The document prepared for Finnish unconditional surrender?

Discussions on the Winter War and Continuation War, the wars between Finland and the USSR.
Hosted by Juha Tompuri
varjag
Financial supporter
Posts: 4430
Joined: 01 May 2002 01:44
Location: Australia

Post by varjag » 21 Oct 2004 12:51

Jari - I went back to the book and re-read the passage about Finland and Zhdanov. No it does not specify a time. Montefiori relies a lot on verbal say-so and is often a little bit wishy-washy about actual timing. What I can read from the context, it may well have been after V-E Day in Europe and with Zhdanov established in Helsinki as Stalins special commissar for implementation of the peace agreement with Finland. Zhdanov seems to have lobbied the Politbureau (of which he was a member) and also the Central Committe - for total annexation of Finland.
'The Pianist' - as he was called in Stalins entourage - 'had studied extensively Finnish history...and was expert at the politics of Helsinki...' His heavy-handed treatment of Finland - belies in my opinion any more understanding of Finnish politics than did his tsarist predecessor - Bobrikov......Given Zhdanovs 'favourite' status with Stalin around that time and his political base in Leningrad - I feel it quite possible, that should a document of the nature looked for in this forum be found - it may well be sourced to his desk.

User avatar
Juha Tompuri
Forum Staff
Posts: 11342
Joined: 11 Sep 2002 20:02
Location: Mylsä

Post by Juha Tompuri » 22 Oct 2004 20:00

Hi,

Here's something.
The scans are from "Pion P 14 - IV AK:n pioneeripataljoona 1941 - 1944" (Engineer Battalion 14 of Army Corps IV...) ISBN-952-91-0762-5 published 1999.
They were found by Martti Turtola at Russian Foreign Office, MID, archives. I have the permission to post them here by the author Eero Vankka.
For personal reasons I will be offline for a while, could some of you my fellow countrymen, translate the most intresting parts of the document.


These would have been the Soviet peace terms late June 1944:
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

User avatar
Juha Tompuri
Forum Staff
Posts: 11342
Joined: 11 Sep 2002 20:02
Location: Mylsä

Post by Juha Tompuri » 22 Oct 2004 20:04

Continuing...
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

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

Post by Hanski » 23 Oct 2004 16:25

Here is my translation to begin with:


The Finnish Government and the Supreme Command of the Defence Forces acknowledge the complete defeat of the Finnish Armed Forces in the war against the U.S.S.R. and announce the unconditional surrender of Finland, requesting the cessation of acts of war. The Government of the U.S.S.R. agrees to formulate the terms, on which it is ready to halt the acts of war against Finland, because the Finnish Government and the Supreme Command of the Defence Forces fully accept the demands of the Government of the U.S.S.R., and because they commit themselves into abstaining from preventing acts of war by the Allied against Germany and other Axis powers. On the basis of the above, the representatives of the Supreme Command of the Soviet Defence Forces (on one hand), and the representatives of the Finnish Government and the Supreme Command of the Finnish Defence Forces (on the other hand), all of whom have the required authorization, have undersigned the document below on the unconditional surrender of Finland:

1. WAR TERMS

A. GENERAL WAR TERMS

1. Hereby the Finnish land, naval, and air forces, regardless of their location, surrender unconditionally.

2. The Finnish Government and Supreme Command cease acts of war against the Allied in all theatres of war on land, on sea and in the air after one hour from signing this document.

3. The Supreme Command of the Finnish Defence Forces will give without delay to the Supreme Command of the Soviet Military Forces complete information on the locations, orders of battle and equipment of all the units of the Finnish land, air, and naval forces, wherever these are located, as well as the military units of its allies, located in Finnish territory, or co-operating with it.

4. The Supreme Command of the Finnish Defence Forces gives to the Supreme Command of the Soviet Military Forces complete information on the location of mines, mined obstacles, and other obstacles of movement prepared by the Finnish Armed Forces or it allies on land, on sea, and in the air, including mined obstacles in the Baltic Sea, the Barents Sea, Lake Ladoga, and Lake Onega as well as other waterways.
The clearing of mines and removal of obstacles will be carried out by the Finnish land and naval forces under the supervision of and in the order and schedule as ordered by the Supreme Command of the Soviet Military Forces.

5. As this document takes effect, the Finnish Government and the Supreme Command of the Finnish Defence Forces commit themselves without delay in calling to Finland all Finnish troops on other fronts and in disarming them.

