Finnish abbreviations

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Post by Harri » 04 Sep 2006 09:42

So, we have now translations "Aunus/Olonets Volunteer Battalion" and "Viena Volunteer Battalion". I think there is no translation for "Viena", except "Viena Karelia", and also "Aunus" can be called "Aunus/Olonets Karelia". Could we then add a word "Karelia[n?]"? That would define the "tribe" which is otherwise missing? "Aunus/Olonets Karelia[n?] Volunteer Battalion"? I think that sounds even better!

There are also some other "names" which can cause nearly similar problems: "Lake Ladoga" [Laatokka], "Lake Onega" [Ääninen or Äänisjärvi] and "River Svir" [Syväri]. If both a Finnish name and an English translation are shown then there should be no problems if different "names" are used. Finns had for example "Lake Ladoga Coastal Brigade" [Laatokan rannikkoprikaati] that "sounds" much better than "Laatokka Coastal Brigade" or what do you think?

What about "Heimopataljoona 3" [Tribal Battalion 3] then? Just "Volunteer Battalion 3" ? I feel something is missing there.

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Post by Tero » 04 Sep 2006 10:11

By Janne

I'd very much like to learn more about this alleged law about the use of Finnish place-names in the ceded areas...

(But, please, not another rehash of some urban myth; a simple reference to the relevant law shouldn't be too much to ask for.)


A fair guestion. That will take some digging. Mind you, the use of place names as such is and never forbidden as such, the law/degree/instruction was about their use in new/current maps. If you look at maps made in the mid-90's the Finnish names are not there but they have reappeared in more recent ones.

Kontupohja is not located in the ceded area. Its Russian name is quite simply a translitteration of the Finnish name.


And so it is. I stand corrected.

The authors of the history of Finnish armoured vehicles are not historians, but amateur hobbyists.


They are historians. Wether they are amateur or not is beside the point. Be that as it may they have a very prominent say in the field of military history.

FWIW I don't think their reasons to use Soviet names in the English text has anything to do with any kind of political correctness - I'd assume that the intention was to hep the foreign reader to find the places on maps that are more likely to be readily available to him.


What are they chances of the foreign readers having access to a detailed enough (1:20 000-100 000) map of the area which is not of Finnish war era origin ?

One could equally talk about the Finnish people as "the Finnish tribe" as about the various Karelian tribes, and the word "tribe" carried a strong national and Fenno-Ugric romantic connotation and a meaning of inclusion.. Even the Hungarians who aren't that closely related were called "tribal brothers".


The problem with use of the term tribe in this context is the fact it infers primitive societies and lack of modern military abilities. Sure, the direct translation of heimosoturi is tribal warrior. The thing is to any Anglo-American reader the term invokes images of the Sioux and the Zulu more than members of modern armies.

Then again, with this kind of mindset it is no wonder Nokia does not use its Finnish origins as the driving force of its marketing... ;)

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Post by Tero » 04 Sep 2006 10:21

By Harri

"]So, we have now translations "Aunus/Olonets Volunteer Battalion" and "Viena Volunteer Battalion". I think there is no translation for "Viena", except "Viena Karelia", and also "Aunus" can be called "Aunus/Olonets Karelia". Could we then add a word "Karelia[n?]"? That would define the "tribe" which is otherwise missing? "Aunus/Olonets Karelia[n?] Volunteer Battalion"? I think that sounds even better!


That translation would circumnavigate most, if not all the linquistic problems.

There are also some other "names" which can cause nearly similar problems: "Lake Ladoga" [Laatokka], "Lake Onega" [Ääninen or Äänisjärvi] and "River Svir" [Syväri]. If both a Finnish name and an English translation are shown then there should be no problems if different "names" are used. Finns had for example "Lake Ladoga Coastal Brigade" [Laatokan rannikkoprikaati] that "sounds" much better than "Laatokka Coastal Brigade" or what do you think?


