are of the past.” She was well-placed to know: Paris in the inter-war years incubated almost every significant design trend of the 20th century. Bonney was also a sought after model. She was "acclaimed as the most perfect da Vinci model in the world." (Syracuse Herald) and modeled for artists in France and Spain. She also attended the 1930 "Stockholmsutstäliningen" (Stockholm Exhibition) and gathered photographs there and, while in the Netherlands, collected images of contemporary Dutch architecture.

In 1932, an exhibition of photographs from her personal collection was displayed at the George Petit gallery in Paris under the title "Gay Nineties". It later made its way to New York, along with various other Midwestern American cities. This exhibition showed the lives of all classes of people around Europe, but most notably the royalty. It was noted as an important collection preserving elements of the social history of Edwardian Europe, providing, among other things, a record of Victorian fashion. It brought Bonney a great deal of notice. After her tour ended in 1933 the exhibition was published as "Remember When". Her exhibition had made Bonney a well known figure in the art community in America. In 1935 she took a position as the director of a gallery of French art in Rockefeller Center. She took the job because she felt it was another way for her to foster better cultural relations between France and America. At this time Bonney was becoming upset with the poor quality and lack of dramatic content in the pictures which her agency's photographers were bringing to her. She decided that if she wanted it done her way she would have to do it herself and promptly set off to take photographs herself.

In 1939 Bonney finally took the world stage in photography to become a truly prominent photo journalist. Her first work was a “behind the scenes look at The Vatican". While many other journalists at this time were in the Balkans or elsewhere in Europe, Bonney went to Finland intending to photograph preparations for the Olympics. She was in Finland when the Russians invaded and stayed for the early part of the Winter War working as a photojournalist, with many of her images focusing on the impact of the war on civilians. Her photo documentation of the Russo-Finnish war gained world wide recognition and was recognized at the time by the Finnish government and people, being awarded the Order of the White Rose of Finland.

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Therese Bonney with the Finnish Army in early 1940. Note the Pentax Camera (note also the medal that Bonney has pinned on her jacket)

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Kvinna med barn i Finland ca 1940. Fotograf: Thérèse Bonney. Svartvitt foto, u å. Museiverket Helsingfors / Woman with child in Finland, approx 1940. Photographer: Thérèse Bonney. Black and white photo, National Board of Antiquities, Helsinki

Image sourced from: http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/wcf/images/wcf006.jpg
Therese Bonney – “The Day Peace Came to Finland” – from the 1940 exhibition, “Those to Whom Wars Are Done”

Bonney remained in Finland for the duration of the Winter War. She was appointed the official photographer of the military headquarters of the Finnish Army and was given full privileges in the war zone. She was one of a very few foreign journalists who were permitted to accompany the Finnish Army into the Finnmark region of Norway when the Finns intervened after the German invasion and the British and French also landed forces. When the Winter War ended, she photographed the arrival in Finland of Karelians and Ingrians deported from the USSR and their resettlement, together with the rebuilding of the large areas of the Isthmus that had been devastated in the fighting. In late 1940 she returned to America. Her exhibition “Those to Whom Wars Are Done,” showing the impact which the war was having on the common people in Europe, appeared at the Library of Congress in late 1940, followed by “War Comes to the People” at the Museum of Modern Art.

Due to the emotional impact that these pictures had on the people in America and their value as primary historical documents, the Carnegie Corporation of New York gave her a grant so that she might return to Europe to photograph the civilian population and illustrate the effects of the war on the innocent. In February 1941 she made her way back to Europe, making her way first through Portugal and Spain where she found that the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War had brought starvation. Bonney moved on to unoccupied France and once again took up her efforts with the Red Cross' relief efforts. From 1941 through 1942 she continued taking pictures throughout Europe along with assisting the Red Cross, and in October of 1943 an exhibit was set up for the benefit of the Coordinating Council of French Relief Societies Inc. showcasing pictures that would soon become the content of her most famous book, “Europe's Children”. Ten different publishers turned it down so Bonney published it herself. When the initial stock of two thousand copies sold out, Duell, Sloan and Pearce picked it up for publication. Upon her return home in the United States she was asked by reporters what she wanted to do next. To this she responded that she would like to go to Africa to photograph more wars.

Bonney would not get this opportunity. However, she would find wars to photograph again, returning to Finland in early 1944 where she followed the Finnish/Polish/Allied Army southwards through the Baltic States, into Poland and thence into Germany. The end result would several photo-essays and Bonney becoming the subject of the 1944 True Comics issue, "Photofighter."

Image sourced from: http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/wcf/images/wcf015a.jpg
“Photofighter” – Therese Bonney

Toward the end of her life, Bonney donated her estate of furniture to her alma mater in Berkeley, California, and photographs and negatives — many of which were duplicates of one another — to a number of other institutions in the U.S. and France. In France, approximately 3,000 of her existing negatives are part of the collection of the Caisse Nationale des Monuments Historique et des Sites (CHMHS), formerly stored in Paris and today in St. Cloud. (In 2000, the CHMHS became the Centre des monuments nationaux [CMN]). The CHMHS archive has been digitally copied to save the images, due to the deteriorating negatives. Approximately 2,000 negatives and 1,500 prints are a part of the collection of the Bibliothèque historique de la ville de Paris and 3,000 negatives exist in the Fort de Saint-Cyr, Montigny-le-Bretonneux (Yvelines). In the U.S., approximately 4,000 vintage photographic prints were donated to the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum in New York City. Her extensive collection of World War II photographs, photographic portraits of designers and architects, paintings by 20th-century artists, and her furniture (including examples by Pierre Chareau) was donated to the library of University of California, Berkeley.

Some 6,200 photographs are held by the Photography Collection of the New York Public Library, including large numbers of images from Finland and the Winter War. The CNMHS and the Cooper-Hewitt collections are accessible; the University of California's is not.

Therese Bonney died at the age of 83 on January 23, 1978 in an American hospital in Paris.
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Re: What If-Finland had been prepared for the Winter War?

Post by CanKiwi2 » 17 Sep 2012 15:41

Giles Samuel Romilly, Daily Express

Giles Samuel Bertram Romilly, (September 19, 1916 – August 2, 1967), was a journalist, Nazi POW and nephew of Winston Churchill (his mother Nellie was the sister of Winston Churchill’s wife, Clementine). Romilly was born in Huntingdon Park in Herefordshire, the son of Colonel Bertram Romilly, a soldier with a distinguished record in World War I and governor of Galilee in 1919–20, when the country was under British military government, before it came under the British Mandate of Palestine. Giles was educated at Wellington College where he and his brother Esmond refused to join the Officers' Training Corps, distributed communist and pacifist leaflets in the school and began publishing a left-wing journal, “Out of Bounds: Public Schools' Journal Against Fascism, Militarism and Reaction”. In the first issue Romilly stated that the journal would "openly champion the forces of progress against the forces of progress against the forces of reaction on every front, from compulsory military training to propagandist teaching." The journal soon had a circulation of over 3,000 copies.

In 1934 the Daily Mail wrote an article about the activities of the Romilly brothers under the headline: "Red Menace in Public Schools! Moscow Attempts to Corrupt Boys". Soon afterwards the two brothers ran away from school. Esmond went to work for a Communist bookshop in London. He also established a centre for other boys who had run away or had been expelled from public schools. Esmond was was eventually arrested and after his mother had told the judge that he was uncontrollable, he was sentenced to a six-week term in a Remand Home for delinquent boys. On his release, Giles and Esmond wrote and published a book about the experience, Out of Bounds: The Education of Giles and Esmond Romilly (1935).The book received good reviews and the Observer commented on its "considerable intelligence, modesty, and tolerance, a series of clear, humorous, and lively pictures of schools, boys, masters and parents".

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Esmond Marcus Romilly and Giles Samuel Bertram Romilly, 1934, London (National Portrait Gallery)

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Giles Samuel Bertram Romilly aged 18 years, Photo by Howard Coster, 1934, National Portrait Gallery, London

Esmond moved to London, working in a communist bookshop and founding a centre for other boys who had "escaped" from public schools. His activities at such a young age, of turning his back on class privilege so ostentatiously, won the attention of the newspapers, eager to report on the doings of Winston Churchill's "red nephew". As the political situation across Europe continued to polarise, Romilly's anti-fascism clashed increasingly with his pacifism. The outbreak of Spanish Civil War decided him. He bicycled to Marseille and joined the International Brigades, where he and other British volunteers were thrown into the defence of Madrid as a machine-gun section with the German Thaelmann Battalion. Almost all his companions were killed; he was invalided out with dysentery, and sent back to Britain to recover.

While recuperating, he met and fell in love with his second cousin, Jessica Mitford (“Decca”), all the more ardent an anti-fascist for her elder sisters' strong Nazi sympathies (Diana married Oswald Mosley, leader of the British Union of Fascists, and Unity was a friend of Adolf Hitler). He had an offer from the News Chronicle to return to Spain as their correspondent and she accompanied him. Their grand scheme was soon exposed and newspaper readers familiar with headlines describing Esmond as "Churchill's Red Nephew" now found a tasty bit of scandal added to the tale, as editor's speculated on the whereabouts of Esmond and Jessica, a peer's daughter. A Royal Navy destroyer was supposedly sent at the request of Anthony Eden, the Foreign Minister, to fetch her, but Decca loudly refused to leave Esmond's side. Esmond Romilly and Jessica Mitford, both 19, married in Bayonne, France, on 18 May 1937.

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Esmond Romilly and Jessica Mitford in Bayonne, France, May 1937

They returned to Britain, where Romilly joined the Labour Party and lived in the East End of London, then a poor working-class district. Their first daughter was born there, and died a few months later in a measles epidemic after which Esmond and Jessica moved to the United States, where Romilly picked up a variety of odd jobs: selling silk stockings door to door and setting up a bar in Miami.

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Esmond Romilly and Jessica “Decca” Mitford: “Decca makes a joke of everything, but she can be terribly arrogant and upper class and just freeze the marrow of people's bones when she wants to.” The account of their meeting and life together is well told in Decca's own book, “Daughters and Rebels”.

By contrast to his brother Esmond, Giles was rather more “conservative” (if that’s the right word) and went on to study at Oxford University. He cut short his study at Oxford to travel to Spain (the backcover to a book he wrote states that he fought in the Spanish Civil War) as a war correspondent in the Spanish Civil War over 1936 and 1937. He went to Spain with a friend, T. A. R. Hyndman and apparently fought at Brunete with the International Brigades. His experiences n Spain are described with some exaggerations and distortions in “Flannelled Fool: A Slice of Life in the Thirties” (1967) by T C Worsley. Worsley had been Romilly’s teacher at Wellington College. From 1938 he was the Daily Express correspondent in Stockholm and from there he went to Finland to cover the Winter War.

