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The Mannerheim Cross and Knights

The Headquarters Museum - The Mannerheim Cross and Knights

 

 

Once the Winter War was over, Finland lacked a special decoration that could be awarded irrespective of military rank. At the proposal of the Commander-in-Chief, Field Marshal Mannerheim, amendments and additions were made to the 1939 Cross and Medal of Liberty Act. The act passed on 16 December 1940 and its fourth section describe the spirit which the act was designed to give to the decoration.
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  Photo: Matti Sikanen

"As a reward for exceptional bravery, the achievement of vitally important results in battle or military operations led with special distinction, a soldier of the Finnish Armed Forces regardless of his rank can be appointed a Knight of the Mannerheim Cross, First or Second Class."

Commander-in-Chief Mannerheim was actively involved in designing the decoration that would bear his name. Also involved were Lieutenant Colonel Ragnar Grönvall and Major Michael Gripenberg. The Mannerheim Cross was created without working drawings in collaboration with the management of Tillander Oy.

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The presentation of Mannerheim Crosses at the Headquarters, September 1942.
Photo: Military archives

The Mannerheim Cross, Cross of Liberty, First Class, comes fifth in the Finnish system of honours. It is worn round the neck on a similar ribbon to the Cross of Liberty, First Class, with swords, awarded for merits in war.

The Mannerheim Cross, Cross of Liberty, Second Class, comes ninth in the Finnish system of honours. It is worn without a ribbon on the left side of the breast.

The provisions relating to the Mannerheim Cross were supplemented by decrees during the war. A decree issued on 14.5.1943 prescribed that an honorary award of 50,000 markkas be attached to the decoration. In the latter part of the war a decree issued on 18.8.1943 made it possible to confer twice on the same person a Mannerheim Cross, Cross of Liberty, Second Class.

