The Finnish HQ calculated, that at the start of Winter
War, the deficiencies from standard strengths were 15 % in rifles,
10 % in LMGs, 40 % in MGs, 70 % in SMGs and 75 % in pistols. The immediate
and absolute minimum requirement was 72 000 new rifles, 28 000 pistols
and 240 MGs. This number of weapons included all weapons of the Army
and the weapons from the Civic Guard (86 255 rifles, 410 MGs, 622
LMGs and 662 SMGs were handed over to the field army, and 27801 rifles,
138 MGs, 62 LMGs and 803 SMGs were used to arm the local troops in
the Home front, and were of lower quality than those that went to
the field army) . As the numbers reveal, without the patriotic Civic
Guard organization, Finland couldn't have hoped to offer any resistance
to the Red Army.
Finland bought weapons and received donations from
numerous countries but, in many cases, the weapons arrived after the
war. There was also another problem with the weapons obtained from
abroad. From the some 91 000 weapons, only under 10 % had their calibre
compatible with the Finnish ammunition supply system. The sheer work
of organizing the ammunition supply to the front line forced the majority
of theses weapons to be used by the Home front, coastal or air defense
units or in training centres.
The captured Soviet weaponry was a totally different
matter. The weapons were mainly relatively new and of good quality,
and most importantly they were mostly compatible with the Finnish
ammunition supply system.
As the Finnish weaponry, especially the M/91 rifles,
were in many cases older and of lower quality as the Soviet counterparts,
huge amounts of captured weapons were taken into use immediately and
the old weapons abandoned on the battlefield. The quantity of this
"swapping" couldn't be counted, so the stats show only the
number of weapons really counted in the statistics of captured weapons.
It was also common to keep captured pistols, revolvers and rifles
as "secondary" weapons, and after the war take them home
as war mementos. Also weapons suffering natural war-consumption (meaning
weapons damaged, used up etc.) were often replaced immediately by
captured weapons and not showing in any statistics.