The story of the "Winter War" between Finland and Soviet Russia is a dramatic David versus Goliath encounter. When close to half a million Soviet troops poured into Finland in 1939 it was expected that Finnish defenses would collapse in a matter of weeks. But they held firm. The Finns not only survived the initial attacks but succeeded in inflicting devastating casualties before superior Russian numbers eventually forced a peace settlement. This is a rigorously detailed and utterly compelling guide to Finland's vital, but almost forgotten role in the cataclysmic World War II. It reveals the untold story of iron determination, unparalleled skill and utter mastery of winter warfare that characterized Finland's fight for survival on the hellish Eastern Front.
Now publishing in paperback, Finland at War: the Winter War 1939–40 is the premiere English-language history of the fighting performance of the Finns, drawing on first-hand accounts and rare photographs to explain just how they were able to perform military feats that nearly defy belief.
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Table of Contents
Preface and Acknowledgements /Chronology /1. The Rise of Finland /2. The Road to War /3. The Karelian Isthmus, December 1939 /4. Ladoga Karelia, December 1939 /5. Group Tavela /6. North Finland Group /7. Lapland Group, 1939–40 /8. A Watching World /9. The Battle for Ladoga Karelia, 1940 /10. The Karelian Isthmus, 1940 /11. An Interim Peace /Bibliography /Appendix /Index