Sounds about right to me. You can never do away with the Lake Kutemajärvi tautology and since Lake Ladoga is visible to orbit the use of established English names for prominent places is clear.

What about "Heimopataljoona 3" [Tribal Battalion 3] then? Just "Volunteer Battalion 3" ? I feel something is missing there.


Indeed. The proper designation for Heimopataljoona 3 would be under the system proposed by you would be "Ingrian Volunteer Battalion 3". That does not sound convoluted, overly complicated or simplistic to me. The system requires a degree of knowledge of the formation and how it was established though. ;)

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Post by Harri » 04 Sep 2006 11:29

Tero wrote:
Harri wrote:So, we have now translations "Aunus/Olonets Volunteer Battalion" and "Viena Volunteer Battalion". I think there is no translation for "Viena", except "Viena Karelia", and also "Aunus" can be called "Aunus/Olonets Karelia". Could we then add a word "Karelia[n?]"? That would define the "tribe" which is otherwise missing? "Aunus/Olonets Karelia[n?] Volunteer Battalion"? I think that sounds even better!

That translation would circumnavigate most, if not all the linquistic problems.


That's exactly so.

Tero wrote:You can never do away with the Lake Kutemajärvi tautology and since Lake Ladoga is visible to orbit the use of established English names for prominent places is clear.


Well, there are also other such places like "Kivesvaara" [censored] or "Paskalampi" [censored too] but fortunately they are not used in official unit names, only perhaps in the names of guard places and some defence bases or such... :lol:

Tero wrote:
Harri wrote:What about "Heimopataljoona 3" [Tribal Battalion 3] then? Just "Volunteer Battalion 3" ? I feel something is missing there.

Indeed. The proper designation for Heimopataljoona 3 would be under the system proposed by you would be "Ingrian Volunteer Battalion 3". That does not sound convoluted, overly complicated or simplistic to me. The system requires a degree of knowledge of the formation and how it was established though. ;)


The problem is it was not Ingrian battalion although there were Ingrians (Er.P 6 was the Ingrian battalion). HeimoP 3 was composed of former captured Soviet citizens who volunteered in the Finnish Army. Its soldiers represented various Finno-Ugric tribes. So the translations should be "Volunteer Finno-Ugric Battalion 3". I think the number 3 came from the Aunus and Viena battalions (they were basically volunteer Finno-Ugric battalions 1 and 2).

It is some sort of mystery to me why Separate Battalion 6 had that name although in certain sources it is also called "Heimopataljoona 6". Both Aunus and Viena battalions were renamed early in 1944 as Separate Battalion 7 and 8 (Er.P 7 and 8) which are "in line " with the name Er.P 6. Why HeimoP 3 was not renamed? I think there was no Er.P 3 in 1944?

(There were Er.P 1 and 2 which were formed by Naval Forces in 1941 and 1942 and also Er.P 4 which was the famous long-range guerrilla unit of the Finnish Supreme HQ. There was also Er.P 9 which was yet another naval battalion located at Åland Islands in 1944.)

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Post by Janne » 04 Sep 2006 14:25

Ah, now we are suggesting some kind of hush-hush messages from the Minister of Foreign Affairs to the General Director of the National Land Survey:-)

The reason why Finnish pacenames have "reappeared" on the maps issued by the NLS is because they are *reprints" of prewar maps. Such maps weren't sold until the collapse of the Soviet Union, because of an interpretation of the curious bit in the peace agreement which forbid Finland to keep any maps in scale 1:50.000 or smaller of areas belonging to the Soviet Union. *That* much there is truth in the Finlandiztion spin..

BTW are you really sure you've seen mapa issued by the NLS depicting Karelia as it currently is across the border with Russian or Finnish names? I've seen maps with Russian names but they aren't issued by the NLS and since they are intended for actual use in terrain, so to speak, it is kind of natural that the placenames are in the same language that the various signs would be.


