Finland, a member of the European Union and an ally of NATO, has long had friction with its neighbor Russia.
This friction stems from the Soviet/Finnish peace deal in 1946, where the Soviet Union got control over important border areas such as Vyborg, alongside other regions, that gave the Soviet Union a clear advantage in border areas.
Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Russia decided to not return the territory. Instead, they opted to turn it into a militarized zone.
Until 2010, the area was relatively quiet. With only diplomatic rows when a Russian or Finnish patrol would cross the border.
Since Russia's involvement in Ukraine's Civil War of 2014, Russia stepped up its rhetoric against Finland. Pressing old Russian Empire claims that Finland was a region back then, and therefore it should be returned to Russia, has become a near-daily topic in Russian news.
Skip to 2019, 2 incidents pushed both countries to the brink of war. In May 2019, Russian Naval Infantry boarded a Finnish patrol vessel that, according to the Russians, crossed the border and detained the Finnish navy personnel. In June 2019, in response, the Finnish navy sunk a Russian Patrol boat nearing a Finnish island. No Russian personnel were injured or wounded, but a point was made.
January 2020, Russian Forces occupy the Finnish border crossing on the Virolahti-Vyborg road, citing a threat to Russia's safety. In February 2020, Russian backed ''militants'' declare independence from the Finnish government and ask Russia for safety. A short yet inconclusive war ends when Russian forces occupy the Militant areas, reasoning that they wanted to prevent a slaughter of Russia's citizens.
March 25th, 2020. Russian Aircraft violate Finnish airspace. What is assumed to be a simple show of force, these 2 Tu-160 ''Blackjacks'' launch 5 cruise Missiles at Helsinki. The strike, which hit the Finnish parliament house, kills 37 Government employees and cabinet ministers.
Finland declares a general mobilization as a result, and launches Artillery strikes on Russian positions in Finnish territory. Finland declares all Russian forces remaining in Finland by April 1st as valid Military targets, and starts moving more troops towards the border.
Aside from Finnish forces, 3 European Union battle-groups arrive alongside 2 US Brigade Combat Teams in Finland on March 29th as a deterrent to Russian forces.
On April 1st, instead of Finland launching its offensive, Russia launches a large scale attack throughout the entirety of Finland. About 50,000 Russian Troops are involved in this initial attack, which quickly overruns many smaller Finnish units along the border.
Although Russia quickly gains momentum in the rural North of Finland, Russia's push along the coastal roads (Virolahti sector) meets serious resistance from well prepared Finnish forces.
In the evening of April 1st, the European Union and some NATO countries officially declare that it will assist Finnish forces in resisting Russia's agression in Finland.
NATO and EU forces already in Finland, rapidly deployed themselves to the border areas to form a strong defensive line.
NATO opted not to formally declare war upon Russia, as it said that it had no interest in starting a World-War. However, NATO would increase its strength in Finland throughout Q2 2020 with the intent to push Russian forces back to the border.
EU and NATO Forces deployed to Finland:
- France: 6th Light Armored Brigade. [Own Command]
- USA: 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team (4ID [Own Command]
- Germany: Elements of the 1st Pz Division. [EU Battlegroup]
- The Netherlands: 43rd Mechanized Brigade. [EU Battlegroup]
- Spain: 6th Paratrooper Brigade and 10th Brigade (Armored). [Own Command]
- USA: Elements of 1st Infantry Brigade Combat Team (10MD), 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team (1AD). [Own Command]
Various NATO Air Force elements have been deployed to assist Combat Operations in Finland:
- 301st Fighter Squadron
- 112th Fighter Squadron
- 25th Fighter Squadron
- Tactical Air Force Wing 31
- 2nd Fighter Wing
1-32IN, as part of the 1st IBCT, is being deployed to the Coastal-Border region to stop the Russian offensive.
This force, made up of elements from the 10MD and Spanish Army, has been tasked with assisting the Finnish Army in stopping and pushing back Russian forces.
The main objective is to hold the town of Virolahti, and the MSR it dominates, and eventually push towards the Border near Vyborg.
Near Virolahti, G-2 has identified the following hostile elements:
- 144th Guards Motor Rifle Division: A Heavily Mechanized Force, equipped with T72/T80/T90 tanks.
- 76th Guards Air Assault Division: Elite Russian VDV Airborne forces, equipped with light APCs, IFVs and Helicopters.
- 336th Guards Naval Infantry Brigade: Elite Russian Naval Infantry, equipped with Amphibious vehicles and T-72s.
- Unknown amount of Russian Special Operations Forces (KSO).
These Russian forces are a mix of heavily mechanized anf light infantry forces. These units have previously fought in Georgia and Ukraine, and are considered ''veteran''. They use modern types of Russian equipment, and should be considered a significant threat to our operations. They are used to fighting a highly mobile and offensive war, backed by significant fire-support. What they have in terms of equipment, they lack in local knowledge and support from the local population.
Prepare yourselves gentlemen, we will be fighting in a large country that is mainly rural with few paved roads. Combining open fields with large dense forests, our experience as light infantry will be paramount to our operations. We will also be liberating Finnish civilians from Russian occupation, so keep in mind to treat the local population with kindness. Whereas these Russians may use slightly outdated tactics, their vast amount of equipment will be serious danger to us and we should prepare ourselves for a long and bloody conflict. Become familiar with the forests and rural villages, as that's where we will mainly be fighting
I hope to see you on the field.
Captain T. Holtkamp