AR15.Com Archives
 Germany + Finland in WW2
builttoughf250  [Team Member]
2/14/2011 12:32:14 AM
what kind of alliance did Germany and Finland have in WW2?

im wondering how strong the ties were, since Finland was fighting Russia at the time,

and i believe Finland supported the Germans, correct?
Paid Advertisement
--
lew  [Member]
2/14/2011 11:07:12 AM
It was more a marriage of convenience on the part of the Finns. The Finns could not go toe to toe with the Russians without support from the Germans, and the Germans could have used someone pressuring the Russian's northern flank. The Finns assisted in the fighting around Leningrad, but did not go much further than that.
dkstg44  [Member]
2/14/2011 11:56:55 AM
Finland allowed some of its citizens to volunteer for the Waffen SS.
dkstg44  [Member]
2/14/2011 12:11:29 PM
OP if you are interested in reading about the subject, I recommend the following books.

The White Death: The Epic of the Soviet-Finnish Winter War by Allen F Chew

The Winter War: The Soviet Attack on Finland 1930-1940 by Engle and Paananen

A Frozen Hell: The Russo-Finnsh Winter War of 1939-40 by Trotter

Marshal Mannerheim and the Finns by Warner

Marshal Mannerheim's autobiography


Waffen SS -

Wikingin Suomalaiset by Kuusela and Wikberg

European Volunteers: The 5. SS Panzer-Division "Wiking" by Strassner

Dritte Nordland by Wikberg

Meine Ehre Heist Treue By Wikberg

Das Finnische Freiwilligen Bataillon der Waffen SS by Wilhelm Tieke

builttoughf250  [Team Member]
2/14/2011 1:38:28 PM
would you consider Finland to be "nazi sympathizers" at the time? did they have any approval or knowledge for the "Final Solution" ?
dkstg44  [Member]
2/14/2011 4:03:32 PM
Originally Posted By builttoughf250:
would you consider Finland to be "nazi sympathizers" at the time? did they have any approval or knowledge for the "Final Solution" ?


No on both.
TaosBob101  [Member]
2/16/2011 12:25:51 PM
The Finns ended up fighting the Germans in the "Lappland War". Part of the treaty w/ the USSR was the Germans leave. They pulled back through Norway. But not fast enough. Both sides wanted the nickel mines in the north.
kalju  [Member]
2/16/2011 2:54:01 PM
Originally Posted By builttoughf250:
would you consider Finland to be "nazi sympathizers" at the time? did they have any approval or knowledge for the "Final Solution" ?


Generally no, for the sympathizing. Although there were some similarities in the ideology of some right wing movements (IKL & AKS). The Commander-in-chief at that time, Marshall of Finland Mr. Mannerheim could actually not stand the Germans (being a former officer in the Army of Imperial Russia) and had personal difficulties in covering up his loathing towards Hitler and most other top Nazis. To be fair though, many of the top Finnish officers highly respected their Wehrmacht colleagues.

There also was no knowledge about the holocaust and Jewish men and officers fought bravely in the Finnish army. The sad part is that some (less than 20) Jews were sent to Germany in 1942 .

Post war studies have indicated, that the continuation war was unofficially seen in Finland as a way of payback for the Winter War, and operation Barbarossa was sort of a dream come true even though no official alliance was made between Finland and Germany. So while The Soviet Union technically started the continuation war by bombing Helsinki and some other cities, Finns would, to my understanding attacked soon anyways.



kalju  [Member]
2/16/2011 3:02:59 PM
Originally Posted By builttoughf250:
what kind of alliance did Germany and Finland have in WW2?

im wondering how strong the ties were, since Finland was fighting Russia at the time,

and i believe Finland supported the Germans, correct?


Officially there was no written alliance. Finns at that time did not want to be seen as a part of the axis powers, instead they invented a politically correct term "co-belligerent". Here is a pretty accurate wiki- article about the relations of Finland and Germany during the WWII.

JAD  [Member]
2/17/2011 4:31:02 PM
Originally Posted By lew:
It was more a marriage of convenience on the part of the Finns. The Finns could not go toe to toe with the Russians without support from the Germans, and the Germans could have used someone pressuring the Russian's northern flank. The Finns assisted in the fighting around Leningrad, but did not go much further than that.


The Soviet/ Russian perspective was (and is) that the war against Finland and war against Germany were one in the same.
JAD  [Member]
2/17/2011 4:37:38 PM
Originally Posted By TaosBob101:
The Finns ended up fighting the Germans in the "Lappland War". Part of the treaty w/ the USSR was the Germans leave. They pulled back through Norway. But not fast enough. Both sides wanted the nickel mines in the north.


