Stalin loved Finland and had a deep respect for the Finnish people.
To make sure that such a statement is correct, I ask you to be patient and read the text of the report.
Russia and Finland today are good neighbors. Once we were citizens of one great empire. It was just recently - less than a hundred years ago. Then a difficult period began in relations between Russia and Finland. But at that time the war embraced almost the whole world and the war that was raging was the bloodiest and most difficult in human history. After the Second World War, relations between Finland and the USSR once again became good-neighborly, and this tradition continues to this day.
Strange as it may sound, there is one historical figure in our common history that can help us better understand our common history, give an assessment of what happened. And draw conclusions for the future.
This figure is Joseph Stalin. Revolutionary, statesman, creator of a superpower. Relationship, if I may say so, of Stalin and Finland, is a very interesting and still little studied question. And I will start with a thesis, which at first glance may seem surprising. But only at first glance. Stalin loved Finland and had a deep respect for the Finnish people.
It should be noted that the Finnish people were deprived of their statehood throughout its history. And only the entry of Finland into the Russian Empire gave the Finns their own state. Let me remind you that this entry took place in four stages. Finland was included "in parts". It all began with the Nishtad peace 1721 of the year, then the Russian-Swedish war followed, which was waged by the daughter of Peter Elizabeth 1741 — 1743, then the war of Catherine the Great at the very end of the 18 century. Finally, the annexation of Finland was completed by Emperor Alexander I on the eve of the invasion of Napoleon in Russia, when the Swedes were once again defeated by the Russian army. In passing, I note that the first statesman who spoke about the independence of Finland was ... Empress Elizaveta Petrovna, who released the Manifesto in 1742. It talked about the love of Russia and the unfair position of Sweden, which started the war in favor of the ambitions of some individuals. The Russian empress said she did not want to conquer Finland, and therefore she called on the Finns to create an independent state, separated from Sweden. Then her call was not heard and the Finnish regiments of the Swedish army continued to fight ...
I would like to note the special status of the Principality of Finland, which it had as part of the Russian Empire. Parliament, when it was not yet in Russia, its own government, its own currency, its own police, its own customs. Subordination was carried out at the level of the person of the emperor, bypassing the entire bureaucratic ladder. Russia did not prevent the Finns from living as they wished, did not prevent them from maintaining their identity. And so for a hundred years (1808-1917) there were practically no uprisings and a struggle for independence, which happened in the British or French empire, and which were brutally suppressed by “civilized Europeans”.
But here in the Russian Empire there was a 1917 confusion of the year. I will not deliberately address its reasons in detail. I have written two whole books about this - Russia's geopolitical rivals - and Germany and England were equally interested in the destruction of Russia. Germany got a chance to bring the First World draw, and Britain could not give Russia the Turkish straits Bosporus and Dardanelles. Revolutionaries were the means of destroying the country. Which are always in Russian (and not only in Russian!) Stories receive support and funding from abroad. That is why the Bolsheviks so easily agree with the secession of Finland. Their task was the destruction of the empire. An interesting fact is that the laws of the Russian Empire and the Russian Republic, which Kerensky 1 of September 1917 of the self-proclaimed and illegally declared on September, did not provide for the withdrawal of parts of the country from its composition. And since Finland has never been a separate state, we can state the fact that in the autumn of 1917, Finland did not have any legal rights to secede from the empire. The illegal government of Russia - the Bolsheviks agreed to the illegal secession of all suburbs. It is important for us to understand the illegitimacy of the exit procedure of Finland, because further territorial disputes of the USSR and Finland are based precisely on this fact. Any boundary between them has always been only the fruit of a consensus of forces, and was not based on some historical fact. However - the borders of all countries at all times reflect only the balance of political forces and nothing else. Recall the USSR - by the way, in Helsinki, Brezhnev and the US President signed the Helsinki Agreement on Peace and Borders in Europe. And where is this world? And where are these borders?