Amateurs and hobbyists can do very good historical research on their chosen subject, but they aren't usually too interested in or familiar with all points of historiographic discussion and they may make some odd or rash decisions on such matters as the choice between Finnish and Russian placenames in English texts. What some amateurs and hobbyists may do, need not necessarily reflect what "Finnish historians" generally or ever do.

I'd rank the odds of finding the Russian names on any kind of map available outside Finland as higher than the odds of finding the Finnish names. Perhaps Mssrs. Muikku and Purhunen had some other reasons - maybe we should write and ask them?:-)


Last but not least, I thought it plain and obvious that I attempted to describe the nuances of the *Finnish* word - which, as you sharply pointed out, are entirely different from such English words as "tribal" or "ethnic"...


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Post by janner » 04 Sep 2006 15:18

This discussion is very enlightening for me and I would be delighted if we come up with an acceptable solution.

Just to add fuel to the fire - option C is not to translate everything - most have heard of "La Legion Etranger" or "Fallschirmjäger" etc.

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Post by Harri » 09 Jan 2007 13:17

I think I'll continue this thread and bring some new "nuts for crushing" into this discussion. Translation suggestions needed for these Finnish sub-unit and HQ names:

- Esikuntaelin [literally "HQ Organ"] (at least in the Coastal Artillery Battalions) - "HQ Section"
- there are also other "organs" like "Signals Organ" [viestielin] etc.
- Komentoryhmä - Command Section
- Torjuntakomppania [literally "Repel(ling) Company"] - my suggestion "Coastal Defence Company"
- Rannikkoiskukomppania - Coastal Strike Company

More will follow...

---

1. Here are my final suggestions for the volunteer battalions:

AHSP - Olonets/Aunus Volunteer Battalion
VHSP - Viena Volunteer Battalion
HeimoP 3 - Volunteer Battalion 3

2. In case of the Finnish word "sissi" [guerrilla] I suggest the following "translation":

SP / SissiP - Sissi Battalion

3. A word "jääkäri" is in any cases "Jäger" (original German term):

Rj.K / Rj.P / Rj.Pr. - Frontier Jäger Company/Battalion/Brigade
JP / JPr. - Jäger Battalion/Brigade

4. Unit number must be "on the same side" of the name as in the original Finnish name and in the same form: either "1" (number after the name) or "1."/"1st" (number is the first digit of the name).

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Post by janner » 09 Jan 2007 22:01

I certainly think that there is strong precedence to keep Sissi rather than work to a translation. However, if necessary I suggest that the translation would be: Commando in english/english and Ranger in american/english. This is because guerrilla suggests paramilitaries or partisans rather than a military unit.

I agree that Jäger also works without further translation. I don't think american/english has a shorter title than Light Infantry but in english/english "Rifle" can be used.

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Post by Harri » 10 Jan 2007 10:38

Thanks for the reply, janner. I think if we generally talk about Finnish "guerrillas" then that word is the best because both Commando and Ranger have a certain "meaning" also in Finland. In Finnish the word "sissi" can mean both paramilitary and professional trained guerrillas. Additionally Finnish guerrillas were basically "scouts" whose tasks were also attacks. That is an important aspect. So, "option C" is definately the best one in this.

Some Englishman with whom I discussed once told me that "Jäger" is perhaps better than "Jaeger" or "Light Infantry". I think that too because it is somehow closer to the original Finnish word "jääkäri" and also more universal than "Light Infantry" which could be used only if we talk about Finnish bicycle units. But there are also "Jäger Officers" (those trained in Germany during the WW I) and "Jäger" [jääkäri] is the title and also a military rank (equal to a Private [sotamies, literally "militaryman"]) of the Finnish soldier serving in "Jäger troops". There is another equal rank "Frontier Jäger" [rajajääkäri] for soldiers serving in the units of the Finnish Frontier Guard (nowadays these have a complete guerrilla training).

"Rifle" is a problematic because there are other terms like "Rifle Company" [kiväärikomppania] and "Rifle Section" [kivääriryhmä] which mean ordinary infantry in Finland. Also the basic training title of infantrymen is "Rifleman" [kiväärimies].

