FINNISH Army in 1920s-1930s (organization, equipment)

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BIGpanzer
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FINNISH Army in 1920s-1930s (organization, equipment)

Post by BIGpanzer » 05 Sep 2005 18:30

Friends!
I hope this is the right place to help me with the info about Finnish Army.
There is quite a lot info about the organization of Finnish Army during Winter (Soviet-Finnish) war as well as during Continuation (WWII) war. But I would like to know at least something about the organization and equipment of Finnish Army, Navy and Air Forces after the Liberation war and later, in 1920s-mid1930s. Finnish Armored Forces was quite small during that period and the information about them even in good military historical books is not enough.
I have some info about Finnish Army of 1920s, but very few.

Could you recommend good special literature or Internet sites about the Finnish Army of interwar period?
Also any info, posted here, is very welcome!

Regards, BIGpanzer
Last edited by BIGpanzer on 17 Sep 2005 23:42, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Hanski » 05 Sep 2005 21:32

On top of my head I can remember this thread with background information of the Finnish armoured corps (including pre-war history):

http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=31559

Cheers,
Hanski

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Re: FINNISH Army before Winter War (organization, equipment)

Post by Harri » 05 Sep 2005 21:44

BIGpanzer wrote:I hope this is the right place to help me with the info about Finnish Army.
Inter War section would be perhaps a more suitable place.
BIGpanzer wrote:There is quite a lot info about the organization of Finnish Army during Winter (Soviet-Finnish) war as well as during Continuation (WWII) war. But I would like to know at least something about the organization and equipment of Finnish Army, Navy and Air Forces after the Liberation war and later, in 1920s-mid1930s.
Before the Winter War Finnish Armed Forces were composed of one Army Corps (= HQ of land forces, became II Army Corps), three Divisions (Division HQs became two III and IV Army Corps and Karelian Isthmus Army in case of war) and Cavalry Brigade. Smaller units belonged mainly to divisions. Also HQ of Frontier Guard formed an Army Corps level HQ (North Finland Group).

Since late 1930's Air Force was basically in the same composition as during the Winter War (although it was called Air Defence during the Winter War and early Continuation War). Air Force was composed of Flying Squadrons and weak Anti-Aircraft Troops. In the late 1930's before the Winter War two Anti-Aircraft Regiments were formed for the cities of Helsinki and Viipuri.

Naval Forces composed of two parts: Coastal Navy and Coastal Artillery. Coastal Navy was basically in war composition since mid-1930's. Coastal Artillery was composed of Coastal Artillery Regiments and Battalions.
BIGpanzer wrote:Finnish Armored Forces was quite small during that period and the information about them even in good military historical books is not enough.
From my forthcoming (not yet published) page on Finnish Armoured Troops:
Finnish Armoured Troops Before WW II 1919 - 1939

The history of Finnish armoured troops began as early as on 30 June 1919 when a new armoured unit called Tank Regiment was established. Unit was equipped with 32 French Renault F.T. modèle 1917 tanks of which 14 were armed with short 37 mm Puteaux tank guns while the other 18 had 8 mm Hotchkiss MGs which were later replaced with 7.62 mm Maxim MGs. There were also two different kind of turret models: round cast Girod turret and an angular riveted one.

In 1925 Tank Regiment was reorganized as Tank Battalion and in 1927 it first became Tank Company, later Separate Tank Company and finally in 1937 Separate Armoured Company [Erillinen panssarikomppania].

At the beginning of 1930's the decision to buy a new tank model was made. Four different British tank models were tested in Finland and as a result in 1936 a total of 32 Vickers-Armstrongs 6 Ton Tank Alternative B light tanks were ordered from Great Britain but without armament, optics and communication equipment. Licence built 37 mm Bofors m/36 tank guns were ordered from State Gun Factory (VTT) and optics from Germany. By the end of 1939 only ten tanks were ready for operations because of many delays.
From my Cavalry Brigade page:
Before the Winter War in 1939 Cavalry Brigade (RPr.) had had two detached armoured units namely Separate Armoured Squadron (Erillinen panssarieskadroona, Er.Ps.Esk.) and Separate Armoured Company (Erillinen panssarikomppania, Er.Pans.K). The latter one was a newly re-equipped tank unit with brand new British Vickers light tanks of which most were still unarmed because they were bought without weapons. For training a handful of tanks were equipped with French made short-barreled 37 mm Puteaux guns taken from old Renault F.T. 17 tanks.

