Sword Scabbard Declaration

Sword Scabbard Declaration

The Order of the Day of the Sword Scabbard, or the Sword Scabbard Declaration, actually refers to two related declarations by the Finnish Commander-in-Chief Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim during World War I and World War II against Soviet control of East Karelia.


World War I

During the Civil War in Finland, in February 1918, General Mannerheim, the commander of the anti-communist White Guards, wrote his famous Order of the Day, in which he declared that he would not set his sword to the scabbard "until the last Lenin's soldier and hooligan is deported from Finland and Vienna Karelia" ("... ennen kuin viimeinen Leninin soturi ja huligaani on karkoitettu niin hyvin Suomesta kuin Vienan Karjalastakin.").

The events at the end of World War I made this goal hard to accomplish, but nevertheless, two attempts were made to this end: the Viena expedition in 1918 and Aunus expedition in 1919, during the Russian Civil War had allowed Finland to occupy and annex two regions of East Karelia - Repola and Porajärvi respectively.

Between the wars

Hostilities between Finland and Soviet Russia have come to an end with the signing of the Treaty of Tartu in 1920. In accordance with the treaty, Soviet Russia ceded Petsamo to Finland and guaranteed special freedoms to the Karelian SSR. In return, Finland had to give up the two previously annexed Karelian counties. This was seen by many Finns as a very bad deal. The peace treaty thus got a nickname, "a Shame Peace" ("Häpeärauha" in Finnish).Fact|date=May 2008

World War II

With the Axis invasion of the Soviet Union in the summer of 1941, Finland was again at war with its eastern neighbour. On July 10 1941, Mannerheim repeated his 1918 declaration in his "Order of the Day" speech to his troops: "... in 1918 I stated to the Finnish and Vienna Karelians, that I would not set my sword to the scabbard before Finland and East Karelia would be free." ( _fi. Vapaussodassa vuonna 1918 lausuin Suomen ja Vienan karjalaisille, etten tulisi panemaan miekkaani tuppeen ennen kuin Suomi ja Itä-Karjala olisivat vapaat.) This "Order of the Day" signified the start of an offensive, which would result in a three-year long occupation of Russian Karelia.

Diplomatic disaster

Immediately after the Axis invasion, Finland officially declared itself neutral in relation to that the conflict. However, German minelayers, which had been hiding in the Finnish archipelago, laid two large minefields across the Gulf of Finland. Later the same night, German bombers flew along the Gulf of Finland to Leningrad and mined its harbor and the river Neva. On the return trip, these bombers landed on the Utti airfield for refueling. After three days, early on the morning of June 25 a Soviet preemptive air-attack was unleashed on towns, airfields and industrial centers in Finland. The country was at war with its larger neighbor once again. This war, called the Continuation War by Finland, began at first as a defensive war, but with the Sword Scabbard Declaration Mannerheim had lost the possibility to brand it as a defensive war, or even as a war of revanchism to regain the territory lost in the Winter War, where 1/8 of the Finnish populace lived. Gradually, the Continuation War became a war of conquest, to capture land that had not historically belonged to Finland.

For large segments of the public opinion, both in Finland and in other democratic countries, there was a huge difference between a defensive war and a war of aggression. In the Winter War Finland had the sympathy of virtually the whole world (with exception of Nazi Germany and the aggressor, the Soviet Union). The chief reason was that Finland, in the eyes of the international opinion, was unjustly attacked by a much larger power. The Continuation War, on the other hand, made Finland the aggressor, attacking the Soviet Union alongside the Axis invasion. This badly damaged Finland's image and eventually caused the formerly sympathetic Britain to declare war on Finland in December 1941.

ee also

*History of Finland
*Karelian question in Finnish politics

External links

* [http://www.mannerheim.fi/10_ylip/e_mtuppi.htm Order of the Day of the Sword Scabbard] at Mannerheim.fi
* [http://heninen.net/miekka/p-1918_e.htm English translation of the Order of the Day] at heninen.net

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Поможем решить контрольную работу

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Continuation War — Part of Eastern Front of World War II Finnish StuG III Ausf. G assault guns on parade …   Wikipedia

  • Transit of German troops through Scandinavia (WWII) — The matter of German troop transfer through Sweden and Finland during World War II was one of the more controversial aspects of modern Scandinavian history beside Finland s co belligerence with Nazi Germany in the Continuation War, and the export …   Wikipedia

  • Ryti-Ribbentrop Agreement — The Ryti Ribbentrop letter of agreement (Finnish: Ryti–Ribbentrop sopimus) of June 26, 1944, signifies the closest to an alliance Finland and Nazi Germany came during World War II. According to the agreement in the form of personal letter from… …   Wikipedia

  • Guerre De Continuation — Chars Sturmgeschütz III finlandais Informations générales Date 25 juin 1941 19 septembre 1944 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Guerre de Continuation — Chars Sturmgeschütz III finlandais Informations générales Date 25 juin 1941 19 septembre 1944 Lieu Finla …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Guerre de continuation — Chars Sturmgeschütz III finlandais Informations générales Date 25 juin 1941 19 septembre 1944 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Tehran Conference — The Tehran Conference (codenamed EUREKA) was the meeting of Joseph Stalin, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill between November 28 and December 1, 1943 in Tehran, Iran. It was the first World War II conference among the Big Three (the… …   Wikipedia

  • Jacobite Rising of 1745 — The Forty Five Rebellion Part of Jacobite Risings …   Wikipedia

  • List of Slayers characters — This is a list of major characters from the anime, manga and novel series Slayers. This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it. Contents 1 Major characters 1.1 Lina Inverse …   Wikipedia

  • arts, East Asian — Introduction       music and visual and performing arts of China, Korea, and Japan. The literatures of these countries are covered in the articles Chinese literature, Korean literature, and Japanese literature.       Some studies of East Asia… …   Universalium

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”