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Hi,

some months ago I saw a picture of Marshall Mannerheim.

He wore on his uniforms the clasps for EK1 and EK2 of WW1.

Since then I wonder: How did he win German medals in WW1?

I know that Finland was part of Russia until 1917.

I know that they fought for their independence after 1917, led by Mannerheim.

Germany supported their independence (not really wanted by Mannerheim).

But which military actions could he take part in to get the medals?

Any help for this bothering question is very welcome.

Thanks and best regards

LTC Stahler

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Those were simply command courtesies-- like Keitel's WW2 Iron Crosses earned back at Hitler's headquarters without ever hearing a shot fired.

In the same way, officers returning from Imperial Germany's colonies after 1918 were awarded both classes of Iron Cross even when most were in captivity from 1914 or 1915. It was... statistical averaging that they "would" have earned both

as officers

in the course of the war.

The fact that this blanket award of Iron Crosses was unfair to officers in East Africa still in the field at the end of 1918...

oh well.

"A German officer has two Iron Crosses" and... so it was with senior Finnish military ally Mannerheim, to match them.

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ok, got that

does anybody know when and by whom the EKs were given to Mannerheim?

Thanks

LTC Stahler

P.S.: Interesting that Canada and Venezuela have a mutual border. Did Canada or Venezuela invade the USA, Mexico and all in between ;-)?

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ok, got that

does anybody know when and by whom the EKs were given to Mannerheim?

Thanks

LTC Stahler

P.S.: Interesting that Canada and Venezuela have a mutual border. Did Canada or Venezuela invade the USA, Mexico and all in between ;-)?

Sorry but that comes under O.P.S.E.C. :P:lol:

Kevin in Deva. :beer:

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  • 3 weeks later...

LTC Stahler;

There may be more to this. There is a fellow, who I think is active on another forum, perhaps not here, who lives in the UK, but whose grand-father, if I have that right, served in the 27th Jaegers, again if I have that right, which was a unit of Finnish Jaegers (sorry, no Umlaut avail.) being trained by the Germans for action in Russian Finland if the occasion presented itself. I don't know if they ever saw combat, but I believe (either from a post from this fellow, or from a PM, that many of the men of this unit later became Finnish leaders. I believe that this fellow said that his grand-father organized a visit of Hitler to Finland in the WW II period, and was a colonel or something of that sort in the Finnish Army in the WW II. Mannerheim might even have served in this Jaeger unit. Jaegers were famous for scouting missions and the like and you can see how a unit of Finnish Jaegers would have been valuable if Russian Finland would have been invaded.

You can see how the Germans might expect some sympathy from many Finns in the era, but also there were Finnish units in the vanguard of the Bolshevik movement who were legendary for Communist fanaticism. I think that some nasty stuff went on there toward the end of WW I.

Gruss aus Philadelphia,

Bob Lembke

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LTC Stahler;

There may be more to this. There is a fellow, who I think is active on another forum, perhaps not here, who lives in the UK, but whose grand-father, if I have that right, served in the 27th Jaegers, again if I have that right, which was a unit of Finnish Jaegers (sorry, no Umlaut avail.) being trained by the Germans for action in Russian Finland if the occasion presented itself. I don't know if they ever saw combat, but I believe (either from a post from this fellow, or from a PM, that many of the men of this unit later became Finnish leaders. I believe that this fellow said that his grand-father organized a visit of Hitler to Finland in the WW II period, and was a colonel or something of that sort in the Finnish Army in the WW II. Mannerheim might even have served in this Jaeger unit. Jaegers were famous for scouting missions and the like and you can see how a unit of Finnish Jaegers would have been valuable if Russian Finland would have been invaded.

You can see how the Germans might expect some sympathy from many Finns in the era, but also there were Finnish units in the vanguard of the Bolshevik movement who were legendary for Communist fanaticism. I think that some nasty stuff went on there toward the end of WW I.

Gruss aus Philadelphia,

Bob Lembke

Bob, actually Mannerheim served in the Imperial Russian Army - cavalry. During part of his service he was in partioned Poland as part of the Russian occupation. During WWI, he was on the Eastern Front fighting the Austrians and the Romanians and reached general officer rank.

I am not an expert, but last month I had a special dinner with a Finnish colleague honoring Mannerheim's meeting with the Polish Marshall Pilsudski during both country's wars against the Bolsheviks after WWI. Mannerheim is sort of his hero (he has Mannerheim's picture hanging in his living room!). It was an interesting evening of history - also eating Mannerheim's favorite dishes (reindeer soup) and drinking many shots of his favorite drink... Now get this... Vodka; but not JUST vodka... Vodka mixed with vermouth and aquavit. Not a mixed drink, but rather it is distilled and bottled together. Strange tasting vodka basically.