Do you (or anyone else) have suggestions for the "organ" problem? :lol:

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Post by janner » 10 Jan 2007 12:58

"Guerrilla" in English has come to be equated to insurgent/terrorist/freedom fighter and has no connection with formal military units - indeed it may be contrived as an insult to those concerned as I certainly wouldn’t want to be grouped with IRA/ETA if I had served in a Sissi Bn! If you suggest that ranger/commando might be already used by other units (probably jääkäri?), that they were asymmetric in orientation and sit alongside WW2 era SAS/Long Range Desert Group then it may be useful to describe their function in such terms but I strongly advise sticking well clear of the word guerrilla.

As an aside “Rifle” is also used in English for "Rifle Company" [kiväärikomppania] and "Rifle Section" [kivääriryhmä] but light infantry Regiments such as King’s Royal Rifle Corps, Rifle Brigade and soon to be “The Rifles” are the English equivalent of jäger/jaegar/jääkäri. Indeed my own former battalion (DDLI to be 1st Rifles) is training at the moment to join 3 (Commando) Brigade which is equipped in a very similar manner to your modern Jäger Brigade. Whatever one's army rank, in the Regiment we are all Riflemen - I suspect a similar feeling exists amongst your jääkäri.

As always when one deals in these cases, translations are exacerbated by the different military structures, cultures and traditions but I think that perhaps Jäger or Jaegar is sufficiently understood amongst military/historian circles for use with jääkäri and if your aiming at a wider audience then you are going to have to explain their function in more detail anyway, ie jääkäri: a light infantry unit formed from specially selected and trained soldiers, and tasked with a. providing the infantry component of armoured and cavalry formations; b. acting as manoeuvre units in complex terrain etc

http://www.army.mod.uk/infantry/regts/t ... iments.htm

I understand potential problems with “Jäger Officers” but perhaps including “27th” in front of “Jäger” in such cases would remove any confusion.

As to “organ” I would need more detail on the size/role of the unit. Is it the commander and his immediate staff (TAC HQ), the larger staff grouping (MAIN HQ), the full command and logistical support to a unit (HQ Coy)? Command Group or Command Team are both used colloquially in UK for the Coy/Bn/Bde commander and those troop/functions he requires to exercise command over the sub-unit/unit/formation etc.

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Post by Harri » 10 Jan 2007 14:12

janner wrote:"Guerrilla" in English has come to be equated to insurgent/terrorist/freedom fighter and has no connection with formal military units - indeed it may be contrived as an insult to those concerned as I certainly wouldn’t want to be grouped with IRA/ETA if I had served in a Sissi Bn! If you suggest that ranger/commando might be already used by other units (probably jääkäri?), that they were asymmetric in orientation and sit alongside WW2 era SAS/Long Range Desert Group then it may be useful to describe their function in such terms but I strongly advise sticking well clear of the word guerrilla.


I understand your point but there simply is no other suitable word. "Ranger" might be, there are also Texas Rangers which are closer to police forces. The basic idea of Finnish long-range patrol units is really basically close to the SAS/LRDP. So, just "sissi".

janner wrote:As an aside “Rifle” is also used in English for "Rifle Company" [kiväärikomppania] and "Rifle Section" [kivääriryhmä] but light infantry Regiments such as King’s Royal Rifle Corps, Rifle Brigade and soon to be “The Rifles” are the English equivalent of jäger/jaegar/jääkäri. Indeed my own former battalion (DDLI to be 1st Rifles) is training at the moment to join 3 (Commando) Brigade which is equipped in a very similar manner to your modern Jäger Brigade. Whatever one's army rank, in the Regiment we are all Riflemen - I suspect a similar feeling exists amongst your jääkäri.


