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Soviet diaries from the Winter War

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  • #46
    Originally posted by ShAA View Post
    The Red Army soldiers (there was no Red Army at the time the Finnish Civil War started, by the way) practically did not take part in the fighting, like the Russian garrisons. This was not their war and all they wanted was to get away from there as soon as possible. Desertion from the army was extremely high and the soldiers were highly reluctant to fight. It was because of that Trotsky started count martialing deserters in 1918. So spare me the BS of 5-10 thousand soldiers actively fighting. Had it really been the case, the war would have at least lasted longer, if not ended in the Reds' favour.
    This was the case, but of course Russians as always are an exception to whom the rules do not apply. 500 Finnish volunteers means Finland was actively expanding into Russia but 5-10 Russian soldiers fighting for the reds means nothing. Same old, same old.

    That was a "damned if we do, damned if we don't" situation. But Vyborg had to be taken back by all means. Make of it what you want.
    Taking Vyborg would have changed nothing. You admit this freely in your own reasoning: if the Germans can march through Finland with little to no opposition, what do some extra kilometers in the Isthmus mean? Nothing.

    What a moronic statement. Were the Poles Nazis when they carved Czechoslovakia with the help of Nazi Germany? No, they were just opportunistic, like the Finns were in 1918-1922 and later in WW2.
    Oh really, that somehow disagrees with the earlier statements you made.

    That's what was consdiered by all major powers. What you're writing in hindsight. Absolutely no one saw Finland as being able to resist an invasion. Seems like I need to repeat same things to you like to Teletubbies.
    Everything we write is in hindsight.
    Wisdom is personal


    • #47
      Originally posted by ShAA View Post
      So the Russians are entitled to go wherever the Slavs live? Hitler also grabbed Czechoslovakia under the pretext of helping ethnic Germans.
      No, but you explicitly stated that it would have been Russian land, which it wasn't.

      The "without" government sanction part isn't going to fool anyone. If the government wanted, it could've easily stopped them from dong it. And there were many more than a few hundred - about 9 thousand from 1918 to 1922.
      When government did intervene later on it resulted in assassination of the standing Finnish minister of interior. So 'easily doing it' is quite a stretch. Besides thanks to both Russian Civil War as well as to the Finnish Civil War there were no officials to keep guard at the border - on either side. Also i wonder where you are getting the '9 thousand'. In Viena expedition there was around 1 500 men, in Olonets expedition 2 500 men and in 1921-22 mere 500 men. Summing those up i get 4 500, of which most took part in several of the expeditions.

      Lol, you're singing the same tune. I'm not saying of Finland's attack, but that its territory would be used for such attack either by Germany of by Britain and France. You've really got this fixation on the Finnish attack.
      Certainly not 'would be', possibly only 'could be' and even then only if the attacker would manage to beat Finnish army - regardless it would not be surprise of any sorts to the Soviets at that point. Finland was not aligned with the Germans before the Winter War - relations were in fact sour enough for the Germans to publicly comment on this. And neither Britain or France had any ambitions towards SU at that time. So again, threat existed only in the rather vivid imagination of the Soviet leadership.

      There were minefields in the bay of Vyborg and to the east of it. As you can see, a patch of navigable area was mined in 1941, and the other minefields were added later on.
      Minefields east of bay of Viborg were almost solely laid by the Soviets. Few Finnish or German mines there were laid by motor torpedo boats or their equivalents which carried only few mines each or by aircraft. They all consisted of very few mines. Finnish and German minefields were concentrated south and north-east of Hochland (Suursaari), not any closer to the eastern end of the bay of Finland and certainly not close the shallow waters near Leningrad. Later on more mines were laid quite a bit further to the west.

      Which ambitions? Do you mean the Russian "Sword Scabbard" statement? Or Mannerheim's 1918 plans to set the border on the White Sea and near the Onego lake, which he suggested to the Germans and almost succeeded in implementing 23 years later?

      Or are you speaking of the modern day politics, like the "ProKarelia" organisation? How many Russian parties and organisations which advocate or justify the capture of Finland or part of its territory can you name?
      I'm not sure how Sword Scabbard has any relevance to Soviet territorial ambitions which you actually defined in your preceding post. The land in question belonged to some one else, namely Finland. Using claimed security requirements against imaginary opponents as a strawman does not excuse what the Soviets arranged.

      I'm not saying i would agree with the sentiment but if you follow ethnic distribution of people in the Karelia before Stalins purges you will notice that the suggested border is actually fairly close the extent of the area where Finnic Karelians were a majority.

      Also last i checked ProKarelia does not advocate capture of Russia or of any part of it. It does advocate for return of Karelia but not via force of arms. It is hardly surprising after the unprovoked Soviet attack against Finland resulted in 400 000 Karelians choosing rather to flee to Finland (and remain free) than to become Soviet subjects. It can not be a surprise that some of those 400 000 - and their relatives - might just want some restitution.

      Wait a second, you've just lamented the poor state of the Finnish military a few paragraphs above and now you're speaking how it would defend itself against the Kriegsmarine. A couple of pocket battleships would level these defenses to the ground. Besides, anything you're saying here was not obvious in 1939, especially considering Germany's sweeping successes against other countries.
      Coastal artillery was one of the few if not the sole exception. Coastal artillery has always been dangerous opponent to ships as the artillery on land is static and can fire far more accurately than that aboard the ships. In addition Finnish coastal artillery consisted of several large caliber batteries (incl. 305 mm guns) which would have been supported by the coastal artillery ships explicitly designed to operate as mobile coastal artillery battery within the archipelago so having a battleship would by no means have meant that the operation would have been a slam dunk. Seeing how disastrous the Kriegsmarine's expedition to Norway was where the coastline is far more vulnerable than in Finland (fjords are easier to traverse than archipelago filled with shallow rocks) it is not exactly a wild supposition that Kriegsmarine's losses would have been heavy.