A month ago, I bought a postcard of what I thought was a German soldier; turns out he is actually Finnish (he's wearing the Winter War Medal ribbon). This picture was taken in a city in Finland, a port that my friend told me is where the Jaeger's returned from Germany after the war. I started to do a bit of looking into the 27. Jaeger, but haven't gotten too far. It was about the same time I started focusing on the German artillery. One of these days I need to invite my Finnish friend over for some vodka and pick his brain on the topic.

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Then I think that it was weird that Mannerheim, an Imperial Russian officer in WW I, got WW I EK I and EK II. Not a medal guy, but I thought the EK was only for combat services, not peace-time merit. But my father got his EK II in 1921 from the War Ministry, as his company command were soreheads about him being a bit unruly; he shot and killed his first company CO (coward and thief), shot a sergeant in the butt during manuvers with sharp ammunition, and kicked another sergeant in the face from above with the sole of his hob-nailed boot. So they were mean-spirited, and would not give him a well-deserved EK II. But at least his delayed EK II was for war-time service in the German Army, not the Russian Army. Weird!

Don't drink vodka, but I gather that the supposed second-best Polish vodka was the stuff I kept for guests, was it called Zubrovka, for the buffalo grass that it was flavored with, with a few sprigs in the bottle. But I have not even seen the supposed ultimate Polish vodka is Starska (translation: "old stuff"), which was made by putting the finest straight vodka in a Potton, or a small permeable Hungarian Tokay cask, and burying it in a horse midden (basically, a cesspool) for 20 years, in other words, flavoring the vodka with liquid horse poop for 20 years. (I hope the alcohol proof was high!) I would prefer the Tokai azu.

Bob Lembke

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Mannerheim supposedly also received the French Legion de Honneur and the British OBE in 1938/39; around the same time he received the EK's.

I am no expert either, but suspect the explanation above - he was a Marshall; so, he had to have the EK's as a matter of protocol. Same reason he probably received the French and British awards.

Strange times.

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  • 3 weeks later...

it is fairly simple.

in November 1917 Finland became independant of the Soviet Union. in January 1918 Mannerheim became Suppreme commander of the finnish army. The Finnish Army opposed the Red Army.

In September 1918 (so before the end of WW1) Mannerheim became Regent of Finland. Mannerheim as head of state ordered a Finnish Delegation to go to Germany to find a King for Finland. This was supposed to have been Prins Frederik Karel of Hessen. When the Gemrans lost the War and the Gemran Emperor left, the idea to put a German Prins on the Finnish throne was abolished. As a courtasy the Prussians awarded the EK2 and EK1 to Mannerheim as sort of token of friendship before WW1 was over ( believe early in 1919).

Other decoration

1937: German1st Class Honor Decoration of the Red Cross

1938: Grand Cross Order of the British Empire

1939: Grandcross Adlerorden

1940: Grand Cross French Legion d'Honneur

1941: Rumanian Order Michael the Great 3rd, 2nd and 1st Class

1941: 1939Clasps to EK2 and EK1

1941: Gemeinsames Flugzeugführer/Beobachter Abzeichen mit Brillianten

30th August 1941: german Knights Cross to the Iron Cross

1942: Kroatian Grand Cross with Swords and Star to the Order of the Crown of King Zvonimir

1942: Japanese Order of the Rising Sun, 1st Class

1942: Hungarian Grand Cross with the Holy Crown to the Hungarian Order of Merit

1942: Italian Military Order of Savoy -Grand Officer

5th August 1944: German Oak Leaves to the Knights Cross of the iron Cross

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  • 1 month later...

Hi,

Mannerheim has his 1914 EK1 on the parade in Helsinki the 16th of May 1918, so he got that before.

Regards,

Stefan

it is fairly simple.

in November 1917 Finland became independant of the Soviet Union. in January 1918 Mannerheim became Suppreme commander of the finnish army. The Finnish Army opposed the Red Army.

In September 1918 (so before the end of WW1) Mannerheim became Regent of Finland. Mannerheim as head of state ordered a Finnish Delegation to go to Germany to find a King for Finland. This was supposed to have been Prins Frederik Karel of Hessen. When the Gemrans lost the War and the Gemran Emperor left, the idea to put a German Prins on the Finnish throne was abolished. As a courtasy the Prussians awarded the EK2 and EK1 to Mannerheim as sort of token of friendship before WW1 was over ( believe early in 1919).

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Hello,

this picture is scanned from the book "Gustaf Mannerheim 1918" by Stig Jägerskiöld. It also occurs in other books but this was the one with best quality that I found at home.

The Finnish war archives should have one in better quality.

Regards,

Stefan

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