Winter War

The Winter War (Finnish: talvisota, Swedish: vinterkriget, Russian: Зимняя война, Zimnyaya voyna) was a military conflict between the Soviet Union and Finland. It began with a Soviet offensive on 30 November 1939—two months after the start of World War II and the Soviet invasion of Poland—and ended on 13 March 1940 with the Moscow Peace Treaty. The League of Nations deemed the attack illegal and expelled the Soviet Union from the League on 14 December 1939.

The Soviets had more than three times as many soldiers as the Finns, thirty times as many aircraft, and a hundred times as many tanks. The Red Army, however, had been crippled by Soviet leader Joseph Stalin's Great Purge of 1937, reducing the army's morale and efficiency shortly before the outbreak of the fighting. With more than 30,000 of its army officers executed or imprisoned, including most of those of the highest ranks, the Red Army in 1939 had many inexperienced senior and mid-level officers. Because of these factors, and high morale in the Finnish forces, Finland was able to resist the Soviet invasion for far longer than the Soviets expected.

Hostilities ceased in March 1940 with the signing of the Moscow Peace Treaty. Finland ceded 11% of its pre-war territory and 30% of its economic assets to the Soviet Union. Soviet losses were heavy, and the country's international reputation suffered. Soviet forces did not accomplish their objective of the total conquest of Finland, but did gain substantial territory along Lake Ladoga, providing a buffer for Leningrad, and territory in Northern Finland. The Finns, however, retained their sovereignty and enhanced their international reputation.

The peace treaty thwarted the Franco-British plan to send troops to Finland through northern Scandinavia. One of the operation's major goals had been to take control of northern Sweden's iron ore and cut its deliveries to Germany; for this reason, it was also a major reason for the launching of Operation Weserübung.

Read more about Winter WarPeace of Moscow

Other articles related to "winter war, war":

Plan R 4 - See Also
... Franco–British plans for intervention in the Winter War Foreign support in the Winter War British occupation of the Faroe Islands in World War II Iceland during World War II Norwegian Campaign Project Catherine Winter War#Franco-British plans for a Scandinavian theatre. ...
Karl-August Fagerholm - During The Winter War and The Continuation War
... When the Winter War broke out, suspicions against Finland's "hazardous foreign politics" remained strong, most importantly among leading Social ... As the Winter War ended with the loss of Finnish Karelia, this was generally seen as the failure of the neutralist Scandinavia-orientation ... on Finnish soil, revanchism, and to co-belligerence in the Continuation War ...
The Winter War (film)
... The Winter War (original title in Finnish Talvisota) is a 1989 Finnish war film directed by Pekka Parikka, based on The Winter War, a novel by Antti Tuuri ... in Finland and Sweden on the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the Winter War ...
Military Museum Of Finland - History
... The former exhibition’s theme was The War of 1808-1809 and latter’s Finnish Civil War ... There were also civil war collections to be seen ... Military Museum was closed however in autumn 1939, just before the break out of Winter War against Soviet Union ...
Winter War - Aftermath - Western Allies
... The Winter War put in question the organisation and effectiveness of the Red Army as well as the Western Allies ... The Supreme War Council was unable to formulate a workable plan, revealing its total unsuitability to make effective war in either Britain or France ...

Famous quotes containing the words war and/or winter:

    Our job is now clear. All Americans must be prepared to make, on a 24 hour schedule, every war weapon possible and the war factory line will use men and materials which will bring, the war effort to every man, woman, and child in America. All one hundred thirty million of us will be needed to answer the sunrise stealth of the Sabbath Day Assassins.
    Lyndon Baines Johnson (1908–1973)

    I am less affected by their heroism who stood up for half an hour in the front line at Buena Vista, than by the steady and cheerful valor of the men who inhabit the snow-plow for their winter quarters; who have not merely the three-o’-clock-in-the-morning courage, which Bonaparte thought was the rarest, but whose courage does not go to rest so early, who go to sleep only when the storm sleeps or the sinews of their iron steed are frozen.
    Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)