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29 10, 4:05am
Few corrections, but mostly you are right.
1. Losing 11% against 100% what was USSR's plan is a lot of winning for a country that was outnumbered more than 10 to 1. I agree that we didn't really "win" but we sure as hell didn't lose either.
3. This is actually more ridiculous than you said. Finland didn't really want to fight against Germany because they were the only ones helping us. (Officially anyway. I don't mean to offend the volunteers). So when Germany lost Finland had to make it look like we were getting rid of the German troops, so we put up a fake war against them, while they were pretty free to just pack up and leave at their own pace. That scam didn't go on for long as allied countries told Finland to step it up or there would be even more sanctions. Then Finland had to actually force the Germans out. As you can imagine Germans didn't really like the fact that an ally suddenly starts fighting for real, so they decided to burn everything while retreating. At that point things got ugly.
The "what could Mannerheim do?" is really well said. At Winter war Great Britain actually wanted to help Finland, but because Sweden and Norway denied them access by land (sea was not an option as Russia held the gulf). So we were pretty much alone. Against freakking Russia! When Germany offered help on Continuation war you can't blame us for taking the help. If we go with the "what if" my money would be on no more independent Finland if we didn't get support from Germany.