Cannibalism during Russian famine of 1921.

Share this on Facebook download .zip with all pictures

> What skills/knowledge did the Finns have that wasn’t available to Russians?

First of all, skiing. It was cold as hell, −43 °C (−45 °F) at worst, and everything was covered in snow. Finns learned to ski since they were kids, using it as a method of travel everywhere. This made the Finnish soldiers far more mobile in the cold terrain. The Finnish army fought the entire war using guerilla tactics, and being able to out-manuever the enemy was paramount.

There was also the equipment. The basic Soviet soldier dressed in regular khaki uniforms and their tanks were olive colored. In the white landscape they stood out. Finns on the other hand dressed entirely in white, using layers to protect from the cold and donning a lightweight white snow cape to hide them from sight. Because Finland is so far up in the north the dark hours during the night were also very long, further hiding their movement.

This combination of a fast and agile almost invisible army was a nightmare for the soviets, as the Finns regularly surrounded them and cut off their supply lines, leaving them huddled in pockets (motti), where just surviving was an ordeal. Then they attacked them from all sides, easily taking out a superior force.

>Historian William R. Trotter describes these conditions thus: “The Soviet soldier had no choice. If he refused to fight, he would be shot. If he tried to sneak through the forest, he would freeze to death. And surrender was no option for him; Soviet propaganda had told him how the Finns would torture prisoners to death.”

The Battle of Suomussalmi [illustrates this well,](http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e5/Battle_suomussalmi.jpg) you can see the way the Finnish forces slipped through their lines and attacked them from all sides.

The Finnish army had 11,000 men fighting against 45,000-55,000 men and a whole tank brigade, yet they came out victorious, only losing a 1000 men with another 1000 wounded. They also captured 43 tanks, 71 field-guns, 260 trucks, 1,170 horses and 29 anti-tank guns.

The [wikipedia page](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Suomussalmi) has a good analysis of this battle:

*The battle of Suomussalmi is often cited as an example how a small force, properly led and fighting in familiar terrain, can defeat a vastly numerically superior enemy. Factors which contributed to the Finnish victory included:*

* Finnish troops having higher mobility due to skis and sleds; in contrast, Soviet heavy equipment confined them to roads.
* Finnish strategy was flexible and often unorthodox, for example, targeting Soviet field kitchens, which demoralized Soviet soldiers fighting in a sub-Arctic winter.
* Soviet army being poorly equipped, especially with regard to winter camouflage clothing.
* Finnish army had very high morale: they were defending their homes. Soviet troops had only political reasons for their attack, and consequently lost their will to fight soon despite their continual political mind control of army.
* Soviet counter-intelligence failures: Finnish troops often intercepted the Soviet communications, which relied heavily on standard phone lines.
* Finnish troops’ equipment being well suited for warfare in deep snow and freezing temperatures.
* Soviet objective to cut Finland in half across the Oulu region – while appearing reasonable on a map, this was inherently unrealistic, as the region was mostly forested marshland, with its road network consisting mainly of logging trails. Mechanized divisions had to rely on these, becoming easy targets for the mobile Finnish ski troops.
* Simplicity where needed, as the final assault was a simple head-on charge, decreasing the chances of tactical errors. Rough weather also favoured comparatively simple plans.
* The Soviet Red Army was still suffering from the aftermaths of Stalin’s army purges in the 1930s, with many replacement officers being incompetent and inexperienced.

