Co-belligerence is the waging of a war in cooperation against a common enemy with or without a formal treaty of military alliance. Generally, the term is used for cases where no alliance exists. Likewise, allies may not become co-belligerents in a war if a casus foederis invoking the alliance has not arisen. Co-belligerents are defined in the Encyclopaedic Dictionary of International Law as "states engaged in a conflict with a common enemy, whether in alliance with each other or not".
War is a state of armed conflict between states, governments, societies and informal paramilitary groups, such as mercenaries, insurgents and militias. It is generally characterized by extreme violence, aggression, destruction, and mortality, using regular or irregular military forces. Warfare refers to the common activities and characteristics of types of war, or of wars in general. Total war is warfare that is not restricted to purely legitimate military targets, and can result in massive civilian or other non-combatant suffering and casualties.
A military alliance is an international agreement concerning national security in which the contracting parties agree to mutual protection and support in case of a crisis that has not been identified in advance. Military alliances differ from coalitions, which formed for a crisis that already exists.
Casus foederis is derived from the Latin for "case for the alliance". In diplomatic terms, it describes a situation in which the terms of an alliance come into play, such as one nation being attacked by another.
After the Invasion of Poland in September 1939, Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union partitioned Poland according to the terms of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. Although both countries invaded Poland they had no formal alliance; the Pact primarily served as an agreement of mutual neutrality.
The invasion of Poland, marked the beginning of World War II. The German invasion began on 1 September 1939, one week after the signing of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact between Germany and the Soviet Union. The Soviets invaded Poland on 17 September. The campaign ended on 6 October with Germany and the Soviet Union dividing and annexing the whole of Poland under the terms of the German–Soviet Frontier Treaty.
Nazi Germany is the common English name for Germany between 1933 and 1945, when Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party (NSDAP) controlled the country through a dictatorship. Under Hitler's rule, Germany was transformed into a totalitarian state where nearly all aspects of life were controlled by the government. The official name of the state was Deutsches Reich until 1943 and Großdeutsches Reich from 1943 to 1945. Nazi Germany is also known as the Third Reich, meaning "Third Realm" or "Third Empire", the first two being the Holy Roman Empire (800–1806) and the German Empire (1871–1918). The Nazi regime ended after the Allies defeated Germany in May 1945, ending World War II in Europe.
The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a federal sovereign state in northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, its government and economy were highly centralized. The country was a one-party state, governed by the Communist Party with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Other major urban centers were Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, Tashkent, Alma-Ata, and Novosibirsk. It spanned over 10,000 kilometers (6,200 mi) east to west across 11 time zones, and over 7,200 kilometers (4,500 mi) north to south. It had five climate zones: tundra, taiga, steppes, desert and mountains.
Co-belligerence (Finnish : kanssasotija, Swedish : medkrigförande) is also the term used by Finland for its military co-operation with Germany during World War II. During the Continuation War (1941-1944), both countries had the Soviet Union as a common enemy. Finnish reentry into World War II was a direct consequence of Germany's attack on the Soviet Union, Operation Barbarossa.
Finnish is a Uralic language of the Finnic branch spoken by the majority of the population in Finland and by ethnic Finns outside Finland. Finnish, along with Swedish, is an official language of Finland; Finnish is also an official minority language in Sweden. In Sweden, both Standard Finnish and Meänkieli, its own language or a dialect of Finnish, are spoken. The Kven language, a dialect of Finnish or even a distinct language, is spoken in Northern Norway by a minority group of Finnish descent. The status of kven and meänkieli are debated.
Swedish is a North Germanic language spoken natively by 10 million people, predominantly in Sweden, and in parts of Finland, where it has equal legal standing with Finnish. It is largely mutually intelligible with Norwegian and to some extent with Danish, although the degree of mutual intelligibility is largely dependent on the dialect and accent of the speaker. Written Norwegian and Danish are usually more easily understood by Swedish speakers than the spoken languages, due to the differences in tone, accent and intonation. Swedish is a descendant of Old Norse, the common language of the Germanic peoples living in Scandinavia during the Viking Era. It has the most speakers of the North Germanic languages. While being strongly related to its southern neighbour language German in vocabulary, the word order, grammatic system and pronunciation are vastly different.
Finland, officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country in Northern Europe bordering the Baltic Sea, Gulf of Bothnia, and Gulf of Finland, between Norway to the north, Sweden to the northwest, and Russia to the east. The capital and largest city is Helsinki. Other major cities are Espoo, Vantaa, Tampere, Oulu and Turku.
While the Allies often referred to Finland as one of the Axis Powers, Finland was never a signatory to the German-Italian-Japanese Tripartite Pact of September 1940. The Allies, in turn, pointed to the fact that Finland, like (Fascist) Italy and (Militarist) Japan, as well as a number of countries including neutral (Falangist) Spain, belonged to Hitler's Anti-Comintern Pact.
The Allies of World War II, called the United Nations from the 1 January 1942 declaration, were the countries that together opposed the Axis powers during the Second World War (1939–1945). The Allies promoted the alliance as a means to control German, Japanese and Italian aggression.
