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Monday, July 31, 2017

Right Against Might: The Finnish and Russian war 1939

On November 1939 Russia attacked Finland on one of the coldest winters on record: some 50 degrees below zero.

Four soviet  armies, 21 divisions, thousands of tanks and planes, and half a million soldiers attacked Finland on the first day alone. It was three times larger than the combined allied forces that landed in Normady on DDAY. They then threw yet another million soldiers against Finland along with thousands of more aircraft and hundreds more of tanks shortly afterwards.

The Finns on the other hand had over two hundred thousand men, with just a few rifles in their hands, and a few Molotov cocktails in their arsenal between them. 

The Finns fought with incredible bravery, skill, and with respect for the living and the dead, including that of the enemy. After all, it was the only the Finns that buried the Russians. The battle lasted 105 days.

At its end, a million Russian soldiers lay dead from bullets, bombs, frostbite, starvation, brainwashing and stupidity. The still living ones had abandoned the others still trying to cling onto life, and had resorted to cannibalism of the ones that were dead and the meat of horses on their way out the exit door. The finnish however were still standing.

They would have fought longer and harder still except for the fact that their closest geographical neighbours, along with other promised allies, had abandoned them in order to save their own skins.Their skins, because of that action were not saved.

In the final peace treaty Finland did concede some territory in order for Russia to protect its borders from their admitted fear of the Germans, at least this is what the Russians claimed. The Finnish people though kept their country and independence to this very day.

The reality of this war is one where David did slay Goliath but has deeper meanings. The finns respect for life, liberty, sacrifice, and love of freedom helped win that battle. They had come together not only as a nation but as a large close-knit family in great peril, and lived not only to fight another day but also to tell their story. 

For me herein lies a lesson and an inspiration: There is always a way within the unity of sharing and that can make a singular part, that when it is moulded, becomes the driving engine of a much larger force. It also helps to have right on your side against might that makes the cause easier to fight or even die for.

Barry Clifford