6. The German military compounds and units operating in Finnish territory must immediately be disarmed and interned. The staff in command of these troops and the whole personnel of German headquarters must be detained.
The Finnish Government and the Supreme Command of the Finnish Defence Forces will give all possible assistance to the Supreme Command of the Soviet Defence Forces in the disarming of these military troops. In this context must be taken into account the possibility of Finnish Armed Forces participating in the disarming of German military troops on the demand of the Supreme Command of the Soviet Military Forces.
The representatives of the Supreme Command of the German Military Forces at Finnish headquarters and military units must be immediately arrested and handed over to the Supreme Command of the Soviet Defence Forces.
The Finnish Government and the Supreme Command of the Finnish Defence Forces will forbid transportations of German military troops through Finnish territory and provision of weapons, equipment, and all other supplies to German military troops, and their local supplying.

7. The Supreme Command of the Finnish Defence Forces will carry out the disarming of all Finnish land, air, and naval forces according to the orders, schedule, and sequence given by the Supreme Command of the Soviet Military Forces, under its supervision.

8. Since the moment of signing this document until when the Supreme Command of the Soviet Military Forces has taken under its control all communications connections in Finland, all radio broadcasts in Finnish territory are forbidden, and Finnish telegraph, telephone, and radio connections to other countries will be cut off.

9. The Finnish Government and the Supreme Command of the Finnish Defence Forces will secure the transportations of military troops of the U.S.S.R. in Finnish territory by rail and by other means of transportation and the needed supplies to the troops.

10. To fulfil the terms of surrender and to secure the interests of the U.S.S.R., the Supreme Command of the Soviet Military Forces – by its own military forces and at its own discretion – will occupy partially or fully the territory of Finland, her harbours, the archipelago of Åland, and the islands of the Gulf of Finland.
The Government of the U.S.S.R. will make use of all the rights of an occupying power in the occupied territories of Finland. The Supreme Command of the Soviet Military Forces will publish its own orders and directives. The Finnish Government and the Finnish people will by all means try to contribute to the execution of these orders and directives. To serve this aim, the Finnish Government will without delay give an order to all the authorities of the central and local government, to the judicial system, public organisations, and all civil servants to remain in their previous positions, to obey orders unconditionally, and to carry out their duties conscientiously, until the Supreme Command of the Soviet Military Forces gives its directives.

11. In the occupied territories of Finland the maintenance of order and peace will be the responsibility of the Supreme Command of the Soviet Military Forces. In the unoccupied Finnish territories the above will be the responsibility of the Finnish Government.

12. The Finnish Government will commit itself to carrying out such legislative and other measures, as deemed necessary by the Supreme Command of the Soviet Military Forces in fulfilling the terms of this document.

13. The Finnish Government will cover all expenses of the occupation.


--------------

And so on… who wants to continue?

Bloody hell, these terms are equal to sticking up your arms and handing out a loaded gun to be pressed on your head!

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

Post by Hanski » 23 Oct 2004 20:05

So, let us continue on the finishing off of Finland…

-------------

B. FINNISH LAND AND AIR FORCES

14. The Finnish disarmed land forces will remain in those locations and garrisons where they were at the moment of signing this document, until the Supreme Command of the Soviet Military Forces gives a directive on their transfer, demobilization, or the like.

15. The Finnish Government and the Supreme Command of the Defence Forces will hand over on the demand of the Supreme Command of the Soviet Military Forces to the latter in the ordered schedule and sequence in its entirety the infantry armament, anti-tank armament, artillery, tanks, armoured vehicles, armoured railway carriages, aircraft, anti-aircraft equipment with its communication devices, all other armament and means of transport, ammunition, mines, and other military equipment, which belong to Finland, as well as those in Finnish territory and belong to other Axis states, in the form in which all the objects and supplies listed above were at the moment of signing this document.

16. Since the moment of signing this document Finnish military and civilian aircraft as well as aircraft belonging to other countries in Finnish territory are forbidden to take off without a special permission of the Supreme Command of the Soviet Military Forces. Any aircraft appearing in the air space without such permission is regarded as an enemy aircraft.
All the aircraft mentioned in this paragraph with their crews and equipment will remain on their site at the moment of signing this document, until the Supreme Command of the Soviet Military Forces directs otherwise.

17. The Finnish Government and Supreme Command will hand over to the Supreme Command of the Soviet Military Forces in the schedule and order it directs all airfields with all of their equipment, stores, and airfield supplies in fully functional condition.

18. The Finnish Government and Supreme Command of the Defence Forces will hand over to the Supreme Command of the Soviet Military Forces all land and coastal fortifications with all of their weapons, ammunition, materials, and production facilities in them in fully functional condition, and plans and floor maps of fortifications, and will secure unhindered and safe access into the fortifications.


