44 The Winter War: The British Reaction to the Invasion of Finland

Last year I talked to Irish Historian Bernard Kelly about his book Military Internees, Prisoners of War and the Irish State during the Second World War”, thats episode 23 for those who haven’t listened. We discussed how the Republic of Ireland walked the tightrope of neutrality and how it treated troops of belligerent nations who found themselves within its borders..

Military Internees, Prisoners of War and the Irish State during the Second World War
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Between 1939 and 1945, over two hundred German and forty-five Allied servicemen were interned in neutral Ireland. They presented a series of extremely complex issues for the de Valera government, which strove to balance Ireland's international relationships with its obligations as a neutral.

Chatting with Bernard after that recording I discovered his MA thesis looked at the Russia’s Winter War with Finland. Yet another interesting WW2 topic and that’s what we’ll be discussing in this episode.

In November 1939 Russia attacked Finland, Britain and France were already at war with Germany and were not keen on declaring war on Russia in the defence of Finland. More importantly a total collapse of Finland might mean a Russian threaten Sweden and Norway?

Also throw into the mix that Swedish iron was vital to the German war effort it meant the Allies needed to do something, but what?