thank you for the attempt to enlighten me with the basics
but the quote above doesn't say anything about the sentimental motives of Mannerheim not to push further to the attack of Leningrad.
The only motives publicly expressed by Mannreheim were military difficulty of such an attack:
Already at this stage Field Marshal Mannerheim presented to Erfurth those difficulties that Finns would have in breaching the strong line of defence of the Soviet troops, reinforced with permanent structures
However, the main reason to the negative stance was the reluctance of the High Command of the Army to advance to Leningrad, as well as the political aspect of the issue. The Finnish Lead of State had already earlier decided that Finns will under no circumstances aim their war operations against Leningrad and President Ryti was keen to supervise the compliance with this decree
I didn't get what is Lead of State and which decree would president Ryti supervise? Again, the murky "poitical reasons" emerge, but apart from the social-democrats' stance there is no mentioning of any other particular reason.
So, according to the History of Continuation War, Mannerheim refused to actively participate in the seige because (at least as it was officially anonunced to Germans) it was too difficult for Finnish military to attack such a fortifyed city.
This sounds totally normal, Mannerheim saving lives of his soldiers restrains from direct attack, and lets Germans do the job,
the fruits of wihch he would reap later. Paasikivi prepared speech to commemorate the coming fall of Leningrad,
Finns expected Germans to finnish off Lenignrad, while Finnish army would ocupy Eastern Karelia and create Greater Finland, uniting Finno-Ugric peoples living there. So, there is no evidence of Mannerheim "saving" Leningrad out of some personal feelings towards the city. He as everybody else expected it to be occupied by Germans and destroyed. With the German victory over Soviet Union Finland would get territories in the Karelia and part of former Leningrad untill the norhten bank of Neva.
But in durign the battle of Stalingrad MAnnerheim realized that NAzis would lose.
http://virtual.finland.fi/netcomm/news/ ... SAID=28271
Paasikivi conveniently forgot the radio speech he had written in October 1941 where, quoting Dostoevsky, he surmised that Leningrad, the “window on Europe” opened by Tsar Peter the Great, would close as the Germans occupied it and that Russia’s political focus would shift towards the east and south, further from Europe. And no one brought up the fact that, in July 1941, Mannerheim had sworn that his sword would never be sheathed until Viena and Aunus (as the Northern and the Southern part of Russian Karelia were respectively called in Finnish) were free...
AS for Mannerheim and Ryti's statements of despise towards Nazis, I don't think it's "basic" info. In fact it would be quite revealing, if soembody came up with the quote of Mannerheim or Ryti about Hitler or Nazism. So don't feel shy to give me this "basics". The same goes towards MAnnerheim-saviour of Leningrad. The above quote didn't add anything to prove that myth. Sure, we can say Mannerheim didn't take part in the direct storm of the city but his motives are far from being clear. And as the factual evidence suggests, they were mostly of military matter rather than humanitarian or personal-sentimental.
Besdies, what about the "Greater Finland" idea? Correct me if I am worng, but I guess that was the major propaganda of Finnish government before the Continuation war? Or was it just minor radical movement? What about Lapua movement, ryssän viha, Lotta Svärd?
I've read that IKL- the ultra-naitonalist party that had been in the parliament (though in minority) before continuation war was suddenly invited into the cabinet. This doesn't seem to conform the notion of Finnish government despising NAzis. Besides, Finland seemed to be quite pro-German even before the Winter war:
In 1937 a German submarine flotilla visited Helsinki, and it was greeted warmly by the people and by the government. In April and in May 1938, the Finnish government presided over two great celebrations, marking the twentieth anniversary of the entry of German troops into Helsinki and of the entry of Mannerheim's forces into Helsinki, respectively, events that numerous prominent Germans attended. The Finns were also indiscreet in allowing a German naval squadron to visit Helsinki. Soviet suspicions were fuelled again by the visit to Finland in June 1939 of the German army chief of staff, General Franz Halder, who was received by the government in Helsinki and who viewed Finnish army maneuvers on the Karelian Isthmus.
besides, the below sourse mentions the cutting off of a branch of Murmansk railroad and actually it was visible on the map you provided. The road went from Murmanks to Leningrad. Finns didn't cut the other branch leading eastwards. This can be explained either by the American pressure not to cut lend-lease supplies. The US threatened to declare the war in this case. Besides, Soviets would defend that branch hard, since it was vital for the leand lease to reach USSR. But this wasn't directly related to the seige of Leningrad.
Finland's participation in the war brought major benefits to Germany. First, the Soviet fleet was blockaded in the Gulf of Finland, so that the Baltic was freed for training German submarine crews as well as for German shipping activities, especially the shipping of vital iron ore from northern Sweden and nickel from the Petsamo area. Second, the sixteen Finnish divisions tied down Soviet troops, put pressure on Leningrad, and cut one branch of the Murmansk Railroad. Third, Sweden was further isolated and was forced to comply with German wishes.