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3 Comments | Vintage
Finnish People’s Army was a formation founded under the auspices of the Soviet Union as an army for their puppet Terijoki Government during the Winter War. Originally the army was meant to be formed from the Finnic peoples living in the Soviet Union such as Karelians, Ingrians, Veps and Finnish emigrants. Though when these recruits failed to materialise, the Soviets recruited "sufficiently Finnish looking" Russians, Belarusians and Ukrainians. Their names were translated to Finnish and they were giving Finnish identity papers.
Despite these measures, the People’s army composed only of 22 600 men instead of the planned 80 000. The People’s army was equipped with captured Polish uniforms and weapons. The army was mainly meant as a propaganda tool and only saw limited action in rear area security duties and artillery action. The army was disbanded in 1940 and its soldiers were transferred to Soviet units.
I just read about their tremendous defence and fight against the Nazis in the early stages of WW2 (book by Anthony Beevor). And by gosh did they fight well. So much so they surprised the Nazis, who just kept sending more men. I am not sure if that’s the only part of the "winter war" that I know of, but it’s a big book so lets see if it includes any more info!
Where? I am Russian and all I see is a building.