The Winter War : Whose side are you on?

Whose side would you be on during the Winter War?

  • Finland

    Votes: 28 96.6%
  • The USSR

    Votes: 1 3.4%

  • Total voters
    29

Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
5,750
The extent of the USSR victory depends on what you think their goal was. Their primary goal was to force Finland to cede territory in order to better protect Leningrad. And they achieved this. However, their establishment of the Terijoki government indicates that Moscow also wanted to create a new, socialist regime in Finland. In this they failed.

But the result of the war is not disputed. The Finns fought excellently, but they definitely lost.
Since the Soviets initially didn't expect much of an actual fight, as entire divisions were destroyed by the Finns, the Finns also picked up detailed copies of the Soviet plans. And those showed that the Soviet objective from the start was the occupation of all of Finland, rather more than what would be necessary for any limited border revision.

And then Stalin sort of showed his hand regarding his intentions by putting up Kuusinen at Terijoki.

By 1940 the Soviets had sized up the adversary, came back in force and set up properly for battle, and then the Finns just couldn't hold them.

But back in 1939 one of the Ukranian divisions that was pretty much completely annihilated was found to have been rather deficient in gear to fight a war with, but had taken the trouble to pack the instruments of the regimental band – you know, for the imminent victory parade in Helsinki they had been told would constitute most of the action. (Though the grizzly circumstances seems to have been that this was only found out by the Finns in the spring of 1940, when the bodies of the division thawed out.)
 

Menshevik

Ad Honorem
Dec 2012
9,279
here
What are everyone's thoughts on Mannerheim? Was he the greatest general on either side of the conflict?
 
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Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
5,750
I'm assuming your grandpa was one of the Finns?
Nope. He was actually sent as an official observer of the conflict on behalf of the Swedish government, so was in it as an unarmed civilian. But the Soviet fighter-bombers obviously couldn't tell, so he had the distinction of being strafed by them a couple of occasions.

As a kid my grandmother still had what we called "the ghost suit" up in the attic – good for dressing up in an play a ghost – i.e. his snow-suit from 1939.
 
Sep 2016
1,271
Georgia
I do think that the USSR's claim to western Ukraine and western Belarus was legitimate, though. This could simply be viewed as being national reunification movements and thus as unintentionally paving the way for a united Ukraine and a united Belarus to emerge several decades later.
I mean, how though ? USSR rejected the notion that it was the successor of Russian Empire in any way, refused to fulfill obligations of Russian Empire, showed big middle finger to all financial investments of European countries into Russian ecomony before 1917 and signed Treaty of Riga in 1921 accepting those territories as a part of Poland.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
21,827
SoCal
I mean, how though ? USSR rejected the notion that it was the successor of Russian Empire in any way, refused to fulfill obligations of Russian Empire, showed big middle finger to all financial investments of European countries into Russian ecomony before 1917 and signed Treaty of Riga in 1921 accepting those territories as a part of Poland.
Rejecting the claim that it was the Russian Empire's successor does not necessarily mean that the Soviet Union was obligated to give up the Russian Empire's desire to reunite all of the East Slavic lands, no? As for the Treaty of Riga, that was done at a moment of weakness for the Soviet Union and merely confirmed the existing reality on the ground. It was not the outcome that the Soviets preferred--as evidenced by their previous advance all of the way up to the outskirts of Warsaw.
 
Sep 2019
184
Slovenia
I am on the side of Finnland and against Soviet communists of course. But i would like to say also that this thing was very serious. It could even bring a war between USSR/Germany and UK/France.


The first intervention plan, approved on 4–5 February 1940 by the Allied High Command, consisted of 100,000 British and 35,000 French troops that were to disembark at the Norwegian port of Narvik and support Finland via Sweden while securing supply routes along the way. Plans were made to launch the operation on 20 March under the condition of a formal request for assistance from the Finnish government (this was done to avoid German charges that the Franco-British forces constituted an invading army). On 2 March, transit rights were officially requested from the governments of Norway and Sweden. It was hoped that Allied intervention would eventually bring the neutral Nordic countries, Norway and Sweden, to the Allied side by strengthening their positions against Germany—although Hitler had by December declared to the Swedish government that Franco-British troops on Swedish soil would immediately provoke a German invasion.

The Franco-British plan, as initially designed, proposed a defense of all of Scandinavia north of a line StockholmGothenburg or Stockholm–Oslo, i.e. the British concept of the Lake Line following the lakes of Mälaren, Hjälmaren, and Vänern, which would provide a good natural defense some 1,700–1,900 kilometres (1,000–1,200 miles) south of Narvik. The planned frontier not only involved Sweden's two largest cities but could result in large amounts of Swedish territory being either occupied by a foreign army or becoming a war zone. The plan was revised[when?] to include only the northern half of Sweden and the narrow adjacent Norwegian coast.



Franco-British plans for intervention in the Winter War - Wikipedia
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
21,827
SoCal
Rejecting the claim that it was the Russian Empire's successor does not necessarily mean that the Soviet Union was obligated to give up the Russian Empire's desire to reunite all of the East Slavic lands, no? As for the Treaty of Riga, that was done at a moment of weakness for the Soviet Union and merely confirmed the existing reality on the ground. It was not the outcome that the Soviets preferred--as evidenced by their previous advance all of the way up to the outskirts of Warsaw.
I just want to clarify that I certainly don't approve of what the Soviet Union did in other respects during this time; for instance, the Katyn massacre was a true crime against humanity that shows that the Poles were completely correct in mistrusting the Soviets. :(
 
Sep 2016
1,271
Georgia
Rejecting the claim that it was the Russian Empire's successor does not necessarily mean that the Soviet Union was obligated to give up the Russian Empire's desire to reunite all of the East Slavic lands, no? As for the Treaty of Riga, that was done at a moment of weakness for the Soviet Union and merely confirmed the existing reality on the ground. It was not the outcome that the Soviets preferred--as evidenced by their previous advance all of the way up to the outskirts of Warsaw.
So how does that make Soviet claim legitimate ? Having imperial ambitions doesn't make you claim to certain territory legitimate.

We can also nullify any peace treaties out there with such logic. Russia now can also go and say : ,, post-Soviet countries are independent only due to weakness of Gorbachev and they are ours by right. So we will go and conquer them now ''.
 
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