Lauri Törni (28 May 1919 – 18 October 1965) Also known as Larry Thorne, a Finnish career soldier pictured here as a Corporal in the Finnish Army prior to the Winter War, an Untersturmführer in the SS, Finnish Army Captain during the Continuation War, and US Army Major. Törni is most well known in Finland for leading the 56th Infantry Regiment (“Törni Detachment”) that penetrated deep behind Soviet lines and enjoyed a reputation on both sides of the front for its combat effectiveness. Törni’s unit inflicted such heavy casualties on the Red Army that the Soviets placed a bounty of 3 million Finnish Marks on his head. In January of 1945, he was recruited by a pro-German resistance movement in Finland and left for saboteur training in Germany to organize resistance in case Finland was occupied by the Soviet Union. He surrendered to American and British troops in the last stages of World War II and eventually returned to Finland after escaping a British POW camp in Lübeck, Germany. He would later move to America and join the US Army in 1954. Törni was killed in a helicopter crash while serving in the US Special Forces in Vietnam. He was basically a total fucking badass and the personification of sisu.
Charles XII of Sweden (1682-1718). He was pretty much the main character of the Great Northern War.
Charles XII became king at the age of 15 In 1697, after the death of his father. Sweden was at this time a great power in the baltic region. In 1700, Denmark-Norway, Saxony-Poland and Russia declared war on Sweden, assuming the now 18 years old king would be easy to win over. They were wrong. Charles and the (well-organised and disciplined) Swedish army won victory after victory against numerically superior enemy forces.
Then in 1707 he made the decision to invade Russia. This went pretty much as one can expect, and in 1709 the swedish army suffered a crushing defeat at Poltava, and were shortly after forced to capitulate. The king, who had been injured and not able to lead the battle, fled to Turkey. He stayed there for a long time trying to persuade the sultan to go to war against Russia. The turks, who had originally been rather thrilled to have the Swedish king there, eventually got fed up with him.
In the Autumn of 1714, Charles XII hence left and made the rather impressive feat of riding through Europe from Turkey to Stralsund in 14 days. In 1715 he finally returned to sweden. At this time, most of the Swedish domains had fallen and Finland was occupied by the Russians, however, Charles decided to continue the war on another front, and invaded Norway. On the 30th of november 1718 he was shot in the head while laying siege to Fredriksten Fortress. Who shot him is stil a mystery; was it the enemy, a war-weary swede, or a political assassination? the weirdest theory is that he was shot with a button.
Charles XII was quite a legendary figure in his own time, being described as “the alexander of the north”. Voltaire wrote a biography about him in 1731. Charles XII was certainly Intelligent, having received a solid education,and definitely something of a military genius. Unfortunately he was also extremely stubborn and unwilling to compromise, which probably made the whole war situation worse. Charles devoted pretty much all of his life to the war. He preferred wearing a rather simple military uniform (see painting above) and none of those fance baroque wigs that were in back then. Frequently, Charles XII would ride in the frontlines of battle, setting and example to his soldiers, who respected him greatly. Despite this, he almost never got injured which lead to the rumor that he was immune to bullets. Charles XII has also been described as emotionless, and he allegedly remained celibate his whole life.
Today, Charles XII is one of the most controversial and disputed figures in Swedish history. He has frequently been blamed for the ruining of the Swedish Empire, due to not ending the war when he had the chance. He has also been romanticised as a great hero. However, people are aware that autocratic warrior kings don’t really fit Swedens current image as a peaceful and liberal nation. The neo-nazis tend to idolise Charles XII, which doesn’t exactly improve his image.
This is a must-see and must re-blog for all ww ll history buffs
WORLD WAR TWO DAY BY DAY!!
An animated graphic showing the losses and gains
If you enjoy World War II history, then you’ll definitely enjoy the following video.
The video, which was uploaded a few months ago but has recently gained a lot of attention, contains a lot more than just footage and factoids: It accounts for every single day of the war in Europe, from the invasion of Poland to the surrender in Germany, accurately capturing the war’s early gains and losses — something the United States largely missed out on due to late entry.
Watching it, you can see how the front lines often moved in fits and starts,and how a sudden alliance or overthrow dramatically changed the geopolitical landscape.
It’s also interesting to see the massive encirclements on the Eastern front pop up and disappear from time-to-time.”
It’s important to note that map doesn’t account for partisan action until 1945.
You should reblog this to anyone who has an interest in World War ll
Here’s the video’s legend (from the video’s description):
Maroon: Axis Power members, their dependencies/colonies, and annexed lands.
Burgundy: Areas militarily occupied by the Axis Powers.
Red: Axis puppet states.
Pink: Axis gains during that day.
Blue: Allied powers and areas occupied by the allies.
Light blue: Allied gains for that day.
Purple colors (left to right): Finland, occupied by Finland, and Finnish gains that day.
Dark Green: The USSR before it joined the allies and annexed lands.
Green: Areas militarily occupied by the USSR before it joined the allies.
Light Green: Soviet gains for that day.
And here are some key dates to watch for:
September 1, 1939: Germany invades Poland (watch the Soviets move in to take their half starting September 17)
April 9, 1940: Germany invades Norway
May 10, 1940: Germany invades France
April 6, 1941: Germany invades Yugoslavia and Greece
June 22, 1941: Germany invades Soviet Union
November 25, 1941: The Battle for Moscow
July 3, 1942: Sevastopol falls to Germany
October 23, 1942: Battle of El Alamein begins
January 31, 1943: German surrender at Stalingrad
March 15, 1943: Germans retake Kharkov
May 12, 1943: Surrender of Axis forces in North Africa
July 10, 1943: Allied landings in Sicily (Operation Husky)
June 4, 1944: Rome captured by Allies
June 6, 1944: Allied invasion of Normandy (D-Day)
August 15, 1944: Allied landings in South of France
This video shows the changing front lines of the European Theater of World War II every day from the German invasion of Poland to the surrender of Germany. DETAILED KEY: Maroon: Axis Power members, their dependencies/colonies, and annexed lands. Burgundy: Areas militarily occupied by the Axis Powers. Red: Axis puppet states. Pink: Axis gains during that day. Blue: Allied powers and areas occupied by the allies. Light blue: Allied gains for that day. Purple colors (left to right): Finland, occupied by Finland, and Finnish gains that day. Dark Green: The USSR before it joined the allies and annexed lands. Green: Areas militarily occupied by the USSR before it joined the allies. Light Green: Soviet gains for that day.