RED SNOW IN KARELIA
Soviet Union Attacks
Finland on all fronts November 30, 1939.
Winter War and
his 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.
The Finns are very mobile and
swift on their skis. This skill was used to great advantage in the defense
of their country.
When the Russians invaded Antti was
in Käkisalmi, Karelia, having joined the army that summer. Around Christmas time there was a relative lull
in the fighting. Antti was preparing his equipment, getting ready to go on a ski patrol behind enemy lines with his Jaeger regiment. 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. It was a fateful turn of events.
The patrol Antti missed never returned.
The patrol ran into a Soviet ambush and all but one were killed. Antti does
not know where the orders came from 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? from Roger Pratts book on Antti's memoirs