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The Continuation War ( , , (25 June 1941 – 19 September 1944) was the second of two wars fought between Finlandmarker and the Soviet Unionmarker during World War II.

At the time the name was used to make clear its perceived relationship to the preceding Winter War of 30 November 1939 to 13 March 1940. The Soviet Union, however, perceived the war merely as one of the fronts of the Great Patriotic War against Nazi Germany and its allies. It has been named the Soviet–Finnish War ( ) or the Karelian Front ( ) as a part of the Eastern Front. Similarly, Germany saw its own operations in the region as a part of its overall war efforts of World War II.

The United Kingdommarker declared war on Finland on 6 December 1941, followed by its Dominions shortly afterwards. The Continuation War is a rare case of democracies declaring war on other democracies, although the British forces were not major participants in the war apart from the Raid on Kirkenes and Petsamo. Germany took part by providing critical material support and military cooperation to Finland. The United Statesmarker did not fight or declare war against either party, but sent substantial matériel to the Soviet Union for use in the war effort against Germany and its allies.

Hostilities between Finnish and Soviet forces ended in September 1944, and the formal conclusion of the Continuation War was ratified by the Paris peace treaty of 1947.

Introduction

Finland's supreme commander Field Marshal Mannerheim at his headquarters.


Finland adopted the concept of a "parallel war" whereby it sought to pursue its own objectives in concert with, but separate from, Nazi Germany.

Major events of World War II, and the tides of war in general, had a significant impact on the course of the Continuation War:

Background

Before World War II

Although East Karelia has never been part of a modern Finnish state, a significant part of its inhabitants were Finnic-speaking Karelians. After the Finnish declaration of independence, voices arose advocating the annexation of East Karelia to "rescue it from oppression." This led to a few incursions to the area (Viena expedition and Aunus expedition), but these were unsuccessful. Finland unsuccessfully raised the question of East Karelia several times in the League of Nations.

In non-leftist circles, Imperial Germanymarker's role in the "White" government's victory over rebellious Socialists during the Finnish Civil War was celebrated, although most preferred British or Scandinavian support over that of Germany. The security policy of an independent Finland turned first towards a cordon sanitaire, whereby the newly independent nations of Polandmarker, Lithuaniamarker, Latviamarker, Estoniamarker, and Finland would form a defensive alliance against the USSR, but after negotiations collapsed, Finland turned to the League of Nations for security. Contacts with the Scandinavian countries also met with little success. In 1932, Finland and the Soviet Union signed a non-aggression pact, but even contemporary analysts considered it worthless.

The 1920 peace agreement was broken by the Soviet Union in 1937 when it stopped Finnish ships traveling between Lake Ladogamarker and the Gulf of Finlandmarker via the Neva Rivermarker. The free use of this route for merchant vessels had been one of the articles in the agreement.

Winter war

Finnish ski troops in Northern Finland on 12 January 1940
The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact in 1939 enabled the Soviet Union to threaten to invade Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Finland without German interference. The three Baltic countries soon gave in to Soviet demands, but Finland refused. As a result, on 30 November 1939, the Soviet Union attacked Finland. Condemnation by the League of Nations and by countries all over the world had no effect on Soviet policy. International help to Finland was planned, but very little actual help materialized.

The Moscow Peace Treaty, which was signed on 12 March 1940, ended the Winter War. The Treaty was severe for Finland. A fifth of the country's industry and 11% of agricultural land were lost, as was Viipurimarker, the country's second largest city. Some 12% of Finland's population had to be moved to its side of the border. Hankomarker was leased to the Soviet Union as a military base. However, Finland had avoided having the Soviet Union annex the whole country.

Interim peace

The Moscow Peace Treaty, in 1940, was a shock to the Finns. It was perceived as the ultimate failure of Finland's foreign policy, which had been based on multilateral guarantees for support. Binding bilateral treaties were now sought and formerly frosty relations, such as with the Soviet Union and the Third Reich, had to be eased. Public opinion in Finland longed for the re-acquisition of Finnish Karelia, and put its hope in the peace conference that was assumed would follow World War II. The term Välirauha ("Interim Peace") became popular after the harsh peace was announced.

Although the peace treaty was signed, the state of war and censorship was not revoked because of the widening world war, the difficult food supply situation, and the poor shape of the Finnish military. This made it possible for president Kyösti Kallio to ask Field Marshal Mannerheim to remain commander-in-chief and supervise rearmament and fortification work. During 1940, Finland received material purchased and donated during and immediately after the Winter War. Military expenditures rose in 1940 to 45% of Finland's state budget. A war trade treaty with Britain had little effect due to Germany's occupation of Norwaymarker and Denmarkmarker on 9 April 1940 (Operation Weserübung). These occupations left Finland and Sweden encircled by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. From May 1940, Finland pursued a campaign to reestablish good relations with Germany. Finnish media not only refrained from criticism of Nazi Germany, but also took an active part in this campaign. Dissent was censored. After the fall of France, the campaign was stepped up.

On the other hand, the relations between Finland and the Soviet Union remained sour. The implementation of the Moscow Peace Treaty created a number of problems. The forced return of evacuated machinery, locomotives, and rail cars, disagreement on a number of issues created by the new border, such as fishing rights and the usage of the Saimaa Canal, heightened the distrust.

Unbeknownst to Finland, Adolf Hitler had started to plan an invasion of the Soviet Union (Operation Barbarossa). He had not been interested in Finland before the Winter War, but now he saw its value as a base of operations, and perhaps also the military value of the Finnish army. In the first weeks of August, German concerns of a likely immediate Soviet attack on Finland caused Hitler to lift the arms embargo. Negotiations were initiated concerning German troop transfer rights in Finland in exchange for arms and other material. For the Third Reich, this was a breach of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, as well a breach of the Moscow Peace Treaty for Finland. Soviet negotiators had insisted that the troop transfer agreement (to Hanko) should not be published making it easy for the Finns to keep a troop transfer agreement with the Germans secret until the first German troops arrived.

Despite the Soviet leadership having promised the Finns during the signing of the Moscow Peace treaty that it would not intervene in Finnish domestic policy, the reality of the interim peace period showed the opposite. After the ceasefire, the Soviets demanded the Finnish industrial town of Ensomarker, which clearly was on the Finnish side of the peace treaty border; the Finns accepted and handed over the town. The Soviet involvement in Finnish domestic politics continued with open Soviet support for the extreme left wing organization SNS Friendship Union Soviet-Finland, which was campaigning for Finland to join the Soviet Union. The Soviets also successfully demanded that the Finnish minister Väinö Tanner resign and that, during the Finnish presidential election of 1940, neither Mannerheim, Kivimäki, Tanner nor Svinhufvud were to be candidates. On a meeting with Mannerheim in 1940, Hitler claimed, that the Soviet foreign minister Molotov had asked Hitler for a free hand to 'solve the Finnish question', during one of his visits to Berlin.

