Political map of the Arctic & the Far North 4 October 1944 (Lapland War): Finland, which had entered the War to reclaim land taken by the Soviets (Continuation War), had been trying to negotiate a ceasefire since the German defeat at Stalingrad (Battle of Stalingrad) in 1943. By September 1944, the situation was so dire it agreed to accept all the Soviet demands (Moscow Armistice): the loss of further territory, the payment of a huge indemnity, the demobilization of much of its army, and the expulsion of German troops. Although the Germans had already decided to withdraw to Norway (Operation Birke), clashes soon broke out between the two former allies (Lapland War) as the Finns attempted to hurry them along.