Talk:Stalin's ten blows

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Assessment[edit]

I am giving this a Start-class assessment becuase I would like to see more sources added to the article for increased coverage and accuracy. TomStar81 (Talk) 01:11, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

Thats better. You will need more than just this one reference for any further upping on the assessment ladder, but otherwise its good. TomStar81 (Talk) 02:14, 29 September 2008 (UTC)

Comparison of German and Soviet forces, January 1944.[edit]

I wonder if this is needed or useful in this article because the article reflects more on the political and propaganda value of victories than any military significance. The overall correlation of forces was of course useful in that the Stavka was able to create local numerical superiority required for offensives--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 20:59, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

I think it is useful, because it demonstrates how Hitler's order of all new men and material to the Western Front resulted in such inadequate resources for the German forces. If you can think of a better way to integrate it into the article than a table I'm all for it, but I think that it is interesting to have in there, in some form. Joe (Talk) 21:18, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

Order and names[edit]

Mmm, just commenting on the recent changes. Thanks for adding the information about Stalin's speech and such, but first of all none of the additions were referenced, and I would also disagree with the order of the operations, and their names. The Russian wikipedia article is not infallible, and that seems to be where most of the information came from. For example, my sources consider the liberation of Odessa as part of the Dnepr-Carpathian Offensive, not the Crimean Offensive. I have left this as it is for now, but it would be better mentioned under the second offensive.
About the ordering, although I often see Dnepr-Carpathian discussed after Leningrad-Novgorod, it was first chronologically. Shouldn't it be in chronological order?
Also, I don't know where you got the "Crossing the West Ukraine border" for the Lvov-Sandomierz offensive. I can't find this in any source or on the Russian wikipedia, and have changed it back for now. Also, can the forcing out of the war of Finland be sourced, with something more reliable than the Russian wikipedia? It sounds extremely awkward as it is, and I've removed it, although you can re-add it if you wish.
While many of your changes make sense and are corroborated by the Russian wikipedia, these do not from what I can tell. Joe (Talk) 21:17, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

I'll get to referencing Joe. Actually I spotted your addition of this article only last night, and have my own version on my PC, which I had been thinking of creating but always other things get in the way. For example current offensives for the Dnepr-Carpathian Strategic Offensive. You need to understand that the "ten blows" were not delivered as named operations in the speech, but were later printed in the newspapers as such from the conference notes. The speech was not made for military purposes since few Moscow's deputies had any idea about ongoing military operations, but were intended to reap maximum political reward. For example the singling out of Odessa was because of the further morale blow that dealt to Rumanians who had lost well over 100,000 casualties taking it in the first place, but had to surrender it virtually without a fight. was just another "blow" as Germans spent massive resources on that campaign, and had even issued a special shield commemorating its conquest, etc.
By the way, what part of it was in the DYK?--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 21:28, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
All right, fair point about Odessa. I'll accept that. Still, you didn't answer my question about ordering the offensives, and the Dnepr-Carpathian did come first (the only one started in 1943), and the name of Lvov-Sandomierz.
The DYK was just something basic, along the lines of "that the Soviet Union dubbed 1944 the year of ten victories for ten successful military operations in that year?" I figured since it's an obscure enough phrase that would work better than something more detailed. Joe (Talk) 21:39, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
I didn't actually word from the Russian wikipedia, but from a Russian site that documents old newspaper stories that made news, and this was one of them. I think they listed the victories in the order in which Stalin gave them in the speech, and not in chronological order, and that includes the crossing of the western Ukranian border. I will try to find the text of the original speech online because I don't have it in my library, I'm sure. I really reserve my opinion on DYK, because several times I have found they were "half baked facts". The notion of the year of ten victories is Willmotts alone, and never was used in Soviet Union. The more I read of his book, the less authoritative he sounds to me for a professor.--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 22:24, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
Mreh, the World at Arms: The Reader's Digest Illustrated History of World War II also uses the term, as well as Russia at War 1941-1945 by Alexander Werth, which states it clearly, on page 764. While I am starting to doubt Willmott, so far I have not seen anything wrong with Werth's accounts, and his description of the victories closely matches yours. However, if we're going to write the article based on Stalin's speech, which I will not object too, and his speech mentioned it as you related, OK.
Incidentally, I have created a campaignbox for this that I was planning on adding to the articles on battles in this; see Template:Campaignbox Year of Ten Victories. I'll edit it to reflect the new title and the changes you've made before I add it though, however I may need a couple of days - really busy offline now. Joe (Talk) 00:09, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

Dubious, NPOV[edit]

With regards to the edit on the Vyborg-Petrozavodsk Offensive, the information is not dubious, and I have added citations to reliable sources for it. The Werth source clearly says, on page 906 as well as where the citation is, that Soviet forces had "stopped at the 1940 Finnish fronteir, and did not go beyond it. They were giving the Finns time to reflect." The Wright source also clearly says that they stopped voluntarily, on or slightly past the 1940 border, on page 343. "On June 15, the Finns were forced to draw back to their final, VKT Line, which streched from Viipuri to Kurarsaari, then east along the Vorksi river to Taipale." While I agree that this line is not across the Finnish border, it is very near it. Also, your wording on the footnote is not particularly NPOV ("shattered"?) I would question the "unable to fulfill the orders" quote as well, it contradicts what both my sources say. Joe (Talk) 23:38, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