The participation of Italy in the Second World War was characterized by a complex framework of ideology, politics, and diplomacy, while its military actions were often heavily influenced by external factors. Italy joined the war as one of the Axis Powers in 1940, as the French surrendered, with a plan to concentrate Italian forces on a major offensive against the British Empire in Africa and the Middle East, while expecting the collapse of the UK in the European theatre. The Italians bombed Mandatory Palestine, invaded Egypt and occupied British Somaliland with initial success. However, German and Japanese actions in 1941 led to the entry of the Soviet Union and United States, respectively, in the War, thus ruining the Italian plan and postponing indefinitely the objective of forcing Britain to agree to a negotiated peace settlement.
The Tripartite Pact, also known as the Berlin Pact, was an agreement between Germany, Italy and Japan signed in Berlin on 27 September 1940 by, respectively, Joachim von Ribbentrop, Galeazzo Ciano and Saburō Kurusu. It was a defensive military alliance that was eventually joined by Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Yugoslavia, as well as by the German client state of Slovakia. Yugoslavia's accession provoked a coup d'état in Belgrade two days later, and Germany, Italy and Hungary responded by invading Yugoslavia and partitioning the country. The resulting Italo-German client state known as the Independent State of Croatia joined the pact on 15 June 1941.
Adolf Hitler declared Germany to be im Bunde (in league) with the Finns, but Finland's government declared their intention to remain first a non-belligerent country, then co-belligerent after the Soviets started bombing Finnish cities all over the country, not the least due to a remaining neutralist public opinion. The truth was somewhere in-between:
Adolf Hitler was a German politician and leader of the Nazi Party. He rose to power as Chancellor of Germany in 1933, and as Führer in 1934. During his dictatorship from 1933 to 1945, he initiated World War II in Europe by invading Poland on 1 September 1939. He was closely involved in military operations throughout the war and was central to the perpetration of the Holocaust. Hitler's actions and ideology are almost universally regarded as evil. According to historian Ian Kershaw, "never in history has such ruination—physical and moral—been associated with the name of one man."
A non-belligerent is a person, a state, or other organization that does not fight in a given conflict. The term is often used to describe a country that does not take part militarily in a war. The status does not exist in international law.
The term was used in 1943–45 during the latter stages of World War II to define the status of former allies and associates of Germany (Italy from 1943, Bulgaria, Romania and Finland from 1944), after they joined the Allies war against Germany.
The Kingdom of Italy was a state which existed from 1861—when King Victor Emmanuel II of Sardinia was proclaimed King of Italy—until 1946—when civil discontent led an institutional referendum to abandon the monarchy and form the modern Italian Republic. The state was founded as a result of the unification of Italy under the influence of the Kingdom of Sardinia, which can be considered its legal predecessor state.
The Kingdom of Bulgaria, also referred to as the Tsardom of Bulgaria and the Third Bulgarian Tsardom, was a constitutional monarchy in Eastern and Southeastern Europe, which was established on 5 October 1908, when the Bulgarian state was raised from a principality to a kingdom. Ferdinand I was crowned a Tsar at the Declaration of Independence, mainly because of his military plans and for seeking options for unification of all lands in the Balkans region with an ethnic Bulgarian majority.
The Kingdom of Romania was a constitutional monarchy that existed in Romania from 26 March 1881 with the crowning of prince Karl of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen as King Carol I, until 1947 with the abdication of King Michael I of Romania, and the Romanian parliament proclaiming Romania a people's republic.
During the Lapland War (1944-1945), Finland and the Allies, thus also the Soviet Union had Germany as a common enemy.
The Continuation War was a conflict fought by Finland and Nazi Germany, as co-belligerents, against the Soviet Union (USSR) from 1941 to 1944, during World War II. In Russian historiography, the war is called the Soviet–Finnish Front of the Great Patriotic War. Germany regarded its operations in the region as part of its overall war efforts on the Eastern Front and provided Finland with critical material support and military assistance.
Operation Barbarossa was the code name for the Axis invasion of the Soviet Union, which started on Sunday, 22 June 1941, during World War II. The operation stemmed from Nazi Germany's ideological aim of conquering the western Soviet Union so that it could be repopulated by Germans, and to also use some Slavs as a slave labour force for the Axis war effort and to annihilate the rest according to Generalplan Ost, and to acquire the oil reserves of the Caucasus and the agricultural resources of Soviet territories.
The Winter War was a military conflict between the Soviet Union (USSR) and Finland. It began with a Soviet invasion of Finland on 30 November 1939, three months after the outbreak of World War II, and ended three and a half months later with the Moscow Peace Treaty on 13 March 1940. The League of Nations deemed the attack illegal and expelled the Soviet Union from the organisation.
The Axis powers, also known as "Rome–Berlin–Tokyo Axis", were the nations that fought in World War II against the Allies. The Axis powers agreed on their opposition to the Allies, but did not completely coordinate their activity.
