Youtube treated me for an unexpectedly good generalization of Finland’s position in cold war era. I do realize it is hard to find Finland specific info about these things away from Finland. The video was product of the user/channel “Cold War” (Link HERE) and as noted gave a rather good general picture of Finland’s unenviable position in Cold war era. As it happened Finnish Broadcasting Corporation’s Swedish language (YLE Svenska) side released a spotlight into the Finnish reincarnation of Gladio network: Heroes of Cold War.
One more happening in the soup was daily “Ilta Sanomat” piece of military planning in Finland in 1950’ies onward. “Secret plans reveal how FDF was preparing for Soviet Unions surprise attack” Which discusses broadly preparations done for the soviet threath in military side particulary in eastern command at that time the 3rd Division.
Of course the “cold war” was 45 years of history, so there were different phases in it. For example right after the war before the spy satellites and U2 and SR-71 flights came into being, Norwegians, with MI6 money, recruited former Finnish long range patrol men to make spy excursions into Russia and Kola peninsula in late 1940’ies and early 1950’ies. They had firefights with Russian border guards and some Finns who took the money and went reconnoittering we lost without trace in Kola, and Russian border guards were killed and wounded in these. In one particular case the former LRPG operator was shot in Finnish side. This activity died down when easier ways to get intel from Soviet Union came available as western aerospace engineering advanced by leaps and bounds. There is a bit of this in above in YLE video, but as I said no English text available.
One of the main sources of the period in Finland is Jukka Rislakki’s book “Paha Sektori”. (unfortunately only in Finnish) The book tell the story of nuclear weapon development and how “the great game” in Cold War evolved in Finland. There are stories like how finland got top notch western seismic technology in exchange of the data with Americans, which was of use when calculating the power of Soviet nuclear tests. And also about simple things about getting photo paper and film particularly color photo paper to Finland. (in “olden days pre 1990” you needed the film to get the picture, and special paper to print it out. In fact this technology may still produce somewhat more accurate pictures.)
Sweden and the NATO saw Finland primarily as the forward battle area of the democracy, and Swedish ground attack pilots, for example, did a lot of “tourism” in Lapland and eastern Finland to see the choke points and bridges they would need to bomb on the spot. Also Swedes did mothball some of their old SAAB J-35 F Drakens for Finns to use (for some reason Finns trained more than 120 fighter pilots for our 64 fighters). As the Swedes were transitioning into SAAB J 37 Viggen. It would have been a relatively simple matter to take pilots over to Sweden and fly the fighters over.
CIA did a lot of work with Finnish political parties to stem the Communist 5th column in Finland. particularly with Social Democrats. DIA or SHAPE and MI6 were more involved with “Gladio” in Finland. The use of name “Gladio” is not really accurate, as Finnish organisation was doing more counter spying on KGB residents in Finland and building an organization of getting downed NATO pilots back to the west than active action against leftist parties in Finland. In 1950-60 bomber routes to Northwestern USSR ran over Finland and some of the bomber would have been shot down here.
So summa summarum the “Cold War” made video well worth watching about Finland in Cold War, so do check it out!
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