Here some of the parts of the book that, according to my notes which I wrote down when reading the book, raised some doubts and/or puzzled me. There probably might have been more if I only would have time to go through the book more detailed.
The first impression when starting to read the book was that it*s OK except some photo captions puzzled me and the maps at the book were just awful.
When going through the text I then sadly found the following that might not be in line if following the rule of posting just the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth:
Preface xii: ”there existed among the Finnish upper class, particulary in business and academic
circles, strong pro-German passions.”
page 2 Photo caption: ”Väinö Tanner (left, 1881- 1966) and Juho Paasikivi (1870-1956) of
their way to negotiations in Moscow, October 1939”
page 3 ”On 14 April 1938, the Finnish Minister for Foreign Affairs, Rudolf Holsti, received a
telephone call from a certain Boris Yartsev...”
page 4 ”The Finnish Army was small and poorly equipped, Yartsev stressed...”
”It gradually emerged that Moscow also wanted to deploy Soviet troops on Finnish
soil in peacetime”
”The negotiations between Finland and the Soviet Union continued in deepest
secrecy throughout the summer 1938 as the proposals made by the Kremlin
gradually became clearly defined”
”...on 29 August the negotiations broke down”
page 5 ”The negotiations with Yartsev had been conducted in deepest secrecy and involved
only a few Finnish government members...”
page 6 ”By and large Marshal Mannerheim was the only Finnish representative at the
negotiations who favoured...”
pages 9-10 ”Molotov later described...
...And we needed the Baltic States”
page 12 ”Finland was also to hand over some islands in the Gulf of Finland...”
”Hanko peninsula (on the extreme southwest corner of the Finnish mainland)”
page 19 ”Since the Soviet Union never managed to annex all of Finland, only some minor
territories, the quote... ...can hardly be said to confirm that Finland was meant to be
taken over completely....”
page 20 ”...Molotov and Khrushshev claimed... ….”Finns proved impossible to negotiate
...”Besides, an annexed Finland could become a ”festering wound” for us”
”It cannot be denied that Stalin and Molotov, during the negotiations leading up to the
war, were unexpectedly compromise-seeking...”
page 23 ”...as soon as the war broke out, the Finns could only do one thing to remain an
independent nation, and that was to fight back to a point far beyond anything that is
normaly seen as humanly and military possible”
page 27 ”The Soviet Fleet only saw limited action in the Winter War, primarily in skirmishes
with Finnish costal defence forts”
”So far only troops from the Leningrad Military District were meant to participate
in the invasion”
page 31 ”These young men (Jaegers, JT) came predominantly (but not exclusively) from the
upper middle classes”
page 33 ”In the early 1930s, the Finnish Army was exposed to budget cuts”
page 34 ”Although the guns of the Finnish coastal defences were from the ”Russian Period”,
they were still highly effective, partly thanks to their enormous calibres”...
Page 35 ”Now the gigantic guns from those days served a differed purpose, namely to
stop a landing by the Red Army...”
”Molotov coctails”... ”According to Finnish Army's own reports, it destroyed
some 2000 Soviet tanks during the war , mainly by these bottles filled by
page 37 ”The Mannerheim Line... ...bunkers (most of them armed with machine guns)
” The Finnish Air Force... ...”This should be compared to the 1000 aircraft of the
Red Air Force deployed to the Finnish Front at the begining”
page 38 ” Finland tried to buy more aircraft...
...most of the planes bought had still not arrived when the war ended”
”...two coastal battle ships...
...which failed to contribute much to Finland's defence”
”...waters around Finland in December froze up so much that icebreaking
”Furthermore, the Finnish planners envisaged a situation where their army
constituted the northern flank in a broad attack on the Soviet Union, probably
led by France and Great Britain...”
page 42 Photo caption: ”Helsinki under Soviet Bombardmen, December 1939”
page 48 Photo caption: ”Soviet assault gun in position, December 1939”
page 63 ”The Soviet relief force was the Red Army's 44th Division, an elite unit arriving
directly from Moscow”
page 65 ”...the Finnish military force in the huge Petsamo area was limited to just two
companies, one of which was led by Major General Martti Wallenius...”
page 70 ” Support also came from Great Britain on in the shape of fighter aircraft: thirty
semi-obsolete Gladiators (ten donated and twenty sold
page 73 Photo caption: ”Danish volunteer pilot during the Winter War (name unknown,
possibly Flight Lieutenant Jörn Ulrich)”
page 75 Photo caption: ”Evacuation of the Finnish rural families prior to the breakout of
the Winter War”
”The Swedish historian Claes-Göran Isacson describes the situation...
...Most of the people who were now leaving Karelia would never return to their
”The majority of the refugees were housed around Turku and Pori on the
southwest coast of Finland. Many of their possessions (foodstuffs,
pharmaceuticals etc.) were confiscated by the military along with tools an
machinery that could be used for production of military equipment.”
page 76 ”The Danish author Ole Juul describes in his book about the Winter War several
such air attacks which he personally experienced...
...When a plane penetrates the balloon barrages at low height...”
page 77 ”Finland was also home to a variety of scretarian movements...
...there was a religious-political sect, whose members believed that the Civil
Guard represented the beast in the Book of Revelation...
...Twenty -seven of them were later sent to prison for treason”
page 78 ”During Winter War vulnerable Finnish citizens were evacuated to the other
...The total number of the evacuees during the Winter War was around 10 000, of
which the majority came from the Karelian Isthmus”
page 88 ”...losses of Soviet war materiel... ...15 anti-tank rifles...”
page 115 ”The casuaties of the Finnsh Army... ...27000 killed or missing in action, while
44000 were wounded...
