Soviet Union Invades Finland

Discussions on the Winter War and Continuation War, the wars between Finland and the USSR.
Hosted by Juha Tompuri
Globalization41
Member
Posts: 1298
Joined: 13 Mar 2002 02:52
Location: California

Soviet Union Invades Finland

Post by Globalization41 » 30 Jun 2004 03:17

Helsingfors (Helsinki), United Press, The
Merced (California) Sun-Star,
Thursday,
November 30, 1939:
Soviet Russia
invaded Finland by land, sea, and air today,
raining death-dealing explosives on
Helsingfors, Viborg, and a half a dozen other
cities. Red airplanes roared out of the cloudy
skies throughout the day and in mid-afternoon
unloaded a hail of thermite bombs on the
dazed population of Helsingfors, destroying
public buildings and apartment houses,
starting fires in the center of the capital and
inflicting hundreds of casualties. Three big
fires burned in downtown Helsingfors tonight
and at least three suburban homes in Viborg
were set afire. ... Unofficial estimates of the
dead were as high as 200,
with many more
wounded. Rescue forces still dug into the
wreckage in search of bodies and survivors.
... Finland's reply to the undeclared war was
given by roaring anti-aircraft guns that bought
down one and perhaps two Soviet planes, by
stubborn return fire in the frontier areas,
especially at Kivena, and an official decree
declaring a state of war existed against the
Soviet Union. ... The raid on Helsingfors, a
city of 268,000 population, caught mid-
afternoon crowds in the streets as bombs
aimed at the railroad station, the harbor, and
airport exploded with terrific force in the
center of the city. ... Finnish authorities
directed rescue work speedily and efficiently
but the people appeared to be stupefied by
the swift onslaught from the air. Instead of
diving for shelters, many stood watching the
Soviet planes dart in and out of the clouds
while bombs fell. ... Most of the fires started
by the bombardment were quickly
extinguished but three big blazes still lighted
the sky in the downtown district tonight.
The
fire department announced they were under
control. ... The population was calmer than
might have been expected after the raid, and
police said it was not even necessary to put
cordons around the burning buildings as the
people were self-disciplined and avoided
congestion ... The hotel lobbies and travel
bureaus were thronged with foreigners
seeking to leave the country quickly. ...
Darkness descended at 4 and the city
presented an eerie scene, with flashlights
winking in the dusk and the flare of burning
buildings across the sky. The population,
nevertheless, returned quickly to normal
business pursuits. ... The government's
messages showed that the Soviet invasion
was from all sides.
... It was established the
Soviet air squadron which attacked
Helsingfors today consisted of 11 planes
flying in groups of three each with two planes
leading the squadron. ... The planes
approached at a great height but dived much
lower before releasing their bombs.

[Stay tuned for late breaking war bulletins.
... Globalization41.]

Mek
Member
Posts: 213
Joined: 12 Aug 2003 23:07
Location: Finland

Post by Mek » 30 Jun 2004 04:33

Hi,

Great article, thanks :)

American press seemed to be well aware of the civilian bombings,
but Molotov still denied civilian bombings on 4th of December 1939.
http://www.histdoc.net/history/bombard1939.html

Many Finns considered Molotov the worst person from Kremlin.
I suppose thats why he got so many things dedicated to him, rather than
Stalin. For example a song "Njet Molotov", and Molotov Cocktail,
and Molotov's breadbasket.

Regards,
-Pete

Globalization41
Member
Posts: 1298
Joined: 13 Mar 2002 02:52
Location: California

Pravda Declares Soviet Airmen Humanitarian

Post by Globalization41 » 30 Jun 2004 05:36

[Excellent link Mek.]

