First World War
Finnish Civil War
Second World War
Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim
Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim (Swedish
pronunciation: [kɑːɭ ²ɡɵˌstav ˈeːmɪl
²manːɛrˌheɪm]; 4 June 1867 – 27 January 1951) was a Finnish
military leader and statesman. Mannerheim served as the military
leader of the Whites in the Finnish Civil War,
Regent of Finland
(1918–1919), commander-in-chief of Finland's defence forces during
World War II, Marshal of Finland, and the sixth president of Finland
Mannerheim made a career in the Imperial Russian Army, rising to the
rank of lieutenant general. He also had a prominent place in the
ceremonies for Tsar Nicholas II's coronation and later had several
private meetings with the Russian Tsar. After the Bolshevik
Finland declared its independence but was soon embroiled
in civil war between the pro-
Bolshevik "Reds" and the "Whites", who
were the troops of the Senate of Finland, supported by troops of the
German Empire. Mannerheim was appointed the military chief of the
Whites. Twenty years later, when
Finland was twice at war with the
Soviet Union from November 1939 until September 1944, Mannerheim
successfully led the defence of
Finland as commander-in-chief of the
country's armed forces. In 1944, when the prospect of Germany's defeat
World War II
World War II became clear, Mannerheim was elected President of
Finland and oversaw peace negotiations with the
Soviet Union and the
United Kingdom. He resigned the presidency in 1946 and died in 1951.
In a Finnish survey 53 years after his death, Mannerheim was voted the
greatest Finn of all time. Given the broad recognition in Finland
and elsewhere of his unparalleled role in establishing and later
preserving Finland's independence from Russia, Mannerheim has long
been referred to as the father of modern Finland, and
the Finnish capital Helsinki's
Mannerheim Museum memorializing the
leader's life and times has been called "the closest thing there is to
a [Finnish] national shrine". In addition, he is the only Finn to
have held the rank of field marshal, an honorary rank bestowed upon
especially distinguished generals.
1 Early life and military career
1.3 Service in Russian Army
2 Political career
Regent of Finland
2.2 Interwar period
2.4 Visit by Adolf Hitler
2.5 End of war and presidency
3 Final days and death
5 Military ranks
5.1.1 In the Russian Army
5.1.2 In the Finnish Army
5.2 Supreme Command
7 Genealogical tree
9 See also
12 External links
Early life and military career
This article may contain an excessive amount of intricate detail that
may only interest a specific audience. Please help by spinning off or
relocating any relevant information, and removing excessive detail
that may be against's inclusion policy. (July 2016) (Learn
how and when to remove this template message)
The Mannerheim family descends from a German businessman, Heinrich
Marhein (1618–1667), who emigrated to the Swedish Empire. His son
Augustin Marhein changed his surname to Mannerheim and was raised to
the nobility by King Charles XI in 1693. Augustin Mannerheim's son,
Johan Augustin Mannerheim, was raised to the status of
Baron in 1768.
The Mannerheim family came to Finland, then an integral part of
Sweden, in the latter part of the 18th century.
Count Carl Erik Mannerheim
(1759–1837) served as the first Prime Minister of Finland. In 1825,
he was promoted to the rank of Count. Mannerheim's grandfather, Count
Carl Gustaf Mannerheim (1797–1854), was an entomologist and served
as President of the
Viipuri Court of Appeals.
Mannerheim's father, Carl Robert,
Count Mannerheim (1835–1914), was
a playwright who held liberal and radical political ideas, but he was
also an industrialist whose success varied. Mannerheim's mother,
Hedvig Charlotta Helena von Julin (1842–1881), was the daughter of a
As the third child of the family, Mannerheim inherited the title of
Baron (only the eldest son would inherit the title of Count). His
father went bankrupt in 1880; he was forced to sell the family home
and his other landed estates to his sister, as well as his large art
collection. Mannerheim's father left his wife, Countess Hélène, and
moved to Paris with his mistress. He returned to
Helsinki and founded
the Systema company in 1887, and was its manager until his
death. Countess Hélène, shaken by the bankruptcy and her
husband's desertion, took their seven children to live with her aunt
Louise at the aunt's estate in Sällvik. Hélène died the following
year from a heart attack. Her death left the children to be
brought up by relatives, making Mannerheim's maternal uncle, Albert
von Julin, his legal guardian.
Mannerheim (right) with a fellow student, Antanas Ričardas
Druvė, in Nicholas Cavalry School, St Petersburg, late 1880s.
Because of the worsened family finances and Mannerheim's serious
discipline problems in school, Julin decided to send him to the school
Hamina Cadet School in 1882. The Cadet Corps was a
state-run military school educating boys of aristocratic families for
careers in the Military of the
Grand Duchy of Finland
Grand Duchy of Finland and in the
Russian Armed Forces. Besides his mother tongue, Swedish, Mannerheim
learned to speak Finnish, Russian, French, German, and
The disciplinary problems continued. Mannerheim heartily disliked
the school and the narrow social circles in Hamina. He rebelled by
going on leave without permission in 1886, for which he was expelled
from the Finnish Cadet Corps. Mannerheim next attended the
Helsinki Private Lyceum, and passed his university entrance
examinations in June 1887. Now he had a better school report to
show than the one from the Finnish Cadet Corps. He wrote to his
godmother, Baroness Alfhild Scalon de Coligny, who had connections at
the Russian court, to help him enter the Nicholas Cavalry School. His
real wish was to join the Chevalier Guard; but his relatives balked at
the costs, so he dropped it. Mannerheim's godmother invited him to her
husband's country house, Lukianovka, in summer 1887. There Gustaf
worked to improve his Russian. While in Russia, he spent some time at
a military camp at Chuguyev, which strengthened his decision to choose
a career in the military.
