Interior markings of a typical summer uniform as
found on the left side edge.
This tunics markings indicate from top to bottom:
[SA] : Finnish Army ownership/property
Int : Abbreviation for "Intendentuuri" the
Finnish supply service for the Army.
42 : The year of production/issue
A : Alternate sizing such as sleeve
NP : Makers mark. It is unknown
Interior ink stamped markings of the wool winter
tunic found on the right inside edge of the jacket.
Int. : Abbreviation for "Intendentuuri" the
Finnish supply service for the Army. Early marking
used a period.
VPu : Valtion Pukutehdas (State
Clothing Factory) Earlier marking was AP but that
was changed in 1941
but both stamps continued to be used.
41 : Year of manufacture/issue
A : Alternate sizing such as sleeve
The under shirt as issued to
the soldier by the army clothing store. A banded
collar shirt made of light cotton or a heavier
grade as this one, the shirt was made with 3 front
closure buttons made of zinc. The standard elastic
cloth braces were attached by leather hangars to
two buttons on each side of the front of the trouser/breeches
and two in the rear. The sleeves were button with
two metal buttons as well. This infantry soldier
is wearing the light summer m/36 "overseas" cap
as the green piping indicates. His cap also has
the red enameled lion cockade of an officer. Apparently
he is bringing some entrenching tools to the troops
to fortify their positions in the late summer of
1942. The trousers issued were both straight legged
and the breeches style. In my experience the breeches
style are the most prevalent
Two different undershirts and
a pair of long bottom winter under garments. The
light weight striped cotton shirt was very common
as manufactured by the army clothing store AP.
(Armeijan Pukimo) as well as the heavier winter
version of a thicker material. The pants are a
heavy cotton material made to be both warm and
The markings are as on the tunics,
with the [SA] indicating the owner
and the Int telling us that the
garment was supplied through army supply. Below
we have the year of its issue and the size, this
time a 1, 2 or 3. Sizes
getting larger with the increase in the number.
A close up of the markings telling
us that the pants are a size 2, the Finnish Army
owns this garment and that it was supplied by army
supply chain in 1943. The heavy zinc buttons for
closure are seen in this picture.
The model of 1922 greatcoat in
front and rear views. This particular greatcoat
belonged to a Kapteeni (Captain) in the Infantry.
The three sleeve bands denote his rank. This greatcoat
was and would have been made by a private tailor
rather than from Army supply and therefore exhibits
excellent material and workmanship as well as cut
and style . Notice the heavy brocade shoulder boards
of the m/22 uniforms and the green piping indicating
infantry. Six 22mm copper buttons closed the front
of the double breasted
coat. The collar of the m/22 was a dark gray colored wool, almost black in
appearance. The rear kick pleat was separated in the center and could be
fastened shut with three buttons for various heights of closure. The rear
photo also shows the waist accent attached by two 22 mm copper washed buttons.
In the lower photo a close up of the Infantry m/22 shoulder boards with the
green piping and the officers golden lion pin.
Interior of the private tailored
greatcoat m/22. Notice the heavy full length silk
lining and exquisite workmanship.
The interior view of a army supplied
enlisted men's greatcoat. A simply cotton lining
and only half length in the lining depth. The markings
in ink are the makers and size info and are located
on the interior breast pocket.
Makers marking from
the interior of a private purchase M36 greatcoat. This
is a wartime issue coat of a Finnish Captain but
was made by a private company for his use. In
many cases these private purchases are of higher
quality than standard issue items and also can have
certain traits not seen on regular issue. For
example this coat has no shoulderboards in place
only the rank rings on the sleeves.
The interior markings
of a typical enlisted men's greatcoat from 1944.
The markings tell us that this coat was delivered
through army supply (Int) and is the property of
the Finnish Army [SA]. The size is 52 B and the maker
is Tiklas. The circled M below indicates this coat
was purchased from army storage.
A fine example of
a rare item as the coat above bears an armored unit
patch on the sleeve. Very few examples of these
will be found today.