One task, which I have found really frustrating is the fight against ignorant historians writing in English who are using solely Soviet second and third hand sources and thus repeating Soviet war-time and post-war propaganda. Even Glantz is not immune on that, as witnessed his inclusion of South-East Army to the Finnish OOB in his book about Leningrad. Finnish language is not the easiest one, but one can get a couple embarrasing moments less if one bothers to check facts from the both side sources. But to the facts on the ground...
"...very near it." At the closest point at Vyborg, Soviets were about 40km from the border, at Taipale they were almost 150km from the border.
Wright is correct in stating that Finns retreated to VKT-line, but his wording confuses the fact that VKT was the final line in the sense that Finns were able to stop Soviet advance there and didn't have to retreat to the Salpa line, which was still behind VKT. And at least from the quote you gave, there is nothing about voluntary stopping of Soviets.
"shattered" Instead of this word, I could have used the following: "Most of the men of those two divisions were able to escape Finnish encirclement by abandoning all their heavy equipment, artillery, trucks and mortars and fleeing through the roadless forest with their handarms. After they reached Soviet lines, they were forced to spend several months to recuperate from the losses and wounds, and before their heavy equipment were re-equipped." Better?
"unable to fulfill the orders" is a direct quote from the Platonov's book, which is generally considered official Soviet military history of the Siege of Leningrad. It is supported by archive material about messages between STAVKA and Marshall Govorov, see Talk:Strategic_operations_of_the_Red_Army_in_World_War_II#Vyborg_operation_dates. It was only later, when politically correct historians started to interpret things when the idea of Soviet voluntary stopping was invented. It was just as voluntary as German stopping at Bastogne.
You should be critical about your sources and not parrot everything they say. Basically, you have two books written by British/American historians, and your interpretations of them, based on the quotes you have referred, as they seems not to say directly that Soviets stopped voluntarily. I have both Finnish (Maanpuolustuskorkeakoulu:Jatkosodan historia 4-5) and Soviet (Platonov et al.:Bitva za Leningrad) official histories and both Finnish (Sota-arkisto) and Soviet (CAMD) archival material to support my view. I'd say third hand sources vs. first and second hand sources. --Whiskey (talk) 05:42, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
Oh, what rich irony. I am either criticized by mrg3105 for not using enough Soviet sources, or you for using too many. The Werth book is written by a Brit living in Moscow as the BBC corespondent during the war. Therefore, it seems that these two potential biases would cancel out and he would produce a fairly neutral book, which I have found him to have done, so far. He states twice that the Soviets stopped voluntarily, to give the Finns time to consider peace terms without using more men and supplies to continue the offensive, which was taking heavy casualties. Glantz's book When Titans Clashed also clearly says on page 202 that the Soviet Offensive went well. Regarding the shattered, I'll try to rewrite that to be better and less lengthy than what you have. And about sources - Wikipedia sources should be secondary sources, as written by historians, not primary sources interpreted by individual Wikipedians, which comes awfully close to WP:OR. Joe (Talk) 23:10, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
No, I don't criticize you using too many Soviet sources, in fact you are using too few. And what is even more distressing, you are using *only* Soviet sources. I believe Werth is trying to give unbiased view in his book, but as he a)relies only an information from one side of conflict and b)doesn't have all relevant information available (Platonov's book was released in the same year as Werth's), he is not able to express a balanced view. This is clearly indicated in his claim that Soviets stopped voluntarily, as it clashes against the direct STAVKA order to Govorov:"...1. To armies of the Leningrad front, acting Karelian isthmus to continue approach with a task 26-28.06.1944 the main forces to take possession a boundary Imatra, Lappenranta, Virojoki. A part of forces to attack Keksgolm, Elisenvara with the purpose of clarification from the opponent of Karelian isthmus to northeast from the river and lake Vuoksi. 2. In the further the main forces to develop approach with a task to take possession boundary Kuovola, Kotka and will be fixed on east coast (bank)of the river Kjumin-Joki. To provide the main grouping from the north...", which was published after his book was released.
Glantz is correct in a sense that offensive went well until June 20. In fact it went perfectly, just according the timetable, facing less opposition as was presumed. But then it hit to the wall. Platonov, coming from the military, and unaware of any political and ideological pressures, states:"The repeated offensive attempts by the Soviet Forces failed ... to gain results. The enemy succeeded in significantly tightening its ranks in this area and repulse all attacks of our troops ... During the offensive operations lasting over three weeks, from June 21 to mid-July, the forces of the right flank of the Leningrad front failed to carry out the tasks assigned to them on the orders of the Supreme Command issued on June 21." The net result of this was a total amnesia among the historians: The Vyborg operation end date was set to June 20, although Leningrad front suffered more casualties in offensive operations after that date than it suffered during the previous eleven days.
Regarding the sources, the first hand sources can be used also in Wikipedia to prove exactly what they say (WP:OR#Primary.2C_secondary_and_tertiary_sources). In this case it is an intention of Soviets to go further than Vyborg. Then I have Platonov to do second hand interpretation of the issue:"...failed to carry out the tasks assigned to them..." I really presume that Werth was unaware of this order, as it stretches my imagination too much how that order could be interpreted as a "voluntary stopping". --Whiskey (talk) 05:38, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

NPOV: Please note that

According to the European Court of Human Rights European Court of Human Rights cases on Occupation of Baltic States, the United Nations Human Rights Council [1], the governments of the Baltic countries,[2][3] the United States,[4] and the European Union,[5] the Baltic states were occupied by the Soviet Union.

