The Winter War: Success or Failure for the Red Army?

Discussions on the Winter War and Continuation War, the wars between Finland and the USSR.
Hosted by Juha Tompuri
User avatar
Oleg Grigoryev
Member
Posts: 5051
Joined: 12 Mar 2002 20:06
Location: Russia

Post by Oleg Grigoryev » 18 Jul 2004 10:03

Topspeed wrote:
Oleg Grigoryev wrote: Is it your position that prior to Soviet aerial bombardment Finland was not preparing for the war against the USSR with Germany as its ally (or cobelligerent – whatever makes you happy) As for war going nations - Moscow has not fell either.
Grigoryev,


Moscow is not in Europe.

After Soviets downed the Estonian "Kaleva" civilian transportplane shortly after taking off from Tallinn and Flightmaster Illu Juutilainen flying a Brewster went to check the site and saw a Soviet U-boat picking up the valuables left over I think everyone in Finland were certain Soviets will try another attack on Finland ( all Baltic states were under Soviet rule by then !? ).

Substantial amount of military equipment from Germany had arrived in Finland and Wehrmacht occupied Norway and used Sweden to transport troops to areas in northern Finland and Norway called Lappland. I think there was a substantial reason to assume Finland will be drawn into the war again. I could imagine there were also people who lost relatives and friends and possessions in Estonia to Soviets and 500 000 who lost homes in Carelia and 25 626 mothers without their sons and their brothers and relatives angry and ready to revenge if possible.

Still I think the HQ in Finland and the government hadn't made the decicion to attack Soviets had they not attacked Finland first. Finland was always in charge of her own decicions despite the fact that we certainly knew German plans to attack Soviet Union beforehand. This may have timitated some armys "right" wing war mongers.


regards,

Juke T
Europe goes all the way to Ural mountains as such Moscow located in Eastern Europe.

While your historical excursion was very nice and all, you gave the wrong answer to my question Finnish submarines mined Soviet territorial waters prior to outbreak of the hostilities which is an act of war in itself and Finnish General staff was coordinating its activities with that of German forces – USSR gave nice “official” cause for the war but Finland would go to war regardless.

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

Post by Topspeed » 18 Jul 2004 10:18

Oleg Grigoryev wrote: Europe goes all the way to Ural mountains as such Moscow located in Eastern Europe.

While your historical excursion was very nice and all, you gave the wrong answer to my question Finnish submarines mined Soviet territorial waters prior to outbreak of the hostilities which is an act of war in itself and Finnish General staff was coordinating its activities with that of German forces – USSR gave nice “official” cause for the war but Finland would go to war regardless.
So Moscow is in Europe then..welcome to EU then.

I think your army should have informed our government and said one of your mines has now penetrated our borders ( they float as I can imagine and can be carried to neighbouring waters too by accident )..that would have been the right way to act and not starting to bombard innocent civilians. You and I know mines are defensive measure not offensive.
Oleg Grigoryev wrote: USSR gave nice “official” cause for the war but Finland would go to war regardless.
This is totally your assumption..a large scale bombardment is never a nice official cause for a war; it is war. What kinda dreamworld are you living in Oleg ?




best regards,

Juke T


BTW: My post was not complete when you quoted it..see the whole text please !

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

Post by Oleg Grigoryev » 18 Jul 2004 10:40

Topspeed wrote:
Oleg Grigoryev wrote: Europe goes all the way to Ural mountains as such Moscow located in Eastern Europe.

While your historical excursion was very nice and all, you gave the wrong answer to my question Finnish submarines mined Soviet territorial waters prior to outbreak of the hostilities which is an act of war in itself and Finnish General staff was coordinating its activities with that of German forces – USSR gave nice “official” cause for the war but Finland would go to war regardless.
So Moscow is in Europe then..welcome to EU then.