Image sourced from: http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/12433220
News article by Giles Romilly, Special Correspondent of the “Daily Express” as printed in “The Argus”, Melbourne, 13 March 1940

When Britain declared war on Germany in September 1939 Esmond Romilly was about to travel to Canada to volunteer for the Canadian Air Force when a telegram from his brother Giles reached him, asking him to join him in Helsinki. Giles, while he had been more or less a Communist sympathizer in Spain, was a man of strongly held and independent beliefs, as was his brother Esmond, and in Finland he saw a cause similar to Spain. He asked Esmond and Jessica to join him in Helsinki of they possibly could to help articulate the need for the Western democracies to support Finland as they had not supported Spain. Torn between enlistment and supporting Finland, Esmond at last telegrammed back his agreement after which he and Jessica made their way to Halifax. They managed to arrange passage on a Finnish ship heading for Lyngenfjiord with a cargo that largely consisted of munitions and explosives, arriving in Finland in January 1940.

Jessica’s arrival in Helsinki was news in itself. She had already made newspaper headlines with her elopement to Spain, now she was in Helsinki supporting the Finnish cause – a distinct contrast to two of her sisters, Diana the Fascist, wife of Oswald Mosley, and Unity, girlfriend of Hitler who had attempted to kill herself on the outbreak of war between Britain and Germany. Now here was Jessica, “the Communist Mitford” in Finland with her husband, actively supporting the Finnish fight against the Soviet Union. It was a story made for the British tabloid press and Jessica was certainly able to express her views articulately. Within days, she was on contract to the Manchester Guardian for whom she proceeded to write a series of “background” articles on Finland. Esmond meanwhile would enlist in the Finnish Air Force as a volunteer.

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Diana (left) and Unity (right) at the 1937 Nuremberg Rally

Jessica’s first article for the Manchester Guardian, written in February 1940 as the Red Army’s offensive on the Karelian Isthmus peaked and Red Army artillery found Viipuri in range.

“Only the Shells Whine” by Jessica Mitford, Special Correspondent to the Manchester Guardian, Viipuri, 28 February 1940

Every night, lying in bed in the Hotel in Viipuri, you can hear the artillery. Every night, it seems to draw closer. When the shells wake you, you think first that it is thunder. If they are not too close, you do not really wake. You know that in December and in January there were Russian planes flying over and dropping bombs, that all winter long there has been rationing of fuel and the days were cold and the nights were colder, you know that all these people have sons and husbands and sweethearts at the front somewhere. And now they are living in a city where you take your chances and hope your chances are good. People are being steadily evacuated but you have seen no panic, no hysteria, you have heard no hate talk. You know they have the kind of faith which makes courage and a fine future. You have no right to be disturbed. There are no lights anywhere and the city itself is quiet. The sensible thing is to go back to sleep.

Over February the Red Army drew closer and now it is different. You are more aware of the artillery, of the intermittent shelling of the city. At first the shells went over: you could hear the thud as they left the Red Army’s guns, a sort of groaning cough; then you heard them fluttering toward you. As they came closer the sound went faster and straighter and sharper and then, very fast, you heard the great booming noise when they hit. But now, for I don't know how long — because time didn't mean much — they had been hitting on the street in front of the hotel, and on the corner, and to the left in the side street. When the shells hit that close, it was a different sound. The shells whistled toward you — it was as if they whirled at you — faster than you could imagine speed, and, spinning that way, they whined: the whine rose higher and quicker and was a close scream — and then they hit and it was like granite thunder. There wasn't anything to do, or anywhere to go: you could only wait. But waiting alone in a room that got dustier and dustier as the powdered cobblestones of the street floated into it was pretty bad.

I went downstairs into the lobby, practicing on the way how to breathe. You couldn't help breathing strangely, just taking the air into your throat and not being able to inhale it. It seemed a little crazy to be living in a hotel, like a hotel in London or Paris, with a lobby and wicker chairs in the lounge, and signs on the door of your room telling you that they would press your clothes immediately and that meals served privately cost ten percent more, and meantime it was like a trench when they lay down an artillery barrage. The whole place trembled to the explosion of the shells. The concierge was in the lobby and he said, apologetically, "I regret this, Madame. It is not pleasant. I can guarantee you that the bombing in December and January was worse. However, it is regrettable."

I said yes, indeed, it was not very nice, was it? He said that perhaps if I did not want to go back to Helsinki I had better take a room in the back of the Hotel, which might be safer. On the other hand, the rooms were not so agreeable; there was less air. I said of course there wouldn't be so much air. Then we stood in the lobby and listened. You could only wait. All over Viipuri, for fifteen days now, people had been waiting. You waited for the shelling to start, and for it to end, and for it to start again. It came at any time, without warning and without purpose. Looking out the door, I saw people standing in doorways all around the square, just standing there patiently, and then suddenly a shell landed, and there was a fountain of granite cobblestones flying up into the air, and the silver lyddite smoke floated off softly.

A little Finnish man with heavy coat and too large boots and bright brown eyes was standing in the door watching this with interest. There was also no reason for the shells to stay out of the hotel. They could land inside that door as well as anywhere else. Another shell hit, halfway across the street, and a window broke gently and airily, making a lovely tinkling musical sound. I was watching the people in the other doorways, as best I could, watching those immensely quiet, stretched faces. You had a feeling you had been waiting here forever, and yesterday you felt the same way. The little Finn said to me, "You don't like it?"
"Nothing," he said. "It is nothing. It will pass. In any case, you can only die once."
"Yes," I said, but without enthusiasm.
We stood there a moment, and there was silence. Before this the shells had been falling once a minute.
"Well," he said. "I think that is all. I have work to do. I cannot spend my time waiting for shells. Goodbye," he said, and walked out calmly into the street, and calmly crossed it.

Seeing him, some other men decided the shelling was finished too, and presently people were crossing that square, which now was pock-marked with great round holes, and littered with broken cobblestones and glass. An old woman with a market basket on her arm hurried down a side street. And two boys came around the corner, arm in arm, singing. I went back to my room, and again suddenly there came that whistle-whine-scream-roar and the noise was in your throat and you couldn't feel or hear or think and the building shook and seemed to settle. Outside in the hall, the maids were calling to one another. The concierge ran upstairs looking concerned and shaking his head. On the floor above, we went into a room in which the lyddite smoke still hung mistily. There was nothing left in that room, the furniture was kindling wood, the walls were stripped and in places torn open, a great hole led into the next room and the bed was twisted iron and stood upright and silly against the wall.

"Oh, my," the concierge said miserably.
"Look, Laila," one of the maids said to the other; "look at the hole there is in 219 too."
"Oh," one of the younger maids said, "imagine, it has also spoiled the bathroom in 218."
The journalist who lived in that room had left for Helsinki and thence to London the day before.
"Well," the concierge said, "there is nothing to do. It is very regrettable."

The maids went back to work. An aviator came down from the fifth floor. He said it was disgusting; he had two days leave and this sort of thing went on. Moreover, he said, a shell fragment had hit his room and broken all his toilet articles. It was inconsiderate; it wasn't right. He would now go out and have a beer. He waited at the door for a shell to land, and ran across the square, reaching the café across the street just before the next shell. You couldn't wait forever; you couldn't be careful all day. Later, you could see people around Viipuri, the ones who hadn’t been evacuated yet or who were refusing as yet to go, examining the new shell holes with curiosity and wonder. Otherwise they went on with the routine of their lives, as if they had been interrupted by a heavy rainstorm but nothing more. In a café which was hit in the morning, where three old men were killed sitting at a table reading their morning papers and drinking coffee, the clients came back in the afternoon. You went to the bar down the street at the end of the day, where you could hear the shells whistling even when there was silence, and the bar was crowded as always. On the way you had passed a dead horse, chopped with shell fragments, and you had passed crisscrossing trails of human blood on the pavement.

You would be walking down a street, hearing only the city noises of streetcars and occasionally automobiles and people calling to one another, and suddenly, crushing it all out, would be the huge stony deep booming of a falling shell, at the corner. There was no place to run, because how did you know that the next shell would not be behind you, or ahead, or to the left or right? And going indoors was fairly silly too, considering what shells can do to a house. So perhaps you went into a store because that was what you had intended doing before all this started. Inside a shoe shop, five women are trying on winter boots. Two girls are also buying boots, sitting by the front window of the shop. After the third explosion, the saleswomen says politely: "I think we had better move farther back into the shop. The window might break and cut you."

Women are standing in line, as they do all over Viipuri, quiet women, dressed for the cold winter weather, with market baskets on their arms, waiting to buy food. A shell falls across the square. They turn their heads to look, and move a little closer to the house, but no one leaves her place in line. After all, they have been waiting there for an hour and the children expect food at home. When the shells fall too heavily, the women retreat a little way into a side street. So now the square is empty, though people are leaning close against the houses around it, and the shells are falling so fast that there is almost no time between them to hear them coming, only the steady roaring as they land on the granite cobblestones. Then for a moment it stops. An old woman, with a shawl over her shoulders, holding a terrified thin little boy by the hand, runs out into the square. You know what she is thinking: she is thinking she must get the child home, you are always safer in your own place, with the things you know. Somehow you do not believe you can get killed when you are sitting in your own parlor, you never think that.

She is in the middle of the square when the next one comes. A small piece of twisted steel, hot and very sharp, sprays off from the shell; it takes the little boy in the throat. The old woman stands there, holding the hand of the dead child, looking at him stupidly, not saying anything, and men run out toward her to carry the child. At their left, at the side of the square, is a huge which says: GET OUT OF VIIPURI.

After the Winter War ended, both Esmond and Jessica returned to the UK, where Esmond served in the Royal Canadian Air Force. He was shot down over the North Sea in 1941 after a bombing raid over Nazi Germany. He was 23 years old when he died. Jessica Mitford refused to accept that he was dead for a considerable period of time. Jessica would return to the US after Esmond’s death.

Giles Romilly was captured in May 1940 in the Norwegian town of Narvik while reporting for the Daily Express. In his book, “The Privileged Nightmare”, he writes that he had been in Stockholm when his editor asked him to travel to Narvik to cover the British intervention in Norway. He travelled there by train and was in Narvik when the Germans invaded. He was captured and transferred to Germany – apparently by seaplane as per the following newspaper report.