KNIGHTS OF THE MANNERHEIM CROSS, CROSS OF LIBERTY, FIRST CLASS

18 Field Marshal MANNERHEIM Carl Gustaf Emil 07.10.41
48 General of Infantry HEINRICHS Axel Erik 31.12.44

KNIGHTS OF THE MANNERHEIM CROSS, CROSS OF LIBERTY, SECOND CLASS

1 Colonel LAGUS Ernst Ruben 22.07.41
2 Major General TALVELA Paavo Juho 03.08.41
3 Colonel RAAPPANA Erkki Johannes 03.08.41
4 Private RÄTTÖ Vilho 03.08.41
5 Colonel SVENSSON Antero Johannes 16.08.41
6 Warrant Officer TUOMINEN Oiva Emil Kalervo 18.08.41
7 Lieutenant PÖSSI Juho 29.08.41
8 Corporal SORSA Valde Matias 01.09.41
9 Captain KIVELÄ Eero Olavi 08.09.41
10 Lieutenant REMES Olli 12.09.41
11 Colonel BLICK Aarne Leopold 14.09.41
12 Colonel PAJARI Aaro Olavi 14.09.41
13 Lance Corporal MANTERE Onni Olavi 16.09.41
14 Private PASANEN Emil 26.09.41
15 Corporal VEHVILÄINEN Veikko Kalevi 26.09.41
16 Second Lieutenant IISALO Keijo Pentti 01.10.41
17 Major General LAATIKAINEN Taavetti 03.10.41
18 Field Marshal MANNERHEIM Carl Gustaf Emil 07.10.41
19 Medical Colonel BROFELDT Simo Antero 07.10.41
20 Sergeant MALLILA Eino Ilmari 07.10.41
21 Colonel HEISKANEN Kaarlo Aleksanteri 07.10.41
22 Colonel VIHMA Einar August 12.10.41
23 Corporal SOKKA Antti Väinö 12.10.41
24 Lance Corporal SAVOLAINEN Tauno Toivo 12.10.41
25 Corporal KOSONEN Valdemar 16.10.41
26 Second Lieutenant VARSTALA Matti 16.10.41
27 Private HEINO Ahti 19.10.41
28 Second Lieutenant KORKKINEN Torsten Erik Einar 19.10.41
29 Lieutenant PENTTI Arvo Veikko 19.10.41
30 Lieutenant Colonel von ESSEN Hans Olof 22.10.41
31 Lieutenant MIKKONEN Soini Armas 22.10.41
32 Sergeant RÖNKÄ Oiva Vilho 22.10.41
33 Warrant Officer SALMINEN Viljo Fritjof 05.11.41
34 Corporal KORPI Paavo Armas 13.11.41
35 Captain VIIRI Tauno Johannes 13.11.41
36 Corporal VOUTILAINEN Aarre Alfred 19.11.41
37 Lance Corporal SAARELAINEN Veikko 19.11.41
38 Lance Corporal WENÄLÄINEN Eino Edvin 19.11.41
39 Corporal TAMMINEN Yrjö Alfons 19.11.41
40 Lieutenant RÄSÄNEN Albert 19.11.41
41 Private TÖRMÄLEHTO Taavi Armas 19.11.41
42 Sergeant LAINE Viljo Erik 19.11.41
43 Lance Corporal JANHUNEN Arvid Mikael 27.11.41
44 Sergeant Major SUOKAS Viljo Valtteri 13.12.41
45 Colonel VIIKLA Verner August 15.12.41
46 Major HÄKKINEN Toivo Nikodemus 14.01.42
47 Major HYNNINEN Jouko Untamo 14.01.42
48 General of Infantry HEINRICHS Axel Erik 05.02.42
49 Lieutenant HÄMÄLÄINEN Jorma 27.02.42
50 Lieutenant HONKANEN Ilmari Kalervo 27.02.42
51 Colonel AUTTI Pietari Aleksanteri 01.03.42
52 Lieutenant Colonel AHO Martti Johannes 01.03.42
53 Cornet HIRVI-KUNNAS Teppo Taneli 20.04.42
54 Lieutenant KAHLA Paavo Elias 26.04.42
55 Lieutenant WINQVIST Rolf Robert 26.04.42
56 Warrant Officer JUUTILAINEN Eino Ilmari 26.04.42
57 Sergeant Major MOILANEN Jooseppi 15.05.42
58 Lance Corporal MATILAINEN Mikko Olavi 15.05.42
59 Corporal KILPINEN Yrjö 15.05.42
60 Lieutenant Colonel NORDGREN John Valter Voldemar 15.05.42
61 Captain LAAKSO Osmo Tapio 19.05.42
62 Lance Corporal HARTIKAINEN Johannes 19.05.42
63 Captain VUORENSOLA Ahti Kalervo 19.05.42
64 Sergeant KOLPPANEN Jaakko Jalmari 19.05.42
65 Staff Sergeant KOUSA Sauli 05.07.42
66 Lieutenant Colonel KARI Kaarlo Kustaa 05.07.42
67 Major LUKKARI Aarne Reino Ilmari 05.07.42
68 Sergeant SKYTTÄ Lauri 05.07.42