Negotiations over Petsamo nickel mining rights had dragged on for six months when the Soviet Foreign Ministry announced in January 1941 that the negotiations had to be concluded quickly. On the same day, the Soviet Union interrupted its grain deliveries to Finland. Soviet ambassador Zotov was recalled home 18 January and Soviet radio broadcasts started attacking Finland. Germans in northern Norway reported on 1 February that the Soviet Union had collected 500 fishing ships in Murmanskmarker, capable of transporting a division. Hitler ordered troops in Norway to occupy Petsamo (Operation Renntier) immediately if the Soviet Union started attacking Finland.

Finland offered half of the mine to Soviets and demanded a guarantee that no anti-government agitation would be done in the mines. This was not enough for Soviets and when Mannerheim declared that any additional concessions would endanger the defence of the country and threatened to resign if those were done, the Finnish side decided to let the negotiations lapse when there was no movement from the Soviet positions.

After the failure of the nickel negotiations, diplomatic activities were halted for a few months.

Path to war

The Finnish-German relations during the Interim Peace 1940–1941
Month Year Event
August 1940 The Transit Agreement and licence the purchase of arms
November Hitler rejects the request of Molotov to give "free hands" against Finland
December Germany decides Operation Barbarossa
February 1941 Finland starts co-operation with Germany
May Detailed military plans between Finns and Germans
June Germany attacks against the Soviet Union. Finland joins two days later.
The period did, however, see an increased German interest in Finland. One sign of the interest was the recruitment of one battalion of Finnish volunteers to the German Waffen-SS, with approval of the Finnish government. It has been concluded that the battalion served as a token of Finnish commitment to cooperation with Nazi Germany. The agreement was that the Finnish volunteers would not be sent to fight against British or Greek forces (the only European nations at war with Germany at the moment of signing) and would serve for two years. This battalion, named the Finnisches Freiwilligen Bataillon fought as part of SS Division Wiking in Ukrainemarker and the Caucasus. When the two years were up, the battalion was pulled back from the front in May 1943 and was transported to Tallinnmarker and further to Hanko, where it was disbanded on 11 July. The soldiers were then dispersed into different units of the Finnish army.

The German Foreign Ministry sent Ludwig Weissauer to Finland on 5 May, this time to clarify that war between Germany and the Soviet Union would not be launched before spring 1942. Finnish leadership forwarded the message to the Swedes and the British. When the war broke out only a couple of months later, both the Swedish and British governments felt that the Finns had lied to them.

In the spring of 1941, joint military plans were discussed with Germany. In May 1941, the Finns learned that the Germans were planning hostilities against the Soviet Union. Between 3 and 6 June, details of military co-operation were discussed in Helsinki as were issues regarding communications and securing sea lanes. It was also agreed that the Finnish Army would start mobilization on 15 June.

Finland made significant requests for material aid. Finland was willing to join Germany against Soviet Union with some prerequisites: a guarantee of Finnish independence, the pre-Winter War borders (or better), continuing grain deliveries, and that Finnish troops would not cross the border before a Soviet incursion. Prior to the war, the Germans offered Mannerheim command over the German troops in Finland, around 80,000 men. Mannerheim declined, because if he accepted, he and Finland would be tied to the German war aims. However, the Finnish political and military leaders were not unwilling to enter into a 'war of compensation' as co-belligerents of Nazi Germany The Barbarossa plan envisaged a subordinate military role for Finland, and the Germans certainly assumed that Finland would play that role when the time came. The Finnish leadership hoped that Finland would acquire a sizable share of the northern territory of a defeated Soviet Union.

The Finnish government, which had no knowledge of the negotiations, was informed of this for the first time on 9 June, when the first mobilization orders were issued for troops needed to safeguard the forthcoming general mobilization phases. On 20 June, the Finns ordered the evacuation of 45,000 civilians from the Soviet border region. On 21 June, Finland's Chief of the General Staff, Erik Heinrichs, was finally informed by the Germans that the attack was to begin.

The Finnish army was much larger and better equipped for war than it had been in 1939. When fully mobilized, it was 400,000 strong.

Course

Initial stages of Soviet Invasion



The arrival of German troops for attack to Soviet begun 7th of June 1941 when 6th SS-Gebirgs-Division „Nord“ situated in Norway crossed the border to Finland along Nyrud bridge. The motorized force of 8000-9000 men marched to municipal town of Rovaniemi, where they arrived 10th of June. At the same time two divisions of German forces was been shipped from Southern Norway to Finnish harbour of Oulu, 20 000 men of 169th Division from Stettin and 10 600 men from Oslo. The troops were transported to Rovaniemi by trains. Nearby Rovaniemi there were 14th June 40 600 men of German forces. The troops started to advance East to Salla on 18th of June. The headquarter of German army in Norway moved to Rovaniemi on June 11th. On 17th first Luftwaffe planes landed in Rovaniemi, 16th in Luonetjärvi air field, and 21st in Utti. .

Operation Barbarossa had already commenced in the northern Baltic by the late hours of 21 June, 1941, when German minelayers, which had been hiding in the Finnish archipelago, laid two large minefields across the Gulf of Finlandmarker. These minefields ultimately proved sufficient to confine the Soviet Baltic Fleet to the easternmost part of the Gulf of Finland. Later the same night, German bombers flew along the Gulf of Finland to Leningradmarker and mined the harbour and the river Nevamarker. On the return trip, these bombers landed for refuelling on an airfield in Uttimarker. Finland was concerned that the Soviet Union would occupy Ålandmarker, so Operation Kilpapurjehdus ("Regatta") was launched in the early hours of 22 June to occupy Åland for Finland instead. Soviet bombers launched attacks against Finnish ships during the operation, but no damage was inflicted. Finnish submarines also laid six small minefields at 8:00–10:00 between Suursaarimarker and the Estonian coast according to pre-war defensive plans of Finland and Estonia.

On 21 June, mobilized Finnish units began to concentrate at the Finnish-Soviet border, where they were arranged into defensive formations. Finland mobilized 16 infantry divisions, one cavalry brigade, and two "Jäger" brigades, which were standard infantry brigades, except for one battalion in the 1st Jäger Brigade (1.JPr), which was armoured using captured Soviet equipment. There were also a handful of separate battalions, mostly formed from border guard units and used mainly for reconnaissance. Soviet military plans estimated that Finland would be able to mobilize only 10 infantry divisions, as it had done in the Winter War, but they failed to take into account the material Finland had purchased between the wars and its training of all available men. German forces were also present in northern Finland: two mountain divisions at Petsamo and two infantry divisions at Sallamarker. On 22 June, another German infantry division moved in from Oslo through Sweden towards Ladoga Kareliamarker, although one reinforced regiment was later redirected to Salla.

On the morning of 22 June, the German Gebirgskorps Norwegen started Operation Renntier and began its move from northern Norway to Petsamo. Finland did not allow direct German attacks from its soil to the Soviet Union, so German forces in Petsamo and Salla were ordered to hold their fire. There was occasional individual and group level exchange of small arms fire between Soviet and Finnish border guards, but otherwise the front was quiet.