Image sourced from: http://newspapers.nl.sg/Digitised/Artic ... 1.2.5.aspx
News report on Gile Romilly from “The Straits Times,” 4 June 1940, Page 3

Romilly was the first German prisoner to be classified as Prominente, prisoners regarded by Adolf Hitler to be of great value due to their relationships to prominent Allied political figures. Because of his importance to Hitler, Romilly was imprisoned in Oflag IV-C (Colditz Castle), from where escape was perceived to be almost impossible. Whilst at Colditz, Romilly lived in (relative) luxury with the other Prominente who would later join him, although they were all watched 24 hours a day in case they should attempt to escape. Romilly used this position to his advantage and caused trouble by issuing complaints at every conceivable annoyance. Amongst the list, he took offence to the noise created by the boots of his guard outside his door, preventing him from sleeping. Following a visit from the Red Cross, a red carpet was placed outside his door to dull the sound.

http://kington.keo.mercurytide.com/medi ... omilly.jpg
Giles Romilly at Colditz

Romilly did successfully escape however, whilst the Prominente were staying at "Oflag VII-D" Tittmoning Castle. The camp was home to some Dutch officers amongst whom was captain Machiel van den Heuvel, "Vandy". Romilly and Vandy knew each other from their Colditz time where Vandy was the Dutch escape officer. Vandy was transferred to Tittmoning because of his leading role as escape officer and the Germans thought he could do no more harm in Tittmoning where most prisoners were older officers of general rank. Vandy however had his next escape plan ready and together with two Dutch officers, Romilly abseiled down the castle walls. The remainder of the Prominente hid in the castle in hopes of conveying the impression that they had all escaped. After four days they were all discovered. Romilly, in spite of the 3,000 men that were searching for him, succeeded in reaching the Allied lines. This was due mainly to the gallant action of lieutenant Andre Tieleman, a Dutch officer who was fluent in German and French. With their false identity papers identifying them as French (forced) labourers they managed to escape. When interrogated by German officials, Lt Tieleman did the talking while Romilly pretended to be deaf and dumb. In this way they managed to escape.

After the war Romilly returned to journalism. In 1952 he wrote the memoir “The Privileged Nightmare”, later reissued as Hostages at Colditz, with fellow Prominente Michael Alexander (whom he shared a room with), who had earned the status by falsely claiming to be a relative of Field Marshal Harold Alexander. He died in Berkeley, California in 1967 of a tranquilliser overdose. He was in the process of researching a book on the American novel at the time.
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Re: What If-Finland had been prepared for the Winter War?

Post by CanKiwi2 » 20 Sep 2012 17:18

John Langdon-Davies

John Eric Langdon-Davies (1897–1971) was a British author and journalist. He was a war correspondent during the Spanish Civil War and the Russo-Finnish war. As a result of his experiences in Spain, he founded the Foster Parents' Scheme for refugee children in Spain, now called Plan International. He was awarded the MBE for services to the Home Guard. Author of books on military, scientific, historical and Spanish (including Catalan) subjects.

Born in Eshowe, Zululand (South Africa) on 18 March 1897, he came to England at the age of six and attended Yardley Park Prep school and Tonbridge School. In 1917 he published The Dream Splendid, a book of poetry inspired by the beauty of nature. According to one critic, it showed "all the young poet's faults", to another, "Mr Langdon-Davies's verse owes nothing to the transient excitements of the hour", referring to the fact that it was not influenced by war fever. The Times Literary Supplement said it was "the outcome of a brooding imagination intensely affected by open-air influences....and expressing itself with a real sense of style”. When called up for service in 1917 he refused to wear uniform. This resulted in a short term in prison before being given a medical discharge. He intended to continue his academic career at St John's College, Oxford, but one of his three scholarships was removed as a result of his military record. Another, tenable only to single men, was removed when he married Constance Scott in 1918. The resulting economic situation forced him to abandon his university career, which ended with a diploma in anthropology and history.

In 1919 Langdon-Davies wrote “Militarism in Education”, published by Headley Brothers. The book was a study of the effect of the militaristic and nationalistic content of various educational systems. He stresses the importance of environment and early influences in the education of the young, compared with heredity. During this period he was moving between London, Oxford, Berkshire, Southampton, and Ireland, where he got to know leading figures in the political world. He also made his first visit to Catalonia (Spain), after which, in 1921, he and Connie, with their two small sons, settled for more than two years in the Pyrenean village of Ripoll, where he met groups of Spanish left-wing intellectuals and nationalists. Here, reading a lot of poetry and much influenced by Arthur Waley's translations of “A Hundred and Seventy Chinese Poems”, he wrote a small book of verse, Man on Mountain, which was printed in Ripoll and published by Birrell and Garnett in 1922. He returned to London and spent another period travelling extensively, this time between England, the United States and Catalonia. The Daily News sent him to Barcelona in 1923 to report on the coup by Miguel Primo de Rivera, which he reported on as being comparable to the Irish question.

In 1924 he began a series of lecture tours in the USA, speaking to women's associations and universities on history, literature and his own work. He also spent a year living in New York between 1925 and 1926, during which time he wrote “The New Age of Faith”, published by the Viking Press, N.Y. 1925, second ed. January '26. In it he attacks the pseudo-scientists whose books were so popular in the USA at the time, provoking a number of counter-attacks which pointed out that Langdon-Davies himself was not a professional scientist. But the majority of the 60 or more published reviewers were in agreement with John Bakeless, who wrote, "....rarely has popular science been written with such spicy impertinence, such gay insouciance, or with so much intelligence and such scrupulous regard for facts....".

Image sourced from: http://pictures.historicimages.net/pict ... 110798.jpg
John Langdon-Davies, from a 1929 Press Card

He then moved to Sant Feliu de Guíxols, on the Catalan coast, where he stayed from 1926 to 1928 and wrote “Dancing Catalans”, a study of the significance of the so-called “Catalan national dance”, the sardana. Twenty years later the Catalan writer Josep Pla said that it was the best book ever published on the sardana: "With the exception of the poetry of Joan Maragall, there is nothing in our language comparable with this essay". A Short History of Women, published in New York, had also appeared in 1927. In it Langdon-Davies traces the development of the idea of Woman from the primitive taboo, the Christian fear, worship of fertility, etc., which was now to be reshaped by the new knowledge. Virginia Woolf comments on some of the author's ideas in A Room of One's Own. In 1929 he settled in Devonshire (England), but three years later (1932) he moved back to the USA. He returned to England again in 1935 and lived at Clapham Common.

Image sourced from: http://estatic.elpunt.net/imatges/28/80 ... 868e85.jpg
John Langdon-Davies, photo taken at the time he was living in Sant Feliu de Guíxols, Catalonia

In May 1936 he went to Spain to report on the May Day celebrations in Madrid for the News Chronicle, who sent him out again in August that same year to cover the Spanish Civil War. On this second trip he travelled by motorbike with his sixteen-year-old son Robin, whom he left with the "Revolutionary Committee" in Puigcerdà for safe keeping. In 1937 he wrote “Behind the Spanish Barricades”, which has recently been re-published (2007). Langdon-Davies was strongly criticised by George Orwell for his coverage of the Barcelona May Events (Els Fets de Maig in Catalan) in his “Homage to Catalonia”. The “May Events”, for those unfamiliar with the Spanish Civil War, took place between May 3 and May 8, 1937 and were a virtual Civil War within a Civil War as the Stalinists of the Spanish Communist Party (led by the murderous Dolores Ibárruri, known as La Pasionaria and emerging as the most powerful faction within the Republicans) sent units of the Assault Guard (Guardia de Asalto), under the control of police chief Eusebio Rodríguez Salas to take over the Anarchist-run Barcelona telephone exchange (the pretext being that the Stalinists and the police they controlled suspected the Anarchists were listening to their telephone messages. On 6th May Communist Party of Spain death squads assassinated a number of prominent anarchists in their homes. The following day over 6,000 Assault Guards arrived from Valencia.

The telephone workers fought back, as holding the exchange was not only a matter of prestige for the Anarchists but also a strong-point in any struggle for power in the city, thus sparking a city-wide conflict. Five days of street fighting ensued, with anarchist workers and their allies (the Durruti group and supporters of the Trotskyite Workers' Party of Marxist Unification (POUM), building barricades and fighting with the Assault Guards and Stormtroopers of the Stalinists. A compromise was negotiated, but the ultimate result was the weakening of the position of the Anarchists and of POUM. British author George Orwell describes these events, in which he took part, in “Homage to Catalonia.” Orwell saw the May days as a suppression of the revolution by parties backed by Stalin's USSR such as the PSUC. He argued that the USSR did not want a genuine socialist revolution in Spain, describing Barcelona in 1936 as a city under the control of the workers - police replaced by workers' patrols, workplaces collectivised - and the egalitarian nature of the militias in Barcelona (such as the POUM militia in which he served). He contrasts this with the oppressive police state that developed after May and the subsequent suppression of the POUM. In the second appendix of his book, he explains that the spark of the friction among Republican forces was the Government order to surrender all private weapons in order to build up a “non-political” police force, from which trade union members would be excluded.

Illustrating her Stalinist mindset and in the best traditions of Stalin’s purges and the show trials that would take place very shortly in the USSR, the murderous Ibárruri ascribed the events to an "anarchotrotskyist" attempt at shutting down the Republican government on orders from General Francisco Franco, acting in tandem with Adolf Hitler. According to her, the violence was the culmination of an anarchist plot which included plans to stop the movement of trains and cut all telegraph and telephone lines; she cites an "order [from the Catalan government] to its forces to control the telephone building and disarm all people whom they encounter in the streets without proper authorization" as the aim of the anarchist plan. She did not provide any evidence to support these claims, which were widely held by fellow Party members at the time but have since been discredited.

POUM had been formed in 1935 by the revolutionaries Andreu Nin and Joaquín Maurín.as a communist movement in opposition to Stalinism The two were heavily influenced by the thinking of Leon Trotsky. POUM was in fact considerably larger in membership than the Communist Party of Spain. After Anarchists were pushed into conciliation by their moderate leadership, POUM was left isolated and, unsurprisingly, was driven underground. Andreu Nin was detained and tortured to death by NKVD agents in Madrid, and his party consistently labeled as provocateur in Spanish Communist Party propaganda. These events formed the basis for Orwell’s development of his anti-totalitarian thinking.

For Langdon-Davies on the other hand, although he admired the spontaneous response by the workers organisations to the outbreak of the Civil War, saw international fascism as posing a serious threat for the whole of Europe and “felt that this was not the moment for social revolution” Langdon-Davies himself was a a left-wing intellectual with Marxist leanings who was not a member of the Communist Party – like so many members of the left-wing British “intelligentsia” of that era (and later) –and in the Civil War his view was that a united fight against the “fascist” uprising was necessary. Like many communist “fellow-travelers” in the 1930’s, particularly so many of the writers and war correspondents cover the war from the Republican side, he turned a blind eye to the activities of the Stalinist Communist Party of Spain and their usurpation of power and of control over the armed forces of republican Spain. In his article for the News Chronicle on the May fighting in Barcelona, he began by declaring the cause of the fighting as “…a frustrated putsch by the Trostkyist POUM.”

Image sourced from: http://covers.booktopia.com.au/big/9781 ... icades.jpg
“Behind the Spanish Barricades” by John Langdon-Davies. In 1936, John Langdon-Davies went to Spain to report on the May Day celebrations for the News Chronicle. By the time he returned in August, civil war was raging, and many of those he had seen celebrating lay dead. On this second trip he crossed Spain on his motorbike with his teenage son and described what he saw and heard in this book, which he wrote in just five weeks and was published to the critical acclaim of the left in 1937.