In Finland "Jäger" is basically a honorary title a bit like "Guard(s)" and definately above the "Rifleman" status which is the lowest basic training level which all men have unless they have a better (higher, more specialized) one like Jäger, Armour Jäger, Parachute Jäger *, Coastal Jäger * and Frontier Jäger (* modern ones). The three latter training levels or "training branches" are only for fully specialized scouting and guerrilla warfare troops. The two first are basically infantry training levels.

janner wrote:As always when one deals in these cases, translations are exacerbated by the different military structures, cultures and traditions but I think that perhaps Jäger or Jaegar is sufficiently understood amongst military/historian circles for use with jääkäri and if your aiming at a wider audience then you are going to have to explain their function in more detail anyway, ie jääkäri: a light infantry unit formed from specially selected and trained soldiers, and tasked with a. providing the infantry component of armoured and cavalry formations; b. acting as manoeuvre units in complex terrain etc

I understand potential problems with “Jäger Officers” but perhaps including “27th” in front of “Jäger” in such cases would remove any confusion.


I'm not convinved on the last one. I think those who are familiar with the Finnish history know or have some sort of idea the what the title "Jäger" means. Basically "jääkäri" is a "foreign" word also in Finland, a partly phonetical adaptation.

janner wrote:As to “organ” I would need more detail on the size/role of the unit. Is it the commander and his immediate staff (TAC HQ), the larger staff grouping (MAIN HQ), the full command and logistical support to a unit (HQ Coy)? Command Group or Command Team are both used colloquially in UK for the Coy/Bn/Bde commander and those troop/functions he requires to exercise command over the sub-unit/unit/formation etc.


"HQ Organ" is the permanent HQ of the mentioned unit (in this case a coastal artillery battalion). I think it lacks some parts of the "main HQ" being thus a smaller part of the full HQ. "Signals Organ" is a usually very small signals unit for example with a NCO and two Signalsmen.

Typical Finnish HQ had two parts: "Command HQ" or "Command Office" [komentoesikunta / komentotoimisto] and "Supply HQ" or "Supply Office" [huoltoesikunta / huoltotoimisto] depending on the unit size. The first one is led by the Chief of Staff [esikuntapäällikkö] while the other is under the command of Supply Chief [huoltopäällikkö] which on the other hand is too under the command of Chief of Staff.
Command and Supply HQs had a various number of (usually at least four) offices under the command of the branch commanders [aselajikomentaja] (for field artillery, anti-aircraft, signals, engineer, MP and such troops) or office chiefs [toimistopäällikkö].

I understand that a word "organ" is used if we talk about some civilian organization but I doubt it can be used if we talk about military unit or HQ? Team has the same problems about we have discussed earlier. And Group again sounds a way too big unit.

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Post by janner » 10 Jan 2007 19:54

"Ranger" might be, there are also Texas Rangers which are closer to police forces.


I don't think your average American with have problems with this one - Rangers hail from the British Army’s "Roger's Rangers" of the French and Indian Wars recruited from backwoodsmen and firmly part of US and UK military traditions (for UK see Royal Irish Rangers). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rogers'_Rangers

Again, I digress :D

In Finland "Jäger" is basically a honorary title a bit like "Guard(s)" and definately above the "Rifleman"


Understood - in UK Rifleman is also an honorary title equal to Guardsman, Fusilier, Kingsman, Ranger etc so anyone dealing with HM Armed Forces beware of such subtle differences!

Basically, we have for circa 1939-44:

“Sissi” = special forces units formed for asymmetrical operations.

“Jäger” = elite light infantry units designed as the dismounted component of combined arms formations and capable of forming the manoeuvre element in complex terrain.

However, in modern parlance, “Jäger” seems to have evolved to encompass all but the most basic of infantry functions. This is not so easy a concept to translate. What do you consider to be the basic skills of a “rifleman” as opposed to a “Jäger”?

