What was the intentions of Stalin in 1939?

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mars
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Post by mars » 19 Nov 2002 21:32

hmononen wrote:

The Finnish government badly misjudged the intentions of Stalin, and nearly lost the newly independent country by unpreparedness for its defence.

Hanski
hi, Hmononen:
What was the intentions of Stalin in 1939? somebody belives Stalin just wanted to gain some territory from Finland, other belive taht Stalin planed to do the same thing to Finland as what he did to Baltic countries in 1940, so what is you opnions ?

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Hanski
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Post by Hanski » 19 Nov 2002 23:18

According to the secret pact between Molotov and Ribbentrop, Europe was divided between those two superpowers of the time, and Finland was agreed to belong to the Soviet sphere on influence.

There is no doubt that Stalin intended to re-annex Finland just the same way as the Baltic states. Before the Russian revolution, since the Russo-Swedish war in 1812, Finland was a Grand Duchy of the Czar of Russia, with a relatively autonomous status. As a part of the Russian Empire, Finns were allowed to keep their own laws, which originated from the time when she was a part of the Kingdom of Sweden. Finns were loyal subjects of the Czar, until later on there was an effort to dispute the autonomous status and subdue the Finns by periods of oppression, which aroused rebellious spirit and willingness to break loose from the Empire, which eventually happened in the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. After the Declaration of Independence on December 6th a bitter Civil War had to be fought until May 1918.

It is obvious Stalin had the aim of restoring the borders of the former Russian Empire, under him the U.S.S.R. It would have made Finland just one of the Soviet Republics, and had he succeeded, it is difficult to know whether he would have been willing to expand further to Sweden and Norway.

The historical background and stages of the Winter War are well explained elsewhere in the Internet, so I suggest you make a search and check the details.

For political reasons, Stalin needed a pretext for his attack - in the eyes of the world, it would have been just too rude to invade without any reason. The pretext was "the security of Leningrad", which led him to territorial demands on the Karelian Isthmus, in exchange for areas in Eastern Karelia. Finns could not make concessions to the extent of giving up defensive positions on the strategic land corridor to Southern Finland, so the negotiations ended in Finnish determination to keep every inch of the Isthmus - if it had been given, the next stage would have been more demands without the protection given by the forward positions, and Finnish public opinion could never have accepted unjustified giving away of
the homeland of Karelian Finns.

The final staging of the pretext was "the Mainila incident", an alleged provocation by the Finnish nation (of less than 4 million) against the Soviet Union (with the population of about 200 million).

How is it known that Stalin had set his goals further than the borders of Moscow Peace Treaty of 1940?

For one example, the offensive against Finland included a strategic movement from Suomussalmi to Oulu, in order to cut Finland in two. The outcome was to become totally different, like history tells us. But those Red Army troops participating in this operation were given clear orders that ended up in Finnish hands. The orders were, among other things:

- After the conquest of Finland, the troops must not cross the Swedish border at Tornionjoki river.

- The Swedish Frontier Guards must be saluted politely.

The puppet regime of Terijoki, lead by the Finnish communist Otto Ville Kuusinen, was waiting ready to take power once the victorious Red Army would have conquered the country. It is quite clear all the key figures of the Finnish society would have been executed or interned to the GuLag Archipelago, possibly large scale population transfers would have been organised and the Finnish society destroyed as it existed until 1939. The fate of the Baltic states was prepared for Finland as well.

Hanski.

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Oleg Grigoryev
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Post by Oleg Grigoryev » 19 Nov 2002 23:44

There is no doubt that Stalin intended to re-annex Finland just the same way as the Baltic states
There is no doubt because. Besides there is good chance that you mix cause and consequences – if there were no winter war USSR probably would not annex Baltic states.
It is obvious Stalin had the aim of restoring the borders of the former Russian Empire, under him the U.S.S.R.
It is obvious because?
The historical background and stages of the Winter War are well explained elsewhere in the Internet, so I suggest you make a search and check the details
from Finnish perspective usually (not if that if there is anything wrong with that –but it is only one side)
For political reasons, Stalin needed a pretext for his attack - in the eyes of the world, it would have been just too rude to invade without any reason. The pretext was "the security of Leningrad", which led him to territorial demands on the Karelian Isthmus, in exchange for areas in Eastern Karelia. Finns could not make concessions to the extent of giving up defensive positions on the strategic land corridor to Southern Finland,
and yet they eventually did – interesting is not it?
The final staging of the pretext was "the Mainila incident", an alleged provocation by the Finnish nation (of less than 4 million) against the Soviet Union (with the population of about 200 million).
while Manila indeed was staged, I fail to see what is the size of the poplution have to do with anything? It is not exactly a boxing match.
How is it known that Stalin had set his goals further than the borders of Moscow Peace Treaty of 1940?