There is now of course conclusive evidence about the way the Spanish communists acted following instructions from Moscow and how they deliberately planned and carried out the elimination of POUM. In the end it was for this and other reasons, that John Langdon-Davies changed his views on Soviet communism and wrote so many strong and vigorous denunciations of that kind of policy, not least in his two books on the Winter War – “Finland: The First Total War” and “Invasion In The Snow: A Study of Mechanized War.” In the books, Langdon-Davies is highly critical both of the actions of the Soviet Union and of his fellow-members of the left who failed to support Finland. He always provides an interesting analysis of how and why the Finns did so well fighting against the Red Army. Langdon-Davies would remain in Finland for much of the Winter War, covering the fighting and attaching himself at various times to different Finnish military units.

Image sourced from: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_jTlPdJ-kPIo/S ... g12865.jpg
John Langdon-Davies speaking in the USA in April 1940 at a Fund-Raising event held to raise money for the Finnish military. Langdon-Davies was a polished public speaker and over a one month speaking tour raised considerable amounts of money for the Finland Fund.

After returning to the UK following the conclusion of the Winter War, Langdon-Davies would go on to write standard handbooks, The Home Guard Training Manual (1940), and The Home Guard Fieldcraft Manual (1942), for the British Army, as well as a number of other military manuals.

Hilde Marchant

Born in 1915, Hilde Marchant had been a young journalist who got her start, as a number of other young and aspiring British journalists did, in the Spanish Civil War. There’s not a lot of information available on Marchant herself, but she was seemingly a prolific reporter and during and after WW2, she also wrote a number of books, perhaps the most lasting of which is entitled “Women and Children Last: A Woman Reporter's Account of the Battle of Britain."

Here’s one of her articles from the Winter War. It’s not exactly riveting writing, but the message that the Puolustusministeriön Tiedostustoimisto wanted to convey was there. Finland was fighting hard and even small amounts of assistance could help. Article after article by different reporters conveyed the same message in one form or another, along with constant portrayals of the sufferings being inflicted on the people of Finland.

From The Argus, 2nd February 1940 (Autralian newspaper - http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/11291843)
By HILDE MARCHANT, of "The Argus" Special Service

Thursday: Vaasa has been subjected to mass air raids from the beginning of the war. Following, the most recent raid the streets, are still smouldering. There was a dramatic preciseness about the last raid. A straight line cuts diagonally across a street where 36 bombs were dropped upon people's homes. It is a line of singed, .collapsed wood. The bombs opened the snow and churned up the earth beneath it. The line wobbled only at one place, where it bent a little to take in the annex of a hospital. I went into one small four roomed house which is now just a pile of wood. The house was covered in snow, which looked like a funeral shroud. Water from the firemen's hoses hung as a solid curtain of icicles over broken furniture. Everything had been smashed.

The streets were deserted as I went through the town. The inhabitants told me that everyone kept indoors until 3 p.m., as the air raids took place every morning. At 3 p.m. there was a scramble to the marketplace, and the shopping women rushed into the streets with small pushcarts fitted to skis, which they piled up with parcels, and hurried home before the blackout.

No Food Shortage

I arrived at Vaasa by air with a party of Swedish nurses. When our plane landed in an ice-covered field a peasant woman greeted us with coffee, brown bread and butter, and half a pint of cream. There is no shortage of food in Finland. A Norwegian doctor in charge of' a military hospital that was bombed recently said that the real difficulty was to keep the patients in hospital. They all wanted to return to the front to fight before they were well. It was market day when 1 arrived, and huge pieces of meat were stacked up on sledges round the Statue of Liberty. Women bought the meat for dinner.

We want planes

No sandbags are to be seen at Vaasa. They are not necessary. The shape of the houses is indistinct, because the fallen snow rounds off the roofs and blends with the snow in the gardens. At Vaasa I heard one continual cry, "We want planes." People in the town suffer almost daily from mass air raids, but there is not one fighter plane to go up to meet the raiders. An officer of the Finnish Navy in Vaasa told me all available pursuit aircraft are being used in the fighting on the Karelian Isthmus and in the east, with none to be spared to defend the smaller cities such as Vaasa. “We need Britain and France to send us more fighter planes,” he told me, “Even a few fighter planes would help us against the bombers.”

Next: The Italian War Correspondents
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Re: What If-Finland had been prepared for the Winter War?

Post by CanKiwi2 » 24 Sep 2012 14:42

Two Japanese Reporters in Finland, Tsurutaro Adachi (Domei) and Kichinai Kitano (Osaka Asahi)

In the mid-1920’s, the Japanese government had sent over 400 scholars of Japanese national universities to foreign countries, primarily in Europe, to acquire new academic knowledge or new scientific methods. Eighty percent of these scholars went to European countries, and many of them chose Germany as their place of study abroad. For the Japanese students, Germany was the most attractive place not only by reason of the tradition in Japanese academics, but also as a new model of democracy under the Weimar constitution in 1919 after the collapse of the monarchy (at this period one must remember that Japan was enjoying a liberal democratic period of sorts and was not governed by the military-dominated cabinets that would take power in the 1930’s).

To this circle of Japanese students abroad over the period 1926-29 belonged many young scholars who would later take the lead in post-war Japanese academics and culture. Rouyama, Arisawa and Kunizaki of Tokyo University and some associate professors from Kyoto University - Muraichi Horie, Yoshihiko Taniguchi, Katsuichi Yamamoto, Katsujiro Yamada - were members of this group. Between 1927 and 1930, Kisaburo Yokota, Yoshitaro Hirano and Takao Tsuchiya of Tokyo university, Itaru Kuroda, Yoshinosuke Yagi and Torazo Ninagawa of Kyoto University, and Isao Kikuchi and Junnichi Funabashi of Kyushu university were all also in this group, as was Ichizo Kudo, a teacher of Judo who studied at the Berlin Sport College and who later became the commander of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police School.

In 1930-33 when this group became politically more active, in addition to these students, there were also Japanese artists and journalists in Berlin. Koreya Senda in theatre was the first and the leading artist of this group. Seki Sano and Yoshi Hijikata in theatre, Teinosuke Kinugasa and Souzo Okada in film, Seiichirou Katsumoto and Seikichi Fujimori in literature, Ousuke Shimazaki in painting, and Bunzou Yamaguchi in architecture were also members. Morimichi Okagami, the Asahi Shinbun correspondent, Toumin Suzuki of the Dentsu, and Yuzuru Yosano were the journalist members. Many young students of Berlin University, among them, Hiroshi Kitamura, Masuo Ureshino, Tsurutaro Adachi and Kakutarou Inoue later became Japanese correspondents in Europe during the war. Tsurutaro Adachi would be one of the two Japanese journalists to cover the Winter War (post-WW2, he moved to Jiji and became head of the politics department).

The other Japanese reporter in Finland for the Winter War was a rather better known journalist, Kichinai Kitano (1892-1956). He is mentioned in "Around-The-World Flights: A History" By Patrick M. Stinson on the round the world Graf Zeppelin flight in August 1929. Kitano was to travel as far as Tokyo, reporting for Osaka Asahi. In 1924 was the author of a book, Shinbun Eigo no yomikata to kakikata, published in Tōkyō: Hokuseidō Shoten, Taishō 13, 1924.

These two journalists between them would cover the Winter War for the Japanese newspapers, their reports on the early successes of the Finnish military in fighting the Red Army would do much to drive the dispatch of Japanese volunteers, eager to gain revenge for the defeat of Japanese forces at Nomonhan at the hands of the Red Army, to Finland. The articles by these two reporters, together with others written by a Finnish-Japanese couple, would fascinate the Japanese people. Also holding the attention of the Japanese, and the subject of many articles over the course of the Winter War, was the Finnish martial art, KKT or "KäsiKähmäTaistelu". The Japanese found KKT, with its basis in the Japanese martial arts and its use of different hand weapons such as knives, bayonets and entrenching tools a topic of endless fascination. Following the dispatch of the Japanese volunteers and further assistance to Finland early in 1940, the progress of the volunteer force was closely followed, with interest and with great pride at their achievements in battle alongside the Finns. For all of these reports from Finland, Tsurutaro Adachi and Kichinai Kitano would be the correspondents on the spot.

The Italian War Correspondents

There were around a dozen Italian correspondents in Finland covering the Winter War. Of some, such as Felice Bellotti, Cesare Beretta, Cesare Bonscossa, Attila Gamisa, Carlo Dall'Ongaro, Cesare Faroni, and Vittorio Mantovani very little seems to be known beyond their names. Of others, there is limited information available and on one or two, notably Indro Montanelli, a great deal of information is available. The reporting of the Italian Correspondents reflects the overwhelming support for Finland that was expressed by the Italian public – a support which led Mussolini to clash with Hitler over Italian support for Finland and which led to hopes in both Britain and France (which were not fulfilled) that Italy might be coaxed away from its alliance with Germany and, if not into siding with the Allies, at least into maintaining a state of non-belligerence. The Italians would be amongst the strongest supporters of Finland, selling large numbers of aircraft and munitions to Finland and providing one of the larger volunteer contingents, an Alpini Division. A great deal of coverage in the Italian press was devoted to these brave volunteers and public support for Finland would remain strong throughout the Winter War.

Mario Appelius for example (born 1892, died December 1946) was a correspondent for Stefani and Il Popolo d'Italia. From childhood he had shown a keen interest in travel and adventure, after running away from home, his father sent him to work on an Italian ship as a cabin boy as punishment. He deserted this modest job in the merchant navy and wandered through Egypt, India, Indochina, the Philippines and China. Entrepreneurial and artistic by nature, at the age of twenty he had already visited three continents, poised between poverty and wealth. While in Africa he had been hired as an interpreter and in the thirties he began a career as a successful writer, thanks to a talent for imaginative and biting descriptions of the cities, the people and the states that he visited across five continents. In 1930 he founded il Mattino d'Italia in Buenos Aires which he managed until 1933. He then became a war correspondent for Il Popolo d'Italia in Ethiopia and Spain. He became a fascist supporter early and remained a convinced fascist to his death. After the German invasion of Poland, he pointed out that the German successes were due to the application of the techniques used by the Italians in Catalonia in the Spanish Civil War. He was a strong and vocal supporter of Finland during the Winter War in the Italian Press, praising the valorous Alpini Division and the Garibaldi Regiment of Italian volunteers fighting in Finland as well as extolling the heroic volunteers of the Italian Air Force and Navy who fought with the Finns. During the Second World War he was a radio commentator, it was his voice on the radio repeating the Italian phrase: "Dio stramaledica gli Inglesi!" (God curse the English!).

Giovanni Artieri was a special correspondent for La Stampa of Turin during the Winter War (and in total, for almost twenty years). He was elected a Senator of the Italian Republic for two terms and was made a Count by Umberto II. In the last years of his life he had retired with his wife, writer Esther Lombardo, in his villa in Santa Marinella, near Rome.

Image sourced from: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/i ... rtieri.jpg
Giovanni Artieri: 25 Match 1904 – 12 February 1995, Correspondent for La Stampa

Massimo Caputo ( July 29, 1899 – 1 March 1968) graduated from the University of Turin in 1920 with a law degree and immediately began a career in journalism as a correspondent of the Gazetta del Popolo in Vienna. The following year he moved to the Rome office where he remained until 1924. He was correspondent in Berlin in 1925 and 1926, Vienna from 1927 to 1935 and again in Berlin from 1937 to 140, when, after the Winter War came to an end, after which he returned to Italy and worked in Turin for the Gazetta del Popolo until 25 July 1943. He joined the Resistance and then on July 4, 1945 he was appointed Editor of the Gazetta del Popolo, which under his leadership took a conservative line.

