John Hilly wrote:Houston, we have a problem...!
Yikes. OK, so in Linna (The Unknown Soldier, of course... I was reading it on the train this morning) there's a Sergeant Major (english language translation, need I say). So here's what I'm working with. corrections / clarifications solicited
. Keeping in mind that the above is a combat formation, mechanized infantry, prototypical, light on everything as it's being slung together rather hastily. Engineering support & logistics largely handled at the Battalion level... Also, I have not yet run through my Maavoimat organisation so that may yet change a bit... Altho it's usually far better to keep military organisations as flat & lean & mean as possible....
So if there's no Sotilasmestari, would there actually be a company sergeant-major, or would he likely be a senior sergeant, say a Ylikersantti or a Vääpeli? What's the rank used in the Finnish-language "Unknown Soldier?" I read that there are some positions, which resemble military ranks in their name, but are not. The position of the "Sergeant Major of a company" (or other unit such as battery in artillery) is called komppanian vääpeli "Sergeant 1st Class of the company" - so it was a position, rather than an actual rank?
Sotamies - Private
Korpraali - PFC (British equivalent = Lance Corporal)
Alikersantti - Junior Sergeant (aka Corporal)
Kersantti - Sergeant
Ylikersantti - Staff Sergeant
Vääpeli - Sergeant 1st Class (British equivalent = Warrant Officer Class 2)
Ylivääpeli - Master Sergeant (British equivalent = Warrant Officer Class 2, Company Sergeant Major))
Sotilasmestari - Sergeant Major (British equivalent = Warrant Officer Class 1)
Vänrikki - 2nd Lieutenant
Luutnantti - Lieutenant
Kapteeni - Captain
Majuri - Major
Everstiluutnantti - Lieutenant Colonel
Eversti - Colonel
Prikaatikenraali - Brigadier General
Kenraalimajuri - Major General
Kenraaliluutnantti - Lieutenant General
Kenraali - General
Alikersantti (corporal) is usually a squad/section leader
Kersantti (sergeant) usually is platoon second in command etc. and not your normal squad/section leader.
Ylikersantti (and Vaapeli, Ylivaapeli and Sotilasmestari) are rather more rare than kersantti.
The rank of General may, as a sign of special recognition, include a service branch: those historically used were General of Infantry (jalkaväenkenraali), General of Cavalry (ratsuväenkenraali) and General of Artillery (tykistökenraali). These additions do not affect seniority.
Personnel serving in technical duties belonging to the officers without officer training hold the position of military civil servant (sotilasvirkamies). Their rank is comparable to either Senior Lieutenant, Lieutenant and Staff Sergeant, depending on the level of the civilian education required to serve in this position.
Sotamies is a generic rank for Private, however the rank of sotamies as is no longer used in any service branch. The rank is always given the name specific to the service branch: is this true of WW2?
Jaeger (jääkäri) in infantry (including mortar personnel, who may be subordinated to artillery units)
Signalist (viestimies) in signals corps
Armourman (panssarimies) in tank units and Armour Jaeger (panssarijääkäri) in mechanised infantry
Driver (autosotamies) in transport corps
Gunner (tykkimies) in anti-aircraft corps, field artillery and coastal units of the Navy
NBC private (suojelumies) in NBC defence units
Engineer (pioneeri) in engineers
Coastal Jaeger (rannikkojääkäri) in Uusimaa Brigade (Uudenmaan prikaati)
Dragoon (rakuuna) in the Dragoon troop of Army Warfare School (Rakuunaeskadroona/Maasotakoulu)
Cavalryman (ratsumies) in the Häme Regiment (Hämeen rykmentti)
Guard Jaeger (kaartinjääkäri) in Guard Jaeger Regiment (Kaartin jääkärirykmentti)
Border Jaeger (rajajääkäri) in the Border Guard (conscript rank, enlisted Border Guard personnel are NCOs in ranks of Border Guard (nuorempi rajavartija), Senior Border Guard (vanhempi rajavartija), Border Guard Sergeant (ylirajavartija) and Border Guard Master Sergeant (rajavartiomestari).)
Paratroop Jaeger (laskuvarjojääkäri) and Special Jaeger (erikoisjääkäri) in Utti Jaeger Regiment (Utin jääkärirykmentti) and Special Border Jaeger (erikoisrajajääkäri) in Special Border Jaeger company of Border and Coast Guard School (Raja- ja merivartiokoulu) are not ranks, but specializations, where NCO training is given and thus each graduate is at minimum alikersantti.
Historically, the rank of sotamies was used in generic infantry units, while the rank of Jaeger was in used only in the Jaeger Brigade in Sodankylä and in specific Jaeger battalions, which derived their traditions from the Jäger Movement.
And over on alternatehistory, it was just pointed out to me that Prikaatikenraali - Brigadier General - is also a post WW2 rank. So what rabk generally commanded a Brigade-sized formation in WW2 (JR's I assume? An Eversti?)