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The Memoirs of Marshal Mannerheim Hardcover – January 1, 1954


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 540 pages
  • Publisher: E.P. Dutton & Company; First Edition edition (January 1, 1954)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000C2X4IQ
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.8 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,716,830 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By ThorBjorn on November 13, 2006
Karl Gustav Mannerhiem! The greatest leader of the nation of Finland! Finland owes its existance to this great man!

In his long life, Mannerheim saw the world change into something unrecognizable from his Victorian era origins. He began his illustrious career as a military officer...by an expulsion from a military academy in Finland, when he was a teenager. He left secretly at night to apply to a Russian academy. It was likely the best career move he ever made! Young Baron Mannerheim joined the Russian Army under Czar Nicholas II, where he distinguished himself as a cavalry officer, at a time when the military value of cavalry was soon to decline. He saw the last glorious days of the military horseman.

In the Czar's service, he travelled across Asia as an ambassador of the Russian Court, seeing Siberia, China, and even Tibet, where he was a guest of the Dalai Lama. Mannerheim also served in the prestigious royal bodyguard of the Czar, at the royal palace in St. Petersburg. He saw action in the Russian-Japanese War, and World War I, and this is where his glorious career in Russia came to an end. The revolution of 1917 destroyed Russia as a power, and the Czar abdicated.

Mannerheim went home to Finland, where his people had finally gained independance from Russia. The revolution in Russia spilled into Finland, so Mannerheim led patriotic Finns against the communists. With the success against the communists, Finland's freedom and sovereignty was guaranteed.

In the years between the World Wars, Mannerheim did his part in training the new Finnish Army, and spent some years in retirement.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Kiwi on December 11, 2007
These memoirs were not actually written by Mannerheim, but were the result of a collaboration among a selected (by Mannerheim) group of military men and civil servants who knew and had worked for Mannerheim. The aim was not so much to describe or analyse Mannerheim's life but rather to give a description of Finnish political and military history during his lifetime. These memoirs do not convey Mannerheim's personal thoughts, however, he did go through, correct and approve the final text just prior to his death. They make a fascinating read, but they are not an autobiography.

The previous review provided a good overview of Mannerheim's accomplishments - no need to repeat those.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By M. Frost on February 23, 2012
While it may not be entirely accurate to call Mannerheim the "George Washington of Finland", he certainly could be the "Winston Churchill of Finland". If ever one man made such a difference in the modern history of a small nation for such a long and important period of time in its history, Mannerheim is one of the few (e.g., Marshal Pilsudski of Poland, who died a few years before WW II). Thus, anyone wanting to understand Finnish history in the 2oth Century from WW I through the end of WW II absolutely should read this book.

Yes, it is dry reading. And yes, this really is a very collaborative work involving a group of people, much like Churchill's multi-volume history of WW II. And most certainly yes, Mannerheim is less than fully forthcoming about the minutia of the geo-politics that led Finland to side with Nazi Germany after the Winter War of 1939-1940. Historians argue over the (in)accuracy of Mannerheim's memoirs (e.g., Henrik O. Lunde's Finland's War of Choice, 2011), but it should be surprising that he didn't want to say anything that would reflec too badly on himself, the Finnish military, or those politicians with which he was aligned. That is par for the course of even the most successful and beloved military commanders. (Compare this memoir to Marshal Estigarribia's memoirs written in 1938/39 while he was in Washington as a diplomat; he was the strategic victor of The Chaco War, 1932-1935, and later President and Dictator of Paraguay, but he essentially glossed over any military failures. See my review of that book which was recently re-issued.)

A big failing of the book is the lack of maps. While there are 5 (see list below) they don't do justice to the events described in the book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. Frost on March 3, 2012
While it may not be entirely accurate to call Mannerheim the "George Washington of Finland", he certainly could be the "Winston Churchill of Finland". If ever one man made such a difference in the modern history of a small nation for such a long and important period of time in its history, Mannerheim is one of the few (e.g., Marshal Pilsudski of Poland, who died a few years before WW II). Thus, anyone wanting to understand Finnish history in the 2oth Century from WW I through the end of WW II absolutely should read this book.

Yes, it is dry reading. And yes, this really is a very collaborative work involving a group of people, much like Churchill's multi-volume history of WW II. And most certainly yes, Mannerheim is less than fully forthcoming about the minutia of the geo-politics that led Finland to side with Nazi Germany after the Winter War of 1939-1940. Historians argue over the (in)accuracy of Mannerheim's memoirs (e.g., Henrik O. Lunde's Finland's War of Choice, 2011), but it should be surprising that he didn't want to say anything that would reflec too badly on himself, the Finnish military, or those politicians with which he was aligned. That is par for the course of even the most successful and beloved military commanders. (Compare this memoir to Marshal Estigarribia's memoirs written in 1938/39 while he was in Washington as a diplomat; he was the strategic victor of The Chaco War, 1932-1935, and later President and Dictator of Paraguay, but he essentially glossed over any military failures. See my review of that book which was recently re-issued.)

A big failing of the book is the lack of maps. While there are 5 (see list below) they don't do justice to the events described in the book.
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