In 1917, Stalin was one of Lenin’s closest associates, the people's commissar for nationalities. Maybe in Finland they don’t remember, but in fact Comrade Stalin made the first international visit in November 1917 of the year exactly here. And he spoke exclusively about the correctness and necessity of granting Finland independence. 14 November 1917, he delivered a speech at the congress of the Finnish Social Democratic Labor Party in Helsinfors (Helsinki):
“We were frightened, finally, by the collapse of Russia, its fragmentation into numerous independent states, while hinting at the nations’ right to self-determination proclaimed by the Council of People’s Commissars as a “disastrous mistake”. But I must declare in the most categorical way that we would not be democrats (I’m not even talking about socialism!), If we did not recognize the rights of free self-determination for the peoples of Russia. I declare that we would change socialism if we had not taken all measures to restore fraternal trust between the workers of Finland and Russia. But everyone knows that without a decisive recognition of the right to free self-determination for the Finnish people, such confidence is inconceivable to be restored ... The complete freedom of the organization of their life for the Finnish people, as well as for other peoples of Russia! Voluntary and honest union of the Finnish people with the Russian people! No guardianship, no supervision from above over the Finnish people! Such are the guiding principles of the policy of the Council of People's Commissars ... That is why we smile every time we are told about the inevitable collapse of Russia in connection with the implementation of the idea of the right of nations to self-determination. ”
As we see, a greater supporter of the independence of Finland at that time is simply not to be found. Further events in Finnish land went on a different from the Russian script. In a short but bloody civil war, the whites won, not the red ones. This was due to several factors, including the intervention of the German corps of General von der Goltz. However, white Finland did not render any assistance to the Russian White Army. Moreover, there was a direct ban on the admission of Russian officers hiding in Finland to the army of Yudenich, when she was going to Petrograd. Why? Because the independence of Finland was after the collapse of Germany in November 1918, immediately confirmed by the allies - England and France. Who did not want to restore the unity of Russia, as for the Finnish political elite, she did not want to help the Russian whites, because there was a risk that the new legal authority of Russia would put the legality of the secession of Finland into doubt.
During the civil war, Finland, which did not help the whites, joyfully helped the British. What do you think, when and who and where did the first aviation a raid on Petersburg - Petrograd - Leningrad in its current borders? German planes were the first to come to mind, but the British pilots took their palm. On June 18, 1919, a group of Finnish-based British aircraft dropped bombs on Kronstadt. During the offensive of Yudenich’s army on Petrograd, who allegedly supported it, but actually dealt with the fleet, British planes and ships based in Finland. Stalin at that time led the defense of the city and remembered well the fact that it was convenient for a potential aggressor to base near Leningrad. As a result, the border passed 30 km from Leningrad, and the sailors of the Baltic Fleet in winter trained to repel enemy land attacks! On frozen ice from the territory of Finland, one could easily take ships by land forces.
This intolerable situation continued until the beginning of the Second World War. Conclusion of the non-aggression treaty between the USSR and Germany in August 1939 by Stalin solved several problems at once. First, Hitler was confronted with his recent ally, Poland, which recently with pleasure had torn off Czechoslovakia after the Germans, the Cieszyn region. Secondly, a military clash between Germany and Britain and France loomed ahead. The most important thing is that we managed to change the scenario of the First World War and avoid the war with Germany. The main task of the leader of any country, at all times - to avoid war for his country. And if this is not possible - to avoid war in unfavorable conditions. Stalin decided this second problem. It was now necessary to prepare for future military clashes further. The position of the Baltic Fleet and Leningrad in this sense was impossible. They were in the zone of artillery shelling. The situation with Murmansk was no better - the northern ice-free port and the railway linking it with the central regions of the country. But in the First World Murmansk was the most important artery through which the then allies imported to Russia weapon and ammunition. It is curious that in his memoirs Churchill said that Stalin’s desire to push the border away from Leningrad naturally, correctly and cannot be criticized from the point of view of the military situation of that time.
