The Soviet military needed more ports on the eastern end of the Baltic Sea near the Gulf of Finland so the Red Army, under orders from Stalin, attempted to invade Finland in 1939. The tiny Finnish Army was small, untrained, badly equipped – but they turned back the red hordes.
Two young brothers, filled with patriotism, are quick to enlist in their army and go to the border to await the Red Army. We watch light hearted banter between the new recruits, forced smiles and manufactured bravado, as they wait for battle. There is a short church service and all take communion.
They spend a last evening with loved ones – there are tearful goodbyes at the railroad station, and the train pulls out. We ride with them as they go to the front. They leave the train and bivouac in the bitter cold, then march ever nearer the spot from which they expect the attack to come. A young soldier meets a girl in the nearby town.
The fighting begins and the brave joking seems hollow as friends are killed by artillery fire in the night. With the dawn, Russian tanks and planes come. Machine gun fire rakes the defenses but the anti-tank guns kill some Soviet tanks; others withdraw. The battlefield is still. They pass a restless night and with the dawn, it begins all over again. There is hand to hand fighting in the trenches and a lot of heated combat. There are funeral services for the fallen Finnish soldiers.
This DVD has great scenery in a beautiful country, and it tells a little known but important part of WW II history.