Jukka Rislakki: Paha sektori. Atomipommi, kylmä sota ja Suomi [The sector of evil. The atomic bomb, the Cold War and Finland]

29 April 2011 | Mini reviews, Reviews

Paha sektori. Atomipommi, kylmä sota ja Suomi
[The sector of evil. The atomic bomb, the Cold War and Finland]
Helsinki: WSOY, 2010. 532 p., ill.
ISBN 978-951-0-36478-9
€ 39, hardback

This book explores the effects of the Cold War and nuclear weapons in Finland and northern Europe in the 1950s and 60s. The Finnish and US armies cooperated closely, without the consent – or even the knowledge – of the Finnish government and parliament. The Finns obtained intelligence on the Soviet Union for the Americans. The Finnish authorities provided around 100,000 aerial photographs of Finland to the US Air Force, and American planes used Finnish airspace to carry out surveillance of the USSR. The United States provided support to Finland by promoting trade between the two countries. When the Soviets carried out nuclear testing on the island territory of Novaya Zemlya, just 800 kilometres from Finland, in 1961, the CIA recommended the US launch a surprise nuclear attack on Novaya Zemlya as a show of force. That was never carried out, but radioactive fallout from the nuclear tests did spread over Finland – however, the Finnish authorities did not want to frighten people ‘unnecessarily’ by mentioning this. Rislakki’s book is based on previously secret archive materials, literature on the subject and interviews. It includes rare surveillance photographs and maps of possible bombing targets in Finland.
Translated by Ruth Urbom

 

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