Pavel Petrov, Viktor Stepakov, Dmitry Frolov:
War in Petsamo, 1939-1940
The Winter War of 1939-40 has lately begun to attract the attention of Finnish and Russian scholars alike. It is in this connection that we are presenting to the reading public a new volume, War in Petsamo, 1939-40. The authors of the book are the director of the Russian State Archive of the Naval Department, Pavel Petrov (C.Phil.), Viktor Stepakov, a historian from St. Petersburg and Dmitry Frolov, a post-graduate student of history at Helsinki University.
For their work, the authors have relied principally on materials from the State Archive of the Russian Navy and the War Archive of Finland, on memoirs and reminiscences of veterans of the Winter War, and more obscure publications. In addition to Russian sources, the authors have used the collections of the War Archive of Finland (Sota-arkisto) and the Archive of the Foreign Ministry of Finland (Ulkoasianministerin arkisto). The appendix includes many Finnish and Russian documents, which are published here for the first time, for example, "A Questionnaire for Captured Airmen," letters to the front by family members, etc.
The authors have striven to write an objective study that would be free of the ideological colorings of the past and of idealization of the actions of either side. The work proves to be a valuable addition to the history writing on the Winter War by focusing on a little-researched area in the theatre of the war. In its thorough use of archival materials, one could even say that the work nearly exhausts the available materials on military engagements of the Soviet armed forces in the Arctic Ocean area during the Winter War.
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