A very late production
of the m/36 style great coat. In all respects this
great coat produced in 1944 is nothing more than
a poor quality wool blanket fashioned into a greatcoat.
Construction is very basic.
The three versions of the woolen
greatcoats used by Finnish forces from 1922 to 1945.
The m/22 on the left, the model of 1922 that
was updated to the model of 1936 specifications in
the center and the model of 1936 on the far right.
Notice the black collar of the m/22 on the conversion
greatcoat in the center but the addition of shoulder
straps and other subtle modifications to this Army
supplied coat were made after 1936. The model 36
on the far right is a standard enlisted men's coat
from 1943. It is very typical of the type with both
collar and body of the coat made of the same
material. It used the steel buttons painted gray as
the copper washed were no longer in supply in the
mid war years
A arm band from the army worn
in ceremonial activities. This arm band dates from
the 1920's. The medals are from bottom left to
right: Continuation War service 1941-1945, Winter
War service 1939-1940, A 4th Division Cross with
battle bars attached denoting what battles the
wearer was decorated for and finally in the lower
right hand corner the Liberation War service
medal for activity in the Finnish Independence
campaign of 1918.
5 typical examples of the cockades
that were worn on the m/36 field cap. From left
An officers ruby enameled golden
lion cockade worn by commissioned officers of
all branches of service. The national colors cockade
in enamel for NCOs. This cockade was previously
worn by both officers and NCOs prior to the winter
war but was changed to NCOs only later. It is 3
mm thick and finely enameled with a beveled scalloped
edge. The standard enlisted men's steel cockade
in national colors. Worn by all personnel of enlisted
rank. At the outset of the Winter War often soldiers
who reported to duty from home were only given
some ammunition, a rifle and this simple cockade
as an identifying emblem as uniforms were in short
supply. A cockade worn by an officer of the
Suoljeluskunta (Civil Guard) from the Häme
district. It is the same construction as the Army
version described above but the district colors
are used instead of the national colors. A simple
steel cockade of the enlisted Civil Guardsmen.
The m/1919 billed cap of the Civil Guard as adopted after the Liberation war in 1918. the large metalic fir sprig indicated that soldier was a member of the Civil Guards. The hat pin was used in parade situations. Either a tin or natural fir sprig was used.
Two different styles and cloth types of the early m/22 summer cap
The summer caps of the Finnish
armed forces. These four styles represent the three
basic models of the summer caps in use with the Finns.
From the far left we have a fine wool m/36 cap that
was issued to a medical officer. The piping
is a wine color of the medical corp. The chin
strap was often affixed to the sides and top of this
cap. The next cap is the m/36 summer cap in light
weight cotton. This cap was a favorite amongst officers
for its looks and comfort in the hotter months. It
belonged to an officer of the Infantry. The next
cap moving from left to right is the m/36 summer
cap in wool. Although cooler than the m/36 billed
cap, it was often issued to enlisted personnel
who choose the wear it. It is also an Infantry issued
version from the green piping and saw action with
a NCO as the cockade indicates. The final cap on
the far right is the model of 1939 version. This
fine wool cap was the final refinement of the summer
caps in service. This cap is taller and more "pillbox" like
than its predecessors. Its issue was to an officer
of the Artillery with the red piping. All of the
caps used a 15mm embossed lion button on each side
to retain the chin strap. The types used depending
on the time made as these followed the same order
as on uniforms. As demands increased and supply fell
the buttons moved from copper to steel to black bakelite.
The cap on the far right has the bakelite buttons.
The m/22 officers billed cap from the Mikka tera collection in a front and side view
A model 1927 officers cap
The experimental model of 1934
billed field cap on the left and the standardized
version adopted in 1936 on the right. Notice the
shorter bill on the m/34 cap and the garnet colored
piping on the m/36 cap on the right that became standard
until 1941. the piping denotes that this cap was
issued to a Pioneer (Engineer).
