USA-Finland relations 1941-1944, declaration of war or not?

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Antti V
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USA-Finland relations 1941-1944, declaration of war or not?

Post by Antti V » 26 Sep 2002 12:23

Just would like to know what is the truth: Did USA declare was against Finland in 1944, as some people sometimes says, or didn´t it like other people says?

I did try to find the text of Paris 1947 peace agreement what Finland did sign as well all other countries which were been in war with Finland (Britain, France, South-Africa etc.) but couldn´t find it. Does anyone have that text (in Finnish/English) and can check is USA there one of the peace makers?

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Harri
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Post by Harri » 26 Sep 2002 13:58

As far as I know Finland was not in war with USA. Britain declared war on 6.12.1941 (sic!) after Soviet pressure but there were no military acts between Finns and British.

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Juha Hujanen
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Post by Juha Hujanen » 26 Sep 2002 15:13

No other actions than air attack to Petsamo and flyover of "dammbusters"squadron.I remember that i post a short account of both incidents.

Chears Juha

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Harri
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Post by Harri » 27 Sep 2002 07:21

I forgot that Petsamo raid but it was more directed against Germans than Finns I think.

Tapani K.
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Post by Tapani K. » 27 Sep 2002 11:09

I am at work now and cannot check exactly when this happened, but the USA broke the diplomatic relations to Finland sometime during the Continuation War ( 43?). Still, there were lots of contacts between the US and Finnish governments during the war and it has been claimed that these contacts helped in persuading the Finnish government to seek peace with the Soviets.


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Tapani K.

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Antti V
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Post by Antti V » 27 Sep 2002 13:01

Yes, I think that diplomatic relationships was officially cut off, and unofficially there happened a lot. But here wasn´t declaration of war by USA, I assume.

Some examples from unofficial contacts: Movie agreement between Finns and Americans, as well that USA was ready to help Finland with its quest for peace in early 1943 (as Tapani already mentioned), when Stalingrad was fought and Finnish political leaders saw that Germany can´t win the war.
Finns took contact to Russian embassador in Stockholm, Sweden via Americans and let her (it was Alexandra Kollontai, IIRC) send message to Moscow that Finland is ready to make peace with Soviet Union. Soviet reply was that if Finland surrenders unconditionally, its possible to make peace. Not possible for Finns, only conditional peace is possible. Soviets said again no, so here wasn´t much to speak about it and Finland did cut off the attempt of peace.

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Post by Tapani K. » 27 Sep 2002 13:27

I made a quick Google search and found some pages with the information that the diplomatic relations were cut off June 30th 1944. Actually, I should have remembered the year, but I do not think I have ever really understood the significance of how late in the year this happened. Think about it: the Tali-Ihantala battles were almost over at this time. Obviously, it was one more thing the Americans used to pressure Finland towards coming to terms with the Soviets.

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Tapani K.

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Harri
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Post by Harri » 30 Sep 2002 07:53

I think US leaders (just like British one before December 1941) were well informed about Finnish attitude and opinions. I wouldn't be surprised if piece of that information "leaked" to Soviet Union? For some unknown reason Soviet peace-terms which Finland accepted in September 1944 were milder than they had been in 1943 and spring 1944.

I think "Ryti - Ribbentrop pact" was the reason for cutting dipomatic relationships because it looked like a first written alliance aggreement between Germany and Finland. Everyone just forget that in a democratic Finland Parliament accepts all such aggreements before they are valid and when Ryti left his position that "phoney pact" didn't bind Finland anymore. A very "cunning plan"!

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Antti V
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Post by Antti V » 30 Sep 2002 10:43

I think that Ryti´s agreement and how he did it was perhaps best diplomatic move during Finland´s history. 8)
Typical politician swindling confiding people (in this case Hitler) :lol: :roll:

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Post by Andreas Lärka » 02 Oct 2002 08:27

Antti V wrote:I think that Ryti´s agreement and how he did it was perhaps best diplomatic move during Finland´s history. 8)
Typical politician swindling confiding people (in this case Hitler) :lol: :roll:
According to the book "Vaikea aika" by Edwin Linkomies the Ryti - Ribbentrop -pact was not made lightly or "just like that". There was a whole lot of discussions going on in the Finnish government (hallitus) about this agreement.

Because of this agreement the U.S. broke their diplomatic relations to Finland. However - againt refering to the same source - the Finnish Embassy had been thrown out of the U.S. in the beginning of June 1944, roughly at the same time the Soviet invasion started. How about that for a "coincidence..."

Andreas Lärka
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Hanski
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Post by Hanski » 07 Oct 2002 19:16

Harri wrote above: "For some unknown reason Soviet peace-terms which Finland accepted in September 1944 were milder than they had been in 1943 and spring 1944. "

I don't think it was any "unknown reason" at all. The reason was the defensive victory achieved in Tali and Ihantala, the race for Berlin with its higher priority to Stalin than conquering Finland, and the fact that the Finnish Army was still far from beaten in September 1944. This all meant the Red Army would have needed further heavy sacrifices in order to achieve its objectives by continuing the offensive.

To sum up, during the summer of 1944 the Finns had presented sufficient evidence to Stalin on their skill and determination to fight, so he had to give up his prior demand on unconditional surrender and intention to occupy Finland and include her into the Soviet empire like the Baltic states.

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...and...

Post by Sami_K » 07 Oct 2002 20:54

...the Finnish Army was larger and far better armed in late August 1944 than it had been in June 1944.

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Harri
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Post by Harri » 08 Oct 2002 08:35

hmononen wrote:I don't think it was any "unknown reason" at all.
To me that is quite clear too, but over here are many who don't see it like we Finns see.
hmononen wrote:The reason was the defensive victory achieved in Tali and Ihantala, the race for Berlin with its higher priority to Stalin than conquering Finland, and the fact that the Finnish Army was still far from beaten in September 1944. This all meant the Red Army would have needed further heavy sacrifices in order to achieve its objectives by continuing the offensive.
True.
hmononen wrote:To sum up, during the summer of 1944 the Finns had presented sufficient evidence to Stalin on their skill and determination to fight, so he had to give up his prior demand on unconditional surrender and intention to occupy Finland and include her into the Soviet empire like the Baltic states.
I agree. That's how it was.

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Harri
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Re: ...and...

Post by Harri » 08 Oct 2002 08:42

Sami_K wrote:...the Finnish Army was larger and far better armed in late August 1944 than it had been in June 1944.
That is true too. Soviet armies instead were badly mauled and needed resupply and supplementation.

Interestingly in 1941 it took three days to Finns from Vyborg to the border of 1939 in Karelian Isthmus but to Soviets that same took ten days in 1944. :wink:

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