Stalin made a proposal to Finland on the exchange of territories. At the talks, he said: “We do not demand and take, but offer ... Since Leningrad cannot be relocated, we ask that the border be at a distance of 70 kilometers from Leningrad ... We ask 2700 square meters. km And we offer in return for more 5500 square. km ... We can not do anything with geography, just as you can not change it. " At that time, no country offered such conditions — they simply took and occupied. The softness of the Stalinist proposals was due to two factors: Stalin’s sincere sympathy for the Finns, which we will see and appreciate and the complex drama of world politics. No one could guarantee that Britain and France would not be able to make peace with the Germans and return it to the original plans of aggression against the USSR. The British and French, not only in this situation, did not try to “make friends” with the Soviet Union, already fighting with Germany, but prepared plans for an attack on the USSR. It seems strange only at first glance. If you weaken Stalin, you can persuade Hitler to attack him. Therefore, the desire of the USSR to regulate relations with Finland, with the territory of which Leningrad could be easily fired from guns, was met by a sharply negative attitude of the Finns. Western support for the intransigence of the Finns was complete. Finland was an ally of Germany during the First World War. It was the German corps that landed in Finland during the October Revolution 1917, played a decisive role in the Finnish civil war. Therefore, the conflict between the USSR and Finland put Hitler in a difficult position. He "as if" betrayed the old comrades of Germany - the Finns in the hands of Russia. This could be played. It was possible to start a "pan-European" campaign against the "bloody Bolsheviks", within which to try to incite Germany against Russia. The war between the Finns and the Russians was needed by the West. Because it gave London and Paris a reason to strike at the Soviet Union. Well, as they were now looking for a reason to strike at Syria, and before that, at Libya, Serbia, and Iraq.
Already 27 September 1939, just three and a half weeks after the start of the war with Germany, Britain "advises" the Finns to resist the "pressure from the East." On October 5, the USSR invited its neighbor to negotiate a relationship improvement. The Finns immediately turned to the European powers for support. Germany advised not to aggravate relations with Moscow, and Britain and France and the United States, on the contrary, advised to take an uncompromising stance. The West hoped that the aggravation of the Soviet-Finnish relations would provoke a crisis in relations between the USSR and Germany. Finland pulled back with a response, then October 6 called for reservists, and October 8 announced that it would not agree to the treaty. October 12 The total mobilization was announced in Finland in 1939 and the evacuation of the population from major cities began.
Against this background, the same number of 12 began negotiations in Moscow. The Finns went full steam ahead to a war with a huge neighbor. Did they hope to win it? Of course not, by itself such an outcome was completely impossible. But the fact of the matter is that Finland seriously hoped for the intervention of England and France. Therefore, the Finnish delegation refused to discuss the mutual assistance agreement proposed by the USSR at all. Then the Soviet Union proposed a draft treaty on the joint defense of the Gulf of Finland. The fact is that if the USSR does not control the entrance to it, any aggressor could easily enter the bay, or vice versa, immediately “plug” it, depriving the Baltic Fleet of the opportunity to go to the Baltic Sea. But this proposal, as it is easy to guess, was rejected by the Finns on the move. The USSR offered another option when it received the necessary sea base at the port of Hanko for rent. The Finns were invited to transfer to the USSR a part of their territory, receiving in exchange even a larger piece of Soviet land.
The Finnish delegation is leaving for Helsinki. October 17 Mannerheim is appointed commander-in-chief of the army of Finland. October 23 Finns agree to move their borders to the west, but reject the possibility of leasing Hanko, 24-oh again depart for Helsinki. There is a clear delay in negotiations. October 25 1939 Finland finished mine operations in the waters of the bay and fully deployed its army in the border area. It is curious to note that the Finnish government actually hid the entire spectrum of Soviet proposals from its parliament, fearing that they would be accepted because of a reasonable understanding that a thin world with the USSR is better than a good quarrel with him in the interests of Britain and France. 3 November began the last round of negotiations. The Finnish delegation receives instructions to seek agreement solely on its own terms and not to yield anything. 9 November was the last meeting, and 13 November 1940, the Finns went to Helsinki. When the Finnish delegation crossed the border, Finnish border guards opened fire on the Soviet! This is a clear provocation of the USSR on tough measures. 26 November in 15.45 TASS reported that in 15.45 Finnish artillery shelled our territory, as a result of which 4 was killed and 9 soldiers were injured. It is still not entirely clear who is behind the artillery shooting near the village of Mineil ...