For one example, the offensive against Finland included a strategic movement from Suomussalmi to Oulu, in order to cut Finland in two. The outcome was to become totally different, like history tells us. But those Red Army troops participating in this operation were given clear orders that ended up in Finnish hands. The orders were, among other things:

- After the conquest of Finland, the troops must not cross the Swedish border at Tornionjoki river.

- The Swedish Frontier Guards must be saluted politely.
Military goals are not necessarily related to political ones. In 1945 USSR was in total possession of Austria, some parts of Denmark, and Norway and prior to that Iran - non of these became a part of USSR

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Hans N
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Post by Hans N » 20 Nov 2002 01:56

Please correct me if i´m wrong!

Didn´t Stalin wanna take Finland and the Baltic States to protect Leningrad and the naval base at Kronstad?
If not why did he wanna have Hanko (Hangö)?
In 1945 USSR was in total possession of Austria, some parts of Denmark, and Norway and prior to that Iran - non of these became a part of USSR
Well they don´t in my mind have any strategic importance to the USSR!

Sorry for my poor english!

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Oleg Grigoryev
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Post by Oleg Grigoryev » 20 Nov 2002 02:01

Hans N wrote:
Hans N wrote:Please correct me if i´m wrong!

Didn´t Stalin wanna take Finland and the Baltic States to protect Leningrad and the naval base at Kronstadt?

In 1945 USSR was in total possession of Austria, some parts of Denmark, and Norway and prior to that Iran - non of these became a part of USSR

Well they don´t in my mind have any strategic importance to the USSR!

Sorry for my poor english!
that's ok my English is even worse. well we can start the whoel other discussion on the strategic importance of above mentioned areas.

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timoa
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Post by timoa » 20 Nov 2002 09:16

oleg wrote: In 1945 USSR was in total possession of Austria, some parts of Denmark, and Norway and prior to that Iran - non of these became a part of USSR
Do you know which parts of Denmark and Norway?

timo

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Harri
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Post by Harri » 20 Nov 2002 10:22

oleg wrote:
There is no doubt that Stalin intended to re-annex Finland just the same way as the Baltic states
There is no doubt because. Besides there is good chance that you mix cause and consequences – if there were no winter war USSR probably would not annex Baltic states.
Finland was promised to USSR by Germany. There is no doubt. That case is quite clear, Oleg.
oleg wrote:
It is obvious Stalin had the aim of restoring the borders of the former Russian Empire, under him the U.S.S.R.
It is obvious because?
Because Finland was an easy mouthpiece to USSR. Because 1/3 of the whole Red Army fought against Finland. Because we have too much evidences which support that. Because all other countries mentioned in Molotov-Ribbentrop pact were too occupied.
oleg wrote:
The historical background and stages of the Winter War are well explained elsewhere in the Internet, so I suggest you make a search and check the details
from Finnish perspective usually (not if that if there is anything wrong with that –but it is only one side)
Like we all have seen the Soviet perspective does not take all known facts into account. That is why Finnish perspective is much more reliable and closer to true happenings.
oleg wrote:
For political reasons, Stalin needed a pretext for his attack - in the eyes of the world, it would have been just too rude to invade without any reason. The pretext was "the security of Leningrad", which led him to territorial demands on the Karelian Isthmus, in exchange for areas in Eastern Karelia. Finns could not make concessions to the extent of giving up defensive positions on the strategic land corridor to Southern Finland,
and yet they eventually did – interesting is not it?
From Soviet perspective that disaster is of course hard to admit because it shows even more clearly that war against Finland was a failure. Smaller goals which were gained (="only the security of Leningrad" theory) are more easy to explain than a failed large scale conquer plan.
oleg wrote:
The final staging of the pretext was "the Mainila incident", an alleged provocation by the Finnish nation (of less than 4 million) against the Soviet Union (with the population of about 200 million).
while Manila indeed was staged, I fail to see what is the size of the poplution have to do with anything? It is not exactly a boxing match.
Well, it was a boxing match where Soviet boxer was hit by a hard jab which almost knocked him out, I think. :lol:
oleg wrote:
How is it known that Stalin had set his goals further than the borders of Moscow Peace Treaty of 1940?
For one example, the offensive against Finland included a strategic movement from Suomussalmi to Oulu, in order to cut Finland in two. The outcome was to become totally different, like history tells us. But those Red Army troops participating in this operation were given clear orders that ended up in Finnish hands. The orders were, among other things:
- After the conquest of Finland, the troops must not cross the Swedish border at Tornionjoki river.
- The Swedish Frontier Guards must be saluted politely.
Military goals are not necessarily related to political ones. In 1945 USSR was in total possession of Austria, some parts of Denmark, and Norway and prior to that Iran - non of these became a part of USSR
Does it matter? In Soviet Union there was no major difference between these two and soldiers kept on insisting "the liquidation of Finland" like Molotov said to Hitler in Berlin. From our point of view the means used were not important but the results were i.e. we managed to repel possible Soviet puppet governments, conquering of Finland and later joining to Soviet Union. On the other words we saved our freedom and independence. That was our victory which anyone can't deny.

