The Winter War


Today we have one more documental article for you. In this article you will find out some details and information about not so limelighted, but still, about the war that was stuck down into the record of our history quite tight. Russian-Finnish War 1939-1940 or as it called otherwise – the Winter War.


The war was a military conflict between Russia and Finland and began with offensive actions of the Soviet Union on November 30, 1939. The USSR had three times soldiers and aircrafts more than Finnish army, and moreover, it had numerous times tanks more.

Those times the Red Army had a reduced morale and fighting spirit after the drastic purge in 1937 and had lots of inexperienced soldiers and officers. Because of that, Finnish army could resist the onrush of the Reds much longer than Soviet authorities had predicted.

On 13-th of March, 1940, after 3 months of warfare the war was over with the victory of the USSR and Moscow treaty of peace was signed.

By the stipulations of the treaty:

The USSR was given Karelian Isthmus with cities of Vyborg and Sortavala located on it. Also several islands in the Gulf of Finland, a part of Finnish territory with Kuolajärvi city in it and a part of peninsulas Rybachi and Sredny.

The USSR got Khanko peninsula for lease for 30 years to build a military base there.
























Photo credits – 1

77 thoughts on “The Winter War”

    • Stalin is one of the biggest tyrants / dictators in history. This is one of his many cruel actions. It is disgusting that they are trying to make him a hero again by falsefyfing history books in Russia.

      • May be ctalin was cruel dictator,but soviet had no choice at that time.Lenin was no more,trotsky first flew to us and then from the world and Beria was “inexperienced” at that ctalin was the rightist choice for the people,by the people and to the people! !.i personally i thankful to stalin for his “personal” contribution to the liberation of occupied Baltic states.

          • Yes ! ! !because of soviet believed in “equality”.when 100s of millions soviet citizens were “enjoy” blessings of socialist system,They(soviets)can`t stop to export their heaven on earth “technology” to the Baltic! ! ! !R I P to all of Siberian “tourists” ! ! !

        • Yes he liberated approx 20 million peoples, straight to heaven!! Not really funny.

          He was so feared that even when dead, nobody dared enter his bedroom, he might not be dead!! And get angry and sent them to Gulag!!

  1. English Russia is a wonderful website, but what in the world is wrong with the horrific english here? What the hell. Learn basic grammar. And I’m not some snobby british person either, I am a native Moscovite. I mean, St.Petersburgsian.

    • Because most of the comments here are from russians. Everybody knows that the level in english is very high in Russia…English and russians are so different languages, it must be very hard to learn for russian people. Also, i a m not expert too. Some of us like to “scratch” english…and we don’t feel sorry for our bad english.

      • Englishh level in Russia very bad. Like most education last 10 years! Only prositutes and mail order brides study hard English!!

  2. Can somebody pls provide a direct link to these pictures?
    I am finding the search engine on the Life magazine page clumsy.
    Interesting accounts of the Winter War as seen from the Finnish side are included in Curzio Malaparte´s Kaputt.

  3. Your stinking USSR didn’t win the Winter war. The brave Finns in a couple of months managed to practically fill with red army corps the lands the soviets had so treacherously occupied. Read some books preferably not russian ones which are as usual full of lies.

  4. this war (if any) had no winners but check here for more accurate info:

    especially interesting is the paragraph for: Casualties and losses. better not to mess with finns! 🙂

  5. My grandparents were Finnish..yours were Russian…let us all quit playing the murderous games our masters wish us to..our lives are but a chessboard to these elites…divide..and make much money..take time..ask who is really starting what..and who benefits?


      “Years after the incident the leader of the Soviet Union Nikita Khrushchev wrote that the Mainila shellings were set up by Marshal of Artillery Grigory Kulik. In 1994, the President of Russia, Boris Yeltsin, denounced the Winter War, agreeing that it was a war of aggression.”

      • Khrushchev Gorbachev and Yeltsin (all capitulators to the west capitalists and ruiners of their own country) denounced EVERYTHING that the USSR ever did, so there’s that.

  6. Hanko peninsula was rented to Russia for 30 years but they already had to evacuate it in December 1941 during The Continuation War. So the lease only lasted about 21 months out of those 30 years.

  7. “Your stinking USSR didn’t win the Winter war. The brave Finns in a couple of months managed to practically fill with red army corps the lands the soviets had so treacherously occupied. Read some books preferably not russian ones which are as usual full of lies.” Lawdy dam nice trolling there bro. All had to do with TACTICS. And quite frankly our Army was collapsing when the peace was made, and the hard winter of 1939-1940 was the main, and probably the sole, reason we held out against the Soviets for that much time.

    Cause let’s face it, our Army sucked back then in 1939, and had the Soviets refused to sign the peace in the spring, we would’ve been made to surrender to a puppet.

    But RIP the veterans and the soldiers who died for their countries.

  8. Yes he did, but how…He punished millions of russians and others to gulag to construct all these factories, powerplants, waterways etc. very skillful man i have to say 🙂 I could do anything too with 10-15 million slaves also today 🙂

  9. Nice article and cool pictures.
    Only one thing I would like changed, USSR didn’ win nor did the Finns.
    Granted that USSR did get areas from the Finns but with what price?

    • When Himmler asked General Mannerheim, how Finland is going to solve it’s Jewish problem, Mannerheim’s reply was “we don’t have any Jewish problem”.

      So Mr “Hah” could perhaps check his knowledge of history from neutral sources. Soviet ones are not the most reliable in this world.

  10. If I’m not wrong, this was WWII when Finland allied with Germany and sent their Jews off to Hitler. They probably don’t want you to remember that bit.

