Questions about Soviet “propaganda” prelude to Winter War

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Revonaire
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Questions about Soviet “propaganda” prelude to Winter War

Post by Revonaire » 17 Oct 2022 12:33

Hi all,

Recently just discovered some Soviet materials and NKVD files before winter war, Russians at that time seemed to have got their intelligence inaccurate🤒. So I have some questions to ask here.

In both O.W. Kuusinen’s book and Soviet materials there was a saying: “Finnish people build much more airfields than what they actually needed (so they must be preparing those for Germany!)” I think it’s purely propaganda but I want to know more about it…any Finnish materials talk about this?

And I’ve seen NKVD talking about pro-Germany Finnish military officers: https://document.wikireading.ru/hMtquG7x9n Since NKVD often spread rumors about Finland, I wonder if there’s more prove about Voldermar Oinonen saying that…? Also, NKVD said that Väinö Valve was praising Hitler during his visit to Germany: http://militera.org/books/pdf/docs/sb_z ... a-nkvd.pdf (Page 96 in the document), is there any legit prove? Thank you very much.

Mangrove
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Re: Questions about Soviet “propaganda” prelude to Winter War

Post by Mangrove » 17 Oct 2022 19:23

Revonaire wrote:
17 Oct 2022 12:33
In both O.W. Kuusinen’s book and Soviet materials there was a saying: “Finnish people build much more airfields than what they actually needed (so they must be preparing those for Germany!)” I think it’s purely propaganda but I want to know more about it…any Finnish materials talk about this?
Vast majority of the pre-war Finnish airfields were only suitable for small fighters and liaison airplanes. The only airfields in the Central or Eastern Finland capable of supporting a bomber squadron were Immola, Luonetjärvi (under construction) and Joroinen. Quote from "Ilmapuolustus" book compiled by the HQ of the Finnish Air Force in January 1941:

"In our country, due to its unevenness and the quality of the soil, there are not unlimited possibilities in this regard, but by making use of our numerous eskers and heath forests, efforts were made to develop the airfield network in parallel with the improvement of the airplane situation, so by the fall of 1939, there were 26 fields built purely for military purposes and 8 fields for air traffic. There were 10 airfields on the Karelian Isthmus, 4 in Eastern Finland and only 3 in Central Finland, the rest were in Southern and Western Finland [...]. The number of fields on the Karelian Isthmus can be considered sufficient, but those in Central and Eastern Finland too few. Sites for airfields had been surveyed, but since the construction was usually only carried out with work relief programs, the completion of the fields was uncertain, partly depending on the unemployment situation."
Meidän maassamme ei tosin sen epätasaisuuden ja maanlaadun vuoksi ole tässä suhteessa rajattomia mahdollisuuksia, mutta käyttäen hyväksi ennenkaikkea lukuisia hiekkaharjujamme ja kankaitamme oli kenttäverkostoa pyritty kehittämään rinnan konetilanteen paranemisen kanssa, joten v. 1939 syksyyn mennessä oli valmiina puhtaasti sotilastarkoitukseen rakennettuja kenttiä 26 ja liikennekenttiä 8. Näistä oli Karjalan Kannaksella 10, Itä-Suomessa 4 ja Keski-Suomessa vain 3, muut Etelä- ja Länsi-Suomessa [...]. Kannaksella olleiden kenttien lukumäärää voidaan pitää riittävänä, mutta Keski- ja Itä-Suomessa olleiden liian harvana. Lentokentän paikkoja tosin oli tiedusteltu, mutta koska rakentaminen suoritettiin yleensä vain varatöinä, oli kenttien valmistuminen epämääräistä, riippuen osin työttömyystilanteesta.
- List of the pre-war Finnish airfields in 1939.
- List of the 60 Finnish airfields in June 1941.

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Re: Questions about Soviet “propaganda” prelude to Winter War

Post by Art » 17 Oct 2022 19:35

Propaganda is information given to a wide audience to affect their opinion. Secret intelligence reports were usually not, so they are not "propaganda" in a usual sense.
I wonder if there’s more prove about Voldermar Oinonen saying that…?
What was said in a private conversation between Oinonen and an uncalled source could only be confirmed or rebutted by those two. So this report is essentially the only source.
Also, NKVD said that Väinö Valve was praising Hitler during his visit to Germany:
I doubt that he could say anything but complementary about Hitler during an official meeting.

In any case in both cases this information doesn't look surprising or unusual. Neither it looks particularly crucial (Oinonen was not a political decision-maker, praises to Hitler were a part of the protocol).

Art
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Re: Questions about Soviet “propaganda” prelude to Winter War

Post by Art » 17 Oct 2022 19:39

Regarding airfields see comments about Soviet intelligence here:
https://slon-76.livejournal.com/194703.html

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Revonaire
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Re: Questions about Soviet “propaganda” prelude to Winter War

Post by Revonaire » 18 Oct 2022 16:54

I just want to say thanks to you all! (Sorry I still don’t know how to use reply properly)… Another question is, when did Bureau Cellarius (Kreigsorganization Finland) set up in Finland? OGPU said that it was set up in the middle of 1939, but by asking some Finnish researchers they told me it was officially settled in 1941…

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Re: Questions about Soviet “propaganda” prelude to Winter War

Post by Seppo Koivisto » 18 Oct 2022 22:37

In 1939 the Abwehr started to place their staff in the German embassies in neutral countries, like Finland, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands, China etc. In 1939 Alexander Cellarius was assistant of the German Naval attaché in Finland and was located in Tallinn and Stockholm, until he came to Finland in 1941.

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