The history of Finland is a chequered one. The nation was, until 1917, not in existence at all. First occupied by Sweden, and later Imperial Russia, it was difficult to form a national identity. Then suddenly, with the onset of the Russian Bolshevik revolution and civil war, Finland had the opportunity to arise from the ashes of history. But the country’s existence was threatened from the start. Civil war, much like in Russia, threatened to tear the new nation apart, especially when the Red Guards, backed by their compatriots in Soviet Russia, took Helsinki on February 22nd, henceforth known as the “Black Friday” in the Finnish Army, it seemed as if Finland was to be destined to become a part of the emerging Soviet Union. However, aid for the beleaguered Republic was to come from an unexpected source: Sweden. The King in Stockholm and his Government were very much concerned with Finland becoming the newest SSR, and therefore mobilized the reserves of the Swedish Army. Five Divisions came to the aid of their brethren, and soon, aided by the Soviet-polish war, managed to defeat the Red Guards, and by the end of the year the war was essentially over, only a few isolated, rural holdouts remained, only to be mopped up by Finnish and Swedish units. This was the beginning of the eternal friendship between the two nations, and the start of the road towards the Nordic Alliance.
The 1920s seemed to be a golden age for Finland, and the treaty signed in March solidified the comradeship between Finland and Sweden. However, the treaty raised many concerns all over Scandinavia, and especially in Moscow. 1921 saw the signature of the treaty which would help guarantee the peace in the northern lands for much of the decade, and which would eventually lead to the alliance we enjoy today. The Soviets continued to pester Finland with outlandish claims on rightful Finnish territory, so relations between Helsinki and Moscow grew worse and worse, while the same between Helsinki and Stockholm grew ever closer. Several border incidents were fought between Finnish and Soviet units, and in 1928 the Soviets took all of it to a new level by claiming territories that are so far inside our own borders that giving them up would mean losing almost half of the countries Industry! We have of course refused this claim, and decided to press our own, rightful claims on Karelia and other history Finnish provinces.
For the next two years Finland and the Soviet Union stared each other down, with our brave and defiant troops ready to resist the red hordes to the last bullet. In 1930 however, our great War Hero, Marshal Mannerheim, conducted secret negotiations with our neighbouring friends to the west, proposing something that would have been unthinkable only a few short years ago: A full alliance, an alliance that would create a new bloc of the Nordic nations, to defend themselves not only against the Soviet Union, which just happened to pose the greatest threat to Finnish and Swedish security. The treaty is the centre-piece for our entire foreign policy, all of which is done on agreement with our valiant allies. We more than once looked to expand the Nordic Alliance, and in 1934 both Denmark and Norway were graciously invited. However, the emerging European situation forced them to deny outright membership; instead they opted to stay neutral for now. The following years were times of prosperity for Finland and Sweden, with both countries recovering from the great depression that had hit Europe hard, and in spite of the continued threats and machinations from Moscow that only served to weld the two partners even closer together. 1936 dawns and with it brings all the unknowns and possibilities ahead. Thus begins The Trouble with Finland.