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  • #31
    Andrey, according to many Finnish sources the fact was that Finland was not interested either in cutting the Murmansk line nor pressuring Leningrad too much. The reasons are obvious as mentioned - just as obvious as why Finland had no choice but to engage in the Continuation War.

    Unlike Russia where there is a monolithic state Russian opinion that you can cite, in Finland there are actually several different lines of thoughts and opinions about this, even in school they teach you different versions and tell you to think for yourself. Some of the more extreme of those versions seem to me to be influenced by rabid nationalism, some others are the products of finlandization and then there are some which make sense to me - I've adopted those as my own opinions. So unlike you, I trade in my opinions some of which coincide with some other people's opinions, but there is no one constant Finnish opinion.

    Finally, the fact is that when discussing the intention of Finland there is no one conclusive fact. Finland wasn't a dictatorship where Mannerheim's intention equalled Finnish intention. I'm sure Ryti, Mannerheim and several other power players had their own mind about what to do. What we do know is that Finland did not use too much effort or resources into cutting those lines or pressure Leningrad opting instead to prepare defences.

    As facts we know what some units in the theatre were ordered to do and by whom. We do know for instance that Dietl initially had a plan to cut Murmansk line at Kantalahti with one concentrated operation, but was overridden by Hitler who instead ordered Dietl to do several things including trying to capture Murmansk itself. Hitler asked Finns to cut the line. Finns initially obliged only for Mannerheim to order a halt Siilasvuo after initial successess so that the units could destroy encircled enemies and regroup to defensive positions. But was this because Mannerheim wasn't too keen on cutting the line in the first place, or the initial defences convinced him that continuing the attack would cause too much losses is up for interpretation. Even if Mannerheim or Ryti or somebody else in fact wanted to cut the line they certainly weren't too energetic about that suggesting even if it was wanted it was by no means a priority.

    BTW what does fighting hard mean? Finns fought hard everywhere. In this sector at the time of offensives the casualties weren't anything exceptional compared to other sectors. The casualties were substantially higher in vital defensive battles - then Finns definitely fought harder.
    Last edited by pp(est); 07 May 09, 21:21.

    Comment


    • #32
      Originally posted by pp(est) View Post
      Unlike Russia where there is a monolithic state Russian opinion that you can cite, in Finland there are actually several different lines of thoughts and opinions about this, even in school they teach you different versions and tell you to think for yourself. Some of the more extreme of those versions seem to me to be influenced by rabid nationalism, some others are the products of finlandization and then there are some which make sense to me - I've adopted those as my own opinions. So unlike you, I trade in my opinions some of which coincide with some other people's opinions, but there is no one constant Finnish opinion.
      How nicely have you ignored my post, pp(est)

      Seems like you'll keep parroting your ignorant opinion about Russia no matter what the evidence would be thrust into your face.

      Just for the record, my state school teacher (who was very good and professional) presented Victor Suvorov's version of the war's beginning among the others and was quite sympathetic to it.
      www.histours.ru

      Siege of Leningrad battlefield tour

      Comment


      • #33
        ShAA, I think I've already addressed your post.

        A. Mannerheim was not a dictator

        B. Vainu's ramblings are ridiculous and his claims of evidence not serious

        C. You disregard the available alternatives for Finland - occupation by Nazis and/or Soviets IIRC Finland lost some 5% of its population in the war. This is an extremely good result given that 80km to the south Ests who chose the alternative and cooperated with Stalin lost 20%

        Comment


        • #34
          Originally posted by pp(est) View Post
          ShAA, I think I've already addressed your post.

          A. Mannerheim was not a dictator

          B. Vainu's ramblings are ridiculous and his claims of evidence not serious

          C. You disregard the available alternatives for Finland - occupation by Nazis and/or Soviets IIRC Finland lost some 5% of its population in the war. This is an extremely good result given that 80km to the south Ests who chose the alternative and cooperated with Stalin lost 20%
          You missed my point completely. You present Russia as one monolithic state with one opinion, I proved it false with that post.

          As for the Finns, they were opportunistic gamblers like 19th century Poles, and it's only a matter of chance and ineptitude of the Soviet military they weren't occupied in 1940 or 1944. The only difference is that they won this gambe while the Poles didn't.
          www.histours.ru

          Siege of Leningrad battlefield tour

          Comment


          • #35
            Since we're lucky enough to have full set of Finnish Army documents and combat losses now online I'm trying to correct views here. Links are to Finnish High HQ's, similar to STAVKA, war diary.

