Antti Joronen Gallery

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Finnish Troops in East Karelia 1942

Finns Enter Petrozavodsk, October 1, 1941
Petrozavodsk is the Eastern edge of the Finnish Realm, that was gradually taken over by the Czar's armies beginning in the 13th/14th Century.

Finnish mobile Guns

When Hitler attacked the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941, Finland knew the Soviet Union would strike because Soviet diplomats had said on several occasions that in the event of war with Germany, the Soviet Union would immediately launch an offensive against Finland. After the unprovoked attack and seizure of Karelia by the Soviets, Finland had no illusions about the future aims of Stalin. For this reason, Finland allowed German troops on its soil, which made it difficult to claim neutrality. The Finnish government prepared a declaration of neutrality, but on June 22 and June 25, 1941 the Soviet Air Force dropped bombs on a number of towns in Southern Finland.
On June 25, the Finnish parliament declared that a state of war existed between Finland and the Soviet Union. The new war was called "Continuation War" by the Finns because Soviet Union broke the treaty of March, 1940, and continued the Winter War. Finland found herself alone again, and on the wrong side of the war. Hitler offered supplies, which Finland found hard to refuse under the circumstances. But the alliance was informal and Finland did not cooperate any more than necessary, and certainly not in turning over Jews to him as requested. The Finns knew what genocide was from experience, and wanted no part of it. In 1941 the Russians had the advantage of territorial gains of 1940. Now they wanted it back. Under International Law, since Russia attacked Finland on November 30, 1939, Karelia is occupied territory and Russia had no right to hold onto it. Finns were and still are the rightful owners of this land which was 1/10 of Finland.

The Finns were not Nazis contrary to Churchill's accusations in which he called Finland "Nazi ridden." Yes, volunteers fighting a common cause joined Hitler SS to the great shame of the Finnish people, but Finland itself was not under any Nazi government. Finns had enough on their plate just staying free.

Russians love to legitimize their war booty of Karelia by claiming they "liberated" it from "Nazis." If this is true, why did they keep Karelia and not turn it over back to the karelian people? Russians never cease to amaze this writer, as one Pole said "Russians can deny the nose on their face." Finns try not to hold any grudges, but we tend to be cautious when dealing with our neighbor. When Russia attacked in 1939, it was "Fascist" if using the same criteria they used in 1941. The Finnish Movie "Unknown Soldier" is about the Finns taking back what is theirs. The writer's father, had been a radio operator in the Winter War, was now on Lake Ladoga mopping up Russian held islands, and rose to the rank of sergeant. Antti was familiar with his Karelia province and was a good fisherman, but refused to hunt animals. The movie is about his Winter War regiment

Finland did what it could to let food supplies through to Leningrad, refusing German requests to do otherwise. Most of the nuisance was caused by Hitler's submarines in the North Sea. Field Marshal Mannerheim himself said he did not want the blood of the Leningrad people on his hands. Unlike Russia, Finland would not sign a formal alliance with Hitler, but was only a co-belligerent fighting to regain Karelia, which has special significance to the Finnish people, their identity. By attacking Finland, Stalin gave Hitler the confidence he needed to bring Barbarossa onto the Russian people, and forced Finland and any other country fighting Communism to fight with the Germans.

Finland had a Social Democratic government since just after WW1 with no interest in fascism whatsoever. Of course there were fascists in Finland as in other countries, but the Finns themselves and their leaders were not. If Finland was a fascist sympathizer, (as were the Soviets in 1939) then Churchill and Roosevelt, who began a campaign of demonizing the Finns, must have been Communist sympathizers. It was a totally false accusation. Finland had a "Level Swastika" as a symbol before Hitler and it was in no way connected with Hitler's Fascist regime.

