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Posted byu/[deleted]10 months ago
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TIL that Finland was the only German ally in WWII to remain a democracy.

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Is was really a case of enemy of my enemy is my friend. Russia invaded them. Germany was fighting Russia. May as well get support from Germany in the fight againts Russia. After Russia had backed off, Finland agreed to kick German troops out and stay out of the rest of the fighting. This didn't make them so much Axis as the first country to enter the cold war with the Soviet Union. That whole mess should have given the other allies a good idea of what they are getting into with an alliance with them and what was to come.

[deleted]
2 points · 10 months ago

TIL Finland was friends with Germany

[deleted]
7 points · 10 months ago

"Friends" might not be the right word. It was basically the only way to survive.

In 1939 Hitler's Germany and Stalin's Soviet Union started WW2 simultaneously when attacking Eastern and Northern Europe. Germany and the USSR had agreed to split Europe in the Molotov-Ribbentrop deal. What the Finns call the "Winter War" lasted 1939-40 when the USSR attacked. Little Finland with 3.5 million citizens stood alone against the might of the USSR.

After the Winter War, Hitler flip-flopped and started selling arms to Finland when he saw them give them giving the USSR an ass-kicking. Finland used the help of the Germans to try and take back their lost territories in e.g. Karelia. This lead to what the Finns call the "Continuation War" (41-44), stemming from how everyone knew the world war, and Finland's part in it, wasn't over. In 44, after stopping the massive USSR summer offensive, Finland started negotiating for peace. At this point, Germany had lost the war in practice and had retreated far back. The USSR demanded a harsh peace. One of the demands was that Finland drove the Germans out of the country.

This lead to what the Finns call the "Lapland War" (1945). Initially, the Finns evacuated the former German brothers in arms, however, the Russians threatened to send the Red Army to "help" and the FDF now had to fight the Germans out. By this point, all the Germans that were left were in the far north of Lapland. The Germans took revenge by burning cities and villages and destroying infrastructure on their way to Norway.

By the end, Finland remained the only democracy to have fought with Germany, the only country attacked by the Soviet Union to remain independent, and Helsinki, along with London and Moscow, were the only European capitals to survive the war unoccupied.

Hitler's Germany and Stalin's Soviet Union started WW2 simultaneously

No they didn't - the USSR didn't enter Poland until the 17th September, when the Polish government had interned itself and the Polish state ceased to exist.

A few days difference in a war that lasted 6 years is hardly relevant to this discussion. The point is that Germany and the USSR started WW2 on the basis of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact and its Secret Additional Protocol. The USSR attacked Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland who all stood alone.

I'm pretty sure the Second World War started because Britain and France upheld their guarantee to defend Poland from an attack - they didn't go to war with the USSR because when the USSR 'invaded', there was no Poland - and at the time, the international community knew this.

they didn't go to war with the USSR because when the USSR 'invaded', there was no Poland - and at the time, the international community knew this.

Countries go to war for economics, power and politics. The Allies didn't care about who the USSR attacked because it didn't bother them as much as Germany's conquests. With that said, no one liked or trusted the USSR. Germany was simply a bigger threat to the west at the time. This is obvious when you simply look at what happened after the German threat was gone - all allies turned against the USSR - the next big evil in the world.

Now tell me, why exactly are you sitting there defending one of the worst regimes in history - the Soviet Union?

If you honestly think the Soviet Union constituted one of the worst regimes in history, I don't see the point in talking to you.

Co-Belligerent is a common way of phrasing it. They were enemies with the USSR, and Germany was on the same side in that sense. Before the end of the war, Finland dumped any alliance with Germany and turned toward the Western allies.

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