"HQ Organ" is the permanent HQ of the mentioned unit (in this case a coastal artillery battalion)...Typical Finnish HQ had two parts: "Command HQ" or "Command Office" [komentoesikunta / komentotoimisto] and "Supply HQ" or "Supply Office" [huoltoesikunta / huoltotoimisto] depending on the unit size. The first one is led by the Chief of Staff [esikuntapäällikkö] while the other is under the command of Supply Chief [huoltopäällikkö] which on the other hand is too under the command of Chief of Staff.


It's simply called Brigade/Regimental/Battalion/Company Headquarters, which is distinct from Headquarters Company. Above Company level a HQ will be organised in a similar fashion to that which you describe, with separate "cells" for each functional area: Personnel, Intelligence, Operations, Logistics, Communications etc. Similarly the Brigade COS will focus on Operations and Intelligence, whilst DCOS (Deputy Chief of Staff) has personnel and logistics - lucky boy :?

The sort of Signals unit you describe sounds like a "Signals Detachment" - thus a battalion's signals platoon could form a number of detachments: some permanent such as to a company headquarters, Rebros (re-broadcast units) etc; or temporary/transitory such as to ad hoc liaison teams.

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Post by Harri » 11 Jan 2007 13:25

janner wrote:
Harri wrote: "Ranger" might be, there are also Texas Rangers which are closer to police forces.

I don't think your average American with have problems with this one - Rangers hail from the British Army’s "Roger's Rangers" of the French and Indian Wars recruited from backwoodsmen and firmly part of US and UK military traditions (for UK see Royal Irish Rangers).
Again, I digress :D


Well, anyway I drop "Ranger" because it does not "sound" suitable. Somehow it just don't fit.

janner wrote:
Harri wrote:In Finland "Jäger" is basically a honorary title a bit like "Guard(s)" and definately above the "Rifleman"

Understood - in UK Rifleman is also an honorary title equal to Guardsman, Fusilier, Kingsman, Ranger etc so anyone dealing with HM Armed Forces beware of such subtle differences!
...
However, in modern parlance, “Jäger” seems to have evolved to encompass all but the most basic of infantry functions. This is not so easy a concept to translate. What do you consider to be the basic skills of a “rifleman” as opposed to a “Jäger”?


In Finland "Rifleman" is the basic infantry training level and those who have this "status" are not called riflemens but "Privates" [sotamies] etc. "Jäger" is an infantry soldier or rifleman serving in a Jäger unit which are basically just better equipped infantry units. These soldiers are also called Jägers.

During the war Jäger units were equipped with bicycles but nowadays they are armoured and mechanized troops while riflemen serve in non-motorized or motorized infantry units. Any prefixes differ the situation: these Jägers have a certain more specified task (only Armour Jägers [panssarijääkäri] or anti-tank gunners of the Armour Jäger Battalion and Frontier Guard Jägers [rajajääkäri] were used during the war since 1941).

janner wrote:Basically, we have for circa 1939-44:
“Sissi” = special forces units formed for asymmetrical operations.
“Jäger” = elite light infantry units designed as the dismounted component of combined arms formations and capable of forming the manoeuvre element in complex terrain.


My explanations would be as follows:
"Sissi" = 1.) prefix of an infantry unit, during the Winter War light battalions without heavy infantry weapons, during the Continuation War battalions equal to a separate infantry battalion intended for independent operations on the flanks and rear areas
2.) infantry soldier with a special guerrilla warfare, patrol and scouting training)

"Jäger" = 1.) honorary prefix of a partly motorized light infantry unit equipped with bicycles, intended for mobile warfare in co-operation with armoured and support elements
2.) honorary title of an infantry soldier serving in a Jäger unit

Basically all Finnish units can operate in any terrain. Note that during the Winter War bicycle units formed of reservists were called Bicycle Battalions and Companies and only peace-time Jäger Battalions formed of concripts had the Jäger status. In 1941 that was expanded so that all bicycle and Frontier Guard units as well as the AT battalion of Supreme HQ had that status.

janner wrote:
Harri wrote:"HQ Organ" is the permanent HQ of the mentioned unit (in this case a coastal artillery battalion)...Typical Finnish HQ had two parts: "Command HQ" or "Command Office" [komentoesikunta / komentotoimisto] and "Supply HQ" or "Supply Office" [huoltoesikunta / huoltotoimisto] depending on the unit size. The first one is led by the Chief of Staff [esikuntapäällikkö] while the other is under the command of Supply Chief [huoltopäällikkö] which on the other hand is too under the command of Chief of Staff.

