Osprey’s examination of Finland’s involvement in World War II (1939-1945). Finland’s fight to defend her independence earned this tiny nation of just 3 million people a distinct place in history. Invaded by Stalin before World War II, Finland held out for months and inflicted huge losses on the invaders, but she was eventually crushed by the weight of Soviet numbers. When Germany invaded the USSR in 1941 the Finns fought alongside the Wehrmacht on the northern Russian Front, with great skill and courage in an attempt to regain their lost territories. When the German armies were forced to retreat in 1944, Finland managed to conclude a separate peace with the USSR – uniquely, without being forced to accept renewed Russian occupation. This book details the organisation, uniforms and equipment of this remarkable force.
About Finland at War 1939 – 45
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.