People always feel the essence of events and always give their assessment very correctly. Even without knowing the details, without having complete information. It is not by chance that in Finland, the people still call the Winter War - “War of Erkko”. Clearly defining the decisive contribution of the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Finland Juho Eli Erkko to the outbreak of war. Here are just a few facts. As the owner of the influential newspaper Hessingin Sanomat, he launched a campaign in 1937-38 on the pages of his newspaper promoting the “weakness of the USSR”. In August, 1938 rejected another proposal from the USSR to make a written statement about Finland’s readiness to "resist German aggression." He pursued a consistent course of rapprochement with Germany and categorically refused to discuss plans for cooperation with the USSR. After the conclusion of the German-Soviet non-aggression treaty, he spoke out categorically against any concessions to the USSR, contrary to political realities. November 8 1939 of the year without the knowledge of the President instructed the Finnish delegation in Moscow to categorically reject all the new proposals of the USSR and interrupt the negotiations if the proposals of Finland are not accepted. That is, the diplomat did his best to cause a military conflict. Which was definitely not in the interest of Finland. Why? The nationality of Erkko's wife, Violetta Sutcliffe, was English in part. And this is no small thing. Today, the most active anti-Russian position was taken by two politicians: the former president of Ukraine, Viktor Yushchenko, the wife of an American, and the post is the former president of Georgia, Mikhail Saakashvili. His wife is Dutch.
The Soviet-Finnish war began on November 30 of the year 1939. At the secret meeting of 17 on April 1940 of the year, Stalin himself explained another important motive for its beginning: “Couldn’t it be possible to do without war? It seems to me that it was impossible. It was impossible to do without war. The war was necessary, since the peace negotiations with Finland did not produce results, and the security of Leningrad had to be ensured unconditionally, for its security is the security of our Fatherland. Not only because Leningrad represents the percentage of 30-35 of our country's defense industry and, therefore, the fate of our country depends on the integrity and security of Leningrad, but also because Leningrad is the second capital of our country. Breaking through to Leningrad, occupying it and forming there, say, a bourgeois government, a White Guard - this means giving a rather serious basis for a civil war inside the country against Soviet power. "
Stalin says that Finland is not a friendly state — and as she gave the British airfields for the bombings in 1919, so in 1939 she could become the center of attempts to unleash a new civil war in Russia. So it happened. In Finland, began to form a "Russian government." In 1939 — 1940, in Helsinki, they were going to do what Hitler began to do in the second half of the Great Patriotic War — to fight against Russia with the hands of the Russians. The commander-in-chief of the Finnish armed forces, Marshal KG Mannerheim, was going to "influence in some way the people of Russia and the troops sent against Finland." The war of the USSR and Finland did not take place in a vacuum — England and France stood behind the Finns. Already at the beginning of the war, the Finnish military leadership was hoping for the possibility of landing the troops of the Anglo-French allies directly on Soviet territory. So, in particular, at that time, at the State Council meeting, it was clearly stated about the expediency and possibility of “landing the British in Murmansk”. Soon at the negotiations with the British, Marshal KG Mannerheim specifically pointed out that the operation to seize Murmansk "could be large-scale, of crucial importance, if it were planned in depth, through Arkhangelsk." In London and Paris, they very much wanted, starting the Russian-Finnish war, to turn its civil war into Russia. To do this, it was necessary to combine two components: to announce the creation of a Russian government in Finland, headed by a less authoritative person who could incline the Red Army men to go over to their side. And, most importantly, to form out of prisoners of war and partly of emigrants, what then under the banner of Hitler will bear the name “Russian Liberation Army”. And now their services to the Finns and their British-French colleagues, began to offer white immigrants from the Russian All-Military Union (EMRO). Soon Boris Bazhanov appeared in Helsinki, the former secretary of Stalin, who at the end of the 20s escaped from the USSR through Iran to the UK, being exposed as an English agent. Then there were plans to put the head of the "Russian government" in Helsinki? Initially there were plans to put at the head of him A.F. Kerensky, a traitor and a Judas of Gorbachev sense, who betrayed his country in 1917 year. But Kerensky’s popularity was nil. I needed another figure. And at a meeting of the State Council 15 in December, Finnish Prime Minister Ryti said that he had already "put forward the idea to invite Trotsky here to form an alternative Russian government." Fortunately, the war between the USSR and Finland was transient and Trotsky did not have time to get down to business and the entire project of a new citizen of the war in Russia was over because of the defeat of Finland.
But the Western allies were actively preparing to intervene in the Soviet-Finnish conflict, despite the fact that they "went" like the Second World War with Germany. In such a situation, they always try to find new allies. Britain and France, on the contrary, tried to make the Soviet Union an enemy. The behavior is strange, if not suicidal. If we forget that in the case of peace with Germany, the whole West would be the enemy of the USSR alone. Only one fact - his attack on France Hitler postponed 25 times! It was a bargain, and on the Western Front was a strange war. This is when soldiers play football in full view of the enemy and the losses are zero. Such a war was fought on the Western front for more than six months ...
