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Finland S War Of Choice

Author: Henrik Lunde
Publisher: Casemate
ISBN: 1612000371
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A selection of the Military Book Club. This book describes the odd coalition between Germany and Finland in World War II, and their joint military operations from 1941 to 1945. This is a topic often missing in English, though in stark contrast to the numerous books on the shorter and less bloody Winter War. That conflict represented a gallant fight of a democratic “David” against a totalitarian “Goliath” that caught the imagination of the world. The story of Finland fighting alongside a “Goliath” of its own has not brought pride to that nation and was a period many Finns would rather forget. The prologue of this book brings the reader up to speed by briefly examining the difficult history of Finland, from its separation from the Soviet Union in 1917 to its isolation after being bludgeoned in 1939–40. It then examines both Finnish and German motives for forming a coalition against the USSR, and how—as logical as a common enemy would seem—the lack of true planning and preparation would doom the alliance. This book posits that it was mind-boggling how the highly professional German General Staff allowed itself to accept the militarily unsound and shaky coalition that resulted. The war aims were not discussed or harmonized, there were no campaign plans with tasks and missions spelled out past the initial assault, no effective main effort established, inadequate force levels, and an unsound command structure with various headquarters. Practically every rule in the book was broken. The objective of linking up with the Finns in the Leningrad area was an important factor in Hitler opting for three main drives into the Soviet Union rather than an earlier OKH plan that called for only two. After describing the operations during and after Barbarossa, this book describes how the Finnish theater became a blind ally for the Germans. Their strongest and best army was trapped both operationally and geographically in central and northern Finland, making virtually no contribution to the war effort. The Germans could not bring to bear enough forces to accomplish their objectives without substantial Finnish assistance, and that was not forthcoming. The final chapters deal with the Soviet counteroffensive against the Finns in 1944. The Finns lost all their gains and quickly concluded a separate armistice. This left the German forces in Finland to simply vacate the territory, fighting between the Finns and Soviets alike as they tried to return to the main war. Jointly suffering 291,000 casualties, the only consolation was that the coalition had inflicted some 830,000 on the Soviets. In this book, Henrik Lunde, a former US Special Operations colonel, and the renowned author of Hitler’s Pre-emptive War: The Battle for Norway, 1940, once again fills a profound gap in our understanding of World War II.

A Frozen Hell

Author: William R. Trotter
Publisher: Algonquin Books
ISBN: 1565126920
Size: 54.70 MB
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The true story of the battle between Finland and Russia that erupted at the dawn of World War II. On a November morning in 1939, Soviet bombers began attacking Helsinki, Finland. In the weeks that followed, the tiny Baltic republic would wage a war—the kind of war that spawns legends—against the mighty Soviet Union, which was desperate for a buffer against Nazi Germany. With “a well-balanced blend of narrative and analysis,” historian William R. Trotter tells the story of guerrillas on skis; heroic, single-handed attacks on tanks; unfathomable endurance; and the charismatic leadership of one of the twentieth century’s true military geniuses (Library Journal). This little-known but dramatic battle would be decisive in Finland’s fight to maintain its independence—and A Frozen Hell brings it to fascinating life. Winner of the Finlandia Foundation Award for Arts and Letters “We will not often find a book written with such authority as this one.” —The New York Times Book Review

Finland At War 1939 45

Author: Philip Jowett
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 1782001255
Size: 39.90 MB
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In the face of Soviet invasion in 1939–40, and once again in 1941–44, the armies raised by Finland – a tiny nation of only 4 million people astonished the world by their effective resistance. At the end of both these campaigns – the Winter War, and the Continuation War – the fiercely patriotic defiance of vastly stronger Soviet forces by Marshal Mannerheim's soldiers won their country a unique prize: although forced to accept harsh terms, Finland was never occupied by the Red Army, and retained its independence. This book explains and illustrates, for the first time in English, the organization, uniforms, equipment and tactics of Finland's defenders.

