LIST OF WARS: DETAILS
The Winter War in Finland
Battle deaths: 151,798 Published prior to 2013 | Altered: 2013-08-15 10:00:12
The Red Army aimed to recover the Grand Duchy of Finland territory lost during the Russian Civil War in 1917, during which Finland had declared independence from Russia. The Soviet Union demanded the territories for security reasons, primarily to protect Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg), which was 40 km from the Finnish border.
The Soviets possessed more than three times as many soldiers as the Finns, thirty times as many aircraft, and a hundred times as many tanks. The Red Army, however, had been crippled by Soviet leader Joseph Stalin’s Great Purge of 1937, reducing the army’s morale and efficiency shortly before the outbreak of the fighting. With more than 30,000 of its army officers executed or imprisoned, including most of those of the highest ranks, the Red Army in 1939 had many inexperienced senior and mid-level officers. Because of these factors, and high morale in the Finnish forces, Finland was able to resist the Soviet invasion for far longer than the Soviets expected.
Hostilities ceased in March 1940 with the signing of the Moscow Peace Treaty. Finland ceded 11% of its pre-war territory and 30% of its economic assets to the Soviet Union.
Source: Wikipedia, published under the GNU FDL. Retrieved 2013-08-15
SOURCES: FATALITY DATA
NOTE ON NATION DATA
NOTE! Nation data for this war may be inconlusive or incomplete. In most cases it reflects which nations were involved with troops in this war, but in some it may instead reflect the contested territory.