      It is completely irrelevant what the Finns assumed and what you are now stating how the Finns could have behaved. The Finns were declaratively hostile to the Soviet Union and by this, quite clear logic, were likely to either cooperate with the Germans or at the very least not to oppose it even if it used its territory. Even Sweden allowed German troops to move across its territory, and now you're claiming Finland would resist the temptation of getting what it wanted by German hand while putting a minimum of effort. Sure.
      Sweden allowed German troops to traverse through (not operate or fight) their territory in limited quantities and only at specific places and even that only after Germans had already taken Norway & Denmark and essentially surrounded the Swedes.

      Finns were quite cold against both dictatorships. Finnish relations were not good with Germans either mainly because the democratic leaders detested the dictators. Finns, just like all the Nordic countries only wanted to stay out of the next World War, which the Finnish leaders saw brewing in 1930s. Using these as starting point it would not have been possible for the Germans to use Finnish territory for operations but just like Swedes Finns might have allowed German troops to pass through to Norway.

      You are forgetting that it was only due to the unprovoked Soviet invasion of Finland and subsequent Soviet threats and interference to the Finnish matters that in essence drove Finland to seek help. And then Soviets prevented Finns from getting any from Nordic countries or from Sweden alone, so ask yourself this, towards whom would you expect the Finns turn now that Germans controlled the access to the Baltic? Such political move would have been unthinkable had the Winter War not taken place.

      I said those who actively took part. As for the "saw combat", there were a handful of engagements, where they had low morale and discipline. Their combat value was minimal, so it's absurd that you tout their participation as "great support of Lenin to the Finnish Reds".
      Same can be said of the Germans who arrived only after Finnish Whites had already decisively beaten the Finnish Reds. Nevertheless it meant that there were several thousand of Russian soldiers fighting against the White Finns. And the troops were far from the sole support provided by Lenin to the Finnish Reds. Arms, armaments, artillery and so on were transported by the Soviets to the Finnish Reds.

      They gambled and lost. Maybe these Russian women and children starved to death in Karelian camps brought them some satisfaction from this sweet revenge and later they could sleep better at night.
      Unlike you expect Finland did not have Jesus with them who would have made miracle of using five loaves of bread and two fish to feed thousands. There simply was not enough good quality food to go around. Also they did not starve to death. Principal cause behind deaths was malnutrition, not starvation. In other words there was food but it was of so poor quality that it was not enough.

      There's no difference if a country harbours expansionist designs and joins the aggressor. There was your land and tomorrow it's somebody else's.
      So far there has not been any evidence that such moods would have had any power in Finland. As stated Finland was fully functional democracy which had already previously banned with extreme right and extreme left from its political field. Only country harboring expansionist designs in the region was the Soviet Union, who indeed did join the Nazi Germany in its effort to carve up the Eastern Europe and the Baltics.

      It's more like you who's trying to present Finland as an innocent orange and Russia as a bad apple.
      Again wrong, you have tried to apply the standards and events that took place in dictatorships into a democracy. Which is folly. Only event in which any of your claims could have any validity would have been if there had been coup de etat in Finland - however such an event was rather unlikely since for example Mannerheim explicitly refused to take part to such designs, had refused already earlier in 1930s and did the same later on.
      It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion, it is by the beans of Java that thoughts acquire speed. The hands acquire shaking, the shaking becomes a warning. It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion


      • #48
        Originally posted by Karri View Post
        This was the case, but of course Russians as always are an exception to whom the rules do not apply. 500 Finnish volunteers means Finland was actively expanding into Russia but 5-10 Russian soldiers fighting for the reds means nothing. Same old, same old.
        These were the soldiers of the former Russian (Imperial) Army who still stayed on the territory of Finland and declared themselves Communists. At the time even the status of the Russian Republic was not determined until the Bolsheviks disbanded the Constituent Assembly in January 1918 and made it clear they were going to remain the only power in the country. So we have Russian communists helping Finnish communists fight for their country vs Finnish nationalists who wanted to grab Russian land. Your comparison would've been valid in case if these "volunteers" fought for the Whites and then, after the White victory, they would return to Finland. However, this was never in the plans.

        And again, not 500, but about 9000. For Finland at that time this makes a difference.

        Taking Vyborg would have changed nothing. You admit this freely in your own reasoning: if the Germans can march through Finland with little to no opposition, what do some extra kilometers in the Isthmus mean? Nothing.
        The issue is where the Germans would face the Soviet army, 30 or 150 km away from Leningrad.

        Oh really, that somehow disagrees with the earlier statements you made.
        Oh really? Show me my statements where I said they were Nazis. Their policies towards the Soviet civilian population were often very similar, however I never said Finland had a Nazi party in the government.

        Yes, this is what you shouldn't do while typing responses on internet boards.

        Everything we write is in hindsight.
        Yes, that's what we write. But applying hindsight while explaining one's motivations in the past is absurd. One has to judge by what was known or considered at the time.

        Siege of Leningrad battlefield tour


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