From 1887 to 1889, Mannerheim attended the Nicholas Cavalry School in
St. Petersburg, In January 1891, Mannerheim was transferred to the
Chevalier Guard Regiment in St Petersburg. In 1892, Mannerheim's
godmother, Countess Alfhild Scalon de Coligny, arranged for him to be
married to a wealthy and beautiful noble lady of Russian-Serbian
heritage, Anastasia Arapova (1872–1936). Anastasia and
Mannerheim had two daughters, Anastasie (1893–1978) and Sophie
(1895–1963). Mannerheim separated from his wife in 1902, and the
couple divorced in 1919. Mannerheim served in the Imperial
Chevalier Guard until 1904. Mannerheim specialised as an expert on
horses, buying stud stallions and horses for the army. In 1903, he was
put in charge of a display squadron and became a member of the
equestrian training board of the cavalry regiments.
Service in Russian Army
Mannerheim volunteered for duty in the
Russo-Japanese war in 1904. In
October 1904, he was transferred to the 52nd Nezhin Dragoon Regiment
in Manchuria, with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. He was promoted to
Colonel for his bravery in the
Battle of Mukden
Battle of Mukden in 1905 and
briefly commanded an irregular unit of Hong Huzi, a local militia, on
an exploratory mission into Inner Mongolia.
When Mannerheim returned to St. Petersburg, he was asked if he would
like to make a journey through
Beijing as a secret
General Palitsyn, Chief of the Russian General
Staff, wanted accurate, on-the-ground intelligence about the reform
and modernization of the Qing dynasty. The Russians wanted to know the
military feasibility of invading Western China, including the
Xinjiang and Gansu, in their struggles with Britain for
control of Inner
Asia known as "The Great Game". After much
deliberation, Mannerheim, disguised as an ethnographic collector,
joined the French archeologist Paul Pelliot's expedition in Samarkand
Turkestan (now Uzbekistan). From the terminus of the
Trans-Caspian Railway in Andijan, the expedition started in July 1906,
but Mannerheim spent the greater part of the expedition alone, after
quarrelling with Pelliot over several logistic issues on their way
Kashgar in China's
Gustaf Mannerheim's route across
St. Petersburg to Peking,
With a small caravan, including a Cossack guide, Chinese interpreter,
and Uyghur cook, Mannerheim first trekked to
Khotan in search of
British and Japanese spies. Upon returning to Kashgar, he headed north
Tian Shan range, surveying passes and gauging the attitudes
of Kalmyk, Kazakh, and Kyrgyz tribes towards the Han Chinese.
Mannerheim arrived in the provincial capital of Urumqi, and then
headed east to Turpan, Hami, and
Gansu province. He
followed the Great Wall of China through the Hexi Corridor, and
investigated a mysterious tribe known as Yugurs. From Lanzhou, the
provincial capital, Mannerheim headed south into Tibetan territory and
to the lamasery of Labrang, where he was stoned by xenophobic
monks. Mannerheim eventually arrived in
Beijing in July 1908,
where he worked on his military intelligence report. He returned to
St. Petersburg via
Japan and the Trans-Siberian Express. His military
report was a detailed account of modernization in the late Qing
Dynasty, covering education, military reforms, Han colonization of
ethnic borderlands, mining and industry, railway construction, the
influence of Japan, and opium smoking. Mannerheim's report
outlined the likely tactical uses of a Russian invasion of Xinjiang,
and Xinjiang's possible role as a bargaining chip in a putative future
war with China.
After Mannerheim's return to Russia in 1909, he was appointed to
command the 13th Vladimir
Uhlan Regiment at
Mińsk Mazowiecki in
Poland. The following year, Mannerheim was promoted to major general
and was posted as the commander of the Life Guard
Uhlan Regiment of
His Majesty in Warsaw. Eventually, Mannerheim became part of the
Imperial entourage and was appointed cavalry brigade commander.
At the beginning of World War I, Mannerheim served as commander of the
Guards Cavalry Brigade, and fought on the Austro-Hungarian and
Romanian fronts. In December 1914, after distinguishing himself in
combat against the Austro-Hungarian forces, Mannerheim was awarded the
Order of St. George, 4th class. He said after receiving this award,
"Now I can die in peace." In March 1915, Mannerheim was appointed to
command the 12th Cavalry Division.
Mannerheim received leave to visit
St. Petersburg in early
1917, and witnessed the outbreak of the February Revolution. After
returning to the front, he was promoted to lieutenant general in April
1917 (the promotion was backdated to February 1915), and took command
of the 6th Cavalry Corps in the summer of 1917. However, Mannerheim
fell out of favour with the new government, who regarded him as not
supporting the revolution, and was relieved of his duties. He decided
to retire and returned to Finland.
