War of the White Death

Finland Against the Soviet Union 1939-40

Bair Irincheev

Date Published :
July 2011
Publisher :
Pen and Sword
Illustration :
90 illustrations
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781848841666
Pages : 256
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : In stock
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On 30 November 1939 Stalin’s Red Army attacked Finland, expecting to crush the outnumbered, ill-equipped Finnish forces in a matter of days. But, in one of the most astonishing upsets in modern military history, the Finnish defenders broke the Red Army’s advance, inflicting devastating casualties and destroying some of the divisions that had been thrown against them.

Eventually, in March 1940, the overhauled Red Army prevailed through the deployment of massive force. The Finns were compelled to cede territory and cities to their overbearing neighbor, but the moral victory was theirs. The courage and skill their army displayed in the face of the Soviet onslaught – and the chaotic and reckless performance of their opponents - had an important influence on the massive struggle that was about to break out between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.

For this highly illustrated and original portrayal of this famously unequal struggle, Bair Irincheev has brought together a compelling selection of eyewitness accounts, war diaries, battle reports, and other records from the Finnish and Russian archives to reconstruct the front-line fighting, and he analyses the reasons for the Red Army’s poor performance. Never before has the harsh reality of the combat in the depths of the northern winter been conveyed in such authentic detail. The arduous daily experience of the troops on both sides, the brutality of combat and the constant struggle against the elements are recalled in the words of the men who were there.

About The Author

Bair Irincheev was born in Leningrad in 1944. He completed his studies at St. Petersburg University and Stockholm University. He is an author specializing in North European studies with a primary focus on conflicts between the USSR and Finland in the 20th century. His previous publications include the studies on the Winter War, Finnish fortifications and the history of the Karelian Isthmus and Vyborg. He also manages a local Vyborg war museum.

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