What side where the Finns?

Discussions on the Winter War and Continuation War, the wars between Finland and the USSR.
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Topspeed
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Post by Topspeed » 05 Aug 2004 15:33

Then I realized one thing.

I think this topic like the most outstanding german ally topic being insinuative.

It kinda wraps in itself an assumpion that war is a thing that someone desides and then you get an ally and you fight to the end.

There is no paper or a treaty that Finland had anykinda alliance with Nazi-Germany.

In the start of the Winter War Finland was able to get help from England ( 150 Blenheim bombers and 10-20 Hurricanes ). Germany halted Italys help in the form of Fiat G-50 fighters...because Germany was allied with ( Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact ) Soviet Union.

It was only later after Finns kick the butt of the Soviets in the Winter War that Germany became interested to get Finland to a common front with other "East- European" countries like Romania, Hungary and Croatia to get back the Karelia and beat the bad Soviets after what they had done to east Europe. I would almost think this was an attempt to trying to start acting like a gentleman after the WWI treaty caused inhumiliation to Germany was "settled".

I don't thinks finns really had a choice..when a large attack on our next door neighbour, who had just annexed a large part of our land areas, was being planned than to say great now we can get back what is ours.

There was no indication of Jewish massmurders nor Japanese attack to Pearl Harbor at that point. Germany had been very helpful to Finland in Civil War with the Whites side and was considered a trustworthy company until then. The fact that Hitler was lunatic and blinded by national socialist dreams wasn't until then realized by our leaders...or let's say there was many kinda opinions, but first thing was the national security and that was obviously hard to do without up to date weapons..germany was able to provide them...the fear of Soviets soon getting ahead in arms would mean that their next attempt could not be halted if help before hand was found.

In Finland this was called the " DRIFTING TREE THEORY "..we weren't really certain what to do, but we decided to play along, because we saw we'd have no option..there was also a possibility of Germany occupying Finland if we were found reluctant to co-operate.

Rest is history.

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Post by Sami_K » 05 Aug 2004 17:16

Dear Topspeed,
Topspeed wrote: In the start of the Winter War Finland was able to get help from England ( 150 Blenheim bombers and 10-20 Hurricanes ).
The British sold Finland 24 Blenheims as well as 12 Hurricanes.

Blenheims:
Manufacturing license was acquired from Bristol Aeroplane Company on 12 Apr, 1938 and consequently 15 Mk. Is (Series II) were ordered from the State Aircraft factory on 6 Apr, 1939. Before the manufacturing got started the WWII and the Winter War broke out and Finland had to bought two series of Blenheims from England. So called Series III consisted of 12 Mk. IVs that were flown to Finland by Finnish pilots. The aircraft were handed over to the Finnish crews on 17 Jan, 1940 and 10 aircraft arrived on 21 Jan. One had disappeared on the transfer flight and another damaged in Sweden. The latter arrived on 5 June, 1940. The Series IV had 12 Mk. Is that arrived on 26 Feb, 1940 piloted by English crews.
http://www.sci.fi/%7Eambush/faf/bombers.html#blennu


Hurricanes:
Hawker Hurricane was a metal structured single-seat cantilever low-wing fighter with retractable main landing gear. Finland bought 12 Hurricanes from England after the outbreak of the Winter War. The planes were delivered from R.A.F. on 2 Feb, 1940 and flown to Finland. The first 6 were received on 21 Feb and the rest on 26 Feb. The first 6 left St. Athans, England on 25 Feb, and flew via Edinburgh - Wick - Stavanger - Oslo - Västerås, Sweden, where they arrived on 29 Feb. The second group flew the same route and lost two aircraft as damaged, 1 in Wick and the other near Stavanger. 4 planes arrived Västerås on 6 March. In Finland the Hurricanes arrived on 7 March (6 planes), 3 on 8 March and the last on 10 March.
http://www.sci.fi/%7Eambush/faf/fighter ... Hurrikaani

Topspeed wrote: Germany halted Italys help in the form of Fiat G-50 fighters...because Germany was allied with ( Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact ) Soviet Union.
If memory serves, Germany didn't halt the Fiat's, but instead denied their transportation through German controlled territories. But indeed for the reason you stated, Hitler didn't want to endager relations with Stalin for the sake of Finland getting a few scores of Fiats.

