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Liberation War Commemorative Medal (Vapaussodan Muistomitali), 1918


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Thank you to Deurelle for his two interesting posts regarding his Finnish medals.

I did quick write-up today regarding one of the most common award from the same period Liberation War Commemorative Medal, 1918. If some Finnish collector can find any mistakes or I missunderstood something, please let me know.

Liberation War Commemorative Medal (Vapaussodan Muistomitali), 1918

Finnish Liberation War Commemorative Medal was established on the 10th September 1918 by the Finnish Senate decree 170/1918.

All who participated in the Liberation War against Russia were entitled to that commemorative award, including non-Finnish troops who fought on the soil of Finland during that period (there were 550 Swedish volunteers and around 13,000 Germans).

The earliest medals were made in blackened or silvered iron, later some medals were made as well from silver.

First the medal was designed with the dark blue ribbon but in order to avoid confusion with the Order of the White Rose's ribbon, General Mannerheim, who was Regent of Finland at this time, decided on the 3rd July 1919 to have this medal's ribbon changed to blue with the two black stripes. Also the Finnish rose was instituted to wear attached to the ribbon, which represented an honour award before the Order of the Cross of the Liberty.

Furthermore in some cases clasps were attached to the ribbon with the location where the owner of the medal participated (Tampere, Satakunta, Viipuri, Savo, etc) or the unofficial unit name where the recipient served.

On the reverse there is a cross pattée with a cross gammée (swastika) imposed and a central rose of Finland. Regarding the cross gammée it has been an ancient symbol in Scandinavia but because it was used (abuse) by Germany from 1933-1945 it became largely outcast after 1945.

Two arms with the swords are adopted from the Finland Coat of Arms. Left arm with the European knight’s style armament and swords represents Finland and sabre (ryssesabel) represents an enemy.

On the reverse there is Finland Coat of Arms - crowned lion, the right forepaw replaced with an armoured hand brandishing a sword, trampling on a sabre with the hind paws.

On the bottom part of the reverse, there is a maker hallmark “S & Co”. This means Swedish company “Sporrong & Co” where the most of the medals were produced.

Lists of recipients were closed on the 11th January 1919 but were reviewed and extended on the 1932 and finally completed 1961. Around 89,000 persons became entitled for the medal in 1919 and extended list added 9911 people.

One interesting fact for collectors is that the medals distribution lists are divided into four series. One of these is a Commemorative Medal List for foreigners. Finnish lists are divided according to the way the medals were claimed – army or local municipal authorities, etc. There are usually inputs regarding: name, rank, unit, profession in civil life, DOB. Also extra information if the medal was handed over to the KIA soldier relatives. However, not all the lists are complete.







Here is example from my collection:


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Thank you , I think the war in 1918 is very interesting and the awards are of course most of interest :cheers:

From what I can find in my sources the medal for participation in 1918 war was ordered in 100 134 pieces

and of these about 7000 went to Finnish woman (some more to foregin woman, mostly Swedish I suppose)

A interesting fact is that only 162 Woman from Finland got Liberty Cross 1918 and only 4 got the 3rd class wo swords most were 4th class w Red Cross .

Here is two from my collection one with a very faded ribbon and the other with a bar "Karjalan Rintama"


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Very interresting topic there. So if I see, over 100000 crosses were awarded but do we know how many went to German ? I have just begun to read books about this aera and I have not seen how many german were present in Finnland in 1918/1919.

In the other topic I show the ribbon bar from Rittmeister Walther von Ehrenkrook. he received the Liberation War medal on 24 May 1918. The same date, twelve others officers received the same cross.


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  • 2 weeks later...

One more Finnish award, what I have.

Order of the White Rose of Finland (Suomen Valkoisen Ruusun Ritarikunta), Medal of the White Rose, 1st class

This award was established by Gustaf Mannerheim, when he was regent of Finland, on the 28th January 1919 and regulations were confirmed on the 16th May 1919. It became one of three official orders in Finland, along with the Order of the Cross of Liberty and Order of the Lion of Finland.

Order classes and medal were designed by Akseli Gallen-Kallela (1865-1931).

Award can be granted for military and civil merit for Finland.

On the obverse there is a cross pattée with the Finnish lions between the arms and a central Finnish Rose. On the reverse there is an oak branch with the raised sword and a rayed rising sun beyond with the text “Isänmaan Hyväksi” (For good of the Fatherland).


Edited by Noor
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