A Concise History Of Finland

Author: David Kirby
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 052183225X
Size: 40.18 MB
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Few countries in Europe have undergone such rapid social, political and economic changes as Finland has during the last fifty years. David Kirby here sets out the fascinating history of this northern country, for centuries on the east-west divide of Europe, a country not blessed by nature, most of whose inhabitants still earned a living from farming fifty years ago, but which today is one of the most prosperous members of the European Union. He shows how this small country was able not only to survive in peace and war but also to preserve and develop its own highly distinctive identity, neither Scandinavian nor Eastern European. He traces the evolution of the idea of a Finnish national state, from the long centuries as part of the Swedish realm, through self-government within the Russian Empire, and into the stormy and tragic birth of the independent state in the twentieth century.

Hitler S Wave Breaker Concept

Author: Henrik O. Lunde
Publisher: Casemate Publishers
ISBN: 1612001610
Size: 40.66 MB
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Among the many controversies of World War II, prominent is the debate over Germany's strategy in the north of the Soviet Union, as the tide of war turned, and gigantic Russian armies began to close in on Berlin. In this long-awaited work, Henrik Lunde--former U.S. Special Forces officer and author of renowned previous works on the campaigns in Norway and Finland--turns his sights to the withdrawal of Army Group North. Providing cool-headed analysis to the problem, the author first acknowledges that Hitler--often accused of holding onto ground for the sake of it--had valid reasons in this instance to maintain control of the Baltic coast. Without it, his supply of iron ore from Sweden would have been cut off, German naval (U-boat) bases would have been compromised, and an entire simpatico area of Europe--including East Prussia--would have been forsaken. On the other hand, Germany's maintaining control of the Baltic would have meant convenient supply for forces on the coast--or evacuation if necessary--and perhaps most important, remaining German defensive pockets behind the Soviets' main drive to Europe would tie down disproportionate offensive forces. Stalwart German forces remaining on the coast and on their flank could break the Soviet tidal wave. However, unlike during today's military planning, the German high command, in a situation that changed by the month, had to make quick decisions and gamble, with the fate of hundreds of thousands of troops and the entire nation at stake on quickly decided throws of their dice. As Henrik Lunde carefully details in this work, Hitler guessed wrong. By leaving four entire battle-hardened armies in isolation along the Baltic, the Soviets pulling up to the Oder River encountered weaker opposition than they had a right to expect. Having economic (or aid) resources of their own, they cared little for Hitler's own supply line and instead simply lunged at his center of power: Berlin. Once that was taken the remaining German pockets could be wiped out. The Germans deprived themselves of many of their strongest forces when they most needed them, and the climactic battle for their capital took place. In this book, both combats and strategy are described in the final stages of the fighting in the Northern Theater, with Lunde's even-handed analysis of the campaign a reward to every student of World War II. REVIEWS "... tackles "five exceedingly complicated and interrelated subjects to examine and understand Hitler's decision to defend the Baltic States at all costs." They are: military strategy; Hitler's strategic thinking; changing conditions affecting opposing forces; Hitler's fascination with Scandinavia and the Baltic Region; and the validity of Hitler's stated reasons for refusing to withdraw from the Baltic. In his short concluding chapter, Lunde addresses and debunks the validity of the reasons put forth by Hitler for his unshakeable attachment to the defense of the Baltic Region and Scandinavia." Henry Gole, author of Soldiering, The Road to Rainbow, and co-author of Exposing the Third Reich: Colonel Truman Smith in Hitler's Germany "...a detailed examination of one of the worst of Hitler's many bad decisions in the later years of the Second World War, and a valuable addition to the literature on the fighting on the Eastern Front." History of War "In Hitler's Wave-Breaker Concept, historian and former US Special Forces officer Henrik Lunde undertakes a sober, much-needed corrective evaluation of Hitler's military decisions, with a stress on the defensive actions of Army Group North after the attempt to defeat the Soviet Union had disintegrated."--Michigan War Studies Review