Topspeed wrote: In Finland this was called the " DRIFTING TREE THEORY "..we weren't really certain what to do, but we decided to play along, because we saw we'd have no option..there was also a possibility of Germany occupying Finland if we were found reluctant to co-operate.
If I were you, I would take the time and read Mauno Jokipii's "Jatkosodan synty", which is AFAIK the source in this matter.
http://www.helmet.fi/search*fin/ajokipi ... auno&5,,35

Cheers,
Sami

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Post by Topspeed » 05 Aug 2004 18:52

Sami_K wrote:Dear Topspeed,
Topspeed wrote: In the start of the Winter War Finland was able to get help from England ( 150 Blenheim bombers and 10-20 Hurricanes ).
The British sold Finland 24 Blenheims as well as 12 Hurricanes.

Cheers,
Sami
Ok Sami,

I meant overall the Blenheims delivered..I forgot they ( Bristol ) delivered also through Continuation War even though England had decleared war on Finland. Several were also delivered before the war in 1938 it seems. Thanks for correcting me again.

So Sami is the drifting tree theory of president Kekkonen officially denied now ? I am very well aware that staff of Mannerheim had a lotsa information transfered with Germany, but many politicians generally disapproved what army was doing. Also decision for the some 1 500 finnish volunteer fighters for SS-troops was done before "Barbarossa". Battallion was formed more or less as a gesture of trust and based on old friendship of commanders of the White Army. They certainly had no idea what calibre operator Heinrich Himmler was and even less of his intentions.

As far as I know soldiers plan and take care of possible scenarios all the time. Just like doctors try to take care of patients. If doctors are given less money for medicaments more patients will die. If soldiers are denied money and possibilities to defend their countries their people may suffer enermously. Decisions to use or not to use power are made by the head of states or parliaments. As did happen on 26th of June 1944 after Soviets attacked Finland. Can you imagine what had happened on that day if Finland was without ammo or aeroplanes ? Or before Winter War ?

Perhaps finns should have said to AH: " Who cares of the Estonians, Lithuanians, Latvians let them rot in the cellars of Stalin as long as we can stay here and grow potatoes and play with acorn cows, let them have our precious Karelia as a gift of good will ! " That is a WHAT IF ! Maybe CCCP after a few years would have given Karelia back..we'll never know do we ? I find it unlikely though. They blamed nazis for Katyns massacre to the end.


best regards,

Juke T :)

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Post by Zygmunt » 05 Aug 2004 19:31

Topspeed wrote:I forgot they ( Bristol ) delivered also through Continuation War even though England had decleared war on Finland. Several were also delivered before the war in 1938 it seems. Thanks for correcting me again.
Wait, Topspeed, you're saying that Bristol was delivering Blenheim bombers to Finland during the Continuation war? I'm not misunderstanding you?

I seem to recall that Finland acquired some more Blenheims during the Continuation War (parts seized in Yugoslavia by the Germans and assembled in Finland?), but are you saying that aircraft were being delivered to Finland from Britain?

Zygmunt
Last edited by Zygmunt on 05 Aug 2004 19:32, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Mark V » 05 Aug 2004 19:32

Topspeed wrote:
I meant overall the Blenheims delivered..I forgot they ( Bristol ) delivered also through Continuation War even though England had decleared war on Finland.
Those Blenheims FAF received during Continuation were manufactured in Finland, not delivered from Britain.

- VL (State Aircraft factory) in Tampere built the airframes
- Mercury engines were made by Tampella (some engines and parts received from Poland also)


Image
Blenheim production line in Härmälä factory, 1943

Mark V

picture: http://www.uta.fi

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Post by Zygmunt » 05 Aug 2004 19:43

Hmmm. Ok, this little piece about a pilot contains references to Blenheim airframes from Yugoslavia (about forty) with engines from Poland, assembled in the Finnish State Aircraft Factory;

http://www.elknet.pl/acestory/virtanen/virtanen.htm

Zygmunt

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Post by Mark V » 05 Aug 2004 19:47

Zygmunt wrote:(parts seized in Yugoslavia by the Germans and assembled in Finland?)

