On the Finland Watch: An American Diplomat in Finland During the Cold War

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9780759617698: On the Finland Watch: An American Diplomat in Finland During the Cold War

Finland s experiences during the Cold War were unique among all of the countries of Western Europe Finland emerged from the turbulence of World War II in a precarious situation that threatened the country s very existence as a free and independent state Attached and invaded by the Soviet Union in 1939 brave little Finland won the admiration of the world for the disastrous losses it inflicted on the vastly more numerous Red Army Nevertheless against the overwhelming onslaught of the masses of Soviet troops Finland was obliged to accept in March 1940 an armistice that included ceding ten percent of its territory to the Soviet Union When Hitler invaded the Soviet Union in 1941 Finland adopted a policy of siding uncomfortably with my enemy s enemy and also attacked the Soviet Union winning back the territory ceded in 1940 and establishing a defensive perimeter several scores of miles inside of the Soviet Union From that position Finland awaited the outcome of the titanic struggle between Nazi and Soviet forces When it became clear that Germany would lose the war Finland initiated contacts with the Soviet Union and reached a separate peace in 1944 Peace terms were highly onerous including heavy war reparations and confirmation of the cession of territories to the Soviet Union but appeared to permit the continuation of independence with Western political and social systems intact The history of the Cold War in Finland is a story of how Finland was able notwithstanding heavy pressures from its giant eastern neighbor to preserve its independence and maintain its western values From the onset of the Cold War in the late 1940s to its demise with the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s the primary policy objective of the United States in Finland was to support the independence and credible neutrality of Finland These remarkably consistent and unchanging U S goals closely paralleled Finland s own vital interests Ironically the paralle

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Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Finnish

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