The victory of the Soviet Union in the winter war
In the meantime, permutations were made in the leadership of the Red Army. Meretskov replaced S. Timoshenko. The Red Army received reinforcements, and the troops underwent intensive training, learning the close cooperation of infantry, tanks, artillery and aircraft. In February 1940, Tymoshenko, after massive artillery, aircraft and tank strikes on the Mannerheim line, broke through it (February 11-16), and on March 12, most of Vyborg (Wiipuri) was taken. Mannerheim, realizing that the situation was hopeless, advised the government to make peace. The Finns discussed the question of whether they should accept the help of the British and French, but they came to the correct conclusion that such assistance would be extremely limited. The Finnish delegation flew to Moscow, and on March 12, 1940 a peace treaty was signed. The next day, hostilities ceased. The Finns had to abandon the Karelian Isthmus, the second largest city of Finland, Viipuri (Vyborg), the territories to the west and north of Lake Ladoga and lease the Hanko Peninsula to the Soviet Union for a period of 30 years. The winter war is over.
This war had serious consequences for the Scandinavian countries. The Anglo-French plan to invade Norway and Sweden showed Hitler that Britain and France are showing interest in northern Europe. Therefore, he ordered his General Staff to develop plans for the complete seizure of Norway. As for the results of the war, there are two key points to note here. The victory of the Soviet Union created a dangerous situation in the region. Finland was deeply offended, her attitude toward her eastern neighbor became extremely hostile, and she wanted revenge at the first opportunity. When, 18 months after the Winter War, Hitler proposed to the Finns to become his allies in the war with the USSR, they agreed. Without the Winter War, Hitler would still have attacked the Soviet Union in 1941, but the invasion might have been planned differently, and the Finns would not have participated in it. (It is unlikely that the Finns would abandon their old plans of the “Great Suomi to the Urals”).
Secondly, the unsuccessful actions of the Soviet troops at first created the impression in Hitler that the Red Army would be easily defeated. In the report of the German General Staff, compiled at the end of December 1939, that is, after the failure of the first Soviet offensive, the Red Army said so: this army "in quantitative composition is a giant military education ... but its command personnel are too young and inexperienced. .. Any army with modern weapons and excellent commanders in all surpasses the "Russian mass". Or, as the Swedish historian Krister Jorgensen colorfully put it: “This war gave Hitler the impression that the Red Army was rotting at the root, and at the head of it were doodles who did not understand anything in military affairs. This opinion killed him. ” Therefore, Hitler and the Wehrmacht seriously underestimated the ability of the Soviet Union to resist, invading it in June 1941. best site to buy cvv
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