(Swedish, Skyddskår), a paramilitary organization of the Finnish bourgeoisie and Finnish kulaks.
Founded in 1921, the Suojeluskunta was formed from volunteer detachments of White Guards that had helped suppress the Finnish Revolution of 1918. A law enacted on Dec. 22, 1927, named the president of the republic the commander of the Suojeluskunta and made the organization an auxiliary unit of the national defense system. In 1939, the membership of the organization numbered more than 100,000. The first children’s detachments of the Suojeluskunta were formed in 1929.
Formally incorporated into the armed forces in 1940, the Suojeluskunta took part in fighting against Soviet troops during World War II. It was disbanded on Nov. 3, 1944, in accordance with the terms of the Soviet-Finnish armistice.