Separate Armoured Company didn't fight with the RPr. during the Winter War and it was enlarged to an independent Armoured Battalion (Panssaripataljoona, Pans.P) on 5.12.1939.

Armoured Detachment established by Cavalry Brigade in 1937 was equipped with Swedish Landsverk 182 armoured car bought for trials. In 1938 unit was expanded to a Separate Armoured Squadron with a few tanks. After October 1939 unit was officially called Motorized Detachment / Cavalry Brigade (Moottoroitu Osasto / Ratsuväkiprikaati, Moot.Os./RPr.) but it didn't have tanks anymore.
Deliveries of Vickers tanks were still under going when the Winter War started.
BIGpanzer wrote:I have some info about Finnish Army of 1920s, but very few. Could you recommend good special literature or Internet sites about the Finnish Army of interwar period? Also any info, posted here, is very welcome!
I think only this site contains some information on that era:
http://www.jaegerplatoon.net/

About Finnish uniforms:
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... highlight=

Commanders of the Finnish Defence Forces (and their photos):
http://www.mil.fi/perustietoa/historia/komentajat.dsp

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Post by ML » 06 Sep 2005 08:10

This book (in Finnish) seems to be quite comprehensive:

Jarl Kronlund et al. Suomen puolustuslaitos 1918-1939. Sotatieteen laitoksen julkaisuja XXIV, 4th ed. (WSOY, Porvoo, 1992).

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Post by BIGpanzer » 06 Sep 2005 20:53

Thanks, guys (Hanski, Harri and ML :wink: ) for the very interesting links and references. Need to read them in detail!
Just some questions as I am a little bit interested in Finnish Army organization now:)

1. I found a mention that Finnish Army had 9 infantry regiments and 3 battalions of light infantry in 1939. Were those battalions independent units and what was the difference between them and "normal" infantry battalions from regiments?
2. About the equipment of Finnish single tank company (battalion) I have the info (thanks to Harri also), but what was the equipment of the Finnish armored car squadron (only Swedish Landsverk 182....)?

3. How many military schools did Finland have in 1930s and where were they locate?

4. I will read the info about the armament of Finnish field artillery (thanks to Harri`s links), but what was the organization, localization and equipment of Finnish coastal artilllery of 1930s? I found only the mention about 3 regiments and 2 independent sections (what is this?) of coastal artillery.......Coastal artillery played an important role in Finland`s defence as Finland had a long coast-line and Aland Islands AFAIK (Barents Sea, Baltic Sea with Gulf of Bothnia and Gulf of Finland, half of large Lake Ladoga).........

Sorry for many questions, guys :wink:
Best regards, BIGpanzer

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Post by Harri » 06 Sep 2005 21:49

BIGpanzer wrote:1. I found a mention that Finnish Army had 9 infantry regiments and 3 battalions of light infantry in 1939. Were those battalions independent units and what was the difference between them and "normal" infantry battalions from regiments?
I don't have my usual source with me at the moment and I don't remember the correct figures *. But I can start explaining:
- Cavalry Brigade at Lappeenranta consisted of Uusimaa Cavalry Regiment (URR), Häme Mounted Regiment (HRR), Jäger Battalion 1 (JP 1) (at Mikkeli)
- the other three Jäger Battalions (2, 3, 4) located on the Karelian Isthmus belonged administratively AFAIK to divisions although were independent units in their own garrisons, before mid 1930's they were called Bicycle Battalions

* This is an interesting list of Finnish units, their abbreviations and their locations in 1923 and 1927. These are the the first pages of the list (for the police) which contains names of men who have not arrived in draft call (unfortunately in Finnish, ask if you need assistance with the unit names):
http://www.genealogia.fi/hakem/aek-ael/ael02s.htm
http://www.genealogia.fi/hakem/aek-ael/ael04s.htm