Therefore the use of liberation in the article is not factual, even though liberated from the German occupation ,that followed is considered Soviet Occupation according to the sources above. The only source that is in disagreement with this is the Russian government.--Termer (talk) 16:38, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

RE:Joe the article is about a speech given by Stalin, as explained in the article. The titles of the offensives given are the ones used by Stalin
Sorry but I don't see anything or any sources referring to this in the text that would refer to it as "according to Stalin". And even if this is fixed, you'd need to add the majority viewpoint to the article in order to maintain the WP:NPOV--Termer (talk) 16:41, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

I'm sorry you chose to revert instead of discuss the issues Joe , you leave me no choice than tag the article until the questions have been resolved.--Termer (talk) 16:46, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

Comment: Please note that while "liberation" is used here as a translation of Stalin's speech in what secondary published source is this translation of Stalin's speech exactly given remains unclear like it remains unclare that the text in the section is according to Stalin. I'd suggest using the appropriate WP titles for the 10 blows and then make it clear how Stalin called it instead of stating these as facts in the article.--Termer (talk) 16:53, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

this page, linked to in the footnotes section is the source, and when it is translated into English on Google then you can see that, although the translation is imperfect, it still says, in relation to the Crimean offensive "As a result of the attack were released from a German yoke of Crimea and Odessa" In relation to the Offensive against the Finns, "The result of this attack was to liberate much of the Karelian-Finnish Soviet republic." In relation to the Belorussian Offensive (Bagration) "took to the Neman and freed most of the Lithuanian Soviet republic." In relation to the Lvov-Sandomierz, "released Western Ukraine," for the Baltic Offensive "a) was released Estonian Soviet Republic, b) was released most of the Latvian Soviet republic," and for the ninth offensive listed "a) our troops have had direct assistance to federal Yugoslavia, we in the expulsion of Germans and the liberation of Belgrade, b) our troops were able to move through the Carpathian mountain range and to reach out to us the Federal Republic of Czechoslovakia, part of whose territory has been liberated from German invaders." While the translation is imperfect, you can still understand the message he is conveying. Joe (Talk) 16:57, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
I would be willing to compromise, using the generally accepted titles for the links and stating in each paragraph the title Stalin gave it. Joe (Talk) 17:01, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

Although using google translation is not too far from WP:OR, there would be no problem with the article if it followed clearly WP:NPOV The policy requires that where multiple or conflicting perspectives exist within a topic each should be presented fairly. Your last suggestion would be a first step towards it and was exactly I attempted to do with the article in the first place.--Termer (talk) 17:06, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

Allright, it looked to me like you were trying to remove the Soviet POV. If I misunderstood, my apologies. If you'd like, I can begin making this change now. Joe (Talk) 17:10, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

Surely politically neutral titles given in the section are closer to WP:NPOV than having it represented according to the Soviet POV. So either way, the Soviet POV should be counter weighted with the main stream POV in the western world or just make the article politically neutral by removing the Soviet POV statements.--Termer (talk) 17:17, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
PS.I would suspect avoiding political statements in the article all together is going to be easier since the current comment on the content: most sources consider Soviet advances through the Baltic and Balkans to be illegal "occupations" rather than liberation is in conflict with WP:UNDUE Articles that compare views should not give minority views as much or as detailed a description as more popular views--Termer (talk) 17:24, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

About Finland, again[edit]

Can you please tell me why you refuse to admit that the Finns were defeated in the Continuation War? In the Winter War, they lost. Sure, they inflicted heavy casualties on the Soviets and didn't loose as badly as they could have, but they eventually lost. The whole point of the Continuation War was to regain the lost territory. They did not regain the lost territory. Therefore, they did not succeed in their war aims, therefore they cannot be said to have won. While they did not surrender unconditionally, the Soviets accomplished their objectives (preserving the 1940 border). The reason that peace was made was because, in the Vyborg Offesive, while the Finns stopped the Red Army's advance, they suffered irreplaceable casualties which depleted their reserves. As for the Baltic Offensive being irrelevant to the peace, why would Stalin call it, in part, the "...forced exit of Finland from the war."? The Finns knew that, since their reserves had been depleted earlier, they would need German protection to stay in the fight. When that protection was removed, they saw a Soviet victory over them as inevitable, and signed the Moscow Armistice. – Joe Nutter 15:26, 30 December 2008 (UTC)

Your edit:"However, because the Finns could not adequately replace the casualties suffered, they began peace negotiations which continued until the signing of the Moscow Armistice later in 1944." Although Finns suffered heavy casualties during the Soviet offensive, it did manage to replace the losses, and in fact even rise the number of men in arms during the summer 1944. I don't have starting figures right now with me, but it did go from 450,000 before summer to 530,000 at August, when the intensity of the fighting fell. The same is true with armament: Germans provided a lot of materiel from June and July, and their quality increased tremendously: while Finns had received before mostly war-booty materiel, they received almost half of total number of Me-109 fighters and all PzKf IV tanks during that period. So, the above statement is not valid. --Whiskey (talk) 09:52, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
Very well then, I accept that. However, if, as you say, the Finns were victorious in the battle and had all these new troops, why did they lose the war? I seriously doubt that if the Finns had been as successful as you implied and in such a good position, they would have accepted the terms of the Moscow Armistice. – Joe Nutter 22:18, 8 January 2009 (UTC)
International situation. Finns were on the losing side of the war, and were dependent from the imported food. There were no guarantee that Western Allies would have raised a finger to the Finnish defense if Finland was still fighting after German collapse. (It worked to the other way also: Stalin wasn't sure Western Allies would give him free rein in Finland after German collapse, so he sought the peace with Finns before...) During the war, Finns fought only against the fraction of Red Army, and no matter what Finns could have managed to bring forward, they couldn't have resisted the full might of the Red Army. Finns were able to replace losses, this time, but if the onslaught was repeated once, twice more, they couldn't have done it again. --Whiskey (talk) 07:55, 9 January 2009 (UTC)
OK, however, you admit that the war was not going well for the Finns. If, later on in 1944, the Finns had not been driven back from their 1941 gains and suffered casulties, wouldn't they have argued for better terms? If the Finnish army was so strong and hadn't just been defeated, it would be rather stupid of them to have surrendered so much territory and accepted not very good terms. – Joe Nutter 15:12, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

