Creative Destruction

April 16, 2006

Why, Finland? Why?

Filed under: Popular Culture — Robert @ 11:02 pm

Finland. Fine nation. Good soldiers; brave fighters. The reindeer are also of high quality.

As a new center for pop videos? Not so much.

Via GNXP.

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6 Comments »

  1. Since the 12th century, Finland has actually a mediocre military record. (BTW, I am Finnish by descent, a heritage I observe mostly by buying Finish vodka when I can).

    1157 – Conquered by Sweden
    1809 – Lost to entire country to Alexander I
    1917 – Gain independence during chaos of Russian Revolution
    1939 – Lose territory to USSR
    1941 – Forced by Nazis to fight for them against Russia, lose even more territory to USSR.
    1948-1989 – Avoid losing more wars by signing non-alignment treaty during Cold War.

    Finland’s absence of corruption and strong respect for gender equality is legendary. Their military prowess, not so much.

    Comment by ohwilleke — April 17, 2006 @ 3:37 pm | Reply

  2. But weren’t they fantastically outnumbered in their battles all through the 20th century?

    Comment by Robert — April 17, 2006 @ 6:57 pm | Reply

  3. Holy Hell!

    I go away for couple of days and what do I see: A shamefully bad pop video and lousy understanding of Finnish history (ohwilleke, are you trolling, or what?). First of all, Finland, as a nation, didn’t really exist (even as an idea) during medieval times. Nationalist movement began much later.

    1939 – Lose territory to USSR

    Yes, lose some territory, but maintain independence (unlike other Baltic nations, Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia who capitulated. And lost independence.). I’d say that’s pretty good for a small nation against Soviet Union (Finland practically stood alone, with the Western Allies wringing hands furiously at the injustice).

    and this… THIS!

    1941 – Forced by Nazis to fight for them against Russia, lose even more territory to USSR.

    Aargh! Forced? Finland fought as a cobelligerent with Germany (with the goal to get back lost territories of Karelia), and despite German wishes for Finland to continue the attack beyond the old border, did not. Ryti-Ribbentropp pact got Finns the military equipment required, in exchange for fighting against USSR (which was Finland’s interest anyway).

    However, in 1944, the Nazis were losing, and the deal looked bad. As did the counteroffensive (that was, miraculously enough, stopped. Why do you suppose Finland maintained independence, and was not occupied by USSR?). Finland did not (and could not) pursue war against USSR anymore, and the wording of the Ryti-Ribbentropp treaty saved us: The treaty was Ryti’s personal promise to keep Finland at war against USSR, and was invalid when Ryti resigned (which he himself pointed out while resigning).

    This of of course, meant that Finland had hostile German troops within borders (in Northern Finland [Lapland]) which had to be driven out (War of Lapland).

    As for post WW2, I can’t see how things could have been done differently. A single, small nation flipping the bird to a warlike Eastern neighbor might have been satisfying on some level, but unrealistic. Perhaps the worst thing from those times is the fact that the Finnish media was very pro-communist and anti-American (because anti-Communist activities were a crime), a heritage that is still in effect (altough not as blatantly).

    And this isn’t a debate 😉

    Comment by Tuomas — April 18, 2006 @ 10:57 am | Reply

  4. Or pedantically, in some areas, the old border was crossed somewhat, but the main point (Finland did not pursue the war as Germany wanted, but rather was in it for herself).

    Comment by Tuomas — April 18, 2006 @ 11:02 am | Reply

  5. To clarify: I suppose the point here is that some of the points ohwilleke raised were false (to my knowledge), not that I’m particularly enamored of the Finns are greats soldiers -meme (which does have some support in history, and some flaws in it, like most theories of that kind). I don’t really have that much desire to engage in national pissing contests of who’s the toughest of them all at war etc.

    Comment by Tuomas — April 18, 2006 @ 12:42 pm | Reply

  6. I don’t really have that much desire to engage in national pissing contests of who’s the toughest of them all at war

    Wuss!

    😛

    Comment by Robert — April 18, 2006 @ 1:50 pm | Reply


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