Locations of HQs:
- General Staff at Helsinki
- HQ / Army Corps was at Viipuri (1934 - 1939)
- HQ / 1st Division was at Helsinki
- HQ / 2nd Division was at Viipuri
- HQ / 3rd Division was at Mikkeli
- HQ / Air Force and HQ / Naval Forces at Helsinki
BIGpanzer wrote:2. About the equipment of Finnish single tank company (battalion) I have the info (thanks to Harri also), but what was the equipment of the Finnish armored car squadron (only Swedish Landsverk 182....)?
Read my quote above. AFAIK Separate Armoured Squadron had the mentioned armoured car and a few Renault F.T 17 tanks.
BIGpanzer wrote:3. How many military schools did Finland have in 1930s and where were they locate?
There were numerous:

Reserve Officer School at Hamina - for training reserve officers

Here is the list of all reserve officer courses in Finland:
translations:
Ksi-no = Course Number
Kurssiaika = Duration of the Course
Alku-vahv = Starting strength
Lopp-vahv = Finishing strength
Ennen sotia = before the wars
Sota-aikana = during the war
Sotien jäleen = after the wars
Huom / Kurssien niment = Notes / Course Names
http://www.mil.fi/maavoimat/joukot/ruk/ ... urssit.dsp

NCO School was originally near Viipuri at Markkovilla (but I don't remember when it was moved to Hämeenlinna?) - for training cadre NCOs

Cadet School at Santahamina / Helsinki - for training cadre officers

Naval Combat School at Suomenlinna (Helsinki) - for training navy and coastal artillery cadre officers

Air Fighting School at Kauhava - for training pilots

From my Internet site:
Pilot Training before the Winter War in the 1930's
Finnish Air Force (FAF) personnel training centre Aviation School [Ilmailukoulu] - since 1938 Air Fighting School (Ilmasotakoulu, ISK) - was moved from Santahamina (Helsinki) to a new base at Kauhava in the summer 1929. School trained reserve officer pilots and observers and reserve NCO pilots. A large portion of reservists were further trained to cadre personnel of FAF in Cadet and cadre NCO courses. Also two to four yearly refresher courses and various number of volunteer training courses were arranged since 1935 for the reserve officer pilots and since 1937 for the reserve NCO pilots. In the 1930's the peace-time strength of the school's paid personnel varied between 88 and 153.

Before the war the compulsory service time in Finnish Defence Forces was 350 days. New conscript groups entered service after every half year so that there were all the time older and younger conscripts.
Civil Guard had its own Civil Guard's Officers School at Tuusula near Helsinki.

These were the most important ones but there were many others.
BIGpanzer wrote:4. I will read the info about the armament of Finnish field artillery (thanks to Harri`s links), but what was the organization, localization and equipment of Finnish coastal artilllery of 1930s? I found only the mention about 3 regiments and 2 independent sections (what is this?) of coastal artillery.......Coastal artillery played an important role in Finland`s defence as Finland had a long coast-line and Aland Islands AFAIK (Barents Sea, Baltic Sea with Gulf of Bothnia and Gulf of Finland, half of large Lake Ladoga).........
Coastal artillery units:
Coastal Artillery Regiment 1 at Suomenlinna (Helsinki)
Coastal Artillery Regiment 2 at Viipuri
Coastal Artillery Regiment 3 at Sortavala (for the Lake Ladoga)
1st Separate Coastal Artillery Battalion at Hanko 1935 - 1939 (renamed Hanko Separate Coastal Artillery Battalion)
2nd Separate Coastal Artillery Battalion at Hamina 1935 - 1939 (new unit AFAIK)

Åland Islands is a demilitarized area during the peace-time. Ålanders don't either have compulsory conscript service although many of them serve voluntarily (a well known Finnish Maj.Gen. Alonzo Sundman, CO of 2nd Jäger Brigade and 17th Division, was from the Åland Islands and also some high naval officers).

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Post by JTV » 07 Sep 2005 08:00

Few points:

Equipment-wise development of Finnish Army from 1918 to 1939 was pretty much a constant race for equipping ever increasing size of available troops. More and more reserves were trained and Army tried to get funding for equipment needed. It seems that most (if not all) the time there were not enough equipment to actually equip all the troops, which existed for mobilisation, something which was still evident when Winter War begun in November of 1939.