"the Finns were defeated in the Continuation War" is a very strong opinion that would require sources clearly citing who says so. So in case there is anybody notable out there among historians for example who thinks so, feel free Joe Nu to forward your sources. Other than that, loosing some territories according to the peace treaty is far from being "defeated" + Finland declared war on Germany on March 3, 1944. So what exactly are you talking about,Joe Nu?--Termer (talk) 16:39, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

OK, so just all the territorial concessions were Finnish? The Finns' objective at the start of the war was to regain the territory lost during the Winter War. They did not do that. Therefore, they were defeated. A large portion of the territory the Soviets recaptured was during this offensive. As for Finland's declaration of war on Germany, that's irrelevant, several Balkan countries did that when trying to make peace with the Soviet Union. – Joe Nutter 20:48, 9 January 2009 (UTC)
The only thing that is irrelevant is using Wikipedia articles and talk pages for publishing your own opinions. Please use and cite secondary published sources pr WP:RS to back up any claims above. So far the facts are Finland made a peace treaty and lost some territories. either Finland was defeated or not is already partisan commentary and in case such opinions are going to be added to the article according to any reliable sources; you end up dealing with alternative perspectives represented to you already that would need to be included as well pr WP:NPOV. So its up to you if you want to have a section in this article with extensive political commentaries that would deal with all possible takes and views on how Finland came out of the war exactly.--Termer (talk) 03:32, 10 January 2009 (UTC)
You are thinking in the very simple terms and from the viewpoint of a major power. First, contrary to the simplistic views presented in the most books concerning the Continuation War in English, the main reason for the war wasn't to get back lost areas but to get rid of the Soviet attempt to subvert Finnish independence. The continued Soviet attempts to isolate Finland, pressuring additional concessions and hostile and arrogant diplomacy created a situation that well known anglophiles Ryti and Mannerheim turned to Germany to prevent Finland going down in a way Baltic states have done. It was also documented in the several speeches given and letters written right before and after the war started, which considered the war an opportunity to get rid from the Soviet pressure.
When considering that goal, was the war successful? At the first glimpse when you think about Finlandization, one could be eager to answer negative, but if one takes a closer look and compares the situation to the one between the Winter War and the Continuation War, it was a vast improvement: After the CW, the Soviet pressure was much more limited than before. Quoting the words of Max Jacobson, former Finnish diplomat and BBC worker: "The diplomacy of the Soviet Union towards Finland was handled with the similar care otherwise reserved towards the major powers." The fact that Finnish army remained an efficient fighting force to the end wasn't also missed by those digging deeper. Tomas Ries in his work "the Cold Will" concludes that Finland was able to create a deterrent-effect towards Soviet Union unlike any other minor. It is also witnessed by the interview of the former Soviet foreign minister Vladislav Molotov, where he declares that "occupying Finland would have created never closing wound near the heart of the Soviet Union".
Could Finns have fared better if they haven't done the peace at the time they did? Very unlikely. Finns had a bitter experience between the wars, when British foreign ministry did it best to sacrifice Finland to Soviet Union in a hope that Soviets would come to their help. It was presumed (and later proven correct) that it would happen again if Soviet relations would sour with western allies. Major powers can choose to continue fighting when there is almost no better result in sight, but minors don't have that option, we can't do the Brits and fall back to recuperate and come back. If we break, we lose. Totally. Even today it is true the words a Roman politician said over 2200 years ago: "If the Rome is shamed to save the army, it shall be done. Because if the army is saved, the shame could be washed away later. But if the army is lost, also the Rome is lost." --Whiskey (talk) 09:32, 13 January 2009 (UTC)
I don't know how this turned into a debate over whether or not Finland lost the Continuation War. The original point of this discussion was that I tried to include a fact that the Vyborg–Petrozavodsk Offensive led to the Moscow Armistice. If you want to believe that the Finns won the Continuation War fine, that has nothing to do with the discussion here. I tried to include that, and both of you have denied this. The source that the paragraph is cited to covers that, I consider the burden to be upon you to come up with a source that specifies that the Finnish surrender was not related to said offensive. – Joe Nutter 21:37, 13 January 2009 (UTC)
No, you didn't. You tried to add claim that Finns couldn't replace losses inflicted in V-P offensive. Also, the direct link between the offensive and the armstice is a little bit onerous, as fronts had been stable over a month between those. Compare that to what happened to Romania, where Soviet offensive was in full speed when the armstice was signed. Contrary what you believe, I don't claim that offensive didn't affect to the armstice, but so did also Finns stopping the offensive and breakout from Normandy, which made both parties amenable to the armstice. You would have been right, if Finns had approved Soviet demand for unconditional surrender June 22, but the armstice did happen September 2, over two months later, and under (and with) much different conditions.--Whiskey (talk) 06:19, 14 January 2009 (UTC)