After Poland was betrayed by Britain, every meeting by the Allies with Stalin produced yet another betrayal of Eastern Europe and Finland. Many troubling questions about the Allies' assumptions and motivations remain. Both Hitler and Stalin being just as bad, can Churchill claim to be more holy than Mannerheim? Did Churchill say Finland was fighting for freedom and justice? Absolutely not! Were not both men fighting evil regimes? Was Churchill himself helping Stalin with his evil deeds? Did Churchill's support of forced return of citizens of Soviet Union actually condemn them to death? There is a lot of evidence to implicate the Allies in joint collaboration in these activities and many excuses have been offered to justify them, or they were unmentionable events. Investigative journalism by the press largely ignored these evils, to their shame, as they did Stalin's murdering purges, but there are a few journalists/writers like this one,who will not let these facts die. So perhaps Stalin had converted his two friends to his way of thinking. Perhaps they thought that some form of Socialism was a good thing, and Stalin was on the right track. Obviously they thought that these concepts were opposite of what Finland stood for. Who was in the right? Who had the moral high ground? "Finland, Rumania, Hungary and others of the Nazi ridden or Fascist ridden States."

Finnish treatment of Russian POW's
Finnish advance to East Karelia, the ancient ethnic home of Finnish/Karelian people. Including the writer's ancestors.
The end comes, 1944

Final Days of the War 1944 - shows Finnish delaying tactics. (Finnish)

Finns retreat in the Lake Ladoga sector.

In 1944, Finland made peace with the Soviet Union and the Allies, and chased German troops, that burned and destroyed Finnish property in their retreat, to their bases in Norway. This was called the Lapland War. The tragedy of this whole thing is that if the Allies had forced Russia to reinstate the borders of 1939, Finland might have fought with the Allies. Instead they forced Finland to accept aid from Germany, and allowed Russia to retain its gains of 1939. 1944 and 1945 were the years of betrayal of Finland and Eastern Europe. The writer's parents, a newly wed couple, had to abandon their homes and run for their lives in 1944. Now Russians are living in what were Finnish homes, and working in what were Finnish factories, and owning what were lovely and prosperous Finnish farms thanks to the massive aid provided by the allies. This must be reversed if the west claims to be for justice. Today the Russian government vehemently opposes Jewish occupation of Arab lands. Would these justice loving people like to return the land they took from the Finns? Absolutely not because they were conquering while pretending to defend themselves.
Lend Lease Weapons sent from the US to the Soviet Union

Finnish Air Defenses

Finnish Brewster 239 "Buffalo"

Finnish Air Force in Action

Finnish Air Force "Aces"

Juutilainen Eino
Wind Hans
Luukkanen Eino
Lehtovaara Urho
Tuominen Oiva
Puhakka Risto
Puro Olavi
Katajainen Nils
Nissinen Lauri
Karhila Kyösti
Karhunen Jorma
Vesa Emil
Järvi Turo
Alakoski Klaus
Tervo Altto
Saarinen Jorma
Kinnunen Eero
Tani Antti
Myllylä Urho
Suhonen Väinö
Pyötsiä Viktor
Teromaa Erik
Pekuri Lauri
Huotari Jouko
Turkka Yrjö
Sarvanto Jorma
Lumme Aulis
Riihikallio Eero
Halonen Eero
Alho Martti
Nuorala Aaro
Lampi Heimo
Kokko Pekka
Pallasvuo Yrjö
Sovelius Per
Aaltonen Lasse
Sarjamo Urho
Paronen Onni
Koskinen Eino
Laitinen Ahti
Ahokas Leo
Törrönen Iikka
Nieminen Urho
Leino Hemmo
Erkinheimo Niilo
Kalima Martti
Metsola Kai
Peltola Eino
Lahtela Kullervo
Karu Veikko
Pasila Mikko
Kirjonen Mauno
Berg Paavo
Kauppinen Viljo
Hillo Jaakko
Mattila Ture
Savonen Joel
Inehmo Martti
Lyly Erik
Bremer Aulis
Porvari Valio
Jutila Lauri
Trontti Nils
Virtanen Väinö
Tomminen Toivo
Huhanantti Tatu
Linnanmaa Aarre
Salminen Pauli
Virta Kelpo
Avikainen Onni
Hattinen Lars
Durchman Matti
Nurminen Pentti
Gerdt Aimo
Ikonen Sakari
Magnusson Gustaf
Kauppinen Osmo
Lautamäki Lauri
Fräntila Mauno
Keskinummi Kosti
Mellin Paavo
Rimminen Veikko
Kiljunen Aaro
Tilli Pentti
Ehrnrooth Erkki
Myllymäki Jouko
Evinen Veikko
Lakio Vilppu
Lindberg Kim
Massinen Pauli
Nyman Atte
Pokela Väinö
Kajanto Jaakko
Koskelainen Arvo
Alapuro Veikko
Joensuu Antti
94 1/6 kills(Top Messerschmitt Bf 109 ace with 58 kills)
75 kills (Top Brewster B-239 ace with 39 kills)
56 kills
44 1/2 kills (Top Morane MS 406 ace with 15 kills)
44 kills (Top Fiat G.50 ace with 23 kills)
42 kills
36 kills
35 1/2 kills
32 1/3 kills
32 1/4 kills
31 1/2 kills
29 1/2 kills
28 1/2 kills
26 kills
23 1/4 kills (Top Curtiss 75A ace with 15 3/4 kills)
23 kills
22 1/2 kills
21 1/2 kills
21 kills
19 1/2 kills
19 1/2 kills
19 kills
18 1/2 kills
17 1/2 kills
17 1/12 kills
16 5/6 kills (Highest scoring ace during Winter War with 12 5/6 kills)
16 1/2 kills
16 1/2 kills
16 kills
15 kills
14 1/2 kills
13 1/2 kills
13 1/3 kills
12 5/6 kills
12 3/4 kills
12 2/3 kills
12 1/2 kills
12 1/2 kills
12 1/3 kills
12 kills
12 kills
11 1/4 kills
11 kills
11 kills
10 3/4 kills
10 1/2 kills
10 1/2 kills
10 1/2 kills
10 1/4 kills
10 kills
10 kills
9 3/4 kills
9 1/2 kills
9 1/2 kills
8 kills
8 kills
8 kills
8 kills
8 kills
7 1/2 kills
7 1/2 kills
7 1/2 kills
7 kills
7 kills
6 1/2 kills
6 kills
6 kills
6 kills
6 kills
6 kills
6 kills
6 kills
5 5/6 kills
5 5/6 kills
5 3/4 kills
5 1/2 kills
5 1/2 kills
5 1/2 kills
5 1/2 kills
5 1/2 kills
5 1/2 kills
5 1/3 kills
5 1/3 kills
5 1/6 kills
5 kills
5 kills
5 kills
5 kills
5 kills
5 kills
5 kills
5 kills
5 kills
5 kills
5 kills
5 kills
Finnish Air Force had altogether 96 aces

