Questions on development of Finnish army post 1917

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Nodeo-Franvier
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Questions on development of Finnish army post 1917

Post by Nodeo-Franvier » 08 Dec 2022 18:31

I have read that Finnish army post 1917 development was a mess.They inherited a handful of former Imperial Russian officers and have some German trained Jaeger volunteers(Anyone got info on the detail?),Their most senior officer was General Mannerheim who only command a division before(How he didn't bungled like Bazaine when made to take charge of an entire army is beyond me).
Supposedly the Finnish army were pretty badly organized and their officers quite lacking in the interwar year,Anyone can fill me in on Finnish army development from 1917-1939? And how they become such an effective force despite their officers being lacking.

Mangrove
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Re: Questions on development of Finnish army post 1917

Post by Mangrove » 03 Jan 2023 10:35

Nodeo-Franvier wrote:
08 Dec 2022 18:31
Their most senior officer was General Mannerheim who only command a division before(How he didn't bungled like Bazaine when made to take charge of an entire army is beyond me).
There were a number of Finnish-born experienced commanders available for the newly founded Finnish Army (and Civil Guard) other than Mannerheim:

1) General Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim was the commander of the 6th Cavalry Corps during the summer of 1917.
2) General Claes Gustaf Robert Charpentier, the first head of Military Committee of Finland, was the commander of Caucasus Cavalry Division until 1915.
3) General Lars Hjalmar von Hellens was the acting commander of 7th Siberian Army Corps in 1918.
4) General Kaarlo Edvard Kivekäs was the acting head of artillery of 41st Army Corps in 1917.
5) General Arvid Appelgren was the acting Chief of Staff of the 4th Army Corps and the commander of 10th Siberian Division in 1917.
6) Captain Gustav von Schoultz commanded cruiser Rossia in 1914 and 1915. He also acted as the Russian liaison officer in the British Royal Navy between 1915 and 1917.
7) Colonel Martin Wetzer commanded 257th (Yevpatoria) Regiment in 1916.
8) Lieutenant Colonel Vilho Nenonen commanded 4th Artillery Regiment in Tallinn in 1917.

The combat strength of the Whites was about 24,000 in mid-March 1918 and around 30,000 at the beginning of April. The total strength of the Whites was circa 45,000 in March and 70,000 at the end of the war in May 1918. These correspond to a few German or Russian divisions during World War I. There were far more Generals and Colonels in Finland during the 1910s and 1920s than there were open positions in the Finnish Defence Forces.

There were 24 former Imperial Russian officers still in service at the Finnish Defence Forces in the late 1930s. 18 of these 24 were in relatively high positions in the Finnish Defense Forces. Mannerheim served as the Chairman of the Defence Council (fi: Puolustusneuvosto), Nenonen was the chaiman of the board responsible of arms development of the Finnish Defence Forces, Colonel Carl Gustaf von Kraemer was the head of the Department of Transportation (fi: Kulkulaitostoimisto) of the HQ of the Finnish Defence Forces until 1937 and so on.

More information about "ryssänupseerit" ("Russkie officers") can be found from Harjula's book Ryssänupseerit.
Nodeo-Franvier wrote:
08 Dec 2022 18:31
Supposedly the Finnish army were pretty badly organized and their officers quite lacking in the interwar year,Anyone can fill me in on Finnish army development from 1917-1939? And how they become such an effective force despite their officers being lacking.
According to Suomen Puolustusvoimat 100 vuotta, starting from 1919, Finnish Defence Forces started sending junior officers to study in military academies in France and Italy. This was extended to Sweden and Germany in the 1920s since the Finnish Defence Forces did not have their own academy before Sotakorkeakoulu was founded in 1924. For the first three years of the academy, the teachers were imported from Sweden.

Mikko H.
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Re: Questions on development of Finnish army post 1917

Post by Mikko H. » 18 Jan 2023 19:55

This was extended to Sweden and Germany in the 1920s since the Finnish Defence Forces did not have their own academy before Sotakorkeakoulu was founded in 1924. For the first three years of the academy, the teachers were imported from Sweden.
To be exact, the military academy Kadettikoulu was founded already in 1919. It was the general staff academy Sotakorkeakoulu that was founded in 1924 with Swedish teachers.

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