Inglourious Finnish War

Such a severe winter was not years 50. In November, 30 degrees frosts hit, and in January the air temperature dropped to 40-45 degrees below zero. And this weather lasted until March. The frozen earth resembled concrete, and the age-old pine trees burst from such frosts along the entire length with a sound resembling a cannon shot. Nature and snow did not regret it, which went almost every day. Such an unfriendly winter was in 1939-1940 in the north of the USSR and in Finland. And it was then that the Soviet leadership decided to punish the "sailors of the White Finns" with the hands of the Red Army. So on November 30, the "unknown" Soviet-Finnish war of 1939-1940 began, which was then called the "liberation campaign".

August 23, 1939 between Germany and the USSR wasa non-aggression pact was concluded. And this document also had a secret addition. According to him, the two great powers divided their spheres of influence, and Finland was among the other states under the "wing" of the Soviet Union. Meanwhile, since March 1938, the Soviet government has been negotiating with the Finnish government on joint actions to strengthen the maritime and land borders of both states. The prerequisite for these negotiations was Austria's occupation of Austria and the complication of the political situation in Europe. The Soviet side wanted first of all to get guarantees that no enemy would pass through Finnish territory and could not threaten Leningrad from that side. But the government of Finland refused such proposals, and thereby made a step towards making the Finnish war inevitable.

However, soon the Finns themselves understood howshort-sighted was a similar refusal, and began feverishly arming. The chairman of the Defense Council at that time was Marshal Mannerheim. And from his submission, the Finnish military industrial complex earned "a full turn". The Finnish military paid special attention to strengthening and modernizing the defensive structures that had been erected before on the Karelian Isthmus. And after Germany occupied Czechoslovakia (April 1939), a new round of negotiations began with the initiative of the USSR. This time the Soviet leadership offered Finland military assistance in case of aggression. And in return, the Finns were to lease a few islands to the Union in the Gulf of Finland. On them, the military leadership of the Union planned to equip additional bases for covering Kronstadt from the sea. And although Mannerheim urged politicians to accept the Soviet proposal, his opinion was ignored. After that, a peaceful solution of the contradictions between the sides became impossible, and the Soviet-Finnish war was only a matter of time.

And the non-aggression pact with Germany for sometime untied the Soviet Union's hands, and Moscow decided to occupy Finland. The formal cause, after which the Finnish war of 1939 began, was the firing of the positions of the Red Army near the village of Minila. This happened on November 26, and this provocation was carried out by NKVD officers acting under the guise of Finnish troops. After that, all sorts of diplomatic relations were broken between the countries, and on November 30 a large-scale invasion of the Red Army began on the territory of the neighboring state. The military leadership of the USSR planned to split the Finnish army within three weeks and take up Helsinki.

But the plans of the Soviet military commanders are notwas destined to go astray. The frontal assault on the famous Mannerheim Line failed. Then Soviet propaganda wrote off this failure on the inaccessibility of this defense system. Although in fact the Finnish fortifications built on the Karelian Isthmus were 10 times weaker than the French Maginot line in terms of the number of bunkers, pillboxes and artillery armaments. In fact, the Mannerheim Line was not an insurmountable obstacle to the armies of that time. Nevertheless, the Red Army did not break even the first line of Finnish positions in the first three weeks, let alone the occupation of Helsinki. And on December 21 this offensive completely stopped, and on the 26th of the same month the Red Army went over to the defense. The Finnish war threatened to become protracted.

After this, an attempt was made toan auxiliary blow to the Finnish positions north of Lake Ladoga. But this attempt ended in failure, and as a result, the two "red" divisions were surrounded and completely defeated. And in general in that area the Finns surrounded and destroyed five divisions of the Red Army. And again, Soviet troops began to advance only on February 1, 1940, after they received substantial reinforcements. Now, on the Mannerheim Line, the North-Western Front, commanded by S.K. Tymoshenko. It included the 7th and 13th armies. Daily artillery bombardments weakened the defense of the Finns. And only on February 11 the defense of the Finns trembled. And on February 14 the Red Army took the city of Summa.

Thus, the Red Army moved slowly forward,and in March the fighting for the city of Vyborg already began. Now the Finnish government, seeing the failure of further resistance, sent a delegation to Moscow to conduct peace negotiations. They took 4 days, and on March 13 all military actions were stopped. The Finnish war was over, and the government of that country accepted all the conditions that the Soviet leadership offered them. As a result of such a difficult victory, the USSR received the city of Vyborg, the entire Karelian Isthmus and the area north of Ladoga, together with the city of Sortavala. Thus, it was possible to move the border from Leningrad to 150 kilometers, although it was not possible to annex Finland to the USSR. And the Finns lost all their defenses as a result of this war and remained practically defenseless.

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