Mobilisation strenghts of Finnish Armed Forces:
1919: 110,000 men
1925: 150,000 men
1930: 200,000 men
1934: 315,000 men

As mentioned: To get full picture of training Finnish soldiers got one has to remember also Suojeluskunta (Finnish Civil Guard). Number of its active members 1919 - 1939 varied between 78,000 - 120,000. Suojeluskunta started training officers of its own its own Officer school already year 1918 (first course started in October of that year) and continued this until 1939. Suojeluskunta Officer School ("Päällystökoulu") was located in Tuusula. In 1930's this officer school arranged 269 courses, which in average had duration of 8 months, the total number of participants in these courses was about 12,400.

The article I wrote about Suojeluskunta while back:

http://www.mosinnagant.net/finland/Finl ... uction.asp

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Post by Tuomo » 10 Sep 2005 12:26

This text comes from memory, so there are probably some errors:

The peacetime army in the late 30's included 9 infantry regiments, 4 jaeger battalions and 2 cavalry regiments. All 11 regiments had provincial names, while jaeger battalions were numbered. Cavalry regiments were in effect battalions, since each had several eskadroonas (=squadron= a company of cavalry in this case), with no battalion HQs between. Cavalry regiments retained their OOB during mobilization, as did jaeger battalions (thought they may have been reinforced by a few reservists).
Each infantry regiment had, if i remember correctly, two battalions. One with three rifle companies and another with MG, Signals and Cannon companies. Thus a peacetime infantry regiment could (and did) form only one rifle battalion and some additional units (brigade signal troops etc.) during the mobilization.
There were four field artillery regiments in the army, each regiment having one artillery battalion. Both anti aircraft regiments had only one AA battalion each, too. Other troops in the Army Corps included a signals regiment, a logistics regiment and an engineer battalion, along with some other smaller support units.
These were organized into three infantry divisions and a cavalry brigade. The Cavalry Brigade had two cavalry regiments, a jaeger battalion, a horse artillery battery, a separate engineer company, a signals squadron (=company) and some other units. Each infantry division had three infantry regiments, two/one/zero jaeger battalions, a field artillery regiment (one division had two) and some additional support regiments (or smaller elements) as mentioned above.
Notes:
-Conscription lasted 12 or 15 months, after which a conscript became a reservist. Thus overwhelming majority of the wartime army was reservists (this is true even today).
-In 1941, before the beginning of the Continuation War, the peacetime army had 13 infantry brigades (each two rifle battalions), a jaeger brigade (3 jaeger battalions) and a cavalry brigade (2 cavalry regiments and a jager battalion).

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Post by BIGpanzer » 11 Sep 2005 22:57

Thanks for the excellent info, guys!
Harri wrote:
Cavalry Brigade at Lappeenranta consisted of Uusimaa Cavalry Regiment (URR), Häme Mounted Regiment (HRR), Jäger Battalion 1 (JP 1) (at Mikkeli)
What was the difference in organization between cavalry regiment and mounted regiment?
Harri wrote:
Coastal artillery units:
Coastal Artillery Regiment 1 at Suomenlinna (Helsinki)
Coastal Artillery Regiment 2 at Viipuri
Coastal Artillery Regiment 3 at Sortavala (for the Lake Ladoga)
1st Separate Coastal Artillery Battalion at Hanko 1935 - 1939 (renamed Hanko Separate Coastal Artillery Battalion)
2nd Separate Coastal Artillery Battalion at Hamina 1935 - 1939 (new unit AFAIK)
What was the armament of those coastal artillery units (amount and calibre of the guns)?

Did Finland have some small coastal artillery or coastal defence units for the Gulf of Bothnia and Barents Sea (far north)?
I understand, that the most important coastal districts were at the Gulf of Finland and Lake Ladoga, but anyway....

