The White Death: The Epic of the Soviet-Finnish Winter War
Allen F. Chew

For many years this has been one of the more difficult to locate English language works on the Winter War, which is a shame as in many regards it is the best work there is. Today readers are lucky as Michigan State Press has brought this book out of mothballs and as of 2002 the book is being reprinted. This is a great happening for the Finnish collector and researcher as this once tough find is now widely available.

Like Frozen Hell this book is a bit more geared to one that wants more information than is offered in other works. The White Death is much like Trotter’s work as it is very detailed and has information that simply can not be found elsewhere. The basic work is based on first hand accounts of the fighting as well as massive research into Finnish archives. As this was done in the early 1970’s it is rather amazing to see such a complex undertaking, as at that time very few Westerners were at all interested in what took place during the Winter War. There are even some sections of the books that deal with the Soviet outlet of the fighting which is always interesting to read. This is also a book that heavily influenced the author of A Frozen Hell and that fact speaks for itself.

The book is a very easy to read and I do not think the reader will be overwhelmed by the style of writing. Even the non-military collector should have no real issues in following the book. It is a book that will leave one with a healthy respect for those that kept Finland free, as many sections of the book are riveting. In some regards this is a difficult book to review but I can state that of all the books reviewed in this section, The White Death is by far my favorite. I would really recommend buying this book at one’s earliest opportunity as one never knows how long the reprint of this book will last. As stated earlier this has long been a very difficult work to find and in the future it might be hard to locate once again.

Added Note - I think this is the best of all the books on the Winter War listed in the reviews. If you are really interested in the Winter War - this is the one book to buy.

(Reviewed by Brent Snodgrass)

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