Mobilization on the Soviet side of the border had been underway since 18 June. The Karelian Isthmusmarker was covered by the Soviet 23rd Army, which consisted of the 50th Corps, the 19th Corps and the 10th Mechanized Corps, together with five infantry, one motorized and two armored divisions. Ladoga Karelia was defended by the 7th Army consisting of four infantry divisions. In the MurmanskmarkerSallamarker region, the Soviet Union had the 14th Army with 42nd Corps, consisting of five infantry divisions (one as reserve in Archangelskmarker) and one armored division. The Red Army also had around 40 battalions of separate regiments and fortification units in the region, which were not part of its divisional structure. Leningrad was garrisoned by three infantry divisions and one mechanized corps.

1941

Offensives

Soviet Union
The initial devastating German strike against the Soviet Air Force had not affected air units located near Finland, so the Soviets could field nearly 750 planes as well as a part of the 700 planes of the Soviet Navy against 300 Finnish planes. In the morning of 25 June, the Soviet Union launched a major air offensive against 18 Finnish cities with 460 planes, mainly hitting civilian targets and airfields. The Soviet Union claimed the attack was directed against German targets in Finland; however, the British embassy verified that only Finnish targets were hit in southern and middle Finland, where the embassy had many informants. The attack failed to hit any German targets. At the same time, Soviet artillery stationed in the Hanko base began to shell Finnish targets, and a minor Soviet infantry attack was launched over the Finnish side of the border in Parikkalamarker. A meeting of the Finnish parliament was scheduled for 25 June, where Prime Minister Rangell had intended to present a notice about Finland's neutrality in the Soviet-German war, but the Soviet bombings led him to observe instead, that Finland was once again at war with the Soviet Union. The Continuation War had begun.

The war against Germany did not go as well as pre-war Soviet war games had envisioned, and soon the Soviet High Command had to call all available units to the rapidly deteriorating front line. Because of this, the initial air offensive against Finland could not be followed by a supporting land offensive, as originally planned. Moreover, the 10th Mechanized Corps with two armoured divisions and 237th Infantry Division were withdrawn from Ladoga Karelia, thus stripping reserves from defending units.

Finland
Reconquest of Ladoga Karelia
The furthest advance of Finnish units in the Continuation War.


Reconquest of the Karelian Isthmus
Conquest of East Karelia
Advance from Northern Finland
The operational border between Finnish and German forces was located southeast from Lake Oulujärvi to the border, and then straight to the east. The Finnish 14.D controlled the southern part of the border, while the northern part was in the responsibility of AOK Norwegen (Col. Gen. von Falkenhorst). The Finnish III Corps (Maj. Gen. Siilasvuo) was southernmost, German XXXVI Corps (Gen. Feige) next and German Mountain Corps (Gen. Dietl) northernmost at Petsamo. Together, they had three infantry, two mountain and one SS ("Nord") divisions and two armoured battalions. Additionally, an infantry regiment and an artillery battalion from the German 163rd division were diverted there. Opposing them were the Soviet 14th Army (Lt. Gen. Frolov) at Murmansk, part of the 7th infantry division, together with the 6th infantry division, one armoured division, and another division strengthening the fortified area.

As the Finns had not allowed the Germans to attack across the Finnish border before 25 June, Soviet side had ample warning and used the available days to fortify the border region. Also, the concentration of the German forces to the border took longer than anticipated, so the start of the offensive was delayed until 29 June, a week later than the start of Operation Barbarossa, thus giving the Soviets more time to prepare their fortifications.

The Mountain Corps broke through the Soviet forces in the early hours of 29 June and managed to advance almost 30 km to the Litsa River, where the offensive was stopped by supply problems on 2 July. When the attack was continued a week later, the Soviets had managed to bring in reinforcements and prepare defensive positions, so the attack failed to gain ground.

The XXXVI Corps attacked along the RovaniemimarkerKandalakshamarker railroad on 1 July, but after only a day, the SS division "Nord" had lost its fighting capability and it took a week before the German 169th division and Finnish 6th division managed to capture Sallamarker, and only two days later, the whole offensive was halted by a new Soviet fortified line.
Soviet infiltrator being shot during the Continuation War.
The Germans had used all their forces in the offensive and did not have any reserves left, so these had to be transported from Germany and Norway. This caused a delay in operations, which the Soviets used effectively to reinforce their positions and improve their fortifications. OKW was only able to send two infantry regiments to von Falkenhorst, and their willingness to micromanage their usage lead to disagreements between OKW and von Falkenhorst, which hampered their effective usage. Because of this, the renewed offensive failed to gain any ground on 8 September at Litsa River, after which OKW ordered its forces to switch to the defensive.

At Salla, XXXVI Corps fared better from 19 August, as the Finnish 6th division had cut Soviet supply routes, forcing the Soviet 104th and 122th divisions to abandon their fortified positions and heavy equipment on 27 August. This was followed by advancing the operation along the railroad until, after almost 50 km, the attack was stopped on 19 September. Von Falkenhorst had requested reinforcements from Germany twice to continue his offensive immediately, while Soviet forces were still disorganized, but he was denied.

The Finnish III Corps operated under the German AOK Norwegen and was located in the KuusamomarkerSuomussalmimarker region. It was a very weak formation with only the 3rd Infantry Division and two separate battalions. It was commanded by Major Gen. Hjalmar Siilasvuo. Defending against them were the Soviet 54th Infantry Division, commanded by Major. Gen. I. V. Panin, reinforced by the 88th Infantry Division (Major Gen. A. I. Zelentsov) and the 1087th Infantry Regiment in August, and by the 186th Infantry Division and one border guard regiment in November.

The Finnish corps was ordered to attack towards Uhtuamarker (now Kalevala) and Kiestinki (now Kestenga). When the offensive began on 1 July, the attack was slowed by a Soviet delaying defence and it took eight days to reach the Soviet defences at the Vuonnisenjoki River in the south, and 12 more days to reach the Sohjananjoki River in the north. In the south, the attack continued on 11 July with a flanking attack across lake Ylä-Kuittijärvi, but the Soviet defence was so successful that the attack was broken off in early September without reaching Uhtua, which was still 10 km away, as the attacking forces had to relocate two battalions to the northern group.

The northern group was reinforced with one infantry regiment from SS Division "Nord", and the attack continued on 30 July. A week later, Kiestinki was captured, and the attack continued along the road and railroad eastward. The Finnish 53rd infantry regiment advanced much faster along the railroad than other forces, which moved along the road. The commander of the newly arrived Soviet 88th infantry division recognized an opportunity, and the Soviet 758th infantry division attacked across the forest behind the Finnish infantry regiment, managing to encircle it on 20 August, making the 53rd infantry regiment the largest Finnish unit the Soviets managed to encircle during the war. Arne Somersalo, an important Finnish commander, was killed in the fighting.

The Finns managed to open a path through the forest next day, but the supply route via the railroad remained closed, so the 53rd infantry regiment retreated through the forest on 2 September, after destroying abandoned material. Finnish forces were reinforced with the 2nd infantry regiment from SS-Division "Nord", and the Soviet counterattack was haulted 10–15 km east of Kiestinki.