This is what I wish to add, before the second to last sentence: "However, because the Finns suffered heavy casualties and their leadership foresaw German defeat in the war, they later agreed to sign the Moscow Armistice." Is that OK with you? – Joe Nutter 22:28, 14 January 2009 (UTC)

Is "suffered heavy casualties" necessary? Otherwise it is ok for me. --Whiskey (talk) 00:36, 15 January 2009 (UTC)
Though I am loathe to remove it, I will if by doing so we can agree. – Joe Nutter 01:15, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

"Vyborg–Petrozavodsk Offensive led to the Moscow Armistice" you tried to include above is not a fact but an opinion taken out of context. the Soviet Baltic Offensive that started to threaten Finland from the South was as important factor. The Armistice was made on September 2. On September 22 the Soviets took Tallinn, that's 80 km from the capital of Finland Helsinki across the gulf of Finland. if Finland would have wanted to continue the fight, the country would have needed to be ready for a second front and defend it's southern maritime borders that would have become wide open to the Soviet Baltic fleet after the Germans retreated from down there.--Termer (talk) 07:14, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

Yet earlier, when I tried to include that it, in combination with the Baltic Offensive, caused the armistice, Kurt Leyman (talk) reverted me and said it was untrue! I thought it was true originally, but decided to compromise by not including it in what I will add above, yet now you're saying it is true...Please, I'm confused. Perhaps he was wrong? I'll leave a note on his talk page asking for his comment. – Joe Nutter 00:05, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

No, the Baltic offensive did not play a role in the armistice. The Soviet Union did not have maritime capabilities or forces at hand to launch an effective invasion across the Gulf of Finland - which was still plagued by minefields laid by Finnish and Germans, and not "wide open" - the Soviet Baltic Fleet was not particulary strong either, and the Finnish coastline was well fortified (no, it was not an Atlantic Wall, but nontheless well fortified): the same fortifications had shown the Soviet Baltic Fleet already during the Winter War that they could not sail as they pleased: several surface combatants ranging from battleships to cruisers and destroyers were damaged to extent that they had to retreat from combat - one latter was even sunk. I have never heard of anyone having even mentioned this having a played a role in the armistice between Finland and the Soviet Union; certainly the Finnish did not think of this. Going across the Gulf of Finland was something that the Finnish were worried about during the Winter War - and the results for the Soviets were not good at all. --Kurt Leyman (talk) 00:18, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

never heard of anyone having even mentioned this? here you go: The Soviet summer offensive in the Baltic region brought Finland to an armistice on 4 September.
None of what Kurt Leyman has said other than the last sentence makes much sense and actually the whole argument contradicts itself. Only the fact that during the Winter War there was a problem for Finland shows it, and any strategically thinking general in Finland knew that if USSR got access to the southern coast of Gulf of Finland, the Soviets would have gained a significant strategic advantage over Finland. Not only becouse of the Soviet Baltic fleet but an ability to launch air raids right to the hart of the country including Helsinki and elsewhere. So to say that nobody in Finland thought of it, is not a serious opinion. This was happening during the Winter War and would have happened if Finland didn't sign the armistice. that's not even anything to argue over, it's just common sense. The fact that Finland had a minefield to protect it's coasts against the Soviet fleet, what did it matter if the Soviets could have just flown over it exactly like during the Winter War.So the bottom line, the success of the Soviet Baltic offensive and the Germans pulling out from there had everything to do with the armistice as well, exactly like the source above says it did.--Termer (talk) 08:32, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

"here you go" This refers to the fact Finland is on the Baltic region and that the Soviet offensive in Karelian Isthmus included operations by the coast of Gulf of Finland - it does not refer to Baltic Offensive causing the armistice, but refers to the Fourth Strategic Offensive. "any strategically thinking general in Finland" Name one by a source. " Not only becouse of the Soviet Baltic fleet" The small Soviet Baltic Fleet could not sail as it willed due to mine fields in the Gulf of Finland which were cleared years after the end of the war; the reason the Baltic Fleet was largely bottled during the war was because of them - and Finnish coastal fortifications which had more than once proven their worth, causing damage and losses to ships ranging from battleships and cruisers to destroyers. "an ability to launch air raids right to the hart of the country including Helsinki and elsewhere." The Soviet bombing had proven to be ineffective; it never even remotely achieved the aims hoped. "So to say that nobody in Finland thought of it, is not a serious opinion." I said that the issue did not effect the armistice, and it did not. "would have happened if Finland didn't sign the armistice." The Soviet Union did not have maritime capability or forces at hand for an invasion across the Gulf of Finland. "The fact that Finland had a minefield to protect it's coasts against the Soviet fleet, what did it matter if the Soviets could have just flown over" The Soviet bombing did not nor could cause enough damage to Finland to even compare its effectiviness to an invasion across the Gulf of Finland - which could not be pulled out as you seem to think. --Kurt Leyman (talk) 17:07, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

The source [6] is available online for everybody to see. It clearly speaks about the Soviet Baltic offensive in the context, the break through to Riga in mid-August that has nothing much to do with Soviet offensive in Karelian Isthmus like it seems you suggest "Finland is on the Baltic region". In case you're interested in sources of "any strategically thinking generals in Finland", I'd suggest reading The Memoirs of Marshal Mannerheim for example.
There is more on the subject : The Red Army offensive towards Narva in January 1944 left the Finnish forces on the Karelian isthmus dangerously exposed; the air raids on Helsinki and other southern Finnish towns a month later underlined the perilous position Finland was now in. With Mannerheim urging the government to negotiate, and with the discreet encouragement of the Swedish government, Paasikivi went once more to Moscow.--Termer (talk) 17:45, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
Kurt, since you have not provided any sources which back up your point of view and there are two that verify that the Baltic Offensive did play a role in the Moscow Armistice, I will add the fact and its citation in a few days unless you can show a reliable source that says otherwise. – Joe Nutter 21:52, 30 January 2009 (UTC)

