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Paperback The Winter War: The Soviet Attack on Finland, 1939-1940 Book

ISBN: 0811724336

ISBN13: 9780811724333

The Winter War: The Soviet Attack on Finland, 1939-1940

(Part of the Stackpole Military History Series)

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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

Paperback edition of Engle and Paananen's authoritative account of the Winter War.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Not worse than Trotter's book, just with different emphasis

A few reviews have unfavorably compared this book with Trotter's Frozen Hell, but they have missed the point. Trotter's book is an exhaustive look at the military aspects of the Winter War. If you are only looking for such a treatise, then buy Frozen Hell. But if you are looking for the humanitarian aspects of that conflict, then Winter War may be better for your needs. For instance, Winter War contains a photo of one of the many Finnish children who were tagged and shipped to Sweden for safekeeping, as well as a description of that tragic episode. Trotter not only omitted a photo on that subject, he does not mention it at all in the narrative.

The Finnish Spirit...Humor at it's best.

When the Soviets attack Finland in 1939, they were not expecting the Finnish welcome that they recieved. The Finns were not necessarily prepared but they were not caught unaware either. What resulted of this ill advised attack was shameful for the mighty Soviet military machine. First they were under equiped for prolonged war and severe weather. Second, they were fighting in a school book military campagin fashion. Both, were capitalized upon by the determined Finns, the first was in terms of weather, nature was at their side. Then secondly, the Finns fought in an un-orthdox gorilla type warfare that caught the Soviets by surprise. Eloise Engle and Lauri Pannanen's book is a joy to read. It is witty and fluent in prose and style. I have re-read this book often because it encourages me when things get hectic. The Finns never lost their sense of humor throughout this devestating invasion. They kept their wits about them and fought overwellming odds with good attitudes. This book is an excellent read for cold winter days, such as today. I recommend it for any would be military buff who wants to know about cold weather tactics or winter military campaigns. The depiction of the finns fighting spirit and humor in this book should make you smile. It is a modern day depiction of David against Golith, well worth the price.


This book is an easy read. It is not written in complex english and the average joe can sit down and read this book with little trouble.It is a wonderful book thats hard to put down. While it doesnt go into great deal about the political scene, It's full of action and battle scenes that inspire awe and respect for the Finns. The Russians SEVERLY underestimated the Finns, and their loses proves they paid the price.

Finnish Sisu!

Being of Finnish descent, I was very proud to read of the Finns and what they were able to accomplish against the Soviet aggressors. My father had talked often of the Winter War and this is the book that truly explains what sacrifices and hardships the Finns had to face during that fateful time in their history. Their "sisu" or pluck as some would call it, was quite evident in taking on a much larger enemy. Many young Finnish men were lost in the conflict, but it was their determination and "sisu" that have helped to keep Finland strong. The book was very nicely written and easy to read in an afternoon. There aren't that many books I could share with my father, but this was one of those rare gems that we both enjoyed reading. I highly recommend it to anyone to add to their history collection of WWII.

Do yourself a favor and buy this book!

I found the topic of the Russo-Finnish war so intriguing that I bought this book as well as the one by William Trotter (the only ones I could find). This book ("The Winter War") was a true pleasure to read, and exceeded my expectations. I was a little nervous when I bought it, given some of the poor reviews given by a few of the previous readers. My only guess is that they were thinking of a different book, or found the reality of the Soviet Union as an aggressor inconsistent with their worldviews. I should have been tipped off when the one reviewer questioned why the Finns didn't give Stalin what he was asking for! I read the entire book in a single day, and can tell you that it is an extremely exciting story. The book mixes actual accounts from those involved throughout the history, which makes it read like a novel. As far as the one reviewer's comments about the editor not having a good command of the English language, I honestly did not find any such problem. I was an English minor in college, and tend to be fairly sensitive to such problems. Rereading the review in question, I suspect that his real issue was with the portrayal of the Soviet Union as the aggressor. As far as the other book ("A Frozen Hell"), I sent it back for a refund. That book actually portrays Stalin as the victim!
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