During October, the German–Finnish forces were supplied, rested and reinforced with the rest of the SS Division "Nord". Von Falkenhorst and Siilasvuo planned to start a new attack in November, but the OKW ordered the AOK Norwegen not to attack, but prepare for defence. However, von Falkenhorst and Siilasvuo started their offensive on 1 November anyway. The Finns managed to break through the Soviet defences and one Soviet infantry regiment was encircled between the Finns and Germans. The situation was threatening to the Soviets and they started to transfer the new 186th Infantry Division from Murmansk to Kiestinki. Mannerheim contacted Siilasvuo and ordered him to stop the attack, as it endangered Finland's relations with the United States. Also, OKW repeated its order to von Falkenhorst to stop the offensive, release the SS Division "Nord" and transfer it to Germany. When the order to move to defensive operations was given on 17 November, the last attempt to reach the Murmansk railroad had failed.

Naval warfare at the Gulf of Finland
After the Winter War and the Soviet occupation of the Baltic states, the Soviet Navy entered the war from a strong position; the Red Banner Baltic fleet (KBF) was the largest navy on the Baltic seamarker (two battleships, two light cruisers, 19 destroyers, 68 submarines, and 709 aircraft of the navy aviation). With a Soviet naval base at Hanko in southern Finland and Soviet control of the Baltic states, the Finnish concern was that it would be easy for the Soviet Union to blockade Finland, and the long Finnish coast would be vulnerable to Soviet amphibious assaults.

The Finnish Navy (Merivoimat) was divided into two branches, coastal artillery and the navy. A string of fixed coastal artillery forts had been built by the Russians before World War I (Peter the Great's Naval Fortress) and was now maintained by the Finns. The navy was small, consisting of two coastal defense ships, five submarines and a number of small craft.

The German Navy could provide only a small part of its naval force to the Baltic Sea as it was tied up in the war with Great Britainmarker. Germany's main concern in the Baltic sea was to protect the routes which supplied its war industry with vital iron ore imported from Sweden.

Cooperation between Germany and Finland was closest in the Baltic Sea/Gulf of Finland theater and already before the war, both sides had agreed to use the naval tactics from World War I. Both navies would use mine warfare in order to neutralize the superiority of the Soviet navy and let the land forces seek the victory. The naval base at Hanko was to be besieged. Hours prior to Operation Barbarossa, the Finnish and German navies began to lay mine belts in the Baltic and in the Gulf of Finland. Already on the second day of the war, the Soviet navy lost its first destroyer to a mine. Because of this tactic, the Soviets were unable to make use of their superior navy and its losses increased over the summer of 1941.

As its naval bases at Rigamarker and Liepajamarker were lost, the Soviet Navy withdrew to Tallinnmarker. By the end of August, German troops surrounded Tallinn and the Soviets were preparing an evacuation by sea. As a countermeasure to this the German and the Finnish navy dropped 2400 mines, to add to the 600 mines already in the sea lanes outside Tallinn. German artillery was set up at Cape Juminda and a couple of Finnish and German torpedo boats were put on alert. The Soviet evacuation consisted of 160 ships, which evacuated 28,000 people (including the Communist leadership and their families, army and navy personnel, and 10,000 Estonian forced laborers) and 66,000 tons of matériel. The evacuation began on the night of 27 August, at the same time as the first German troops entered the city. During the embarkation, the Soviet navy was under constant attack by German bombers and artillery; particularly as the armada reached the heavily mined Cape Juminda. At midnight of 28 August, the fleet ran into the minefield of Cape Juminda while being attacked by Finnish and German torpedo boats. Casualties were heavy: 65 of the 160 ships were lost, and several more were damaged; 16,000 of the 28,000 evacuees perished. With very small means, the German and the Finnish navies had delivered a serious blow to the Soviet navy. It withdrew to the Kronstadtmarker naval base outside of Leningradmarker, where its capital ships would remain until the autumn of 1944.
Soviet troop transporter nearly sunk by German mines on 3 December 1941 in the Finnish Gulf during the Hanko evacuation
Soon after this, the Finnish navy suffered its heaviest loss on 13 September 1941, when the Finnish coastal defence ship Ilmarinen hit a mine and sank during Operation Nordwind, killing 271 Finnish sailors.

Soviet forces still held the naval base at Hanko on the southwest coast of Finland, but as the Siege of Leningrad tightened, the base lost its importance and was evacuated by December 1941.

Political development
On 10 July, the Finnish army began a major offensive on the Karelian Isthmus and north of Lake Ladogamarker. Mannerheim's order of the day, the Sword scabbard declaration, clearly states that the Finnish involvement was an offensive one. By the end of August 1941, Finnish troops had reached the prewar boundaries. The crossing of the prewar borders led to tensions in the army, the cabinet, the parties of the parliament, and domestic opinion. Military expansionism might have gained popularity, but its support was far from unanimous.



International relations were also strained — notably with Britain and Sweden, whose governments were confidentially informed in May and June by Foreign Minister Witting that Finland had absolutely no plans for a military campaign coordinated with the Germans. Finland's preparations were said to be purely defensive.

Sweden's leading cabinet members had hoped to improve the relations with Nazi Germany through indirect support of Operation Barbarossa, mainly channeled through Finland. Prime Minister Hansson and Foreign Minister Günther found however, that the political support in the National Unity Government and within the Social Democratic organizations turned out to be insufficient, particularly after Mannerheim's Sword Scabbard Declaration, and even more so after Finland had begun a war of conquest two months after assuring Sweden of its defensive intentions. A tangible result was that Finland became still more dependent on food and munitions from Germany.

The Commonwealth of Nations put Finland under blockade and the British ambassador was withdrawn. On 31 July 1941, British Royal Navy carrier aircraft conducted an air raid against the northern Finnish port of Petsamo. Damage was limited, since the harbour was almost empty of ships.

On 11 September, the US ambassador Arthur Schoenfeld was informed that the offensive on the Karelian Isthmusmarker was halted at the pre-Winter War border (with a few "straightened curves" at the municipalities of Valkeasaari and Kirjasalo), and that under no conditions would Finland participate in an offensive against Leningradmarker, but would instead maintain a static defence and wait for a political resolution. Witting stressed to Schoenfeld that Germany, however, should not hear of this. Some scholars believe that Mannerheim's refusal to attack Leningrad ultimately saved the city, because a coordinated German-Finnish attack launched in September 1941 would have overwhelmed the Soviet defences.

On 22 September, a British note was presented (by Norway's ambassador Michelet) demanding the expulsion of German troops from Finland's territory and Finland's withdrawal from East Karelia to positions behind the pre-Winter War borders. Finland was threatened by a British declaration of war unless the demands were met. Finland did not comply and Britain declared war on it on 6 December. The declaration delayed the state of war until 12:00 GMT, 7 December. This timing, with respect to Japanese naval movements toward southeast Asian colonies, indicates that British declaration of war against Finland was expected to encourage a Soviet declaration against Japan.

In December 1941, the Finnish advance had reached the Svir River, which connects the southern ends of Lake Ladogamarker and Lake Onegamarker and marks the southern border of East Karelia. By the end of 1941, the front stabilized, and Finland did not conduct major offensive operations for the following two and a half years. The fighting morale of the troops declined when it was realized that the war would not end soon, as initially expected. It has been suggested that the execution of the prominent pacifist Arndt Pekurinen in November 1941 was due to fear of army demoralization being exacerbated by such activism.

