Yamaha Grizzly Forum banner
1 - 1 of 1 Posts

· Registered
289 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Like the struggles of Poland, and other countries that took place in Europe in the early part of the twentith century here is a little bit of history on the WINTER WAR by Robert K. Maddock Jr. MD taken from his web site, the Finnish Winter War
In November 1939 Stalin's red army attacked Finland in a move to occupy the country, the Finnish people fought the red army to a virtual standstill in what is known by the Finns as the Winter War. It concluded in March of 1940 when an agreement between Finland and Russia was reached, these are some of the arms from that conflict that were used by the Finns and captured from the Russians and used against them during that conflict.
Under the treaty, Russia received Finland's second largest city, Viipuri, the port of Petsamo on the Arctic Ocean, the Hanko area, all of Lake Ladoga’s shores and the entire Karelian Isthmus, the home of 12 per cent of Finland's population. Finland gave up a total of 22,000 square miles. One Russian general remarked, "We have won enough ground to bury our dead." Khruschchev wrote, "Even in these most favorable conditions it was only after great difficulty and enormous losses that we were finally able to win. A victory at such a cost was actually a moral defeat." According to Khruschchev, 1.5 million men were sent to Finland and one million of them were killed. 1000 aircraft, 2300 tanks and armored cars and an enormous amount of other war materials were lost.
The most famous weapon of this brief war is well known—the Molotov cocktail, named after the perfidious Russian negotiator. However, its origin, an invention of the Finnish Liquor Board, is generally unknown. With hardly any anti-tank weapons, four-man Molotov cocktail crews destroyed nearly 2000 tanks. The Soviet tanks had an extra 50 gallon gas tank on the back end of the tank near the engine air vents. The tanks were noted for their poor maintenance and excess grease and oil in the engine compartment. The tank would be allowed to penetrate the tactical wire. One man with a log would attempt to jam the tracks while the two Molotov Cocktail men would throw their weapons on the back end of the tank. The gasoline and alcohol would drip into the engine compartment where heat would ignite the mixture and the engine compartment would burst into flames. This would in turn ignite the 50 gallon gas tank on the back of the tank and create tremendous heat inside the tank. The tank crew would attempt to escape and the man with a sub machine gun would kill the crew. Casualties among the Molotov cocktail crews were about 75 per cent.

The Winter War of 1939 is a footnote in most histories. Yet it had great importance in the outcome of World War II. Hitler watched as the Finns humiliated the Russians and believed that Germany could crush his Eastern neighbor. Although publicly claiming a great victory, Stalin realized that it had been a military fiasco.
For 105 days the world held its breath and learned the word "SISU", while Russians died at the incredible rate of nearly 10,000 per day and the Finns lost 250 per day. When the armistice finally came on March 13, 1940, the Finns counted 25,000 dead, 55,000 wounded, and 450,000 homeless, a terrible price for a country of only four million people. However, even the Finns did not know the devastation that they had caused the Russians until years later. All this was at the hands of an army of less than 250,000 (mostly light infantry, home guard units) with hardly any anti-tank weapons (except Molotov cocktails) and 41 operational fighter aircraft. In the words of my father-in-law, Antti Olavi Pönkänen, who fought in this war: "Our lakes are full of dead Russians."
The Russians attacked in company, battalion and regimental strength across frozen lakes, their dark uniforms easily visible against the white snow. Machine guns enfiladed the lakes and home guard troops, most of whom were expert shots, armed with one of the best military rifles ever made, the Sako Arms version of the Russian rifle, picked them off one by one. One Finnish soldier, Corporal Simo Häyhä was credited with more than 500 known kills.
1 - 1 of 1 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.