Regent of Finland
Regent (seated), with his adjutants (left) Lt. Col.
Lilius, Capt. Kekoni, Lt. Gallen-Kallela, Ensign Rosenbröijer.
See also: Finnish Civil War
In January 1918, the senate of the newly independent Finland, under
Pehr Evind Svinhufvud, appointed Mannerheim
Finland's almost nonexistent army, which was then not much more than
some locally organised White Guards. Mannerheim's mission was to
defend the government and its forces during the
Finnish Civil War
Finnish Civil War (or
War of Liberty, as it was known among the "Whites") that broke out in
Finland, inspired by the
October Revolution in Russia. He established
his headquarters in
Vaasa and began to disarm the Russian garrisons
and their 42,500 men. After the Whites' victory,
Mannerheim resigned as commander-in-chief. He left
Finland in June
1918 to visit relatives in Sweden.
Mannerheim's day order no 1 which established the first headquarters
of the modern military of
Finland on 2 February 1918
In Sweden, Mannerheim conferred with Allied diplomats in Stockholm,
stating his opposition to the Finnish government's pro-German policy,
and his support for the Allies. In October 1918, he was sent to
France on behalf of the Finnish government, to attempt to
gain Britain's and the United States's recognition of Finland's
independence. In December, he was summoned back to
Finland after he
had been elected temporary
Regent of Finland. As Regent, Mannerheim
often signed official documents using Kustaa, the Finnish form of his
Christian name, in an attempt to emphasise his Finnishness to some
sections of the Finnish population who were suspicious of his
background in the Russian armed forces. Mannerheim disliked
his last Christian name, Emil, and wrote his signature as C.G.
Mannerheim, or simply Mannerheim. Among his relatives and close
friends Mannerheim was called Gustaf.
Frederick Charles of Hesse
Frederick Charles of Hesse renounced the throne, Mannerheim
secured recognition of Finnish independence from Britain and the
United States. In July 1919, after he had confirmed a new republican
constitution, Mannerheim stood as a candidate in the first
presidential election, supported by the
National Coalition Party
National Coalition Party and
the Swedish People's Party. He lost the election to Kaarlo Juho
Ståhlberg and left public life.
In the interwar years, Mannerheim held no public office. This was
largely due to his being seen by many politicians of the centre and
left as a controversial figure for his outspoken opposition to the
Bolsheviks, his supposed desire for Finnish intervention on the side
of the Whites during the Russian Civil War, and Finnish socialists'
antipathy toward him. They saw him as the bourgeois "White General".
Mannerheim also doubted that the modern party-based politics would
produce principled and high-quality leaders in
Finland or elsewhere.
In his gloomy opinion, the fatherland's interests were too often
sacrificed by the democratic politicians for partisan
benefit. [check quotation syntax]
During the interwar years, Mannerheim's pursuits were mainly
humanitarian. He headed the Finnish
Red Cross (Chairman 1919–1951),
was member of the board of the International Red Cross, and founded
the Mannerheim League for Child Welfare. He was also the chairman of
the supervisory board of a commercial bank, the
Liittopankki-Unionsbanken, and after its merger with the Bank of
Helsinki, the chairman of the supervisory board of that bank until
1934. He was also a member of the board of Nokia Corporation.
In the 1920s and 1930s, Mannerheim returned to Asia, where he
travelled and hunted extensively. On his first trip in 1927, to avoid
going through the Soviet Union, he went by ship from
Calcutta. From there he travelled overland to Burma, where he spent a
month at Rangoon; then he went on to Gangtok, in Sikkim. He returned
home by car and aeroplane, through Basra, Baghdad, Cairo, and
His second voyage, in 1936, was to India, by ship via
Aden to Bombay.
During his stay in India, Mannerheim met old friends and acquaintances
from Europe. During his travels and hunting expeditions, he visited
Delhi and Nepal. While in Nepal, Mannerheim was invited to
join a tiger hunt by the King of Nepal.
In 1929, Mannerheim refused the right-wing radicals' plea to become a
de facto military dictator, although he did express some support for
the right-wing Lapua Movement. After President Pehr Evind
Svinhufvud was elected in 1931, he appointed Mannerheim as chairman of
Finland's Defence Council. At the same time, Mannerheim received a
written promise that in the event of war, he would become the
Commander-in-Chief of the Finnish Army. (Svinhufvud's successor
Kyösti Kallio renewed this promise in 1937). In 1933, Mannerheim
received the rank of Field Marshal (sotamarsalkka, fältmarskalk). By
this time, Mannerheim had come to be seen by the public, including
some former socialists, as less of a "White General", and more of a
national figure. This feeling was enhanced by his public statements
urging reconciliation between the opposing sides in the Civil War and
the need to focus on national unity and defence.
Mannerheim supported Finland's military industry and sought in vain to
establish a military defence union with Sweden. However, rearming the
Finnish army did not occur as swiftly or as well as he hoped, and he
was not enthusiastic about a war. He had many disagreements with
various Cabinets, and signed many letters of resignation.
