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Finland was the only nation with an elected and democratic government to fight on the German side in WWII. Despite being small, poorly armed and made up of conscripts, the Finnish army was probably the most effective fighting force at the time, managing with practically no outside help to keep the mighty Red Army at bay for more than three months during the Winter War of 1939-40.
In 1944, the devastating Soviet mass attack against the Finnish army involved the largest artillery assault of the entire WWII theatre of operations up until this point. Nevertheless, the Finns eventually managed to halt the attack.
Most English books on Finland in WWII concentrate on the brief Winter War and make very little mention of the country’s involvement in the remainder of the war, where it fought for more than three years alongside the Germans against the Soviet Union, and later against Germany in the Lapland War.
This book examines this extremely important, highly dramatic and often overlooked and misunderstood chapter of WWII to a broad, English-reading audience. Building on the latest historical research, Claes Johansen’s ground-breaking work explains how the Finnish war effort was planned and executed, how it was connected to the overall events of the era, and how the waging of a total war can affect a modern democratic society militarily, politically, diplomatically and on various levels of civilian life.
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