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Tags nato , Russia-Finland relations , Russia-Sweden relations , Russia-Ukraine war , vladimir putin

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Old 14th April 2022, 07:53 AM   #161
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
Which has what to do with 'practical experience'?
It's in the DNA. Whilst countries such as France, Germany and the UK are 'standing behind Ukraine' they are also 'friends of Russia', albeit Russia being on the 'naughty step' for the time being. Germany paid ten times as much towards Russian gas than it did on arms to Ukraine. Sweden or Finland has no such illusions, It knows Russia is the enemy. It has always known Russia, in its various transfigurations, was the hated enemy. It is neither friend and foe nor friend or foe. Russia is foe. Full stop. Always has been. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.
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Old 14th April 2022, 08:01 AM   #162
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Which has what to do with practical experience?
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Old 14th April 2022, 08:03 AM   #163
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Originally Posted by jimbob View Post
So akin to British tanks having a boiling vessel that allows one to have a brew, as far as culturally-specific morale boosting equipment then?
This reminds me of a tale about when USS Park Victory hit the rocks at Utö, due to poor anchoring, on Christmas Eve, 1947, in the middle of winter. The Finns raced to help rescue the stricken sailors, who were largely African-American, and of course, this involved reviving them in a nice hot sauna, together with a good massage to get rid of the hypothermia. One lady thought a sailor's dark skin was oil from the ship and was desperately trying to rub it off. The surviving sailors were very impressed with the hospitality and said back home in the USA they had never been treated with such dignity and respect. Sauna cures all ills.

Just like a nice cup of tea.


I saw one TV programme about Finnish troops and it seems they have pea soup as a typical lunch. (This usually includes some ham on the bone and a dash of mustard.)
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Old 14th April 2022, 08:05 AM   #164
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
Which has what to do with practical experience?
If you don't get it, you don't get it.
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Old 14th April 2022, 08:12 AM   #165
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
If you don't get it, you don't get it.
You get it by actually fighting.

Your patriotism does you justice and I am sure that both the Finn's and Swedes are well trained, equipped and effective compared to the Russians. But they aren't some kind of super soldiers with special anti-Russian skills or genetic predisposition to fighting Russia.
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Old 14th April 2022, 08:14 AM   #166
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
Which has what to do with practical experience?
The Winter War is a vital party of Finnish national identity and the need to believe that they could do the same again is an important part of the national myth - rather like the fanciful notion among Brexiteers that the UK is still globally relevant and important.

For sure the fact that, thanks to conscription, around 80% of Finnish men over 30 have at least some military experience and training is better than nothing at all but as you say there's little to no actual practical experience of warfare.

The fact that Swedes and Finns have always known that the Russians were the bad guys will doubtless gird their loins and mean that they will be far more militarily effective than their 6, 9 or 12 months of service would suggest.

Of course the Finland of the early years of WWII was a quite different place than the Finland of today. I'd guess (though that is a guess) there would have been a greater proportion of people back then who earned their living outdoors and shooting skills and levels of outdoorsmanship were higher.
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Old 14th April 2022, 08:31 AM   #167
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
The Winter War is a vital party of Finnish national identity and the need to believe that they could do the same again is an important part of the national myth
This makes it important and valuable in another way: Esprit de corps. Units made up of soldiers from the same region, or sharing the same cultural background and values, perform better than units that do not.

I am hesitant to undermine the myths that help sustain a friendly army's morale.
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Old 14th April 2022, 08:39 AM   #168
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Originally Posted by zorro99 View Post
Russia threatens to move nukes to Baltic region if Finland, Sweden join NATO

By Emily Rauhala and Adela Suliman

Today at 6:30 a.m. EDT|Updated today at 9:44 a.m. EDT

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world...d-sweden-nato/
Though what's the big deal - they already have nuclear weapons in Kaliningrad, or is it by the Mediterrenean?
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Old 14th April 2022, 08:46 AM   #169
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
The Winter War is a vital party of Finnish national identity and the need to believe that they could do the same again is an important part of the national myth - rather like the fanciful notion among Brexiteers that the UK is still globally relevant and important.
Well, there is something in that - the Winter War has become a myth, and many younger people these days would unhesitatingly say that it was a Finnish victory. Which it totally wasn't. Though an exceedingly good performance against an overwhelming enemy who wanted to liquidate us and did not succeed in 1939-45.