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Oleg Grigoryev
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Post by Oleg Grigoryev » 20 Nov 2002 10:42

Finland was promised to USSR by Germany. There is no doubt. That case is quite clear, Oleg.[/quote] Is that why Molotov went into Germany in 1940 and again raised question of Finland –rather weird attitude if it already was promised to USSR in 1939.
Because Finland was an easy mouthpiece to USSR. Because 1/3 of the whole Red Army fought against Finland. Because we have too much evidences which support that. Because all other countries mentioned in Molotov-Ribbentrop pact were too occupied.
well bring the evidence on then – by that I mean Soviet Document signed by Staling preferably. And btw then Romania was occupied?

Like we all have seen the Soviet perspective does not take all known facts into account. That is why Finnish perspective is much more reliable and closer to true happenings
neither does Finnish as far as I could see. If you actually were interested in what happened you would try to combine two together instead of screaming “mine is better”
From Soviet perspective that disaster is of course hard to admit because it shows even more clearly that war against Finland was a failure. Smaller goals which were gained (="only the security of Leningrad" theory) are more easy to explain than a failed large scale conquer plan.[/quote ]
yes as was mentioned on other forum it was great Finnish victory – couple more victories like that and there would be no Finland left. Btw it more easy to explain if form very begging you have a political agenda to support.

Well, it was a boxing match where Soviet boxer was hit by a hard jab which almost knocked him out, I think
yet in the end it was Finnish boxer who through the white towel.

Does it matter?
well if you had you mind set before you began you research then it does not. If your goal is actually to be objective it is very well could be of importance.

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Harri
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Post by Harri » 20 Nov 2002 12:52

oleg wrote:Is that why Molotov went into Germany in 1940 and again raised question of Finland –rather weird attitude if it already was promised to USSR in 1939.
There was a Moscow peace treaty of 1940. Soviet Union wanted that peace too because it could not break the defence of Finland within a short enough period. The situation had changed since spring 1940 and German troops were already in Finland. Now USSR had to ask the permission from Germany to be quite sure, but Germans refused to give that permission. To me that means USSR was not sure what was agreed between Finland and Germany. On the other had USSR wanted to keep their back safe and new war with Finland (which would have needed 1/4 - 1/3 of all Soviet troops) was too dangerous without full German support.
oleg wrote: well bring the evidence on then – by that I mean Soviet Document signed by Staling preferably. And btw then Romania was occupied?
Like I said you don't wand to see the evidences. Not the whole Romania, it was Bessarabia (is it so in English too?) which was demanded and conquered.
oleg wrote:yes as was mentioned on other forum it was great Finnish victory – couple more victories like that and there would be no Finland left. Btw it more easy to explain if form very begging you have a political agenda to support.[/quote ]

Speculation again...if so you'd have faced another endless guerrilla war...
oleg wrote:
Harri wrote: Well, it was a boxing match where Soviet boxer was hit by a hard jab which almost knocked him out, I think
yet in the end it was Finnish boxer who through the white towel.
No it wasn't. Actually Finnish boxer left the ring standing on his own feet. The match was won by the Soviet boxer with referees' votes. Soviet boxer suffered from much more serious injuries than the Finnish one (but his "balls" were partly amputated later). :wink:
oleg wrote:well if you had you mind set before you began you research then it does not. If your goal is actually to be objective it is very well could be of importance.
I haven't seen anything new which would change my mind - just speculations. Objectivity will be never reached if most proves accepted elsewhere are denied.

