Knights of the Mannerheim Cross

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Olavi Alakulppi (1915 – 1990) was a #Finnish cross country skier and a Knight of the Mannerheim Cross.  Alakulppi served in all three of Finland's WWII conflicts: The Winter War (1939-40),  The Continuation War (1941-44), and The Lapland War (1944-45).  He advanced from sergeant to captain during the war. He received two Mannerheim Crosses (2nd Class) and two Crosses of Liberty. He also received the Iron Cross (2nd Class) of the German army during the war. After WWII Alakulppi moved to…

Olavi Alakulppi (1915 – 1990) was a #Finnish cross country skier and a Knight of the Mannerheim Cross. Alakulppi served in all three of Finland's WWII conflicts: The Winter War (1939-40), The Continuation War (1941-44), and The Lapland War (1944-45). He advanced from sergeant to captain during the war. He received two Mannerheim Crosses (2nd Class) and two Crosses of Liberty. He also received the Iron Cross (2nd Class) of the German army during the war. After WWII Alakulppi moved to…

Captain Eero Kivelä (1908-1992), Knight of the Mannerheim Cross No.9. He was awarded the Mannerheim Cross (2nd class) on September 8, 1941, for showing great personal courage under fire, and for repelling enemy attack with counter-attack, during which he destroyed nine tanks with his men. During the wars he received Cross of Liberty 3rd class twice (second with Oak Leaves), and Cross of Liberty 4th class.

Captain Eero Kivelä (1908-1992), Knight of the Mannerheim Cross No.9. He was awarded the Mannerheim Cross (2nd class) on September 8, 1941, for showing great personal courage under fire, and for repelling enemy attack with counter-attack, during which he destroyed nine tanks with his men. During the wars he received Cross of Liberty 3rd class twice (second with Oak Leaves), and Cross of Liberty 4th class.

Osmo Tapio Laakso(1916–2004) Knight of the Mannerheim Cross #61. He fought in Winter War(1939-‘40) and Continuation War(1941-‘44) serving as artillery battery commander, but was a forward observer so he was part of the front line battles most of the war. He was awarded the mannerheim cross on May 19, 1942, for his heroic actions and great leadership. During the war he was also awarded the German Iron Cross 2nd class, and was promoted to Captain. The war ended for his part on ...

Osmo Tapio Laakso(1916–2004) Knight of the Mannerheim Cross #61. He fought in Winter War(1939-‘40) and Continuation War(1941-‘44) serving as artillery battery commander, but was a forward observer so he was part of the front line battles most of the war. He was awarded the mannerheim cross on May 19, 1942, for his heroic actions and great leadership. During the war he was also awarded the German Iron Cross 2nd class, and was promoted to Captain. The war ended for his part on ...

Paavo Suoranta (1917-2002) Knight of the Mannerheim Cross #88. Continuation War

Paavo Suoranta (1917-2002) Knight of the Mannerheim Cross #88. Continuation War

Aaro Pajari (17 July 1897 – 14 October 1949) The first Mannerheim Cross (2nd class) was awarded to him on September 14, 1941, for his decisive role in breakthrough battle at Karelian Isthmus, and the second one on October 16, 1944, mainly for operations at Tornio.

Aaro Pajari (17 July 1897 – 14 October 1949) The first Mannerheim Cross (2nd class) was awarded to him on September 14, 1941, for his decisive role in breakthrough battle at Karelian Isthmus, and the second one on October 16, 1944, mainly for operations at Tornio.

Toivo Ilomäki (1917–1965) Knight of the Mannerheim Cross #155. During the Continuation War he was Anti-Tank Gunner in 24th Gun Company of 5th Division (24.TykK/5.Div) and fought from Ladoga Karelia to Svir river. Citation for his Mannerheim Cross (2nd class) mentions that he destroyed his first tank on June 22, 1944, and two days later 16 tanks (14x T-34 & 2x KV-1) in Battle of Sammatus (PSS line),. Later he destroyed 4 more tanks from close range at Tihveri

Toivo Ilomäki (1917–1965) Knight of the Mannerheim Cross #155. During the Continuation War he was Anti-Tank Gunner in 24th Gun Company of 5th Division (24.TykK/5.Div) and fought from Ladoga Karelia to Svir river. Citation for his Mannerheim Cross (2nd class) mentions that he destroyed his first tank on June 22, 1944, and two days later 16 tanks (14x T-34 & 2x KV-1) in Battle of Sammatus (PSS line),. Later he destroyed 4 more tanks from close range at Tihveri

Viljo Suokas (1920–1943), Knight of the Mannerheim Cross No.44. His skills in guerilla warfare was noticed and after Winter War he received special training for long range patrol missions. In Continuation War Suokas served as patrol leader in Detachment Kuismanen (OsKu). He was credited for many successful missions, withe the longest time spent behind enemy lines being46 days. Viljo Suokas died on October 4, 1943 while clearing a storage building at Segezha, a town by the Murmansk railway.

Viljo Suokas (1920–1943), Knight of the Mannerheim Cross No.44. His skills in guerilla warfare was noticed and after Winter War he received special training for long range patrol missions. In Continuation War Suokas served as patrol leader in Detachment Kuismanen (OsKu). He was credited for many successful missions, withe the longest time spent behind enemy lines being46 days. Viljo Suokas died on October 4, 1943 while clearing a storage building at Segezha, a town by the Murmansk railway.

Vilho Rättö (1913-2002) Knight of the Mannerheim Cross #4. Continuation War

Vilho Rättö (1913-2002) Knight of the Mannerheim Cross #4. Continuation War

Knight of the Mannerheim Cross, Lieutenant Kullervo Leskinen. Uhtua,12.8.43.

Knight of the Mannerheim Cross, Lieutenant Kullervo Leskinen. Uhtua,12.8.43.

Aarre Voutilainen (1919-2000) Knight of the Mannerheim Cross #36. Served in JP 2 (Jaeger battalion) 1941-1944, first as squad leader then as platoon second-in-command and finally as platoon leader. Citation for his 2nd class Mannerheim Cross mentions that he voluntarily led several patrols within 3 days bringing valuable information about the enemy, and later in battle of Enemajoki river he was first who rushed across a bridge under heavy fire, led his squad to good positions

Aarre Voutilainen (1919-2000) Knight of the Mannerheim Cross #36. Served in JP 2 (Jaeger battalion) 1941-1944, first as squad leader then as platoon second-in-command and finally as platoon leader. Citation for his 2nd class Mannerheim Cross mentions that he voluntarily led several patrols within 3 days bringing valuable information about the enemy, and later in battle of Enemajoki river he was first who rushed across a bridge under heavy fire, led his squad to good positions

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