Why didn't Russians keep Bornholm and East Austria?

#1
In May 1945 it was the Red Army which liberated Bornholm from the Nazi German forces.

Why did they agree to abandon it instead of e.g. creating a Communist Danish SSR there?

The island is of strategic importance and helps its owners to control much of the Baltic Sea:



They also captured much of Austria and it was divided into 4 occupation zones, but later the Soviets abandoned theirs:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vienna_Offensive





Situation on 10 May after the end of the Prague Offensive:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prague_Offensive



Division of Austria into occupation zones:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allied-occupied_Austria

 
Oct 2015
922
Norway
#2
I don't know, but the USSR also pulled out of much of the Norwegian county Finnmark. The county is a little bit larger than Denmark and borders current Russia. Before the war it bordered Finland, but Finland had to hand over the Petsamo Valley to the USSR, making Norway and USSR neighbouring countries.
 
Last edited:
Apr 2017
1,079
U.S.A.
#3
Probably pulled out of Denmark and Norway in exchange for other concessions.

As for Austria, Khrushchev made that deal. He agreed that if all the powers pulled out of Austria it would be a neutral state. The reasoning was probably to minimize the number of borders the Soviets had to guard. This cut it down to primarily the German-Czechoslovakian border.

Edit* Just looked it up and the Soviets only withdrew from Bornholm on the promise that Denmark not allow foreign troops to be stationed there.
 
Last edited:
Oct 2015
922
Norway
#5
Bornholm was under Soviet control for a year, until April 5. 1946. Up to 7 700 Soviet soldiers were stationed on the island, and they behaved well towards the civilian population.
The Soviets left after negotiations between the Danish government and the USSR. The Soviets agreed to leave if Denmark only maintained a limited military garnison on Bornholm and no foreign troops were allowed on the island.
 
Oct 2015
922
Norway
#6
When the Soviets entered Norway at the end of WWII, the Germans burnt down everything in east Finnmark (scorched earth). Most of the civilian population were evacuated south, but many hid in the area. The Norwegian government in London wasn't consulted before the Soviet army entered Norway, but there was some agreement on the issue from talks between the Norwegian government, the UK, the US and the USSR 1944. There was some fighting between the Germans and Soviets - in fact the Naval Infantry brigade of the Soviet/Russian Northern Fleet is still named "Kirkenes" after the battle of a Norwegian town.

A small contigent of Norwegian troops were allowed by the USSR to enter Finnmark. Some were so-called "police troops" trained in Sweden and others were mountain infantry trained in Scotland. They didn't see any fighting.

The Soviets stayed until September 1945 after Norwegian-Soviet talks. I don't think there was made an agreement like in Bornholm, but Norway has always had a low military profile in eastern Finnmark and NATO exercises are held further south.
 
Last edited:
Oct 2015
922
Norway
#8
Interesting, but it's a far cry from what the Soviet army did to civilians in the Baltics, Poland and eastern Germany.
I have a vague memory of reading the first Soviet unit on Bornholm was a female NKVD unit. Is this true or is my memory playing tricks on me?