Italo Zingarelli (9 July 1891 to 1972) of La Stampa di Torino was one of the better known Italian journalists of the time. In 1910 he had been editor of L’Ora of Palermo, after which he worked for the Corriere della Sera and then L'Epoca. He returned to the Corriere della Sera in 1921 as Correspondent in Zurich and Vienna. In 1926 he was briefly editor of L'Epoca before becoming correspondent for La Stampa in Vienna. From 1952 to 1962 he was the editor for Il Globo in Rome.

Cesare Rivelli (1906 – 1983) was correspondent for the Gazzetta del Popolo in Finland during the Winter War. Rivelli held strongly Fascist views and was a supporter of Mussolini to the end. Along with Felice Belloti he continued to broadcast over the radio in support of Mussolini even after his popular support declined, concluding his later broadcasts with the proclamation "I believe in Mussolini's Italy and in the final victory." After the war, Rivelli continued his journalistic activities and was also intensely active as a translator and in writing screenplays for films.
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Re: What If-Finland had been prepared for the Winter War?

Post by CanKiwi2 » 24 Sep 2012 14:56

Indro Montanelli, Corriera, della Sera

Indro Montanelli, correspondent for Corriera, della Sera was perhaps the best known Italian correspondent of the Winter War, is considered one of the greatest Italian journalists of the 20th century and was among the 50 World Press Freedom Heroes of the past 50 years named by the International Press Institute in 2000. Montanelli was born in Fucecchio, near Florence, on April 22, 1909. He studied law and political science at the University of Florence, graduating with a Law Degree in the early 1920’s where he wrote a thesis on the electoral reform of Benito Mussolini's fascism. Allegedly, in this thesis, he maintained that rather than a reform it amounted to the abolition of elections, which goes some way to illustrate the ambiguous nature of the Italian fascist censorship of the time. According to him a short experience of the French cultural atmosphere in Grenoble, where he was taking language lessons, led him to realise that his true vocation was that of the journalist.

Montanelli began his journalistic career by writing for the fascist newspaper Il Selvaggio ("The Savage") and in 1932 for the Universale, a magazine published only once fortnightly and which offered no pay. Montanelli admitted that in those days he saw in fascism the hope of a movement that would have resolved the economic and socioeconomic differences between the north and the south. This enthusiasm for the fascist movement began to wane when in 1935 Mussolini forced the abolition of the Universale along with other magazines and newspapers that expressed opinions on the nature of fascism. In 1934 in Paris Montanelli began to write for the crime pages of the daily newspaper Paris Soir, then worked as foreign correspondent in Norway (where he fished for cod), and later in Canada (where he ended up working on a farm in Alberta!). It was in New York that he began a collaboration with Webb Miller of the United Press. While working for United Press he learned to write for the lay public in an uncomplicated style that would distinguish him within the realm of Italian journalism. One lesson he took to heart from Miller was to "always write as if writing to a milkman from Ohio". This open and approachable style was something he never forgot and he'd often recall that very quote during his long life.

Another indelible American moment occurred while teaching a course. Someone had asked him to explain an article that Montanelli had just read. Montanelli told him he'd repeat it since he clearly didn't understand... Hitting the table, the red-faced student cut him off and angrily told him that if he hadn't understood Montanelli's article, then it was Montanelli who was the imbecile! (and who needed to change it). During this time in the USA Montanelli conducted his first interview with a celebrity: Henry Ford. During the interview, surrounded by American art depicting pastoral and frontier subjects, Ford began to reverentially talk about the Founding Fathers. Looking at the decor, Montanelli astutely asked him how he felt about having destroyed their world. Puzzled, Ford asked what he meant. Undaunted, Montanelli pressed on that the automobile and Ford's revolutionary assembly line system had forever transformed the country. Ford looked shocked, and Montanelli realized that, like all geniuses, Ford hadn't had the slightest idea of what he'd really done.

When Mussolini declared war on Abyssinia with the intent of making Italy an empire, Montanelli immediately abandoned his job with the United Press and became a voluntary conscript for this war. He believed then, along with many Italians of the time, that this was the chance for Italy to bring civilization to the 'savage' world of Africa, an enthusiasm that Montanelli blamed later on his passion for the works of Rudyard Kipling. In spite of these initial passions, it was this very experience that led to Montanelli's biggest change of mind with regard to Italian fascism. Montanelli began writing about the war to his father who – something of which Montanelli was totally ignorant - sent the letters to one of the most famous journalists of those times, Ugo Ojetti, who published them regularly in that most prestigious of Italian newspapers, Il Corriere della Sera.

Image sourced from: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/c ... i_1936.jpg
Indro Montanelli in Abyssinia in 1936

On his return from Abyssinia, Montanelli became a foreign correspondent in Spain for the daily newspaper Il Messaggero, where he experienced the Spanish Civil War on the side of Francisco Franco's troops. He shared a hotel room with Kim Philby, who, decades later, would reveal himself to the world as one of the greatest Soviet spies that ever existed. One day he disappeared. Years later Montanelli received a mysterious note saying: "Thanks for everything. Including your socks". It was from Philby. After the capture of the city of Santander, Montanelli wrote that “(...) it had been a long military walk with only one enemy: the heat”. This portrayal contrasted rather strongly with the official propaganda of the times that painted the “battle” as glorious blood shed by the Italian contingent. In fact the only casualty he noted was a single death in an Alpini regiment caused by a mule kick that threw the unfortunate trooper down into a dry river bed. For this article he was repatriated, tried and expelled from both the Fascist party and from the Journalists Union. When, at the trial, he was asked why he had written such an unpatriotic article, he replied: "Show me a single casualty of that battle: because a battle without casualties is not a real battle!" The trial ended with a full acquittal.

Nothing he did could get him back membership of the Fascist Party but in 1938, the then Minister of Culture, Giuseppe Bottai, offered Montanelli the job of Director of the Institute of Culture inTallinn, Estonia, and lecturer in Italian at the University of Tartu. In this period the then director of the Corriere della Sera, Aldo Borelli, also asked Montanelli to engage in a “collaboration” as foreign correspondent (he could not be employed as journalist, because this had been forbidden by the fascist regime). On his way through Europe to Estonia, Montanelli was in Germany in late August 1939. He was present in Berlin in August, when the “bombshell” of the Molotov – Ribbentrop Pact was announced. He was sent to report from the front in a Mercedes accompanied by German state functionaries. In the vicinity to the city of Grudziądz the car was stopped by a convoy of German tanks. On one of these stood Hitler himself, but a few feet from Montanelli. When Hitler was told that the person in casual clothes was Italian, he jumped out of the tank and eyeing Montanelli like a madman, began a hysterical ten minute speech followed by military salute and exit. Albert Speer, who had also been in the convoy with fellow artist Arno Breker, corroborated the story in 1979. Apart from this episode - which Montanelli was forbidden to report - there had been little to report because the invasion of Poland was completed so rapidly that it was over within weeks. His articles on Poland embarrassed the Fascist regime in Italy and it was asked that he be expelled from Germany.

Montanelli was not welcome back in Italy, and so decided to move on to Lithuania. The joint German-Russian invasion of Poland instinctively told him that more was brewing on the Soviet Union’s borders. His instinct was correct because shortly after his arrival in Kaunas - the seat of Lithuanian government - the Soviet Union delivered an Ultimatum to the Baltic Republics. At this point Montanelli continued to travel towards Tallinn as it was his wish to see a free and democratic Estonia, before it too was invaded by the Soviet Union. After writing a number of pro-Estonian articles, he was expelled by Estonia’s new masters, the Soviet Union, for being a foreigner. He was forced by the events to cross the Gulf of Finland by ferry from Tallinn to Finland, where he reached Helsinki.

Montanelli describes his arrival in Helsinki, the atmosphere of a country threatened, but which will not yield an inch of territory to the Soviet tyranny. "At the port in Helsinki a girl with eyes the color of water and with unsurpassed grace does the honors and provides the latest information. Courteous, objective, diligent, wearing a badge that says "Lotta Svärd," she has come to occupy the place of her brother who has been called to arms. Helsinki made a great impression on me. Everyone moves in an atmosphere of absolute calm. The mobilization begins in a very organized manner and does not cause any confusion or disarray. It is clear that everyone volunteers, the ability to sacrifice, the sense of duty that everyone feels has been furthered by the measures taken by the civil and military authorities. These civil and military authorities have acted very wisely in anticipation of the worst, that the war is almost certain. The response to a Russian attack is planned with absolute coldness, there is no consideration given to non-resistance." In a few lines we distinctly hear the drama of a nation that is going to go through a tough test, appealing to the virtues of its people: unity, calmness, composure, dignity and determination.

Finland was certainly not a safe haven as Stalin was preparing to attack. In Finland Montanelli began writing articles about the Lapps and the reindeer, although this was not for long as Molotov now made demands in Finland. The Finnish delegation, headed by Paasikivi, had refused to give in to these requests and on their return it was clear that war was in the air. Montanelli was not able to write about the details of the talks between the Soviet and Finnish delegations, as they were shrouded in strict secrecy, but he was able to interview Paasikivi, who was happy to fill him in on everything except for the actual content of the talks. He prowled the streets of Helsinki that autumn, interviewing ordinary people, politicians and of course Italian diplomats. The situation was tense.

Image sourced from: http://www.storiain.net/arret/num149/mont1491.jpg
Indro Montanelli in Finland

The view commonly held by foreign diplomats in Helsinki was that the Finnish envoy to Moscow, Paasikivi, had gone to "negotiate the surrender." Everyone was quite sure of this: the West, the Soviets, the Germans and even the editor of Corriere, Aldo Borelli.The logic of numbers was unassailable: the Soviet Goliath was able to pulverize in a heartbeat the Finnish David, with its laughably small Army. The common view was that there could be no resistance. The matter seemed to be a repeat of the events in Kaunas, Riga and Tallinn. Mussolini was on the verge of ordering the Alpini Division and the Italian air force and naval elements in Finland for the winter exercises recalled. The Editor of the Corriere advised Montanelli to leave Finland, “…journalistically, Finland was no longer interesting”. Indro decided, against everyone's advice, to stay. He was the only foreign journalist to witness the return of Paasikivi from Moscow.

Image sourced from: http://pictures.historicimages.net/pict ... 142425.jpg
J.K. Paasikivi leaving for Moscow for negotiations, October 1939.