At a meeting with army commanders, 17 on April 1940, Stalin said of the conflict with Finland: “if the war lasted, and if any neighboring state intervened in the war”. Who could have in mind Stalin? And here is another quote: “Despite the world war that had already begun, there was a great desire to help Finns by aviation and other valuable military materials, as well as volunteers from England, the United States and especially from France,” Winston Churchill would later write. At the very meeting, Stalin said even more bluntly: “The whole defense of Finland and the war was conducted by order, at the instigation, on the advice of England and France, and even before the Germans helped them greatly, and half the defensive line in Finland was built on their advice.”
It is necessary to say a few words about repression. On the eve of the military conflict, Finland was considered in the USSR as an unfriendly state. That left an imprint on the actions of the NKVD in the border areas with Finland. According to reports, in Karelia in 1937 - 1938. The number of repressed was about 10 thousand people, but this figure needs to be clarified. The share of the Finns, whose number in the middle of 1930 – s. barely exceeded 3% of the population, accounted for 40% of all repressed - about 4000 people. It should be noted that the Finnish security authorities also showed increased attention to the residents of the border areas, but already after the military conflict. So, for example, after the end of the Winter War, the USSR returned 2389 Finland to Finland. 1757 people ─ Suoyarvi residents, 305 people. ─ Petsamo, 254 ─ Suomussalmi, 73 people. ─ Karelian Isthmus and Islands of the Gulf of Finland. Upon returning to their homeland of 27, the residents of Suomussalmi were put on trial and sentenced for treason for a period from 7 to 12 years. No one was shot: twenty-three convicts were accused of joining the "People's Army of Finland", but only one of them was accused of having participated in hostilities with arms. In addition to serving in the “People’s Army”, the work of the Executive Committee of the “People’s Front of Workers” was considered a serious crime. Four suoyarvtsev appeared in court. All convicts were released in 1944 year.
Between January and April 1940, England frantically devised plans to attack the Soviet Union. What was meant was an attack by British aviation on Baku and the Caucasus with the goal of putting our oil fields down, as well as putting British submarines into the Black Sea to sink our tankers, and, as Churchill put it, for a “terrifying moral effect on Russia”. As for France, its Prime Minister Daladier 12 March 1940 of the Chamber of Deputies announced without any embarrassment that from February 26 the Anglo-French allied expeditionary force of up to 150 thousands of people are ready to be sent to Finland. Hindered ... Hitler. First, with his landing in Norway, he cut off the routes for delivering Western troops and aid to Finland. And the Finns did not receive full assistance from London. And then the prisoner 12 of March 1940, the world, between the USSR and Finland confused all the cards. But the British did not calm down even then.
20 June 1941 of the year, two days before Hitler’s attack on the USSR, an intelligence report was laid on Stalin’s desk. Its meaning is: “The British are intensifying their preparations for the bombing of Baku.” At this meeting, Churchill said: "The course of development of Soviet-German relations can make it extremely profitable for us to be ready to undertake the bombardment of the Baku oil fields with the minimum delay." We lay down on the table of Stalin and other intelligence reports. In May 1941, the head of the Red Army Intelligence Directorate, a report by General F. Golikov reported that “In Finland, despite the refutation of the Finnish government, significant landings of German troops are indisputable, namely: 10 April 10 000 people landed from German ships in the port of Abo; 29 April 12 000 people landed in the same port. In addition, throughout the whole of winter, around 4000 was a man of German troops in Finland. Observation of a number of sources revealed that German military trains, as they were unloaded, were heading and continue to go by rail and road to the north through Rovaniemi to Kirkines. By the number of these trains and convoys, it must be considered that the majority of the German troops that landed are still in Finland. In addition, throughout April, the arrival of German ships with ammunition, equipment and building materials for defensive construction was noted. Large military German warehouses created at the station. Vika, east of Rovaniemi. ” In the coming attack of Hitler on the USSR, Finland was not going to stand aside. 