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A Frozen Hell: The Russo-Finnish Winter War of 1939-1940

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At 10:30 A.M. on November 30, 1939, a formation of Russian bombers dropped from a cloud bank to unload a salvo of bombs on Helsinki, the capital city ... Show synopsis

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Reviews of A Frozen Hell: The Russo-Finnish Winter War of 1939-1940

Overall customer rating: 4.500
sap055

Exceptional Piece of History

by sap055 on Mar 24, 2008

Outside of military or historical circles most people in the world have never even heard of the Winter War. It is a tragedy that it has been forgotten. Tiny Finland's struggle for survival against Soviet Russia from 1939 and throughout WWII is a fantastic part of modern history and a testimony to the fortitude of the Finnish people. This Soviet treachery perpetrated against Finland changed the course of WWII. My family came to the United Sates from Finland near the end of the 19th century. My great-grandfather used to say, "Never trust the Russian!" And, the Soviets military attack of Finland in 1939 just illustrate his point! His words are just as true today in the 21st century, "Never trust the Russian!" Trotter's work is a excellent piece on events in our history that should not have been forgotten.

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piafinn

Inspirational Bravery

by piafinn on Jan 21, 2008

I read this book to learn more about my Finnish heritage. I had heard about the Winter War, growing up, but I didn't really understand its significance until I read this book. Trotter takes you through some necessary background on the political situation at the time, the reasoning of the Russians for attacking Finland, the so-called 'hostile act' by Finland, and the development of the military genius of Field Marshall Carl Gustav Mannerheim, who not only led his nation through two wars with Russia, he led them out, still free, while other countries around them fell one by one. The famous guerillas on skis, dressed in white, sniping at the Russian officers and then taking off, was the origin of the sport of biathlon. There are amazing stories of the bravery of the Finns, with a single soldier with a pistol against a tank, the 'sausage wars', when cooks fought off hungry Russian soldiers, and many feints by the outnumbered Finns. The Finns in Karelia (Karjala) had to leave their homes and land in the face of the advancing Soviet army, but they burned down their homes so as not to leave any shelter for the enemy (they cleaned their homes first!) and then left boobytraps everywhere. They developed wooden mines to place under the frozen lakes, unrolled giant sheets of cellophane onto frozen lakes so they would look unfrozen from the air, forcing the Russians to go around, where they were more easily ambushed. They would surround sections of Russians travelling along the few roads through the dense forest, cut them off from their comrades, and starve them out. They would also snipe at them and cook nearby to torment them. The Finnish word, 'sisu' which loosely means bravery, guts, fortitude, stick-to-it-iveness and stubbornness, is a characteristic of Finns, which allowed them to fight against the Russians who vastly outnumbered them. I have a great admiration for the brave men who fought to defend the country of my birth against the Russians, and then against the Germans, in the continuation war later in WW2.

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