The Brewster Buffalo had the worst reputation as a fighter aircraft, yet when this machine was in the hands of extraordinary skill of these Finnish pilots, they were a God send. Only when the received the ME 109G was it apparent that the Brewster was a poor fighter though the Finns made it better than any others. For one, the installed a more powerful engine - 940 hp compared to the 600 hp of the Brewsters fighting Zeros in the Far East. They had problems with power at higher altitudes. The kill ratio more than doubled with the 109G. For every Finn shot down, an amazing 25 Russians bit the dust.

Finland's Soviet War Debt

    The demands Russia made on Finland after the war were outrageous - and they had to be paid in eight years. Here are two of the 589 narrow gauge locomotives manufactured by Tampella (of Tampere) and Locomo, bound for the Soviet Union. (What, they want payment and Karelia too?) This payment was just a slap, the real loss was Karelia itself, the price of which would be astronomical, in fact priceless. The Russians may have been given as many as 60 000 saunas. Finland is exploring peaceful solutions to repatriation of Karelia. There would be benefits to both sides.

    Here is a partial list of manufactured goods (US$300,000,000 - actual value was close to US$570,000,0000 - discrepancy due to pricing basis used) sent to the Soviet Union:
    Narrow gauge locomotives by Tampella and Locomo 
    300 ton schooners with 225 hp diesels by Valmet - 
    800 hp deep sea trollers - 
    3200 ton freighters - 
    2000 ton steel barges or tankers - 
    1000 ton barges - 
    150 hp river tug boats - 
    Tampella TS 7 metal lathes - 
    Paper machinery - 
    Cardboard machines - 
    Miscellaneous industrial electric motors - 
    Modular houses (USD) - 
    Lumber handling vehicles - 
    Wire Cable (Tons) - 
    Miscellaneous e.g.. Cranes by Kone oy 
    The rich and beautiful province of Karelia 
    The Karelian Culture 
    27 431
    7 000 000
    21 087

      In hindsight, the Finns could have done better to fortify the Karelian Isthmus during the years 1941 - 44. Almost three years were wasted, in which time Finland would have had impenetrable fortifications in place. Also problematic was that the 8th Division was pulled back from the Karelian Isthmus a week before June 9, 1944 when the Russians attacked. The 10th Division that came to replace them were not familiar with the terrain.