See also: Winter War, Continuation War, and Lapland War
Mannerheim in 1940
When negotiations with the
Soviet Union failed in 1939, Mannerheim
withdrew his resignation on 17 October. At age 72, he became
commander-in-chief of the Finnish armed forces after the Soviet attack
on 30 November. In a letter to his daughter Sophie, he stated, "I had
not wanted to undertake the responsibility of commander-in-chief, as
my age and my health entitled me, but I had to yield to appeals from
the President of the Republic and the government, and now for the
fourth time I am at war."
He addressed the first of his often controversial orders of the day to
the Defence Forces on the same day the war began:
The President of the Republic has appointed me on 30 November 1939 as
Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces of the country. Brave soldiers
of Finland! I enter on this task at a time when our hereditary enemy
is once again attacking our country. Confidence in one's commander is
the first condition for success. You know me and I know you and know
that everyone in the ranks is ready to do his duty even to death. This
war is nothing other than the continuation and final act of our War of
Independence. We are fighting for our homes, our faith, and our
Mannerheim quickly organised his headquarters in Mikkeli. His chief of
Lieutenant General Aksel Airo, while his close friend,
General Rudolf Walden, was sent as a representative of the
headquarters to the cabinet from 3 December 1939 until 27 March 1940,
after which he became defence minister.
Mannerheim spent most of the
Winter War and
Continuation War in his
Mikkeli headquarters but made many visits to the front. Between the
wars, he remained commander-in-chief, which strictly should have
returned to the presidents (
Kyösti Kallio and Risto Ryti) after the
Moscow Peace, on 12 March 1940.
Before the Continuation War, the Germans offered Mannerheim command
over 80,000 German troops in Finland. Mannerheim declined so as to not
tie himself and
Nazi war aims. Mannerheim kept
relations with Adolf Hitler's government as formal as possible and
successfully opposed proposals for an alliance. If Mannerheim had not
also firmly refused to allow his troops participate in the Siege of
Leningrad, they would have ended up becoming an integral part of the
Mannerheim's 75th birthday, 4 June 1942, was a major occasion. The
government granted him the unique title of
Marshal of Finland
Marshal of Finland (Suomen
Marsalkka in Finnish, Marskalk av
Finland in Swedish). So far he is
the only person to receive the title. A surprise visit by Hitler in
honour of Mannerheim's birthday was less pleasing to him and caused
some embarrassment. Hitler did not travel much, but he wished to visit
the "brave Finns" (die tapferen Finnen) and their leader
Visit by Adolf Hitler
Mannerheim with Hitler
Adolf Hitler decided to visit
Finland on 4 June 1942, ostensibly to
congratulate Mannerheim on his 75th birthday. But Mannerheim did not
want to meet him in his headquarters in
Mikkeli or in Helsinki, as it
would have seemed like an official state visit. The meeting took place
near Imatra, in south-eastern Finland, and was arranged in
From Immola Airfield, Hitler, accompanied by President Ryti, was
driven to the place where Mannerheim was waiting at a railway siding.
After a speech from Hitler, and following a birthday meal and
negotiations between him and Mannerheim, Hitler returned to Germany.
President Ryti and other high-ranking Finns and Germans were also
present. Overall, Hitler spent about five hours in Finland; he
reportedly intended to ask the Finns to step up military operations
against the Soviets, but apparently made no specific demands.
During the visit, an engineer of the Finnish broadcasting company YLE,
Thor Damen, succeeded in recording the first eleven minutes of
Hitler's and Mannerheim's private conversation. This had to be done
secretly, as Hitler never allowed others to record him off-guard.
Damen was given the assignment to record the official birthday
speeches and Mannerheim's responses and, following those orders, added
microphones to certain railway cars.
Discussion with Hitler, Mannerheim and President Ryti. Hitler visited
Mannerheim on his 75th birthday.
However, Mannerheim and his guests chose to go to a car that did not
have a microphone in it. Damen acted quickly, pushing a microphone
through one of the car windows to a net shelf just above where Hitler
and Mannerheim were sitting. After eleven minutes of Hitler's and
Mannerheim's private conversation, Hitler's SS bodyguards spotted the
cords coming out of the window and realized that the Finnish engineer
was recording the conversation. They gestured to him to stop recording
immediately, and he complied. The SS bodyguards demanded that the tape
be immediately destroyed, but
YLE was allowed to keep the reel, after
promising to keep it in a sealed container. It was given to Kustaa
Vilkuna, head of the state censors' office, and in 1957 returned to
YLE. It was made available to the public a few years later. It is the
only known recording of Hitler speaking in an unofficial tone.
There is an unsubstantiated story that during his meeting with Hitler,
Mannerheim lit a cigar. Mannerheim supposed that Hitler would ask
Finland for help against the Soviet Union, which Mannerheim was
unwilling to give. When Mannerheim lit up, all in attendance gasped,
for Hitler's aversion to smoking was well known. Yet Hitler continued
the conversation calmly, with no comment. In this way, Mannerheim
could judge if Hitler was speaking from a position of strength or
weakness. He was able to refuse Hitler, knowing that Hitler was in a
weak position, and could not dictate to him.