    • Yes, you are completely wrong. This war was the direct result of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, where Finland became a part of the Soviet sphere of influence. This agreement led to the Soviet attack in Finland, Germany didn’t interfere. Finland became a German ally after the German attack on the Soviet Union. THis is reffered to as the Continuation war, where Finland tried to get back the territory they lost previously. Finnish jews were not “sent to Hitler”, they were not touched at all and fought in the Finnish army, just like all the other Fins. Several hundred jewish refugees found their way to Finland, eight (correct, that is 8) were delivered in teh hands of tne nazi’s.
      Next time first have a look at the facts, before spouting your ignorant nonsense.

  11. Stalin did the USSR superpower. But it killed a lots of people during WWII indirectly. He wiped out military oficers, who could help to win war with less casualities, killed many engineers who could build better planes (actualy soviet aviation had some project ongoing, before war, but all was broken). Lucky for hitler guys were late few months because Italy fail in Balkans. Furthermore they forget to pack up winter gear.

  12. firstly,Russkies got their ass kicked well and truly during the Winter war,secondly not a single Jew was ever sent from Finland to Nazi Germany during the Continuation war….

  13. I personally think that Finland won the war in theory, as URRS didn’t get the whole country in the end. But the victory wasn’t absolute as Finland lost most of Karelia and some other areas.

  14. Strength


    337 000–346 500 soldiers
    32 Tanks
    114 Planes


    1 000 000 Soldiers
    3 000 tanks
    3 800 planes



    25 904 Died or disappeared
    43 557 wunded
    1 000 inprisoned
    957 civils


    126 875 Died or disappeared
    264 908 Wunded
    5 000 inprisoned

    USSR maybe won but with great loss.

    • True figures! Russian army was very badly prepared and incompetent officers everywhere. Like today. Good ones all deported or shot by Stalin/Beria.

  15. Russian started the war, just like they also invaded other countries. Finland managed to defend themselves, lucky for them. If there’s anything that history teaches us is that Russia is the invader, Russia starts wars, Russia is aggressive, Russia causes biggest problems, Russia fakes history and Russia has no decency to admit that they simply try to hurt everyone else. If there’s anything you could ever want is to be born far away from Russia. The further, the better for you.

  16. Russian women are prettier than Finnish women. Maybe they should try a different type of army to conquer Baltics? then when they are all married they can nag Finnish men to death and arrange for the in-laws to visit every other day and hey presto Finland becomes de facto Russia. Is this crazy idea?

    • Heh. Thats actually situation today in eastern parts of Finland 😉 Yep, nagging and lot of it… But still russian girls are the best in the world!! (at least the one I got)

      Additional comment to “hah”: not true. Jevish people fighted alonside other finns. Not a single finnish citizen were sent to Hitler death camps.

  17. CCCP was as imperialist as their enemies. Hypocrites!!!!!!! Look what has become of former Soviet satellite states. Impoverished, lagging, corrupt. Like Russia itself.

  18. Sisu!!!

    My long dead relatives kicked your long dead relatives arses, even if we “lost the war”. I believe it was a Soviet general(?) who said that the USSR won just enough land to bury all of her dead?

    Stalin was paranoid that Finland would allow the Germans in. Finland stood proud and was not reduced to the tyranny of the iron curtain nor of fascist German rule either.

    Stalin was also a fool to have sent unprepared and conscripted troops from the far side of his empire to a climate colder than any they could have imagined.

    • The paranaoia of Stalin led to the participation of Finland in the war, where it would probably have stayed neutral if it was never attacked.

  19. I visited Terijoki – which is now called Zelenogorsk – near St Petersburg several times. It was on that part of the territory that the Soviet Union conquered. The Soviet Union tried to wipe out every referral to it’s Finnish past. They even destroyed the Finnish graveyards and used the remnants to build roads. Nowadays, local restaurants hang out the Finnish flag to attract Finnish tourists…
    Viewing the terrain, it must have been a hell of a fight. The region has very dense woods, and everywhere you still see little fortified bunkers.

  20. Next time you copy from the Wikipedia, please try not to introduce any intentional grammatical errors. And also, please attribute the source of the text, otherwise it is plagiarism.

  21. The Shelling of Mainila (Finnish: Mainilan laukaukset) was a military incident on November 26, 1939, where the Soviet Union’s Red Army shelled the Russian village of Mainila (located near Beloostrov), declared that the fire originated from Finland across a nearby border, and claimed losses in personnel. The Soviet Union gained a great propaganda boost and a casus belli for launching the Winter War four days later.
    Seven shots were fired, and their fall was detected by three Finnish observation posts. These witnesses estimated that the shells detonated approximately 800 meters inside Soviet territory.Finland proposed a neutral investigation of the incident, but the Soviet Union refused and broke diplomatic relations with Finland on November 29.

    Materials in the private archives of Soviet party leader Andrei Zhdanov heavily hint that the entire incident was orchestrated in order to paint Finland as an aggressor and launch an offensive. Some Russian historians have expressed doubts of the document’s authenticity. The Finnish side denied responsibility for the attacks and identified Soviet artillery as their source — indeed, the war diaries of nearby Finnish artillery batteries show that Mainila was out of range of all of them, as they had been withdrawn previously to prevent such incidents.

    In the days following the shelling, the Soviet propaganda machine generated much noise about other fictitious acts of Finnish aggression. The Soviet Union then renounced the non-aggression pact with Finland, and on November 30, 1939 launched the first offensives of the Winter War.

    Winter war it’s was very hard war, because many russian soldier died of cold. Finns invented the use molotov cocktail 🙂 , because they had a shortage of weapons.

    • I suppose that he is heating up blades for knives he is making. Heating makes steel harder. Making trad, finnish knives was a popular hobby during evenings.

    • The war was just another unnecessary act of aggression from Stalin. It caused both peoples wounds that will probably take centuries to heal.


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