C. FINNISH MILITARY AND MERCHANT NAVY

19. The Finnish Government will undertake all the necessary measures needed to all Finnish ships and submarines, located in Finnish sea and lake harbours at the moment of signing this document, to remain in these harbours with their crews without letting the crew leave, until the Supreme Command of the Soviet Military Forces, acting in the name of the Allied, directs otherwise.
All ships and submarines at sea will return to the nearest port, where they will remain until the arrival of special orders. Any warship breaking this directive is regarded as an enemy ship by the Supreme Command of the Soviet Military Forces.

20. Finnish merchant, fishing, and other vessels and ships sailing under any other flag as well as vessels belonging to river and internal water fleet, which are in Finnish harbours at the moment of signing this document, must remain in these harbours and vessels in Finnish territorial waters must immediately sail to the nearest Finnish harbour and remain there, until their ownership is cleared and the Supreme Command of the Soviet Military Forces has given the directives regarding them.
Any warship in breach of this directive is regarded as an enemy ship by the Supreme Command of the Soviet Military Forces.

21. The staff in command of German Naval Forces subdued under the Supreme Command of the Finnish Defence Forces in Finnish harbours and bases and their representatives in Finnish Naval headquarters must be immediately arrested and handed over to the Supreme Command of the Soviet Military Forces.

22. The Finnish Government and Supreme Command of the Defence Forces will hand over to the Supreme Command of the Soviet Military Forces all vessels and submarines of military, merchant, and supply fleets as well as special vessels, water-based aircraft, technical devices, and all of the armament of the Naval Forces with its ammunition in the form that they are at the moment of signing this document with all their plans and information.

23. Warships sailing under any flag and all vessels listed under paragraph 22 are forbidden to be handed over to another state.
All transactions made during the preceding six months before the signing of this document, related to Finnish warships and other sea or river vessels such as sale, exchange, lease, and handing over on other terms, are invalid. All vessels involving the mentioned transactions, as well as all ships hiding in foreign harbours, are regarded Finnish irrespective of where these ships and vessels are at the moment of signing this document.
The Finnish Government will undertake all required measures to return these ships and vessels to Finland and to cede them in accordance with paragraph 22 to the Supreme Command of the Soviet Military Forces.
The Finnish Government will compensate for the value of unreturned warships and vessels to the Supreme Command of the Soviet Military Forces.

24. The decrees of paragraph 20, 22, and 23 apply respectively to vessels of Germany, Italy, and Rumania in Finnish territorial waters at the moment of signing this document. The crews of these vessels must be immediately interned and the vessels must be handed over to be guarded and serviced by Finnish harbour authorities, until otherwise directed.

25. All vessels in Finnish harbours belonging to the United Nations – regardless of whether their ownership has been transferred to a Finnish citizen as war booty or otherwise – will be ceded without delay to the Supreme Command of the Soviet Military Forces in the condition in which they are at the moment of signing this document, in order for them to be returned to their owners.
The Finnish Government will bear full material responsibility of all kinds of damage or destroying of these vessels.


------------------

So, besides surrendering yourself entirely to the mercy of your enemy, now you are also expected to let him rob you…

In fact, I am surprised on the frankness of these terms. Stalin was not trying to hide what he had in mind, on the contrary he quite openly told the Finns what to expect. No wonder it was deemed better to die in battle rather than to die later in humiliation and slavery.

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

Post by Hanski » 24 Oct 2004 12:20

Now, let us continue in preparing for the genocide of the Finns…

--------------



II. RETURNING PRISONERS OF WAR AND LIBERATION OF ALLIED CIVILIAN POPULATION


26. The Finnish Government and Supreme Command will without delay hand over all Allied prisoners of war in their custody to the Supreme Command of Soviet Military Forces in locations directed by it and in accordance with its instructions and schedule.

27. All Allied citizens arrested or interned by Finnish authorities as well as those convicted to slavery will be immediately liberated.

28. The Finnish Government and Supreme Command of Defence Forces commit themselves from the moment of signing this document to secure sufficient nourishment, clothing, medication, and accommodation to all Allied prisoners of war, detained, interned, and enslaved citizens.

29. The Finnish Government and Supreme Command of Defence Forces will provide the Supreme Command of Soviet Military Forces with a list of those entrepreneurs and other persons, for whom the Allied citizens mentioned in paragraph 26 worked.



III. BREAKING UP RELATIONS BETWEEN FINLAND AND AXIS POWERS

30. From the moment of signing this document the Finnish Government will break up all political, financial, and other relations with the Axis powers. Beginning at the same moment Finnish diplomats, military persons, and representatives of Consulates and other offices in these countries will lose their authorization and they will be immediately called back to Finland.
Diplomats, military persons, and representatives of Consulates of the Axis powers in Finnish territory will be treated in accordance with directives of the Government of the U.S.S.R.

