Manntie on Kova Kävellä: A Finland Hoi3 AAR Part 1

Published: 2017-01-31

Part of the campaign:

Maantie on Kova Kävellä: A Finland Hoi3 AAR

Finland, 1936
Our story begins in Helsinki, in the office of President Pehr Evind Svinhufvud. Pehr has ruled Finland along with his conservative Kokoomus party since 1931. Unbeknownst to the President, Comrade Stalin and his Marshals of the Soviet Union have set their sights on Finland as a target for invasion.
The first government action of 1936 is shuffling the cabinet. President Svinhufvud removes members of the SDP party and replaces them with members of his Kok party.
Field Marshal Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim, Commander of all Finnish forces is tasked with the reorganization of the Finnish Army and defense of Finland in the event of war.
Our army number a little over 72,000 men. Mannerheim calls for defensive preparations to be made along the Soviet border and authorizes the recruitment of thousands of men to bolster the ranks.
Our navy is in a pitiful state, with only two surface ships and a small squadron of outdated submarines.
The Ilmarinen, the pride of our fleet. It was constructed in 1931 and is vastly outdated compared to the ships of Germany and the Soviet Union.
Foreign Minister Holsti brings news of a civil war in Spain. Italy and Germany quickly intervene on the side of the Nationalists, sending men, aircraft and supplies. The Soviets intervene for the Republicans, hoping to spread socialism to Western Europe.
Ethiopia falls to the Italians at the end of March. The war raged on for 7 months and claimed the lives of over 150,000 men. A war in Europe will be very different than The Great War.
The Rhineland is reoccupied on the same day of the Ethiopian surrender. The French and Belgian governments debate on intervening but back down, weary to start another war with Germany.
Our air force consists of just 31 British Gloster Gladiators. We will need to build more interceptors if we hope to defend the skies over Helsinki.
One of our few fighter planes. (1936)
The army is fully restructured by June when a series of laws are passed to increase military production.
Mannerheim meets with Hitler and his Generals in June, to discuss relations and hopefully bring back military information to aid the army. The meeting is well received on both sides and an alliance between our two nations looks likely within the next few years.
Of the things brought back by Mannerheim are designs for a new heavy machine gun. The 7.62 Maxim m/09-21 will give our men a much needed increase to firepower. We hope this will preform well against the Soviets.
A Finnish machine gun team training with their new gun. (1936)
Results of the election pour in as the SDP take 7 of 10 cabinet positions. President Svinhufvud, however, stays in power to lead the conservative coalition. The fascist parties gain a sizable increase in their popularity.
More research is gained, opening up paths to Arctic and Mountain warfare equipment. This will aid us greatly in modernizing our infantry.
Some of the SDP are replaced with Kok members due to a scandal. It is also reported that our fascist parties are being influenced by the Abwehr of Nazi Germany. Our government largely ignores it and sweeps it under the rug.
More provisions are enacted to bolster our military production. Slight reorganization of our order of battle is also finished.
In Spain, the Nationalists capture Madrid and threaten to encricle the Republican capital of Barcelona. The Republicans will fall within the year.
A newly reinvorgated Finnish army marches to the border, ready to defend their country against any who threaten us. Not a single invader will enter Finland while Mannerheim leads us! Hakkaa Päälle!

Next chapter:

Game: Hearts of Iron III

Maantie on Kova Kävellä: A Finland Hoi3 AAR Part 2

Images: 36, author: TheGreatestPanini, published: 2017-01-31

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