Swedish Volunteers in the Russo-Finnish Winter War, 1939-1940

Overview

Sandwiched between Nazi Germany and the "Russian Bear," Sweden walked a diplomatic tightrope on if and how it should support Finland during the Russo-Finnish Winter War. Social and political forces motivated the Swedish leadership to promote neutrality and avoid official military engagement, while at the same time the Swedish Volunteer Corps comprised the largest volunteer combat force (more than 8,200 strong) in any modern war. This book discusses the political background of the 1939-1940 Winter War; setbacks ...

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About the Book Sandwiched between Nazi Germany and the "Russian Bear," Sweden walked a diplomatic tightrope on if and how it should support Finland during the Russo-Finnish ... Winter War. Social and political forces motivated the Swedish leadership to promote neutrality and avoid official military engagement, while at the same time the Swedish Volunteer Corps comprised the largest volunteer combat force (more than 8,200 strong) in any modern war. This book discusses the political background of the 1939-1940 Winter War; setbacks the volunteers suffered due to weather and terrain; and the ever-present fear that war would come to the Scandinavian Peninsula. Read more Show Less

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Overview

Sandwiched between Nazi Germany and the "Russian Bear," Sweden walked a diplomatic tightrope on if and how it should support Finland during the Russo-Finnish Winter War. Social and political forces motivated the Swedish leadership to promote neutrality and avoid official military engagement, while at the same time the Swedish Volunteer Corps comprised the largest volunteer combat force (more than 8,200 strong) in any modern war. This book discusses the political background of the 1939-1940 Winter War; setbacks the volunteers suffered due to weather and terrain; and the ever-present fear that war would come to the Scandinavian Peninsula.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786439812
  • Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/1/2010
  • Pages: 259
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Born and raised in Stockholm, Sweden, Martina Sprague has written numerous books in the fields of history and martial arts.

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Table of Contents

Military and Political Figures (by Country)

Introduction 1

1 Political Background of the Winter War

A Brief Swedish and Finnish History 7

The Geographical Location Problem 13

The Nonaggression Treaty between Germany and the Soviet Union 15

Soviet Demands on Finnish Territory 18

Molotov's Address to the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union 21

Sweden's Military Preparedness 26

The Aland Ilands Question 32

The Shots at Mainila 35

The Soviet Union's Strategic Plan 39

Finland's Defense Plan 45

Sweden Reacts to the War 49

2 Volunteer Recruitment and Training

Popular Sentiments and Opinions 53

Material Assistance for Finland 58

Recruitment Propaganda and Motivations for Volunteering 64

Arrival and Training in Tornea 74

Continued Political Difficulties 80

The March to the Front 82

3 Combat Operations

The Finnish Army's Perspective on the War 89

The Soviet Army's Perspective on the War 101

The Swedish Army's Perspective on the War 108

Overview of the Volunteer Flight Squadron 125

A Volunteer Air Base is Setup 129

Volunteer Air Combat Missions 138

The Volunteer Anti-Aircraft Artillery at Turku 148

4 Peace Negotiations and Armistice

Political Struggles and Mediation for Peace 151

The Iron Ore Mines 156

The Allies Move Forward 159

The Grand Finale 168

Finland's Concessions 173

Mannerheim's Speech to the Troops 179

Wrap-Up 181

5 Analysis and Conclusions

Combat Operations in the Finnish Army 185

Combat Operations in the Soviet Army 190

Combat Operations in the Swedish Army 199

The Geopolitical Landscape 204

Swedish Neutrality 207

Afterword 213

Chapter Notes 217

Bibliography 239

Index 247

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