Moscow, United Press, The Merced
(California) Sun-Star,
Monday, December 4,
1939:
The official press admitted that the
Red Army was meeting serious difficulties
as a result of Finnish land minds but
declared that strict orders had been given
Soviet aviators against bombardment of
civilians. ... "Violation of these orders will be
severely punished," the official Communist
party newspaper Pravda said. ... "Remember
once more the Red Army is not fighting the
Finnish people and is not fighting civilians.
Not one bomb must be thrown at a human
dwelling." ... These orders, Pravda
commented in describing an air raid on
Viborg December 1, were really superfluous
"because Soviet airmen are too humanitarian
ever to fight unarmed people
." ... In Helsinki,
Finnish officials expressed fear of bigger
Soviet air raids as soon as the weather
clears. It was announced 85 persons were
killed
and many more wounded or missing as
a result of air raids on the Finnish capital last
week.

[Stay tuned for late breaking war bulletins.
... Globalization41.]

User avatar
Topspeed
Member
Posts: 4782
Joined: 15 Jun 2004 15:19
Location: Finland

Post by Topspeed » 30 Jun 2004 08:44

Yes bombing started the war ( Continuation War ) for us.

MEK this link:

http://www.histdoc.net/history/history.html#fin

Is really cool for anyone interested in Finlands history.


Thanks,

Jukka T

Globalization41
Member
Posts: 1298
Joined: 13 Mar 2002 02:52
Location: California

F.D.R. Profoundly Shocked by Soviet Bombing of Finns

Post by Globalization41 » 30 Jun 2004 18:13

Washington, United Press, Merced
(California) Sun-Star,
Friday, December 1,
1939:
The United States unofficially entered
the European war picture today with the
revelation government authorities are
arranging an effective moral embargo
against the export of American-made military
airplanes to Soviet Russia. ... Such an
embargo, enforced by public condemnation
of the sales, has been in effect for several
months against Japan. Secretary of State
Cordell Hull,
however, refused to confirm or
deny whether such prohibition was being
arranged. ... President Roosevelt said that
the bombing of Finnish territory by Russia
came as a profound shock to this
government. He appealed personally both to
the Soviet government and to Finland to
refrain from ruthless bombardment of
civilians. He asked for immediate reply. The
American opinion on the attack coincided
with renewed battering by Russia against
Finnish defenses
by land, air, and sea forces.
... The Finnish government was experiencing
an upheaval as a result of the war. Risto Ryti,
governor of the Bank of Finland, has been
selected as a new premier of Finland,
according to sources close to the foreign
office in Helsingfors [Helsinki]. ... Meanwhile
Russia officially announced a people's
government has been formed at Terioki.
It
was presumed the town north of Leningrad
on the Russo-Finnish border, is in the hands
of the Soviets. ... The government was
established to give Russia a pretext to help
the new "leaders" of Finland to conquer the
country. The new government will be known
as the Democratic Finnish Republic,
dispatches to Tass, official Soviet news
agency in Leningrad, said. It is comprised of
rebel Finnish soldiers and left wing
politicians,
the announcement stated. Head
of the organization is Otto Kuusinen as
premier and foreign minister. ... In London
the Finnish legation asserted there was no
question of Finland's surrender to Russia.
According to a spokesman, the resignation
of the government, headed by Almo J.
Capandar,
meant that the government had
been reformed on a wider basis for the
purposes of unity and if possible to reopen
negotiations with Russia. ... Soviet airplanes
raided Helsingfors three times today,
dropping at least 15 bombs on the working
class district.
At the same time Russian
warships bombarded Hangoe at the mouth of
the Gulf of Finland and attempted to land
troops, it was learned. ... Off the Scottish
coast, a Finnish steamer, Mercator, 4,260
tons,
struck a mine and sank. Thirty-five
persons were rescued and at least one was
missing. The ship was bound for Finland
with a cargo of wool.

[The following F.D.R. statements are from
Topspeed's above link.]


Roosevelt Statement 12/1/39

Roosevelt Statement 3/13/40

[Stay tuned for late breaking war bulletins.
... Globalization41.]

