The Winter War was supposed to be a quick and easy conflict; instead it proved to be a bitter war that destroyed the international reputation of the Soviet Red Army. The diminutive Finnish force was desperately outnumbered by almost half a million Russian troops, but rather than sweeping across their neighbours the Soviet troops stumbled blindly, constantly wrong-footed and then bloodied by their seemingly insignificant foe. Drawing on a wide range of sources this study looks at three key battles, drawing a stark contrast between the poorly prepared Russian troops and the Finns, who made excellent use of terrain and innovative guerrilla tactics as they defended their homeland. Detailed maps and specially commissioned artwork highlight key moments in the Winter War, a David-and-Goliath conflict that saw the Soviet Union suffer horrendous losses as they tried to recover from each disastrous defeat.
Read an extract of Finnish Soldier vs Soviet Soldier