The War Illustrated No 30 Vol 2 March 29th 1940

290 The War Illustrated March 29th, 1940 In Finland the Guns Were Silent at Last Since March 13 there has been peace in Finland— a peace, as the“ Osservatore Romano,” organ o f the Vatican, described it, “written in blood on the last snows.” Yet at least the Finns, by their courage and sacrifices, had been able to retain their independence. The “Ceasefire” sounded in the Russo-Finnish war at eleven a.m. (10 a.m. Finnish, time) on March 13. upRight to the last moment there was fierce fighting on nearly all the fronts Bolshevik bombers were raiding far behind the firing-line, the Finnish anti­aircraft guns were inaction, and the Red troops continued their advance across the ice against the Finnish positions on the southern coast. Then there was silence the war was at an end. The first news that many of the Finnish public had of the armistice was contained in the broadcast by M. Tanner, the Foreign Minister, that same morning. Ashe announced the terms flags were flown at half-mast, and while some who heard them stood or satin stony silence, others could not control their tears. The terms, indeed, were terribly hard, and they seemed all the harder because the iron censorship had prevented any spread of the knowledge of the Finns’ precarious military situation. The whole of the Karelian Isthmus, including Viipuri— gallant Viipuri which even yet had not submitted to th< tread of the invader— the shores of Lake Ladoga, territory about Kuolajaervi, islands in the Gulf of Finland, all this was to be overhanded as the price of defeat. Hango, too, was togo— to be leased by Soviet Russia for a period of 30 years anew railway was to link Kemijaervi and Kandalaksha a Soviet corridor was to be granted across Petsamo territory. Finally, Finland was to give a pledge of non-aggression and tot enter into anew trade agreement with Moscow. Such Carthaginian terms were hard to bear, and certainly undeserved. “We were not responsible for this war,” said M. Tanner, “but our country was forced Home les sand starving, Finnish women are fleeing to Den mark for safety. Here is a young Finnish mother who has just arrived in Copen­hagen with her baby. to defend itself.. The fight has been hard. Our army has had to exert all its strength. Our defence has surpassed all our ex­pectations. The army command has been right on top of its task. Our men have conducted themselves, I will not say like heroes, but like men. Only on the southern front have we retreated to any extent.” But, he went on, Finland is small reinforcements were necessary, but only volunteers were forthcoming. Repeated requests and appeals to the Scandinavian countries remained without response. The Western Powers had offered to send a fully-equipped expeditionary force, but, how could these troops get to Finland \The only possible route was through Sweden and Norway, but- these countries categorically refused to give free passage. The terms, M. Tanner concluded, were unexpectedly heavy, but the Government considered that peace was to be preferred to the continuation of an uncertain war. With such words of moving sadness Finland’s Foreign Minister acquainted the people with the fact,of their capitula­tion and with words equally touching in their solemnity Field-Slarshal Manner- heim, Commander-in-Chief of the Finnish army, issued an Order of the Day which was broadcast to the soldiers who had fought with such heroism and devotion under his command. “Soldiers of the glorious Finnish Army,” he began, “peace has been concluded between our country and the Soviet Union, an exacting peace which has ceded to Soviet Russia nearly every battlefield on which you have shed youi blood on behalf of everything we hold dear ant MHMMj ¦¦¦ mms mm 3$ m t Besides losing her su la Han go,at f the peace terms to which Finland» t o the Gulf o f Finland, to Russia for 30 years. T heS o vie tare to |including the porto f Hang o ,of which this is a general vie w,is to be Photos. Kevstone and WorldWide yearly rent o f about £302 a Russian military sing o f the strategical penin- 0,00 and the whole peninsula
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