Here's how he recalls the incident: "It's an October evening in the dark with the snow typical of those latitudes. I reached the street in front of the Parliament, and I find an impressive crowd: silent, each wrapped in a fur coat, each with a lighted candle in his hand. A car draws up: out climbs Paasikivi, tall and impertuable, he cleaves the crowd and goes in to Parliament. Then, without any warning, from the mouths of all who are standing, the Finnish national anthem is sung, similar to a church hymn. Paasikivi goes in, the doors close, all is silence again. I reach the Italian Embassy and inform the diplomats: "You have miscalculated. According to your logic the Finns will give up, but I've seen them. They may be all slaughtered, but they will never give up." These embassy staff, they think I’m crazy, but I write an article announcing the war and its is in all the papers in Italy the next morning. Then a diplomat comes to see me. Mussolini wants to talk to me on the telephone. I go to the embassy and we talk for over an hour, I explain everything to him. He thanks me and then talks to the Ambassador and the commanding officer of the Alpini Division who have joined us. The next thing I know is we are in a car driving to see the President and Marshal Mannerheim, where it is announced that the Alpini Division and all Italian forces in Finland for the winter exercises that were to be held are at the service of the Government of Finland if the Soviet Union attacks and Finland chooses to fight. My article on this was in all the newspapers in Italy the next day – and then in papers in the UK, France and America.”

“..without any warning, from the mouths of all who are standing, the Finnish national anthem is sung, similar to a church hymn”

Montanelli stayed on of course. Throughout the Winter War, Montanelli wrote hotly pro-Finnish articles both from the frontlines and from bomb-stricken Helsinki and Viipuri. He wrote prolifically and eloquently - about the almost mythical qualities of the battle of Tolvajärvi, of Suomassilimi and Raate Road and the stand on the Kollaa, of the violent battles of the Karelian Isthmus, the ski troops, the ice roads through a wilderness of snow and ice and darkness, the attack on the Soviet Navy in Krondtstad and of men like Captain Pajakka who with 200 Lapps penetrated deep into the USSR and immobilized 20,000 Russians between Murmansk and Petsamo. He wrote about the Lottas, the old men of the Home Guard, the teenage Cadets manning AA guns and searchlights, the 12 and 14 year old boys and girls working in factories, carrying out the jobs of the adults so that their parents were free to fight.

He wrote about the men and women of the Finnish Air Force and the Navy and he also wrote much about the heroic Italians fighting alongside the Finns, the men of the Alpini Division, of the Garibaldi Volunteer Regiment, of the Regia Aeronautica and of the ships and men of the Regia Marina in the Baltic as well as of the individual volunteers, men such as the fighter pilot Diego Manzochhi who flew as a volunteer with the Finnish Air Force. There are descriptions of gutted houses, the composure of the Finns in air raid shelters, the excitement of the Lottas’ manning an AA gun as they successfully shoot down a Russian bomber (“Our second this week,” one tells Montanelli). Accounts of fighting in the woods: snipers on skis against tanks and numberless Russian divisions advancing in endless ranks through the snow. An interview with Soviet prisoners who have lost their ideological certainties. A portrait of Tampere, a small industrial city under attack by Soviet bombers "to make a birthday present Stalin” according to a Russian pilot who was shot down.

His condemnation of communism and the USSR is evident in many of his articles, although he avoids the use of the styles common to nationalist and fascist propaganda. For the Italian public, anesthetized by two decades of ritual warmongering and the dull and lackluster propaganda for Mussolini’s regime, Montanelli’s reporting provided a ray of sunlight and his reports were followed with great enthusiasm by the public. Sales of the Corriere della Sera skyrocketed, almost doubling within days (from 500,000 to 900,000 copies per day). The Fascist regime was not quite so enthusiastic – Montranelli had no reluctance in giving an account of the courageous resistance of a free people, rallied around its institutions, against the expansionist ambitions of a great totalitarian power. The description of the dignity and tenacity of the Finnish fight against the Russians taught Italians a lot about the risks of a war of aggression. In hindsight, the Russian infantry, ill-equipped, unable to understand the political and ideological reasons for the war, subject to an incessant propaganda so unreal as to be surreal, do not seem much different from the Italian infantrymen who were sent in October 1940 to the Greek border. With the benefit of hindsight, the attacks on Greece and Finland are like two faces of the same monster: the totalitarian state that thrives on propaganda, war and oppression - and the Italian censors certainly understood this.

They ordered Aldo Borelli, the editor of the Corriere della Sera, to censor Montanelli's articles. He had had the courage to reply that "If I censor Montanelli, I lose 500 thousand sales a day. Are you going to reimburse me? Readers of the Courier della Sera, like all Italians, are on the side of the Finns…". Thanks to this unexpectedly brave position, perhaps assisted by the political uncertainties of Italy’s position as a neutral at that time as well as the Italian Governments semi-official assitance to Finland which was highly popular, Montanelli continued to write what he wanted, and the Corriere della Sera continued to publish his articles as written. Montanelli afterwards had this to say: "Maybe I was not objective, but I certainly could describe what happened. Then I learned that the only master of a journalist is the reader. And when you are on their side, there is no power that can overcome you, even that of a dictator." There was however an unexpected benefit for the Mussolini regime. Not only was the sale of military equipment to Finland financially beneficial, but as a result of the groundswell of support from the Italian public for Finland, the Mussolini regime found itself the beneficiary of a surge in support due to the assistance that was being given by the Alpini Division and the units of the Regia Aeronautica and of the Regia Marina to Finland.

Image sourced from: http://digilander.libero.it/lacorsainfi ... dia401.jpg

In his reporting from the Winter War, Montanelli describes with unparalleled effectiveness the role played by snow in the fate of Finland. On December 4, 1939 wrote: "Bismarck said that a statesman must have the courage at some point to say, “Tomorrow it will rain” and then commend themselves to God and go ahead. Journalists sometimes are in a similar position. This was the case last night when the fear of not being on time with my article led me to say suggest that perhaps today Helsinki would no longer exist. (..due to the bombing.) This morning at ten Helsinki was deserted but still alive, wrapped in a shroud of snow that fell from the sky. The concealment was perfect. An icy wind from the North encrusted the city in glassy strands of tears. I thought about what effect those icicles would have on the wings of airplanes. Outside, the thermometer was well below zero. People looked at the sky and blessed it: this good dirty cotton sky so ugly to look at, but so very, very valuable. (...) The snow is the most dramatic event of the day. As he spoke casually of conversations in Moscow, Mr. B., of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, palpitates with pleasure a handful of this snow, from this Finnish expert comes the satisfied comment “it is powdery”, as if he were talking not about a war but about a ski race. And then he added: “The snow comes from Karelia”, apparently an old Finnish adage.

In Karelia, in fact, the snow is a meter deep, blocking any military operations by the Russians. When I was in the area a month ago, before the war started, it was easy to get an idea of what it would be like to be in a war here, among the impenetrable forests of fir trees and the lakes encrusted with ice. At night it is thirty below zero and the nights last twenty hours a day. The Air Force will not fly. The artillery fires into a black void. While the Russians slowly advance, they must bring everything with them as when the Finns retire there are only ruins of burned villages left. Victory in this war looks elusive for the Russians."

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In the Finnish resistance to the Red Army, the human factor played a key role. Montanelli is attentive to this factor, giving us quick sketches from which spring the psychology of the combatants. Glowing flashes of insight spring from the details of his dry prose, flashes in which you can see through the subtle, sometimes ethereal , ideologies, and facts that inextricably identify men. The chipped shoes a Russian prisoner wears reveal the disorganization of a totalitarian state which cynically indoctrinates their men with propaganda. The granite certainties of Russian prisoners suggest the ability of the Soviet regime to win the hearts and minds of entire generations, shaping a way of thinking in which even the evidence before them cannot lead them to deny the word of the Party and if Stalin.

In an article written on 8 December 1939, Montanelli noted: "I saw three Russian prisoners interned here and offered up to the curiosity of a few journalists. We agree that the three men are an inadequate sample on which to make a judgement of a people and of an army, but certainly they have inspired me with no optimistic opinions about the Red Army. Physically, all three are indifferent to what was happening around them, their equipment was bad. Their uniforms were of poor and rude cloth, dirty and torn. Horrible shoes, chipped, whose soles strangely resembled cartoon shoes. The weapons they carried at the time of capture: rifles and pistols, were however, good. I asked them what unit they belonged. They replied that they belonged to the second team of the third platoon. But which company this platoon belonged to they did not know, much less which Battalion and what Regiment. They only knew that when they crossed the border, they had been told that the war would last a week and after that they would go home. "

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Montanelli was not satisfied with this limited sample of Soviet humanity, he continued to search for true pioneers of socialism and eventually he found them, outlining personalities that have the immediacy of reality, filtered through a literary talent, and which are nor caricatured or demonized. There is instead a fund of human compassion towards the victims of indoctrination that blinds the senses and dulls the mind. "So far, among the prisoners I had not met anyone who was a Communist, and the conviction had come to me that they were hiding from interrogation out of fear. But perhaps it is true. Maybe there are very few communists in Russia, or otherwise they were not sent to the front. Of all the soldiers with whom I have spoken, I have found only one member of the party. (...) I saw him today, a handsome man about 35 years old with gray eyes and blond hair, tall, square, badly dressed, but clean, very strict indeed as to personal hygiene. Despite three days of captivity he had was shaved perfectly, the uniform in place, the hair combed. (...) I asked him if he was a communist and he said firmly: “Yes”. He spoke slowly and calmly. (...) When asked if he had taken part in the bombing of Helsinki he replied sincerely that he hopep that the Soviet Air Force had never bombed Helsinki, having received orders from the first day of operations, that you attack only military objectives. I pointed out that I was present at the bombing. He said: “Impossible”. I insisted that I had seen with my own eyes the women and children killed. He said: “It is not true.” There was nothing to be done. I asked him what he thought of the Finns and he honestly told me that they are good soldiers. I asked him what he thought of the Russians, and he said they are good soldiers. "

The compassion of Montanelli does sometimes fail to emerge. For example, in front of the fanaticism of a young Russian woman his prevalent feeling is one of disgust. "Today I saw a person of some interest, a Soviet woman. She is a 22-year-old student in the third year of medical school, a volunteer nurse on the northern front where she fell captive: a girl more beautiful than ugly if she was washed and combed a bit better. The Finns appreciate her bravery and are gallant, they refusedto intern Olga in a concentration camp with the other prisoners, although she protested as she wishes to be treated as a common soldier.

As a common soldier, however, she was dressed in “…pants, boots, etc. She smoked like a chimney and was passing herself off as militaristic. This was very bad her manners were rather indecent. I did not have the opportunity to question her a lot. After the first questions the conversation resulted in a monologue that echoed the sadder clichés of Communist propaganda. I wanted to know something more modest than the Bolshevik cosmogony, I wanted to know how the health service in the Russian army was organized. (...)I can summarize the content of her response: Men are stupid in the mass. Only a fraction of them, realize where and what happiness is. That fraction are the leaders, superior to the stupid mass because they have sufficient intelligence to understand the truth, and because they have sufficient intelligence to understand that we can not understand, that we must submit to the wisdom of the leaders. It 's the case of the humanity of this century, which is like all the other centuries stupid too. And there is a fraction of humanity that is a little less stupid, governed by the sound judgment of the disciplined and enlightened few. This fraction is Russia. In Russia the majority is not enlightened (Olga said literally so), but the discipline requires that they follow the few visionaries. Russia has a duty to impose this happiness on the rest of mankind. That's why the Soviet Union makes war. The dead do not count because when it comes to the human race, there is no right to skimp blood, there is a duty to perform, to bring about the universal revolution in person. (...).