End of war and presidency
Mannerheim leaves the Presidential Palace,
Helsinki on 4 March 1946
after his short presidency
In June 1944, Gustaf Mannerheim, to ensure German support while a
major Soviet offensive was threatening Finland, thought it necessary
to agree to the pact the German Foreign Minister Joachim von
Ribbentrop demanded. But even then Mannerheim managed to distance
himself from the pact, and it fell to President
Risto Ryti to sign it,
so it came to be known as the Ryti-Ribbentrop Agreement. This allowed
Mannerheim to revoke the agreement upon the resignation of President
Ryti at the start of August 1944. Mannerheim succeeded Ryti as
Germany was deemed sufficiently weakened, and the USSR's summer
offensive was fought to a standstill (see Battle of Tali-Ihantala)
thanks to the June agreement with the Germans, Finland's leaders saw a
chance to reach a peace with the Soviet Union. At
first, attempts were made to persuade Mannerheim to become prime
minister, but he rejected them because of his age and lack of
experience running a civil government. The next suggestion was to
elect him Head of State.
Risto Ryti would resign as President, and
parliament would appoint Mannerheim as Regent. The use of the title
"Regent" would have reflected the exceptional circumstances of
Mannerheim's election. Mannerheim and Ryti both agreed, and Ryti
submitted a notice of resignation on 1 August. The Parliament of
Finland passed a special act conferring the presidency on Mannerheim
on 4 August 1944. He took the oath of office the same day.
A month after Mannerheim took office, the
Continuation War was
concluded on harsh terms, but ultimately far less harsh than those
imposed on the other states bordering the Soviet Union. Finland
retained its sovereignty, its parliamentary democracy, and its market
economy. Territorial losses were considerable; all
Karelia and Petsamo
were lost. Numerous Karelian refugees needed to be relocated. The war
reparations were very heavy.
Finland also had to fight the Lapland War
against withdrawing German troops in the north, and at the same time
demobilize its own army, making it harder to expel the Germans. It
is widely agreed that only Mannerheim could have guided Finland
through these difficult times, when the
Finnish people had to come to
terms with the severe conditions of the armistice, their
implementation by a Soviet-dominated Allied Control Commission, and
the task of post-war reconstruction.
Before deciding to accept the Soviet demands, Mannerheim wrote a
missive directly to Hitler:
Our German brothers-in-arms will forever remain in our hearts. The
Finland were certainly not the representatives of foreign
despotism but helpers and brothers-in-arms. But even in such cases
foreigners are in difficult positions requiring such tact. I can
assure you that during the past years nothing whatsoever happened that
could have induced us to consider the German troops intruders or
oppressors. I believe that the attitude of the German Army in northern
Finland towards the local population and authorities will enter our
history as a unique example of a correct and cordial relationship ...
I deem it my duty to lead my people out of the war. I cannot and I
will not turn the arms which you have so liberally supplied us against
Germans. I harbour the hope that you, even if you disapprove of my
attitude, will wish and endeavour like myself and all other Finns to
terminate our former relations without increasing the gravity of the
Mannerheim's term as president was difficult for him. Although he was
elected for a full six-year term, he was 77 years old in 1944 and had
accepted the office reluctantly after being urged to do so. The
situation was exacerbated by frequent periods of ill-health, the
demands of the Allied Control Commission, and the war responsibility
trials. He was afraid throughout most of his presidency that the
commission would request that he be prosecuted for crimes against
peace. This never happened. One of the reasons for this was Stalin's
respect for and admiration of the Marshal. Stalin told a Finnish
delegation in Moscow in 1947 that the Finns owe much to their old
Marshal. Due to Mannerheim,
Finland was not occupied. Despite
Mannerheim's criticisms of some of the demands of the Control
Commission, he worked hard to carry out Finland's armistice
obligations. He also emphasised the necessity of further work on
Finland after the war.
Mannerheim was troubled by recurring health problems during 1945, and
was absent on medical leave from his duties as president from November
until February 1946. He spent six weeks in
Portugal to restore his
health. After the announcement of the verdicts in the war crimes
trials were announced in February, Mannerheim decided to resign. He
believed that he had accomplished the duties he had been elected to
carry out: The war was ended, the armistice obligations carried out,
and the war crimes trial finished.
Mannerheim resigned as president on 11 March 1946, giving as his
reason his declining health and his view that the tasks he had been
selected to carry out had been accomplished. Even the Finnish
communists, his enemies in 1918, appreciated his efforts and his role
in maintaining the unity of the country during a difficult period. He
was succeeded by his conservative Prime Minister Juho Kusti
Final days and death
Mannerheim's funeral parade in
Helsinki Senate Square on 4 February
After his resignation, Mannerheim bought Kirkniemi Manor in Lohja,
intending to spend his retirement there. In June 1946, he underwent an
operation for a perforated peptic ulcer, and in October of that year
he was diagnosed with a duodenal ulcer. In early 1947, it was
recommended that he should travel to the Valmont Sanatorium in
Montreux, Switzerland, to recuperate and write his memoirs. Valmont
was to be Mannerheim's main residence for the remainder of his life,
although he regularly returned to Finland, and also visited Sweden,
France and Italy.