A major consequence of this move was that Finland's blockade significantly contributed to the complete encirclement and 900-day siege of Leningrad, which resulted in over a million civilian casualties, especially from starvation, in the 16-month period Sep 1941 - Jan 1943.

Trench warfare

Diplomatic maneuvers

Operation Barbarossa was planned as a blitzkrieg intended to last a few weeks. British and US observers believed that the invasion would be concluded before August. In the autumn of 1941, this turned out to be wrong, and leading Finnish military officers started to doubt Germany's capability to finish the war quickly. German troops in Northern Finland faced circumstances they were not properly prepared for, and failed to reach their targets, most importantly Murmanskmarker. Finland's strategy now changed. A separate peace with the Soviet Union was offered, but Germany's strength was too great. The idea that Finland had to continue the war while putting its own forces at the least possible danger gained increasing support, perhaps in the hopes that the Wehrmacht and the Red Army would wear each other down enough for negotiations to begin, or to at least get them out of the way of Finland's independent decisions. Some may also have continued to hope for an eventual victory by Germany.

Finland's participation in the war brought major benefits to Germany. The Soviet fleet was blockaded in the Gulf of Finlandmarker, so that the Baltic was freed for the training of German submarine crews as well as for German shipping, especially for the transport of the vital iron ore from northern Sweden, and nickel and rare metals needed in steel processing from the Petsamo area. The Finnish front secured the northern flank of the German Army Group North in the Baltic states. The sixteen Finnish divisions tied down numerous Soviet troops, put pressure on Leningradmarker (although Mannerheim refused to attack it directly) and threatened the Murmansk railway. Additionally, Sweden was further isolated and was increasingly pressured to comply with German and Finnish wishes, though with limited success.

Despite Finland's contributions to the German cause, the Western Allies had ambivalent feelings, torn between residual goodwill for Finland and the need to accommodate their vital ally, the Soviet Union. As a result, Britain declared war against Finland, but the United States did not. With few exceptions, there was no combat between these countries and Finland, but Finnish sailors were interned overseas. In the United States, Finland was denounced for naval attacks made on American Lend-Lease shipments, but received approval for continuing to make payments on its World War I debt throughout the inter-war period.

Because Finland joined the Anti-Comintern Pact and signed other agreements with Germany, Italy and Japan, the Allies characterized Finland as one of the Axis Powers, although the term used in Finland is "co-belligerence with Germany," emphasizing the lack of a formal military alliance treaty.

International volunteers and support

Like in the Winter War, Swedish volunteers were recruited. Until December, they were tasked with guarding the Soviet naval base at Hankomarker. When it was evacuated by sea in December 1941, the Swedish unit was officially disbanded. During the Continuation War, the volunteers signed for three to six months of service. In all, over 1,600 fought for Finland, though only about 60 remained by the summer of 1944. About a third of the volunteers had previously participated in the Winter War. Another significant group, about a quarter of the men, were Swedish officers on leave.

There was also an SSmarker battalion of volunteers on the northern Finnish front from 1942 to 1944, that was recruited from Norwaymarker, then under German occupation, and similarly, some Danes.

About 3,400 Estonian volunteers took part in the Continuation War.

On other occasions, the Finns received around 2,100 Soviet prisoners of war in return for those POWs they turned over to the Germans. These POWs were mainly Estonians and Karelians who were willing to join the Finnish army. These, as well as some volunteers from occupied Eastern Karelia, formed the "Kin Battalion" (Finnish: "Heimopataljoona"). At the end of the war, the USSR requested members of the Kin Battalion to be handed over. Some managed to escape before or during transport, but most of them were either sent to the labor camps or executed.

Finnish occupation policy

About 2,600–2,800 Soviet prisoners of war were handed over to the Germans. Most of them (around 2,000) joined the Russian Liberation Army. Many of the rest were army officers and political officer, and based on their names, 74 of them were Jews, most of them dying in Nazi concentration camps. Sometimes these hand overs were demanded in return for arms or food.

Food was especially scarce in 1942 in Finland due to a bad harvest. The Finnish government names this as the primary reason for the dramatic rise in the number of deaths in Finnish concentration camps on occupied Soviet territory during this time. Punishment for escape attempts or serious violations of camp rules included solitary confinement and execution. Out of 64,188 Soviet POWs, 18,318 died in Finnish prisoner of war camps.

After the war, based on the testimonies of the former prisoners of war, criminal charges were filed against 1,381 Finnish camp staff, resulting in 723 convictions and 658 acquittals. They were accused of 42 executions and 242 murders. There were 10 cases of death from torture, eight infringements of property rights, 280 official infringements and 86 other crimes.

A significant number of Soviet civilians were interred in concentration camps. These were Russian women, young children, and the elderly as almost all of the working age male and female population was either drafted or evacuated: only ⅓ of the original population of 470,000 remained in East Karelia when the Finnish army arrived, and a half of them were Karelians. About 30% (24,000) of the remaining Russian population were confined in camps, 6,000 of them were Soviet refugees captured when awaiting transportation over Lake Onegamarker, and 3,000 from the southern side of the River Svir, allegedly to secure the area behind the front lines against partisan attacks. The first of the camps were set up on 24 October 1941 in Petrozavodskmarker. During the spring and summer of 1942, 3,500 detainees died of malnutrition. During the last half of 1942 the number of detainees dropped quickly to 15,000 as people were released to their homes or were resettled to the "safe" villages, and 500 more people died during the last two years of war, as the food shortages were alleviated. During the following years, the Finnish authorities detained several thousand more civilians from areas with reported partisan activity, but as the releases continued the total number of detainees remained at 13,000–14,000. The total number of deaths among the camp inmates is estimated at 4,000–7,000, mostly from hunger during the spring and summer of 1942.

Segregation in education and medical care between Karelians and Russians created resentment, and became one of the factors motivating many ethnic Russians to support partisan activity in the region.

Soviet partisan activity

Soviet partisans conducted a number of operations in Finlandmarker and in Eastern Karelia from 1941 to 1944. The major one failed when the 1st Partisan Brigade was destroyed in the beginning of August 1942 at lake Seesjärvimarker. Partisans distributed propaganda newspapers "Pravda" in Finnish and "Lenin's Banner" in Russian. One of the leaders of the partisan movement in Finland and Karelia was Yuri Andropov.

Finnish sources state that partisan activity in East Karelia focused mainly on Finnish military supply and communication targets, but almost two thirds of the attacks on the Finnish side of the border targeted civilians, killing 200 and injuring 50, including children and elderly.

Jews in Finland

Finland refused to permit extensions of Nazi anti-Semitic practices within Finland. Finnish Jews served in the Finnish army and were generally tolerated in Finland. Most Jewish refugees were granted asylum (only 8 out of over 500 refugees were handed over to the Nazis).

The field synagogue in Eastern Karelia was one of the very few functioning synagogues on the Axis side during the war. There were even several cases of Jewish officers of Finland's army awarded with the German Iron Cross, which they declined. Ironically, German soldiers were treated by Jewish medical officers who succeeded in saving their lives.

