Deviation Actions

Kuusinen's avatar

Soviet Finland 1967 (Alternative Cold War)

Published:
By
23K Views

Description

This is part of the same alternative historical timeline as this one: Alternative Cold War: Soviet Empire 1960. See also: Alternate Cold War 1960 - Europe Political


This map depicts the Finnish Soviet Socialist Republic in the year of the lord 1967. In fact, this map could well stand on its own without the attachment of the so-called "Alternative Cold War 1960" timeline series I've been crafting. Even though there have not been found in OTL any documents supporting the claim that Stalin intended to annex Finland in the Winter War, there are many signs that that may have been the case: The fate of the Baltic States and the intents and purposes of the Terijoki government being the main hints. Many scholars agree that if it were not for the initially failed military campaign of the Winter War, a scenario such as this map depicts could have become a reality. Furthermore, during the Winter War, the Western press, and especially the Nordic press, feared that the invasion of Finland was as a stepping stone for a further Soviet attack on Scandinavia. There were rumours that Stalin had some geo-strategic interests in Norway and some commentators of the Western media claimed that he aspired to gain access to the Atlantic Ocean. These were only rumours which did not seem far fetched during the Molotov-Ribbentrop period. Moscow has not had any real geo-political interests in acquiring Atlantic navy bases to my knowledge. Nevertheless, this map illustrates these fears and how it might have looked like, if Stalin had found himself in the position to annex Finland and Northern Norway. 

----------------------------------------

That being said, let us return to the "Alternate Cold War 1960" timeline with some background info on the map:

Having defeated the Finns in the Winter War in early 1940, the legitimate Finnish government went into exile and Kuusinen's "people's government" took over the rains in an occupied Finland. the Finnish Democratic Republic was formed in Helsinki simultaneously as Karelian ASSR in Russia was elevated to a Soviet Republic. This was part of Stalin's plan to eventually annex Finland once the World War was over. In light of Moscow's severe miscalculation of the previously anticipated class divisions in Finnish society, and in compliance with the unexpected Finnish resistance to the Red Army during the invasion, the Finnish puppet state at first acted moderately. Kuusinen's government needed legitimacy and did not engage in a grand-scale sovietization of Finnish society as most people feared but instead took on semi-popular reforms in an attempt to gain some shred of legitimacy. Of course, mass arrests did take place, but the Finnish population was EVEN spared the kind of Stalinist purges one would anticipate, for the time being. It went OK, so to say, until in 1941 when the Soviet Union was attacked by Nazi-Germany and the bulk of the Soviet occupation forces were forced to leave Finland for the Russian front.

Naturally, far-right elements were quick to organise into a violent opposition, and in 1943, Kuusinen's government lost power in a coup by a coalition of anti-communist and democratic factions. The far-right elements of the revolt, however, got the upper hand in the midst of the chaos with the help of a German invasion. In late 1943, a pro-Nazi dictatorship was established in Finland and Finnish armies were sent straight to aid the German invasion of Russia. This was, along with Turkey joining the Axis, part of Hitler's plan to defeat the Soviet Union by extending the front, having failed to to so in Operation Barbarossa. A great white terror followed in Finland which further alienated the population. Having been the subject of two invasions, two illegitimate dictatorships and two waves of terror, Finnish society was naturally devastated during the War.

In 1945, Finland was "liberated" by Soviet troops, who also entered German-occupied Northern Norway. Facing the emerging Cold War, Stalin, who was at the height of his power and very distrustful of all and everything, decided it was time to annex Finland this time around. In 1948, the short-lived Finnish Democratic Republic merged with the Karelo-Finnish SSR. The borders of 1914 had been restored, and better yet for Stalin, he managed to strike a deal with the Americans and the Norwegian government-in-exile, that the occupied regions of Finnmark and Troms were annexed too. Furthermore, the northernmost bits of the Norwegian Nordland region, where Narvik is situated, was to be occupied by the Red Army for 40 years. In exchange, the Soviet government paid for the deportations of thousands of Norwegians from the annexed territories and all Soviet troops remaining in Norway and in Denmark (which was wholly occupied by the Red Army) left - leaving the two countries to join NATO. 

In the two decades since the end of the war, the Tromsk Oblast has become a fully integrated part of Russia. Tens of thousands of Russians have re-populated this northernmost region of Europe and the Soviet base in Narvik is an important strategic location in the Cold War. God only knows if the Narvik area will ever be released while the Soviet Union is still standing. The Karelo-Finnish SSR retained its name throughout the 1950s (as seen in other 1960 maps of the series), during the transition period from a Finnish nation state back to a mere province of the Russian periphery. Finland underwent severe sovietization and purges during the Stalinist era, but has experienced a somewhat more "friendly" attitude from Moscow since the mid 1950s. In 1961, the official name of the soviet republic was changed to the current Finnish SSR and the republic is today an economically strong region of the USSR. It is also rather ethnically homogeneous despite earlier Stalinist attempts at Russification and the influx of other Soviet nationalities, mostly Russians, to Finland.

The Finns put up a serious fight for their independence in 1918 and in 1939, and if and when the time comes that the Soviet empire begins to crumble and Moscow relaxes its grip, they will undoubtedly remember that.

----

Big thanks to zalezsky for coming up with russified names for the Tromsk Oblast.



Image details
Image size
2361x3015px 5.76 MB
© 2016 - 2023 Kuusinen
Comments49
Join the community to add your comment. Already a deviant? Log In

This would be the best time in Finnish history.