Motti Tactics

Motti Tactics is a form of warfare used by the Finnish military during the Winter War of 1939-1940 and the Continuation War of 1941-1944. It was developed by the Finnish General Staff, who had been studying the tactics of their Soviet adversaries and saw the need for a new type of warfare to be used against them. The name "Motti" comes from the Finnish word for "knot" and is a reference to the way in which Finnish troops would encircle and cut off Soviet units.

Motti tactics were designed to exploit the weaknesses of the Soviet military, which was large and heavily mechanized but lacked mobility and flexibility. The Finns would use small, highly mobile forces to move quickly behind enemy lines and cut off supply lines and communication networks. This would be done in order to isolate and destroy the larger, slower-moving Soviet units. In addition to cutting off supplies, the Finns would also set up defensive positions around their own troops, which would prevent the Soviets from attacking them from all directions.

The Motti tactic was a critical factor in the Finns’ success during their two wars with the Soviet Union. It allowed them to take full advantage of their superior training and equipment, which enabled them to move quickly and attack with surprise and agility. The Finns were also able to exploit the terrain to their advantage, as they were familiar with the forests and terrain of their homeland, while the Soviets were unfamiliar with the region. The Motti tactic also allowed the Finns to maintain the initiative throughout the conflict, as they could attack the Soviets whenever and wherever they chose.


The Motti tactic was not without its flaws. It was extremely risky, as the Finns were operating behind enemy lines and were vulnerable to counterattack if their position was discovered. Furthermore, the tactic relied heavily on surprise, and if the Soviets were able to detect the Finns’ presence then they could take measures to prevent them from achieving their objectives. Additionally, the Finns were limited in their use of firepower and had to rely on their own small arms and grenades in order to fight the Soviets.


Despite its flaws, the Motti tactic allowed the Finns to achieve a remarkable victory against the Soviets, who vastly outnumbered them and had superior equipment. The Finns’ success has been attributed to their superior training and tactics, as well as their familiarity with the terrain. The Motti tactic allowed them to take full advantage of their strengths and exploit the weaknesses of the Soviets, thus ensuring their victory in the two wars against them. The tactic is still studied and admired by military officers today, and is an example of the power of unconventional warfare.