Yeah those Fins can fight. Must have been hell being in the Soviet infantry
Amazing what the Finns accomplished against the Russians.
Due to the fact that the Soviet invasion of Finland took place 2 months after Germany invaded Poland , the Winter Was isn't that well known.
Finland and Russia had a long history of skirmishes since the 16th Century. The history here is complex.
It's interesting that Finland fought with the Nazi Germans during the Great Patriotic War (WWii to us). The Soviets punished them heavily for that - and rightly so!
The most successful sniper in military history , Simo Häyhä , was from Finland.
He scored 505 kills during the Winter War.
Last edited by bodhi; 30-11-2007 at 09:25 PM.
Now there is a Russian sniper called Vasily Zaitsev who challenged a better adversary - the German army.
In his first two weeks, he fired 43 bullets, and felled 42 men. "One shot, One kill,"
Ironically , German snipers preferred the Russian Mosin Nagant rifle over the Karabiner 98K (standard Wehrmacht bolt action rifle - 7.92mm).
At the moment away from my book collection - iirc Häyhä also used a SMG to score some of his kills.
As it was he did survive, but didn't recover quickly enough to rejoin the fighting. Finland produced some brilliant snipers during the winter war, though, and they did take up the slack.
On the other hand you have the "legendary" Vasily Zaitsev, most of whose kills are unconfirmed. Speculation leans toward him being a propaganda tool for the Soviets. His most well-known opponent, the german counter-sniper Koenig, doesn't even exist in any record. And for the record, Zaitsev was fighting german conscripts. What's the difference?
:: Cannot brain, I have the dumbs.
You can't really blame the Fins for siding with the Nazis, as the Soviets were really out to get them. A similar situation existed with the Japanese, while they sided with the Germans they were mistrustful of them, in fact Japan never declared war on Poland for instance, the Polish ambassador worked in Tokyo to help get Jews out of Poland/Ukraine into Japan together with his Japanese counterpart in Ukraine. When an SS officer asked the Japanese to put Jews in China in ghettos, Tokyo told him to F-off while Gen Yamamoto on touring Germany during WW2 refused to dishonour himself by meeting with Hitler. Wars are not
cut and dry and friends of enemies are not always your direct enemies either.
"Enemy at the Gates" is a movie about Zaitsev. Good movie btw.
Also, Russia offered them a deal before the war, of ceding 25km of Finnish territory or be RECONQUERED, which was refused. At the end, when the Fins realised they had lost, they then tried to make deal (silly, silly).
They didn't have to send Fins to join the SS.
They didn't have to send Russian civilians to concentration camps.
They didn't have to send POWs to the Nazis.
Out of 64,188 Soviet POWs, 18,318 died in Finnish prisoner of war camps
At one stage even Britain declared war on them. And as I said, the Soviets didn't forgive easily.After the war, based on the testimonies of the former prisoners of war, criminal charges were preferred against 1381 Finnish camp staff, resulting in 723 convictions and 658 persons released. They were accused of 42 executions, 242 murders. There were the seven cases led death under the request of former prisoners, 10 cases of death as a result of the tortures, eight infringements of the property rights, 280 official infringements and 86 other crimes.
The Fins were brave, but sided with the wrong people out of hatred for the Soviets. A classic mistake, which cost them dearly.
The Soviets attacked in regimental strength, with their dark uniforms easily visible against the white snow, so they were easily targeted by the Finns' snipers and machine guns.WikiOften, they (the Fins) opted not to engage the enemy in conventional warfare, instead targeting field kitchens (which were crucial for survival in the cold weather) and picking off Soviet troops huddled around camp fires.
...The deployment of poorly trained and badly led Soviet troops gave the advantage to the Finns,...
Last edited by Skeptik; 01-12-2007 at 12:06 PM.
Rifles of the White Death by Doug Bowser. Camellia City Military PublicationsWhile Finland lost the Winter war, it cost the Soviets 1,000,000 men killed out of the 1,500,000 man invading force*. The Finns lost a total of 25,000 men in that conflict. A testament to their bravery and determination in the face of amazing odds.