Latest Comments
  1. Undihin December 26, 2016
  2. Nyill December 24, 2016
  3. VinitaRezendes December 20, 2016
  4. Stramald December 16, 2016
  5. MilesVickers December 15, 2016
  6. Skelashat December 12, 2016
  7. Iworo December 10, 2016
  8. YaekoPendelton December 9, 2016
  9. dreyer333 November 29, 2016
  10. bellowsE November 26, 2016
  11. Garan November 23, 2016
  12. Ludser November 13, 2016
  13. TakakoMelnick November 7, 2016
  14. barbozaIsland November 3, 2016
  15. Imem November 1, 2016
  16. Nitanen October 31, 2016
  17. swedberg October 28, 2016
  18. Rac October 26, 2016
  19. Oldtiavor October 20, 2016
  20. LeonardEdlund October 19, 2016
  21. Lordnys October 15, 2016
  22. dorothywarkocz5 October 15, 2016
  23. Lucessinger98 October 14, 2016
  24. Tiarad October 14, 2016
  25. Unthon October 13, 2016
  26. EunaCalifano September 27, 2016
  27. Iaor September 24, 2016
  28. Titus16 September 20, 2016
  29. Lordnys September 18, 2016
  30. VinitaRezendes September 18, 2016
  31. Iceru September 16, 2016
  32. Dotuton September 8, 2016
  33. Xojyw September 6, 2016
  34. Ustche September 3, 2016
  35. Emtny September 2, 2016
  36. Tabelque September 2, 2016
  37. Daros September 1, 2016
  38. Mcglade666 August 31, 2016
  39. AdalbertoHumes August 28, 2016
  40. TakakoMelnick August 26, 2016
  41. milonekilone4 August 20, 2016
  42. Chaiwor August 17, 2016
  43. Ightcer August 15, 2016
  44. LeotaBerkeley August 11, 2016
  45. Zimmermann169 August 10, 2016
  46. rowles09 July 25, 2016
  47. garza77 July 24, 2016
  48. Adir July 19, 2016
  49. Ashend July 8, 2016
  50. Endvesa July 2, 2016
  51. Mcglade666 June 30, 2016
  52. Ongha June 29, 2016
  53. AlexTibbs June 29, 2016
  54. hobbyrobie186 June 26, 2016
  55. Oasi June 23, 2016
  56. LeonardEdlund June 16, 2016
  57. Umedar June 5, 2016
  58. DomingaRico June 2, 2016
  59. Rel June 2, 2016
  60. RomaMcray May 30, 2016
  61. Jacquiline1999 May 29, 2016
  62. Iceru May 27, 2016
  63. Isech May 25, 2016
  64. Adald May 22, 2016
  65. Eldoq May 10, 2016
  66. ShellieFiles May 2, 2016
  67. Nyill April 30, 2016
  68. swedberg April 27, 2016
  69. poissonman88 April 26, 2016
  70. hobbyrobie186 April 23, 2016
  71. Skelashat April 18, 2016
  72. Korah April 15, 2016
  73. Iworo April 13, 2016
  74. Ingn April 9, 2016
  75. Nicolhowle April 9, 2016
  76. hobbyrobie186 April 7, 2016
  77. UrsulaNeel April 6, 2016
  78. Skelashat April 6, 2016
  79. urnisaw April 5, 2016
  80. presley77 April 3, 2016
  81. Eldoq March 24, 2016
  82. sarkisian93 March 23, 2016
  83. Fitinack March 23, 2016
  84. Tryt March 21, 2016
  85. Iceru March 18, 2016
  86. GastonCoit March 17, 2016
  87. Eldrdan March 13, 2016
  88. RomaMcray March 8, 2016
  89. bellowsE March 8, 2016
  90. swedberg March 6, 2016
  91. Ceribo March 5, 2016
  92. tischDE February 27, 2016
  93. Ightcer February 27, 2016
  94. ucid February 21, 2016
  95. DianHohn February 18, 2016
  96. Tiarad February 16, 2016
  97. Unthon February 13, 2016
  98. Endvesa February 8, 2016
  99. garza77 February 8, 2016
  100. Oasi January 28, 2016
  101. Ashend January 25, 2016
  102. kolinmcrae January 24, 2016
  103. urnisaw January 23, 2016
  104. Ightcer January 14, 2016
  105. Chaiwor January 13, 2016
  106. sarkisian93 January 11, 2016
  107. Oasi January 11, 2016
  108. Endrr January 11, 2016
  109. Ingn January 7, 2016
  110. Lordnys January 3, 2016
  111. Esstiaing December 29, 2015
  112. LatashiaReece December 27, 2015
  113. Issdar December 26, 2015
  114. StacyHickox December 26, 2015
  115. Tabelque December 24, 2015
  116. Tiaeld December 21, 2015
  117. Ightcer December 16, 2015
  118. wasdenmzd December 15, 2015
  119. hobbyrobie186 December 15, 2015
  120. Odynu December 11, 2015
  121. Adir December 9, 2015
  122. Mylil December 9, 2015
  123. Oughumde December 8, 2015
  124. UrsulaNeel December 2, 2015
  125. Mcglade666 December 1, 2015
  126. ShellieFiles November 30, 2015
  127. Awust November 25, 2015
  128. Usklor November 24, 2015
  129. Nyem November 24, 2015
  130. Xojyw November 23, 2015
  131. Reavis2000 November 21, 2015
  132. Brivestas November 15, 2015
  133. Titus16 November 13, 2015
  134. Mylil November 7, 2015
  135. Tabelque November 6, 2015
  136. codayrzeszow October 30, 2015
  137. MeghannBoardman October 21, 2015
  138. Zimmermann169 October 21, 2015
  139. Darpolo October 17, 2015
  140. Oughumde October 10, 2015
  141. Yuania October 7, 2015
  142. Stramald October 6, 2015
  143. Tiarad October 5, 2015
  144. EviaBruss October 3, 2015
  145. Tiarad October 2, 2015
  146. czakNorris1 October 1, 2015
Comments are closed.
Click on Like Page, to get new amazing photo every day on facebook.