Mannerheim – bend your line. What you need to know about the former Russian general

155 years ago, on June 4, 1867, in the Russian Empire, one of the most prominent patriots of Great Finland was born into the family of a Swedish count of German origin. This whole carousel seems like a heap of nonsense. But only at first glance. The name of the newborn immediately removes all contradictions. Carl Gustav Mannerheim.

And not friend and not enemy. And how?

Attitudes towards this figure have changed dramatically throughout our history. At first, he was simply Russian, as if in his board. Just think, the surname is some kind of non-Slavic. Yes few were there such? In addition, the Mannerheim clan was distinguished by a pronounced pro-Russian orientation — our hero's great-grandfather, Karl Erik Mannerheim, led the delegation sent to Russian Tsar Alexander I, which, thanks in part to the efforts of Mannerheim, granted the former Swedish province the status of an autonomous state within its empire. And also granted the Constitution, in a moment, raising the Finns above the rest of the subjects — let's say the Russians had to wait another hundred years for their Constitution with a ponytail.

In a word, at first our hero was Russian. Or rather, even so — Russian officer, part of the & nbsp; conditional imperial elite. In & nbsp; in fact, with & nbsp; with whom the emperor will not conduct intimate conversations. A with Mannerheim Russian Tsar Nicholas II he had such conversations, and not ever, but immediately after his coronation.

Then Mannerheim acquired the status of an enemy. A real enemy, cruel and merciless. With than our society — and Soviet and post-Soviet — was generally in agreement. True, with the passage of time and intensification of the information flow, his figure, as it were, went out of focus and lost sharpness. In fact, only a kind of meme — “Mannerheim Line”, referring to & nbsp; the Soviet-Finnish war of 1939-1940 & nbsp; But the general mood of no matter how one may say, but it s still the enemy», has not gone away.

But relatively recently, a number of attempts have been made to reduce this mood to neutral. And by formally broadening one's horizons. Say, how much can Mannerheim be identified with his famous Line? After all, there was a time when he faithfully and truly served Russia, so shouldn shouldn account for him?

A talented, but  performer

A tricky question. And here, the ancient gospel rule will come in handy: “By their fruits you will know them.” So what kind of fruits can Mannerheim boast?

This is where the trap lies. It would be very tempting to say that its fruits — this, for example, is a deep reconnaissance of the Mongolian territory during the Russo-Japanese war of 1904-1905. Or the Asian Expedition of 1906-1908 with visiting mysterious Tibet and mapping hitherto unknown territories. Or desperate military operations of the First World War — the same "star attack" on the city of Yanov, when his cavalry liberated the city from Austrian troops in one dashing raid…

But if to argue honor by honor then these fruits are very doubtful. The thing is that in all these episodes Mannerheim — nothing more than a performer. That is the tool of those who conceived and planned these operations. He did    invest           I just did what I was told or what was written in instructions — and everything. Who is the author of “Eugene Onegin”? Alexander Pushkin or his quill pen? And here the alignment is approximately the same 

In general, real fruits, by which one is supposed to “know” man, you have to admit otherwise. Specifically — Mannerheim's deeds relating to the time when he from performer turned into the subject of Big History. B & nbsp; a person who makes decisions on & nbsp; a fairly serious level. The player of World Chessboard, if you will.

Here again, the term “Mannerheim Line” must be pulled out into the light of God. But not in the sense of the strip of defensive structures on the Karelian Isthmus, created on initiative of Carl Gustav. And about the political line that he carried out, or at times even bent.

How Great Finland was built

This Mannerheim line is both simple and fantastic at the same time. Great Finland from Baltic to Urals. The fact that it was planned to be built on Russian bones was not advertised, but implied. The former lieutenant general of the Russian army spent about a third of his rather long life precisely on achieving this brilliant goal.

For some mysterious reason, in the analysis of Soviet-Finnish relations, the USSR always gets the role of aggressor. Although it is known for certain that there were four armed conflicts between Soviet Russia and Finland, and in in three of four cases, it was Finland who carried out the attack.

Do it again. War of 1918-1920  To begin with, the Finns, under the leadership of Mannerheim, carry out a real genocide, with the goal of physically destroying all Russians who had the misfortune to stay by that time in the territory of Finland. They cut and shoot indiscriminately — then the  white officers who fled from "the horrors of Bolshevism", and their family members, and just Russians, who lived side by side with finns quietly, for example, in Vyborg and other cities. But that was just a prelude. Mannerheim was preparing an invasion directly into Russia. And it began under his speech, which was later called the “Oath of the Sword.” Here is a short fragment: “White Sea Karelia belongs to us by blood ties, and I swear that I will not sheathe my sword before the lawful order reigns in the” country, before all the fortifications are in & nbsp; ;our hands before the last warrior and hooligan Leninwill not be expelled from White Sea Karelia!» Mannerheim considered the goal of the war to be the separation from Russia of the entire Kola Peninsula and Eastern Karelia, as well as the demilitarization and dismemberment of Petrograd — instead, it was supposed to create a conglomeration of “city-republics” — Tsarskoye Selo, Gatchina, Oranienbaum… In a word, beauty.

Soviet Russia then, in fact, lost the war. Finland wrested several islands from Russia and the Pecheneg region in the Arctic. The general background was traditionally mass executions of captured Red Army soldiers and  ethnic cleansing on occupied territories.

Do two. In 1921  a new armed conflict took place. It does not have the status of war, since it was just a robbery attack by Finnish troops on Soviet Karelia. It didn not last long, but the consequences  —— the Finns, who came to “liberate their Karelian brothers, oppressed by the Russians”, could only rob these same brothers, and burn the houses of those who supported the Soviet regime. As a result, a good half of the Karelian population fought on the side of the Red Army.

Do three. One “Oath of the Sword” Mannerheim thought it was not enough. And in 1941  he pronounces the second. As you can understand, this time Finland attacks the USSR already in company with Nazi Germany. Appetite, respectively, increased. Officially in the second “Oath of the Sword” Mannerheim said this: “Soldiers! This land that you tread is watered with the blood of our compatriots and soaked with suffering, it is a holy land. Your victory will liberate Karelia, your deeds will create a great and happy future for Finland. That is, it is planned to capture and  digest as “just” Karelia. However, plans were made to create a protectorate over that part of the Soviet territory where the Finno-Ugric peoples lived — Komi, Mari, Chuvash, Khanty, Mansi … Plans were also made for the resettlement of the Mari and Mordovians in the Arkhangelsk region with the subsequent transformation of them into a protectorate of Finland. But until all this happened the Finns were finishing what they started 23 years ago — ethnic cleansing. But already on Soviet territory. 96% of the entire Russian population of Karelia was sent to concentration camps. The death rate in the Finnish concentration camps exceeded that in the German ones. And & nbsp; under the order: & nbsp; treat & nbsp; Eastern Karelians friendly, but & nbsp; cautiously. Take the Russian population into captivity and send it to concentration camps flaunts the signature of a “good man” who “faithfully and truly served Russia” — Carl Gustav Mannerheim.

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