31. The Government of the U.S.S.R. may give orders on maintaining relations with neutral diplomats, military persons, and representatives of Consulates in Finnish territory, with Governments, or demand the removal of these representatives from Finnish territory as well as determine the rules on the relations between the Finnish Government and its representatives and neutral countries.


IV. MILITARY POLITICAL TERMS

32. All the detachments and compounds of the Civic Guard [Suojeluskunta] and Finnish equivalent organizations belonging as well to the front as the rear must be immediately disarmed.
The Supreme Command of Soviet Military Forces will define the rules on the disarmament and handing over of weapons. All members of the Civic Guard must be interned.

33. The Finnish Government will immediately abolish all organizations as decreed by the Supreme Command of Soviet Military Forces.

34. Those guilty of war and war criminals, as named in the lists of the Government of the U.S.S.R., will be immediately arrested by the Finnish Government and handed over to the Government of the U.S.S.R. via the Supreme Command of Soviet Military Forces.

35. The Finnish Government will immediately liberate all arrested persons regardless of nationality, accused of sympathy towards the Allies or action for the Allies.

36. All citizens of the Axis states, who are at war against the Allied, and stay in Finnish territory at the moment of signing this document, must be immediately interned. The later status of these persons will be decided by the Government of the U.S.S.R.

37. The Finnish Government will immediately forbid its citizens to join the armies of states at war against the Allies or neutral states.

38. Finnish citizens and citizens of any other state in Finnish territory are forbidden since the moment of signing this document to engage in any activity for those states at war with some country belonging to the Allied.

39. Since the moment of signing this document travelling outside the Finnish borders and arrival into the country is forbidden for all without the permission of the Supreme Command of Soviet Military Forces.

40. The Finnish Government will present all archives and documents, especially regarding the armed forces and enterprises in war industry, as demanded by the Government of the U.S.S.R. Destroying or hiding documents or information in any kinds of archives, notes, plans, or any other documents is forbidden.


V. MILITARY ECONOMICAL TERMS

41. Since the moment of signing this document the functioning of Finnish national and private enterprises participating in production of weapons, ammunition, explosives, and other war material, will cease.

42. All Finnish enterprises of war industry with all their finished products, equipment, raw materials, other materials, plans, drawings, and patents etc. will become intact and they will be transferred under the control of the Supreme Command of Soviet Military Forces.

43. All the workers and employees of the enterprises mentioned in paragraph 41 will remain in their own workplaces and the Finnish Government will guarantee them the wages, which they were receiving at the moment of signing this document, until the production of these enterprises is converted for civilian production, or the work force in question is used for another purpose on the permission of the Supreme Command of Soviet Military Forces.

44. The Finnish Government will commit itself to promptly present its own proposals to the Supreme Command of Soviet Military Forces on converting the enterprises of war industry to manufacture products for civilian purposes.

45. The Finnish Government and Supreme Command of Defence Forces will take all required measures to avoid damaging or destroying industrial enterprises, power plants, weather and radio stations, facilities of railways, roads, harbours etc., war material, economical facilities, stores, bases etc., and will guarantee the guarding of property, state- or privately owned.

46. The Finnish Government will bear full material responsibility of all kinds of damage or destruction of industrial enterprises and facilities and other property mentioned in the paragraphs 15, 17, 18, 21, 23, and 45.

47. Since the moment of signing this document and during the whole period of its being in force, it is forbidden for Finnish physical and juridical persons and enterprises and institutions of the state to sell, exchange, lease, or hand over all kinds of fixed property (such as factories, power plants etc.) to foreign citizens or enterprises.
All transactions of the like made during the year preceding the signing of this document will be regarded invalid and all property obtained in this manner is considered to belong to Finland.

48. Since the signing of this document and during the entire period of it being in force, the following will be ordered under control of the Supreme Command of Soviet Military Forces:
a) Finnish raw material, processing, and other industry; b) resources of raw materials; c) all storages of grain products, food supplies, and forage; d) internal and external trade and banking; e) all traffic on rails, waterways, and roads and civilian aviation; f) communications facilities like post, radio, telegraph, telephone etc. g) publishing of printed products, theatre and cinema shows, radio broadcasts, and other occasions of propaganda and entertainment.

49. All relations regarding monetary traffic, trade, etc., or business transactions with Axis states or for them and with states occupied by Axis states will be entirely abolished.

