Tanks a lot
Finland developed the ‘Molotov cocktail’ during the 1939-40 Winter War to attack Soviet tanks in response to Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov declaring on state radio that bombing missions over Finland were humanitarian food deliveries.
In naming their improvised fire bomb, the Finns called it the ‘Molotov cocktail’ - “a drink to go with the food".
The Finns, massively under-armed and under-resourced were able to hold off a far superior Soviet Army due to the home advantage and excellent knowledge of local conditions.
The Finns waged a brutal guerrilla war on skis, while the Soviet infantry battled through roads covered with 10ft of snow.
As would befall the Germans against the Soviets in a few years’ time, the Soviets were simply unprepared for the brutal Finnish winters and many froze or starved to death.
All up the Finns lost 70,000 personnel to the USSR’s 381,000.
A large contributor to Finland’s success in the Winter War was Finnish sniper Simo Häyhä, nicknamed The White Death. He is credited with up to 542 sniper kills, the largest number in any modern war.
All of Häyhä's kills were accomplished in fewer than 100 days – an average of just over five per day – at a time of year with very few daylight hours, and at times in temperatures of −40 °C.
He died in 2002 at the age of 96.