25 May 1941, a group of Finnish officers arrived in Salzburg: Chief of the General Staff E. Heinrix, Chief of Operations, Colonel K., General Staff Tapola, head of the organization department, Colonel E. Mäkinen, head of the supply department, Colonel X. Roos and Chief of Staff of the Navy Commodore S. Sundman. On the same day, the Finnish delegation held talks with representatives of the German command. Already by June 9, the motorized SS division Nord was delivered from Norway to the area of the city of Rovaniemi of the year. Starting from 14 June, German warships began to arrive in Finland: precisely on this day, mine-laying coaches, Cobra, Konigin Luise, Kaiser, Tannenberg, Hansestadt Danzig and Brummer entered Finnish territorial waters. And the ships went through Finnish skerries with the help of Finnish pilots. Following them, the fleet of torpedo boats and the 17 group of minesweepers and the Elbe floating base approached the coast of Finland 12 June. Thus, around the 40 of German ships were based at the start of the war off the coast of Finland. 18 – 19 On June 1941, six Finnish aerodromes were handed over to the Germans (Utti, Helsinki, Luonetiarvi, Rovaniemi, Kemijärvi, Petsamo). In the evening of June 21, German ships stationed in Finland began mining the Gulf of Finland. On the morning of June 22, 1941, Finnish troops landed on the Aland Islands. This landing violated the Geneva Convention 1921 of the Year and the USSR and Finland Agreement on the Aland Islands 1940 of the Year, which provided for the complete demilitarization of the Alands. At the same time, in the administrative center of the archipelago, the city of Marienhamina, Finnish troops seized the personnel of the Soviet consulate located there. On the same morning, June 22, the Norwegian German Mountain Corps under the command of Major General Dietl, crossing the Norwegian-Finnish border, occupied Petsamo.
In the current conditions, the Soviet Union could not consider Finland as a neutral country. Stalin had no desire to fight with Finland. As there were no more territorial claims. However, September 1 1939 after the German attack on Poland Finland immediately declared its neutrality. When 23 Juno Molotov demanded that Finnnenz Hünninen clearly articulate Finland’s position on the outbreak of war, he chose to evade the answer. Finland was not clear about its neutrality. And what was happening said just the opposite - the Finns will fight against the USSR together with Hitler.
It is based on this that the military leadership of the Soviet Union issued an order for air strikes on the Finnish territory of 25 June. 26 June Finland announced it was in a state of war with the USSR. But not these attacks decided to be or not to be in Finland in the war. It was decided much earlier, only the leaders of the country did not say anything about this to their people. However, further events clearly show that Finns and Germans were ready for war in Finland. It was the Finnish and German troops that launched the offensive, not the Red Army. On the Murmansk direction, the German mountain corps, which was advancing to the border, guarded the Finnish Jäger border detachment of about 1500 people. The German offensive in this direction began from the Petsamo area 28 June 1941 of the year. In the Kandalaksha direction, the SS division Nord, the German 169-Infantry Division, the Finnish 6-I Infantry Division, and two Finnish Jaeger battalions began to advance on July 1. 30 June 1941, the Finnish troops launched an offensive in the direction of Vyborg and Petrozavodsk. By the end of August 1941 Finns reached the approaches to Leningrad. And in general - the whole war on the territory of Finland had two independent commands - the German one in the north of Finland subordinated to the German general staff and the Finnish one in the rest of the country.
War between countries is always a tragedy. And to finish it as soon as possible is one of the main tasks of the patriot of his country. Finland ended up in World War II in a “bad company” - for it, Hitler Germany, against the USSR and Great Britain, which declared war on December 1941. By 1944, the defeat of Germany and its allies was only a matter of time. The task of the one who loved Finland was to get out of the war as soon as possible. With minimal losses.
Today, little is known about how Joseph Stalin treated the development of an operation to bring Finland out of the war. This was told in his memoirs by Air Marshal Alexander Golovanov, who commanded long-range aviation (ADD). It was a powerful combination of bombers, which was personally subordinate to Stalin.
“In the middle of December 1943, shortly after our return from Tehran, I received an order from the Supreme Commander to leave for Leningrad and help the front command in the upcoming offensive operation. Before my departure, questions of the withdrawal of Finland from the war were also discussed. Strange as it may seem, Stalin asked me: Do I know the history of Finland? Do I know about the unsuccessful military operations there of Peter I and, conversely, about the successes of Alexander I, thanks to which Finland became part of the Russian Empire?