I think your army should have informed our government and said one of your mines has now penetrated our borders ( they float as I can imagine and can be carried to neighbouring waters too by accident )..that would have been the right way to act and not starting to bombard innocent civilians. You and I know mines are defensive measure not offensive.



best regards,

Juke T


BTW: My post was not complete when you quoted it..see the whole text please !
So Moscow is in Europe then..welcome to EU then.
God Forbid. EU btw does not equate to continent of Europe.
I think your army should have informed our government and said one of your mines has now penetrated our borders ( they float as I can imagine and can be carried to neighbouring waters too by accident )..that would have been the right way to act and not starting to bombard innocent civilians. You and I know mines are defensive measure not offensive.
That would be nice if it was the case. That however was not case of single floating mine. Mines wired quite deliberately placed in Soviet territorial waters -just before the pending German invasion to handicap Soviet Baltic fleet. This was quite extensively discussed here before. There is a search function on this forum I am sure that your excellent spelling would greatly facilitate you pending that you are actually willing to use it.

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

Re: Russia's Winter War

Post by Mark V » 18 Jul 2004 10:56

Oleg Grigoryev wrote: have you ever tried to analize the compostion of Soviet forces ? (for instace how many of them came from the territorial Belorussian units?)
Hi,

The average winter temperatures in Belorussia, are almost exactly the same as in Karelian Isthmus.

There is no excuse there either, because even Belorussians fought in conditions which should had been familiar to them. If they weren't accumustoned or equipped properly - i guess someone had screwed up, but don't blame the climate.

That winter was harsh. But nothing spectacular. I believe winters 40-41 and 41-42 were colder.


Mark V

(just trying to turn this discussion back to Soviet forces during Winter War)

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

Post by Topspeed » 18 Jul 2004 15:58

Oleg Grigoryev wrote: That would be nice if it was the case. That however was not case of single floating mine. Mines wired quite deliberately placed in Soviet territorial waters -just before the pending German invasion to handicap Soviet Baltic fleet. This was quite extensively discussed here before.
Well our 3 U-boats ( I have been inside of one of the..it is in Suomenlinna fortress of the coast in Helsinki ) were hardly big enough to do a large mine laying operations in Soviet waters. I assume there were German subs at the site.

Only thing I was able to find was that they were used for minesweeping and that is the opposite for laying mines I assume.

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

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

Finnish Machine Gunners Mow Down Fleeing Russians

Post by Globalization41 » 18 Jul 2004 18:55

Copenhagen, United Press, The Merced
(California) Sun-Star,
Friday, December 8,
1939:
Finnish sharpshooters clad in
ghostlike white cloaks which made them
almost invisible against a background of
snow, stole silently along on skiis to attack
Russian troops on the far northern front and
scored an important victory, a dispatch from
Kirkenaes in the frontier area said today. ...
During the short Arctic day, it was said, the
Finns attacked the Russians and made an
advance of about two miles. Russian troops,
bewildered by the attack of the white clad
Finns, ran like sheep into machine gun fire
from the Finnish side, the dispatch asserted.
By their advance the Finns occupied several
favorable positions, it was said.

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

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

Post by Mark V » 18 Jul 2004 20:22

Topspeed wrote:
Well our 3 U-boats ( I have been inside of one of the..it is in Suomenlinna fortress of the coast in Helsinki ) were hardly big enough to do a large mine laying operations in Soviet waters. I assume there were German subs at the site.

Only thing I was able to find was that they were used for minesweeping and that is the opposite for laying mines I assume.

JT
I must correct this, though off-topic.

Finn submarines did lay minefields before Continuation War started (the 3 vessels class you have not visited were mine-laying submarines).

Submarines definately were not used in mine sweeping.


BTW. Finnish submarines were not U-boats, and there were 5 of them.

- minelaying class - Vetehinen, Iku-Turso and Vesihiisi
- prototype of German Type II built in Finland because Versailles treaty restrictions - Vesikko
- small coastal sub originally intended for lake of Ladoga - Saukko

Mark V

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

Re: Russia's Winter War

Post by Oleg Grigoryev » 18 Jul 2004 20:34

Mark V wrote:
Oleg Grigoryev wrote: have you ever tried to analize the compostion of Soviet forces ? (for instace how many of them came from the territorial Belorussian units?)
Hi,

The average winter temperatures in Belorussia, are almost exactly the same as in Karelian Isthmus.

There is no excuse there either, because even Belorussians fought in conditions which should had been familiar to them. If they weren't accumustoned or equipped properly - i guess someone had screwed up, but don't blame the climate.

That winter was harsh. But nothing spectacular. I believe winters 40-41 and 41-42 were colder.


