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FINLAND 19141945


The independence was approved by Bolshevist Russia but the Civil Wars that ... cleared of its Social Democrat members, voted with a narrow majority to ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: FINLAND 19141945

FINLAND 1914-1945
  • Jakub umala

The Independent Republic and Civil War
  • On December 6, 1917, shortly after the
    Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, Finland declared
    its independence. The independence was approved
    by Bolshevist Russia but the Civil Wars that
    followed in Russia and in Finland and activist
    expeditions, including the ones to White Karelia
    and Aunus, complicated relations.In 1918, the
    country experienced a brief but bitter Civil War
    that coloured domestic politics for many years.
    The Civil War was fought between "the Whites",
    who gained support from Imperial Germany, and
    "the Reds", supported by Bolshevist Russia. The
    Reds consisted mostly of leftist propertyless
    rural and industrial workers who, despite
    universal suffrage in 1906, felt that they lacked
    political influence. The white forces were mostly
    made up of bourgeoisie and wealthy peasantry,
    politically more to the right. Eventually, the
    Whites overcame the Reds. The deep social and
    political dividing line and mutual enmity between
    the Reds and Whites remained.

MG8 in Helsinky
  • Unburied bodies after Tempere battle

The Inter-war era (19181939)
  • Despite the Declaration of Independence calling
    Finland a Republic after the Civil War, the
    parliament, cleared of its Social Democrat
    members, voted with a narrow majority to
    establish the Kingdom of Finland. Frederick
    Charles of Hesse, a German prince, was elected
    King, putatively with the name "Väinö I of
    Finland", with Pehr Evind Svinhufvud and General
    Mannerheim serving as Regents. However, Germany's
    defeat in World War I meant that the idea was
    abandoned. Finland instead became a Republic,
    with Kaarlo Juho Ståhlberg elected as its first
    President in 1919.
  • The FinnishRussian border was agreed upon in the
    Treaty of Tartu in 1920, largely following the
    historic border but granting Pechenga (Finnish
    Petsamo) and its Barents Sea harbour to Finland.
  • Finnish democracy survived the upsurge of the
    extreme right and financial crisis during the
    early '30s. However, legislators reacted against
    Communism and the relationship between Finland
    and the Soviet Union remained tense.

  • The Winter War (Finnish Talvisota, Swedish
    Vinterkriget, Russian ?????? ?????, also known
    as the Soviet-Finnish War or the Russo-Finnish
    War) broke out when the Soviet Union attacked
    Finland on November 30, 1939, three months after
    the start of World War II. Because the attack was
    judged completely illegal, the Soviet Union was
    expelled from the League of Nations on December
    14. Soviet leader Josef Stalin had expected to
    conquer the whole country by the end of 1939, but
    Finnish resistance frustrated the Soviet forces,
    who outnumbered the Finns 41 in men, 1001 in
    tanks and 301 in aircraft. Finland held out
    until March 1940, when the Moscow Peace Treaty
    was signed ceding about 10 of Finland's
    territory (excluding its population) and 20 of
    its industrial capacity to the Soviet Union.
  • The results of the war were mixed. Although the
    Soviet forces finally managed to break through
    the Finnish defence, neither the Soviet Union nor
    Finland emerged from the conflict unscathed.
    Soviet losses on the front were tremendous, and
    the country's international standing suffered,
    especially following its earlier attack on
    Poland. Even worse, the fighting ability of the
    Red Army was put into question, a fact that some
    argue contributed to Hitler's decision to launch
    Operation Barbarossa.

  • Finally, the Soviet forces did not accomplish
    their primary objective of conquest of Finland,
    but gained only a secession of territory along
    Lake Ladoga. The Finns retained their sovereignty
    and gained considerable international goodwill.
  • The March 15 peace treaty thwarted Franco-British
    preparations to send support to Finland through
    northern Scandinavia (the Allied campaign in
    Norway) which would also have hindered German
    access to northern Sweden's iron ore. Germany's
    invasion of Denmark and Norway on 9 April 1940
    (Operation Weserübung) then diverted the
    attention of the world to the struggle for
    possession of Norway. The Winter War is
    considered by some a military disaster for the
    Soviet Union. However, Stalin did learn from this
    fiasco and realized that political control over
    the Red Army was no longer feasible. After the
    Winter War, the Kremlin initiated the process of
    reinstating qualified officers and modernizing
    its forces, a crucial decision that would enable
    the Soviets to eventually resist the German

  • Finnish soldiers during Winter war

  • Finnish ski troops

  • Finnish gas mask (1930)

WORLD WAR (1939-1945)
  • During World War II, Finland fought the Soviet
    Union twice in the Winter War of 19391940 and
    in the Continuation War of 19411944 in
    accordance with Operation Barbarossa in which
    Germany invaded the Soviet Union. This was
    followed by the Lapland War of 19441945, when
    Finland forced the Germans out of northern
    Finland. After the wars there were land mine
    clearance operations in Karelia and Lapland plus
    the enormous task of naval mine clearance in the
    Gulf of Finland and the Baltic Sea during
    19441950. The mines in Lapland especially slowed
    down the rebuilding and caused casualties.
  • Treaties signed in 1947 and 1948 with the Soviet
    Union included obligations, restraints, and
    reparations on Finland vis-à-vis the Soviet Union
    as well as further Finnish territorial
    concessions (cf. the Moscow Peace Treaty of
    1940). Finland ceded most of Finnish Karelia,
    Salla, and Pechenga, which amounted to 10 of its
    land area, 20 of industrial capacity and 400,000
    evacuees, mainly women and children. Establishing
    trade with the Western powers, such as the Great
    Britain, and the reparations to the Soviet Union
    caused Finland to transform itself from a
    primarily agrarian economy to an industrialised
    one. Even after reparations were fulfilled,
    Finland continued to trade with the Soviet Union
    in the framework of bilateral trade. Ultimately,
    the Soviet Union had a national debt to Finland.
    Russia assumed the debt after the dissolution of
    the Soviet Union and cleared it in 2006.

  • Focker D.XXI planes of the Finnish Air Force
    during World War II.