Soviet offensive



Overtures for peace

Areas ceded by Finland to the Soviet Union following the Moscow Armistice
Finland began to actively seek a way out of the war after the disastrous German defeat at the Battle of Stalingradmarker in February 1943. Edwin Linkomies formed a new cabinet with peace as the top priority. Negotiations were conducted intermittently in 1943–44 between Finland and its representative, Juho Kusti Paasikivi, on the one side and the Western Allies and the Soviet Union on the other but no agreement was reached. Stalin decided to force Finland to surrender; a bombing campaign followed. The air campaign in February 1944 included three major air attacks on Helsinki involving a total of over 6000 bombing sorties. However, Finnish anti-aircraft defences managed to repel the raids; it is estimated that only about 5% of the bombs hit their planned targets. Major air attacks also hit Oulu and Kotka but, because of radio intelligence and effective AA defences, the number of casualties was small.
Destroyed T-34 at the battle of Tali-Ihantala


Recapture of Karelian Isthmus

On 9 June 1944, the Soviet Union opened a major offensive against Finnish positions on the Karelian Isthmusmarker and in the area of Lake Ladogamarker (it was timed to accompany D-Day ). On the 21.7 km wide breakthrough point the Red Army had concentrated 2,851 45-mm guns and 130 50-mm guns. In some places, the concentration of artillery pieces exceeded 200 guns for each kilometer of the front (one for each 5m). On that day, Soviet artillery fired over 80,000 rounds along the front on the Karelian Isthmus. On the second day of the offensive, Soviet forces broke through the Finnish lines, liberating Petrozavodskmarker on 28 June 1944.

Finland especially lacked modern anti-tank weaponry, which could stop Soviet heavy tanks, and German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop offered these in exchange for a guarantee that Finland would not seek a separate peace again. On 26 June, President Risto Ryti gave this guarantee as a personal undertaking, which he intended to last for the remainder of his presidency. In addition to material deliveries, Hitler sent some assault gun brigades and a Luftwaffe fighter-bomber unit to provide temporary support in the most threatened defence sectors.

With new supplies from Germany, the Finnish army was able to halt the Soviet advance in early July 1944. At this point, Finnish forces had retreated about one hundred kilometres bringing them to approximately the same line of defence they had held at the end of the Winter War. This line was known as the VKT-line (short for "Viipuri–Kuparsaari–Taipale", running from Viipurimarker to River Vuoksimarker, and along the river to Lake Ladoga at Taipalemarker), where the Soviet offensive was eventually stopped in the Battle of Tali-Ihantalamarker in spite of their numerical and material superiority. By that time, Finland had already become a sideshow for the Soviet leadership, who now turned their attention to Poland and southeastern Europe. The Allies had already succeeded in their landing in France and were pushing towards Germany, and the Soviet leadership did not want to give them a free hand in Central Europe. The Finnish front stabilized once again, and the exhausted Finns wanted to get out of the war.

Armistice and the aftermath

Mannerheim had repeatedly reminded the Germans that in case their troops in Estoniamarker retreated, Finland would be forced to make peace even on extremely unfavourable terms. The territory of Estonia would have provided the Soviet army with a favourable base for amphibious invasions and air attacks against Finland's capital, Helsinkimarker, and other strategic targets in Finland, and would have strangled Finnish access to the sea. The initial German reaction to Finland's announcement of ambitions for a separate peace was limited to only verbal opposition. However, the Germans arrested hundreds of sailors on Finnish merchant ships in Germany, Denmark and Norway.

President Ryti resigned, paving the way for a separate peace, and Finland's military leader and national hero, Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim, was extraordinarily appointed president by the parliament, accepting responsibility for ending the war.

On 4 September, the cease-fire ended military actions on the Finnish side. The Soviet Union ended hostilities exactly 24 hours after the Finns. An armistice between the Soviet Union and Finland was signed in Moscowmarker on 19 September. Finland had to make many concessions: the Soviet Union regained the borders of 1940, with the addition of the Petsamo area (now Pechengsky District, Russiamarker); the Porkkalamarker peninsula (adjacent to Helsinki) was leased to the USSR as a naval base for fifty years and transit rights were granted; Finland's army was to be demobilized with haste, and Finland was required to expel all German troops from its territory within 14 days. As the Germans did not leave Finland in time for the given deadline, the Finns fought their former allies in the Lapland War. Finland was also to clear the minefields in Karelia (including East Karelia) and in the Gulf of Finland. The demining was a long operation, especially in the sea areas, lasting until 1952. 100 Finnish army personnel were killed and over 200 wounded during this process, most of them in Lapland.

Nevertheless, in contrast to the rest of the Eastern front countries, where the war was fought to the end, a Soviet occupation of Finland did not occur and the country retained sovereignty. Neither did Communists rise to power as they had in the Eastern Bloc countries. A policy called the Paasikivi–Kekkonen line formed the basis of Finnish foreign policy towards the Soviet Union until its dissolution in 1991.

British involvement

The Continuation War represents the only case of a genuinely democratic state participating in World War II on the side of the Axis powers, albeit without being a signatory of the Tripartite Pact. The United Kingdom declared war on Finland on 6 December 1941, Finnish Independence Day, with Canadamarker and New Zealandmarker declaring war on Finland on 7 December, and Australia and South Africa declaring war on 8 December. The United Statesmarker Secretary of State Cordell Hull did congratulate the Finnish envoy on 3 October 1941 for the liberation of Karelia but warned Finland not to go in to Soviet territory; furthermore the US did not declare war on Finland when they went to war with the Axis countries and, together with UK, approached Stalin in the Tehran Conference to acknowledge Finnish independence. However, the US government seized Finnish merchant ships in American ports and in the summer of 1944 shut down Finnish diplomatic and commercial offices in the US as a result of President Ryti's treaty with Germany. The US government later warned Finland about the consequences of continued adherence to the Axis.

The best-known British action on Finnish soil was a Swordfish attack on German ships in the Finnish harbour of Petsamo on 31 July 1941. This attack achieved little except the loss of three British aircraft, but it was intended as a demonstration of British support for its Sovietmarker ally. Later in 1941, Hurricanes of No. 151 Wing RAF based at Murmansk provided local air cover for Soviet troops and fighter escorts for Soviet bombers. The British contribution to the war was occasional but significant.

Finnish radio intelligence is said to have participated effectively in German actions against British convoys to Murmanskmarker. Throughout the war, German aircraft operating from airfields in northern Finland made attacks on British air and naval units based in Murmansk and Archangelskmarker.

Analysis



Aims

Unlike the Winter War, which was a Soviet war of aggression against Finland, some post- Cold War period Finnish researchers have argued the Continuation War to have been an aggression initiated by the Finns - to rectify the territorial losses of the Winter War.However, according to the Editor in Chief of Helsingin Sanomat, Janne Virkkunen, Finland's official view remains (as of 30.11.2008) that the Continuation War was a "separate war" from WW2, in which the Finnish offensive launched in 1941 was merely a counter-offensive, to push back the attacking enemy - and not a part of the German campaign against the Soviet Unionmarker. This 'official' Finnish stand has also been re-enforced by a public statement from the President of Finland Tarja Halonen. President Halonen too calls the Continuation War a "separate war".