50. The Finnish Government will commit itself in accordance with the schedule directed by the Supreme Command of Soviet Military Forces to return to the U.S.S.R. in full the entire property transported away during the war operations, belonging to state or public enterprises and institutions, co-operatives, or private citizens, such as machines and equipment of factories, locomotives, railway carriages, tractors, historical monuments, valuables of museums, and other property.

51. The Finnish Government and the Finnish people will compensate to the Soviet Union for the losses inflicted on the Soviet Union by Finnish acts of war.
The Finnish Government will undertake on the demand of the Supreme Command of Soviet Military Forces to compensate for the losses mentioned in the previous sentence in the order, form, and schedule directed by the Supreme Command.

52. As a guarantee for paying for the losses inflicted on the Allied the Supreme Command of Soviet Military Forces will confiscate the gold deposits of both the Bank of Finland and other banks, foreign currency, and other assets as presented in the year 194_ official books of and documents of these banks.
The Finnish Government will undertake all required measures to return to Finland as soon as possible the gold deposits, foreign currency, and other assets of the Bank of Finland and other banks belonging to it but located abroad.
Since the moment of signing this document and during the entire period of its being in force, all kinds of transactions with the assets presented in the previous paragraph, are forbidden, and all deals with these assets made in Finnish territory or abroad during ____ time before signing this document will be regarded invalid and all such assets, with which the transactions in question have been made, will be regarded as Finnish property, regardless of where these assets are at the moment of Finland’s surrender.


VI. FINAL DECREES

53. This document will take effect from the moment of its signing and it will be in force until the peace treaty between the Allied and Finland will take effect.

54. To enforce the decrees of this document the Government of the U.S.S.R. will establish a Control Commission, which will act in Finnish territory subdued to the Supreme Command of Soviet Military Forces.

55. In case the Finnish Government or the Supreme Command of the Defence Forces will not fulfil one of the terms in this document, the Supreme Command of Soviet Military Forces will use means of force, to guarantee fulfilling of the terms. If needed, the Government of the U.S.S.R. will invalidate this document, when the invalidation will take effect immediately.

56. This document has been prepared in the Russian and Finnish languages, while the Russian text will be conclusive and in arguments on its understanding the decisions of the Control Commission will be final.

Authorized by the Government of the U.S.S.R. by the Finnish Government Authorized by the Soviet Military Forces the representatives of the Supreme Command (signatures)(signatures) Authorized by the Supreme Command of the Finnish Defence Forces (signatures).




----------


To sum up, accepting this document would have meant exposing the nation entirely at the mercy of the occupier, completely sealed off from the outside world, deprived of leadership and all conceivable means of self-defence. It is not hard to imagine the consequences…

User avatar
Juha Tompuri
Forum Staff
Posts: 11342
Joined: 11 Sep 2002 20:02
Location: Mylsä

Post by Juha Tompuri » 24 Oct 2004 21:40

Thank you Hanski very much for your effort.
Very detailed job indeed.

Regards, Juha

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

Post by Hanski » 25 Oct 2004 07:08

You are welcome!

Like the beginning of this thread shows, the very existence of this draft document for Finland's unconditional surrender is not widely known at all in Finland, and it is even considered a myth. It makes me wonder, why? The reasons for not making it public must have been political.

In effect, the contents of the document mean preparations for something like the Katyn massacre and extensive deportations of the Finns to the GuLag in the fashion it was carried out in the Baltic states, to be replaced by Soviet population.

There is absolutely no question that Finland would have never again been the same, if these terms would have been implemented, and the loss of critical human resources in this context would have meant an irreversible destructive blow to the nation, regardless of the political system that would have been adopted (which is not hard to guess, either). The post-war reconstruction could not have taken place as promptly as it did, and the recovery from war would have been much slower, and ended incomplete in a Soviet Republic or a Soviet satellite, with the nature of the whole society permanently changed.

Thank God the Finnish leaders refused to accept these suicidal terms, the Defence Forces kept fighting on, and the nightmare never materialized!

Does anyone have the time and venue of Docent Rentola's lecture on 27 Oct?

User avatar
Juha Tompuri
Forum Staff
Posts: 11342
Joined: 11 Sep 2002 20:02
Location: Mylsä

Post by Juha Tompuri » 25 Oct 2004 09:20

Hanski wrote:In effect, the contents of the document mean preparations for something like the Katyn massacre and extensive deportations of the Finns to the GuLag in the fashion it was carried out in the Baltic states, to be replaced by Soviet population.
Yes.
I think this draft document also reveals to everybody what the Soviet initial intentions towards Finland at their summer-44 attack ( 4th strategic offensive) were. Not some local attack to just force Finland out of the war, but occupation and total control of the whole country.