      Roosevelt wanted to keep Stalin on his side to help defeat Hitler, but also to finish off Japan in Manchuria because the atomic bomb could not be relied upon. In order to sway public opinion to support his friend Stalin, it was necessary for Roosevelt to convince the American public that Stalin was no longer the Communist bogey-man he used to be. He was good now, and he should get aid. All Stalin wanted was to "defend the fatherland," that was it. However, this delusion was to be Roosevelt's undoing, for Stalin did not separate the military from the political. Stalin's defense policy was two sided: one defense, the other aggression - just another round in the battle between Communism and "Imperialism."

      The agreement that the Grand Alliance signed did not allow for a separate peace with any country, which was perfect for Stalin. When Churchill made overtures to Stalin about the possibility of Finland being pulled out of the war in 1943, Stalin just reminded him of their deal that they must all agree to such a move. The wording of the alliance sealed Finland's fate. A separate peace may have saved Karelia, but Stalin's plan was to deal with Hitler, then attack the Finns with overwhelming strength of arms acquired in the Lend Lease deal on D-Day. Stalin promised to attack from the East on D-Day to crush German resistance, but instead, attacked Finland. A Defensive Victory.

      In any war where Britain and United States sides with Russia, the countries Russia preys upon become enemies by default.

      Churchill writes in his book The Hinge of Fate, page 751 that Premier Stalin turned down Roosevelt's offer to take Finland out of the war:

    United States: Arsenal of Democracy

    for "...peoples of the world who are determined to remain free..."

      The Lend Lease Bill was introduced into Congress in January 1941 after Roosevelt's December 30 1940 speech calling for all out aid to Great Britain and her allies, becoming law in March 1941. This was to empower the president to sell, transfer, exchange, lease, or lend war supplies to any nation whose defense was deemed by the President to be 'vital to the defense of the United States.' "Rapid and united effort by all of the peoples of the world who are determined to remain free will insure a world victory of the forces of justice and of righteousness over the forces of savagery and of barbarism." He was a brilliant persuader of the American people to get them to agree to this plan. Initially the mandate was to supply Britain, but when Hitler attacked the USSR, Roosevelt could freely give aid to that country too. Many Americans did not agree with this policy because they did not trust Stalin like their president did. The agreement that the Soviets signed said that payment for the equipment would be made at mutually agreed terms at the end of the war. Another bad deal, for no final agreement was ever reached with the Soviet Union.

      Roosevelt, loved by millions of Americans for his achievements at home, was actually a
      communist sympathizer, and campaigned the American people to trust Stalin. Dispite his glowing legecy at home, he left a shadow over Europe, one which contained the evil shape of a hammer and sickle. The truth must come out no matter who it is; the world cannot tolerate glossing over facts when those facts implicate people in genocide. The American people had supported little Finland since Russia attacked in 1939, and most were not convinced by the propaganda film. Every country in Europe now became a victim of Stalin and Hitler, the evildoers, regardless of side, a fact that escaped both Roosevelt's and Churchill's understanding. Certainly, Finland can be accused of collaboration with Hitler, but the same applies to Stalin. Can anyone blame Finland for not wanting to end up like the rest of eastern Europe, a satellite of Russia? If not, then why did Finland deserve the harsh terms and the loss of Karelia? Finland was sold out to Stalin in a cascade of post war mistakes in favor of the beast called Stalin.

      Well, so much for Roosevelt as a good judge of character, for one of the most savage and barbaric of all was his friend and confidante Joseph Stalin. Roosevelt was the worst president in history of the United States if we consider the results of his leftist policies during the war. His contribution to Stalin's success is incalculable, and he contributed to the loss of Karelia and Finland's position after the war. By so doing he revealed his ignorance of what Communism and Stalin stood for; despite all the evidence at his disposal, this man refused to believe communism or Stalin was any kind of threat to freedom and justice.