Mannerheim

Author: Jonathan Clements
Publisher: Haus Publishing
ISBN: 1908323183
Size: 67.74 MB
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Baron Gustaf Mannerheim was one of the greatest figures of the twentieth century, and the only man to be decorated by both sides in the Second World War. As a Finnish officer in Russian service, he witnessed the coronation of the last Tsar, and was both reprimanded for foolhardiness and decorated for bravery in the Russo-Japanese War. He spent two years undercover in Asia as an agent in the 'Great Game', posing as a Swedish anthropologist. He crossed China on horseback, stopping en route to teach the 13th Dalai Lama how to shoot with a pistol, and spying on the Japanese navy on his way home. He escaped the Bolsheviks by the skin of his teeth in 1917, arriving in the newly independent Finland just in time to lead the anti-Russian forces in the local revolt and civil war. During Finland's darkest hour, he lead the defence of his country against the impossible odds of the Winter War. This major new life of Gustaf Mannerheim, the first to be published for over a decade, includes new historical material on Mannerheim's time in China.

Finland At War

Author: Vesa Nenye
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 1472813596
Size: 50.54 MB
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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 defences 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 characterised 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.

Hitler S Pre Emptive War

Author: Henrik O. Lunde
Publisher: Casemate Publishers
ISBN: 1932033920
Size: 57.74 MB
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In this thorough examination of one of history's revolutionary campaigns--the battle for Norway--Henrik Lunde, a native Norwegian and a former U.S. Special Operations colonel, has written perhaps the most objective account to date of a campaign in which 20th century military innovation found its first fertile playing field.

Finland At War

Author: Vesa Nenye
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 1472815289
Size: 62.94 MB
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In the aftermath of the Winter War Finland found itself drawing ever closer to Nazi Germany and eventually took part in Operation Barbarossa in 1941. For the Finns this was a chance to right the wrongs of the Winter War, and having reached suitable defensive positions, the army was ordered to halt. Years of uneasy trench warfare followed, known as the Continuation War, during which Finland desperately sought a way out, German dreams of victory were dashed and the Soviet Union built the strongest army in the world. In the summer of 1944, the whole might of the Red Army was launched against the Finnish defences on the narrow Karelian Isthmus. Over several weeks of fierce fighting, the Finns managed to halt the Soviet assault. With Stalin forced to divert his armies to the race to Berlin an armistice agreement was reached, the harsh terms of which forced the Finns to take on their erstwhile German allies in Lapland. Featuring never-before-seen photographs and first-hand accounts, this second volume of a two-part study details the high price Finland had to pay to retain its independence and freedom.

The Winter War

Author: William R Trotter
Publisher:
ISBN: 9781781312261
Size: 21.96 MB
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On 30 November 1939, Soviet bombers unloaded their bombs on Helsinki, the capital of Finland. Stalin's ultimatum, demanding the cession of huge tracts of territory as a buffer zone against Nazi Germany, had been rejected by the Finnish government, and now a small Baltic republic was at war with the giant Soviet military machine. But this forgotten war, fought under brutal, sub-arctic conditions, often with great heroism on both sides, proved one of the most astonishing in military history. Using guerrilla fighters on skis, even reindeer to haul supplies on sleds, heroic single-handed attacks on tanks, and with unfathomable endurance and the charismatic leadership of one of the 20th century's true military geniuses, Finland not only kept at bay but won an epic, if short-lived, victory over the hapless Russian conscripts. Its surreal engagements included the legendary "Sausage Battle", when starving Soviet troops who had over-run a Finnish encampment couldn't resist the cauldrons of hot sausage soup left behind by their opponents - and were ambushed as they stopped to sup. Although by sheer attritional weight of numbers Stalin eventually prevailed over the Finns, their pointed resistance enabled their country to remain free, even as other countries fell one by one.