Pro Patria – Bruno Johannes Heliste

Bruno Johannes Heliste was a farmer from Rantsila, Northern Ostrobothnia region. He was married and had 5 children. Infantry Regiment 40 was a unit made up of older reservists and was lacking in equipment compared to other Infantry Regiments. However, due to the advancing Soviet 122nd Rifle Division […]

Heroes of Finland – Jorma Sarvanto – World Record Fighter Ace

At noon on the 6th January 1940, in the skies above Kymenlaakso, Luutnantti ( Lieutenant) Jorma Kalevi Sarvanto set a world record by shooting down six Soviet Ilyushin DB-3 bombers in four minutes. This record captured the attention of the international press and remains a feat of unrivaled […]

Onward, Muslim Soldiers – Finland’s Tatars during the Winter War

If you head to the older part of the Hietaniemi Cemetary in Helsinki, often called the Suomen kaartin hautausmaa (Finnish Guard’s Cemetary), you’ll find a section of it dedicated to the followers of Islam. Taking a stroll in the grounds will bring you to a large black obelisk […]

Pro Patria – Mauno Artturi Kiviristo

Mauno Artturi Kiviristo was a farmer in the municipality of Koski Tl. Born on the 20th January 1904, he was unmarried when he was called up for Additional Refresher Training. Like others from his area, he was assigned to Infantry Regiment 14. When the Winter War broke out, […]

Pro Patria – Oskar Ahtiainen

A blacksmith from the Karelian Ishtmus border region of Metsäpirtti. Oskar Ahtiainen was born 13th January 1904. He was married and had 4 children. During the Additional Refresher Training, he was called to the 9th Border Company. This unit was part of the Metsäpirtti Detachment and was to […]

Pro Patria – Eino Makkonen

Eino Makkonen was born 27th September 1906. He moved from the North Karelian municipality of Rääkkylä to Sulkava. He worked as a farmer living with his wife and child. Makkonen was assigned to the 33rd Engineer Company during Additional Refresher Training. The 1st Platoon of the company was […]

Pro Patria – Väinö Olavi Majanen

Väinö Olavi Majanen was born in the small town of Mänttä, Pirkanmaa, on the 17th February 1902. He was a labourer with a wife and 4 children. Called up from the reserves for the Additional Refresher Training in October, he was assigned to the 3rd Machine Gun Company, […]

Pro Patria – Uuno Valter Holopainen

Born in Viipuri on 3rd March 1916. Uuno Valter Holopainen moved to Hyvinkää and was a boilerman apprentice. He was called up from the reserves in October 1939 and assigned to 1st Company, Bicycle Battalion 5. The Battalion was part of 4th Division and was responsible for the […]

Pro Patria – Gustaf Sigurd Hedberg

Born into a Swedish speaking family in Porvoo, Gustaf Sigurd Hedberg moved to Tampere some time in his youth. He married and had three children while working with as an Insurance Inspector. He was part of the Headquarters Company of 1st Battalion, Infantry Regiment 16 when it was […]

The Battle of Tolvajärvi – The First Victory

The battle of Tolvajärvi was the first major Finnish victory of the Winter War and came at a crucial time for the morale of the entire Finnish military. Its importance to not only the fighting on the northern shore of Lake Ladoga but for the entire conflict cannot […]