World War II Finland: Casualties (1941-44)

Figure 1.--Finland was one of the many counties invaded by aggresor countries during World war II, in Finland's case the Soviet Union. They resisted and paid a high price. Finland had one of the highest casualty rates of all World War II beligerant countries. Here 13-year old Veikko Rantala is being treated in the Leiksanjoki Military Hospital. Source: Finnish Defense Firces.

Finland was one of the many countries attacked by World War II aggresspr nations, in Finland's case the Soviet Union. The country could have avoided war by surrendering to Soviet demands issued over the barrel of a gun, but the countrues that did so sufferecthe depradations of NKVD attrocuities and rin some cases their national existence. Nerarly 0.1 million Finns perished in World War II. That of course is small by World War II standards, but it is very significant as a percentage of the Finnish population--nearly 3 percent. This is one of the highest casualt rates of the War and reflects the fact that the Finns with limited resources had to fight the masive Sovirt Red rmy over a lengthy border and severe Arctic conditions. The Finnish National Archives website lists the names of the 95,000 known Finnish military war dead. These numbers include casualties from the three different campaigns: The Winter War (1939-40)--22,800; the Continuation War (1941-44)--58,770, and the Lapland War (1944-45)--1,000. The Finns were better armed during the Continuation War and had the Germans allies, but the war lasted longer than the Winter War and the Finns after Slaingrad and Kursk had to fight a revived and much more profecient Red army. The Soviets report taking 2,400 Finns prisoner, some 400 of whom died. Anpther 2,000 civilians died, most killed in Soviet bombing of Helsinki.


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Created: 8:46 PM 11/5/2014
Last updated: 8:46 PM 11/5/2014