Mannerheim, Baron Carl Gustav Emil

Mannerheim, Baron Carl Gustav Emil

(kärl gŭ`stäv ā`mĭl mä`nərhām), 1867–1951, Finnish field marshal and president of Finland (1944–46). Of a distinguished Swedish-Finnish family in Russian-controlled Finland, Mannerheim rose to the rank of general in the czarist army. In 1918 he led victorious Finnish antisocialist forces against the Finnish Bolsheviks and their Soviet supporters, and in the following year he headed the new regime in Finland as regent. Defeated in the presidential elections of 1919, he went into retirement and engaged in philanthropic activity. He was appointed head of the Finnish defense council in 1931 and commanded the Finnish forces against the Soviet Union in the Finnish-Russian WarFinnish-Russian War,
1939–40, war between Finland and the Soviet Union. After World War II broke out in Sept., 1939, the USSR, never on cordial terms with Finland, took advantage of its nonaggression pact (Aug.
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 of 1939–40 and again in 1941–44. In Aug., 1944, he succeeded Risto RytiRyti, Risto
, 1889–1956, Finnish political leader. In 1919 he was elected to the Finnish diet. He later served as minister of finance (1921–24) and as governor of the Bank of Finland (1923–44), winning admiration for improving the country's international credit
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 as president of Finland, and in September he terminated hostilities with the Soviet Union. He resigned the presidency in 1946 because of ill health and was succeeded by Juho PaasikiviPaasikivi, Juho Kusti
, 1870–1956, president of Finland (1946–56). He entered the Finnish parliament in 1907 and was minister of finance in 1908–9. After Finland proclaimed full independence from the Soviet Union, Paasikivi was briefly premier (1918), and in
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. The Mannerheim Line, a fortified line of defense across the Karelian Isthmus, was planned by him. The Soviet army broke through the line in 1940, and it was subsequently dismantled.
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