69 Second Lieutenant NISSINEN Lauri Vilhelm 05.07.42
70 Medical Sergeant ISOSOMPPI Feeli Johannes 17.07.42
71 Lieutenant AHOLA Johan Aarne Einari 17.07.42
72 Lieutenant ALAKULPPI Olavi Eelis 17.07.42
73 Captain TOFFER Caj Edvard Ferdinand 21.07.42
74 Lieutenant KORPI Reino Kalervo 09.08.42
75 Lieutenant SEPPÄNEN Aaro 09.08.42
76 Second Lieutenant LEHTONEN Kaarlo Veikko Tapani 09.08.42
77 Sergeant Major LAUKKANEN Hugo 09.08.42
78 Lance Corporal SIMILÄ Johan Kustaa 09.08.42
79 Lieutenant PENTTILÄ Eino Valfrid 19.08.42
80 Lieutenant Colonel POLÓN Bernt Eino Edvard 23.08.42
81 Lieutenant KOLI Paavo Olavi 23.08.42
82 Sergeant Major KOJO Leo Johannes (24.08.42) 23.08.42
83 Sergeant LAITINEN Kaarlo Kullervo 23.08.42
84 Lieutenant KOKKO Lauri Albin 31.08.42
85 Second Lieutenant NUOTIO Paavo Konstantin 31.08.42
86 Second Lieutenant SIPPOLA Ahto Kullervo Kaj 31.08.42
87 Staff Sergeant MÖRÖ Arvo 31.08.42
88 Staff Sergeant SUORANTA Paavo Lauri Matias 31.08.42
89 Corporal OVASKA Toivo Johannes 31.08.42
90 Major MAUNULA Auvo Herman Toivo 08.09.42
91 Captain KEINONEN Yrjö Ilmari 08.09.42
92 Captain KARHUNEN Jorma 08.09.42
93 Lieutenant LINDBLAD Tor Robert 08.09.42
94 Second Lieutenant KORTE Toivo 08.09.42
95 Sergeant GERDT Kaiho Tuomas Albin 08.09.42
96 Colonel PUROMA Albert Aleksander 18.10.42
97 Colonel LAAKSONEN Sulo Eero 06.11.42
98 Captain KARU Veikko Johannes 06.11.42
99 Staff Sergeant VALLEBRO (Vorho) Antti 06.11.42
100 Sergeant MANNINEN Toivo Kaarlo 06.11.42
101 Corporal PAAJANEN Paavo 06.11.42
102 Corporal NORDIN Arvid Oskar 06.11.42
103 Major General WINELL Claes Bertel Napoleon 12.12.42
104 Commander ARHO Jouko Olavi Kaarlo (08.02.43) 08.03.43
105 Lieutenant Commander KIVILINNA Osmo Kullervo (08.02.43) 08.03.43
106 Captain EK Rolf Birger (08.02.43) 08.03.43
107 Lieutenant KORHONEN Niilo Juhani (08.02.43) 08.03.43
108 Warrant Officer OVASKAINEN Toimi (08.02.43) 08.03.43
109 Sergeant Major STORBACKA Harald (08.02.43) 08.03.43
110 Staff Sergeant SCHADEWITZ Einar 10.02.43
111 Lieutenant Commander PIRHONEN Jouko Kalevi Esaias 04.06.43
112 Lieutenant LESKINEN Veikko Kullervo 04.06.43
113 Sergeant Major MOISANDER Leevi Veli 04.06.43
114 Sergeant LIIKKANEN Arvi Anton 04.06.43
115 Lance Corporal LAISI Eino (04.03.43) 04.06.43
116 Lieutenant WIND Hans Henrik 31.07.43
117 Major PUUSTINEN Timo Johannes 01.08.43
118 Lieutenant NYKÄNEN Kaarlo Heikko 01.08.43
119 Sergeant Major MÄÄTTÄNEN Onni Henrik 01.08.43
120 Staff Sergeant PÖLLÄ Mikko 01.08.43
121 Sergeant TUOMELA Oiva Olavi 01.08.43
122 Warrant Officer OKSALA Unto Johannes 21.11.43
123 Sergeant HEINO Lauri Aleksanteri 21.11.43
124 Lance Corporal SANDROOS Sakari August 21.11.43
125 Private KORPI Erkki Matias 21.11.43
126 Lieutenant Colonel TURKKA Kauno Josef Vilhelm 16.01.44
127 Major LUUKKANEN Eino Antero 18.06.44
128 Lieutenant Colonel KUIRI Auno Johannes 19.06.44
129 Lieutenant Colonel MAGNUSSON Gustaf Erik 26.06.44
130 Major General MARTOLA Ilmari Armas-Eino 26.06.44
131 Lieutenant General OESCH Karl Lennart 26.06.44
132 Captain KVIKANT Carl-Birger Valdemar 26.06.44
133 Lieutenant AULANKO Olli Sakari 26.06.44
134 Corporal TUOMALA Kauko Hans Villiam 27.06.44
135 Major LEPPÄNEN Eero Kaarlo Olavi 27.06.44
136 Lieutenant KAUSTI Esko 01.07.44