Finland's main goal during World War II was, although it was nowhere openly stated, to survive the war as an independent democratic country, capable of maintaining its sovereignty in a politically hostile environment. Specifically for the Continuation War, Finland also aimed at reversing its territorial losses under the March 1940 Moscow Peace Treaty and by extending its territory further east, to have more non-Finnish land to defend before armies from the USSR could enter Finnish territories. Some small right-wing groups also supported a Greater Finland ideology. Finland's efforts during World War II were, as regards survival and with hindsight, successful, although the price was high in war casualties, reparation payments, territorial loss, bruised international reputation, and subsequent adaptation to Soviet international perspectives during the Cold War. The Finnish–German alliance was different from most of the other Axis relationships, an example of which is represented by the participation of Finnish Jews in the fight against the Soviet Union.The Finns did not take any anti-Jewish measures in Finland, despite repeated requests from Nazi Germany.

Soviet war goals are harder to assess due to the secretive nature of the Stalinist Soviet Union. Soviet sources maintain that Soviet policies up to the Continuation War were best explained as defensive measures by offensive means: the division of occupied Polandmarker with Germanymarker, the occupation of Lithuania, Latvia and Estoniamarker, and the attempted invasion of Finland in the Winter War are described as elements in the construction of a security zone or buffer region between the perceived threat from the capitalist powers of Western Europe and the Communist Soviet Union – as some see the post-war establishment of Soviet satellite states in the Warsaw Pact countries and the Agreement of Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance concluded with post-war Finland. Western historians such as Norman Davies and John Lukacs dispute this view and describe the prewar Soviet policy as attempting to stay out of the war and regaining land lost after the fall of the Russian Empiremarker.

Battles and operations



See also



Notes

  1. Great Soviet Encyclopedia, Finland, Moscow, 1974, ISBN 0-02-880010-9
  2. Seppinen, Ilkka, Suomen ulkomaankaupan ehdot, 1939–1944, 1983, ISBN 951-9254-48-X
  3. Transcript of secret taping of Hitler's conversation with Mannerheim
  4. Kirby , p.221
  5. Max Jacobsson, Century of Violence, 1999
  6. Kirby , p.135
  7. Nordberg, Erkki, Arvio ja ennuste Venäjän sotilaspolitiikasta Suomen suunnalla, 2003, ISBN 9518843627
  8. Encyclopædia Britannica Premium, 2006, Finland
  9. Jokipii, Mauno, Jatkosodan synty, 1987, ISBN 951-1-08799-1
  10. "Finnish Navy in WW II — Mine warfare"
  11. feldgrau.com: "Naval War in the Baltic Sea 1941–1945"
  12. "Finnish navy in Continuation War, year 1941"
  13. MANNERHEIM — Commander-in-Chief — The Order of the Day of the Sword Scabbard
  14. Raid on Kirkenes and Petsamo, Fleet Air Arm and the invasion of Russia, 1941. Part of the Fleet Air Arm Archive 1939–1945
  15. Robert Jackson, Battle of the Baltic, The wars 1918–1945, 2007, p.105, ISBN 184415422-x
  16. Wuorinen 1948 p.135
  17. See: Laine, Antti 1982: Suur-Suomen kahdet kasvot. Itä-Karjalan siviiliväestön asema suomalaisessa miehityshallinnossa 1941–1944, pp. 116, 346–348, & appendix with illustrations. Helsinki: Otava.
  18. Семейный Ковчег: "Военное детство нынче не в цене", April 2004
  19. Helsingin Sanomat 8 November 2003: Wartime refugees made pawns in cruel diplomatic game.
  20. Ylikangas, Heikki, Heikki Ylikankaan selvitys Valtioneuvoston kanslialle, Government of Finland
  21. Laine, Antti, Suur-Suomen kahdet kasvot, 1982, ISBN 951-1-06947-0, Otava
  22. Maanpuolustuskorkeakoulun historian laitos, Jatkosodan historia 1–6, 1994
  23. Andropov Yuri Vladimirovich. Biography.
  24. Eino Viheriävaara, (1982). Partisaanien jäljet 1941–1944, Oulun Kirjateollisuus Oy. ISBN 951-99396-6-0
  25. Veikko Erkkilä, (1999). Vaiettu sota, Arator Oy. ISBN 952-9619-18-9.
  26. Lauri Hannikainen, (1992). Implementing Humanitarian Law Applicable in Armed Conflicts: The Case of Finland, Martinuss Nijoff Publishers, Dordrecht. ISBN 0-7923-1611-8.
  27. Tyyne Martikainen, (2002). Partisaanisodan siviiliuhrit, PS-Paino Värisuora Oy. ISBN 952-91-4327-3.
  28. Rautkallio, Hannu, Suomen juutalaisten aseveljeys (Finnish Jews as German Brothers in Arms), 1989, Tammi
  29. Tuulikki Vuonokari (2003), Jews in Finland During the Second World War, Finnish Institutions Student Paper: FAST Area Studies Program Department of Translation Studies, University of Tampere, Autumn 2003 [1], retrieved 2009-02-06
  30. Poljakoff in Torvinen, Kadimah: Suomen juutalaisten historia 35 Smolar 155–57
  31. Torvinen, Taimi (1989), Kadimah: Suomen juutalaisten historia Helsinki: Otava, Pgs. 117–167[2], retrieved 2009-02-06
  32. Howard D. Grier. Hitler, Dönitz, and the Baltic Sea, Naval Institute Press, 2007, ISBN 1591143454. p. 121
  33. World War II: Finland
  34. FAA archive: raid on Petsamo
  35. The Royal Air Force in Russia : Hurricanes at Murmansk
  36. Ahtokari, Reijo and Pale, Erkki: Suomen Radiotiedustelu 1927–1944 (Finnish radio intelligence 1927–1944), Helsinki, Hakapaino Oy, pp. 191–198, ISBN 952-90-9437-X
  37. Jatkosodan synty suomalaisen menneisyyden kipupisteenä
  38. [3]
  39. Letter to the New York Times by Mark Cohen, Executive Director of Holocaust Publications in New York, 28 April, 1987
  40. The problem of ensuring the security of Leningrad from the north in light of Soviet war planning of 1932–1941 by V. N. Baryshnikov: The actual war with Finland began first of all due to unresolved issues in Leningrad's security from the north and Moscow's concerns for the perspective of Finland's politics. At the same time, a desire to claim better strategic positions in case of a war with Germany had surfaced within the Soviet leadership.
  41. Финская война. Взгляд "с той стороны" ("The Finnish war. A look from the "other side"") by A. I. Kozlov: After the rise of National Socialism to power in Germany, the geopolitical importance of the former "buffer states" had drastically changed. Both the Soviet Union and Germany vied for the inclusion of these states into their spheres of influence. Soviet politicians and military considered it likely, that in case of an aggression against the USSR, German armed forces will use the territory of the Baltic states and Finland as staging areas for invasion — by either conquering or coercing these countries. None of the states of the Baltic region, excluding Poland, had sufficient military power to resist a German invasion.
  42. Stalin's Missed Chance, by Mikhail Meltyukhov:The English–French influence in the Baltics, characteristic for the '20s – early '30s was increasingly limited by the growth of German influence. Due to the strategic importance of the region, the Soviet leadership also aimed to increase its influence there, using both diplomatic means as well as active social propaganda. By the end of the '30s, the main contenders for influence in the Baltics were Germany and the Soviet Union. Being a buffer zone between Germany and the USSR, the Baltic states were bound to them by a system of economic and non-aggression treaties of 1926, 1932 and 1939
  43. Norman Davies, No simple victory, 2007, ISBN 978-0-670-01832-1


