Support us on
Odds and Ends
20 12, 2:29pm
Mostly correct, but just a few minor details:
"The reason is simple: the UK only saw helping Finland as an excuse to occupy the iron mines in Sweden, to prevent Sweden from selling ore to Germany. However, Sweden, under pressure from Germany, couldn't allow that to happen."
It's not like Sweden needed pressure from Germany to object to the idea of having her territory occupied by the British and French to deny Germany access to the iron ore.
Sweden - just like Finland - was neutral and didn't want to be occupied by anyone, of course.
Sweden just has the luck of better geographic positioning, meaning we managed to avoid being dragged into the war while everyone around us was.
"When Germany began preparations for Operation Barbarossa, suddenly Finland became interesting for them. Just a couple of years earlier the Germans had considered Finns subhumans who could be thrown into the Soviet maw. Such a jolly ally."
It's certainly true Hitler didn't care about signing Finland off to the Soviet Union in the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, but actually claiming he saw the Finns as subhumans is going to far.
In the Nazi's warped racial theories, the Finns were Aryans, just as the peoples of the other Nordic countries.
Which only makes his willingness to sacrifice them to Soviet occupation all the worse actually, as the Soviets according to him were in fact subhumans.
"So, yeah, you are right: the UK and Finland weren't on the same side because nobody was on Finland's side."
True. Pro-Finnish sentiment was very strong in Sweden throughout the war, and we did what we could to help you, so we were always on your side in spirit - but we were of course not willing to actually enter the war to fight actively on your side.
But in all fairness - I don't think Finland had done so either, if the situation had been the reversed.
All the Nordic countries did their best to stay out of the war, but only Sweden had the geographical position that actually made it possible. Everyone else was attacked because one or more of the major powers wanted to occupy their territory for larger strategic reasons.