The baltic offensive did it's part in the armistice, but not in the way you thought. The Soviet bombing offensive at February was a total failure: only 5% of the bombs reached the target area (Helsinki). Kurt is also right about capabilities of the Soviet Navy to support invasion across the Gulf to the mainland (Finnish coast is not Kerch). But. Finland was dependent for food and fuel imports. The only way to deliver those is through Baltic, and Soviet control of Estonia and Latvia would open those deliveries to Soviet bombers. But the main reason how the offensive did take part was that it eliminated the fear of German reaction: All the summer Finnish leadership feared that Germans would stage a coup in Finland like they did in Hungary at the same spring. The weakening position of German forces relieved Finnish leadership from that threat. --Whiskey (talk) 09:08, 1 February 2009 (UTC)


Joe! Why you can't accept that Red Army was stopped in Vyborg-Petrozhavod offense? Why you can't accept that Vyborg-Petrozhavod offense was stopped because Red Army suffered too heavy casualties (especially in tanks and airplanes)? Why you can't accept that Red Army was unable to continue attack without reinforcements? Red Army had about 800 tanks and 1600 aircraft in the beginning of Vyborg-Petrozhavod offense; and at the end of offense Red Army had suffered losses of about 600-700 tanks and 600 aircraft (numbers are from Ohto Manninen's book). Finnish army was stronger after Vyborg-Petrozhavod offense than before it, mostly because of German material support. When Vyborg-Petrozhavod offense was stopped, Red Army hadn't even reached finnish main defense line, the Salpa Line (heavily fortified and most strongest defense line build in Finland during WW2) yet. So, do you think Red Army was still able to continue attack without reinforcements? Do you know why Soviet High Command didn't sent more men and material to finnish front in july-august 1944?? Main reason was, because largest operation of "Stalins ten blows", Operation Bagration was still going on; and bit smaller operation, Jassy-Kisheniv offense was about to begin. If high command would be sent more men against Finland, it had weakened these bigger operations against germans. And little about Finland and attempts to make peace in WW2: Did you know, that Finland tried to start secret peace negotations with Soviet Union as early as spring 1943 (when germans had lost battle of Stalingrad), but negotations didn't led to anything because Soviet Union hadn't decided yet what it would want from Finland? Did you know that next time Finland tried to start peace negotations with SU in autumn 1943, but they ended because Soviet leaders demanded extremely harsh terms of peace? Did you know that USA suggested in spring 1944 a re-opening of peace negotations between Finland and Soviet Union. These peace negotations ended because Soviet Union demanded impossible terms of peace (Finland was unable to fulfill these terms if it wanted to keep its independense). Terms were for example for Finland to give back land areas lost in Winter War, pay 600 million gold dollar war reparations in couple of years and capture all 200 000 german soldiers from Lapland in two weeks and hand them to Soviet Union and then (last but not least) demobilise whole finnish army. When peace negotations ended without result in april 1944, Stalin announced to leaders of Western Allies that "negotations with Finland are over once and for all". Finland tried to start new peace negotations couple days after beginning of soviet Vyborg-Petrozhavod offense. In 20th June 1944, same day when Red Army captured Vyborg, Soviet high command sent message to finnish government. In that message Soviet Union demanded Finland to surrender, unconditionally and immediately. Finland refused. At the same time finnish president Risto Ryti signed so called Ryti-Ribbentrop Agreement. With this agreement Germany sent material help to Finland, and Finland promised not to make separate peace with Soviet Union as long as Ryti was president of Finland. Maybe Germany somehow forgetted that Finland was parliamentary democracy during whole WW2, and finnish president wasn't dictator who would had preferred in power at any cost. Finland was mostly controlled by parliament and government. Soviet offense stopped at july 1944, and both sides, finns and russians dug into defensive positions. Risto Ryti resigned from duty of president 29th july, and same day Finland showd first signs of desire to start peace negotations with Soviet Union. This time terms of peace were much lighter than in 1943 or spring 1944, and Finland was able to accept them. Terms were for example for Finland to give back land areas lost in Winter War, pay 300 million gold dollar war reparations in 8 years and drive away all german troops from Finland with no time limit (this caused War of Lapland, which lasted several months). When you declare that Finland LOST continuation war (and WW2 overall) you should remind yourself too about those Soviet demands of unconditional surrender of Finland and unbelievable harsh peace terms Soviet Union offered in 1943 and spring 1944, and compare these possibilities of end of the war in Finland to terms that actually came into effect after finnish army stopped soviet invasion in july 1944. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 62.240.87.240 (talk) 22:07, 10 August 2009 (UTC)

