British troops in Finland WWII

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by smartarse, Sep 1, 2009.

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  1. Apologies if I'm posting this in the wrong forum.

    I've just been presented with the following statement by somebody in an online discussion -

    "One area of expansion was in Finland. Here the Soviets came up against a British Expeditionary force who fought alongside Waffen SS units. And this in 1941!"

    I've never heard this one before.Anybody able to cast some light on it?
  2. Sounds like bilge to me! The Finnish Winter War was 1939-40, whilst some individuals may have gone over there as private volunteers (not sure), I doubt Britain deployed any troops to fight the russians in the Continuation War (1941-44), considering we were allied to the russians and the Finns were allied to the Germans! Souns like someones got his wires crossed to me, there was talk of sending an anglo-french force in 1939, but it came to nothing, a good thing since it'd've made the rest of WW2 rather more complicated, fighting the Nazis & Soviets at the same time...
  3. That was a common statement of Soviet propaganda; ironically this sort of fib has all been resurrected by Mr Putin as part of his return-to-Soviet-basics programme - this years Russian school text books are full of this sort of stuff.

    There were international volunteers assisting the Finns, but these were mostly in humanitarian or support roles - eg there were volunteers ambulance staff from UK and USA.

    AFAIK, the Finns also refused to allow any major Nazi formations on their territory, which is why Finland is/was regarded as a non-axis entity during WW2.
  4. Not quite true 4(T). There were volunteers in combat roles during the Winter War, though mostly from Scandinavian countries.

    Also the 6th SS Mountain Division spent a good bit of time in Finland.

    But to answer the original question, no that's nonsense. There was no British Expeditionary Force fighting alongside the SS at any time or anywhere.
  5. The film Max Manus Man of War (based on true story) had Norwegian volunteers fighting the invading Russians but no mention of any British (not to say there wasn't any)
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  6. Are you talking to Sergey behind our backs? 8O
  7. Alsacien

    Alsacien LE Moderator

    I have studied Finnish military history around WW2 in great depth, and can categorically state that is BS.
    I have a friend in his 50's whose father served in 6th SS Nord in Finland and Alsace, we have researched a lot....
    The winter war of 39-40 had quite a few Swedes (the Finnish aristocracy were largely Swedish aligned by birth or politics at the time), but that was it. Certainly no Brits as Britain was massively unpopular there then.
    The Continuation war was largely fought defensively within and around Finlands borders against the Russians. The Germans would have preferred to go for Murmansk or at least the railway, but were limited politically to raids only. As Britain was running convoys into Murmansk at this time it is ridiculous to suggest any British involvement on the ground.
  8. Yep - whoever made the statement had been drinking vodka - a lot! If you want to try for real tinfoil hat stuff google Viktor Suvorov.

    Absolutely barking but FFS don't let the truth get in the way of history!
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  9. There were a dozen or so volunteers that joined the SS during the war, but I don't believe that they ever saw combat and were all captured on the Eastern Front at the end of the war.
  10. Alsacien

    Alsacien LE Moderator

    ..not very.
    The first half of his conclusion is about right though.

    Motti tactics in the dark with -40 temperatures? Without native experience, good equipment and an understanding of Finnish language a foreigner would be a liability.

    Would not stop the septics making a film about it with them in the starring role though.... :roll:
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  12. Sort of on-thread, I suppose, but the Finns gave the Ivans a right fückin' malletting in that little war didn't they? They were outnumbered at least 6:1, but won! Marvellous stuff!

  13. Maybe Alsacien can update us but was there a punch-up when only a Soviet Div Comd and Political Commisar escaped? IIRC Papa Joe was so pleased they escaped I believe he Court Martialled them and had them shot.

  14. My Bold....Until June 22 1941 the Nazis/Soviets were allies...don't forget as a lot do of the two pronged attack on Poland in 1939...Oh and as a addition Poland of all the Axis occupied country was the only one that never surrendered...
  15. Thanks for that. Putin resurrecting propaganda would explain why the Marxist I was talking to heard it.

    I understand that in the Finnish Winter War, the Soviets lost over a million men whilst the Finns lost 25,000. It's also where Molotov cocktails were invented.