But we have seriously prepared for a rerun and I don't think the UK has done the same to regain their global role in 1939. It's all just empty tabloid jingoism. So we have been pretty realistic on a fundamental level - and as it turns out with this incredibly bungled Russian effort that it does not take a big leap of faith to think that we would probably be pretty effective in the defence of our deep forests and sparsely populated country (significantly larger in area than the UK with only 5,5 million inhabitants).

Again, this report is bit rosy but still not that far from the truth:

https://www.ft.com/content/c5e376f9-...8-1873b2ef1924

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Old 14th April 2022, 09:35 AM   #170
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Old 14th April 2022, 10:04 AM   #171
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Originally Posted by zorro99 View Post
Russia threatens to move nukes to Baltic region if Finland, Sweden join NATO
While it's not my ass (though I assume Russia already has plenty of nukes pointing this way) there must be an element of <shrug> whatever about being told that. Since neither has any intention of attacking Russia, so what?
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Old 14th April 2022, 10:37 AM   #172
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The whole rigamarole of moving nukes closer to borders made more sense fifty-some years ago, when the full MAD infrastructure was still being built out and refined.

Nowadays, forward-deployed nukes just means being able to get off a surprise attack at short range. But that kind of attack won't inoculate you against retaliation or escalation to full MAD, so why bother?
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Old 14th April 2022, 10:41 AM   #173
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
Which has what to do with 'practical experience'?
Did you miss the bit about war magazines being on the shelves?
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Old 14th April 2022, 10:46 AM   #174
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Originally Posted by llwyd View Post

But we have seriously prepared for a rerun and I don't think the UK has done the same to regain their global role in 1939. I
We didn't rebuild the RN to be the size of the two largest navies in the world combined?
We didn't rebuild the Empire?

I don't understand what that is supposed to mean.
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Old 14th April 2022, 10:56 AM   #175
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
We didn't rebuild the RN to be the size of the two largest navies in the world combined?
We didn't rebuild the Empire?

I don't understand what that is supposed to mean.
Brexit is a bad analogy because it was pitched as a restoration of British greatness even though no effort was actually made to establish or restore British greatness. By contrast, the Finns have actually made substantial (and probably effective) efforts to maintain and improve the greatness that served them well in the Winter War.

From this we can infer that it was kind of a dick move by The Don, to dismiss Finnish war preparations as being on par with Brexit.

I get that the pro-Finland hyperbole is annoying, but we shouldn't turn this into a "crap all over Finland" thread. Even if the MA does prohibit you from directing your ire at the actual target.
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Old 14th April 2022, 11:05 AM   #176
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Brexit is a bad analogy because it was pitched as a restoration of British greatness even though no effort was actually made to establish or restore British greatness. By contrast, the Finns have actually made substantial (and probably effective) efforts to maintain and improve the greatness that served them well in the Winter War.

From this we can infer that it was kind of a dick move by The Don, to dismiss Finnish war preparations as being on par with Brexit.

I get that the pro-Finland hyperbole is annoying, but we shouldn't turn this into a "crap all over Finland" thread. Even if the MA does prohibit you from directing your ire at the actual target.
Who is 'crapping'? As I already posted Finland and Sweden have well motivated and equipped armies with decent training in modern techniques. Sweden is as near a NATO country as makes no difference already.
Even within NATO there are different levels of equipment and effectiveness between members.
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Old 14th April 2022, 11:22 AM   #177
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
We didn't rebuild the RN to be the size of the two largest navies in the world combined?
We didn't rebuild the Empire?