As for the Aland Islands - I`ve read that they were demilitarized zone, but also I saw the mention that in late 1920s-beginning 1930s Finland started to built coastal fortified positions in those islands (as they were very important in strategical point of view). That caused diplomatic displeasure from Swedish side, also USSR was strongly against that. Is it truth? Also just for my geographical knowledge - what is the distance between Finnish seashore and the nearest Aland island? Is it still visible from the Finland seashore?
JTV wrote:
Mobilisation strenghts of Finnish Armed Forces:
1919: 110,000 men
1925: 150,000 men
1930: 200,000 men
1934: 315,000 men
So does it mean that the mobilisation rate increased during 1919-1934 or the population rate increased? Probably, the first one....

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Post by JTV » 12 Sep 2005 07:12

BIGpanzer wrote:
What was the difference in organization between cavalry regiment and mounted regiment?
To be exact the correct names were Uudenmaan Rakuunarykmentti (Uusimaa Dragoon Regiment) and Hämeen Ratsurykmentti (Uusimaa Cavalry Regiment). Uusimaa Dragoon Regiment had reputation of being bit fancier of these two units (Mannerheim as its honorary commander etc...), but otherwise no real difference. I know they still practiced cavarly charges and using sword while on horseback still at least in 1920's, but what I know in reality they would have fought as mounted infantry (as they did during WW2).
What was the armament of those coastal artillery units (amount and calibre of the guns)?
They varied (new coastal forts build and guns moved from one fort to another), so replying that well would take a lots of time and I am not certain if its even possible with existing books. Finland had large amounts of varied coastal artillery left behind by Russian military in 1918. Most typical heavy guns were 152-mm, 120-mm and 254-mm. Largest calibre was 305-mm. Light coastal guns in 37-mm, 47-mm, 57-mm and 75-mm calibres were common.
Did Finland have some small coastal artillery or coastal defence units for the Gulf of Bothnia and Barents Sea (far north)?
I understand, that the most important coastal districts were at the Gulf of Finland and Lake Ladoga, but anyway....
What I remember (I don't have my books about coastal artillery right now): Gulf of Botnia yes, Barents Sea no.
JTV wrote:
Mobilisation strenghts of Finnish Armed Forces:
1919: 110,000 men
1925: 150,000 men
1930: 200,000 men
1934: 315,000 men

So does it mean that the mobilisation rate increased during 1919-1934 or the population rate increased? Probably, the first one....
Both. However the real factor was increasing number of trained men in reserves. Just like today war-time Finnish Armed Forces were based to reserves of soldiers trained during peace-time with universal conscription. For practical purposes the 110,000 marked for 1919 were basically White Army of 1918 + recruits called to serve in 1919. After that every year the number of trained men increased as soldiers trained each year were added to the reserves.

How this works: So if one starts with 100,000 White Army vets from 1918 and starts calling in 10,000 men men per year for military service. Lets assume the service time in military is 12 months. Then how does the number of trained soldiers develop:
- 1919: 110,000 (100,000 White Army vets + 10,000 recruits)
- 1920: 120,000 (100,000 White Army vets + 10,000 recruits + 10,000 reservists trained in 1919)
- 1921: 130,000 (100,000 White Army vets + 10,000 recruits + 20,000 reservists trained in 1919 + 1920)
and so on....

The big jump in numbers between 1930 and 1934 is however bit of a mystery for me. Either the number for 1934 is false or something very interesting happened. Before that the size of mobilisation strenght seems to have increased with rate about 10,000 men per year, but then the mobilisation strenght suddenly jumps over 100,000 men in 4 years? Its also possible that Armed Forces would have increased the number of men trained annually (what I remember the service time was decreased somewhere around that time, which would have allowed more men to be trained per year). However many books claim that in 1930's men were rejected unsuitable for military service for minor reasons for financial reasons (not enough financing to the military to train them all). These numbers suggest that it could have actually been more typical in 1920's.

Bit more about about development of Finnish Army and the plans concerning its wartime troops:
"The first ambitious mobilization plan made after Civil War in 1918 would have required forming 9 divisions (with a total of 27 infantry regiments), but at that time Finland didn't even have half of the needed trained troops or weaponry for an the Army of that size. So Finns started with a wartime Army of only three divisions. As the Finns got more soldiers trained in the reserves the strength of the Finnish Armed forces grew larger. Unfortunately this also meant that even if more equipment were acquired, the equipment situation for Finnish soldiers didn't improve much as there were more and more soldiers to whom equipment need to be issued upon mobilization. In 1921 the goal of mobilization was re-set to 6 divisions and 1 Jaeger brigade, but the same Finnish military still came to conclusion that 10 divisions would be needed to have needed capability for defensive war. Year 1927 Finland finally had resources for 7 divisions, but the Defense Revision of that time already suggested a future wartime Army of 13 divisions."