Hearing that during the Soviet-Finnish military conflict, I read a sufficient amount of literature on both Finland itself and its accession to the Russian state, Stalin dwelt on this conflict and praised both the Finnish soldier and the people of Finland. He noted his diligence, perseverance, patriotism, but at the same time said that a huge gap lies between the aspirations and hopes of the people of Finland and the goals and aspirations of the pro-fascist government, which plunged the state into the war and makes it pay its own people. It was clear from the conversation that, on the one hand, Stalin had respect for the Finnish people, but he, as the Supreme Commander, had to take a decision in order to eliminate the military threat on the northern wing of the Soviet-German front.
It was obvious that the massive air strikes would entail huge casualties and so few people, who must pay for the policies pursued by his government. Knowing Stalin is not the first year, I saw that he hesitates in making a final decision. Just before I left, I received instructions from Stalin that, simultaneously with the support of the offensive actions of the troops of the Leningrad Front, all necessary measures were being taken to prepare a strike against the military industrial objects of Finland so that this task would begin in a matter of hours after receiving the order. A blow to the port of Helsinki, railway junction and military facilities located on the outskirts of the city. From the massive strike itself in the city to refrain. To send several hundred aircraft to the first raid, and if further necessary, if any, the number of aircraft participating in the raids should be increased. ”
Remember how German aviation operated in World War II - Stalingrad, English Coventry, destroyed Warsaw. The British and Americans acted no better - the ruins of Dresden and other German cities are evidence of this. Stalin personally orders to strike in such a way that there are no unnecessary casualties and destruction. On the night of February 7, 1944 of the year was dealt the first blow. Marshal Golovanov tells about it this way: “Soon after, one of the prominent industrialists in Sweden addressed our envoy to Stockholm A. M. Kollontay and informed her that the representative of the Finnish government, Mr. Paasikivi, had an assignment to find out the conditions for his country's exit from the war, and whether he agreed our government is to deal with the current Finnish government and negotiate with it. On February 16, an unofficial meeting was held between Yu. K. Paasikivi and A. M. Kollontai. On the same day, I received instructions from Stalin to repeat the raid on the Helsinki region, which was done. When they met again, Paasikivi received from Kollontai our terms of an armistice with Finland. ”
These conditions are just amazing. Read them and tell them who else demanded so little from those who are failing. And if Stalin allegedly wanted to seize Finland, then why did he not even try to do this in 1944 — 1945, having all the possibilities?
So, the truce terms offered by Finland to Stalin:
1. The rupture of relations with Germany and the internment of the German troops and ships in Finland, and if Finland considers this last task impossible for itself, the Soviet Union is ready to provide it with the necessary assistance with its troops and aviation.
2. Reestablishment of the Soviet-Finnish Treaty of 1940 of the year and withdrawal of the Finnish troops to the borders of 1940 of the year.
3. Immediate return of Soviet and Allied prisoners of war, as well as civilians kept in concentration camps or used by Finns for work.
4. The question of the partial or complete demobilization of the Finnish army should be left until the negotiations in Moscow.
5. The question of damages caused to the Soviet Union by hostilities and the occupation of Soviet territories, to leave until the negotiations in Moscow.
But the leadership of Finland did not agree.
“On the night of February 27, another blow was struck at the Helsinki region. If the mass of airplanes that took part in this raid struck Helsinki itself, then we can say that the city would cease to exist. The raid was a formidable and final warning. Soon I received instructions from Stalin - to stop the military activities of the ADD in Finland. That was the beginning of the negotiations on the withdrawal of Finland from the war, ”writes Marshal Golovanov.
It must be said that the process of Finland’s withdrawal from the war was lengthy - only 19 of September 1944 of the year was signed an armistice, and Finland declared war on Germany. The signed truce did not deprive Finland of state independence and the right to pursue an independent foreign policy. Unlike other countries that fought on the side of Germany, Finland was not occupied. Stalin did not use this right of the winner. Because he was thinking about the future and wanted good relations with an independent Finnish state. Stalin loved Finland and respected its people.
In the final form, the conditions of peace between Finland and the USSR looked like this:
The lifting of the ban on the Communist Party.
For a country that lost the war, the conditions are more than good. Especially if you remember what happened to Germany ...