Winter War soldiers were no superhumans
Arvamus 02 Dec 2009  EWR
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Anna-Stina Nykänen, Helsingin Sanomat

Monday is the 70th anniversary of the beginning of the Winter War. People still are wondering how Finland prevailed in the war, and whether or not Finnish men of today could handle the conditions of the Winter War today.

Would today’s video game generation even know how to ski? Would they be afraid in the forest? There is much talk of the obesity and poor physical condition of today’s conscripts.

“I don’t recognise Finnish conscripts in the image that is put out in public”, says Colonel Pertti Laatikainen, head of training of the Finnish Defence Forces.

The image of the heroes of the Winter War is also convoluted in many ways, says Major Juha Mälkki. For his doctorate in political science, he studied the composition of the armed forces of the Winter War.

So let’s start busting some of the myths.

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