The men fighting in the Sinimäed Hills and along the River Emajõgi in 1944 often looked back on 1939-1940 as a missed opportunity. Sügissõda 1939 (Autumn War 1939) is a book that came together from such regretful comments. Autumn War is historian and politician Mart Laar’s first work of fiction, an alternative history of what might have happened if Estonia had rejected the Soviet ultimatums in fall 1939 and gone to war. The first part of the novel, “The Red Storm Rises,” depicts the run-up to the war, its causes and the outbreak itself. Analogously to the Finnish-Soviet conflict, the author calls these developments the Autumn War, as it began several months before the Winter War.
The book contains numerous documents, largely authentic ones that show that Estonia was not far from entering the conflict in September 1939. If Estonia 
had acted like Finland and delaying negotiations, the Soviet Union would have been sure to attack Estonia and then there would be no other choice for Estonia. Most of the characters in the book are also historical people, but their destinies proved far different in reality. Estonia is portrayed as close to what it was in 1939, and both sides fight using the weapons available to them at that time.