Two Soviet infantrymen frozen to death in their foxhole, 1940

The Soviets had to bring troops to the Finnish front from afar. Some soldiers were from the south and had never experienced winter conditions like this before, Finnish patrols destroyed support lines and experienced the harshest winter in a lifetime. The shortage of food and supplies was great, they lacked winter combat training and gear.

The saddest part about it is that covering that foxhole with some branches and pouring snow over it would have raised the temperature in the foxhole to about -3 Celsius.

With those heavy coats, soldiers might have felt the need to strip down a few layers. But this is what happens when you send untrained soldiers to the front. The Soviets did not care too much about the training or lives of their soldiers.

Chilling to death is one of the most peaceful and non-violent methods of natural death. After the shivering stops and you slip into hypothermia, this very hot and unexplained sensation until you slowly fall asleep as your vital organs slowly begin to shut down.

The reason people get that hot and hazy feeling is because before that moment the body tries to store the warm blood away from the organs, in and around the vital organs, if the person stays in the cold the body gives up and the blood leaves the body back, giving a brief warm feeling before dying.

You reach a point where the core of your body thinks it's too hot, some sufferers of hypothermia are found naked, stripped of their clothes because they literally felt they were overheating. This is called paradoxical undressing.

Twenty to fifty percent of hypothermia deaths are associated with wearing contrasting clothing. This usually occurs during moderate to severe hypothermia, as the person becomes disoriented, confused and combative.

They may begin to drop their clothing, which, in turn, increases the rate of heat loss. One explanation for the effect is cold-induced malfunction of the hypothalamus, the part of the brain that regulates body temperature.

Another explanation is that the muscles that constrict the peripheral blood vessels become exhausted (known as loss of vasomotor tone) and relax, causing a sudden increase of blood (and warmth) in the extremities, causing the person to feels very hot.

Some interesting excerpts about the food shortage faced during the Winter War

An incident occurred (known as the "Sausage War") where an attack on the Russians behind the finish lines came upon the Finnish Field Kitchen. The hungry Russians stopped to eat whatever they found.

Also by 5 December, the Soviet 155th Division was advancing towards Ilomantsi. On 7 December Pajari arrived on the field and took command of the troops and under his command the Finns were renamed Task Force Pajari. By the 9th the front was stable but still, there was a great danger of Soviet success.

Nevertheless, Talvela decided that what was called was a Finnish attack as he felt it would help boost Finnish morale and would also surprise the Soviet Union.

The attack was to begin on the 10th, but before it could happen, the Soviets launched attacks on their own in an attempt to flank the Finnish position. These attacks were halted and the Finnish counterattack was reset for the 12th. It was in these Soviet attacks that the so-called "sausage war" took place, which is one of the more interesting notes of the entire Winter War.

The Soviets were able to sneak behind the finish lines and go undetected by Finnish troops. The Soviets were about three miles northwest of Tolvajrvi and prepared to take the Finnish supply road.

The road was lightly defended as most of the soldiers in the area were carrying supplies, cooks and soldiers. The Soviets took the Finns by surprise and moved quickly; However, the Soviets were put on hold when they found Finnish cooking tents filled with just-made sausages.

Red Army soldiers were starving and had no hot food for several days, so freshly cooked Finnish sausage was too tempting to resist.

The Soviet attack, which had probably won the war, was stopped in its tracks by the lure of hot food. The Finns were able to regroup these Soviet troops and hunt them with most of the Red Army's success and kill them in the wooded areas around the streets.

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