User avatar
Topspeed
Member
Posts: 4782
Joined: 15 Jun 2004 15:19
Location: Finland

Post by Topspeed » 30 Jun 2004 19:33

During the war they made an attempt to annihilate Helsinki for good.

2000+ sorties were made by the soviet air fleets. What the AA personnel in Helsinki did they started little fires east of Helsinki and the Soviet pilots tought that is the center of Helsinki.

Soviet Air Force commander was awarded the highest award for bombing an swamp ! He tought he had viped of Helsinki. After the war he visited Finland and asked to see the destroyed areas...the minister took him to see a statue which had minor bullet scratches on the podium..:" Sir that is the damade you caused ! ". General was pretty quiet after that.

Lucky we..thanks to the clever AA personnel.

Here is more:

http://www.histdoc.net/lauttasaari/airraid.html

Globalization41
Member
Posts: 1298
Joined: 13 Mar 2002 02:52
Location: California

Moscow Radio Calls for Finnish Revolt

Post by Globalization41 » 01 Jul 2004 00:32

London, United Press, Merced (California)
Sun-Star,
Saturday, December 2, 1939: The
official Radio Moscow today appealed
directly to the Finnish people to join the army
of the revolutionary Finnish government and
to overthrow their traitors and oppressors. ...
The appeal was read by Col. Pogodin of the
Soviet military academy. It said : "We are
sending our greetings to the Finnish people
which rose to free themselves from slavery.
The hour for paying back has come. Your
first corps will gradually grow as workmen
from all Finland flock to its standard until the
whole working people are fighting under the
flag of liberation
." ... "Meanwhile the Red
Army will extend to your own army all
necessary help to achieve victory and regain
happiness.
Recognition by Soviet Russia of
your new government will greatly help you in
this respect." [Like the U.S.S.R. against
Finland in 1939, a brutal bully in the form of
Red China today has vowed to "reunify," by
force if necessary,
with a free and democratic
Taiwan.]

[These are from the above link.]


Andres Valdre's Stats & Cronology
of Soviet Air Raids on Helsinki


Andres Valdre's Soviet Aircraft
Types Used Against Helsinki


Andres Valdre's March 1944
Air Raids on Helsinki


[Stay tuned for late breaking war bulletins.
... Globalization41.]

Globalization41
Member
Posts: 1298
Joined: 13 Mar 2002 02:52
Location: California

Soviets Reported Massing on Finnish Frontier Near Arctic

Post by Globalization41 » 01 Jul 2004 06:15

Helsingfors, Finland, United Press, The
Merced (California) Sun-Star,
Wednesday,
October 11, 1939:
A division of Soviet troops
with a large number of tanks and heavy
artillery, is massed on the [Finnish] border in
the vicinity of Beloostrov, Waelaw
Gryzbowski,
former Polish ambassador to
Russia, said today. The diplomat, who
arrived in Helsingfors today accompanied by
his staff, said he observed the troops,
previously reported about 18 miles from the
border, when the Poles' special train was
halted at the frontier for six hours. ... A
dispatch from Stockholm said Russian troops
were reported moving along the east Finnish
border less than 24 miles from the Arctic port
of Petsamo,
Finland's only ice free harbor
and the only port through which it could
receive outside aid in case of war. ... It was
reported reliably in Copenhagen the Finnish
cabinet was discussing the possibility of
removing the government from Helsingfors.
... With a Finnish envoy at Moscow to receive
Soviet friendship demands,
this little country's
small navy was off the southwest coast,
troops were maintaining machine guns on
public buildings and in the streets, and
thousands of civilians were evacuating
principal cities. ... It was realized that a fight
by Finland, with 3,800,000 people, against
the Soviet Union with 160,000,000 would be
suicidal. But leaders, as they prepared
to resist any threat to the nation's
independence, said they and their
countrymen would rather die free men than
live as Russian slaves.
... The country held
the first air raid alarm test of its history during
the night. Navy units mobilized at Abo, on the
southwest coast, ready to take troops and
war materials to the Asland Islands, 75 miles
out at the juncture of the gulfs of Bothnia and
Finland. ... Trucks were mobilized for troop
[transport]. Soldiers mounted machine guns
on roof-tops. The Post Office and Telegraph
buildings were heavily guarded. Anti-aircraft
searchlight batteries were installed.
...
Scores of thousands of women and children,
ill and aged, fled into the country from the big
cities. ... It was estimated that 124,000
persons were being evacuated from
Helsingfors alone. ... The government
ordered the stock exchange to be closed
until further notice in view of the national
emergency.
... Estonia, Latvia, and
Lithuania, Finland's little neighbors on the
other side of the Finnish gulf, had sent their
foreign ministers to Moscow and bowed to
the demands [for Red Army basing rights]
of the Soviet government. Finland seemed
not prepared to do so. ... She had refused
to send her foreign minister and had sent
instead Juhu Paasikivi, minister to Sweden
and a skillful negotiator. He had no authority
to accept Russian proposals. Leaders
insisted Finland would not knuckle down as
others had.