      Apparently Roosevelt also ignored Finland's position with respect to preserving Soviet Union's security, and in particular, Leningrad. Mannerheim was against attacking Leningrad; nor did he allow Finnish troops to cut off food supplies bound for the besieged city. Finland was not interested in Hitler's plan of world domination, nor in any theories of a master race, or any such fascist nonsense. Her goals were, self preservation and the return of Karelia. It was useless to become Stalin's ally, he would just send his army in and that would be the end of Finland. She chose instead the "lesser" of the two evils, Adolf Hitler.

        And the Lord commanded all people to love their neighbors: "You shall not covet your neighbor's house. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor." - Holy Bible

        Premier Stalin to Premier Churchill: Mar 15, 1943

        On March 12 the American Ambassador, Admiral Standley, on behalf of the U.S.A. Government, conveyed to Mr. Molotov the following message:

        "The Government of the U.S.A. offers its good offices as intermediary between the U.S.S.R. and Finland in order to explore the possibility of a separate peace."
        On Mr. Molotov's question whether the American Government has information that Finland desires peace and what is her real position, Admiral Standley replied that he cannot say anything on the matter. As is well known, the Anglo-Soviet Treaty of May 26, 1942, stipulates that our countries cannot negotiate on the conclusion of a separate peace with Germany or her Allies otherwise than by mutual agreement. I consider this a fundamental and unalterable principle. In view of this I felt it is my duty first to inform you about the American proposal and second to ask your opinion on the matter. I have no reasons to believe that Finland really desires peace, that she has decided already to part with Germany and to offer acceptable conditions. It seems to me that Finland has not yet escaped from Hitler's claws, if she has this intention at all. The present Finnish Government, which concluded a peace treaty with the Soviet Union and then violated it and attacked the Soviet Union in alliance with Germany, is hardly able to break with Hitler.

        Notwithstanding all that, in view of the proposal made by the Government of the U.S.A., I deemed it my duty to inform you of the above."

        To which the Prime Minister replied: "You can best judge of how much military value it would be in the struggle against the Germans on your front to get Finland out of the war. I should suppose that it would have the effect of releasing more Soviet divisions than German divisions for use elsewhere. Further, the defection of Finland from the Axis might have considerable effect on Hitler's other satellites.

        Generally speaking, I should have thought that the Finns would be anxious to withdraw from the war as soon as they are convinced that Germany must be defeated. If so, it seems to me that it might not be altogether premature for you to ask the United States Government whether they know or could find out, without disclosing your interest, what terms the Finns would be prepared to accept. But you will be the best judge of the right tactics."

        Roosevelt believed that Americans and Russians both stood for "democratic" government, and that Finland stood for Fascism! It was only towards the end of his life, when Russian intentions in Poland could no longer be overlooked, that Roosevelt came to understand the interpretation that Stalin put on democracy. He trusted Stalin so much, and believed he would not betray him. But Roosevelt's naive, wishful thinking was dead wrong. There would be so much suffering and injustice from trusting this man, who had demonstrated time after time, what and who he really was. Accusations about Stalin's murderous conduct poured in from such countries as Poland, but Stalin denied them all (eg. Katyn massacre).

        Churchill's position was that he could not begin to deal with them and Hitler too. Churchill was afraid to hurt Stalin's feelings; Stalin might be sad and he wouldn't want that. Stalin wanted Karelia; he would get it, and everything else. His attitude cost millions of lives and untold suffering.

        When finally in 1944, the Soviet Union began its move West, an attempt was made to annex Finland a second time, which had nothing to do with beating Hitler who was already beaten. The Americans and British would have allowed it.

        When the war was over, the allies agreed that all Soviet citizens should be sent back to the Soviet Union to labor camps to their deaths, at the point of a gun if necessary. Stalin did not want any news about his paradise to be spread around. Thousands were sent back between Finland and the Croatia. This was a great crime against humanity rivalling Stalin's genocide. Read this. In 1945 Roosevelt proudly boasted: "the flag of freedom flies over all of Europe."

        May 9, 2005: Marked the 60th anniversary of the defeat of Hitler. Putin described May 9, 1945 as "a day of victory of good over evil, freedom over tyranny." The problem with Russians is they only see the war from their own perspective. If they want to think that this war made their people free, that's fine. But it did not. There was no freedom for their own people, nor the countries they enslaved in Eastern Europe. There was no freedom for the 420,000 Karelians kicked out of their homes as the request of Stalin, and the approval of his Allies.

The Big Three in Yalta