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William Trotter's A frozen hell : the Russo-Finnish winter war of 1939-1940 PDF

By William Trotter

ISBN-10: 094557522X

ISBN-13: 9780945575221

At 10:30 A.M. on November 30, 1939, a formation of Russian bombers dropped from a cloud financial institution to dump a salvo of bombs on Helsinki, the capital urban of Finland. The wintry weather battle was once underway. Overwhelming superiority in manpower and guns eventually prevailed, yet now not earlier than Finland had written a saga of heroic resistance. it really is this too-seldom-remembered tale that William R. Trotter recounts in hearth and Ice. sixteen pages of photos

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Officers and men worked together to develop tactics and training methods that were specifically tailored to the nature of both the Finnish landscape and the Finnish national character. The forest itself dictated a strong emphasis on individual initiative and small-unit operations, a sort of “quasi-guerrilla” style of fighting. Marksmanship, physical conditioning, mental agility, orienteering, camouflage – these were the foremost soldierly skills drilled into Finland’s trainees. Unconventional tactics – ambushes, long-range patrols and raids, sniping, deception and the fine art of booby-trapping – these were emphasized over the more sophisticated divisional and brigade-scale maneuvers studied in the military academies of France and Great Britain.

There were too few of them for the Finns to tie down a single weapon in static defense; most likely, that gun chamber had housed nothing more potent than a Maxim machine gun. 63 The most striking difference between these fortifications and those of the Maginot Line was the fact that the French buried most of their forts inside hills and ridges, whereas the underlying granite of the generally flat Karelian Isthmus compelled the Finns to forego that additional protection – all of their bunkers and blockhouses were anchored to the landscape but did not extend very far beneath its surface.

The forest itself dictated a strong emphasis on individual initiative and small-unit operations, a sort of “quasi-guerrilla” style of fighting. Marksmanship, physical conditioning, mental agility, orienteering, camouflage – these were the foremost soldierly skills drilled into Finland’s trainees. Unconventional tactics – ambushes, long-range patrols and raids, sniping, deception and the fine art of booby-trapping – these were emphasized over the more sophisticated divisional and brigade-scale maneuvers studied in the military academies of France and Great Britain.

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A frozen hell : the Russo-Finnish winter war of 1939-1940 by William Trotter


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