Thank God the Finnish leaders refused to accept these suicidal terms, the Defence Forces kept fighting on, and the nightmare never materialized!
Yes.

Regards, Juha

User avatar
Jari
Member
Posts: 132
Joined: 18 Aug 2004 11:32
Location: Finland

Post by Jari » 25 Oct 2004 09:36

Hanski wrote:It makes me wonder, why? The reasons for not making it public must have been political.


Seeing left wing conspiracies again... :roll: Care to explain why it "must have been political"? What even makes you think that it has been disputed that Soviets were demanding a total submission until late summer '44? It is your extreme political views that distort your thinking. For example, what makes you think that Soviet population would have been moved to Finland after 1944? That didn't happen anywhere else in the non-annexed Soviet occupied Europe, that is Poland, Hungary, Romania, East Germany, Czechoslovakia and Bulgaria (plus Austria). Do you have anything to support your claims, other than your own political conviction?

And even the way things happened, Finland bent over in a way that made it very vulnerable (Porkkala, reduced army, ACC, Communists in government) to a renewed Soviet aggression under the pretext of some violation of truce terms. The terms were not accepted because they guaranteed peace and Finnish independence, but because the other option was to wait for the next offensive - uncertain independence was better than certain occupation. It is fortunate that the lines held in July and that the subsequent truce lasted all the way to the final settlement.

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

Post by Hanski » 25 Oct 2004 10:59

Jari wrote:
Hanski wrote:It makes me wonder, why? The reasons for not making it public must have been political.


Seeing left wing conspiracies again... :roll: Care to explain why it "must have been political"?


Who says it was the left wing that decided to keep this secret? It comes entirely from your head this time.

The process of handling this Soviet proposal for surrender is a subject for historical studies in its own right, and would indeed be most interesting to know. It goes without saying that the proposal was presented via various intermediaries to the Finnish authorities in charge of running the whole country as well as the war, i.e., to Ryti and Mannerheim, and an inner circle of top decision makers, who could formulate an answer to the Soviets representing Finland, plus their subsequent successors. So much for your ridiculous idea of a "leftist" top of power structure prevailing in Finland since June 1944 all through the post-war years!

Why it must have been political? Care to explain what else can it be than politics? In a Western democracy essential historical matters of this magnitude are made public for reasons of principle, just like other central facts, like the Soviet demands before the Winter War etc. If the above is an authentic document -- like I believe it is -- there must be an original kept somewhere, but for specific good reasons not much noise has been heard about it previously. In my opinion, what you call a "conspiracy" was that it was not thought desirable to bring up the subject in public discussion, in order not to risk the relations with the Soviets.

I am not saying the chosen policy was wrong at the time! There were plenty of other examples where it was simply wise to compromise on the freedom of speech in post-WWII Finland. But now we live different times, and again, the concealment in itself is worth research.

What even makes you think that it has been disputed that Soviets were demanding a total submission until late summer '44?


:roll: ...beats me. What makes you think you can read my thoughts?

Jari wrote: It is your extreme political views that distort your thinking.


Well, congratulations to you for having such unbiased and objective supernatural gift of reading minds of others!


Jari wrote: For example, what makes you think that Soviet population would have been moved to Finland after 1944?


What makes you think what happened in the Baltic countries could not possibly have happened in Finland?

Jari wrote: That didn't happen anywhere else in the non-annexed Soviet occupied Europe, that is Poland, Hungary, Romania, East Germany, Czechoslovakia and Bulgaria (plus Austria). Do you have anything to support your claims, other than your own political conviction


What makes you think Finland would have remained non-annexed? For one thing, as a former Grand Duchy of the Russian Czar, her status was different from the countries you listed. For another thing, Stalin is quoted as saying that Finns are a small nation, they can quite easily be transferred elsewhere -- he had some routine in these type of arrangements, but transporting populations of tens of millions like in your listed countries would have been an unreasonable burden even for the October Railways.

But please do enlighten us with your superb knowledge, what exactly did Stalin plan, had the Finns accepted the terms of June 1944.

Jari wrote: And even the way things happened, Finland bent over in a way that made it very vulnerable (Porkkala, reduced army, ACC, Communists in government) to a renewed Soviet aggression under the pretext of some violation of truce terms.


Yes, but there was a difference like between night and day in the terms that Finland finally accepted. The country was never occupied (except Porkkala being held like a knife on your throat), and the Defence Forces were undefeated, like the spirit of the nation itself, which even prepared to defend itself with the weapons hidden in caches, had the worst scenario materialized.

Jari wrote:The terms were not accepted because they guaranteed peace and Finnish independence,


They did not guarantee it, but they gave it a good chance, which is enormously different from losing it altogether for good!


