Churchill as First Lord of Admirality (National Archives).
In 1930, the Soviets invaded Finland and the first Russian army was wiped out by a relatively handful of skilled biathlete like soldiers- skiing and shooting. It took a much bigger Red Army to dislodge the Finns. But the embarrassment was erubescent in the faces of Stalin’s cabinet. The outnumbered and out gunned Finns did such a marvelous job that Churchill was wont to pour blandishments upon them.
Indeed he did:
“Look at the group of small but ancient and historic states which lie in the North. Or look again at that other group of anxious peoples in the Balkans or in the Danube Basin behind whom stands the resolute Turk….the hardy Swiss arm and ma their mountain passes. The Dutch, whose services to European freedom will be remembered long after the smear of Hitler will be wiped from the human path, stand along their dykes as they did against the tyrants of bygone days. Only Finland, superb, nay sublime, in the jaws of peril show what free men can do.”
Source: Churchill, A Biography. Roy Jenkins, Farrar Stauss & Giroux. 2001