[Stay tuned for late breaking war bulletins.
... Globalization41.]

Mertsi
Member
Posts: 4
Joined: 07 Nov 2003 17:17
Location: Finland

Post by Mertsi » 13 Aug 2004 22:17

Many Finns considered Molotov the worst person from Kremlin.
I suppose thats why he got so many things dedicated to him, rather than
Stalin. For example a song "Njet Molotov", and Molotov Cocktail,
and Molotov's breadbasket.
Hi Pete,

It is true that Molotov was not very liked in Finland back then. But the reason why Finns considered Molotov as the most bastardish person of USSR was that war time censorship denied any criticism against Stalin. Obviously Stalin should have been the target for all kind of criticism and insulting, but it was not allowed for understandable reasons (fear of occupation, future negotiations). Just like some wise man said somewhere that in politics it is never wise to do any unnecessary damage, because todays enemy can be your tomorrows friend. Censorship is not only a bad thing, I guess :wink:

I read that cencor thing from Timo Vihavainen's "Stalin ja Suomalaiset" (Stalin and Finns), published 1998 by Otava.

Sorry for my crap english :P

regards


Mertsi

Mek
Member
Posts: 213
Joined: 12 Aug 2003 23:07
Location: Finland

Post by Mek » 13 Aug 2004 22:27

Hiya,
Mertsi wrote: It is true that Molotov was not very liked in Finland back then. But the reason why Finns considered Molotov as the most bastardish person of USSR was that war time censorship denied any criticism against Stalin. Obviously Stalin should have been the target for all kind of criticism and insulting, but it was not allowed for understandable reasons (fear of occupation, future negotiations). Just like some wise man said somewhere that in politics it is never wise to do any unnecessary damage, because todays enemy can be your tomorrows friend. Censorship is not only a bad thing, I guess :wink:
You're quite right there, have to agree with you. That was evidently good policy. And Molotov Cocktail sounds better than Stalins Cocktail ;)

Mertsi wrote: I read that cencor thing from Timo Vihavainen's "Stalin ja Suomalaiset" (Stalin and Finns), published 1998 by Otava.
That book is on my list of books I want to read :) Will try to see if I can find it from the library.
Mertsi wrote: Sorry for my crap english :P
No worries, your english ain't crap :D

Regards,
-Pete

Globalization41
Member
Posts: 1298
Joined: 13 Mar 2002 02:52
Location: California

