The Soviet war against Finland (1939–40) is generally seen as a fiasco because the U.S.S.R. failed to conquer and absorb Finland, as Joseph Stalin had planned; and the Finns inflicted losses on the Red Army that were far out of proportion to the small size of their army and their own casualties. Access to fresh sources, archival and memoir, suggest that although the Soviets fell short of their political goals and performed dismally in combat, the Red Army was far more militarily effective than was appreciated by the Soviet military and political leadership, the German armed forces high command, and contemporary observers.