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Finnish medal for Winter war 1939-40

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At last I got all the different clasps for the Finnish Winter War medal .

Thought I show them for you

There is Eleven clasps for different battles during the Winter war

They are :


Karj alan Kannas










Then we have four different ones for

Airforce : Ilmapuolustus

Coastal Defence: Rannikkopuolustus

Army : Kentt?armeija

Home Front : Kotijoukot

First picture is all of the eleven battle claps + one medal issued to a woman.

Edited by christerd
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Here is a little better pic of the different claps !

One of the hardest to get is Mantsinsaari , and the most common is Karjalan Kannas I think

When the swords are mounted the value is a little bit higher.

As you can see , they can be made in some different materials and types.


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Here is the four Army, Airforce , Coastal Defence and Home Front

+ the two for Foreigners.

The ones for foreigners is awarded in very small number, especially the bronce one ( for non fighters)

There is also a Silver one awarded in very very small numbers to high ranking politicians for ex (saw one for sale last year for about 2000$ :rolleyes: )

And even one made of Gold for head of states and similar awarded in extreme small number :speechless::speechless:

I have never seen one.....


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Hello Christer,

Great medal and clasps (but I think you should change the first year in the title of this thread :unsure: ) !

Could you post a picture of the reverse of the type for foreigners ?

I'm still missing that one in my collection as well as the Tolvaj?rvi clasp ... so if one day you see one lying around at a reasonable price, think of me :beer:

Just wondering : wouldn't Kentt?armeija be the most widely awarded bar ?



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Fixed the date! :beer:

Coingratulations! :jumping::jumping::jumping:

I tried to assemble a complete set years ago but just never had access in the Time Before Computers to much Finnish material. I have a couple of award documents for these, including one to a lady who is described, I believe, as a "housekeeper." There are not actual DATES on the award documents, as I recall-- so were these still being awarded in the 1950s? 1960s? 1970s?

I will have to dig those documents out now and try making pieced together composite scans-- they're too big for a normal scanner.Now that

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Hi Rick and Hendrik !

And you are right of course Hendrik the "Kentt?armeija" is the most common one :D

The Tolvaj?rvi is one of the harder ones I think, but I have seen it for sale in Sweden, theese medals turns up on a Swedish Internet auction site from time to time , I keep you in mind and if a Tolvaj?rvi clasp shows up, i?ll mail you.

Rick, I dont think theese where awarded after the war at all, but since there are no dates on the papers I really don?t know :unsure:

Maybe some member from my neighbour country Finland knows??

Here is the Backside of the Foregin Issue


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And here is the normal issue besides the Foreign one !

The back is the obvious difference , but notice also that the Foreign one is bigger and one very important thing, look at the different

connection rings.


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I got some more info about the Golden and Winter War medals !

The Gold and Silver medals could only be awarded to Foreigners who had helped Finland between the dates November 30th 1939 and

March 13th 1940. Notice, that only people working outside Finland with aid was awarded theese medals.

And ohhhh so few :speechless1:

What I know the following people got an Gold medal:

Crown Prince Fredrik of Denmark

Crown Prince Gustaf Adolf of Sweden

Crown Princess Louise of Sweden

Prince Carl of Sweden

Amiral Nicolaus von Horthy , Hungary

Ex president USA Herbert Hoover

General V. G Th?rnell Sweden

So if you find one of thoose lying around, don?t hesitate to send it to me for safe keeping :rolleyes:


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HI Mike ,

About the claps on medals to foreigners I belive the two awarded is Kentt?armeija or Lappi

I don?t think any others where awarded to foreigners ?

But I am not 100 % :unsure::unsure: Hav anyone seen a Foreign medal with another clasp?

By the way, the silver medal was awarded to 42 people if my sources is correct, haven?t got the names yet but still looking.