Following the outbreak of World War II on 1 September 1939, the Kingdom of Romania under King Carol II officially adopted a position of neutrality. However, the rapidly changing situation in Europe during 1940, as well as domestic political upheaval, undermined this stance. Fascist political forces such as the Iron Guard rose in popularity and power, urging an alliance with Nazi Germany and its allies. As the military fortunes of Romania's two main guarantors of territorial integrity—France and Britain—crumbled in the Fall of France, the government of Romania turned to Germany in hopes of a similar guarantee, unaware that the then dominant European power had already granted its consent to Soviet territorial claims in a secret protocol of 1939's Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact.
The European theatre of World War II, also known as the Second European War, were battles against totalitarian Nazism and Stalinism, nation states allied against anti-democratic warfare, area of heavy fighting across Europe, starting with Germany's invasion of Poland on 1 September 1939 and ending with the United States, the United Kingdom and France conquering most of Western Europe, the Soviet Union conquering most of Eastern Europe and Germany’s unconditional surrender on 8 May 1945. The Allied powers fought the Axis powers on two major fronts as well as in a massive air war and in the adjoining Mediterranean and Middle East theatre.
The Eastern Front of World War II was a theatre of conflict between the European Axis powers and co-belligerent Finland against the Soviet Union (USSR), Poland and other Allies, which encompassed Central Europe, Eastern Europe, Northeast Europe (Baltics), and Southeast Europe (Balkans) from 22 June 1941 to 9 May 1945. It has been known as the Great Patriotic War in the former Soviet Union and modern Russia, while in Germany it was called the Eastern Front, or the German-Soviet War by outside parties.
Operation Arctic Fox was the codename given to a World War II campaign by German and Finnish forces against Soviet Northern Front defenses at Salla, Finland in July 1941. The operation was part of the larger Operation Silver Fox which aimed to capture the vital port of Murmansk. Arctic Fox was conducted in parallel to Operation Platinum Fox in the far north of Lappland. The principal goal of Operation Arctic Fox was to capture the town of Salla and then to advance in the direction of Kandalaksha to block the railway route to Murmansk.
Operation Silver Fox from 29 June to 17 November 1941, was a German–Finnish military operation during World War II. The objective of the offensive was to cut off and capture the key Soviet Port of Murmansk through attacks from Finnish and Norwegian territory.
Finland participated in the Second World War, twice battling the Soviet Union, and then against Nazi Germany. As relations with the Soviet Union changed during the war, Finland was placed in the unusual situation of being for, then against and then for the overall interests of the Allied powers.
The Ryti–Ribbentrop letter of agreement of June 26, 1944, was a personal letter from President Risto Ryti of Finland to German Führer Adolf Hitler whereby Ryti agreed not to reach a separate peace in the war with the Soviet Union without approval from Nazi Germany, in order to secure German military aid for Finland to stop the Soviet offensive. This letter marked the closest to an alliance that Finland and Nazi Germany came to during World War II.
The Petsamo–Kirkenes Offensive was a major military offensive during World War II, mounted by the Red Army against the Wehrmacht in 1944 in northern Finland and Norway. The offensive defeated the Wehrmacht's forces in the Arctic, driving them back into Norway, and was called the "Tenth Shock" by Stalin. It later expelled German forces from the northern part of Norway and seized the nickel mines of Pechenga/Petsamo.
The history of the Jews in Finland goes back to at least the 1700s. Finnish Jews are Jews who are citizens of Finland. The country is home to approximately 1,500 Jews, who mostly live in Helsinki. Jews came to Finland as traders and merchants from other parts of Europe.
The neutral powers were countries that remained neutral during World War II. Some of these countries had large colonies abroad or had great economic power. Spain had just been through its civil war, which ended on 1 April 1939 —a war that involved several countries that subsequently participated in World War II.
During World War II, the Soviet Union occupied and annexed several countries effectively handed over by Nazi Germany in the secret Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact of 1939. These included the eastern regions of Poland, as well as Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, part of eastern Finland and eastern Romania. Apart from the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact and post-war division of Germany, the USSR also occupied and annexed Carpathian Ruthenia from Czechoslovakia in 1945.
This is a timeline of events that stretched over the period of World War II.
This is a timeline of events that stretched over the period of World War II from 1941, marked also by the beginning of Operation Barbarossa on the Eastern Front.
The Aftermath of the Winter War covers historical events and comments after the Winter War between Finland and the Soviet Union from 30 November 1939 to 13 March 1940. The short period after the war and before the next, the Continuation War, is known as the Interim Peace.
Soviet prisoners of war in Finland during World War II were captured in two Soviet-Finnish conflicts of that period: the Winter War and the Continuation War. The Finns took about 5,700 POWs during the Winter War, and due to the short length of the war they survived relatively well. However, during the Continuation War the Finns took 64,000 POWs, of whom almost 30 percent died.
The Battle of Porlampi, also known as the Battle of Porlammi, was a military engagement fought between the Finnish Army and Red Army from 30 August to 1 September 1941 on the Karelian Isthmus. The battle was fought near the town of Porlampi during the second month of the Continuation War. The battle was a Finnish victory and effectively ended the reconquest of Karelia.