Because Mannerheim was old and sickly, he personally wrote only
certain passages of his memoirs. Some other parts he dictated and
described. The remaining parts were written by Mannerheim's various
assistants, such as
Colonel Aladár Paasonen;
General Erik Heinrichs;
Generals Grandell, Olenius and Martola; and
Colonel Viljanen, a war
historian. As long as Mannerheim was able to read, he proofread the
typewritten drafts of his memoirs. He was almost totally silent about
his private life, and focused instead on Finland's events, especially
on those between 1917 and 1944. When Mannerheim suffered a fatal
stomach attack in January 1951, his memoirs were not
yet in their finished form. They were published after his death.
Mannerheim died on 27 January 1951, 28 January
Finland time, in the
Cantonal Hospital in
Lausanne (French: L'Hôpital cantonal à
Lausanne University Hospital), Switzerland. He
was buried on 4 February 1951 in the
Hietaniemi Cemetery in Helsinki
in a state funeral with full military honours.
Mannerheim Square in
Helsinki with an equestrian statue of Mannerheim.
Today, Mannerheim retains respect as Finland's greatest statesman.
This may be partly due to his refusal to enter partisan politics
(although his sympathies were more right-wing than left-wing), his
claim always to serve the fatherland without selfish motives, his
personal courage in visiting the frontlines, his ability to work
diligently into his late seventies, and his foreign political
farsightedness in preparing for the Soviet invasion of
before it occurred. (See, for example, Jägerskiöld, "Mannerheim
1867–1951"; "The Republic's Presidents 1940–1956" / Tasavallan
presidentit 1940–1956, published in
Finland in 1993–1994).
Mannerheim's birthday, 4 June, is celebrated as
Flag Day by the
Finnish Defence Forces. This decision was made by the Finnish
government on the occasion of his 75th birthday in 1942, when he was
also granted the title of Marshal of Finland.
Flag Day is celebrated
with a national parade, and rewards and promotions for members of the
defence forces. The life and times of Mannerheim are memorialized in
the Mannerheim Museum. The most prominent boulevard in the Finnish
capital was renamed
Mannerheimintie (Mannerheim Road) in the Marshal's
honour during his lifetime.
Various landmarks across
Finland honor Mannerheim, including most
Equestrian statue located on Helsinki's Mannerheimintie
in front of the later-built
Kiasma museum of modern art. Turku's
Mannerheim Park includes a statue of him. Tampere's Mannerheim statue
depicting the victorious Civil War general of the Whites was
eventually placed in the forest some kilometres outside the city (in
part due to lingering controversy over Mannerheim's Civil War role).
Other statues, for examples, were erected in
Mikkeli and Lahti. On
5 December 2004, Mannerheim was voted the greatest Finnish person of
all time in the
Suuret suomalaiset (Great Finns) contest.
From 1937 to 1967, at least five different Finnish postage stamps or
stamp series were issued in honour of Mannerheim; and in 1960 the
United States honoured Mannerheim as the "Liberator of Finland" with
regular first-class envelope domestic and international stamps (at the
time four cents and eight cents respectively) as part of its Champions
of Liberty series that included other notable figures such as Mahatma
Gandhi and Simon Bolivar.
Finnish postal stamp 1941
In the Russian Army
1888: Non-commissioned officer
1891: Cornet of the Guard
Lieutenant of the Guard
1902: Captain of the Guard
1911: Major General
In the Finnish Army
General of Cavalry
1933: Field Marshal
1942: Marshal of Finland
Commander-in-Chief of the White Guard: from January to May 1918
Commander-in-Chief of the Finnish Defence Forces: from December
1918 to July 1919
1931: Chairman of the Defence Council: from 1931 to 1939
Commander-in-Chief of the
Finnish Defence Forces
Finnish Defence Forces [bis]: from
1939 to 1946
‹ The template below (Infobox coat of arms) is being considered
for merging. See templates for discussion to help reach a
Coat of Arms of Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim
Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim
"Candida pro causa ense candido"("With an honourable sword for an
In the course of his lifetime, Mannerheim received 82 military and
Mannerheim was honored by the US Mail with a postage stamp
Commander Grand Cross with Swords and Diamonds of the Order of the
Cross of Liberty (1940; Commander Grand Cross with Swords: 1918)
Knight of the Mannerheim Cross, 1st and 2nd class, the Order of the
Cross of Liberty (1941)
Commander Grand Cross, with Collar, Swords and Diamonds, of the Order
of the White Rose (1944)
Commander Grand Cross, with Swords and Diamonds, of the Order of the
Order of St. Anna, 2nd degree (1906)
Order of St. Stanislaus, 2nd class (1906)
Order of St. Vladimir, 4th degree (1906)