The Lappland War was little more than an attempt by Finland to satisfy the accords that it entered into with the USSR to end the continuation war. Had Germany actually wanted to fight, they could have easily sent more assets up into Finland to do a number on the Finns- who essentially broke off their relationship with the Germans out of national interest (the Finns very well could of stayed allied with the Germans had that been in their interest). Take into considering the fact there were 2.5 German soldiers in country for every Finnish when the Lappland War broke out. Additionally, the Finnish Army was going through a demobilization phase at the same time. The forces that Finland did put up against the Germans are typicallyu described as undertrained and inexperienced recruits. The German withdrawl was more or less strategic rahter than being truly forced out as the Finns would have wanted it to appear.
JAD  [Member]
2/17/2011 4:40:36 PM
Originally Posted By kalju:
Originally Posted By builttoughf250:
would you consider Finland to be "nazi sympathizers" at the time? did they have any approval or knowledge for the "Final Solution" ?


Generally no, for the sympathizing. Although there were some similarities in the ideology of some right wing movements (IKL & AKS). The Commander-in-chief at that time, Marshall of Finland Mr. Mannerheim could actually not stand the Germans (being a former officer in the Army of Imperial Russia) and had personal difficulties in covering up his loathing towards Hitler and most other top Nazis. To be fair though, many of the top Finnish officers highly respected their Wehrmacht colleagues.

There also was no knowledge about the holocaust and Jewish men and officers fought bravely in the Finnish army. The sad part is that some (less than 20) Jews were sent to Germany in 1942 .

Post war studies have indicated, that the continuation war was unofficially seen in Finland as a way of payback for the Winter War, and operation Barbarossa was sort of a dream come true even though no official alliance was made between Finland and Germany. So while The Soviet Union technically started the continuation war by bombing Helsinki and some other cities, Finns would, to my understanding attacked soon anyways.




Hitler's decision to break the non-aggression pact and invade the Soviet Union (when he did) has been attributed to the weak performance of the Red Army in Finland during the Winter War.
El_Guano_Loco  [Member]
2/21/2011 5:58:11 PM
Originally Posted By dkstg44:
Finland allowed some of its citizens to volunteer for the Waffen SS.


Also, check out some of the other special units that were conscripted into the Waffen SS. Especially the Britisches Friecorps and the George Washington Brigade.
gaweidert  [Team Member]
2/23/2011 7:33:36 AM
The Finns turned to Germany because the British did not honor their pact with Finland to come to their aid if they were ever invaded. Technically Great Britian should have gone to war with Russia on behalf of Finland. However Churchill did write a stern letter to Stalin.

What would have happened was Finland, Germany and England would be at war with Russia. Russia and England would be at war with Germany. Finland would be at war with Germany and Russia due to the pact with Great Britain. Now you see why George Washington warned against getting involved in European politics.

Russia paid a steep price for it's war with Finland. 258,000 KIA and 400,000 missing. Don't mess with Finland.
JAD  [Member]
2/23/2011 9:26:03 PM
Originally Posted By El_Guano_Loco:
Originally Posted By dkstg44:
Finland allowed some of its citizens to volunteer for the Waffen SS.


Also, check out some of the other special units that were conscripted into the Waffen SS. Especially the Britisches Friecorps and the George Washington Brigade.


The Britisches Freikorps was comprised of individuals who were volunteers and/or manipulated into joining.

The George Washington Brigade didn't exist. There were a handful of Americans in the SS, but they were truly few.
kalju  [Member]
2/24/2011 6:30:02 AM
Originally Posted By gaweidert:
Russia paid a steep price for it's war with Finland. 258,000 KIA and 400,000 missing. Don't mess with Finland.


There are no reliable sources concerning Soviet Union's losses during the Winter- and Continuation wars, however here are some wiki statistics, that
seem to be somewhat reliable:

Winter war (105 days):
126 875 KIA or missing
264 908 WIA
5 000 POW

Continuation war (1941-1944):
200 000 KIA or missing
385 000 WIA
64 000 POW

The statistics show that the Soviet doctrine changed after (well during the Winter War) and the Continuation War had a 30 month long trench fighting period at the Carelian front, as their casualty rate/ day dropped dramatically.

So yes, do not mess with Finns. Poke us long enough and we just might get real angry, not to mention that we are drunk as hell most of the time

gaweidert  [Team Member]
2/25/2011 8:52:02 AM
kalju,

As part of my milsurp collection I have
1 M27
1 M28
3 M39's
1 Finnish capture 91/30 with original Russian barrel
1 Izhevsk barreled 1915 dated M91 with SA markings and a nice Finnish spliced stock.
2 M91's with Tikka barrels.