Zygmunt
Hi Zygmunt,

You too noticed this.

Read above post.

About Yugoslavian connection:

When Finland started license production of Blenheim, they faced serious problems because Britain was shut-out from trade from summer-41 (by geography and German advances practically from spring-40).

Finns could build the airframes and engines largely by themselves (license was acquired pre-war), but as the intent was never to manufacture 100% of the parts, Finns needed to dig every German depot in Poland and Yugoslavia to get their newly produced machines airborne:

Engine parts, tools, even whole engines, airframe subassemblies, flight instruments, gauges, armament, etc...


Mark V

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Post by Zygmunt » 05 Aug 2004 19:57

Mark V wrote:... Britain was shut-out from trade from summer-41 (by geography and German advances practically from spring-40)...
yeah, it seemed pretty unlikely, hence my asking Topspeed to clarify matters. Thanks for your infomation.

One vaguely related note about Blenheims - I was surprised to read on the http://www.winterwar.com website (that's Sami_K's, right?) that the Blenheims rushed to Finland from Britain during the Winter War needed 100-octane petrol to run on. I didn't realise that we'd intended to use any of our precious 100-octane fuel on bombers - I thought we were stockpiling it for Spitfires in the south of England, and furthermore it was something of a secret that we were even using such fuels. So I'm surprised that a) we would've made bombers that needed it, and b) that we quite happily let a foreign nation in on the fact that we were using that fuel operationally.

Zygmunt

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Post by Topspeed » 05 Aug 2004 20:12

Zygmunt wrote: yeah, it seemed pretty unlikely, hence my asking Topspeed to clarify matters. Thanks for your infomation.
Zygmunt
Here:
Bristol Blenheim was a twin-engined three-seat all-metal structured bomber and long range reconnaissance aircraft. On 6 Oct, 1936 Finland bought 18 Mk. Is from England. The first two aircraft took off from Filton piloted by Finnish pilots on 26 July, 1937. The route was Filton - Croydon - Amsterdam - Hamburg - Malmö - Stockholm - Helsinki, where they arrived on 29 July, 1937 at 2.45 p.m. The last aircraft of this so called Series I arrived on 27 July, 1938. Manufacturing license was acquired from Bristol Aeroplane Company on 12 Apr, 1938 and consequently 15 Mk. Is (Series II) were ordered from the State Aircraft factory on 6 Apr, 1939. Before the manufacturing got started the WWII and the Winter War broke out and Finland had to bought two series of Blenheims from England. So called Series III consisted of 12 Mk. IVs that were flown to Finland by Finnish pilots. The aircraft were handed over to the Finnish crews on 17 Jan, 1940 and 10 aircraft arrived on 21 Jan. One had disappeared on the transfer flight and another damaged in Sweden. The latter arrived on 5 June, 1940. The Series IV had 12 Mk. Is that arrived on 26 Feb, 1940 piloted by English crews. During the Interim Peace the manufacturing of the Series II began. The first aircraft was ready on 14 June, 1941 and the last on 9 Jan, 1942. On 7 Jan, 1942 Series V of 30 Mk. Is and Series VI of 10 Mk. IVs have been ordered. The first of the Series V was ready on 19 July, 1943 and the last 26 Nov. The first of the Series VI was ready on 26 Feb, 1944 and the last on 15 Apr. Series of 5 Mk. IVs was ordered on 27 July, 1943, but the order was cancelled on 19 Sep, 1944 after the Armistice.
I did not know we had capability produce Blenheims so many !

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Post by Mark V » 05 Aug 2004 20:14

Zygmunt wrote: One vaguely related note about Blenheims - I was surprised to read on the http://www.winterwar.com website (that's Sami_K's, right?) that the Blenheims rushed to Finland from Britain during the Winter War needed 100-octane petrol to run on. I didn't realise that we'd intended to use any of our precious 100-octane fuel on bombers - I thought we were stockpiling it for Spitfires in the south of England, and furthermore it was something of a secret that we were even using such fuels. So I'm surprised that a) we would've made bombers that needed it, and b) that we quite happily let a foreign nation in on the fact that we were using that fuel operationally.