...Krivosheev... ... Soviet figures at 130000 killed and 270000 wounded...”
page 119 ”...Molotov claimed that Finland had an army of 600000 men, of which the Soviet
forces have defeated about half...”
page 121 ”Furthermore, they had cut the country off from its most important trade routes.
Before the Winter War more than 15 per cent of Finnish exports had been
shipped out from either Viipuri or Hanko”
”Salpa Line... … a gigantic, 1200km long defence line”
page 122 ”Northern Lapland continued to be the weakest point in the Finnish defenc, so
bunkers were built there, too, mostly by important thoroughfares and bridges”
”...Finland's Blue-White Book II... ...Although words as 'Germany' and 'Nazi'
are carefully excluded...”
page 128 ”On June 14 1940... ...Finnish passenger and transport aircraft... ...was shot
down by two bombers from the Red Air Force... ...The passengers were
mainly international diplomats, a couple of them in the process of smuggling
documents out of Estonia”
” Eastern and northern Romania (i.e. Bessarabia and North-Bukovina)...
…were annexed by Moscow...”
page 137 ”...it must also be remembered that more that 40 per cent of the Finnish
population voted Social Democrat at the national elections”
pages 137-142 ”The German-Soviet Axis Negotiations”
page 148 ”The Germans were not the only ones that rejected the Finnish-Swedish plans of
a union. The leaders in Moscow did the same and in this they were supported by
page 152 ”...Lieutenant General Heinrichs is supposed to have suggested...”
page 163 ”over the the following days three Soviet vessels were stricken by Finnish mines.
One of them, a submarine, immediately sank”
page 192 Photo caption: ”Scene from the Finnish advance on Reboly”
)page 208 ” We have already looked at the first Finnish minelaying operations in the Gulf of
Finland (p. 163
page 210 ”In total, the Finnish air force shot down 356 Soviet aircraft during 1941.
Their own loss was eighty-four machines”
page 216 ”Even if one accepts in principle that the occuption of East Karelia improved the
defensive possibilities for the Finnish Army (which in itself is depatable)...
...stretching their supply lines to the limits...”
page 217 ”...Finnish leaders... ...tended to give the Germans too much rather than little”
”London and Washington were sympathetic to the Finnish ambition of recapturing
the ceded areas”
page 219 ”Indeed, it seems possible that Finland could have kept the 1939 border or at least
Viipuri, had the occupation of East Karelia never occurred”
page 242 ”...There was also some fighting over the island of Hogland in the middle of Finnish
Gulf... ...But similar German attempts to capture a handful of smaller islands in the
same waters failed, and further attacks were cancelled when the Russians made an
attempted sortie from Leningrad, so German troops had to be transferred to the city
from other parts of the region”
page 244 ”...1st Partisan Brigade... ...In June 1941 the Brigade undertook its biggest
operation... ...This particular patrol lasted for a total of six months before it was
spotted by Finnish troops in the area. The Finns then encircled the patrol, but its
members managed to break out and flee back to their own lines”
page 246 ” Part of this conversation which was practically a monologue by Hitler, was
recorded by the Finnish intelligence services. Whether this happened by mistake
or it was a deliberate act remains uncertain”
page 248 ”...Soviet submarines... ...By then they had sunk eighteen vessels, of which five
were Swedish ships escorting the the German transports”
page 250 ”four Italian moter torpedo boats... ...Later in the month six German minelaying
vessels also arrived... ...Here they were added to the Finnish fleet on the lake to
form Navel Detachment K”
page 258 ”By far the largest group of international volunteers in the Finnish Army during the
Continuation War came from the Finnish-related population in Ingria...”
”...Ingria, a name sometimes used for the area along the southern bank of the
Gulf of Finland, including Estonia and the south-western Leningrad districts”
page 266 ”In the case of Finland, no offensive German action was to be employed. Instead,
all German troops were merely to be pulled north to secure Petsamo. Later, plans
were also made for an occupation of Åland Islands and Hanko”
page 269 ”...account of one of the Soviet pilots... ... And somewhere in the dark were
page 270 ”After his meeting in Stockholm with Kollontai, Paasikivi packed his suitcase
and embarked on a new journey to Moscow...
...The negotiations began on 22 April...”
page 274 ”The attack force on the Karelian Isthmus by the start of the offensive...
...270000 men, 7660 artillery pieces, 620 tanks and 1500 aircraft...
...The quantitative advantage of the Soviet forces at the start of the offensive on
the Karelian Isthmus was 4:1 for personel, 5:1 for tanks, 6:1 for artillery and 15:1
Page 278 ”The Geman leaders had by now started to consider how the Soviet pressure the
on the Finnish positions...
...Their main concern was for their own troops in Lapland”
page 284 ”However before we look at the fighting itself, it should be mentioned that the
very idea of seeing the combat in this area as one big isolated battle -'the Battle of
Tali-Ihantala' – is of a newr date and has been criticised for being a Finnish
page 295 ”Ilomantsi... ...the only area where Soviet troops managed to force the Finns back
behind the 1940 border”
page 307 ”...Mannerheim, who nonetheless until his death in 1951 lived in constant fear that
something of the kind might happen to him (in fact, he always carried in his pocket
a suicide pill). Perhaps that was why he spent his retirement moving between three
countries that were known for their reluctance to hand over supposed war
criminals to the soviet Union, namely Sweden, Spain and Switzerland”