The Winter War of 1939-1940, or the Russo-Finnish War, was fought between the Soviet Union and Finland. The Soviet Union claimed parts of Finnish territory mainly to create a buffer against a German attack, as the Finnish border was close to Leningrad. Stalin demanded that Finland cede parts of its Karelian Isthmus territory in exchange for other Soviet land in the center of the border. Finland had declared itself neutral at the outbreak of World War II, and sought help from Sweden and the Western Allies, including Britain and France, but with no success. When Finland finally refused Stalin’s offer, the Soviet Union launched its attack on November 30th, 1939. The Red Army outnumbered the small Finnish army at around a million troops, and was vastly superior in its tanks, artillery, and air support. However, it was poorly led, and had difficulty with the Finnish terrain and winter weather. The Finnish army, in comparison, was well-led, and knew the terrain well. Therefore, while outnumbered, they were able to outfight the Soviets for a long time. The Finns had warm, snow-white camouflage suits, and made use of skis to swiftly attack Soviet troops. The Red Army, meanwhile, was slow to camouflage its soldiers, who were dressed in regular khaki uniforms. To take on Soviet tanks, Finnish troops would use logs and crowbars, jamming them into the wheels to immobilise them. They would use a glass bottle filled with a flammable liquid known as the Molotov cocktail, a name referring by the Finns to the Soviet foreign minister. The tide only began to turn in the Soviet favor when Stalin appointed a new commander, Marshal Semyon Timoshenko, who sent fresh Soviet reinforcements to the battle in February 1940. The Finnish army eventually became exhausted and then overrun, with no chance of outside help from Britain and France, who considered the possibility too late. Finland was forced to surrender, and signed the Treaty of Moscow on March 12th, 1940, ceding 11% of its territory to the Soviet Union. During the Winter War, the League of Nations expelled the Soviet Union on December 14th, 1939 for its illegal invasion. After the war, the hesitancy of Britain and France was apparent, as was the low quality of the Red Army to Hitler, who took note on attacking the Soviet Union in the near future. Subscribe for more World War II videos. Get your copy of Simple History: World War II today! Thank you for all your support on the Simple History YouTube channel. If you enjoy the channel, please consider supporting us at Patreon.