I really don't understand how two sentences about two of the more minor operations became the focus of so much argument. First of all, in the article, it does not say that "Finland LOST (the) Continuation War" anywhere. The section on that offensive states: "This offensive against Finland recaptured the Karelian Isthmus and Vyborg." Sounds like an indisputable fact to me. "Planned as a diversion to draw German forces and attention away from Army Group Center in the run-up to Operation Bagration[citation needed], the result was a stalemate: even though the Soviets captured East Karelia and took Vyborg (Viipuri), they did not achieve their objective of the Kymi River and the destruction of the Finnish army." The diversion of covered by one of the references at the end of the paragraph, sometime I'll dig those back up and find it and reference that sentence. The part about the stalemate seems to be saying nearly exactly what you said: that the Soviets advanced territorially, but did not destroy the Finnish army as they had desired. You are welcome to expand upon that, as long as you properly reference all your additions. I don't understand what your quarrel is: if you really think it's that important to add in the bit about the heavy casualties, go ahead, but the sources you used in your previous edit were inadequate. http://ww2db.com/battle_spec.php?battle_id=215 says that it is sourced to Wikipedia, http://users.tkk.fi/mkivihar/english/wars.html does not cover the fact it cites, and http://www.rajajoki.com/torjunta.htm not only says on its main page that "I am writing from the Finnish point of view and I do not intend to claim that anything here represents the only truth about the events that took place." and that "you may find mistakes here…linguistic or historical." http://finland.fi/Public/default.aspx?contentid=160093&nodeid=41806&culture=en-US Seems to be the only site that's acceptable, although since I can't find any sources listed I don't know if it would stand up at FAC. Overall it seems that in the text of the article we have only minor disagreements and that your additions would be acceptable if they were properly referenced. – Joe N 00:24, 11 August 2009 (UTC)

4th Strategic Offensive[edit]

Ставка ВГК. 1944-1945 гг. Том 16 (5-4). Moscow. 1999. ISBN 5-300-01162-2. Retrieved 21st May 2010.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help) or [7]

Translation of the item ID 117 and 120 in that article:

  • 117
    • Date: 11.06.1944
    • Goal:
      • Capture Vyborg by 18-20 June
    • Signed: STAVKA, Stalin & Antonov
  • 120
    • Date: 21.06.1994
    • Goals:
      • Leningrad Front forces active on the Karelian Isthmus are to continue their attack; use the main force to take the Imatra-Lappeenranta-Virojoki line by 26—28.06 Part of the forces are to advance towards Kexholm, Elisenvaara in order to eliminate the enemy forced on the Karelian Isthmus northeast of the river and lake Vuoksa.
      • After that, develop the offensive in order to capture the Kouvola, Kotka line and fortify the eastern bank of the Kymijoki river. Supply the main battle group from the north.
      • From 24.00 21.06.1944 establish the following demarcation line between the Karelian and Leningrad Fronts: up to Korovkino — same as before; beyond that - the southern and western banks of the Ladoga lake, Tervu, Elisenvaara, Tainionkoski, Lappeenranta, Lahti (all points are inclusive for the Leningrad Front).
    • Signed: STAVKA, Stalin & Antonov

If Stavka commands with Stalin's name under it which specifically orders the advance to continue until reaching first the 1940 border and then Kymijoki and destroying Finnish army can not be taken as 'setting the goals' for the offensive then the offensive had no goals as 'Vyborg' (goal of the first phase) is listed in exactly same manner as rest of the goals. - Wanderer602 (talk) 04:46, 22 May 2010 (UTC)

This is not what I meant. These are some of the tactical goals. Where does it say that advancing to the Kymijoki river was a major goal of the strategic offensive? And where does it mention destroying the Finnish army??
I reworded the entry to explain the situation better and in a more neutral way. -YMB29 (talk) 00:27, 23 May 2010 (UTC)


THE strategic goals of the offensive were 1) Push Finns clearly behind their border, and 2) Eliminate the capability of the Finnish Army to resist Soviets. See Govorov's orders to his forces in the beginning of June as described in S.P. Platonov's Bitva za Leningrad, Chapter Decisions and Plans of the Soviet Leadership in the Direction of the Karelian Isthmus.

Vyborg and Petrozavodsk were not the main strategic goals, but only half way marks to the main goals.--Whiskey (talk) 21:38, 22 May 2010 (UTC)

