FINNISH POLITICAL AND MILITARY LEADER, EXPLORER, FORMER GENERAL IN THE RUSSIAN IMPERIAL ARMY, President of Finland from 1944 to 1946. C.G. Mannerheim supported close ties with Sweden and Western European culture and opposed communism as well as German national socialism. He was an excellent linguist and had wide international experience, which helped him to maintain wide international contacts at various levels. As one of the most influential characters of Finnish history from the Civil War to the late 1940s, the personality of Mannerheim has attracted various artists and writers, among them Ilmari Turja, Veijo Meri, Paavo Rintala, Paavo Haavikko and Jari Tervo.
“What is the quality which in the end is essential in a officer? Courage, yes, moral and physical courage, a sense of responsibility towards his problem and, at the same time, a sense of responsibility towards to those he commands. Initiative? Yes. Judgment? Yes. Personal tenacity in the most difficult situations? This is where we come nearest to the mark, I should think. Tenacity is what we must demand – that is what counts; but not only physical toughness, but also spiritual tenacity – what we know as spiritual strength. There we have, I think, what is the most important, the most essential quality, at least for those in highest authority – spiritual strength.” (C.G. Mannerheim according to General Heinrich, in Marshall Mannerheim & the Finns by Oliver Warner, 1967)