The Finnish-Soviet Winter War 1939–40 Stalin’s Hollow Victory from Osprey Publications

The Finnish-Soviet Winter War 1939–40
Stalin’s Hollow Victory



Author: David Murphy
Illustrator: Johnny Shumate

This 96-page paperback book is the 367th book in the Campaign series of books that are available from Osprey Publications.


Soviet Heavy Machine Gun Support Unit

This informative study explores the Soviet invasion of Finland, detailing the events of the Winter War of November 1939 to March 1940. The invasion was expected to be swift and decisive, however, the fighting qualities of the Finnish Army blunted the Soviet advance and inflicted high numbers of casualties. A combination of difficulties caused by the weather, the terrain, the Mannerheim Line defences and Finnish tactics resulted in a fascinating David vs Goliath type struggle.


Finnish Bofors AA Position

On 23 August 1939, a secret protocol was appended to the German-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact; as part of this, Finland was assigned to the Soviet sphere of influence. On 30 November that year, in an effort to protect against renewed German aggression in the East, the Soviet Union attacked Finland, beginning what became known as the Finnish-Soviet Winter War. This long-awaited addition to the Campaign series explores the events of the war of November 1939 to March 1940. Set against the background of the developing global conflict, the conflict saw the Finnish Army thwart the plans of the sizeable Soviet forces assembled against it, before finally being forced to concede. The major battles of the war, which took place in harsh winter conditions, are covered in detail, including the Mannerheim Line, the fighting in Ladoga Karelia and Kollaa, and the clashes in Finnish Lapland.


Soviet Tankers Winter Exercises 1939 With T-26


  • Origins of the Campaign
  • Chronology
  • Opposing Commanders
    • Soviet
    • Finnish
  • Opposing Forces and Order of Battle, 30 November 1939
    • Soviet
    • Finnish
    • Order of Battle. 30 November 1939
  • Opposing Plans
    • Soviet
    • Finnish
  • The Winter War
    • Opening Moves
    • Suomussaimima and the Raate Road, 23 December 1939 – 8 January 1940
    • The Battle of Tolvajarvi, 12 December 1939
    • The Kolla Sector 7 December 1939 – 13 March 1940
    • The Development of Finnish Tactics
    • Petsamo and Lapland 1939 – 1940
    • Tank Battle at Honkaniemi
    • Karelian Isthmus, 26 February 1940
    • Breaking the Mannerheim Line, February 1940
    • The Air War
    • The War at Sea
    • End Game, 15 February – 13 March 1940
  • Aftermath
  • The Battlefields Today
  • Select Bibliography
  • Index



Finish Troops Cutting Barbed Wire


Campaigns 367, The Finish-Soviet Winter War 1939-40, often called the Winter War was a conflict between Russia and Finland prior to Operation Barbarossa which was the German invasion of the Soviet Union. The Historian will greatly enjoy this book as it takes you through the campaign and some of the history of Finland. You learn in the Chronology that Finland was created in 1809 with Russia’s defeat of Sweden. Following this you are given 4-pages of dates with information on key events of Finland’s history. The wargamer or boardgamer will also enjoy reading about the history of this important campaign. The reader will gain a deeper insight not only into the campaign but also the commanders and tactics used. Finally, the Figure Painter or Modeler will gain inspiration from the photographs to create their own dioramas or small vignettes based on the Winter War.

This 96-page paperback book is the 367th book in the Campaign series of books that are available from Osprey Publications.




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There is a SPECIAL “Bundle Offer” available from Osprey Publications. If you choose a print and eBook format above, you get 25% off both!

(The photographs used in this review are copied with the permission of Osprey Publications.)

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