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Post by Harri » 12 Sep 2005 17:44

JTV wrote:
BIGpanzer wrote:What was the difference in organization between cavalry regiment and mounted regiment?
To be exact the correct names were Uudenmaan Rakuunarykmentti (Uusimaa Dragoon Regiment) and Hämeen Ratsurykmentti (Uusimaa Cavalry Regiment). Uusimaa Dragoon Regiment had reputation of being bit fancier of these two units (Mannerheim as its honorary commander etc...), but otherwise no real difference. I know they still practiced cavarly charges and using sword while on horseback still at least in 1920's, but what I know in reality they would have fought as mounted infantry (as they did during WW2).
Now you see what is the result when you write in a foreign language too early in the morning... :oops:

Jarkko is without doubt correct that it should be Uusimaa Dragoon Regiment (URR). The other one was correct: Häme Mounted Regiment (HRR). Both units were similar but of course had a continuous rivalry which one of the two is better...

Between 5.2. - 11.2.1940 Cavalry Brigade was reorganized and both regiments changed their horses to skis. Also in 1943 horses were replaced with bicycles. Basically both regiments were very similar to light infantry (or jäger) troops, at least since 1943.
BIGpanzer wrote:What was the armament of those coastal artillery units (amount and calibre of the guns)?
Did Finland have some small coastal artillery or coastal defence units for the Gulf of Bothnia and Barents Sea (far north)?
From my website (this is an old not updated page but basically correct):

Finnish heavy and super heavy coastal batteries (and coastal forts) during the Winter War in 1939 - 1940
http://www.geocities.com/finnmilpge/fmp ... ort39.html

Coastal Batteries at Lake Ladoga during the Winter War (basically all movable units with guns designated "mm K/yy" and some of the light coastal guns were placed for the war):
http://www.geocities.com/finnmilpge/fmp ... 39_40.html
JTV wrote:The big jump in numbers between 1930 and 1934 is however bit of a mystery for me. Either the number for 1934 is false or something very interesting happened. Before that the size of mobilisation strenght seems to have increased with rate about 10,000 men per year, but then the mobilisation strenght suddenly jumps over 100,000 men in 4 years?
I think the explanation is simple. At that time the Finnish mobilization system was changed (gradually) and the members of the Civil Guard were also counted to the figures. Also the happenings at the beginning of 1930's meant that the formerly nearly independent Civil Guard was more tightly tied to the Army. Actually by 1939 Civil Guard (during the war Home Troops) became the "Regional Organization" which was responsible of the mobilizations. That meant that the nearly exactly overlapping Military Districts and Civil Guard Districts were merged together.

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Post by JTV » 13 Sep 2005 08:42

Harri wrote: Now you see what is the result when you write in a foreign language too early in the morning... :oops:
Definetely :oops: from my part. I hope I succeed bit better today. :D
I think the explanation is simple. At that time the Finnish mobilization system was changed (gradually) and the members of the Civil Guard were also counted to the figures. Also the happenings at the beginning of 1930's meant that the formerly nearly independent Civil Guard was more tightly tied to the Army. Actually by 1939 Civil Guard (during the war Home Troops) became the "Regional Organization" which was responsible of the mobilizations. That meant that the nearly exactly overlapping Military Districts and Civil Guard Districts were merged together.
Yes, the area mobilisation system. It could be, as the new mobilisation system came to effect 1st of May 1934. However as large number of Suojeluskunta members were also reservists, who would be in mobilisation join their Army units I just adding the manpower of Suojeluskunta to the existing mobilisation strenght doesn't make any sense (in that case they would have been counted twice to the mobilisation strenght). But if the 1934 number includes only those Suojeluskunta members, who were not reservists intended for the field army (kenttäarmeija) in mobilisation?

