What side where the Finns?

Discussions on the Winter War and Continuation War, the wars between Finland and the USSR.
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Enkpitt
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What side where the Finns?

Post by Enkpitt » 12 Jul 2004 18:50

Where the Finns allied with the Axis or the Allies?

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Marcus
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Post by Marcus » 12 Jul 2004 19:08

Finlands participation in WW2 is usually divided into three separate wars:
Winter War (Talvisota) - 30 Nov 1939 - 13 Mar 1940 (alone agaist the USSR)
Continuation War (Jatkosota) - 25 June 1941 - 4 Sep 1944 (with Germany against the USSR)
Lapland War (Lapin sota) - 27 Sep 1944 - 27 Apr 1945 (against Germany)

/Marcus

Mek
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Post by Mek » 13 Jul 2004 03:43

Hi,

Historians tend to put Finland to Axis side,
due to co-belingerency with Germany from
1941 to 1944, and I personally don't have any
problem with that. But like Marcus said,
that Finnish participation in ww2 is divided
in three separate wars. And Finland was never
at war with USA.

Looking from a post war view point, there were
winners, and there were loosers and there were
survivors. Finland was a survivor. Too bad I
don't remember right now who said that. :)

Regards,
-Pete

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HaEn
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Finns

Post by HaEn » 14 Jul 2004 04:33

As I see it the Finns fought for the survival of THEIR country. For better or for worse they had to change directions on the way. But . . . . . they DID survive. 8O :) HN

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Topspeed
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Post by Topspeed » 17 Jul 2004 15:46

Yeah we were Allied at the end. :) :D

In the beginning we were independently fighting with whatever we had. Flying with Bristol Bulldog and Gloster Gladiator bi-plane fighters.

One person colonel Ragnar Nordström paid personally the arms for an entire Battallion of troopers.

If you remember that Molotov-Ribbentrop treaty before WWII it actually gave us ( + Baltic states and half the Poland ) to the Soviets you would not wonder that much of our actions. We were caught in between two evils.


best regards,

Juke T 8)

MsTychsen
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Post by MsTychsen » 20 Jul 2004 13:24

Topspeed wrote:Yeah we were Allied at the end. :) :D
Italy was Allied at the end too as well as Bulgaria, Hungary & Romania...sounds alot less chic now.

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Victor
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Post by Victor » 21 Jul 2004 06:40

MsTychsen wrote:
Topspeed wrote:Yeah we were Allied at the end. :) :D
Italy was Allied at the end too as well as Bulgaria, Hungary & Romania...sounds alot less chic now.
Romania was only de facto Allied, as de jure it was never recognized as a co-beligerant.

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Post by MsTychsen » 22 Jul 2004 18:10

Victor wrote:Romania was only de facto Allied, as de jure it was never recognized as a co-beligerant.
Maybe I am having a blonde moment but what did you just say? :P

Didn't Romania sign the Tripartite Pact in 1940 and become an official part of the Axis? :?

Didn't Romania in August 1944 side with the Allies and fight in Czechoslovakia & Hungary?

What is it I am missing?

-the history gal :P

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Victor
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Post by Victor » 22 Jul 2004 19:04

MsTychsen wrote: Didn't Romania in August 1944 side with the Allies and fight in Czechoslovakia & Hungary?

What is it I am missing?

-the history gal :P
The fact that the Soviet Union did not want Romania to be recognized as an Allied nation (like Italy was for example, even though Romania comitted more forces than Italy, Brasil, Mexico etc, etc). That would have made it impossible for them to collect the war debt from Romania.

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Re: What side where the Finns?

Post by Mark V » 22 Jul 2004 19:52

Enkpitt wrote:Where the Finns allied with the Axis or the Allies?
Finns were definately on Finnish side (rightfully) all through period 1939-1945. :)

- fought against Soviets alone in 1939-40 when they tried to end the existence of nation
- made peace when Soviets acknowledged that Finland is an sovereign nation and worthy negotiation partner, same time dumping British and French promising prospects to turn the German attention to Scandinavia
- wiped their arse with German war objectives and wishes between 1941 and 1944
- promised to fought till the end with "1000th Year Reich" in June 1944 to get as much weaponry from Germans as possible to repel Soviet attack
- and when terms were right, made an peace with Soviets and dumped Germans and fought against them in Lappland

Objective: to save the sovereignty of nation with all means necessary

End result: an success

Like said here before - for an nation with less than 4 million people WW2 was an battle for survival.