Mark V

(just trying to turn this discussion back to Soviet forces during Winter War)
You've gott to be kidding Mark - I've been to Karelia and I've been to Belorussia - After Karelia Belorussina winter well is more laike autumn really

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

Re: Russia's Winter War

Post by Mark V » 18 Jul 2004 20:54

Oleg Grigoryev wrote: You've gott to be kidding Mark - I've been to Karelia and I've been to Belorussia - After Karelia Belorussina winter well is more laike autumn really
Average January-February temperature is around -6 to -7 degrees celsius both on Helsinki and Minsk.

Helsinki : (lack of better substitude - maybe the Vyborg was half an degree colder) http://www.worldclimate.com/cgi-bin/dat ... 102+02974W

Minsk: http://www.worldclimate.com/cgi-bin/dat ... 102+26850W

Dont believe me - believe the statistics. We do have the effect of Gulf Stream and Belorussia lay in area of continental climate (cold winters - hot summers).


Mark V

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

Post by Mark V » 18 Jul 2004 21:20

Oleg,

Would it be that glorious Red Army regulars spent their winters in warm barracks during 30s and reservist were not trained unless there was an mild May or September weather (winter is too cold and summer too hot for such strenuous excercise for soldiers of proletariat) ??


Mark V

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

Post by Topspeed » 18 Jul 2004 21:39

During negotiations in Salzburg and Berlin it was agreed that German Navy would have support from Finland. Two groups of minelayers with assisting and covering forces had arrived in Finnish waters before the war. The German naval forces in Finnish waters included:
2 minelayer groups, "Nord" and "Cobra", with 6 ships
2 mine sweeper flotillas (8 M-boats and 12 R-boats)
2 Schnellboot flotillas (12 boats)
1 Guard ship flotilla (10 vessels)



The beginning of German attack was a surprise to Soviet high command. However, the high command of the Red Fleet had some suspicions, as the commander admiral Kuznetsov warned all fleet commanders by phone on 21.6.1941 just before midnight. The Red Fleet was in war alert, but permission to open fire was not given yet. In World War I the Russian Fleet had closed Gulf of Finland with strong mine barrages and same kind of operations were also prepared this time. The defence system would cover the whole length of the Gulf of Finland. On the night 22/23.6. the minelayers Marti and Ural laid first mines on the Hanko-Osmussaari line. This barrage was to include finally over 3000 mines and almost 500 anti-sweeping devices.

The war in the Gulf of Finland was very much mine warfare. Both sides laid several offensive and defensive mine barrages. The operation "Barbarossa" in the Baltic Sea began with minelaying operations of German ships and Finnish submarines. First mine barrages were laid on the mouth of Gulf of Finland and on the Estonian coastal waterways on the night 21/22.6.1941.


Within two weeks the Gulf of Finland was practically cut off from the rest of the Baltic Sea. The mouth of the gulf was infested with more than 5 200 mines and 2 000 obstacles. These mines caused heavy losses. For example the new Soviet cruiser Maxim Gorki lost its bow and was towed to Leningrad but it was not to sail during the war. The Baltic Red Fleet lost also several destroyers, submarines and small ships in mines. The Finnish Navy lost its flagship, coast defence ship Ilmarinen, few months later on 13.9. in Soviet mines.

The Baltic Red Fleet was surprised by the rapid advance of German troops and retreated at first along the Baltic coast to Gulf of Finland. It began to return to Bay of Riga after middle of July. The Estonian islands were still at Soviet hands. By attacking German supply routes and by mine operations they managed to delay German advance through the Baltic states. Soviet naval forces retreated finally to Gulf of Finland and Tallinn in the end of August.
Ok I found some data of the minelaying operations and indeed we did mine the Baltic Sea with Kriegsmarine.

You were right Oleg...I guess we were really planning a major headache for the Red Army back then.

I had never heard of these operations...well I guess our Navy was the only branch of armed forces that worked along with the Barbarossa plans in 21/22.6.1941

This was certainly a pre-emptive precausion from Finland since out capitol lies on the coast.

best regards,

Juke T :roll:

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

Post by Oleg Grigoryev » 18 Jul 2004 22:10

Mark V wrote:Oleg,

Would it be that glorious Red Army regulars spent their winters in warm barracks during 30s and reservist were not trained unless there was an mild May or September weather (winter is too cold and summer too hot for such strenuous excercise for soldiers of proletariat) ??


