Hannu Rautkallio: Mannerheim vai Stalin. Yhdysvallat ja Suomen selviytyminen 1939–1944 [Mannerheim or Stalin. The United States and Finland’s survival 1939–1944]

2 April 2015 | Mini reviews, Reviews

rautkallioMannerheim vai Stalin. Yhdysvallat ja Suomen selviytyminen 1939–1944
[Mannerheim or Stalin. The United States and Finland’s survival 1939–1944]
Helsinki: Otava, 2014. 463 pp., ill.
ISBN 978-951-1-27394-3
€39.70, hardback

In his book political historian Hannu Rautkallio explores American attitudes towards Finland during the Second World War, when the country fought a Winter War and Continuation War against the Soviet Union. He makes use both of older materials and of American documents that have only become accessible to researchers in the 2010s. During the war years two trends were dominant; one was sympathetic to the aims of the Soviet Union, while the other took a hostile view of them. The US political leadership had refused to support Finland in the Winter War, but as the World War progressed the United States tended to understand the small country’s objectives and also the special nature of its alliance with Germany. The two states shared intelligence and there were a large number of secret contacts with Finland’s top government leadership. At the end of World War II, the United States communicated to the Soviet Union, which was dictating peace terms to Finland, that it was important Finland should remain an independent state. Rautkallio’s account keeps branching out along interesting side-tracks, but the book’s central theme captures the reader’s interest.

Translated by David McDuff

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