Letter from Prime Minister Churchill to Field-Marshal Mannerheim

Telegram from Prime Minister Churchill to Field-Marshal Mannerheim

Personal, secret and private

I am deeply grieved at what I see coming, namely, that we shall be forced in a few days, out of loyalty to our ally Russia, to declare war upon Finland. If we do this, we shall make war also as opportunity serves. Surely your troops have advanced far enough for security during the war and could now halt and give leave. It is not necessary to make any public declaration, but simply leave off fighting and cease military operations, for which the severe winter affords every reason, and make a de facto exit from the war.

I wish I could convince Your Excellency that we are going to beat the Nazis. I feel far more confident than in 1917 or 1918. It would be most painful to the many friends of your country in England if Finland found herself in the dock with the guilty and defeated Nazis. My recollections of our pleasant talks and correspondence about the last war lead me to send this purely personal and private message for your consideration before it is too late.

November 29th, 1941