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Winter War facts for kids

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Winter War
Part of World War II
Winter war.jpg
A Finnish machine gun crew during the Winter War
Date 30 November 1939 – 13 March 1940
Eastern Finland
Cession of the Gulf of Finland islands, Karelian Isthmus, Ladoga Karelia, Salla, and Rybachy Peninsula, and rental of Hanko to the Soviet Union
Foreign volunteers
 Soviet Union
Flag of Finland.svg Finnish Democratic Republic (A puppet state. Recognized only by USSR.)
Commanders and leaders
Finland Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim Soviet Union Joseph Stalin
Soviet Union Kirill Meretskov
Soviet Union Kliment Voroshilov
Soviet Union Semyon Timoshenko
Finland Otto Wille Kuusinen
337,000–346,500 men
32 tanks
114 aircraft

425,640–760,578 men
998,100 men (overall)

2,514–6,541 tanks
3,880 aircraft
Casualties and losses
25,904 dead or missing
43,557 wounded
1,000 captured
957 civilians in air raids
20–30 tanks
62 aircraft
70,000 total casualties
126,875 dead or missing
188,671 wounded, injured or burned
5,572 captured
3,543 tanks
261–515 aircraft
323,000 total casualties

The Winter War (30 November 1939 - 13 March 1940) was a conflict fought between the Soviet Union and Finland. It began when the Soviet Union tried to invade Finland soon after the Invasion of Poland. The Soviet military forces expected a victory over Finland in a few weeks, because the Soviet army had many more tanks and planes than the Finnish army.

However, the Finnish forces resisted both better and longer than expected. One reason the Finnish forces did better is because they had good winter clothes and they wore white coats which camouflaged them in the snow. As well, the Finnish soldiers moved around on skis, which made it easy for them to sneak up on the Soviet soldiers. The Soviet army did not have good winter clothes, and they wore dark green coats, which made them easy to see in the snow.

The defeated Finns had to give up 11% of their country. They tried to get it back in the Continuation War.

Finn ski troops
Finnish ski troops

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Winter War Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.