Order of St. George, Knight 4th class (1914)
France: Grand Cross of the
Legion of Honour
Legion of Honour (1939; Officer: 1910;
Sweden: Knight of the
Royal Order of the Seraphim
Royal Order of the Seraphim (1919)
Sweden: Knight Grand Cross 1st Class of the
Order of the Sword
Order of the Sword (1942;
Commander Grand Cross: 1918)
Denmark: Knight of the
Order of the Elephant
Order of the Elephant (1919)
Order of the Rising Sun
Order of the Rising Sun with Paulownia Flowers, Grand
Nazi Germany: Golden Grand Cross of the Order of the German Eagle
Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross
Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves (1944;
Knight's Cross: 1942;
Iron Cross 1st Class with 1939 bar: 1942)
Iron Cross 1st and 2nd Class (1918)
Estonia: Military Order of the Cross of the Eagle, 1st Class with
Estonia: Grand Cross of Order of the Estonian
Red Cross (1933)
United Kingdom: Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire
Kingdom of Hungary: Order of Merit of the Kingdom of Hungary, Grand
Cross with the Holy Crown of St. Stephen (1941)
Kingdom of Romania: Order of Michael the Brave, 1st class (1941)
Ancestors of Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim
Baron Johan Augustin Mannerheim
Count Carl Erik Mannerheim
17. Helene Maria Söderhjälm
Count Carl Gustaf Mannerheim
18. Ernst von Willebrand
9. Vendla Sofia von Willebrand
19. Vendla Gustava von Wright
Count Carl Robert Mannerheim
20. Anton Wilhelm von Schantz
10. Carl Constantin von Schantz
21. Catharina Elisabeth de Carnall
5. Eva Vilhelmina von Schantz
22. Karl Johan Weissmann von Weissenstein
11. Karolina Lovisa Weissmann von Weissenstein
23. Margareta Bergenfelt
Baron Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim
24. Erik Julin
12. Johan Julin
25. Anna Maria Törngren
6. John Jacob von Julin
26. Jakob Karberg
13. Albertina Jakobintytär Karberg
27. Elisabeth Zachariaksentytär Bonge
3. Hedvig Charlotta Hélène von Julin
28. Carl Ludvig Jägerskjöld
14. Christer Ludvig Jägerskjöld
29. Catarina Pellew
7. Charlotta Johanna Ottiliana Jägerskjöld
30. Johan Reinhold Taube
15. Hedvig Gustava Christina Taube
31. Fredrika Lovisa Sofia Gjös
C.G. Mannerheim, Across
Asia From West to East in 1906–1908. (1969)
Anthropological Publications. Oosterhout N.B. – The Netherlands
Across Asia : Vol. 1 – digital images
World War II
World War II portal
Hitler and Mannerheim recording
List of Finnish Wars
Marshal of Finland
Marshal of Finland (film)
^ Klinge, Matti. "Mannerheim, Gustaf (1867 – 1951)". National
Biography of Finland. Retrieved 21 April 2017.
^ a b (in Finnish)
Suuret suomalaiset at YLE.fi
^ Robert Edwards, White Death: Russia's War on Finland, 1939–40 ,
Phoenix, an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd, (2007), p. 21
^ Oliver Warner, Marshal Mannerheim and the Finns , Weidenfeld &
Nicolson, (1967), pp.154 et seq.
^ a b Binder, David (16 October 1983). "Finland's Heritage on parade".
The New York Times. Retrieved 17 August 2013.
^ "Field Marshal Mannerheim, THE FATHER OF FINLAND". 15 November 1945.
Retrieved 17 August 2013.
Finland Country Profile – Timeline". BBC News. 25 September 2012.
Retrieved 17 August 2013.
^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 30 September 2007.
Retrieved 17 August 2007.
^ "Wayback Machine". 30 September 2007. [dead link]
^ "Mannerheimin suku onkin lähtöisin Saksasta".
^ Meri (1990), pp. 107–108.
^ Hynninen-Keitele-Lehti: "Neljä kertaa nopeammin kuin pännällä
– Konttoritekniikan historia" (2008)
^ Meri (1990), p. 108.
^ a b Mannerheim – Marshal of Finland, TV8, 2006
^ Visuotinė lietuvių enciklopedija, V t. Vilnius: Mokslo ir
enciklopedijų leidybos institutas, 2004. T.V: Dis-Fatva., 163 psl.
^ Jägerskiöld (1965), pp. 68–70.
^ Jägerskiöld (1986).
^ a b c d Screen (2000).
^ Jägerskiöld (1965), pp. 93–94.
^ a b Meri (1990), p. 123.
^ Meri (1990), p. 129.
^ "Краткие сведения об
война, Гражданская война, эмиграция.
Часть 2-я (фамилии К - Р). - Статьи -
Каталог статей - 5-й Гусарский
Александрийский полк". blackhussars.ucoz.ru.
^ Meri (1990), pp. 145–147.
^ Meri (1990), pp. 148–149.
^ Screen (2000), p. 333.
^ Screen (2000), pp. 43–49.
^ Clements (2009), pp. 80–81.
^ a b "Horse That Leaps Through Clouds - Retracing Mannerheim's
Journey Across Asia". horsethatleaps.com.
^ Clements (2009), pp. 100–103.
^ Tamm, Eric Enno. The Horse That Leaps Through Clouds: A Tale of
Espionage, the Silk Road and the Rise of Modern China. Vancouver:
Douglas & McIntyre, 2010.
^ "Horse That Leaps Through Clouds - Retracing Mannerheim's Journey
Across Asia". horsethatleaps.com.
^ a b "Horse That Leaps Through Clouds - Retracing Mannerheim's
Journey Across Asia". horsethatleaps.com.
^ Clements (2009), p. 155.
^ a b c Putensen, Dörte (2017). "Der größte Finne aller Zeiten?".
Damals (in German). No. 5. pp. 72–76.
^ a b c Jagerskiold (1986).
^ Meri (1990), p. 104.