Three m/36 caps. The early version
on the far left with piping and excellent construction
and materials used and issued to a NCO. The
center from 1941 with a coarser wool and cooper
buttons. The steel cockade of a enlisted man on
the front . The far right shows a later cap again
from 1942 that saw service with an officer in the
The m/36 cap on the left was
constructed using substitute materials as became
the practice in the lean mid-war years. As wool
became harder to find and the quality available
decreased, the alternative was to look for other
materials for construction. Both caps and tunics
were made of this cloth. It is often referred to
in Finnish uniform collectors circles as "diagonal
cloth". The name is clear when viewing this
cap or uniforms as the design of the cloth shows.
The cap on the right is the last of the line for
wartime m/36 caps. This cap was manufactured under
heavy pressure for it shows a poor amount of workmanship
and the quality of wool is passable but not by
much. The folded chin straps on the sides are only
attached by a single steel button instead of the
normal two. This cap was made in 1944 more than
likely in a small sub-contracted shop to the army
clothing store. Both caps are enlisted men's versions.
The m/36 style cap of the Civil
Guard. The interior of the caps varied by maker
and style. The cap on the left is a "Lotta
Savard" cap issued for winter service in the
women's auxiliary. These women played an integral
part in assisting the troops in a support role.
The cap on the right is a standard Civil Guardsman's
cap for summer use. It was made as the ink stamps
indicate in 1938 in a size 57 for the Suoljeluskunta-Ylieskunta or
Sk.Y headquarters. The HQ was responsible for ordering
and placing contracts for supply to the districts
and therefore the equipment was marked with the
letters of the ordering organization-the Sk.Y. The
cap was made by Kurikan Lakkitehdas
Oy. a firm contracted to supply material for the
Civil Guard. It leather sweat band is visible.
This cap style did not incorporate the ear flaps
of the army version.
Exterior front views of the Lotta
Savard and Civil Guard issued caps. The district
colored cockades on the front.
An interior view of the rare
m/34 experimental cap. This was the trial version
that would become the m/36 cap. Notice the fine
silk lining of this pre war production cap. This
cap was made just prior to the revised and
simplified version being adopted in 1936 as the
m/36 cap. The Army Clothing store of AP produced
this cap in a very large size-59 in 1936. The Int
marking tells us that the cap was delivered through
army supply channels. On the right is the snap
in quilted liner for winter use. Three snaps-two
on the sides and one in the rear retained the liner
in the cap.
The m/34 cap of 1936 on the
left and the m/36 cap of 1940 on the right. The m/34 cap now has the quilted winter liner installed. Both caps
used a leather sweat band but later m/36 used
a coarse weave cotton band when war pressure
forced simplifications. The m/36 cap on the right
is odd in that it is virtually unissued and the sweatband
an odd color of white. Normal brown soft leather
The m/36 in its normally folded
style on the left and the flaps unfolded for foul
weather on the right. A unique feature of this
dual purpose cap.
The interior of a late production
m/36 cap showing the coarse cotton sweatband used
in the later stages of the war production.
The Model 1922 winter
cap is often referred to as the "dragoon cap" due
to its popularity with mounted troops. These
were to be replaced by the later Model 1939 winter
cap however one could still see M22's in service
1939-45. In many cases these were issued to
dragoon regiments such as the URR and HRR who seemed
to prefer this style of cap to the newer versions. This
example bears two Finnish officer cockades - correct
for Winter War period.
Liner and maker's
marking from the M22 pictured above. This
cap was manufactured in Viipuri which was Finland's
second largest city. Viipuri was first lost
in the Winter War, retaken during the Continuation
War, then once again lost to the Russians in later
fighting. Viipuri is now known as the Russian
city Vyborg. M22 caps are one of the more uncommon
- rare headgear a Finnish collector will locate and
in most cases condition is poor, due to age and heavy
use. The example above dates from the later
The m/39 caps for winter use.
An enlisted men's version on the left dating from
1943 with the steel cockade, and the officers version
on the right with the red enameled lion cockade.
