Finnish Fascist Flyers? - A Picture is Worth a 1000 Words

in #history3 years ago (edited)

Finnish Fokker_D.XXI.jpg
Finnish Air Force Fokker D. XXI - 1942

In Case You Were Wondering About Finnish Loyalties During WWII

I came across this photo today (public domain) while researching an article on the Fokker Aircraft Company. The company produced quite a few very capable planes during World War I, many of which might seem familiar to you if you were ever into the Red Baron and other German aces from that era.

Of course, I wasn't shocked at the photo, but I love that every time that I point out that Finland (and many other countries) weren't conquered by the Nazis and were willing participants, I get a huge backlash from my Finnish friends that are drowning in their own revisionist history.

Finland_during_WW2 (10).jpgOfficial Visit from You Know Who in 1942

Finland joined forces with the 3rd Reich in invading the Soviet Union in 1941. This is a fact, it is indisputable and not only did they work together, the Nazis supplied the war materials, trainers, advisers, generals, and even soldiers to fight with the Finns. I'm not saying that Finland didn't have a serious ax to grind with the Soviets following the Winter War of 1939, but they still JOINED the Nazis.

Conquered or Collaborators?

Here are some of the other countries that our typical history books like to ignore when it comes to aiding the Nazis in their European expansion aims:

  1. Hungary
  2. Romania
  3. Slovakia
  4. Austria
  5. Bulgaria
  6. Yugoslavia
  7. Finland
  8. France (split)
  9. Croatia
  10. Japan
  11. Iraq
  12. Lithuania (split)

What do the history books say about these countries that joined the Nazis?

During the war a number of other countries joined the Axis, induced by coercion or promises of territory or protection by the Axis powers. They included Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia (after Czechoslovakia had divided in 1939) in November 1940, Bulgaria and Yugoslavia in March 1941, and, after the wartime breakup of Yugoslavia, Croatia (June 1941). Finland, although it did not formally join the Tripartite Pact, cooperated with the Axis because of its opposition to the Soviet Union (to which Finland had been forced to cede territory in 1940) and entered the war in 1941.
-- Encyclopedia Britannica

This is what you can call history's "free pass" on the part of Britannica. Plenty of people actively fought against their governments during the war as partisans. Some countries were much more effective than others in these endeavors. However, their is a difference between "conquered" and "compelled". The Greeks faced the same danger and chose to fight the Italians bitterly (so much so that Germany had to assist in occupying Greece).

Finland_during_WW2 (3).jpgPropeller-driven snowmobile near Haapasaari, Finland. - Source -

"Sorry, we had our reasons" doesn't wash in the end, but we continue to see watered-down versions of these things and whole lot of "splaining" in our history.

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Thailand allied with Japan but was let go because the allied say if Thailand agree to give the 4 northern state of Malaya back to british than everything will be OK n Thailand get to join UN.

This is a very good point. Thanks for commenting. I hadn't even started to look at all the alliances created and broken in Asia during the war. I think it may be just as complex as Europe.

Simo Häyhä, a Finn and a national Hero is not famous for killing Nazi's but Russian soldiers
Even England and the US had its sympathisers .

Yes, there were many sympathizers in every nation. No doubt there. I don't even blame the Finns in the respect that they were caught between two giant powers, but I don't like that denial aspects and the spin that happens from those nations that cooperated/collaborated. The struggle between Bolshevism, national socialism, and "Western Democracy" was felt in nearly every nation in Europe at the time.

Agree and history should not be changed to soot an opinion . The world changed in those few years and we are still dealing with the decisions made back then today . It would help if the truth was the truth in order to get past the biases to solve the real problems that linger today .

Even here they are trying to judge the past by our standards today . the past does not need to be judged it is what it is . what needs to happen is that we need to learn from it and not hide from it or cover it up .

I get a huge backlash from my Finnish friends that are drowning in their own revisionist history.

What exactly is their version? Is it "we just wanted back the land that the USSR stole"?

Their version is that the Russians invaded them in 1939-1940 and took portions of their land. This is true. The land was actually given to them by the Russians earlier, but that part gets forgotten in their version. Of course, they were justified in attacking the Soviets. However, they partnered with the Nazis. That is emphatically true, but they deny this left and right and make excuses for it. They had no regrets whatsoever during the war until Germany started losing. Then they switched sides at the last minute - like Italy does every time.

