The military history of Finland is one of continuous struggle for independence and survival. For centuries, Finland was caught between the major powers of Sweden and Russia, and its people have been forced to defend their homeland on numerous occasions.
In 1808, Russia invaded Finland, which was then part of Sweden. The Finns fought bravely, but they were eventually defeated and Finland was annexed by Russia. However, Finland retained a degree of autonomy, and its own army was established in 1881.
In 1917, Russia was plunged into civil war. Finland took the opportunity to declare its independence, and a bloody civil war ensued between the pro-communist Reds and the anti-communist Whites. The Whites eventually prevailed, with the help of German troops.
In 1939, the Soviet Union invaded Finland, sparking the Winter War. The Finns fought fiercely, and they inflicted heavy casualties on the Red Army. However, the Finns were ultimately outnumbered and outgunned, and they were forced to sign a peace treaty in March 1940.
In June 1941, Finland joined Germany in invading the Soviet Union. This marked the beginning of the Continuation War. The Finns initially made good progress, but they were eventually forced to retreat. The Continuation War ended in September 1944 with the signing of an armistice agreement.
After World War II, Finland maintained a policy of neutrality. However, it also maintained a strong military, in order to deter any potential aggression from the Soviet Union.
In the decades since the Cold War, Finland has become a more integrated member of the international community. It joined the European Union in 1995, and it has also participated in NATO-led peacekeeping missions.
Today, the Finnish military is one of the most advanced in the world. It is well-equipped and well-trained, and it is capable of defending Finland against any external threat.
Here are some of the key events in Finnish military history:
* 1808-1809: Finnish War. Russia defeats Sweden and annexes Finland.
* 1917-1918: Finnish Civil War. Pro-communist Reds fight anti-communist Whites. Whites win with German help.
* 1939-1940: Winter War. Soviet Union invades Finland. Finns fight bravely but are eventually forced to cede territory.
* 1941-1944: Continuation War. Finland joins Germany in invading Soviet Union. Finns initially make good progress but are eventually forced to retreat.
* 1945-present: Cold War and post-Cold War era. Finland maintains a policy of neutrality but also maintains a strong military.
The Finnish military has a long and proud history. It has played a vital role in defending Finland’s independence and freedom.
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