(30 Nov. 1939–12 Mar. 1940)
Following the Finnish government's refusal to grant Soviet demands for naval bases and a frontier revision, the Red Army attacked on three fronts. Led by General Mannerheim, the Finns' superior skill in manœuvring on frozen lakes, across the Gulf of Finland, and in the forests, on skis, kept the Soviet forces at bay. After fifteen weeks of fierce fighting, however, Soviet troops breached the defensive Mannerheim Line. On 12 March 1940 Finland was forced to accept peace on Stalin's terms, ceding its eastern territories and the port of Viipuri (Vyborg), altogether 10 per cent of its territory.
Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).