Finland Winter/Continuation War Movie Recommendations

 

Since my post on The Winter War I got to thinking about a couple of movies that are definitely worth watching on the subject of Finland’s fight against Communism and true independence in the 20th Century.

FYI: As is the case with finding QUALITY movies lately, both of these are foreign productions made out of the sphere of Hollyweird and are subtitled in English.

 

Talvisota (The Winter War)

Set during the early days of World War 2. After Nazi Germany invaded Poland in September 1939, Russia attacked Finland in November 1939. Finnish reservists leave their homes and go to war. The film focuses on two farmers from the municipality of Kauhava in the province of Pohjanmaa/Ostrobothnia, brothers Martti and Paavo Hakala, serving in a Finnish platoon. Released in 1989.

 

 

Tuntematon Sotilas (Unknown Soldier)

Unknown Soldier tells the largely-ignored story of The Continuation War, a massive conflict between Finland and the Soviet Union that lasted from 1941-1944.

Probably the most realistic depiction of WW2-era infantry combat ever filmed.

A film adaptation of Väinö Linna’s best selling novel The Unknown Soldier (1954) and the novel’s unedited manuscript version, Sotaromaani.

June, 1941: Trapped between two repressive regimes, Finland has little choice but to ally itself with Nazi Germany against its traditional foe, although it manages to remain a democracy throughout. Virtually unknown in the WW ll arena, a brutal war against Soviet occupation takes place in the Far North. As the men of a Finnish infantry unit march through the forests of Karelia to regain territory lost to Russia in the Winter War of 1939, each of them soon realizes the horror and pointlessness of war. Except for their officers, more concerned about medals and personal glory than the lives of their men. A diverse group of men, all at odds with how they see themselves, each other, and the common cause–yet they are strengthened by a growing bond of camaraderie to each other and their loved ones. After huge personal sacrifice and a prolonged trench war, the outcome is inevitable, ending with a ceasefire in September 1944.

Know Your History: The Forest Brothers

Who were the ‘Forest Brothers’: The thorn in the Soviets’ side?

 

There is a long and storied history in the Baltic states of the fight against the scourge of Communism.

Let these Brave men and women be an example to all of us to Stand up to the Rising of the Red Tide of Communism in the 21st Century!

Because Killing Commies Never Gets Old!

 

 

Cold War Non-Fiction Book Review: Special Tasks – The Memoirs of an Unwanted Witness – A Soviet Spymaster

KGB

Published in 1994 by Little Brown and Co.; 509 pp

My Administration for Special Tasks,” Sudoplatov begins, “was responsible for sabotage, kidnapping and assassination of our enemies beyond the country’s borders.” The administration to which he refers was one of the key divisions in Stalin’s security police, an agency he headed from the summer of 1941 until he took over the Fourth Directorate, which was responsible for guerrilla warfare behind German lines. The assassinations included Trotsky’s, a project Sudoplatov directed and here describes in detail. Stalin met with him twice during the plot, and Sudoplatov gives a revealing account of the dictator’s mood and motives in commanding the murder.

Earlier he had personally killed Yevhen Konovalets, the leader of an migr Ukrainian nationalist organization, in Rotterdam with a bomb rigged in a box of chocolates. His long career began as a 14-year old in a special intelligence unit in the Ukraine (fighting the army of the same Konovalets whose inner circle he would penetrate 15 years later) and eventually gave him control over Department S, the organization responsible for gathering intelligence on atomic bomb research in the West and funneling it to Soviet scientists. Sudoplatov devoted himself to the business of grooming and deploying agents, counteragents and masters of deception and disinformation.

Given the intensely sensitive positions that he occupied for the period of high Stalinism, he is able to provide not only missing information on an astonishing range of questions, from the fate of Raoul Wallenberg to the impulses behind the anti-Jewish “Doctors’ Plot”, but also a clear picture of his grim organization’s inner workings. Yet, reader beware: at points Sudoplatov recounts things he could not have known (such as a given leader’s private motives) as though he did, and, in the book’s most discrediting section, he tars the famous principals in the Manhattan Project with the unsubstantiated charge of knowingly abetting Soviet agents in gathering the information Moscow so eagerly sought.

Read the Original Review at Foreign Affairs