The War Illustrated No 24 Vol 2 February 16th 1940

OS The War Illustrated February 1C Ih, 19104 Messages from Molotov5 for the Finns D e fences such as this have been the undoing of the Soviet Army so far. The scene is on the Salla front, where the Russians made des­perate attempts to cut Finland’s “waist.” W int e r’s grip on Finland is ap­proaching its maximum of intensity. In October the mantle o f snow and ice began to creep slowly but inexorably southward from the Arctic, and by December all the rivers and the ten thousand lakes o f the little country were icebound. The roads and forest tracks have long since been obliterated by the snow the railways have been kept open only with difficulty. The coasts have been fringed with solid ice, and ice-packs and floes cover the waters that separate Finland from Sweden on the one side and Estonia on the other. February is usually the coldest month in Finland, and from now until May the fast-deepening snowdrifts maybe ex­pected to hamper the activities of the ski- soldiers, while the movement o f most o f the mechanized transport will be halted altogether. Even when the thaw in—sets it maybe expected to begin sometime in March— mobility will be hampered by the soft snow and the floods and swampy con­ditions which will ensue. While the people of other lands are looking forward Oncc again the Finns may look back on a week o f victory at the front, but behind the lines the Red ’planes have wreaked their fury unchecked. Jn the air, Molotov— the Finns have come to see in the Soviet Premier the principal instigator o f the war— has had it all his own way. to the genial sun which will draw from the Mannerheim Line had been repulsed— out o f the frozen earth the buds o f spring, their bombers have been able to reach the Finns are dreading that same season, behind the front and have left behind for then the Russians, hampered no them along trail of death and destruc- longer by natural obstacles, will be able tion. Day after day and week after to launch on the heads of a devoted little people all the vast and terrible machinery o f modern war. Even now, however, though the in­vaders have made little progress, and all their frontal attacks have been beaten back with heavy loss— on Feb. 5 the Finns reported that the Russian ISth Division, o f 15,000 to 20,000 men, had been almost entirely destroyed near Lake Ladoga, and that the fresh onslaught on week the raids continue, for the Finnish Air Force is not yet large enough to cope A Finnish soldier is reading a Government poster warning the people that careless talk may help the enemy. The padlocked lips emphasize the point with dramatic force. Here is a road crash just behind the Petsamo front in Finland. On the icy surface a motor- omnibus skidded and came into collision with a lorry carrying a field-gun and ammunition. The vehicles burst into a sheet of flame, but an officcr and two privates risked being burned to death in an attempt to save the nri>cious load. Phntos. Planet S'cws This gallant old Finnish officer has rejoined the Army to do his part in driving back the invaders. As his armlet shows, he is with the garrison of Oulu.
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