Zygmunt
Mercury XVs of Blenheim IV dis run well with 87 octane fuel also, with lower boost pressure and properly adjusted. The power rating was lower then ofcourse.

Blenheim IV could still function as high-altitude recce-aircraft till 1941/1942. About 8000 metres operating altitude was a lot in enviroment of low-boosted Soviet fighters, practically no radars and just few MiGs around.

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Post by Topspeed » 05 Aug 2004 20:15

Zygmunt wrote: I didn't realise that we'd intended to use any of our precious 100-octane fuel on bombers - I thought we were stockpiling it for Spitfires in the south of England, and furthermore it was something of a secret that we were even using such fuels. So I'm surprised that a) we would've made bombers that needed it, and b) that we quite happily let a foreign nation in on the fact that we were using that fuel operationally.
Zygmunt
I tought all your RAF planes used 100 octane fuel.

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Post by Mark V » 05 Aug 2004 20:35

Topspeed wrote:
I did not know we had capability produce Blenheims so many !
The series production of Blenheims consumed all of the manufacturing capacity that was left after damage repairs and overhauls of aircrafts in service till very late in war (not to be forgotten - repair/overhaul work was absolutely necessary to keep FAF flying).

VL could repair/overhaul every flying thang imaginable. And many times hopelessly wrecked airframes were repaired (more like rebuild) and put back to service - aircrafts that would had scrapped everywhere else. The list of aircraft types is endless:

- Do-17
- Ju-88
- Fokker D.XXI
- Brewster
- Pe-2
- DB-3
- SB-2
- DB-3F
- P-36
- DC-2
- I-16
- I-153
- Morane
- Fiat G50

... just to scrape the top of list slightly. Have sometimes wondered that there must have been some exceptional proficiency about aircrafts of the world by 1944 :) .


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Post by Topspeed » 05 Aug 2004 20:40

Sami_K wrote:
If memory serves, Germany didn't halt the Fiat's, but instead denied their transportation through German controlled territories. But indeed for the reason you stated, Hitler didn't want to endager relations with Stalin for the sake of Finland getting a few scores of Fiats.

Cheers,
Sami
Well they weren't halted until in Hamburg..so they had to be tranported back to Italy and via Atlantic Ocean to Finland..those Fiats missed the war, because of Germanys actions.

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Post by Zygmunt » 06 Aug 2004 10:22

Regarding fuel, I have found two articles online:

One; http://www.users.bigpond.net.au/mantis/FW/Bob/Best.htm indicates that the RAF did not begin to use its 100 octane supplies until May 1940.

This one: http://www.spitfireart.com/html/merlin_engines.html indicates that the Fighter Squadrons did not begin to convert engines to run on 100 octane fuel until March 1940 (this date is not inconsistent with the idea of May 1940 being when the fuels were first used operationally).

As one of the articles states, we relied upon pre-war imported stocks of this fuel, and as such, I'm surprised we chose to use it for 'mere' Blenheims, and especially that we exported any such aircraft.

Zygmunt

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Post by Sami_K » 06 Aug 2004 11:44

Zygmunt wrote: As one of the articles states, we relied upon pre-war imported stocks of this fuel, and as such, I'm surprised we chose to use it for 'mere' Blenheims, and especially that we exported any such aircraft.

Zygmunt
The Bristol Blenheim I (Bristol Type 142M) entered RAF service in 1937 as a twin-engined high-performance "medium" ( :roll: ) bomber. I'm not sure that during her development, she was considered as a 'mere' Blenheim.

I somehow doubt that the British politicians, who decided the export of the 24 planes (well, if memory serves, they pretty much demanded 'something' that could be sent/sold and the RAF then after deliberating came up with the Blenheims as "not crucial" for the RAF). I doubt that the fuel issue had much weight in the matter.

Cheers,
Sami

P.S.
http://www.lanpartyworld.com/smallwoy/100o2.JPG
http://www.raf.mod.uk/history/h90.html

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