(actually we made later good deals with Soviets because they demanded war compensations from us, and after we had paid all with industrial products by 1952 - they found that they could no more live without our products - and we got those compensation about dozen times back during next decades with laughably cheap Soviet oil and raw materials and 200+ million people markets that were open only to us - cheap oil also during times when rest of the western world struggled with oil-crisis... that was so called time of "Finlandization" :lol: )


Regards, Mark V

JariL
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Post by JariL » 26 Jul 2004 11:20

Hi MarkV,

I think making comments like the one below is very misleading. Trade with Soviet Union was barter trade which meant that goods were exchanged on 1:1 basis. Basically Finland traded capotal goods (some consumer goods as well) for raw materials. In this kind of trade the value added remained in Finland because the raw materials were used to produce more capitla goods that were then sold either to Soviet Union or to the world market. However, prices paid for the raw materials were world market prices. The legend about laughably cheap prices originates probably from the fact that Finland carried a surplus in the barter trade at times which was balanced for example with extra deliveries of crude oil to Finland. When this oil was refined and sold further one naturally made a profit. On the other hand Soviet Union did not have enough refining capacity those days and from there point of view selling crude oil to Finland against capital goods was not a bad trade.

Terms of the barter trade agreemenst were often were rigid and prices could for example be linked to inflation in the western market. At times this led to anomalies in pricing that could be very favourable for Finnish suppliers and at times could hit them hard. It was not always easy to combien capitalism and socialims in trade negotiations but Soviet Union was definitely not pouring money to Finland for nothing.

Regards,

Jari


(actually we made later good deals with Soviets because they demanded war compensations from us, and after we had paid all with industrial products by 1952 - they found that they could no more live without our products - and we got those compensation about dozen times back during next decades with laughably cheap Soviet oil and raw materials and 200+ million people markets that were open only to us - cheap oil also during times when rest of the western world struggled with oil-crisis... that was so called time of "Finlandization" )

Mark V
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Post by Mark V » 26 Jul 2004 12:14

JariL,

You are right. I left out some special aspects of barter trade.

Still, that doesn't mean that the business was not good to Finns. Most products sold to Soviet Union were high value products, giving our industry an assured markets - and assured markets gave good base for investments.

During that time Finland turned from acricultural economy to developed industrialized country.

As important Soviet trade was it was somehere on the neighbourhood of 20% of all Finnish exports durind period 60s to 80s...

Mark V

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Topspeed
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Post by Topspeed » 27 Jul 2004 20:12

MsTychsen wrote:
Topspeed wrote:Yeah we were Allied at the end. :) :D
Italy was Allied at the end too as well as Bulgaria, Hungary & Romania...sounds alot less chic now.
Why does it sound less chic....was it wrong to be on allied side at the end ? What I find less chic is that we got no Marschal aid in Finland, but had to pay enermous payments to Russia..because they invaded us and only thing we did was that we defended us ?

In 1938 soviets killed thousands of finns in Russia who had fleed there to put up a dream society of communism. Just think about it; their only "crime" was that they were more productive than rest of the Soviets and their communs florished.

We still have communists in Finland and I am pretty sure they had very little respects for the Soviets. They are still humans and valuable as such nevertheless what religion or lack of it they possess.

Any other smart remarks MsTychsen ?

best regards,

Juke T

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cyberdaemon
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Post by cyberdaemon » 05 Aug 2004 13:23

lets say it simple : finns were theyr own side , not allies or either axis.
they never were any allies to germany and either on war with allies (exept Soviets)
they just co-operated with germany , because it was useful to them and helped re-capture the areas they lost in winterwar.they never had any bigger plans and never moved outside the older finnish territory.
in the end of war they fought against germany , cus that was a condition to get piece with soviet union , who would occupie the finnland otherway.
so finish were on theyr own side.

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Topspeed
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Post by Topspeed » 05 Aug 2004 14:05

Thanks Cyberdeamon that pretty much sums it up.

Except that there would have been also Salpa-line left had we wanted to fight further, but since Karelia was lost anyhow and reasonable terms were met finns did not want to fight more. In fact the whole June 10th 1944 offensive against Finland was pretty much unexpected by the Finns. The generals tought that when D-day landings had started they'd just wait and see what was gonna happen and if lucky they'd keep Karelia. There was a lot of evidence that Soviets were concentrating huge masses of infantry and artillery and aeroplanes on our front, which was very visible and no move was made to dismantle those positions before Soviets started pounding finnish troops. Luckily finns were able to stop the invasion which gave us a good negotiation position.


Have a good day !

Juke T 8)

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