I don't understand what that is supposed to mean.
Well, the implied comparison between the Brexiteers and the Winter War myth. The tabloid jingoistic and absolutely imaginary continuation of the idea of the UK as a global power vs the much more realistic and practical Finnish focus on countering a Russian land attack. Like in that particular comparison our myth is much more useful than yours
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Old 14th April 2022, 11:24 AM   #178
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Originally Posted by llwyd View Post
Well, the implied comparison between the Brexiteers and the Winter War myth. The tabloid jingoistic and absolutely imaginary continuation of the idea of the UK as a global power vs the much more realistic and practical Finnish focus on countering a Russian land attack. Like in that particular comparison our myth is much more useful than yours
Why is it my myth?
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Old 14th April 2022, 11:28 AM   #179
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And to think about those admiring mentions in the foreign media that we have supply for the whole country for 6 months - I was pretty shocked to find out that they had cut it from one year only pretty recently. I mean why fgs?
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Old 14th April 2022, 11:34 AM   #180
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Originally Posted by llwyd View Post
Though what's the big deal - they already have nuclear weapons in Kaliningrad, or is it by the Mediterrenean?
Russia already has nukes in the Baltic region. And it'snot like Russian missiles elsewhere with medium jto long rangers cannot be easily reprogrammed to target Finland or Sweden.
In other words, it's just Putin being a bully again.
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Old 14th April 2022, 11:39 AM   #181
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
Why is it my myth?
I don't know - is it your myth? My reply concerned the original post with which I didn't disagree but just continued from. I think it was rather a perceptive comparison actually.
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Old 14th April 2022, 11:45 AM   #182
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
It's in the DNA. Whilst countries such as France, Germany and the UK are 'standing behind Ukraine' they are also 'friends of Russia', albeit Russia being on the 'naughty step' for the time being. Germany paid ten times as much towards Russian gas than it did on arms to Ukraine. Sweden or Finland has no such illusions, It knows Russia is the enemy. It has always known Russia, in its various transfigurations, was the hated enemy. It is neither friend and foe nor friend or foe. Russia is foe. Full stop. Always has been. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.
Institutional memory doesn't work like that.
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Old 14th April 2022, 01:50 PM   #183
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
The Winter War is a vital party of Finnish national identity and the need to believe that they could do the same again is an important part of the national myth - rather like the fanciful notion among Brexiteers that the UK is still globally relevant and important.

For sure the fact that, thanks to conscription, around 80% of Finnish men over 30 have at least some military experience and training is better than nothing at all but as you say there's little to no actual practical experience of warfare.

The fact that Swedes and Finns have always known that the Russians were the bad guys will doubtless gird their loins and mean that they will be far more militarily effective than their 6, 9 or 12 months of service would suggest.

Of course the Finland of the early years of WWII was a quite different place than the Finland of today. I'd guess (though that is a guess) there would have been a greater proportion of people back then who earned their living outdoors and shooting skills and levels of outdoorsmanship were higher.
I can only speak for myself. The Winter War is not the most vital part of Finland's identity (war wise), it is the world's view of Finland. In truth, the Winter War lasted just three months. The real biggie was the Continuation War, which lasted three years kolmella kannaksella: on the three isthmuses: these were the battlefields of the Karelian isthmus, the Aunus isthmus and finally the Maaselkä isthmus. Nobody has really heard of that one because of the rap on the knuckles for Finland in the post-war Paris Treaty and we can't upset Russia by mentioning it.

There is still a high gun ownership rate, and many of these will be farmers who hunt either as a past-time or to cut down on vermin (for which they have to be licensed for or permitted to do).
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Old 14th April 2022, 01:57 PM   #184
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Originally Posted by Jack by the hedge View Post
While it's not my ass (though I assume Russia already has plenty of nukes pointing this way) there must be an element of <shrug> whatever about being told that. Since neither has any intention of attacking Russia, so what?
I think you have sussed there is quite a lot of hype about the NATO business, as Putin made the same threat to the Baltic countries when they were considering joining.

This guy explains the situation with a level-head:

YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE



Notice how Peshkov is being more moderate in his language than the other guy who threatened 'destruction'.
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Old 14th April 2022, 02:00 PM   #185
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Nobody is saying that Sweden or Finland are not highly-capable. But we are pointing out that neither have any members of the armed forces with experience of war whilst serving with those armed forces.


As Captain_Swoop pointed out - few people in the UK armed forces have experience of near-peer level naval warfare.
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Old 14th April 2022, 03:31 PM   #186
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Originally Posted by jimbob View Post
Nobody is saying that Sweden or Finland are not highly-capable. But we are pointing out that neither have any members of the armed forces with experience of war whilst serving with those armed forces.
When I was in Bosnia, I was in a brigade that consisted of soldiers from Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Poland, despite Sweden not being in NATO. The brigade was called the Nordpol Brigade. Really.

