Best The Winter War: The Russo-Finnish War of 1939-40Author William R Trotter –

It is not a dry book, despite being packed with information It will make you understand why Hitler began to see the USSR as a weak opponent, against which a war can be successfully won. A wonderful read, that as others have said required rationing other wise it would have been read in a day Has similarities to that of Beevor with personal stories of heroism thrown into an overall narrative The use of two chapters at the start of the book to explain the political events leading to the war and the personality of Mannerheim allows for a greater understanding of the events throughout This book is of particular use as it requires little knowledge of Finland before reading The maps are not of the clearest nature nut are of some use and do not impede the overall flow of the book All told this book is for anyone who enjoys a good tale of heroism on both a personal and national level. OnNovember , Soviet bombers unloaded their bombs on Helsinki, the capital of Finland Stalin s ultimatum, demanding the cession of huge tracts of territory as a buffer zone against Nazi Germany, had been rejected by the Finnish government, and now a small Baltic republic was at war with the giant Soviet military machine But this forgotten war, fought under brutal, sub arctic conditions, often with great heroism on both sides, proved one of the most astonishing in military history Using guerrilla fighters on skis, even reindeer to haul supplies on sleds, heroic single handed attacks on tanks, and with unfathomable endurance and the charismatic leadership of one of the th century s true military geniuses, Finland not only kept at bay but won an epic, if short lived, victory over the hapless Russian conscripts Its surreal engagements included the legendary Sausage Battle , when starving Soviet troops who had over run a Finnish encampment couldn t resist the cauldrons of hot sausage soup left behind by their opponents and were ambushed as they stopped to sup Although by sheer attritional weight of numbers Stalin eventually prevailed over the Finns, their pointed resistance enabled their country to remain free, even as other countries fell one by one I cannot put this book down started yesterday morning, it has just gone midnight im going to stay up to finish it I ve never read anything about military history before, but this is clearly written, easy to read without jargon, sometimes with humorous anecdotes There could be a few maps, and as one of the other reviewers said, some of the maps are missing place names which are mentioned in the text I wish there was a bibliography at the end but the author does admit it would be pretty useless to anybody who doesn t speak Finnish.I am a Finn but haven t lived there since childhood so missed this bit of my country s history at school It has some personal resonance for me, I even saw my grandmother s birth village in Karelia mentioned It really is a remarkable, rousing story. Reading the previous comments, I would like to add only one thing I am satisfied with the maps also, there are several in the book with different contents This makes me easy to follow the events of the war. sometimes I find it a bit hit and miss buying a history book I wanted to read about finns during ww2 and chose this book, and I am very glad that I did.It is written in a very well structured way, introducing people and places when they need to be introduced, and it gives a great mind set of the finnish and Russian attitudes of this war The maps and photographs are handy although the maps could have been a bit detailed, as the text refers to places that aren t shown on the maps.Overall I would say if it is the winter war you want to learn about then their is going to be something for you in this book, whether it is politics, military strategy, heroism, action or just daily life. This is a great little book which is very well written and presented It wants for very little and gives the reader all the information they need to form an effective, factual, picture of what the winter war was actually like The use of maps is very well done and the author has a way of making sense of the complex political and military situations in a way other authors find difficult.Lovely. Es un libro muy ameno que resume la guerra rusofinesa, yo lo le en un viaje a Finlandia y me cost despegarme del libro, est en ingl s. William Trotter s book provides a detailed and engaging account of the Winter War It is well written and structured, providing good contextualisation as to the path to war, the roles of key actors and events, detailed accounts of the various battles and how they fitted into the wider war, and gives a good overview from both Finnish and Soviet perspectives Personally, I would have liked a bit information about post conflict events, especially the subsequent war with the Soviets 18 months later and the final resolution at the Second World War s end Nonetheless, a very readable and informative account of the Winter War. Of the thousands Literally of War Books I have read in my 65 years this work would be in the top 5 Mr Trotter s research, analysis amd use of sources is superb That basis is further enhanced by a writing style which conveys the flow of events as well as the complex and sometimes bizarre personalities involved in this war which never should have happened He brought to life the Finns as a nation and as truly remarkablecitizen soldiers.I collect rifles of that conflict and ended up re oiling several of them after a night s reading The Finns took leftover Tsarist Mosin Nagant Model 1891 rifles and turned them into target grade rifles, continuing to do so until 1970 Their adaptive reuse of almost anything anyone could give them,voluntarily of by surrender still amazes me Mr Trotter brings all of this to life.A truly great addition to any library