Important dates


6–7 February

The first major air raid on Helsinki. The Soviet Union targets Helsinki in two further air raids in February. With these bombings, Stalin is trying to put pressure on Finland so as to force Finland to disentangle itself from the war.

9 June

The Soviet Union launches a major offensive in the Karelian Isthmus, seeking to defeat the Finnish army and put pressure on the state leadership.

22 June

German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop arrives in Helsinki to demand that Finland refrain from making separate peace with the Soviet Union without German approval. Otherwise, Germany would cut off its military aid to Finland. The President of the Republic, Risto Ryti, is persuaded to send a letter to the German leadership on 26 June in which he promises that no government or person appointed by him will enter into negotiations for an armistice or separate peace except in full agreement with Germany.

25 June

The Battle of Tali-Ihantala to the north-east of Vyborg begins. Finns succeed in halting the enemy assault. In July, the Soviet military leadership moves most of the troops to the Baltic front.

1 August

President Risto Ryti resigns.

4 August

The parliament uses an emergency law to appoint C. G. Mannerheim as the new President of the Republic.

4 September

A ceasefire between Finland and the Soviet Union comes into effect at 7 a.m. The Soviet troops stop firing a day later.

A total of over 63,000 Finns were killed or declared missing in action during the Continuation War. About 22,000 German soldiers were killed at the Finnish front. The Soviet losses were approximately 200,000 men.

19 September

Armistice between Finland and the Soviet Union. Finland undertakes to withdraw its troops behind the 1940 Soviet-Finnish border, disarm the German troops still in the country and hand them over to the Soviet Union, provide airports on the southern and south-western coast as air bases for the Soviet Air Force for the duration of military operations in the Baltic Sea region, break off relations with Germany’s satellites, cede Petsamo, rent the Porkkala area for a Soviet naval base, hand over all Soviet and Allied prisoners of war and pay reparations amounting to $300 million. In addition, Finland must allow the establishment of an Allied Control Commission to ensure that Finland complies with the armistice conditions.

31 October

The Ministry of Justice accepts the Communist Party of Finland (SKP) in the Party Register.