All are fine shooting rifles. The M39's are my can't miss rifles.
kalju  [Member]
2/26/2011 5:28:24 AM
Originally Posted By gaweidert:
kalju,

As part of my milsurp collection I have
1 M27
1 M28
3 M39's
1 Finnish capture 91/30 with original Russian barrel
1 Izhevsk barreled 1915 dated M91 with SA markings and a nice Finnish spliced stock.
2 M91's with Tikka barrels.

All are fine shooting rifles. The M39's are my can't miss rifles.


Cool collection. My Finn Mosin "collection" is only 1 M28, 1 M28-30 and 1 M39. My personal favorite is the M28-30. If you are able to find a good barreled one, Buy it! You won't be disappointed.
KC-130 FLT ENG  [Member]
2/27/2011 12:02:56 PM
For an interesting read and a first hand account of the German retreat from Finnland, read this book:




http://www.amazon.com/Black-Edelweiss-Conscience-Soldier-Waffen-SS/dp/0966638980/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1298825968&sr=1-1
paddymurphy  [Member]
2/28/2011 11:54:46 PM
Originally Posted By dkstg44:
OP if you are interested in reading about the subject, I recommend the following books.

The White Death: The Epic of the Soviet-Finnish Winter War by Allen F Chew

The Winter War: The Soviet Attack on Finland 1930-1940 by Engle and Paananen

A Frozen Hell: The Russo-Finnsh Winter War of 1939-40 by Trotter

Marshal Mannerheim and the Finns by Warner

Marshal Mannerheim's autobiography


Waffen SS -

Wikingin Suomalaiset by Kuusela and Wikberg

European Volunteers: The 5. SS Panzer-Division "Wiking" by Strassner

Dritte Nordland by Wikberg

Meine Ehre Heist Treue By Wikberg

Das Finnische Freiwilligen Bataillon der Waffen SS by Wilhelm Tieke



For a more personal view of the relationship and motivations, I highly recommend "Under Three Flags." It is a biography of Larry Thorne (Americanized version of his name). He fought the Russians as a Finn (multiple decorations rose from conscript to officer), trained and fought with the Germansand against the Russians. He then enlisted in the US army, went into Special Forces , rose to the rank of major and was declared MIA in 1965 (helicopter shot down on I believe a SOG mission) (Also, Robin Moore based the officer who mined his own bunkers, in the book the Green Beret on Larry Thorne.). His body was recovered in the 1999 and he was identified and interred at Arlington National Cemetery in 2003. IIRC the 10th Groups HQ building is named after him.
Dave_Markowitz  [Team Member]
4/16/2011 8:34:05 PM
I'm currently reading Finland's War of Choice: The Troubled Finnish-German Coalition During World War 2 on my Kindle. Several interesting points are made in the book:

1. Finland joined forces with Germany as a means of recovering territory lost to the Soviets during the Winter War of 1939 - 40.
2. The countries did not do a good job of coordinating their war aims. E.g., the Germans wanted the Finns to take further offensive action beyond recovering lost territory. In contrast, the Finns were reluctant to do so for several reasons, one of which was antagonizing the United States.
3. As late as 1944, the Finnish Army still lacked enough heavy weapons and infantry antitank weapons. The Finnish Air Force also was not improved to the extent that you'd expect.
4. As early as 1943 the Finns were beginning to doubt the ability of the Germans to win the war, and started putting out peace feelers to the Allies.
5. When the Soviets went on the offensive against Finland in 1944, they had learned the lessons of 3 years of fighting Germany.
dkstg44  [Member]
4/17/2011 10:06:14 AM
Originally Posted By Dave_Markowitz:
I'm currently reading Finland's War of Choice: The Troubled Finnish-German Coalition During World War 2 on my Kindle. Several interesting points are made in the book:

1. Finland joined forces with Germany as a means of recovering territory lost to the Soviets during the Winter War of 1939 - 40.
2. The countries did not do a good job of coordinating their war aims. E.g., the Germans wanted the Finns to take further offensive action beyond recovering lost territory. In contrast, the Finns were reluctant to do so for several reasons, one of which was antagonizing the United States.
3. As late as 1944, the Finnish Army still lacked enough heavy weapons and infantry antitank weapons. The Finnish Air Force also was not improved to the extent that you'd expect.
4. As early as 1943 the Finns were beginning to doubt the ability of the Germans to win the war, and started putting out peace feelers to the Allies.
5. When the Soviets went on the offensive against Finland in 1944, they had learned the lessons of 3 years of fighting Germany.


I was wondering if that book was any good. I am still plan on getting it, although the points have been previously published.
Dave_Markowitz  [Team Member]
4/17/2011 11:35:49 AM
Finland's War of Choice is good, IMO. Very detailed. Not fast reading but he seems to provide a comprehensive history of the Continuation War.

A Frozen Hell is an excellent history of the Winter War.

Paid Advertisement
--