The Red Army leaving Petsamo in 1940

Discussions on the Winter War and Continuation War, the wars between Finland and the USSR.
Hosted by Juha Tompuri
User avatar
Hanski
Member
Posts: 1887
Joined: 24 Aug 2002 19:18
Location: Helsinki

Post by Hanski » 25 Nov 2002 18:53

About the political goal if Finland had been defeated militarily - why on earth should Stalin have given up politically something that had been conquered militarily with the sacrifices of the Red Army?

probably for the same reason they left Petsamo after the war.
There is a less generous reason for the Red Army to leave Petsamo in 1940. Building a nickle mine under arctic conditions was technically no simple task with the technology of the 1930's, especially when there was only one road leading to the site from Finland for transporting supplies.

The Western capitalists of the International Nickel Company had not yet built the mine ready for production in 1939, so in 1940 Stalin could quite calmly wait and let them complete it -- especially, if he knew he was going to take it later anyway.

When the mine was already in operation, he had nothing against taking it in 1944.


Hanski

Mark V
Member
Posts: 3925
Joined: 22 May 2002 09:41
Location: Suomi Finland

Post by Mark V » 25 Nov 2002 20:08

hmononen wrote: The Western capitalists of the International Nickel Company had not yet built the mine ready for production in 1939, so in 1940 Stalin could quite calmly wait and let them complete it -- especially, if he knew he was going to take it later anyway.
Hanski
IMO it was INCOs interests on Petsamo mineral deposits that forced Soviet Union to give up Petsamo back to Finland after Winter War.

Soviet Union had worsened it's relations to British Empire to nearly breaking point in spring 1940. Pact with Germany which breaked the traditional British method of war - blockade, was the main reason for this.

By stoling this mine from INCO would have jeopardized British Empire economical interests on regards of extremely important alloying metal - nickel ***, and would have still worsened Soviet-British relations. We should not forget that INCO was the De Beers of nickel business - In other words, it (almost) held the monopoly for international nickel trade between the world wars and the company had very high influence on political decisionmaking. Also the material we are talking about is one of the most critical in times of war. Nickel is essential in steel alloying - without it no one could make arms or armour !!

And like hmononen said, the mine was not ready for production at that time and Stalin for sure had plans to finish Finland on some later opportunity, when risk for foreign intervention would have been smaller.


*** Not saying that INCO didn't have enough of nickel, on the contrary. But it was like De Beers - it wanted all of it. There is no business like monopoly-business...

Mark V
Member
Posts: 3925
Joined: 22 May 2002 09:41
Location: Suomi Finland

Post by Mark V » 26 Nov 2002 10:50

Well, since we have gone to discussion about important mineral deposits in axis held Europe:

Kolosjoki (Petsamo) nickel mine was extremely important for Germany, but it was far away in north - on the extreme limit of German influence, on somewhat dangered location though Germans were able to secure this mine until autumn 1944.

Nickel is critical, but what other steel alloying metals are as important ?? These are also metals without any attempt to wage modern war would fail immediately ?? Answer: Chrome and manganese.

Not much to talk about manganese: Germans did conquer huge deposits of it at Nikopol.

But what about Chrome ?? Germans did import it from Turkey, but they did not held itself (i mean held with Wehrmacht assuring availability) not a one very large deposits of this metal, like they did in other materials as important (Petsamo/nickel, Krivoi-Rog/iron, Nikopol/manganese)... Or did they ??

I think Hitler (and Speer) would have been shocked, if they would have found out that they held one of the worlds largest chrome deposits practically on their hands. Actually Wehrmacht troops almost lived on top of that deposit. Easily available (near surface - could be open pit mined), in very secure position, in friendly country, near to excellent harbours and with secure transportation route to Germany...

Little quiz :P Where is this deposit ??

Hitler did understand the high importance of strategic materials, and for sure he would have rolled on his grave - if he would have had one... :lol:

User avatar
Oleg Grigoryev
Member
Posts: 5051
Joined: 12 Mar 2002 20:06
Location: Russia

Post by Oleg Grigoryev » 27 Nov 2002 02:31

hmononen wrote:
About the political goal if Finland had been defeated militarily - why on earth should Stalin have given up politically something that had been conquered militarily with the sacrifices of the Red Army?

probably for the same reason they left Petsamo after the war.
There is a less generous reason for the Red Army to leave Petsamo in 1940. Building a nickle mine under arctic conditions was technically no simple task with the technology of the 1930's, especially when there was only one road leading to the site from Finland for transporting supplies.

The Western capitalists of the International Nickel Company had not yet built the mine ready for production in 1939, so in 1940 Stalin could quite calmly wait and let them complete it -- especially, if he knew he was going to take it later anyway.

When the mine was already in operation, he had nothing against taking it in 1944.


Hanski
let me get it straight -on one hand you are asking me what would make Soviets leave the Finland after successful conquest, on the other you are saying that USSR left Petsamo because of some British monopoly? how do you put these two together exactly?

Mark V
Member
Posts: 3925
Joined: 22 May 2002 09:41
Location: Suomi Finland

Post by Mark V » 27 Nov 2002 08:29

>>> Little quiz Where is this (chrome) deposit ??

Since no-one have cracked the quiz, i give you an answer:


Kemi. In Finland in the northern coast of Gulf of Bothnia. It is worlds second largest producer of chrome today.

http://www.vr.fi/heo/english/kuvat/kemi.jpg

http://www.outokumpu.fi/steel/chrome1.htm



Well, this is just speculation since the deposit was not known during WW2. But like i said before, it would have had been very easily mined, and is in excellent location for Germans...

And it would have supplied them ample supply of chrome. Speer did mention that chrome was the most critical material for Germany.

User avatar
Topspeed
Member
Posts: 4785
Joined: 15 Jun 2004 15:19
Location: Finland

Post by Topspeed » 03 Sep 2004 16:01

Hanski wrote: The Western capitalists of the International Nickel Company had not yet built the mine ready for production in 1939, so in 1940 Stalin could quite calmly wait and let them complete it -- especially, if he knew he was going to take it later anyway.

When the mine was already in operation, he had nothing against taking it in 1944.
Is this a fact Hanski. Was this how Stalin operated ?


rgrds,

Juke T

User avatar
Hanski
Member
Posts: 1887
Joined: 24 Aug 2002 19:18
Location: Helsinki

Post by Hanski » 03 Sep 2004 16:33

Well, looking at the time line, isn't this what history tells us?

Return to “Winter War & Continuation War”