In September 1944, the Finnish army unexpectedly turned its guns and went to war against the Germans.
what are the reasons behind the outbreak of armed conflict between former allies Finland and Germany in September 1944?
first, the completely different motives for Germany and Finland to invade the Soviet Union foreshadowed the armistice negotiations between Finland and the Soviet Union, as well as the future armed conflict between Finland and Germany.
when it comes to the alliance between Germany and Finland, we have to mention the Soviet Union, another big country that affects the world pattern. It was the Soviet-Finnish War launched by the Soviet Union that led Finland to fall to Germany before the outbreak of the Soviet-German War.
in November 1939, the Soviet Union publicly tore up the Molotov Agreement and gathered 500000 troops, 1500 tanks and 1500 combat aircraft to attack Finland, and the Soviet-Finnish War broke out. In the face of the Soviet attack, Finland had only more than 32000 troops and more than 100 aircraft, but Finland mobilized the whole country to resist Soviet aggression. In the defense operation in December 1939, the Finnish army wiped out two infantry divisions under the famous Soviet general Chuikov and wiped out more than 27000 Soviet troops, while Finland lost only more than 900. the Finnish army won a brilliant victory over the strong with the weak.
however, Finland is a small country after all, and its war mobilization potential is far lower than that of the Soviet Union. In February 1940, Timuxingo, a famous Soviet general, commanded the main force of the Soviet army to launch a strong attack, which defeated the resistance of the Finnish army in one fell swoop. In April of the same year, the Finnish government was forced to sign an unequal treaty with the Soviet Union, leasing the Hanko Peninsula as a military port to the Soviet Union for 30 years, and the Karelia isthmus was occupied by the Soviet Union.
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during the Soviet-Finnish War, the Soviet Union and Finland became enemies, and Finnish leader Mannaheim has always been bitter about the cession of the Hanko Peninsula to the Soviet Union. As it happens, Finland's hostility to the Soviets was exploited by Hitler. In order to attract more "allies" to invade the Soviet Union with the Germans, Hitler found Finland.
above _ Karl Gustav Mannaheim
in June 1940, the German delegation visited Finland. The German representative bluntly asked the Finnish President Mannaheim if he was willing to send troops to fight the Soviet Union with the Germans. Mannaheim said: "Finland will be grateful if it can get German assistance to recover the occupied territory."
Please note that Mannaheim replied that the core point of the German representative is "the recovery of the occupied territory". Where does this occupied territory refer to? The Hanko Peninsula and Karelia Isthmus occupied by the Soviet Union. From this core point, we can see that Finland is obviously willing to fight the Soviet Union with the Germans, but the real purpose of Finland and Germany fighting the Soviet Union is completely different: Germany is to completely overthrow the Bolshevik regime and enslave the Soviet people. Finland, on the other hand, was only riding in the German chariot to recover the territory occupied by the Soviet Union. Finland did not want to get too involved in the war with the Soviet Union.
Finland's attitude towards participating in the German invasion of the Soviet Union can also be found in the statement of the Finnish government after the outbreak of the war. On June 22, 1941, the German army and the army of the servant countries invaded the Soviet Union. Hitler publicly declared that he was "allied with Finland." on the same day, the Finnish government publicly declared that Finland was neutral and denied Hitler's claim. It can also be seen from the fact that the Finnish government denied Hitler's claim that Finland only wanted to be involved in the war to a limited extent, and it was enough to recover the land occupied by the Soviet Union through the German invasion of the Soviet Union.
the Soviet-Finnish War above generally refers to the Winter War (the war between the Soviet Union and Finland during World War II)
after the outbreak of the Soviet-German War, the Finnish army was organized to fight with the German army within the Northern Group Army. As the German army won successive victories in the early days of the Soviet-German War, Finland, as a small country, dared not show a "double heart" towards Germany at 01:30. Therefore, the Finnish army once actively cooperated with the Germans on the battlefield on the northern front at the beginning of the Soviet-German War.
in order to show concern for this "ally" of Finland, the German army also sent part of its army to Finland, and the German army stationed in Finland was uniformly adapted into the 20th Mountain Group Army. Hitler also put forward the idea that Finnish leader Mannaheim would lead the German troops stationed in Finland.
of course, the purpose of Finland's participation in the Soviet-German war is only to recover the lost territory. After the Finnish army took the isthmus of Karelia and East Karelia, they stopped their attack on the Soviets. Finland's limited participation in the Soviet-German war foreshadowed the subsequent negotiations between Finland and the Soviet Union.
of course, Finland's participation in the Soviet-German war, even if it reached the isthmus of Karelia, gave Hitler enough face, and Hitler's Germany would not doubt the "loyalty" of Finland as an ally.
