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Mannerheim's Saloon Car

Mannerheim's Saloon Car

 

 

From October 1939 Marshal Mannerheim, Commander-in-Chief of the Finnish Armed Forces during the Winter and Continuation Wars, had at his disposal a staff train. It comprised an engine, two sleeping cars, a dining car, a guard's van, an anti-aircraft wagon and a car transport wagon. An official carriage (A 90) of the Board of Railways served as Mannerheim's sleeping car. He used the carriage on his journeys up to January 1946, by which time he was President of Finland. In his saloon car, which was often coupled to an ordinary train, he made more than 100 journeys covering over 78,000 km.
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The Saloon. Photo: Ilpo Aalto

The journeys were mainly from Mikkeli to Helsinki for meetings and inspection trips to the various fronts. Most publicity was attracted by the trip to Immola for Mannerheim's 75th birthday celebrations, which Hitler attended. Mannerheim received Hitler's congratulations in his saloon car.

Mannerheim's saloon car was built in 1929-30 and taken into service in the latter year. It has a saloon, five sleeping compartments, a kitchen, which does not have its original appearance, and a toilet. There are berths for eight people, although on the Marshal's trips the carriage had at most five occupants. Mannerheim's sleeping compartment was nearest the saloon, followed by generals Heinrichs, Nenonen and Airo in hierarchical order. Mannerheim's adjutants were accommodated in the sleeping compartments next to the kitchen. On most trips, the carriage was occupied by only one ot two people besides Mannerheim. President Mannerheim made his last journey in this carrige in early January 1946.

From 1946 the saloon car was used by the Director-General of the Finnish Railways (VR). The saloon car remained in service as a VR private carrige until 1989, when it was damaged by fire. The city of Mikkeli had the saloon car repaired at the workshop in Pasila and the carriage was transferred to Mikkeli railway station in summer 1992.

Mannerheim's Saloon Car is open to the public on only one day each year, 4 June, Mannerheim's birthday.

 

MANNERHEIM'S SALOON CAR

TYPE:
Board of Railways official carriage A 90

YEAR OF MANUFACTURE:
1930 (taken into service 13.6.1930)

USER:
During the Winter and Continuation Wars, C-in-C Marshal Mannerheim

PERIOD OF USE:
1939-1946 (later in official VR use)

EXTENT OF USE:
During the Winter and Continuation Wars, Mannerheim travelled 78,870 km in his train, but the saloon car was used more than this as it was often coupled to an ordinary express train.

COMPOSITION OF TRAIN:
The Commander-in-Chief's own train usually comprised two sleeping cars, a dining car, a guard's van, an anti-aircraft wagon and a car transport wagon.

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Plan of the carriage

1. Saloon
2. Mannerheim's sleeping compartment
3. Guest sleeping compartments, used by Heinrichs, Nenonen etc.
4. Airo's sleeping compartment
5. Mannerheim's senior adjutant, Grönvall
6. Mannerheim's junior adjutant, Bäckman
7. Kitchen
8. WC

Saloon car in 3D-mode