If the number of reservists trained annually continue to be around 10,000 (like earlier) it would leave us with about 40,000 men trained in reserve during 1930 - 1934. So the additional number of men coming from somewhere mysterious place would be around 75,0000. Year 1934 number of active members in Suojeluskunta organisation was around 92,500, so just adding this number doesn't fit (we would end up about 20,000 too much). When the mobilisation actually happened in 1939 Suojeluskunta had almost 120,000 members from which 65,000 were mobilised to the Army, Navy and Air Force while about 55,000 were too old, too young or were needed at home front to keep industry and society working. If we assume that the ration between Suojeluskunta members mobilised to Army, Navy and Air Force compared to those staying in home front would be about the same the numbers still don't add up (we would end up about 20,000 - 30,000 too low). So, I assume that while Suojeluskunta seems to have been counted to these numbers at the same time the number of recruits going through military training annually must have increased or otherwise the number of 1934 was actually just a plan?

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Post by Harri » 13 Sep 2005 17:39

JTV wrote:
Harri wrote:At that time the Finnish mobilization system was changed (gradually) and the members of the Civil Guard were also counted to the figures.
However as large number of Suojeluskunta members were also reservists, who would be in mobilisation join their Army units I just adding the manpower of Suojeluskunta to the existing mobilisation strenght doesn't make any sense (in that case they would have been counted twice to the mobilisation strenght). But if the 1934 number includes only those Suojeluskunta members, who were not reservists intended for the field army (kenttäarmeija) in mobilisation?
I still think what I said explains the increased number. In the 1930's also War-time army was expanded, conscription and the classes (I, II, III) of auxiliary reserve [nostoväki] were defined in a new way. These changes were behind the increased figures. I also doubt that the 10.000 trained men per year is too low figure for the 1930's.

In addition to the trained reservists (by the Army or Civil Guard) by 1939 there were about 130.000 untrained men. Their training started during the "Extraordinary Exercise" (YH) in autumn 1939 and continued until 1941.

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Post by BIGpanzer » 13 Sep 2005 22:16

Friends, very sorry that have no time to read your posts in detail now :(
Will do this tomorrow as I have still many questions about Finnish Army :wink:
JTV wrote:
BIGpanzer asked: So does it mean that the mobilisation rate increased during 1919-1934 or the population rate increased? Probably, the first one....
Both. However the real factor was increasing number of trained men in reserves.
But what I found today is the amount of population of Finland:
1924 - 3.402.000
1928 - 3.612.000
1935 - 3.582.000
1937 - 3.630.000

So the amount of Finnish population was almost stable during that time.

As for the Aland islands (just for the info for non-Finnish people :) ) - they consist of a Main Island, Fasta Aland, with 90% of the population and east thereof an archipelago of more than 6500 skerries and islands at the entrance to the Gulf of Bothnia. Fasta Aland is separated by open water from the coast of Sweden, 40 km to the west. In the east, the Aland archipelago is virtually contiguous with the Finnish Archipelago Sea (40000 islands very closely to Finnish seashore).
The depth between islands is less than 50 m, the distance between nearest islands is approximately 1 km and these continental islands are very young - separated from "Finland" only during last ice age.

And I repeate my question, please, answer if possible:
As for the Aland Islands - I`ve read that they were demilitarized zone, but also I saw the mention that in late 1920s-beginning 1930s Finland started to built coastal fortified positions in those islands (as they were very important in strategical point of view). That caused diplomatic displeasure from Swedish side, also USSR was strongly against that.
Is the info correct?

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Post by JTV » 14 Sep 2005 06:12

BIGpanzer wrote: And I repeate my question, please, answer if possible:
As for the Aland Islands - I`ve read that they were demilitarized zone, but also I saw the mention that in late 1920s-beginning 1930s Finland started to built coastal fortified positions in those islands (as they were very important in strategical point of view). That caused diplomatic displeasure from Swedish side, also USSR was strongly against that.
Is the info correct?
Likely not, but I have consult my books before I can say for sure exactly what happened and when. Russian military had build coastal fortifications to the Aland/Ahvenanmaa Island during World War 1, but what I remember they were demolished after it (in early 1920's?).

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