I asked if now, in the midst of the miserable humanity of Finland, she felt unhappy. And Olga, greedily eating a boiled potato, she said these exact words: “Comrade journalist, you can write and print that a Soviet prisoner of bourgeois Finland has a duty to be unhappy.” I have done as Olga requested and acknowledge that there is a duty for the Soviets to be unhappy. Among the many unfortunate prisoners I saw this is perhaps the most unfortunate, because she did not even manage to make me pity her.

While Montanelli’s compassion for Russian prisoners is intermittent, not so for the innocent victims of war. Among the many, he chose to reflect on a group of monks from Valamo, demonstrating his skills as a narrator: "On the night of February 18, two hundred and fifty greek-orthodox monks gathered quickly the Byzantine vestments, ornaments and jewels of the sacristy, a fabulous treasure of gold crucifixes, icons of ancient scrolls and manuscripts in Slavonic characters, gathered in the church and prayed for the salvation of the soul of their persecutors. Out in the moonlight, Soviet bombs fell in search of Finnish batteries stationed around the monasteries, flares indicated advance patrols a few kilometers away on the lake, the positions closer and closer, the enemy more and more threatening. Two hundred and fifty monks continued to pray, the solemn notes of the choir filled the aisles of the church. The commander of the artillery stood in the doorway, looked nervously at the clock and did not dare move. The Archimandrite saw him, nodded his head, smiling, continued to pray with others. Finally ... the singing stopped, the monks appeared out of the dark, shadows reflected on the whiteness of the snow, some on foot, some on horse-drawn sleighs loaded with their sacred treasures. They took the path to the mainland over the ice of the lake, leaving behind the ruins of their monasteries destroyed by the bombs of Soviet Russia. It is over for Valamo, the Mount Athos of Finland. (...) The monks are all old, the youngest is 70 years old, and they have the eyes of children. Always they pray that God will forgive their persecutors and the octogenarian father smiles. "

Montanelli knowingly plays on contrasts, insists on apparently insignificant details to describe the different facets of the spirit of the Finnish people, able to keep intact his human sensitivity even in the midst of the horror imposed by the imperatives of the war. In February 1940 he observes: "This nation has been independent for twenty years. The Finn loves her so much and with such jealousy that he is ready to destroy it rather than lose it. The suffering is experienced under a mask of indifference that sometimes makes us doubt whether these are human beings. “But you are a human?” I asked a Finnish friend today, a refugee. We were on the road, it was snowing, my friend shrugged, and looked at the other refugees. Suddenly one of them ran to the sidewalk, picked something up that had stirred on the ice. It was a sparrow, half-frozen. All left their luggage to rush to see. The sparrow was there in the hand of the man who gripped it with a strange tenderness. At one point the sparrow tried to fly. He took a small flight and landed on the branch of a tree. Everyone began to argue. They decided something, one went to find a ladder in a warehouse across the street, another a birdcage from a house. It was funny to see people of sixty, seventy years old chasing a sparrow. Finally they caught him, warmed him with, deposited him in a cage and were visibly content. Without any emotion just 24 hours before they had set fire to their ancestral homes, because they do not want them to fall into the hands of the Soviets. "

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From the perpetrators to the victims, from extras to actors, no one is excluded from the news of Montanelli. In the description of Marshal Mannerheim, commander of the Finnish Armed Forces, he sees echoed the virtues of an entire people. The portrait by Montanelli is not this time vivid and immediate, but it is rather more like the bust of a hero of the classics carved in marble. But this is not designed for propaganda purposes or for flattery, but with an intuition capable of capturing in Mannerheim the incarnation of the Finnish people at war. Certainly we are facing simplifed reporting, but with a great literary force, a simplification that attempts to capture the meaning of events and find a line of argument, relying on instinct.

In his article of December 30, 1939 Montanelli wrote: "At seventy-two years old, Marshal Mannerheim went every morning in times of peace to gallop in the park on a white horse. A handsome man, very military, his hair thick and shiny, with a short black mustache, until a few weeks ago he was a little apart from public life, not from arrogance or contempt, but from an instinctive love of solitude. Friendly and forgiving, his effort was to make people forget who he was and what it represented in the history of Finland and the Nordic countries. You could hardly drag him to talk about himself and his memories. The only subjects for which he showed interest were hunting, dogs, horses. (...). During the crisis that led to war with Russia, more than a few people have attributed an attitude of intransigence to Mannerheim. His past as a Tsarist officer and the anti-Bolshevik crusade of 1919 reinforced the view that the Marshal always had a vendetta against Bolshevism. And although he strictly limited his work to the military-technical field, the most fervent Finnish nationalists looked to him as a natural leader. But while the game was played at the diplomatic table, Mannerheim expressed no opinions, or at least none that were shown. Now Mannerheim is no longer visible. For his particular nature has always been of a character strangely distant and lonely, a cold and solitary will. But now he is more remote than ever before, in the middle of the mysterious Finnish headquarters deep in the icy forests. From a bare and almost monastic room, sitting at a large desk tidy, Mannerheim directs the operations of his victorious army. He maneuvers on the map, calculates with patience, listens carefully, issues a few terse and direct orders. It all depends on him: Army. Navy. Air Force. And they resemble him in action: balanced, calm, tenacious."

Indo Montanelli’s book, “Dentro La Storia: Finlandia 1939-1940, Ungheria 1956” published in 1992 by Rizzoli (Milano)

While in Finland Montanelli also reported on the German invasion of Norway where he was arrested by the German army for his hostility towards the German-Italian alliance. He escaped with the help of his friend Quisling, and made a run for the north of the country where the English and the French were disembarking their troops at Narvik. He was met by the one-eyed, one-armed Major Carton de Wiart who explained that there were no more than 10,000 Allied troops in Norway - many of them not even adequately trained for battle. Nobody seemed to know where their garrison was. The British wanted to go inland and attack the Germans, but the French wanted to stay put and consolidate their positions. After having seen the clockwork invasion of Poland by the German troops, this disarray was a worrying sight. When the Germans began bombing these positions the Allies were forced to embark once again and beat a hasty withdrawal to England. Montanelli in his turn beat a hasty retreat northwards to the Finnmark, now occupied by Finnish forces, where he resumed reporting on the Russo-Finnish war. Following Italy's entrance into WW2 in June 1940, Montanelli reported on the anomalous situation in Finland whereby Italian troops fought side by side as comrades-in-arms with British soldiers while their comrades were at war elsewhere.

Following the end of the Winter War, Montanelli returned to Italy where he was promptly assigned with the responsibility for following the Italian military campaign in Greece and Albania as correspondent. Here he says he wrote very little: “I remained at that front for months, writing almost nothing, a small reason was because I fell ill with typhus and a huge one because I refused to push as a glorious military campaign the quaking pummeling that we caught down there.” One of his articles at this time was considered "defeatist" by the censors, who in turn ordered the closure of the periodical in which it had been published. After witnessing war and destruction in the Balkans, and the disastrous Italian invasion of Greece, Montanelli decided to join the Partito d’Azione, part of the Resistance. He was arrested by the Gestapo and sentenced to death in January 1944 for an unflattering piece on Mussolini and his lover, Clara Petacci. Salvation came at the end of 1944 with the help of unknown conspirators who arranged for his transfer to a prison in Verona. The transfer was then transformed into a dash for the Swiss border. The identity of these conspirators remained a mystery until decades later, when it emerged that it had been the result of collusion by several agencies. (OTL, Among them, Marshall Mannerheim allegedly put pressure on his German allies ("You are executing a gentleman" he said to von Falkenhorst, the commander of the German troops stationed in Finland) resulting in Berlin's opening of an inquiry).

After the war, Montanelli returned to Il Corriere della Sera where he built a reputation as one of Italy’s most-respected journalists. He reported from various European capitals and was one of the first correspondents in Budapest during the Hungarian uprising in 1956. In 1973, he decided to leave Il Corriere, after its new owners signaled a swing to the left, and founded his own conservative daily, Il Giornale. In 1977, Montanelli was walking to his office in Milan when he was shot four times in the legs by members of the extreme leftist Red Brigades outside the head-office of the Corriere della Sera. His friend and surgeon was amazed on how "four shots could hit those [long, thin] chicken legs of his and still completely miss a major artery or nerve bundle". Montanelli credited his indoctrination as a child in the Balilla fascist youth and its mantra, "die on your feet", for saving his life. He maintained that had he not held on to the railing during the incident the fourth shot would have surely hit him in the stomach. In his typical ironical and satirical vein he also thanked Il Duce. In a petty insult the "Corriere della Sera" published an article about the incident ("Milan journalist kneecapped"), omitting his name from the title. Undaunted, Montanelli returned to his position as editor in chief of Il Giornale and launched a campaign against terrorism. “If they [the terrorists] think I am going to shut up, they are very mistaken,” he told the media at the time. “There is no one on the paper who would give in to these tactics.”

Ironically, Il Giornale was eventually muzzled by Montanelli’s friend, media mogul and future prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, who had become a minority shareholder of the paper in 1978. When Berlusconi decided to enter politics in 1994 against Montanelli’s urging, Montanelli was typically outspoken in his condemnation. He predicted that Il Giornale would join Berlusconi’s three television networks as a mouthpiece for the candidate’s election campaign. Montanelli came under heavy pressure to switch his editorial line to a position favourable to Berlusconi. Montanelli however never hid his bad opinion of Berlusconi: "He lies as he breathes", the journalist declared. In the end, protesting his independence, he founded a new daily, for which he resurrected the name La Voce ("The Voice"), which had belonged to an historical newspaper. La Voce, always an elitist paper, folded after about a year, and Montanelli returned to Corriere della Sera. "). Montanelli spent his last years vigorously opposing Silvio Berlusconi’s politics. He died on July 22, 2001 in Milan.

The author of some 60 books, Montanelli was the recipient of numerous awards, including the World Press Review’s International Editor of the Year for 1994 and Spain’s prestigious Prince of Asturias Award for Communications and Humanities in 1996. His belief in journalism free of any constraints was best exemplified in his decision in 1991 to refuse an appointment as senator-for-life of the Republic of Italy. In a letter to President Francesco Cossiga, he wrote: “Unfortunately, the model of an absolutely independent journalist prevents me from accepting this flattering offer.”
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Re: What If-Finland had been prepared for the Winter War?