Good night


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Hi Christer,

Very nice collection, not something you pick up in a day :cheers:

Given the limited numbers of awardees and their position in society, finding a gold medal would be the Holy Grail for a Finnland collector. The silver version is obtainable, albeit it's rarity. I'll not disclose their numbers, Rick might eat me for beakfast ;)

It's a good thing to point out the differencies between the different classes. As you mention, the size and the reverse design are two ways to differentiate the standard medal from the larger black. The rings also differ in design and doesn't become a problem when comparing these two versions. However, the silver and bronze versions shows the same obverse ring shape as the smaller black, but the small black has the reverse ring flat. The larger black medal has an almost "complete" ring. So pay attention when a bronze version surface on some auction site, it might very well be an upgraded black version.



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I was mistaken in memory. The HUGE award certificates do bear the nominal date "1940" but I cannot imagine that these were actually produced in that devastated year. Here is Reserve Corporal Niemi's with combatants device and bar "Summa."

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I don't know how it was possible to have a medal with no bar at all!

Closeup of the top design:

Corporal Niemi's details filled in, with embossed paper seal and printed Mannerheim "signature."

And Housekeeper Suominen's

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Great Award papers Rick !

If my memory don?t fool me I think it is totally correct to get a medal without any bar :unsure:

The swords was for anyone who had been under "enemy fire" in some way, the battle clasps was for participating in

the battle . But the different Army, Airforce clasps ... hmmm

I think for example woman who was part of the Lotta organisation didn?t get any clasps at all.

Firefighters,civilians,police probably the same. I will have to do my homework tonight and return with a better answer.


And please dont put me on the breakfast table because I disclose the award numbers on Gold and Silver medals :blush:

The numbers for awarded Foreign medals (Iron & Bronce) and all other Finnish Orders is still well locked in my safe. :lol:

Have a great day all!


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Now I have taken a deep dive into the mysterious world of Finnish Awards and I think all the different Types of awarding for the "winter war" medal

First award cert would be for a person with Both Swords and Clasp (name of clasp ) Only one clasp was to be on the band!!

Next award cert looks almost the same but only say clasp ( and name of clasp)

Third award cert was for someon without swords or clasp

And now comes the fun part, there is a fourth award cert !! :rolleyes:

A award cert for next of kin, with another writing " in memory of ....." I have never seen such a cert or should I say havent been able to read what it says ... :banger: Have to learn Finnish.

So Three different medal combos: Swords+ clasp, clasp , nothing

And Four award certs ! Ahh forgot one thing !!! All types of certs could be written in both Finnish and Swedish since some people in Finland was Swedish speaking in 1940.

Puhh I hope I got that right now, Next step is to get pics of all the different types of certs :love:

All the best from summer sweden


Edited by christerd
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Allow me to add one of my groups to a Danish recipient (haven't found out who he is yet...)

The Winter War medal has the correct reverse for foreigners (and this one also without bars).

Medal no. 4 is the Comm. cross for the Home Front (Kotijoukkojen risti), which apparently could be awarded to foreigners?


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Great Bar Mike !!

When I have looked further into this I found that the Clasp


-Karjalan Kannas


All could be found on Foreigners medals, so your home front cross fit right in I think.

And another discovery, in just 2 years at least 4 of the silver medals has been sold in Finland and Sweden ...... :speechless1:

Ohh god , why isnt my name Bill Gates ...... :banger: I want one


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If I remember correctly the Winter War award criteria was something like;

Anyone involved in the war effort would get a medal, anyone in the defence forces would get a medal with clasp, anyone in the defence forces serving in a war zone, i.e. "under fire", would get the full set, medal, clasp and swords. And I think that they where awarded from August/September 1940 and onwards. Don't know when the awardings stopped.

Foreigners could indeed get a commemorative cross if they met the award criteria. The Lappi cross and 17th div cross are commonly seen on Swedish volunteer medalbars/groups. What is important to remember is that these crosses are not goverment issue and that many of them where not insituted until the mid/late 50's. Both these factors have almost certainly had an effect on the number of crosses which have been awarded/issued.

Great medal bar btw, I've never seen a Danish/Finnish combination like that before.

All the best


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