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Flyby PC

The White Falcons / White Air Forces

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The skins are interesting, but the text is full of mistakes. Especially the part describing events in Finland in 1917 - 1918 and later is quite inaccurate.

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Its the Finnish and Latvian swastikas that struck me. I didn't realise the blue swastika was nothing to do with the Nazis.

 

I know the symbol itself has ancient wider 'positive' and good luck meanings, but I'd always assumed it was the Nazi's who had first adopted the swastika [n their aircraft, and the Fins who copied it since they shared a common enemy in the Russians. I've obviously been quite wrong. The Fins were not simply 'blue Nazis'.

 

Sorry Finlands Air Force, I've been getting that wrong for years....

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You weren't the only one with that misconception, Flyby. That's why the Finnish Air Force decided to abandon the swastika emblem in 1945. Using it was bad PR, because Hitler's regime had completely tarnished the swastika as a symbol. However, the symbol is still used in Finland in some things, for example in medals and decorations, and some flags, and of course traditional art.

 

I have a day off and I'm feeling somewhat bored, so I decided to correct some mistakes regarding Finnish history that can be found from the text in the link. Don't read, if you aren't interested. :cool:

 

"Like the Poles, Latvians and Czechs had had their own Legions in the Russian and, in the case of the Czechs, the Austrian armies. Czechs had also served with the French in the West. Estonians, Finns, Lithuanians, and Cossacks held prominent positions in the Imperial Russian forces, while Cossacks, Finns, and Ukrainians served the Germans and/or Austrians. As the Russian, Austrian, and German armies came apart in the last days of World War 1, these small, ethnically based units often emerged as the only coherent, disciplined military forces operating in vast stretches of suddenly lawless and rebellious territory. A few Latvian battalions secured Lenin's position in the crucial, coup-wracked days of 1918. The 60,000-man Russian Czech Legion was able to fight its way across Asia and Russia to Vladivostok and back in hijacked, hastily armored trains. Count von Mannerheim used Finnish veterans of the German and Czarist forces to crush less well-organized, less well-equipped Red Finns in a bitter civil war, while harassing the flanks of the Allied intervention force at Archangel."

 

Finns were not required by law to serve in the Russian military. It was possible for volunteers to join the army or navy, and many Finns did this to pursue a military career in the service of the Czar. General Mannerheim became the most well-known of them. But their numbers were never big. And because Finland was a part of the Russian Empire (an autonomous Grand Duchy), it goes without saying that Finns were not serving in the armies of the Central Powers. That was obviously illegal during the war. However, a relatively small group of nationalist Finns left Finland to receive military training from the Germans. The idea was that they could later help Finland achieve independence from Russia, which did in fact happen. There were under 2000 men who received training in Germany and fought in the Eastern Front against Russia.

 

"Finland's air force was shaped by strong German influence and by an aggressive anti-bolshevism born in the bloody civil war that followed independence. Finland's parliament declared independence of Russia in December 1917, and fighting broke almost immediately. The Finnish Communists favored a continued, close relationship with Moscow, much like the old Imperial system, only with socialists at the helm. The Whites identified with Prussia and with Finland's old Swedish aristocracy. Finland was the established port of entry linking Russia and Germany (Lenin took this route when the Germans returned him to Russia in 1917). By raising the spectre of a Red Terror among conservative Finns, the military government in Berlin no doubt hoped to shut the door between the Soviet masses and their own, restive, increasingly radicalized proletariat."

 

Civil war in Finland started in late January 1918, not immediately after the declaration of independence (6 December). The writer makes it sound like the Finnish independence movement was a German idea, designed to harm Russia. This is not true. It was very much a native phenomenon in Finland, and Germany didn't actively support Finland until later when the government forces requested help from the Germans in their fight against the Red rebels.

 

"Be that as it may, fighting broke out almost immediately in 1917. The Finnish Red Guard had the aid of some 40,000 irregulars from Soviet Russia, though, given the composition of the pre-1917 Russian army, many of these might have been ethnic Finns themselves. The White Guard depended heavily on German regulars, who served in large numbers in Finland, and on German arms and supplies. The capable generalissimo of the White faction, Marshall von Mannerheim, soon crushed the Reds in a brutal, bloody campaign that left a lasting undercurrent of political extremism in Finland for many years after. The Communist Party was proscribed, and Mannerheim and his military cronies ruled by decree for a few years. Prompted by their German allies, Finnish saboteurs and snipers made themselves a major annoyance along the flanks of the Allied intervention in north Russia. Happily, the German military collapse at home and on the Western Front cut short this unwholesome union. The Inter-Allied Control Commission forced Germany to withdraw its forces from Finland and left the Finns to settle their own affairs, through land reform and a return to liberal, democratic government."

 

Like I mentioned above, Finns were not required to serve in the Russian military. The Russian forces that were stationed in Finland when the civil war began were not ethnic Finns. And they were no irregulars either, but regular soldiers. When the war began in January 1918, there were about 60,000 - 80,000 Russians soldiers in Finland. Most of them withdrew in the following months, and only about 4000 Russians actively participated in the fighting on the side of the Reds. Where the author got that number of "40,000 irregulars" is a mystery. The Whites did receive men and material from Germany, but there was only one infantry division and one independent brigade of German troops fighting against the Reds, not large numbers of regulars as the author claims. In total, there were 13,000 German soldiers in Finland during the war.

 

What comes next is absurd. General Mannerheim (he didn't become a marshal until 1937) "and his military cronies" (I wonder who those were?) never ruled the country. The president, the government and the parliament did. There has never been a military dictatorship in Finland. In fact Mannerheim retired from public life for many years after the war. And Finland didn't oppose the Allied forces sent to fight Bolsheviks in Russia. The government wasn't particularly happy about having to live next to an aggressive Bolshevik country! From Finland's point of view, there was nothing "unwholesome" about the relationship with Germany. If Germany had triumphed, Finland would have been her ally in the post-war world.

 

Finally, this one:

 

"This insignia became the Finnish national marking until 1944, when Finland turned against Germany."

 

The swastika was kept in use until 1945, and in some forms is still used.

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I already skinned some of these (it was early in my skinning career) so not fantastic!...available in D/L Section :drinks:

 

2x Fokker DVII

1X Russian Camel

1X Russian RE8

 

http://combatace.com/files/file/8682-final-finnish-fokker/

http://combatace.com/files/file/8647-camel-of-the-russian-air-service/

http://combatace.com/files/file/8625-finnish-af-dvii/

http://combatace.com/files/file/8613-russian-air-force-re8/

Edited by UK_Widowmaker

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Thanks for that Hasse Wind. I have to admit it's not a part of history, nor indeed a part of the world I know much about.

 

I also recently learned that the Germans actually encouraged the Russian Revolution, assisting Lenin get to Moscow etc, in order to destabilise Russia, and have them removed from the War.

 

Sometimes there is just so much history, it's a challenge just to know where to begin....

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Sometimes there is just so much history, it's a challenge just to know where to begin....

 

Yeah, one lifetime is not enough to learn the history of every corner of our world. However, I think it's unfortunate that the events of the Eastern front of WW1, the collapse of the Russian empire and the birth of the Soviet Union are so poorly known and understood these days. Those were extremely important events, shaping the history of the 20th century, and consequently also our current century. If you read a book about the history of WW1, it's very likely that the Western Front receives a lion's share of the author's attention.

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