The Continuation War 1941 – 1944
The Finns had earned the respect of the world, and Germany now considered Finland a worthy ally for their planned invasion of the Soviet Union. The Finnish government was informed of plans for Operation Barbarossa during January 1941, and agreed to cooperate with Germany to recover its lost territory. They agreed upon the arrival of German troops, Finnish mobilization and general division of operations. The Germans took responsibility for a 500 km stretch of the front in the northern Finland. Acts of war between Finland and the Soviet Union started on June 22 1941, the day Germany launched Operation Barbarossa. Open warfare started with a Soviet air offensive on June 25 1941. The Soviet air forces bombed Helsinki and other major Finnish cities. This offered the Finnish government a ground for claiming that the country had become the target of a new assault. Finnish government stressed that Finland was fighting as a co-belligerent of Germany only against the Soviet Union to protect itself. However, the United Kingdom had signed with the Soviet Union an agreement of joint action on July 12 1941. As a result, Britain declared war against Finland. Both Churchill and Roosevelt were assisting the Soviets in acts of territorial conquest through huge supplies of arms. Image: Public domain.