June 4, 1942, was an unforgettable day for Finnish leader Mannaheim. It was his birthday, and Hitler himself came to celebrate Mannaheim's birthday. However, Mannaheim's performance against Hitler made Hitler a little embarrassed. At that time, Hitler gave a birthday message to Mannaheim. After saying the birthday message, Mannaheim invited Hitler to dinner. I don't know if Mannaheim deliberately bullied Hitler, but the quality of the birthday party was not good. After dinner, Mannaheim smoked cigars in front of Hitler, who himself hated smoking. In the end, Hitler stayed in Finland for a while before returning home. Hitler had intended to mention to Mannaheim that the Finnish army had stepped up its offensive against the Soviets, but in the end, it was not mentioned to Mannaheim.
at this banquet, Mannaheim gave Hitler "ugly" everywhere, from which we can see the delicate contradictory relationship between Finland and Germany:
on the one hand, Finland and Germany are ostensibly allies in common attack. But on the other hand, Finland is not willing to fully cooperate with the German military action, too deeply involved in the Soviet-German war.
for Finland, once Finland completely turns to Germany and becomes part of the fascist axis, Finland will not be able to negotiate with the Soviet Union, and its post-war territory will be carved up by anti-fascist allies. Therefore, Finland can only cooperate with the actions of the Germans, andYou can't turn to Germany.
the Battle of Stalingrad ended with the defeat of the Germans and the victory of the Soviets. Mannaheim privately predicted that the Germans would fail, but he clearly continued to maintain friendly relations with Germany, which made Hitler "very reassured" about Mannaheim. Of course, Hitler did not know: Mannaheim had the idea of negotiating with Stalin after the defeat of the German army in Stalingrad.
Mannaheim made contact with the Soviet Union, but the negotiation conditions proposed by the Soviet Union were so harsh that Finland was forced to maintain a state of war with the Soviet army. In June 1944, the Soviet Red Army launched the battles of Viborg and Svili-Pirozavotsk, targeting the main Finnish forces. Under great pressure from the Soviet army, in August 1944, the Finnish government asked for peace talks with the Soviet Union. The two sides reached an agreement: there was a truce between Finland and the Soviet Union, and the German troops must withdraw from Finland on September 15. If the Germans do not retreat, Finland will disarm the Germans and return them to the Soviet Union.
Finland and the Soviet Union held armistice peace talks. what were the German actions? In order to avoid being annihilated by the Soviets, the German 20th Mountain Army stationed in Finland gathered in Lapland and prepared to withdraw from Finland.
second, Finland declared an armistice with the Soviet Union, and the German retreat was too slow, leading to the outbreak of conflict. The slow withdrawal of German troops is the direct cause of the conflict between Finland and Germany.
in September 1944, Finland held an armistice with the Soviet Union. The Germans accelerated the withdrawal. According to the regulations, the German troops must withdraw from Finland by September 15, but the withdrawal rate of the German troops is very slow due to the excessive supply of German military materials. In accordance with the Sufen armistice, Finland attacked the Germans on September 15, 1944.
at the beginning of the campaign, the Finnish and German armies once exercised restraint, and the scale of the war was not large. But the Soviet Union soon put more pressure on Finland. In order to show the sincerity of the armistice to the Soviet Union, Finland, a small country, further escalated the conflict between the Finnish and German forces in late September. The Finnish army concentrated its forces on the 20th Mountain Group Army of the German army, and the German army continued to retreat while resisting the attack of the Finnish army. It is worth mentioning that although clashes broke out between the two sides, the exchange of fire between Finnish and German forces did not cause too many casualties (about 1,000 Finnish casualties and about 2000 German casualties).
it can be seen from this that even in the face of the escalation of the conflict, the armed forces of Finland and Germany have maintained some restraint, and neither side wants to escalate the conflict into a new all-out war. In the winter of 1944, most of the German troops withdrew from Finland, and Finnish and German troops entered a truce. In the spring of 1945, all the remaining German troops withdrew from Finland.
if it were not for the "strange dream" of Finland and Germany attacking the Soviet Union, Finland would be determined to follow the Germans to fight the Soviet Union. There would be no armistice between Finland and the Soviet Union, let alone the outbreak of armed conflict between Finnish and German forces. Therefore, Finland and Germany did not attack the Soviet Union with one heart and laid the groundwork for Finland to change guns to attack the Germans. The slow withdrawal of German troops in Finland has become the direct cause of the conflict between Finland and Germany.
of course, Finland is a country that seeks to survive in the gap between great powers. At the beginning of the war, Finland followed Germany closely and avoided getting close to Germany in an all-round way. After the Battle of Stalingrad, on the one hand, Finland ostensibly maintained friendly relations with Germany, on the other hand, it came up with the idea of an armistice with the Soviet Union. During the Battle of Lapland, the Finnish army attacked the Germans under great pressure from the Soviet Union, but avoided a full escalation of the conflict with the Germans. Therefore, these seemingly contradictory practices of Finland are also common practices for survival of small countries in the big country game.