Tag Archive | Finland 1942

Strangers in a Strange Land, 1942 edition

Foreign military observers in Finland, 2 October 1942, during the Continuation War with the Soviets. They are photographed in front of the Lenin statue on October Revolution Square in Petrozavodsk, in Karelia.

Note the uniforms and the date. Photo via Finnish military archives http://sa-kuva.fi/neo#

The Finns had captured the town, strategically located between Lakes Ladoga and Onega North of Leningrad during the summer offensive of 1941. Notably, the observers include German, Japanese, American and Italian officers, many of which were fighting each other outside of Finland at the time.

Photo via Finnish military archives http://sa-kuva.fi/neo#

This diplomatic oddity comes due to the fact that, while nominally supportive of the Axis, Finland’s involvement in WWII was limited to fighting the Soviets along their border. The U.S. government resisted Stalin’s pressures to declare war on nominally German-allied Finland, and FDR only broke diplomatic relations with Helsinki in 1944.

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