            Originally posted by ShAA View Post
            Here's an artilcle about the myths of besieged Leningrad that deals with the myth of Finnish army not wanting to take the city. The author points out to the strength of Soviet Karelian Defensive Belt fortifications and losses and combat fatugue of the Finnish forces: http://actualhistory.ru/blockada-myth (also in Russian)
            Originally posted by Andrey View Post
            In Leningrad direction they made an attempt to attack the citu from north. Their attack was repelled, the attackers suffered heavy casualties. [...] These are facts.
            - The attack on Eastern part of Karelian Isthmus started on July 31st 1941 at 12.30 a.m.
            http://digi.narc.fi/digi/fullpic.ka?kuid=3540644
            - The attack on Western part of Karelian Isthmus started on August 21st/22nd 1941.
            http://digi.narc.fi/digi/fullpic.ka?kuid=3540714

            Major Finnish town of Viipuri/Vyborg was taken on August 30th, just over week after the initial attack. Leningrad was a bit over 80 kilometers away. It's my understanding that major Soviet forces were defeated south of Vyborg or evacuated to the KaUR. Old Finnish-Soviet border at Terijoki/Zelenogorsk was reached on the same evening. Leningrad was 20 kilometers away. Finnish 2nd Army Corps was given a task to advance and man positions at Aleksandrovka-Valkeasaari-Ohta-Novaja -line on September 1st. KaUR ran about 5 kilometers south of this line (http://www.nortfort.ru/kaur/where_e.html).
            http://digi.narc.fi/digi/fullpic.ka?kuid=3540745.

            2. AC was given specific orders to stand down and defence this line on September 2nd 1941, that is before the main bulk of the infantry regiments could get there! There's a reason for this; it's the shortest line of defence at the whole Isthmus and thus a good reason to cross the pre-war border for 5-10 kilometers. As you can see Finnish forces did not mount a major attack against the KaUR line and thus were not serious thinking taking Leningrad. 1. AC on East Karelian Isthmus was given same type of orders to occupy Raasuli-Ladoga -line and defend it.
            http://digi.narc.fi/digi/fullpic.ka?kuid=3540696
            http://digi.narc.fi/digi/fullpic.ka?kuid=3540747

            Finnish 4th Division was detached from 4. AC at the Eastern Isthmus and transferred to Svir Front on September 2nd onwards. After some some recon (to reach the "absolute dense defence of the enemy") Finnish forces were stopped before the main Soviet line and Mannerheim gave an order to "avoid casualties and arrange rest for the troops" on September 4th. Divisions were also given orders to dig in as soon as possible. If you can point out time and place when and where major Finnish forces attacked the KaUR after 4.9.1941, I'll be happy to hear about it.
            http://digi.narc.fi/digi/fullpic.ka?kuid=3540748
            http://digi.narc.fi/digi/fullpic.ka?kuid=3540754
            http://digi.narc.fi/digi/fullpic.ka?kuid=3039628

            As for the losses, they were 7663 KIA + 25432 WIA = 33086 men from June 26th to September 9th, that's about 28% of the Finnish forces at Karelian Isthmus before the attack (120,000 men), but only 6,4% KIA. Furthermore these troops suffered only 103 KIA + 482 + 28 MIA losses between September 10th - 19th.
            http://digi.narc.fi/digi/fullpic.ka?kuid=3046179
            http://digi.narc.fi/digi/fullpic.ka?kuid=3046262

            I rest my case.

            Martti

            Comment


            • #36
              What about equipment losses? My Finnish are way to bad to find out.
              “For there is nothing more serious than a lunatic when he comes to the central point of his lunacy.”

              Max Sterner

              Comment


              • #37
                Originally posted by Erkki View Post
                What about equipment losses?
                Minimal. 4. AC's weapon losses (to the enemy and broken) between August 20th - September 9th were:

                21 SMGs,
                18 artillery pieces,
                9 ATRs,
                7 rifles,
                7 LMGs,
                4 MGs and
                3 pistols,

                4. AC alone at the same time captured:

                92x 152mm
                63x 122mm
                69x 76mm
                92x 45mm cannons,

                38x 120mm,
                91x 82mm,
                117x 50mm mortars,

                12081 rifles,
                434 LMGs,
                277 MGs and
                37 SMGs.

                http://digi.narc.fi/digi/fullpic.ka?kuid=4809130
                http://digi.narc.fi/digi/fullpic.ka?kuid=4809234

                Comment


                • #38
                  Originally posted by Martti Kujansuu View Post
                  Since we're lucky enough to have full set of Finnish Army documents and combat losses now online I'm trying to correct views here. Links are to Finnish High HQ's, similar to STAVKA, war diary.





                  - The attack on Eastern part of Karelian Isthmus started on July 31st 1941 at 12.30 a.m.
                  http://digi.narc.fi/digi/fullpic.ka?kuid=3540644
                  - The attack on Western part of Karelian Isthmus started on August 21st/22nd 1941.
                  http://digi.narc.fi/digi/fullpic.ka?kuid=3540714

                  Major Finnish town of Viipuri/Vyborg was taken on August 30th, just over week after the initial attack. Leningrad was a bit over 80 kilometers away. It's my understanding that major Soviet forces were defeated south of Vyborg or evacuated to the KaUR. Old Finnish-Soviet border at Terijoki/Zelenogorsk was reached on the same evening. Leningrad was 20 kilometers away. Finnish 2nd Army Corps was given a task to advance and man positions at Aleksandrovka-Valkeasaari-Ohta-Novaja -line on September 1st. KaUR ran about 5 kilometers south of this line (http://www.nortfort.ru/kaur/where_e.html).
                  http://digi.narc.fi/digi/fullpic.ka?kuid=3540745.