Soviet Russia Breaks off Diplomatic Relations with Finland

Post by Globalization41 » 15 Aug 2004 06:57

Moscow, United Press, The Merced
(California) Sun-Star,
Wednesday, Nov. 29,
1939:
Soviet Russia today broke off
diplomatic relations with Finland. The break
in relations came just as the Soviet people
were instructed to listen to their radios for an
important announcement by Premier Viaceslav
Molotov.
... Valdimir Potemkin of the Soviet
foreign office handed a note to the Finnish
minister explaining the reasons for breaking off
relations. ... The Finnish minister had not had
an opportunity to deliver a reply by the Finnish
government to the Soviet note sent to Finland
yesterday, demanding that Finnish troops
retire from the frontier north of Leningrad --
which Russians alleged was "threatened" with
attack by the Finnish army. ... Baron Airjo-
Koskinen,
the Finnish minister, was advised of
the Soviet action just one day after the
Soviets had denounced their nonaggression
pact with Finland
and almost at the same time
the United States was offering its good offices
to settle peacefully the dispute. ... Molotov's
speech was scheduled for midnight. The last
time he made a comparable radio speech to
the nation was at the time of the Soviet
occupation of eastern Poland. ... The Moscow
radio this morning announced the Soviet
people are demanding action against Finland

and this demand is growing every minute. The
broadcaster denounced the Finns in abusive
terms and announced Soviet workers had
passed resolutions
demanding punishment of
the Finns who have lost their senses. ... The
broadcaster said resolutions were pouring in
from factories and troop garrisons ridiculing
the Finnish suggestion for a mutual withdrawal
from the frontiers. "Never will the mighty Red
Army withdraw a single step at the
suggestions of anybody abroad," the
broadcaster said.

Moscow, United Press, The Merced
(California) Sun-Star,
Wednesday, Nov, 29,
1939:
The patience of Soviet Russia with
Finland is ended, the official government
newspaper Izvestia declared today after
disclosure [that] the Red Fleet had been
heavily reinforced in the Gulf of Finland. ...
Climaxing a series of bitter attacks on the
Finnish government and [the] Soviet
announcement of four machine gun and
artillery clashes on the frontier, the Izvestia
declaration said the guns fired at Russian
forces were aimed from [Finnish territory.] ...
Moscow radio announced a spy had been
captured in the Leningrad military district,
near the Finnish frontier. He carried a revolver
and ammunition and was seized by a soldier
who previously had declared at a mass
meeting, Russia is going to show deeds not
words. ... Dispatches from Helsingfors said
official sources feared the Russians were
planning a quick solution of the crisis before
winter sets in and hampers operations of the
Red Fleet in the Gulf of Finland.

Soviet Union Swallows Lithuania

Bolshevik View of Winter War

Finnish P.M. Speech, 11/23/39

Pravda Rebuttal to Finnish
P.M. Speech, 11/26/39


Dallas, United Press, The Merced
(California) Sun-Star,
Wednesday, Nov. 29,
1939:
A Dallas County grand jury today freed
Miss Corinne Maddox, Texas two-gun girl, on
charges that she murdered Brooks Coffman.
... With a pistol in each hand, Miss Maddox
shot down Coffman, an attorney, on a busy
street here last week but the grand jury after
investigating murder charges bought against
her returned a no-bill. ... Miss Maddox was a
pretty blond stenographer who once worked in
Coffman's office. Last May Coffman, a married
man, took her into the country in his
automobile and stabbed her when she refused
to run away with him. ... While she lay in a
hospital fighting for her life she a got a card
from Coffman praying for her recovery. She
got well and, she told police, she followed
Coffman for days with one pistol in her
handbag and another in a shoulder holster
under her left arm. ... When the opportunity
finally came, she pumped bullets from both
guns into Coffman, ignoring his pleas for
mercy.

London, United Press, The Merced
(California) Sun-Star,
Wednesday, Nov. 29,
1939:
Soviet Premier Viaceslav Molotov in a
broadcast over the Moscow radio tonight said
that Russia can no longer stand the
unbearable situation created by the hostility
of Finland. The Soviet premier directly called
for the liquidation of the Finnish government
.
With a different government at Finland's head,
Russia would be willing to make concessions,
he said, in announcing the break in diplomatic
relations with Finland.

[Stay tuned for late breaking war bulletins.
... Globalization41.]



Return to “Winter War & Continuation War”