Kuivasaari Coastal Artillery Fortress – standing guard over Helsinki

Kuivasaari

Of the coast of Helsinki, on the island of Kuivasaari (“Dry Island”), the Kuivasaari Coastal Artillery Fortress stands. Until not to long ago, Kuivasaari was a working coastal artillery fortress guarding the approaches to the capital city of Finland but the guns have now been removed from active service and … Continue reading

Maximilian Maksolly – Estonian War Artist

piltpaju20lahing

Maximilian Maksolly (actually Feichter, the original spelling of his first name was Maksimilian) was an Estonian painter who is now possibly best remembered for his war art from the time of the Estonian War of Independence. I touch on him in this blog largely because of his series of war … Continue reading

The Life and Art of Pekka Halonen

Pekka Halonen

Pekka Halonen was a painter of Finnish landscapes and people who would go on to become one of the more notable painters in the world of Finnish Art. This Post provides what’s probably the most detailed information you’ll find on Pekka Halonen in English (there’s not much….) as well as … Continue reading

Valamo Monastery – former heart of the Finnish Orthodox Church

Valaam Monastery

The Valamo Monastery is an Orthodox monastery in what used to be Finnish Karelia but is  now part of Russia, located on Valamo, the largest island and part of an island archipelago of the same name in Lake Laatoka (Ladoga), itself the largest lake in Europe. The archipelago consists of … Continue reading

An Alternative Kalevala?

alternative Kalevala

The Kalevala, Finland’s national epic, was compiled by Elias Lönnrot in the 19th century from a huge collection of folk poetry and songs collected over many many years of study. In compiling the Kalevala, Lönnrot purposefully used only a carefully selected fraction of the material in his folk poetry archives to come … Continue reading

Finnish Aerosleds in Greenland, the 1930 Wegener Expedition and Arvo Tervasmaa

Finnish aerosleds

In 1929, two Aerosleds were purchased from the Finnish State Aircraft Factory, Valtion Lentokonetehdas for a German Arctic expedition in Greenland led by Alfred Wegener over 1930-31.  The history of those Finnish Aerosleds and the people involved in designing, building and using them has been by and large forgotten for decades. Although there has been … Continue reading

The Finnish Trilogy from Miku Games “Making boardgames with Sisu”

The Finnish Trilogy by Miku Games

The Finnish Trilogy from Miku Games is an epic wargame trilogy about the Finnish struggle to remain a free and independent country during World War II. The game is being produced in three volumes: Volume I – Winter War 1939-1940 campaign; Volume II – Continuation War 1941-1944 campaign and Volume III … Continue reading

Finland’s War of Choice – The Troubled German Finnish Alliance in World War II by Henrik Lunde – Book Review

Finland's War of Choice by Henrik O. Lunde

While there are many books on the Russo-Finnish Winter War of 1939-1940, there are very few available in English that cover the 2nd war that Finland fought against the USSR, the “Continuation War” of 1941-1944. While not neglected in Finnish-language studies, there is a dearth of historical works in English … Continue reading

Finnish Music – the golden era of Finnish-language covers of Foreign Hit Songs in Finland

Mona Carita

Seventy to eighty years ago the majority of Finns were still living in rural communities and in general only had six years of school education. Most Finns spoke only Finnish and listened to Finnish-language songs. As a result, popular music was generally in Finnish and foreign hit songs were often … Continue reading

Gliding in Finland in the 1920’s and 1930’s

Jämi Instructor and Ilmavoimat Reserve Lieutenant T B Nissinen demonstrates the Vaasa clubs "Anssi-Jukka" Grunau Baby glider in the the 1930's.

Gliding in Finland in the early decades of the 20th Century (and private flying for that matter) was closely associated with the Suomen Ilmapuolustusliitto (Air Defence League or SIPL as it was usually abbreviated to). SIPL had been founded in the 1920’s as a kind of Air Civil Guard with … Continue reading