There are a lot of white spots in history. All I know is that Russia never itself on anybody did not attack. She only defended herself against her attackers: Germans, Japanese, Swedes, French and always defended her vast territories. These territories are still a tasty morsel for all countries in the world.
Thank you very much for your post, @energyaddict22. Have a good day!

Wondering what kind of underground resistance may have existed, if any. I know here in the US that some actually sympathized with Germany, including some prominent people. I think that was why they allowed Pearl Harbor to happen because of the split in opinion. Nothing better to solidify a nation than being attacked.

Yes, there was little interest in another war until Pearl Harbor. Parties were split on participation. All one needs to do is bomb a ship or a building to unite the American people and their parties. We're kind of easy like that. We go from anti-war to "hunting down terrrorists" in a heartbeat.

Every country had resistance movements against the Nazis and there were many against the Soviets as well. The role these played in the war is often over indulged in my opinion.

Loved the old photos, always interesting to see history captured that way.

As far as Finland during the Nazi era, I would say it had a lot more to do with countering Soviet territorial ambitions than any love for Hitler. As you mentioned, the Winter War of 1939 left most Finns feeling bitter towards the Soviets.

Not defending their decision of course, but honestly, at that time, there wasn't a great ammount of difference between the horrors of Nazi Germany and the horrors of the Stalinist Soviet Union with it's purges and forced starvations and gulags.

It was a nasty time all around I think.

You hit the nail on the head. Tough decision for the Finns. The evil you know vs the evil that everyone else knows. I don't necessarily blame the Finns for the decision, but I hate hearing excuses about why. You joined a group of people that were exterminating others. They could've tried to go the "neutrality" route like Sweden, but Sweden was about as neutral as Austria.

I think it is really a hard decision, going with the "wave" (check out google, to get the great book, i am referring to) or working against it and risking your "life".

Very good point. Tough decisions.

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History is full of collaborators that join one emeny to fight a historic one.

Whats worse is that allied nations industrys collaborated Ibm supplied the punch card systems that organised the death trains, fanta was cokes way of making money from the nazis, kodak kept rolling and collaberating with them

The list is huge.

You are absolutely correct on the "corporate sponsorship". Everyone must choose a side in these situations, but those that choose poorly pay the consequences except that we have let the history be rewritten with absolution for those that chose poorly. Most people don't even know about Coke, Kodak, and a host of others.

Whenever we heard about the History, most of the graph of stories will rotate around the wars and power of politics, and whatever political disturbances today we have all over the world it's an gift by the history only. Thanks for sharing this informative post with us and wishing you an great day. Stay blessed. 🙂

I think someone said that history was written by the winners/conquerors/invaders. There are some facts that need to be reviewed and more to be revealed.

Exactly, some people think that the Germans actually came out ahead in the end with the Cold War beginning and Germany eventually moving back to the forefront of European dominance. If we aren't reminded of the facts, we start to only believe what we see. Thanks for stopping by.

Thank to share the story @energyaddict. I never know this before (May be I did not look closer to the Nazi history). I was so surprise that Iraqi, Japan and France joint the force.

Saying that Fins were Nazi collaborators is true, but it's also oversimplified. Finland helped Germany mainly because, they wanted to reclaim land they lost to USSR after the Winter War 1939-1940 - in which USSR was an aggressor. So yeah they helped Germans, but not because they sympathised with Nazi ideology, but because they wanted to regain part of their Motherland. USSR was no angel! These kind of post only show that Soviet (and now Russian) propaganda is very succesful.
Edit: Stalin with Ribbentrop singning Molotov-Ribbentrop pact (division of Poland)

Certainly the Soviets were no angels. Regarding the "lost" territory though. The Finns had an opportunity to avoid the Winter War altogether by allowing the Soviets to maintain a base there to help prevent a future invasion of Germany. The Finns refused and were being "gifted" German armaments and munitions long before the Soviet invasion. Also, the Finns "Motherland" has spent more time in the hands of the Swedes and Russians than in the hands of the Finns. One thing I will say for the Finns is that they didn't allow anti-semitism in their country and Germans that served their had to fight alongside Finnish Jews. That is something that is very cool about their conditions of cooperation.

I learned some history. Very good article. Thanks for sharing