It's simply called Brigade/Regimental/Battalion/Company Headquarters, which is distinct from Headquarters Company. Above Company level a HQ will be organised in a similar fashion to that which you describe, with separate "cells" for each functional area: Personnel, Intelligence, Operations, Logistics, Communications etc. Similarly the Brigade COS will focus on Operations and Intelligence, whilst DCOS (Deputy Chief of Staff) has personnel and logistics - lucky boy :?


So far I have used only "HQ" but I think the difference is that "HQ Organ" or "Command Organ" [komentoelin] lacks the supply element or most of it. Because Coastal Artillery Battalions are static units they don't need constant fuel, arms and ammo supply and their parent Coastal Artillery Brigade and Regiment can do these duties.

janner wrote:The sort of Signals unit you describe sounds like a "Signals Detachment" - thus a battalion's signals platoon could form a number of detachments: some permanent such as to a company headquarters, Rebros (re-broadcast units) etc; or temporary/transitory such as to ad hoc liaison teams.


Well, that suits me well. Actually I think I have already used it somewhere.

Perhaps "HQ Detachment" [or "Command Detachment"] would be suitable translations for the "HQ/Command Organ"?

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Post by janner » 11 Jan 2007 18:50

Thanks for clearing up my questions on the distinctions between Jäger and Private - I take it that there is also some form of selection process.

2.) infantry soldier with a special guerrilla warfare, patrol and scouting training)


Soldiers cannot perform guerrilla warfare: they can patrol, scout, raid, ambush and act asymmetrically but can never be guerrillas whilst being soldiers. The latter have to act within the law and are constrained by the moral and ethical norms of their culture, the former are outside societies laws and values.

a partly motorized light infantry unit equipped with bicycles, intended for mobile warfare in co-operation with armoured and support elements


"the dismounted component (=light infantry unit) of combined arms formations (=co-operation with armoured and support elements) and capable of forming the manoeuvre element in complex terrain (see below)." I agree that adding mobile is useful

Basically all Finnish units can operate in any terrain.


Umm, :? , I know you have some troops in Liberia, Lebanon etc but I would also suggest that the Finnish Army, however capable and effective, is not designed for expeditionary warfare but typically focuses on the terrain found within national borders. Even taking that issue to one side, operate is not the same as manoeuvre (using movement and fire potential to gain a position of advantage in respect of an enemy). I would submit that certain arms are better suited to conducting manoeuvre than others in various types of terrain.

Armour is better in open, rolling terrain where they can make good use of mobility and firepower with a lower risk from hand held anti-tank weaponry. I spent enough time in Armoured Battle Groups to know how vulnerable tanks are in close/complex terrain such as Urban, Jungle/Forrest, Mountains etc. Tanks are very useful in cities, forests etc, can operate and conduct manoeuvre in limited areas but it’s generally agreed that dismounted infantry, assault pioneers/field engineers etc are the favoured manoeuvre element in complex terrain.

Equally, when acting as a dismounted infantryman, large, flat open areas, devoid of cover just shouted DANGER! Thus, at a very simplistic level, Infantry lead in complex terrain and Armour leads in the open.

So far I have used only "HQ" but I think the difference is that "HQ Organ" or "Command Organ" [komentoelin] lacks the supply element or most of it.


The supply element would form part of HQ Company in UK, as would signals, transport, medical, mechanics etc. Some countries split that into separate Command and Supply Companies but in any case the command element of the unit is just "HQ".

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Post by Harri » 12 Jan 2007 11:14

janner wrote:Thanks for clearing up my questions on the distinctions between Jäger and Private - I take it that there is also some form of selection process.


