Lauri Allan Törni / Larry Alan Thorne

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Heraklit
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Lauri Allan Törni / Larry Alan Thorne

Post by Heraklit » 03 Jun 2003 17:30

For his bravery in defense of Finland Captain Lauri Allan Törni, *1919 † 1965 (also known as Larry Alan Thorne) earned every Finnish medal of valor including the Mannerheim Cross. After Finland's final defeat, he served with the Waffen SS and eventually received an Iron Cross. Törni/Thorne died in Vietnam (or Laos) while serving as an officer with a U.S. Army Special Forces unit.

I should appreciate any data or references concerning his service with the Waffen SS.

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Harri
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Post by Harri » 03 Jun 2003 17:52

First of all, can you read Finnish?

And are you aware of the fact that L. Törni was in Waffen-SS as an volunteer for the Finnish Volunteer SS Battalion between late spring 1941 and late summer / early autumn/fall 1941?

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Juha Hujanen
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Post by Juha Hujanen » 03 Jun 2003 18:43

This site could be usefull.

http://turuntori.com/kotisivut/?id=1014

Heraklit
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Lauri Allan Törni / Larry Alan Thorne

Post by Heraklit » 03 Jun 2003 20:20

I read only English and German.

Törni's service with the SS Freiwilligen Bataillon Nordost was not known to me until I read the biographical data on the website referred to by Juha Hujanen above for which I am grateful. That website was indeed very useful.

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Juha Hujanen
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Post by Juha Hujanen » 04 Jun 2003 14:44

Here's pic of Törni/tThorne in summer 41 as SS-Untersturmfuhrer.Pic is from excelent Olli Wikberg book-Meine Ehre heißt True!.Uniforms of the Finnish SS-Volunteers 1941-43.

Regards/Juha
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James Patrick
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Post by James Patrick » 04 Jun 2003 19:25

Lauri Torni (aka Larry Thorne) spent 3 months in the Waffen-ss Frei Btn Nordost undergoing officer training. He and 19 other Finnish cadets returned to Finland after the 3 month training period to fight in the Continuation war with the Finnish military. After the Continuation War, Lauri Torni secretly returned to Germany for guerilla training, but ended up fighting on the Eastern front with German marines. Even though he never fought with the Waffen-ss and spent only a short time in the organzation as an officer cadet, his ss past would come back to haunt him for the remainder of his time in Finland and when he later immigrated to the US. He later served in the US Army's rowdy 11th Airborne Division "The Flamming Assholes" in West Germany and the 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne), which was formed for European operations and had a large number of Finns. He would eventually become MIA while serving with MACV-SOG in Vietnam. Today's 10th SFG (A) headquarters at Fort Carson, Colorado is named "Thorne Hall" in Larry Thorne's honor.

Heraklit
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Lauri Allan Törni / Larry Alan Thorne

Post by Heraklit » 04 Jun 2003 23:04

There is some suggestion that General William J. Donovan, former head of the OSS, facilitated the enlistment of Törni/Thorne into the U.S. Army as a private in 1954 under the Lodge Act. He received a direct commission as a first lieutenant in 1956.
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Harri
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Post by Harri » 06 Jun 2003 00:19

In 1941 Törni had a rank of 2nd Lieutenant in Finland. Finnish officers were promoted to appropriate ranks in Germany. As far as I know their "training" was very different from other men and NCOs. It consisted more of following what German officers and other Finns did. They also learned speaking German and giving German orders.
James Patrick wrote:After the Continuation War, Lauri Torni secretly returned to Germany for guerilla training
In Finland Törni was the leader of the Finnish long-range patrol (= guerrilla) Jäger Company of 1st Division for almost three years. He probably went to Germany to teach guerrilla warfare to Germans.

James Patrick
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Post by James Patrick » 06 Jun 2003 01:25

After the armistice between Finland and the Soviet Union, Lauri Torni was approached by the Asekatkenta and asked to go to Germany to recieve specialized guerilla training. He and other Finns were sent to Germany to attend the Guerrila Warfare and Sabotage Course as part of the Werwulf Program. With the rapid advance of the Red Army, the course was curtailed and Lauri Torni made his way to the front lines.

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arlovi31
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War Museum in Helsinki

Post by arlovi31 » 12 Sep 2003 15:53

You can see this gentleman's medals and some photos and citations in the War Museum in Helsinki. By the way, that museum is quite splendid !

Tapani K.
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Post by Tapani K. » 12 Sep 2003 22:38

James Patrick wrote:After the armistice between Finland and the Soviet Union, Lauri Torni was approached by the Asekatkenta and asked to go to Germany to recieve specialized guerilla training. He and other Finns were sent to Germany to attend the Guerrila Warfare and Sabotage Course as part of the Werwulf Program. With the rapid advance of the Red Army, the course was curtailed and Lauri Torni made his way to the front lines.
He was not approached by the men involved with the "asekätkentä". "Asekätkentä" was an operation organized by Finnish officers with the intention of placing secret arms and ammunitons caches all around the country to facilitate resistance in case of Soviet occupation. This operation was not German-sponsored and there was no connection with Germany.

On the other hand, there were some Finns working with the Germans and it was with their assistance that Törni left Finland for Germany in 1944. He was sent to the course mentioned in the quote above but he refused to take part in operations directed against Finland and Finns so he was sent to the front-line. He fought against the Soviets commanding a German unit formed of former naval personnel but managed to surrender to the Americans who turned him over to the British. He volunteered for British service but this was not accepted since technically Finland and the UK were at war. Törni escaped from the POW camp with another Finn and reached Finland through Denmark and Sweden.

In Finland he lived some time semi-openly but was arrested and sentenced to prison for joining the German forces while Finland was at war With Germany. He managed to escape from prison with the help of a guard and made his way to the US via South America. The rest is history.


regards,
Tapani K.

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SS-Researcher
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Post by SS-Researcher » 13 Sep 2003 12:26

Hi!
Does anyone know what his final Waffen-SS rank was?

BEst wishes and thanks in advance
Florian

Tapani K.
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Post by Tapani K. » 14 Sep 2003 19:06

Törni was promoted to a Hauptsturmführer in April 15 1945 and sent ot the front with the marine unit directly after the promotion. It might be noted that he was an Untersturmführer before the promotion and thus skipped one rank. In Finland he was a Captain (kapteeni) and in effect the promotion meant that his Finnish rank was recognized.


regards,
Tapani K.

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Hanski
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Re: War Museum in Helsinki

Post by Hanski » 25 Jul 2006 09:59

arlovi31 wrote:You can see this gentleman's medals and some photos and citations in the War Museum in Helsinki. By the way, that museum is quite splendid !
Here's the document on the posthumous Distinguished Flying Cross.
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Mikko H.
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Post by Mikko H. » 25 Jul 2006 20:58

n Finland he lived some time semi-openly but was arrested and sentenced to prison for joining the German forces while Finland was at war With Germany. He managed to escape from prison with the help of a guard and made his way to the US via South America. The rest is history.
I don't think Törni had to escape prison. IIRC he was amnestied by President Paasikivi and thus didn't have to serve the full term in prison.

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