Jari wrote:...but because the other option was to wait for the next offensive - uncertain independence was better than certain occupation. It is fortunate that the lines held in July and that the subsequent truce lasted all the way to the final settlement.


Here we finally agree. Also, let us not forget that Stalin was realistic enough in that it was more advantageous for the U.S.S.R. to have Finland make the enormous war reparations in industrial products that the Soviet Union badly needed for recovering from the war, instead of having a chronic bleeding wound in the stubborn Finland.

For comparison, I am posting on another thread the final peace terms for Finland in the Paris Peace Treaty of 1947.

varjag
Financial supporter
Posts: 4430
Joined: 01 May 2002 01:44
Location: Australia

Post by varjag » 25 Oct 2004 12:10

The Soviet negotiating methods were always one of 'aim for the moon - you might hit the lamppost...' as shown by the document Juha posted. If such a document was in Finnish hands - but never published - dare one venture to ask, whether it's publication was vetoed by the victorious Soviets? To mullify the feelings in Finland - as the final peace agreements were harsh enough anyway?

Mikko H.
Financial supporter
Posts: 1605
Joined: 07 May 2003 10:19
Location: Helsinki, Finland

Post by Mikko H. » 25 Oct 2004 14:01

Varjag,

the document was never in Finnish hands before 1999. Before that date the only information of the real nature of the Soviet terms was what was included in the message Finns received on 23 June 1944:

Because Finns have several times betrayed us, we want Finland to give out a statement signed by the President and Foreign Minister, that Finland is ready to surrender and turn to the Soviet government asking for peace. If we receive such a statement from the Finnish government, Moscow is ready to receive a Finnish delegation.


Taken at face value it certainly reads like a demand for unconditional surrender, and has usually been taken for one. But some have speculated that perhaps the USSR would still have been content with something less. The document presented by Juha Tompuri certainly should end the discussion, but if one wants to play devil's advocate, I guess one could argue that this document wasn't necessarily approved by Stalin who for some reason was in a lenient mood...

User avatar
Jari
Member
Posts: 132
Joined: 18 Aug 2004 11:32
Location: Finland

Post by Jari » 25 Oct 2004 18:53

Hanski wrote:Who says it was the left wing that decided to keep this secret? It comes entirely from your head this time.


You are predictable enough.

What makes you think Finland would have remained non-annexed? For one thing, as a former Grand Duchy of the Russian Czar, her status was different from the countries you listed. For another thing, Stalin is quoted as saying that Finns are a small nation, they can quite easily be transferred elsewhere -- he had some routine in these type of arrangements, but transporting populations of tens of millions like in your listed countries would have been an unreasonable burden even for the October Railways.


Firstly, just because I find your claims baseless doesn't mean that I would claim them to be untrue. They're just baseless. And in this case we are talking about a hypothetical situation, where it is even harder to tell what would really have happened. Is it wise to insist that you could know that for sure with no evidence? We know, for instance, that after the Winter War USSR wanted to finish Finlandia off. However, we also know that independently from Finland or USSR, Germany had changed her plans and were no longer supporting the Soviets. What it means is that you have to keep in mind the Big Picture.

So, what do I think would have happened in the alternative scenario? Most likely Hertta Kuusinen's famous words "the road of Czechoslovakia is also the road of Finland" would then have proven true, Finland would have become a "People's Democracy" and Warsaw Pact member (and bloody uprisings, too). Had Stalin really, REALLY thought it to be worth all the trouble, he could have annexed all of Europe east of Elbe. That just wasn't necessary, nor desirable.

Think of the case of communist Bulgaria. Todor Zhivkov was so heavily pro-Soviet that he himself suggested to Soviets making Bulgaria a Soviet Republic. Bulgarians themselves were historically pro-Russian, so it wouldn't have been so impossible - and it definately would have been a fulfillment of the old Tsarist aspiration to get a foothold in Balkans.

But Soviets strictly declined the offer. Why? Because it would have damaged Soviet Union's position internationally while giving nothing in exchange - the situation was already such that a leave wouldn't fall from a tree in Sofia without permission by Kremlin. It would have been like getting married if you could get the sex for free. :D

In 1939-40 Stalin felt free to ignore western disapproval, because it was Hitler's opinion that weighed. But after the war Finland was unimportant in the great scheme of things, fortunately. Germany was the priority.

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

Post by Hanski » 25 Oct 2004 21:05

Mikko H. wrote: the document was never in Finnish hands before 1999. Before that date the only information of the real nature of the Soviet terms was what was included in the message Finns received on 23 June 1944:

Because Finns have several times betrayed us, we want Finland to give out a statement signed by the President and Foreign Minister, that Finland is ready to surrender and turn to the Soviet government asking for peace. If we receive such a statement from the Finnish government, Moscow is ready to receive a Finnish delegation.