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Oleg Grigoryev
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Post by Oleg Grigoryev » 22 Nov 2002 04:15

The goal is to defeat covering force, to take Karelian fortified area , and, by developing offensive into the North-Western and Northern directions, in cooperation with forces of Vidickoe axis, to defeat main enemy grouping in the area of Sortavala, Vipuri, Keksgolm, and to take areas of Xitola, Imatra, Vipuri. Upon completion of these tasks, forces are to be ready for future actions in the depths of the country if required.

From the report of Commander in Chief of Leningrad Military District to the peoples Commissar of Defense -in regards to plan of defeat of of land and naval forces of Finland. From October 29 1939/. This is the only reference in the high level documents that says anything about moving into Finland’s heartland – and that presumed to be one of the options and not ultimate military objective. No part of the document says anything about occupation of Finland.


Operational Directive by Peoples Commissar of defense dated by 16.11.1939 talks about developing offensive if situation permits towards Helsiki but once again does not set the capture of the city or occupation of the country as an objective.

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Post by timoa » 22 Nov 2002 08:22

Just a viewpoint to discussion:
From the report of Commander in Chief of Leningrad Military District to the peoples Commissar of Defense ....
No part of the document says anything about occupation of Finland. ....
Operational Directive by Peoples Commissar of defense dated by 16.11.1939 talks about developing offensive if situation permits towards Helsiki but once again does not set the capture of the city or occupation of the country as an objective.
http://www.helsinki-hs.net/news.asp?id=20010724IE7

"According to various sources, Shostakovich found himself obliged to compose the piece on the orders of the Soviet Ministry of Culture - and for presentation in Helsinki at a celebration to mark the conquest of Finland by the Red Army and the country's having been occupied and made into a "Soviet Socialist Republic of Finland".

One of the "various sources" being this composer, who is russian originally.

- timo

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Oleg Grigoryev
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Post by Oleg Grigoryev » 22 Nov 2002 08:33

timoa wrote:Just a viewpoint to discussion:
From the report of Commander in Chief of Leningrad Military District to the peoples Commissar of Defense ....
No part of the document says anything about occupation of Finland. ....
Operational Directive by Peoples Commissar of defense dated by 16.11.1939 talks about developing offensive if situation permits towards Helsiki but once again does not set the capture of the city or occupation of the country as an objective.
http://www.helsinki-hs.net/news.asp?id=20010724IE7

"According to various sources, Shostakovich found himself obliged to compose the piece on the orders of the Soviet Ministry of Culture - and for presentation in Helsinki at a celebration to mark the conquest of Finland by the Red Army and the country's having been occupied and made into a "Soviet Socialist Republic of Finland".

One of the "various sources" being this composer, who is russian originally.

- timo
I would like to see "various sources" - mine are very specific documents. yours are anecdotal.

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timoa
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Post by timoa » 22 Nov 2002 08:47

I would like to see "various sources" - mine are very specific documents. yours are anecdotal.
I would like to see these "various sources" also. Besides, this is not my document, it is just an article in the newspaper that I wanted to share as a viewpoint to this discussion.

-timo the tank destroyer

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Oleg Grigoryev
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Post by Oleg Grigoryev » 22 Nov 2002 09:01

timoa wrote:
I would like to see "various sources" - mine are very specific documents. yours are anecdotal.
I would like to see these "various sources" also. Besides, this is not my document, it is just an article in the newspaper that I wanted to share as a viewpoint to this discussion.

-timo the tank destroyer
I am sorry about misunderstanding.

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Question to Oleg

Post by JariL » 22 Nov 2002 11:21

<The goal is to defeat covering force, to take Karelian fortified area , and, <by developing offensive into the North-Western and Northern directions, <in cooperation with forces of Vidickoe axis, to defeat main enemy <grouping in the area of Sortavala, Vipuri, Keksgolm, and to take areas <of Xitola, Imatra, Vipuri. Upon completion of these tasks, forces are to <be ready for future actions in the depths of the country if required.

Hi Oleg,

The above does not include the operational plans in the Northern parts of Finland. Both the 163rd and 44th divisions were to advance from the border to Oulu and cut Finland into two. When both divisions were destroyed Finns captured a lot of material that among other things revealed objectives of both divisions. What do the sources you quote say about the operations in Northern Finland?

Regards,

Jari

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