I think you are mixing up strategic goals with tactical...
Can you quote the text? -YMB29 (talk) 00:27, 23 May 2010 (UTC)
And I am not saying that Vyborg and Petrozavodsk were the main strategic goals.
The main strategic goals were to get Finland out of the war and to clear the threat of the Finnish forces from Leningrad and the region West of the city. -YMB29 (talk) 00:44, 23 May 2010 (UTC)
These excerpts are from the Finnish edition, translated from Russia by Helge Seppälä. (Who seems to be the most respected Finnish war-historian in modern Russia.)
Platonov, the given chapter, second paragraph: "According the plan, first will be attacked in the direction of Vyborg and capture Vyborg, after that will be attacked at Svir and liberate Petrozavodsk and throw Finnish forces deep into Finland." (emphasis mine)
14th paragraph: "(21st Army) It's duty was breach Finnish positions between the Gulf lf Finland and the hight point 107, destroy forces of the opposing III and IV Corps of the enemy and continue attack by occupying 9 to 10 days from the beginning of the attack the most important Finnish road crossing and main base, Vyborg."
15th paragraph: "(21st army) shall beat IV Corps forces and Finnish operational reserves without letting them retreat to the third defensive line." And: "According the order the first mission of the 21st Army was to attack along the Vyborg highway and railroad, breach first defensive position of the enemy, eliminate opposing forces of the 10th division, cross quickly river Sestra and conquer within two days Termoila-Hiirelä-Jäppilä-Kellomäki-level."
16th paragraph: "Further 23rd Army should eliminate opposing enemy, prevent it's retreat to the third defensive positions and breach to the Vuoksi-Suvanto-Äyräpäänjärvi-level."
And in the 11th paragraph Platonov tells about detailed orders given by STAVKA about leading and preparations to the offensives. According those orders LF and KF prepared their plans which were approved by STAVKA... Could somebody find those orders and the acceptance sent by STAVKA somewhere? --Whiskey (talk) 01:19, 23 May 2010 (UTC)
Re:What's wrong with your edit: "forced out of war"; it took a month before the armistice was concluded. The elapsed time indicates that something else than the offensive was responsible for the armistice. The offensive helped, of course, but something else was a deciding factor. Then omissions: As shown above, the destruction of the Finnish forces was high on the Soviet plans. Also the reason why offensive fell short of the goals is missing. --Whiskey (talk) 01:31, 23 May 2010 (UTC)
I have a reply ready with sources, but it will have to wait 6 months (well hopefully less) [8]. -YMB29 (talk) 18:13, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
Here is what I was going to post almost a year ago:
These are not strategic goals. You are looking at a primary source text and making your own conclusions, which is original research... That is why for Wikipedia secondary sources are preferred [9].
Also destruction/elimination of the Finnish forces does not mean destruction/elimination of the whole Finnish army...
The offensive was the major reason that Finland exited the war (maybe it should not be "forced" but something like "led to Finland exiting the war"). Even if you say that other factors such as the Soviets taking Estonia and control of the Baltic Sea were more important, this was still possible due to the offensive since it opened the way for the Soviet offensive to the West.
Here are secondary sources for strategic goals and significance of the offensive:
The Soviet General Staff then recommended that the Leningrad and Karelian Fronts launch an offensive against Finnish forces in the sector from Leningrad to Petrozavodsk. The strategic objective of the offensive was to defeat the Finnish Army and force Finland from the war. On 10 June 1944, the Red Army began the offensive against Finnish forces north of Leningrad and quickly captured Vyborg, thereby threatening the capital, Helsinki. As soon as the Finnish military command transferred forces from southern Karelia to meet this threat, Soviet forces of the Karelian Front, under Army General K. A. Meretskov, attacked northward and westward out of Soviet Karelia and quickly advanced through the area between Lakes Ladoga and Onega. This offensive, known as the Svir-Petrozavodsk Operation, continued until 9 August and was strategically significant in that it led to the reopening of bilateral negotiations between Finland and the U.S.S.R. on 25 August. On 4 September, the two sides signed an armistice that required Finland to expel or disarm all German troops still on its soil by 15 September. [10]
The strategic significance of these operations (especially the Vyborg operation) was the pinning down in Finland of the enemy forces closest to Belarussia, and the securing of the front's right flank near the southern shore of the Gulf of Finland. [11]
Vyborg was also a strategic goal:
The overall plan for the Vyborg operation consisted of the penetration of the Finnish defense by forces located on the Karelian Isthmus (the 21st and 23d Armies), the development of the offensive in the general direction of Vyborg, the destruction of the Finnish I and IV Army Corps' main forces (deployed south of the Mannerheim Line), and the capture of Vyborg - a strategically important point and the main communications' center on the Karelian Isthmus. [12]
-YMB29 (talk) 16:11, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
The primary sources are allowed to be used to state exactly what they say. And in this instance, I'm using STAVKA order which gives Soviet goal at Karelian Isthmus to Finnish border. If secondary sources claim otherwise, it says more about those sources than the real intentions of the Soviets. Also, I'm not using only primary sources, but I'm using also Soviet secondary source, namely Platonov's Bitva za Leningrad, which concerns specifically to the fights around Leningrad.
On the other hand, your given sources handle totally different offensives, namely Kirkenes operation and L'vov operation, so their handling of Vyborg-Petrozavodsk is extremely weak as witnessed by numerous clear errors found even in that short caption. (Finnish forces thrown deep into Finland while in reality Soviet forces were stopped well before the border. Existence of the Mannerheim Line which existed in reality only in the Winter War. Karelian front forces were never in Sortavala area. Medvezhegorsk is not located at Karelian Isthmus...) The author has clearly used his left foot to write those pages and didn't bother to check his facts from the sources.
Similarily it is ridiculous to claim Finns were forced to negotiation table by offensive. Finns were negotiating with Soviets already at 1943, and at April 1944 Finnish government had asked soviet conditions to peace, and Paasikivi had visited Moscow and asked changes to two clauses which Finns considered they were unable to fulfill. As Moscow was unrelenting, the war continued. During the offensive, June 20, Finns asked again Soviet conditions, and as has been already discussed about the issue, Soviet response was formulated in a way that Finns interpreted it to the demand of unconditional surrender, so war continued again. Only after Finns have fought the offensive to the standstill Moscow returned to the negotiation table and offered same conditions as in April 1944, but those two clauses which Finns were opposed were changed to more acceptable form. If something should be said about offensive's relation to the peace negotiations, it is that it's failure forces Soviet Union to search negotiated solution to the war. --Whiskey (talk) 23:13, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
Sorry but your original research does not belong in the article...
You can't look at primary sources like Stavka orders and interpret them.
What exactly are you using from Platonov's Bitva za Leningrad? Can you quote it?
There are plenty of reliable secondary sources that say that the offensive was a major reason that Finland returned to negotiating and accepted Soviet conditions. You can't ignore them just because you don't like them.
Also this article is about strategic offensives and so we have to talk about the strategic objectives and results, not some secondary tactical goals that the Soviets succeeded or failed to accomplish. -YMB29 (talk) 16:20, 13 May 2011 (UTC)