                  2. AC was given specific orders to stand down and defence this line on September 2nd 1941, that is before the main bulk of the infantry regiments could get there! There's a reason for this; it's the shortest line of defence at the whole Isthmus and thus a good reason to cross the pre-war border for 5-10 kilometers. As you can see Finnish forces did not mount a major attack against the KaUR line and thus were not serious thinking taking Leningrad. 1. AC on East Karelian Isthmus was given same type of orders to occupy Raasuli-Ladoga -line and defend it.
                  http://digi.narc.fi/digi/fullpic.ka?kuid=3540696
                  http://digi.narc.fi/digi/fullpic.ka?kuid=3540747

                  Finnish 4th Division was detached from 4. AC at the Eastern Isthmus and transferred to Svir Front on September 2nd onwards. After some some recon (to reach the "absolute dense defence of the enemy") Finnish forces were stopped before the main Soviet line and Mannerheim gave an order to "avoid casualties and arrange rest for the troops" on September 4th. Divisions were also given orders to dig in as soon as possible. If you can point out time and place when and where major Finnish forces attacked the KaUR after 4.9.1941, I'll be happy to hear about it.
                  http://digi.narc.fi/digi/fullpic.ka?kuid=3540748
                  http://digi.narc.fi/digi/fullpic.ka?kuid=3540754
                  http://digi.narc.fi/digi/fullpic.ka?kuid=3039628

                  As for the losses, they were 7663 KIA + 25432 WIA = 33086 men from June 26th to September 9th, that's about 28% of the Finnish forces at Karelian Isthmus before the attack (120,000 men), but only 6,4% KIA. Furthermore these troops suffered only 103 KIA + 482 + 28 MIA losses between September 10th - 19th.
                  http://digi.narc.fi/digi/fullpic.ka?kuid=3046179
                  http://digi.narc.fi/digi/fullpic.ka?kuid=3046262

                  I rest my case.

                  Martti
                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2yY6E...eature=related

                  Hitler flies to Finland.

                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sUvCl...eature=related

                  Mannerheim flies to Hilter

                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2sET...eature=related

                  The above is mint quality.

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Originally posted by Bladerunnernyc View Post
                    Hitler flies to Finland.
                    Mannerheim flies to Hilter
                    The above is mint quality.
                    What's your point?

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Originally posted by pp(est) View Post
                      Some comments:

                      1. It is fantasy to think that Finland would not have been occupied had it not resisted in Winter War. Ideas that Stalin only wanted to extend defence of Leningrad is nonsense.

                      2. Finns had not that many illusions about Hitler. While Continuation War was necessity, the best course for action for Finland was that of restraint and preservation. To cut Murmansk line or to capture Leningrad would have demanded too much effort (and the latter couldn't have been done by Finns alone anyway) a cost that could not be afforded. From Finnish pov:

                      a. Hitler beats Stalin only to be beaten by Allies, - Finland would not want to be seen too active an ally to ensure it gets favourable peace terms from Roosevelt and Churchill. It wants the Continuation War to be seen as what it was - a just war of recapturing Finnish territory and advance into Russian territory to provide defencive buffer.

                      b. Hitle beats Stalin and manages to make peace with Roosevelt and Churchill. Finland is in a precarious position - basically surrounded by Hitler. It needs all the goodwill of Hitler it can get and all the defence capability it can preserve to avoid being taken over by Hitler. The term finlandization would have had only a slightly different meaning in that world.

                      c. Stalin and Western Allies beat Hitler. Finland again needs not to be seen as too active a participant in Hitler's schemes as well it needs all the defensive power it can preserve. As it was it came very close that Stalin would have conquered Finland. However, before Hitler's fall, Finland needs to avoid a coup/invasion staged by Hitler. Thus it on one hand needs to make itself useful to Hitler and on the other hand keep defensive capability to protect itself from Hitler.

                      4. Herbert Vainu is first and foremost a political commentator (a fringe one) - not a historian. Although he has a Soviet era degree in the subject I think he last wrote something that would meet any kind of academic criteria sometime in early eighties (and that was heavily politicized stuff). I think he acknowledges this himself as he refers to himself as commentator - not historian.

                      5. Andrey, you are overemphasizing the role of Mannerheim. He didn't make decisions alone. He was commander in chief, but not president, at least until the farce of Ryti's resignation.
                      On his 75th birthday, in June of '42, the Parliament awarded him the honor of 'Marshal of Finland'- it was the only time this had ever happened. Had Mannerheim wished it- he could easily have swept Ryti aside.

                      Mannerhein carried immense pretiege and power within Finland. It was Ryti who had to do the dirty work of meeting Hitler at Immola and then taking him to Mannerheim. Remember- even in 1929 he was offered a dictatorship.

                      I'd also add that he remained Commander-in-Chief- not Kyösti Kallio or Risto Ryti.

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