The Winter War

I originally bought the DVD of THE WINTER WAR: THE TRUE STORY OF A BATTLE AGAINST ALL ODDS back in June 2011 (!), but have only just managed to watch it from start to finish. (The film is also known by its Finnish name, which is TALVISOTA.)

The film is a fictional account of the 1939 – 1940 war between Finland and Soviet Russia, and tells the story of a platoon of reservists from Kauhava in Southern Ostrobothnia who served in the Finnish Army’s 23rd Infantry Regiment. The film features lots of genuine (or accurate replica) military hardware from the period, including T-26 light tanks, a Tupolev SB fast bomber, and Polikarpov I-16 fighters.

I finally got around to watching the whole film because I had recently finished reading FINLAND AT WAR: THE WINTER WAR 1939-40 by Vesa Nenye with Peter Munter and Toni Wirtanen, and I had one or two ideas forming in my head about a scenario for a possible mini-campaign.


12 Comments on “The Winter War”

  1. It looks interesting. Any scenario ideas from the film?

  2. I recommend Robert Edwards (2006), 'White Death: Russia's War on Finland 1939-40' Phoenix, London. very good on the political machinations that were carried on whilst the battle raged. Not bad on the military side either.

  3. Don M says:

    It's a great film I've watched it twice now, your right some really good battles and the equipment is well done!

  4. Brigadier General,

    My ideas for a mini-campaign scenario revolve around the defenders holding off the attackers for a set number of campaign days, after which an armistice will come into force. I am currently working on a hexed map that represents four of my mini-campaign tables side-by-side. Once I have done my map and sorted out each side's forces, I will write a blog entry before I start the campaign.

    All the best,


  5. Archduke Piccolo,

    I have a copy of the book you recommend, and enjoyed reading it when it was published. As you say, not too bad on the military aspects of the war, but very good in other areas.

    All the best,


  6. Don M,

    Over the past few years the attention to detail in war films – especially those from the former Eastern Bloc – has been exemplary. They seem less reliant on CGI and more inclined to use real or replica military vehicles when the need arises.

    All the best,


  7. I've been wanting to get Talvisota for a while, but didn't realise that it had been repackaged with a different name…thanks.

  8. Springinsfeld,

    Glad to have been of help.

    It is really annoying when companies release books and videos with different names and covers in different places, I once bought an expensive book in the belief that it was a newly published one, only to discover that it wasn't, and had been published some years before with a different name.

    All the best,


  9. Conrad Kinch says:

    Oh dear – will your colonial fort be getting outing before the winter war campaign?

  10. Conrad Kinch,

    Not during this mini-campaign … I think!

    All the best,


  11. On the general subject of material on the Finns at war between 1939-45, can I strongly recommend the following?
    ZALOGA, Steven J.
    Gustaf Mannerheim.
    Osprey Command 32, 2015. £11.99

  12. David Bradley,

    Now that is one book that I don't currently have … but I will certainly look out for it.

    Thanks for the recommendation.

    All the best,


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