^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Sakari Virkkunen, "Presidents of
(Suomen presidentit II), published in
Finland in 1994
^ Kallio – Ryti – Mannerheim" / Suomen presidentit II: Kallio –
Ryti – Mannerheim, Helsinki: Otava Publications Ltd., 1994
^ a b Jägerskiöld (1983).
^ a b c Mannerheim-Museo.fi Archived 13 January 2011 at the Wayback
^ Mannerheim, Memoirs (1953).
^ a b c d e Turtola (1994).
^ Jacobsson (1999).
^ Helsingin Sanomat International Web-Edition – "Conversation
secretly recorded in
Finland helped a German actor prepare for Hitler
role" Helsingin Sanomat / First published in print 15.9.2004 in
^ Recording available YLE's web-archive
^ a b c d e Seppo Zetterberg et al., eds., "A Small Giant of Finnish
History" (Suomen historian pikkujättiläinen), 2003
^ Kinnunen et al, eds. (2011).
Finland in World War II: History,
Memory, Interpretations. p. 87. Retrieved 31 January
2014. CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
^ Nenye, Vesa; Munter, Peter; Wirtanen, Toni; Birks, Chris (2016).
Finland at War: the Continuation and Lapland Wars 1941–45. Osprey
Publishing. ISBN 1472815262.
^ Meri (1990), p. 397.
^ "Historique". Centre hospitalier universitaire vaudois. Retrieved
^ Matti Klinge, transl. Roderick Fletcher. "Mannerheim, Gustaf
(1867–1951) President of Finland, Marshal of Finland".
Biografiakeskus. Retrieved 12 September 2013.
^ "MANNERHEIM -
Special Topics - Stamps". www.mannerheim.fi.
^ "8-cent Mannerheim". 12 December 2008. Retrieved 18 August
^ "50th Anniversary USA Champions of Liberty
Mahatma Gandhi Stamp". 9
March 2011. Retrieved 18 August 2013.
^ Mannerheim Internetprojekti, kunniamerkit valokuvineen (Finnish)
^ No. 77, Nousevan Auringon Ritarikunnan I luokka Paulovniakukkasin,
Mannerheim, Carl Gustaf Emil (1953). The Memoirs of Marshal
Mannerheim. London: Cassell. OCLC 12424452.
Clements, Jonathan (2009). Mannerheim: President, Soldier, Spy.
London: Haus Publishing. ISBN 978-1907822575.
1999: Petteri Koskikallio, Asko Lehmuskallio, and Harry Halén. C. G.
Mannerheim in Central
Asia 1906–1908. Helsinki: National Board of
Antiquities. ISBN 951-616-048-4.
Jacobsson, Max (1999). Century of Violence.
Jägerskiöld, Stig (1965). Nuori Mannerheim.
Jägerskiöld,, Stig (1983). Mannerheim 1867–1951. Helsinki: Otava
Jägerskiöld, Stig (1986). Mannerheim: Marshal of Finland.
Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Meri, Veijo (1990). Suomen marsalkka C. G. Mannerheim.
Screen, J. E. O. (1993). Mannerheim: The Years of Preparation.
Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press.
Screen, J. E. O. (2000). Mannerheim: The Finnish Years. London: Hurst.
2010: Tamm, Eric Enno. The Horse That Leaps Through Clouds: A Tale of
Espionage, the Silk Road and the Rise of Modern China. Vancouver:
Douglas & McIntyre. ISBN 978-1-55365-269-4.
2000: William R. Trotter. A Frozen Hell: The Russo-Finnish Winter War
of 1939–1940. ISBN 1-56512-249-6.
Turtola, Martti (1994). Risto Ryti: A Life for the Fatherland. Risto
Ryti: Elämä isänmaan puolesta. Helsinki: Otava.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim.
Mannerheim's Journey Across
Asia including interactive Google maps,
slide shows, videos and more
C. G. E. Mannerheim in the history of Finland
Audio recordings of Hitler and Mannerheim's public and private talk
(w/English text on YouTube), 4 Jun 1942
(in Finnish) and (in Swedish) [permanent dead link] Mannerheim's
1944 inauguration address
On Mannerheim's role in defending Jews
Валентин Рянжин. Маршал Финляндии
Русский офицер у Далай-ламы (russian)
Маннергейм – русский генерал, финский
Mannerheim League for Child Welfare English website
Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim
Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim at Find a Grave
Pehr Evind Svinhufvud
Regent of Finland
Kaarlo Juho Ståhlberg
Kaarlo Juho Ståhlberg as President of the Republic
President of Finland
Juho Kusti Paasikivi
Presidents of Finland
K. J. Ståhlberg (1919–1925)
Lauri Kr. Relander (1925–1931)
P. E. Svinhufvud (1931–1937)
Kyösti Kallio (1937–1940)
Risto Ryti (1940–1944)
C. G. E. Mannerheim (1944–1946)
J. K. Paasikivi (1946–1956)
Urho Kekkonen (1956–1982)
Mauno Koivisto (1982–1994)
Martti Ahtisaari (1994–2000)
Tarja Halonen (2000–2012)
Sauli Niinistö (2012–present)
ISNI: 0000 0001 2119 3831
BNF: cb122078956 (data)