There is a security level called NATO Top Secret, which means it can only be shared with other NATO countries, which meant Sweden didn't get full security briefings, but other than that they worked as an integrated member of the NATO forces.

So for Sweden, at least, I know they took part in Bosnia under NATO command.
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Old 14th April 2022, 04:27 PM   #187
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
Who is 'crapping'?
This guy:
Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
Just what NATO needs another half trained conscript army.
Then there was the whole Winter War "myth" sidebar.

I know you walked some of it back, but the point is you walked it out there in the first place.
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Old 14th April 2022, 05:06 PM   #188
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Originally Posted by jimbob View Post
Nobody is saying that Sweden or Finland are not highly-capable. But we are pointing out that neither have any members of the armed forces with experience of war whilst serving with those armed forces.
Well, that's obviously true - and who really knows how we would perform. All I'm saying is that we have been training against a large scale Russian attack since forever and that the terrain is pretty good for the defender and not so good for a large scale armoured attack. Still, Nato membership would greatly ease my mind, especially as regards air and naval defence. I would not think that we would be in need of ground forces though. Anyway, the application seem pretty certain now, probably coming in May.
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Old 15th April 2022, 02:16 AM   #189
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We have to remember there is more than physical fighting in a war. What the nordics are good at are hi-tech communication systems. The Automatic Identification System (AIS) being developed by Benny Pettersson of Sweden:

Quote:
Benny Pettersson is one of those people, who through his know-how and commitment, searched for solutions to benefit global shipping, and came up with the idea of the AIS; a vital tool for navigators on vessels globally.
Providing the backround of AIS and its creator, Tommy Gardebring notes that Benny Pettersson was raised in Klintehamn, Sweden, and as he mentions, he always wanted to ‘go to sea when I saw ships pass by and wondered where they were heading’.
safety4sea com

The history of AIS:

Quote:
The Coast Guard decided on a system that used VHF radio waves. At the same time, tracking systems were being developed and tested around the world. “The British were testing a VHS-based tracking system for ships going in and out of the Dover Strait,” Arroyo says. “The Panama Canal Commission was testing a UHF system, and Swedes were developing another protocol.”

By the mid-90s, the international community realized that it made sense to work together, and a movement began at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and International Telecommunications Union (ITU) to adopt a single system that could be used worldwide. They decided on the VHS-based AIS system in use today.

Its three primary purposes of were:

1] Collision avoidance

2] Vessel Traffic Service

3] Coastal Surveillance
Global Fishing Watch

All of which can be put to great effect in a war situation via 'listening posts' in coastal waters and on sea beds.

Likewise the NMT, the Nordic Mobile Telephone, was developed by the nordics, albeit, the first mobile phone was invented by US firm Motorola.

Quote:
NMT – Nordic Mobile Telephone
NMT stands for Nordic Mobile Telephone and is an analog mobile telephone network that was jointly built up in the Nordic countries. NMT was a fully automated network created for the public and put into operation after ten years of development.

Although NMT was a Nordic invention, the Nordic countries were not first out with the NMT system. It was in Saudi Arabia that the system was first launched in 1981. Only a few months later, the system also began to be used in Sweden and Norway. The following year Finland and Denmark started and Iceland joined a few years later. By 1985, the network in the Nordic region had grown to 110,000 users, making it the largest mobile network at that time. Many European and Asian countries then adopted the same system.
dst*ny

Which brings us to Nokia - who supply mobile phones to Russia, now pulling out.

Quote:
Nokia made significant contributions to the mobile telephony industry, assisting in the development of the GSM, 3G, and LTE standards. For a decade beginning in 1998, Nokia was the largest worldwide vendor of mobile phones and smartphones.
wiki

So whilst a degree in electronics can enhance one's army career in the UK, one can see that the ability to listen and monitor virtually everything your enemy does, and and have been doing all throughout the cold war and beyond, is as effect as 'pratical experience of war'. Finland after the war never decreased its defence budget to the extent other EU countries have done.

Add to that all of the sophisticated satellite systems - predominantly US and Russian - and the whole world could see each individual Russian soldier gathering on the border of Ukraine before Russia even invaded.
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Old 15th April 2022, 02:43 AM   #190
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
This guy:





Then there was the whole Winter War "myth" sidebar.