137 Major KUVAJA Eino Hjalmar 04.07.44
138 Private SEPPÄNEN Eero 04.07.44
139 Lieutenant EKHOLM Gregorius 09.07.44
140 Lance Corporal KIIVERI Eino 09.07.44
141 Corporal KÄRPÄNEN Heikki 09.07.44
142 Warrant Officer LEHTOVAARA Urho Sakari 09.07.44
143 Major TOIVIO Veikko Eerikki 09.07.44
144 Lieutenant TÖRNI Lauri Allan 09.07.44
145 Lance Corporal VÄISÄNEN Ville 12.07.44
146 Second Lieutenant RIPATTI Eino Juhana 12.07.44
147 Staff Sergeant OINONEN Erkki Olavi 18.07.44
148 Staff Sergeant PUOLAMÄKI Asser Ensio 18.07.44
149 Lieutenant HONKANIEMI Toivo Nikolai 20.07.44
150 Staff Sergeant NURMI Martti August 23.07.44
151 Captain PARONEN Tauno Ilmari 22.08.44
152 Lieutenant Colonel MIETTINEN Martti Juho 02.10.44
153 Staff Sergeant VEIKKANEN Arvo Emanuel 02.10.44
154 Corporal KIRPPU Toivo 02.10.44
155 Lance Corporal ILOMÄKI Toivo Osmo 02.10.44
156 Major VALKONEN Pentti Pekka 07.10.44
157 Lieutenant Colonel HALSTI Wolfgang Hallstén 16.10.44
158 Lieutenant Colonel LOIMU Vilho Jalo Kalervo 16.10.44
159 Lieutenant General AIRO Aksel Fredrik 18.11.44
160 Major General TAPOLA Kustaa Anders 18.11.44
161 General of Infantry WALDEN Karl Rudolf 02.12.44
162 Colonel EHRNROOTH Adolf Erik 04.12.44
163 Colonel MARTTINEN Alpo Kullervo 04.12.44
164 Major AHOLA Arvo 21.12.44
165 Sergeant ANTTILA Allan Sylvester 21.12.44
166 Sergeant ANTTONEN Mikko Johannes 21.12.44
167 Sergeant HÄMÄLÄINEN Väinö Albin 21.12.44
168 Captain IISALO Tauno Veikko Ilmari 21.12.44
169 Sergeant Major KARJALAINEN Esa Ukko 21.12.44
170 Sergeant Major KATAJAINEN Nils Edvard 21.12.44
171 Lieutenant KOIVU Timo Joel 21.12.44
172 Lieutenant LAIHIALA Eino 21.12.44
173 Staff Sergeant LEHTIKANGAS Aapo Aulis 21.12.44
174 Staff Sergeant PIKKARAINEN Vilho Antero 21.12.44
175 Captain PUHAKKA Risto Olli Petter 21.12.44
176 Lance Corporal RYTÖNIEMI Jaakko Esko 21.12.44
177 Sergeant SALONEN Aarne Kaarle Valtteri 21.12.44
178 Private SIPILÄINEN Valter 21.12.44
179 Lance Corporal SUHONEN Tauno 21.12.44
180 Lance Corporal TANTTU Pauli Veikko 21.12.44
181 Corporal VYYRYLÄINEN Viljo Ilmari 21.12.44
182 Flying Officer ÄIJÖ Lauri Alfred 21.12.44
183 Lieutenant General SIILASVUO Hjalmar Fridolf 21.12.44
184 General of Artillery NENONEN Vilho Petter 08.01.45
185 Major HÄNNINEN Antti Vilho Valmis Voitto 10.02.45
186 Captain KIISKINEN Jouko Paavo Olli 10.02.45
187 Lieutenant KORHONEN Toivo Johannes 10.02.45
188 Lieutenant LINNAKKO Kaarlo Olavi 10.02.45
189 Lieutenant Commander KAJATSALO (Salo) Kaarlo Viljam 10.02.45
190 Captain VILANTI Kauko Johannes 10.02.45
191 Lieutenant Colonel LAAKSO Viljo Aukusti 07.05.45
 

TWICE APPOINTED KNIGHTS OF THE MANNERHEIM CROSS, CROSS OF LIBERTY, SECOND CLASS

12 Major General PAJARI Aaro Olavi 14.09.41 16.10.44
52 Colonel AHO Martti Johannes 01.03.42 16.10.44
56 Warrant Officer JUUTILAINEN Eino Ilmari 26.04.42 28.06.44
116 Captain WIND Hans Henrik 31.07.43 28.06.44

Source: Ilmari Hurmerinta, Jukka Viitanen (eds): Suomen puolesta, Mannerheim-ristin ritarit 1941-1945 (For Finland, the Knights of the Mannerheim Cross 1941-1945). Saarijärvi 1994.

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The presentation of Mannerheim Crosses at the Headquarters, September 1942.
Photo: Military archives