Finland's War of Choice: The Troubled German-Finnish Alliance in World War II

Henrik O. Lunde, Casemate, $32.95 (432p) ISBN 978-1-935149-48-4
Finland's segue from its defensive war against the Soviet Union in 1939–1940 to its offensive coalition with Nazi Germany from 1941 to 1944 remains one of the neglected aspects of WWII historiography. Lunde, an established scholar of the Scandinavian theater, demonstrates that Finland chose its path deliberately. The government was by no means unaware of the nature and objectives of National Socialism. Nor did Finland fight a "separate war" to safeguard its own security from Germany. It sought the recovery of territory lost in the Winter War and possession of Soviet Eastern Karelia. Germany's failure to negotiate war aims and command relationships gave Finland opportunity to pursue its own objectives. Germany's commitment of limited forces guaranteed a compartmentalized campaign that achieved limited results and left the troubled coalition vulnerable to the Soviets' 1944 counteroffensive. Despite linguistic limitations impelling reliance on German sources, Lunde offers a solid operational analysis, stressing the Red Army's developing ability to wage high-tech war under arctic conditions. He ascribes Soviet willingness to conclude a compromise peace as reflecting respect for Finnish fighting power. And he successfully demonstrates that dining with the Nazi devil required a longer spoon than Finland possessed. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/07/2011
Release date: 03/01/2011
Open Ebook - 352 pages - 978-1-61200-037-4
Paperback - 412 pages - 978-1-61200-219-4
MP3 CD - 978-1-5113-9987-6
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