I know you walked some of it back, but the point is you walked it out there in the first place.
I think this thread suffered a basic disconnection between people talking about the combat experience of Finland as a nation versus those talking about the importance of combat experience to anyone currently in the Finnish military.
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Old 15th April 2022, 04:01 AM   #191
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
This guy:


Then there was the whole Winter War "myth" sidebar.

I know you walked some of it back, but the point is you walked it out there in the first place.
I dislike conscript armies, They are a waste of training and resources.

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Old 15th April 2022, 04:09 AM   #192
Captain_Swoop
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AIS is the opposite of what you want in a war.
You do not broadcast the position of shipping.

Even in peacetime RN ships routinely sail with the AIS off.
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Old 15th April 2022, 04:10 AM   #193
Oystein
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Originally Posted by Ryokan View Post
...

So for Sweden, at least, I know they took part in Bosnia under NATO command.
For background, Bosnia was, ultimately, a UN operation, so all UN member nations were called upon to contribute. Lead for air cover was given to NATO, and US and NATO carried most of the burden (I myself participated in an integrated NATO unit for aerial reconnaissance), but others participated as well, on the ground: UNPROFOR's first commander was from India, its second from Sweden.
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Old 15th April 2022, 05:06 AM   #194
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I will say this, that if Russia tries to invade Finland with the rolling stock it has now, it would be a disaster.

There are few roads in that part of Finland, and Russia's vehicles seem unable to navigate in places other than on the roads.

It is exactly the strategy they used for defense during the Winter war.
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Old 15th April 2022, 07:54 AM   #195
llwyd
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
I dislike conscript armies, They are a waste of training and resources.
Well, we have a 1340km border with Russia - to have a professional army capable of defeating or at least significantly delaying an invasion would bankrupt us and be very inefficient use of resources. Could you maybe calculate how many professional troops and with which armaments we would need to defend ourselves effectively in lieau of conscription? A nation of 5,5 million people.
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Old 15th April 2022, 07:59 AM   #196
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
I dislike conscript armies, They are a waste of training and resources.
Maybe for the UK they are. But the UK is in the enviable position of being able to pick and choose where it sends its ground forces, and how invested they will be in any particular conflict. A lot of countries don't have that luxury.
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Old 15th April 2022, 08:34 AM   #197
llwyd
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
It's in the DNA.
More like our cultural dna - when I was doing my conscription in the mid-90's, a very relaxed era when many of us thought that the whole thing was pretty pointless, our trainers would casually refer to "when Ivan is flying his helicopter behind the forest" or that "the Ruskies would attempt to break through this or that way" etc. Retrospectively I now understand that they had good reason to train us. And even now about 25 years later I as a very respectable middle class person could use various arms pretty handily
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Old 15th April 2022, 02:06 PM   #198
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
AIS is the opposite of what you want in a war.
You do not broadcast the position of shipping.

Even in peacetime RN ships routinely sail with the AIS off.
It is not war at the moment, is it? In the interim...we are listening. There is more than one way to skin a cat, so even if you switch off your AIS, it doesn't mean you have not been 'heard' or 'seen'.
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Old 16th April 2022, 07:31 AM   #199
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
Of course the Finland of the early years of WWII was a quite different place than the Finland of today. I'd guess (though that is a guess) there would have been a greater proportion of people back then who earned their living outdoors and shooting skills and levels of outdoorsmanship were higher.
Probably so. The Finland of 1939 was a poor agricultural nation, where many country pumpkins still had to rely on fishing and hunting to amendtheir diet. This has a reverse effect as well - something like 20 % of available conscripts were deemed unfit for service due to the aftereffects of childhood malnutrition, tuberculosis etc.
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Old 16th April 2022, 08:22 AM   #200
Captain_Swoop
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Originally Posted by llwyd View Post
Well, we have a 1340km border with Russia - to have a professional army capable of defeating or at least significantly delaying an invasion would bankrupt us and be very inefficient use of resources. Could you maybe calculate how many professional troops and with which armaments we would need to defend ourselves effectively in lieau of conscription? A nation of 5,5 million people.
Why would you stage your forces spread out along the border?
It would consign you to not having a force concentration capable of stopping an attack.

How much cheaper is it to have a conscript army than a professional one?
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