Russian-Finnish relations. Incl. the Winter War

Sep 2016
125
Prague
#1
I have seen two interesting topics. Unfortunately, they are both closed, so I decided to open a new one.

I really don't know what Stalin wanted to do with Finland prior to the Winter War,
but there is a Soviet song Greet Us, Beautiful Finland



https://www.marxists.org/history/ussr/sounds/lyrics/prinimaj-nas.htm

and the lyrics there are (sorry, I am not a great translator)

Невысокое солнышко осени
Зажигает огни на штыках.

Low autumn sun
Ignites lights on bayonets

so, the military actions were planned for autumn.
Also, if you consider that some high-ranking functionary had to make a decision that the song has to be written, also the music, and the records had to be made... it looks that the Soviet side knew in advance that there was going to be the invasion.

Now, the lyrics of the song... it openly talks about the invasion/occupation.
It doesn't say that that Finland will join the Soviet Union, but it's very clear from it that the friendly (communist) regime will be brought on the Red Army's bayonets.

-----
I am rather too busy to translate the whole lyrics, if anyone can find the translation or translate, I will much appreciate it.
 

Isleifson

Ad Honorem
Aug 2013
4,006
Lorraine tudesque
#3
I have seen two interesting topics. Unfortunately, they are both closed, so I decided to open a new one.

I really don't know what Stalin wanted to do with Finland prior to the Winter War,
but there is a Soviet song Greet Us, Beautiful Finland



https://www.marxists.org/history/ussr/sounds/lyrics/prinimaj-nas.htm

and the lyrics there are (sorry, I am not a great translator)

Невысокое солнышко осени
Зажигает огни на штыках.

Low autumn sun
Ignites lights on bayonets

so, the military actions were planned for autumn.
Also, if you consider that some high-ranking functionary had to make a decision that the song has to be written, also the music, and the records had to be made... it looks that the Soviet side knew in advance that there was going to be the invasion.

Now, the lyrics of the song... it openly talks about the invasion/occupation.
It doesn't say that that Finland will join the Soviet Union, but it's very clear from it that the friendly (communist) regime will be brought on the Red Army's bayonets.

-----
I am rather too busy to translate the whole lyrics, if anyone can find the translation or translate, I will much appreciate it.
Nice song
But in Finland they did meet the White Death

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simo_Häyhä
 
Sep 2016
125
Prague
#4
Hey Rinat....
Are you sugesting that soviets had a song about a war that hadn't even started yet??
Before the war had started, they recorded a song about how they were going to help the Finnish people.

Мы приходим помочь вам расправиться,
Расплатиться с лихвой за позор.
Принимай нас, Суоми - красавица,
В ожерелье прозрачных озёр!

We are coming to help you to take revenge,
to pay in full for the shame.
Greet us, beautiful Suomi,
in the necklace of translucent lakes.

(ok, I'm not such a good translator, but I hope I can convey the meaning well).
 
Jul 2017
335
Argentina
#5
Google translates it as PAY WITH INTEREST FOR THE SHAME. It's talking about some revenge. But....
Get revenge of what?? Of who??
 
Last edited:

Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
5,638
#6
There was a Soviet notion that Finland was full of oppressed former Red Guards, the defeated in the Finnish Civil War in 1918, that ended with victory for the White forces, and the establishment of the Republic.

Stalin himself seems to have assumed there would be tens of thousands of happy, formerly oppressed Finnish proletarians ready to flock to the Soviet banners, if only the Red Army turned up. Quite possibly this belief was directly fueled by the leader of the Finnish Communist part in exile in Moscow, Otto Ville Kuusinen (founder of the Finnish Communist Party in Petrograd in 1918). Effectively Stalin had already had a Soviet Finnish puppet government on stand-by in Moscow well before the Winter War. Once the Soviets had crossed the Finnish border, this Soviet-recognized Finnish government was set up at Terijoki, a little village just inside the border (actually it seems it's technically even a suburb of Leningrad/St. Petersburg).

The reasonable parts of the Soviet assumption was based on the entirely correct knowledge that in 1918 the victorious White forces has unleashed a wave of deadly terror, with camps and carnage where the victims counted in tens of thousands, on the defeated Red Guards.

It seems it was sufficiently dire to make some of the Finnish leadership at least a tad... nervous... about what, if any, internal divisions might manifest themselves in the social fabric twenty years after the conflict, in the face of naked Soviet aggression? As it turned out, in almost every case Finnish fellow-feeling beat the former ideological conflict. The sons of the Red and White Guards ended up fighting off the Soviets together, and it formed part of a national reconciliation in the face of this external threat to national independence.

The Finns bagged huge Soviet forces in these "motti" encirclements typical of that war. In one of them the commanders had failed to burn the plans for the campaign. Since these clearly indicated operation all the way to the sea and up to the Swedish border in the north, it seemed safe to conclude the Soviets were intent on the military occupation of the entire country in one go.

Fieldmarshal Mannerheim was despondent enough about the prospects tok initiate a rather dramatic operation, whereby several tens of thousands of Finnish children were evacuated to Sweden, and lodged with Swedish foster families — if only to ensure that in the future there would be another generation of Finns raised in conditions of freedom, as it was put at the time. That was a weird and in many ways traumatic episode, both for the Finnish children and their parents. While at the same time it forged innumerable personal bonds between Finland and Sweden.
 

Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
5,638
#7
Google translates it as PAY WITH INTEREST FOR THE SHAME. It's talking about some revenge. But....
Get revenge of what?? Of who??
The defeat of the Red Guards in 1918 — when the frontline in the north collapsed after the Battle of Tampere and the White Guards under Mannerheim broke fort out of the Swedish speaking Österbotten — while a German expeditionary force in support of the White Guards landed outside Helsinki.

The Whites had believed they were fighting Russian Communist revolutionaries, and where shocked and outraged at finding they had taken loads of prisoners at Tampere that turned out to be ordinary Finnish blokes, blue-collar, working class. They made an example of a lot of them, lining them up and shooting them. (We have fascinating Swedish testimonials of the bloodshed, some of the more aggressive killers being anti-Bolshevik Swedish officers who had joined the fight and were happy to write about their activities.)

The Republic was born in blood.
 
Last edited:

Vaeltaja

Ad Honorem
Sep 2012
3,692
#8
The defeat of the Red Guards in 1918 — when the frontline in the north collapsed after the Battle of Tampere and the White Guards under Mannerheim broke fort out of the Swedish speaking Österbotten — while a German expeditionary force in support of the White Guards landed outside Helsinki.

The Whites had believed they were fighting Russian Communist revolutionaries, and where shocked and outraged at finding they had taken loads of prisoners at Tampere that turned out to be ordinary Finnish blokes, blue-collar, working class. They made an example of a lot of them, lining them up and shooting them. (We have fascinating Swedish testimonials of the bloodshed, some of the more aggressive killers being anti-Bolshevik Swedish officers who had joined the fight and were happy to write about their activities.)

The Republic was born in blood.
That is a bit misleading. It wasn't particularly surprising that most 'Reds' were found out to have been Finns. At least it wasn't to the Finns. After all the leadership of the Red Guards was Finnish and so had been the hard line left wing political leadership prior to the crisis as well. They however had been quite strongly (on intellectual & material side) supported by the Bolsheviks in Russia. Fighting, and especially the heavy losses suffered by certain units, however brought out the worst. Besides it should not be forgotten that the reds (like the whites later on) run their terror campaigns and that played its part in the response as well.