It is somewhat surprising if this was the case, and it would also explain why the original document has been missing from Finnish archives, and not been discussed in public (instead of being concealed for political reasons in post-WWII Finland, like I suspected).

In my opinion it is surprising, because a) the quoted message of 23 June is all too vague and brief to give a useful basis for serious negotiations -- the Soviets could not reasonably expect the Finns to "buy a pig in a bag" in a matter of this magnitude, to use a common Finnish metaphor b) a lot of time and effort was spent in formulating in meticulous detail all those terms in its 56 paragraphs, so why waste that effort if it was really intended as a document to be really signed by authorized representatives of both countries?

Of course, the document in full makes a shock effect to a Finnish reader (like it did for me). But was the Soviet intention to save that shock for the Finnish delegation in Moscow, or what was its intended use? Why would such a negotiation strategy have been preferable to letting the Finns read the draft in advance before sending their delegation?

Can you tell us how this document became known in 1999 and how is its authenticity ensured?


Jari wrote:Firstly, just because I find your claims baseless doesn't mean that I would claim them to be untrue. They're just baseless. And in this case we are talking about a hypothetical situation, where it is even harder to tell what would really have happened. Is it wise to insist that you could know that for sure with no evidence?


By definition, all "what if" scenarios are baseless, in the sense that when history does take one course, alternatives are always excluded! Exactly, the scenarios are merely hypothetical speculations on situations that never occurred in reality, which then naturally cannot be based on factual evidence, but likelihoods only. Of course, I have never insisted knowing for sure something that is principally impossible to prove -- again, this is one of the products of your imagination, as you project your own ideas on me.

But the above does not prevent me from regarding as the most likely Soviet intention to carry out a bloodbath or a genocide in Finland, given that Finns had accepted the detailed draft unconditional surrender terms of June 1944.

Besides the issues referred to in my previous reply, I think there are strong indications that Stalin had in mind something that could not bear daylight, "because it would have damaged Soviet Union's position internationally" like you say. Why else was there such insistence to isolate Finland from the rest of the world? Instead of sharing the rule over Finland with the Western Allied Powers from the beginning, and letting neutral parties witness the course of events, it was to be hidden from the international audiences by cutting off all means of communication, see paragraph 8. I think this is a most ominous sign of something unpleasant being in store. If they could do it in Katyn, if they could do it in the Baltics, why couldn't they do it Finland, if no surviving witnesses were remaining?

Of course, my belief can be all wrong, and your alternative scenario can be right -- maybe the bloodiest tyrant of world history (by counting his victims) was after all such a benevolent chap, maybe our blue eyes would have impressed him enough to give up all evil plans -- as long as history took the course it did, we have no way of knowing for sure, and it is pointless to argue that any of us has the truth about it.

Jari wrote: So, what do I think would have happened in the alternative scenario? Most likely Hertta Kuusinen's famous words "the road of Czechoslovakia is also the road of Finland" would then have proven true, Finland would have become a "People's Democracy" and Warsaw Pact member (and bloody uprisings, too). Had Stalin really, REALLY thought it to be worth all the trouble, he could have annexed all of Europe east of Elbe. That just wasn't necessary, nor desirable.


If there was a plan of a political solution by a Communist coup, why was it then necessary to demand the internment of all members of the Civic Guard, for example, and handing over every imaginable item of military hardware? This option remained available even without unconditional surrender of Finland, and like we know, it was attempted but failed to gain popular support.

Jari wrote: Think of the case of communist Bulgaria. Todor Zhivkov was so heavily pro-Soviet that he himself suggested to Soviets making Bulgaria a Soviet Republic. Bulgarians themselves were historically pro-Russian, so it wouldn't have been so impossible - and it definately would have been a fulfillment of the old Tsarist aspiration to get a foothold in Balkans.

But Soviets strictly declined the offer. Why? Because it would have damaged Soviet Union's position internationally while giving nothing in exchange - the situation was already such that a leave wouldn't fall from a tree in Sofia without permission by Kremlin. It would have been like getting married if you could get the sex for free. :D



The question of annexation or non-annexation is really beside the point -- the question is, why did the U.S.S.R. insist on such strict terms of unconditional surrender without leaving any chance of resisting the occupier, while totally isolating the country from the outside world, and settling matters just between the two countries, instead of inviting the rest of the Allied Powers to share the rights and responsibilities?

The answer depends on your view on the world, but will be speculative by necessity.

Return to “Winter War & Continuation War”