As Nazi Germany invaded Poland Sept 1 1939. Russian leader Joseph Stalin protectively pushed Soviet?
As Nazi Germany invaded Poland Sept 1 1939. Russian leader Joseph Stalin protectively pushed Soviet territorial claims into Poland, and military outposts into Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. He then asked for a Mutual Assistance Pact with Finland, and offered to cede Karelian lands in return for some strategic islands near Leningrad, relinquishment of some Finnish territory in the South East and far North, and garrison privileges in Hangoe.
In an attempt to avert hostilities, Foreign Minister Tanner and Minister without Portfolio Passikivi went to Moscow to negotiate the Russian claims. They returned unsuccessful to Helsinki.
November 30 1939 Russian attacked Finland's eastern frontiers all the way from the Arctic peninsula of Rybachi, through the eastern forest and swamp region down to the strong "Mannerheim Line" below Lake Ladoga. Warships and aircraft pounded the southern coastal region.
Finland's energetic defence drew international sympathy and assistance from volunteer bodies. The League of Nations expelled Russia from membership Dec 14 1939.
After 105 days of heavy fighting, the vast manpower of Russia overwhelmed Finnish resistance, and they were pushed back to Viipuri. Britain and France prepared and offered an expeditionary force but Finland did not call for it.
On March 13 1940 a four-man Finnish delegation, led by Premier Riti went to Moscow and signed a treaty coding about ten per-cent of Finnish territory; (1) a strip in the North-East including the Rybachi peninsula; (2) the Karelian isthmus including Wiipuri; (3) all the Finnish shore-line of Lake Ladoga. Russia also obtained 30-year lease on Hangoe Peninsula, transit privileges across Petsamo, and a railroad connection between the White Sea and the Gulf of Bothnia.