Tuesday, July 17, 2012
the last book I ever read (Madeleine Albright's Prague Winter, excerpt five)
from Madeleine Albright's Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War, 1937-1948:
At the end of November, the Soviets sought to secure their northern flank by invading Finland, hoping to replicate their partner’s Blitzkrieg tactics and conquer their peace-loving neighbor in two weeks. Thousands of tanks charged across the border, only to be slowed by forests and swamplands. The gutsy (and angry) Finns, with their white camouflage uniforms and skill at cross-country skiing, were able to harass the invaders and inflict heavy casualties. Lacking an effective antitank gun, they invented a means of attack—consisting of a bottle of flammable liquid and a match—that they named after the Soviet Union’s foreign minister: the Molotov cocktail. The invasion dragged on for four months before the overstretched aggressor and the outnumbered defender agreed to an armistice, Finland survived but with the loss of a tenth of its territory and 30 percent of its economic assets.