References

Citations

  1. Great Soviet Encyclopedia, Finland, Moscow, 1974, ISBN 0-02-880010-9
  2. Seppinen, Ilkka, Suomen ulkomaankaupan ehdot, 1939–1944, 1983, ISBN 951-9254-48-X
  3. Transcript of secret taping of Hitler's conversation with Mannerheim
  4. Kirby , p.221
  5. Max Jacobsson, Century of Violence, 1999
  6. Kirby , p.135
  7. Nordberg, Erkki, Arvio ja ennuste Venäjän sotilaspolitiikasta Suomen suunnalla, 2003, ISBN 9518843627
  8. Encyclopædia Britannica Premium, 2006, Finland
  9. Jokipii, Mauno, Jatkosodan synty, 1987, ISBN 951-1-08799-1
  10. "Finnish Navy in WW II — Mine warfare"
  11. feldgrau.com: "Naval War in the Baltic Sea 1941–1945"
  12. "Finnish navy in Continuation War, year 1941"
  13. MANNERHEIM — Commander-in-Chief — The Order of the Day of the Sword Scabbard
  14. Raid on Kirkenes and Petsamo, Fleet Air Arm and the invasion of Russia, 1941. Part of the Fleet Air Arm Archive 1939–1945
  15. Robert Jackson, Battle of the Baltic, The wars 1918–1945, 2007, p.105, ISBN 184415422-x
  16. Wuorinen 1948 p.135
  17. See: Laine, Antti 1982: Suur-Suomen kahdet kasvot. Itä-Karjalan siviiliväestön asema suomalaisessa miehityshallinnossa 1941–1944, pp. 116, 346–348, & appendix with illustrations. Helsinki: Otava.
  18. Семейный Ковчег: "Военное детство нынче не в цене", April 2004
  19. Helsingin Sanomat 8 November 2003: Wartime refugees made pawns in cruel diplomatic game.
  20. Ylikangas, Heikki, Heikki Ylikankaan selvitys Valtioneuvoston kanslialle, Government of Finland
  21. Laine, Antti, Suur-Suomen kahdet kasvot, 1982, ISBN 951-1-06947-0, Otava
  22. Maanpuolustuskorkeakoulun historian laitos, Jatkosodan historia 1–6, 1994
  23. Andropov Yuri Vladimirovich. Biography.
  24. Eino Viheriävaara, (1982). Partisaanien jäljet 1941–1944, Oulun Kirjateollisuus Oy. ISBN 951-99396-6-0
  25. Veikko Erkkilä, (1999). Vaiettu sota, Arator Oy. ISBN 952-9619-18-9.
  26. Lauri Hannikainen, (1992). Implementing Humanitarian Law Applicable in Armed Conflicts: The Case of Finland, Martinuss Nijoff Publishers, Dordrecht. ISBN 0-7923-1611-8.
  27. Tyyne Martikainen, (2002). Partisaanisodan siviiliuhrit, PS-Paino Värisuora Oy. ISBN 952-91-4327-3.
  28. Rautkallio, Hannu, Suomen juutalaisten aseveljeys (Finnish Jews as German Brothers in Arms), 1989, Tammi
  29. Tuulikki Vuonokari (2003), Jews in Finland During the Second World War, Finnish Institutions Student Paper: FAST Area Studies Program Department of Translation Studies, University of Tampere, Autumn 2003 [1], retrieved 2009-02-06
  30. Poljakoff in Torvinen, Kadimah: Suomen juutalaisten historia 35 Smolar 155–57
  31. Torvinen, Taimi (1989), Kadimah: Suomen juutalaisten historia Helsinki: Otava, Pgs. 117–167[2], retrieved 2009-02-06
  32. Howard D. Grier. Hitler, Dönitz, and the Baltic Sea, Naval Institute Press, 2007, ISBN 1591143454. p. 121
  33. World War II: Finland
  34. FAA archive: raid on Petsamo
  35. The Royal Air Force in Russia : Hurricanes at Murmansk
  36. Ahtokari, Reijo and Pale, Erkki: Suomen Radiotiedustelu 1927–1944 (Finnish radio intelligence 1927–1944), Helsinki, Hakapaino Oy, pp. 191–198, ISBN 952-90-9437-X
  37. Jatkosodan synty suomalaisen menneisyyden kipupisteenä
  38. [3]
  39. Letter to the New York Times by Mark Cohen, Executive Director of Holocaust Publications in New York, 28 April, 1987
  40. The problem of ensuring the security of Leningrad from the north in light of Soviet war planning of 1932–1941 by V. N. Baryshnikov: The actual war with Finland began first of all due to unresolved issues in Leningrad's security from the north and Moscow's concerns for the perspective of Finland's politics. At the same time, a desire to claim better strategic positions in case of a war with Germany had surfaced within the Soviet leadership.
  41. Финская война. Взгляд "с той стороны" ("The Finnish war. A look from the "other side"") by A. I. Kozlov: After the rise of National Socialism to power in Germany, the geopolitical importance of the former "buffer states" had drastically changed. Both the Soviet Union and Germany vied for the inclusion of these states into their spheres of influence. Soviet politicians and military considered it likely, that in case of an aggression against the USSR, German armed forces will use the territory of the Baltic states and Finland as staging areas for invasion — by either conquering or coercing these countries. None of the states of the Baltic region, excluding Poland, had sufficient military power to resist a German invasion.
  42. Stalin's Missed Chance, by Mikhail Meltyukhov:The English–French influence in the Baltics, characteristic for the '20s – early '30s was increasingly limited by the growth of German influence. Due to the strategic importance of the region, the Soviet leadership also aimed to increase its influence there, using both diplomatic means as well as active social propaganda. By the end of the '30s, the main contenders for influence in the Baltics were Germany and the Soviet Union. Being a buffer zone between Germany and the USSR, the Baltic states were bound to them by a system of economic and non-aggression treaties of 1926, 1932 and 1939
  43. Norman Davies, No simple victory, 2007, ISBN 978-0-670-01832-1

Bibliography



Further reading

  • Finnish National Archive Luovutukset: Research on prisoner-of-war deaths, extraditions and deportations from Finland between 1939–55, Research project, See


Russian

  • Хельге Сеппяля Финляндия как оккупант в 1941–1944 годах Журнал "Север" ISSN 0131-6222, 1995. See



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