Soviet Union Attacks
Finland on all fronts November 30, 1939.
Winter War and Continuation
is the story of The Finnish Army and the memoirs of a Finnish soldier,
Antti Olavi Joronen. On November 30, 1939, when the Soviet Union invaded Finland, Antti was in one of nine divisions of Finns against an army of
600,000 men divided into four main army groups over a 1000 km front. By
the end of December, 400,000 Russians were dead, wounded, captured or trapped.
When the Russians invaded, Antti was in Käkisalmi.
Around Christmas time there was a relative lull in the fighting and Antti
was preparing his equipment, getting ready to go on a ski patrol behind
enemy lines. A messenger had arrived in the night. The lieutenant was obliged
to take Antti and his friend Lauri Parsiainen out of the patrol and put
in two others, a fateful move.
The Finns were very mobile and swift on their
skis, a skill they used to great advantage in the defence of their country.
The patrol Antti missed never returned. They ran
into a Soviet ambush and all but one were killed. Antti does not know from
where the orders came removing him from the patrol. Antti often thinks
back and asks why? Why was that switch made at the last minute? Why did
he live and the others die?