Post by CanKiwi2 » 25 Sep 2012 17:09

A Sidebar on the Valamo Monastery – mentioned by Indro Montanelli, who witnessed the evacuation of the Monks

The Valamo Monastery is an Orthodox monastery in Finnish Karelia, located on Valamo, the largest island and part of an island archipelago of the same name in Lake Laatoka, itself the largest lake in Europe. The archipelago consists of some 50 islands, the largest also called Valamo (the name is Finno-Ugric and means the high, mountain, ground) – and is best known as the site of the 14th century Valamo Monastery as well as for its natural beauty. In the 12th century, the islands were a part of the Novgorod Republic. In the 17th century, they were captured by Sweden during the Time of Troubles, but Russia reconquered them less than a century later. When the Grand Duchy of Finland was set up in the early 19th century as an autonomous part of the Russian Empire, Alexander I of Russia made Valamo a part of Finland. In 1917, Valamo became a part of newly independent Finland, and was the scene of fierce fighting during the Winter War before the Red Army was driven back. Subsequently through WW2 and the Cold War years, the area remained heavily fortified by the Finns, with also a large Finnish Air Force air base nearby at Sortavala. As well as the Monastery, the area is now frequented by tourists, particularly in the summer months.

The climate and natural history of the island are unique because of its position on Lake Ladoga. Spring begins at the end of March and a typical summer on Valamo consists of 30-35 sunny days, which is rather more than on the mainland. The average temperature in July is 17 °C. The winter and snow arrive in early December. In the middle of February the ice road to the nearest city of Sortavala (42 km) is traversable. The average temperature in February is minus 8 °C. More than 480 species of the plants grow on the island, many of which have been cultivated by monks. The island is covered by coniferous woods, about 65% of which are pine. The island was formerly visited repeatedly by Emperors Alexander I, Alexander II, and other members of the Tsarist imperial family. Other famous visitors include Tchaikovsky and Mendeleyev. The island is permanently inhabited by monks and families. In 1999, there were about 600 residents on the main island; including Maavoimat service personnel, restoration workers, guides and monks.

It is not clear when the monastery was founded. As the cloister is not mentioned in documents before the 16th century, different dates - from the 10th to the 15th centuries - have been expounded. According to one tradition, the monastery was founded by a 10th century Greek monk, Sergius, and his Karelian companion, Herman. Heikki Kirkinen inclines to date the foundation of the monastery to the 12th century. Contemporary historians consider even this date too early. According to the scholarly consensus, the monastery was founded at some point towards the end of the 14th century. John H. Lind and Michael C. Paul date the founding to between 1389 and 1393 based on various sources, including the "Tale of the Valamo Monastery," a sixteenth century manuscript, which has the monastery founded during the archiepiscopate of Ioann II of Novgorod. Whatever the truth may be, the Valamo monastery was a northern outpost of Eastern Orthodoxy against the heathens and, later, an Eastern Orthodox outpost against Catholic Christianity from Tavastia, Savonia and (Swedish) Karelia.

The power struggles between the Russians and the Swedes pushed the border eastwards in the 16th century. In 1578 the monastery was attacked and numerous Orthodox monks and novices were killed by the Lutheran Swedes. The monastery was desolate between 1611 and 1715 after another attack by the Swedes, the buildings being burnt to the ground and the Karelian border between Russia and Sweden being drawn through Lake Ladoga. In the 18th century the monastery was magnificently restored, and in 1812 it came under the Russian Grand Duchy of Finland.

Image sourced from: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/c ... %D0%B8.jpg
A 19th-century Skete (monastic community) on a distant island of the Valamo archipelago

In 1917, Finland became independent. The year 1918 was one of the hardest for the monastery because of hunger and the confiscation of monastery property by Finnish troops. Thirty monks died, more than five hundred left the island. In November 1918, the monastery was taken over by the Finnish Orthodox Church, which had become independent and an autonomous Church under the Orthodox Church of Constantinople (it had been a part of the Russian Orthodox Church). Under the complex political circumstances, in order not to seem “pro-Russian”, the Finnish Church urged reforms. In September 1925 the liturgical language was changed from Church Slavonic to Finnish as a result of demands from Bishop German (Aav), a former Estonian priest, who headed the Finnish Orthodox Church. The liturgical calendar from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar. These changes led to bitter decade-long disputes within the monastic community of Valamo and were not recognized by the Orthodox.

A large part of the brethren, observant of the Russian Orthodox canons, refused to serve under him or the Greek Orthodox Church metropolitan Hermanos. Persecutions followed. Some monks returned to the USSR to meet almost certain death, some left for Serbia. Other banished monks brought the traditions of Valami to various countries of the world: France, the USA, Morocco, Germany. Father losif, Dather Mikhail, and Father Ieronim were retired from their posts and left for outer sketes. Monks who followed the old calendar style gathered and held services in a pottery workshop, which became their Church. The sorrowful separation of the brethren lasted until 1946. By 1925 there were about four hundred people in the cloister, among them seventy hieromonks and forty hierodeacons. There were about a hundred hired workers to do the forestry work (Finnish Orthodox Karelians used to have a tradition of going to Valamo before marriage in order to pray and to work for the benefit of the monastery). Twenty-five women-pilgrims settled on the island and formed their own monastic community, worked in the garden and looked after the laundry.

In Lutheran Finland, Valamo was the light of Orthodoxy. Every year it held meetings of clergy from the thirty-five Finnish Orthodox parishes, in 1926 the delegates of Baltic choir communities stayed in the monastery for three days, the monastery published its magazine 'Daybreak', as well as books. In 1926, Hieromonk Isaaky started holding regular services in Finnish in the Cathedral of Peter and Paul. There was a boarding school for thirty poor boys, and a school for Karelian boys. In the 1930s, under the supervision of Hieromonk Dosifey, the boys participated in some restoration work as well as in icon-painting. In two churches the Psalter was read continuously with prayers for the dead and the living. In the 1920s and 1930s Valamo was visited by such writers as B.K. Zaitsev (March, 1935), M.A. Janson, A.V Amfiteatrov, E.N. Chirikov, A.N. Tolstoi. Prince Aleksey Meschersky took vows here and was later buried at the Old Brethren cemetery. Valamo forever remained a centre of the Russian diaspora until after the fall of the communist regime.

The territory was fought over heavily in the early stages of the Winter War. The most destructive attacks were the bombings of the 2nd and 4th of February 1940, when Valamo was attacked by three raids of seventy planes. The monastery could have been razed to the ground. However, the damage was not as serious as it could have been. Finnish officers talked about that with amazement, concluding that either Soviet pilots had felt pity for such a beauty, or St. Sergius and St. German had protected their cloister. The monastery was evacuated in early 1940, when 150 monks were temporarily settled in Heinävesi (as were Monks from the Konevitsa and Petsamo monasteries together with a small number of monks from Eastern Karelia who had survived the Soviet regime and who were moved to Heinävesi during the war as a safety measure). The community at the New Valamo Monastery in Heinävesi still exists – some of the evacuated monks choosing to remain there after the war, as did a number of the monks liberated by the Maavoimat from within Soviet Karelia. After the war, the monastery buildings at Old Valamo were meticulously renovated and restored - as were the Orthodox monasteries at Konevitsa and Petsamo - and many of the Monks returned. The Valamo Monastery however remains the leading monastery of the small Finnish Orthodox Church. In the last two decades, a significant effort has been made to return the monastery to a state of spiritual seclusion.

There are now about 160 men of the brethren in the Cloister today, living in the Central Part of the Valaam Monastery and in the sketes on the surrounding islands of the archipelago. On Valaam and on the nearest islands the brethren live and carry out various duties at the farm of the Monastery and in the sketes: in the St. Nicholas skete, the All Saints skete, the Alexander Svirsky skete, the Prophet Elijah skete, the Sergy of Valamo skete, the Gethsemane skete, the Konevitsa skete, the Smolensky skete and in the Avraam of Rostov skete. In the 21st century a new skete has already been built –Vladimersky skete. Nowdays there is a monastic life there. The fact that the Monastery is located on islands results in the brethren running a rather large economy: their own inland water transport, a small vehicle fleet – cars and agricultural machinery, the farm, the stable, the smithy, the workshops, their own gardens, where about 60 sorts of apple trees grow. There are the bakery and the dairy processing plant, where the brethren of the Valamo Monastery do what they can do to help the local population. The brethren of the Cloister together with monastery workers, pilgrims and volunteers carry out various duties in different departments: in the department of the Protopope, in the department of the hotel service, in the department of the Provisor, in the sacristy, in the missionary department, in the library and in the warehouse.

Image sourced from: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/c ... Valaam.jpg
The Valamo Monastery Cathedral

Following are some historical and current photographs of the Valamo Monastery

Image sourced from: http://valaam.ru/upl/2/vm1195.jpg
Abbot Damascene

Image sourced from: http://valaam.ru/upl/2/vm1199.jpg
A view of the Monastery from Monastery Bay

Image sourced from: http://valaam.ru/upl/2/vm1221.jpg
A Birds-eye view of the Valamo Monastery in the 1930’s

Image sourced from: http://valaam.ru/upl/2/vm1209.jpg
In the Icon-painting Studio

Image sourced from: http://valaam.ru/upl/2/vm1217.jpg
A Service in the upper church of the Transfiguration of the Saviour Cathedral

Image sourced from: http://valaam.ru/upl/2/vm1277.jpg
The Valamo Monastery Hotel

Image sourced from: http://valaam.ru/upl/2/vm1363.jpg
Damage to the Monastery Hotel from a Soviet Air Force bomb blast during the Winter War

Image sourced from: http://valaam.ru/upl/2/vm1365.jpg
The damaged St Andrew Bell – photo taken in 1941, after the Winter War

Image sourced from: http://valaam.ru/upl/2/vm1375.jpg
War damaged Monastery buildings - 1940

Image sourced from: http://valaam.ru/upl/2/vm1323.jpg
The Gethsemane Skete

Image sourced from: http://valaam.ru/upl/2/vm1335.jpg
Hieroschemamonk Ephrem's cell

Image sourced from: http://valaam.ru/upl/2/vm1373.jpg
Timber floating near the Monastery

Image sourced from: http://valaam.ru/upl/0/vm406.jpg
Kyrie eleison ... (Hierodeacon Veniamin)

Kyrie eleison ...Mercedes Sosa

(OTL note: The Valamo Monastery is now part of Russia so don’t be using my ATL descriptions as to its being part of Finland to try and get there…..also, see the Monastery’s own website - http://valaam.ru/en/ - it’s part of the Russian Orthodox Church, not the Finnish Orthodox Church).
Last edited by CanKiwi2 on 26 Sep 2012 10:40, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What If-Finland had been prepared for the Winter War?

Post by CanKiwi2 » 26 Sep 2012 02:57

Added the youtube clip into the above post.
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Re: What If-Finland had been prepared for the Winter War?

Post by Karelia » 26 Sep 2012 16:08

All the monks from the orginal Valamo monastery evacuated to Finland during the Winter War.

There's the "New Valamo Monastery" in Finland, under the Finnish Orthodox Church, where the original monks settled and which continues the traditions of the original Valamo monastery.

The new monks in the original Valamo (Valaam) monastery (in nowadays Russia) have restaured some of the old monastery buildings and have revived the monastery life there again.


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