Early on both the steel national color cockade
and the ruby cockade were used with officers but
that practice was dropped during the Winter and
A Cavalry officer of 1940 in
his wool m/36 tunic. This picture shows a
good detail shot of the buttons and the detail
of the tunic front. Notice his Häme cavalry officers
school badge on the right breast pocket and the
Cavalry saber in his right hand. Many of these
sabers were supplied by France and are the 1822
models. These heavy sabers were employed with cavalry
squadrons and used on dress occasions. This trooper
would have worn red riding breeches with a yellow
strip on the pant leg, a very attractive
uniform. He wears a winter cap m/39.
An officers riding boots of the
cavalry. His silver spurs attached to the
boots by leather straps that crossed over
the arch in front and under the boot in front of
the heel. They were then buckled closed. These
boots were made of high quality polished leather
and about 2" higher than a enlisted men's
On the left are the winter enlisted
men's boot of the army. The wool/felt uppers may
have been an attempt to save leather in a strapped
supply chain. The officers boots are on the right.
Notice the height difference and the obvious leather
quality increase. Officers boots also had a different
toe shape-being more pointed.
The "Laplander" style
boots used by ski troops and often by Civil Guardsmen.
These boots were more likely to be seen by troops
who wore there own or were issued them by the army
for a special purpose like skiing. These boots
are army issue and so marked [SA] on the top rear.
The curled toe allowed the boots to be quickly
hooked into the cross country ski bindings. The
standard leather enlisted men's boots on the right.
Made of a lesser grade leather quality than the
officers model, these boots also lacked the stiffness
in the upper portion of the boot. Soles and heels were
leather but often repaired or resoled with rubber.
These boots are the most commonly seen on wartime
Finnish troops and served long on after the war.
The fight for Finland's survival
begins. This NCO or sergeant-major is attached
to an anti-tank unit in the summer of 1944. Wearing
his summer blouse and gray wool breeches style
pants and high leather boots, he is ready to go
tank "hunting". He has seen heavy
action at the front and has adopted a captured
PPsH 41 smg and a Soviet RDG 33 AP handgrenade
for close quarters. His breadbag with canteen slung
across his shoulder. Popular amongst Finnish
forces, he wears a Czech m/34 helmet on his
head. His tank killer is the German produced "Panzerschreck".
A 88mm rocket launcher, this electrically fired
weapon was capable of knocking out almost all of
the Soviet amour in 1944. With the war draining
German production, tank short Finland was not able
to purchase anymore amour from Germany after the
delivery of the StglV assault guns in early 1944.
As a compromise the Germans sent roughly 1800 of
the "tank terror" weapons as it was called,
to the Finns in the summer of 1944. The weapon
was effective at ranges up to 400m on stationary
targets and was capable of penetrating 9 inches
of amour straight on and over 6 inches at a 60
degree deflection angle. Brave tank killers
as the one depicted here were often the difference
in the closing battles of 1944 for Finnish forces
desperately fighting to save Finland from the Red
Army. This depiction and uniform is a very accurate
and typical look of that bloody summer of 1944.
"The End": In a tribute
to a famous Finnish caricature's depiction of Finnish
troops returning home from the front in 1944, this
soldier carries his m/39 over his shoulder on the
long march home. Devoid of ammunition pouches made
of leather, this soldier lacking any rank
or service branch identification only wears his
bread bag and canteen as well as a simple coarse
weave canvas ammunition bandoleer. These were seen
with great frequency at the close of the war with
the lack of leather supplies on the home front.
Able to carry up to 90 rounds of clipped 7.62mm
ammo these bandoleers came in many different styles
and colors. The tunic is a 1944 produced version
of very coarse wool and of expeditied production. The
black bakelite buttons and cuffless straight sleeves
indicative of the late war model 36 tunic. His
cap a late war production variant as well. As one
Finnish cartoon depiction stated at the time "I
still say we won" is the motto and theme of
this depiction. The model 36 tunic would go on
to serve in the same basic style for another 30
years in Finnish service.
I would like to thank my freinds and colleagues in collecting, Mikka Teras and Dave Bice for sharing some of thier faboulus collections with me to illustrate some rare items. Thank you gentelmen as your generosity in sharing your items with me has made this section even better.