Mark V
No I don't think it would be the case. I do think that if instead of Belorussians forces used came from Ural MD the campgine would have turned differently.

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

Post by Oleg Grigoryev » 18 Jul 2004 22:12

Topspeed wrote:
During negotiations in Salzburg and Berlin it was agreed that German Navy would have support from Finland. Two groups of minelayers with assisting and covering forces had arrived in Finnish waters before the war. The German naval forces in Finnish waters included:
2 minelayer groups, "Nord" and "Cobra", with 6 ships
2 mine sweeper flotillas (8 M-boats and 12 R-boats)
2 Schnellboot flotillas (12 boats)
1 Guard ship flotilla (10 vessels)



The beginning of German attack was a surprise to Soviet high command. However, the high command of the Red Fleet had some suspicions, as the commander admiral Kuznetsov warned all fleet commanders by phone on 21.6.1941 just before midnight. The Red Fleet was in war alert, but permission to open fire was not given yet. In World War I the Russian Fleet had closed Gulf of Finland with strong mine barrages and same kind of operations were also prepared this time. The defence system would cover the whole length of the Gulf of Finland. On the night 22/23.6. the minelayers Marti and Ural laid first mines on the Hanko-Osmussaari line. This barrage was to include finally over 3000 mines and almost 500 anti-sweeping devices.

The war in the Gulf of Finland was very much mine warfare. Both sides laid several offensive and defensive mine barrages. The operation "Barbarossa" in the Baltic Sea began with minelaying operations of German ships and Finnish submarines. First mine barrages were laid on the mouth of Gulf of Finland and on the Estonian coastal waterways on the night 21/22.6.1941.


Within two weeks the Gulf of Finland was practically cut off from the rest of the Baltic Sea. The mouth of the gulf was infested with more than 5 200 mines and 2 000 obstacles. These mines caused heavy losses. For example the new Soviet cruiser Maxim Gorki lost its bow and was towed to Leningrad but it was not to sail during the war. The Baltic Red Fleet lost also several destroyers, submarines and small ships in mines. The Finnish Navy lost its flagship, coast defence ship Ilmarinen, few months later on 13.9. in Soviet mines.

The Baltic Red Fleet was surprised by the rapid advance of German troops and retreated at first along the Baltic coast to Gulf of Finland. It began to return to Bay of Riga after middle of July. The Estonian islands were still at Soviet hands. By attacking German supply routes and by mine operations they managed to delay German advance through the Baltic states. Soviet naval forces retreated finally to Gulf of Finland and Tallinn in the end of August.
Ok I found some data of the minelaying operations and indeed we did mine the Baltic Sea with Kriegsmarine.

You were right Oleg...I guess we were really planning a major headache for the Red Army back then.

I had never heard of these operations...well I guess our Navy was the only branch of armed forces that worked along with the Barbarossa plans in 21/22.6.1941

This was certainly a pre-emptive precausion from Finland since out capitol lies on the coast.

best regards,

Juke T :roll:
How taking part in the war of aggression on the side of the aggressor is preemptive? Also care to check when German units began to arrive to Finnish territory?

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

Post by Mark V » 18 Jul 2004 23:54

Oleg Grigoryev wrote:
No I don't think it would be the case. I do think that if instead of Belorussians forces used came from Ural MD the campgine would have turned differently.
So, you believe that Red Army needed an battle area on considerably milder climate than the area where soldiers were born and raised to fought effectively. :D

User avatar
Tom Niefer
Member
Posts: 2643
Joined: 20 Nov 2002 18:14
Location: Southwestern Ontario, Canada

Post by Tom Niefer » 19 Jul 2004 03:24

I'll reserve making any comments about the Winter War until some time in the future. I don't mean to go off topic but thought perhaps this might be an appropriate thread to ask a question. A Finnish friend of mine just gave me a book entitled The Winter War by William R Trotter. Has anyone read this book and is it factual and accurate? Thanks for any comments.

Cheers,
Tom

Return to “Winter War & Continuation War”