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Finland's War of Choice: The Troubled German-Finnish Coalition in World War II by [Lunde, Henrik O.]
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Finland's War of Choice: The Troubled German-Finnish Coalition in World War II Kindle Edition

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Length: 409 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Language: English

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This is certainly one for the military and political historian and a serious work of scholarship. * Military Modelcraft International * "This is a fascinating look at an important but little known area of fighting during the Second World War. Lunde has produced an excellent history of the crucial fighting in the north, the often confused political and diplomatic background and the troubled relationship between the Finns and their German allies." * * An under-examined corner of the Eastern Front: united only by their shared Soviet enemy, this coalition's lack of planning and ill-defined objectives meant the Germans stranded an army and the Finns sued for a separate peace. * World War II Magazine * Filling a gap in our understanding of World War II sums it up neatly for me. I'd always thought that Finland, like Switzerland, remained neutral during the conflict, and this present volume therefore comes as something of an eye-opener for me. Lunde's research into the politics and negotiations is second to none, and the result is a very readable account of one of the more surprising coalitions, albeit one that didn't survive, of the war. Fascinating. * * A detailed description of the odd coalition between Germany and Finland during WWII, and their joint military operations from 1941-1945 * Military Times * This book explores the unlikely coalition between Germany and Finland in the Second World War... * Britain at War * Overall a very interesting book, which cleanly knits together the different parts of the jigsaw, both military and political, and the different outlooks on the area from Finland, Russia and Germany. * * This book rises above just being a basic history of what was in reality a strategic backwater.... * World War II Re-enactors Magazine * Like the author's previous work on the Norwegian campaign, this is likely to be the definitive book on the subject for some time to come. * Miniature Wargames *

Product Description

A selection of the Military Book Club.

This book describes the odd coalition between Germany and Finland in World War II, and their joint military operations from 1941 to 1945. This is a topic often missing in English, though in stark contrast to the numerous books on the shorter and less bloody Winter War. That conflict represented a gallant fight of a democratic “David” against a totalitarian “Goliath” that caught the imagination of the world. The story of Finland fighting alongside a “Goliath” of its own has not brought pride to that nation and was a period many Finns would rather forget.

The prologue of this book brings the reader up to speed by briefly examining the difficult history of Finland, from its separation from the Soviet Union in 1917 to its isolation after being bludgeoned in 1939–40. It then examines both Finnish and German motives for forming a coalition against the USSR, and how—as logical as a common enemy would seem—the lack of true planning and preparation would doom the alliance.

This book posits that it was mind-boggling how the highly professional German General Staff allowed itself to accept the militarily unsound and shaky coalition that resulted. The war aims were not discussed or harmonized, there were no campaign plans with tasks and missions spelled out past the initial assault, no effective main effort established, inadequate force levels, and an unsound command structure with various headquarters. Practically every rule in the book was broken. The objective of linking up with the Finns in the Leningrad area was an important factor in Hitler opting for three main drives into the Soviet Union rather than an earlier OKH plan that called for only two.

After describing the operations during and after Barbarossa, this book describes how the Finnish theater became a blind ally for the Germans. Their strongest and best army was trapped both operationally and geographically in central and northern Finland, making virtually no contribution to the war effort. The Germans could not bring to bear enough forces to accomplish their objectives without substantial Finnish assistance, and that was not forthcoming.

The final chapters deal with the Soviet counteroffensive against the Finns in 1944. The Finns lost all their gains and quickly concluded a separate armistice. This left the German forces in Finland to simply vacate the territory, fighting between the Finns and Soviets alike as they tried to return to the main war. Jointly suffering 291,000 casualties, the only consolation was that the coalition had inflicted some 830,000 on the Soviets.

In this book, Henrik Lunde, a former US Special Operations colonel, and the renowned author of Hitler’s Pre-emptive War: The Battle for Norway, 1940, once again fills a profound gap in our understanding of World War II.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2675 KB
  • Print Length: 412 pages
  • Publisher: Casemate (22 February 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Australia Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004K1ETK2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #190,284 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most helpful customer reviews on 3.8 out of 5 stars 85 reviews
4.0 out of 5 starsI hate the book's title, but the book is pretty good.
15 December 2014 - Published on
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M. Frost
3.0 out of 5 starsGermany's Blind Alley in the North: A German View of their Finnish Co-belligerent
4 March 2012 - Published on
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Peter Viitanen
4.0 out of 5 starsBalanced, objective account of Finland/Germany becoming co-belligerents in 1941
24 August 2013 - Published on
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