Winter War

Nov 25, 2017
History


Every country in the world was in war in some point, if it’s to gain independence or to maintain it. Nowadays, Finland is very peaceful place, but don’t underestimate the power of the Finnish army. They survived harsh battles when other great armies didn’t.

The first war after Finland separated itself from Russia on 6th of December 1917, and got its Independence, was the Civil War. The war started in 1918. The Whites, the government troops, led by General Gustaf Mannerheim, fought the Russian-armed Finnish Reds. After 108 days of heavy fighting the Whites won. Finland became a republic in 1919, and K.J. Ståhlberg was elected as the first president of Finland.

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The Winter War started when the Soviet army attacked Finland on November 1939. The battle was few against many, 337,000 Finnish soldiers against 1,000,000 Russian soldiers. The two armies fought under impossible conditions as -40 degrees, while the Finnish army was well equipped to handle that weather but the Russian army was not. The war ended in peace treaty in 1940, with Finland giving the Soviet Union part of Karelia and some nearby islands.

But the Soviet Union wasn’t satisfied and pressured Finland to give more territory. No Western country wanted to help Finland, only Germany. But the agreement between Germany and the Soviet didn’t last, while German troops were already on Finnish soil. Then, the Continuation War began in 1941. During the war, the Finnish president, Risto Ryti, resigned and Mannerheim took his place. He negotiated with the Russians and evacuated the German troops from Lapland. Peace was made in 1945.

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Finland lost in the war, they had to pay huge war reparations (300,000,000 US dollars) to the Soviet Union and lost the ‘left arm’ of Finland (the map of Finland looks like a lady in a dress, with both arms before War World II). Many Finns are still bitter about the loss of their territories, but proud they survived a war with Russia when no other country did.

Nobody likes wars. And if you do, it means you have never been at one and it just sounds exciting to you. Believe me, it’s maybe exciting but in the worse kind of way. My sympathies and best wishes go to the people who came from country at war and people who are in a war zone.

This post is honoring the brave soldiers around the world who fought and are fighting for their country’s freedom. 

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End of the War (end of 45')

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Written by: Dana

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