Yes and no, but the soldiers must be healthy, able to ski and swim and belong to the best "A service class". In Finland every young man proposes by themselves the unit in which they would like to serve but they were first "inspected" and after that ordered into this (or some other) unit. Of course the inspecting officers made the final desicion based on the information they have. The area in which one lived effected on the units available. Earlier that was much more strict than today, so you couldn't perhaps select in which Jäger Battalion you would have liked to serve but the nattalion was selected based on the area of which troops it trained.

Officers in regular service were carefully selected for Jäger Battalions. They were usually the best available young cadre officers and NCOs. The commanders of Jäger Battalions (Captains and Majors) were usually very young, typically between 30 and 40 years but this is not the rule. They had also much older commanders, even Jäger officers (Majors or Lt.Cols).

The "elite" status of Jäger units was based on their traditions and that they were conscript units which were usually considered better than reserve units led usually by reserve officers and NCOs as well as older cadre personnel. Also cavalry/mounted regiments were basically similar despite that used horses (until 1943) instead of bicycles.

janner wrote:
Harri wrote:2.) infantry soldier with a special guerrilla warfare, patrol and scouting training)

Soldiers cannot perform guerrilla warfare: they can patrol, scout, raid, ambush and act asymmetrically but can never be guerrillas whilst being soldiers. The latter have to act within the law and are constrained by the moral and ethical norms of their culture, the former are outside societies laws and values.


So, we have again a conflict between the meanings of terms. In Finland a word "sissisodankäynti" includes all kinds of such activities not depending even if the one is some sort of freedom fighter or a trained soldier. Is there any contemporary word(s) in English which would then mean "guerrilla warfare" committed by soldiers?

janner wrote:
Harri wrote:a partly motorized light infantry unit equipped with bicycles, intended for mobile warfare in co-operation with armoured and support elements

"the dismounted component (=light infantry unit) of combined arms formations (=co-operation with armoured and support elements) and capable of forming the manoeuvre element in complex terrain (see below)." I agree that adding mobile is useful


Yes, your one was basically correct. The co-operation with armoured elements was not realized before the year 1941.

janner wrote:
Harri wrote:Basically all Finnish units can operate in any terrain.

Umm, :? ,...


Well, actually I didn't have the whole world in my mind (we have no colonial background)... just the Finnish like terrain because we have only Defence Forces and not operate in plain open terrain. :lol:

janner wrote:
Harri wrote:So far I have used only "HQ" but I think the difference is that "HQ Organ" or "Command Organ" [komentoelin] lacks the supply element or most of it.

The supply element would form part of HQ Company in UK, as would signals, transport, medical, mechanics etc. Some countries split that into separate Command and Supply Companies but in any case the command element of the unit is just "HQ".


I meant "the leadership element of supply" within HQ. Coastal Artillery Battalions of course had all of their supply units.

In company/battery level the command unit (not HQ) was called "Command Section" [komentoryhmä] (with Combat Messengers and Observers). "Delivery Platoon" [toimitusjoukkue] was for supply and needed "overhauls" (which included medical, ammo, delivery and if needed veterinary sections, at least during the Winter War "bicycle mechanic" belonged interestingly to the ammo section which also included Weapons NCO, Gunsmith, Ammunition Bearers and drivers). Delivery Section was manned by handikraftsmen like Provisions Men, Cooks, Shoeing and Vehicle Smith, Saddlesmith, Shoemaker and Tailor.

Earlier we too had the combined command and supply company (called either "HQ Company" or more likely "Delivery Company" [toimituskomppania]) in battalion level. The latter one could perhaps also be translate as "supply company". HQ Company could also have signals, engineer etc. sub-units.

Since 1943 organizations were checked and IIRC "Supply Companies" [huoltokomppania] were formed in brigade and division levels. Delivery companies became also HQ Companies. Bigger formations had additionally organic colums and truck (lorry) units.

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