Talk:White Guard (Finland)

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Hi! "White guard" or "white army" was a general term for royalist and just non-communist forces during the civil war started in 1917. In very broad terms, there were 3 camps: red, white and green. Red were communists, white were "capitalists" (both royalists and republicans) and less regular forces of "green" anarchists/bandits/peasants. (The most notable "green" was Makhno at Ukraine; he blocked with Reds and was killed by them later.) White camp was split in different ways, esp. along political and national lines (e.g. White Russians trying to recover the empire were natural enemies to Mannerheim and Pilsudsky). So, it is much better to use some more specific term for Finish White Guard.

Victor S. Grishchenko, 7 Jul 2005

Move to Russian Civil War[edit]

I think much of this article could be moved to the article on the Civil War. As it now stands, it's almost like the White version of the history of the War of Liberation.

Halfway done!
(I've done the merge, now only the melting down of the text under Context remains to be done. Tomorrow!)
-- Ruhrjung 16:22 8 Jul 2003 (UTC)
All done!
...though I'm not particularly pleased with my result. ;-(
-- Ruhrjung 12:47 13 Jul 2003 (UTC)
Why unpleased? --Menchi 21:16 13 Jul 2003 (UTC)
I don't feel content with the prose, nor with the disposition/relation (how to say that in English?). -- Ruhrjung 21:29 13 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Actual Translation of Name[edit]

So of the many many transl., which one is the true literal and non-metaphorical translation? --Menchi 12:54 13 Jul 2003 (UTC)

I fear there is no real good answer to your question. First of all, is a "literal" translation more true? The context of another language is not (well, almost never) present in the language you translate to. Secondly, there were of course not only one, but a set of parallell words in use also in the two languages of Finland, most of them hinting at either a Red or White bias. "Butchers" and "Fire brigades" are such examples.
There are some wiki-articles to read on the Finnish language, for someone who would like to know more. If my laymanish answer has any interest (my understanding of Finnish is very limited, and English is not my mother tongue), "kunta" is among other thing the word for commune and corps. "Suoja" has with protection, shelter and refuge to do. Safeguard and fire trench can be translated to "suojelus", CIA and FBI would be suojelupoliisi, etc, etc
-- 20:36 13 Jul 2003 (UTC)

On Finnish separatism and (imperial) patriotism in World War I[edit]

With User:Graculus around, it might be good to remember that the opinion in Finland can not be painted in black-or-white:

"But the reality of war was far from what had been expected. The German navy was reported approaching the Finnish coasts, and coastal towns were evacuated in panic: but in the event, no invasion materialized. Contrary to the expectations or apprehensions of Seyn and the Russian military, there was no Finnish rebellion, no general strike, no sabotage of the railway, telephone, or telegraph lines. On the contrary, the general outbreak of loyalty, observed in all European capitals at the beginning of the war, did not spare even Finland. The Russian army had every reason to thank the population of Helsinki for the friendly treatment of the mobilizing detachments, and the 22nd army corps publicly thanked the Finnish railways for helping to carry through their mobilization with speed and zeal, without any hitch or mishap.
There were private discussions about re-establishing the Finnish army to participate in the war to defend the Empire. These discussions came to nothing, but about five hundred volunteers entered the Russian army. Many members of the passive resistance shook hands with the Tsarist government officials and promised to forget past differences. Many women in cultured circles started, in their simplicity, knitting shooting gloves for the Russian Red Cross. The Finnish industry - which received big orders from the Russian army - equipped an ambulance called as 'The Field Hospital of the Finnish Industrialists', and several hundred temporary hospital beds were voluntarily organized in Finland for wounded Russian soldiers.
The fact remains that numerous students, journalists, and businessmen adopted an 'Imperial attitude' at the outbreak of war. During the war years Finland was further integrated in the Russian war economy. Russia was the sole market open to Finnish exports, a market that absorbed any amount of goods because of the unlimited consumption at the front. Full employment and easy money created boom conditions in 1915-1916, with consequent difficulties, unemployment and hunger, when exports were cut off after the revolution in 1917."
(Pertti Luntinen, "F. A. Seyn, 1862-1918, A Political Biography of a Tsarist Imperialist as Administrator of Finland", Studia Historica 19, Societas Historica Finlandiae, 1985.)

--Ruhrjung 19:41, 1 Sep 2003 (UTC)


The White Guards is one translation of the Finnish term Suojeluskunta..

What is the literal ranslation of the Finnish word? Mikkalai 07:35, 17 Feb 2005 (UTC)
That would be "Protection Corps". -- Jniemenmaa 11:43, 17 Feb 2005 (UTC)
White Guard is appropriate name when we are discussing the Suojeluskunta of 1918. However, in 1930's, the organization is much different and the name Civil Guard would be a closer translation. --MPorciusCato 13:04, 2 August 2007 (UTC)[]
I really wish there'd be an office, which could solve these problems so it wouldn't be an individual choice everytime someone writes about these things. The name of the War of 1918 in Finland has changed from 'Kansalaissota' to 'Sisällissota'. Perhaps that should be kept in mind when thinking about translations. -- 10:57, 11 August 2007 (UTC)[]

Railway to St. Petersburg.[edit]

The text now reads "both sides attempted to secure the railway to St. Petersburg." Which railway was this: the Riihimäki-Saint Petersburg railroad or the Saint Petersburg–Hiitola railroad? -- Petri Krohn 23:42, 24 August 2007 (UTC)[]

Very hard to understand from the text, but I guess they meant the former one (and it would also probably be the one referred to as railway to St. Petersburg by default). The Reds had little success with the latter (and even those were Russian Reds rather than Finnish). However, these are my speculations, and we need sources. Colchicum 20:21, 25 August 2007 (UTC)[]
The former one. It was the main artery of Red Finland, and if Whites could have cut it, it would have created serious problems to the fighting ability of the Red Guards. --Whiskey 21:01, 25 August 2007 (UTC)[]

Image of anarchist sailors[edit]

The presence of this image seems misleading since it appears in the top right which is usually the place for "title" images. That would be OK if there was no available picture of the article's subject, but there is. The actual image of Finnish white guards, which is further down in the page, should be the first image on the page. The famous photo of the anarchist sailors could be used further down to add to the historical background of the article. Ahuitzotl (talk) 00:42, 3 November 2008 (UTC)[]

You're absolutely right. I'm moving the image. --MPorciusCato (talk) 15:51, 3 November 2008 (UTC)[]

White Guard and Suojeluskunta are not synonymous[edit]

The Whites (fi:Valkoiset) were formed as opposing side to Red Guards (Finland) in the civil war. Besides the Civil Guard Organization (fi:Suojeluskunta), the whites were also formed by recruited soldiers and draftees. And therefore these two names don't mean the same. As this article is mostly about the Civil Guard (a term used by a potent museum of the theme btw) therefore is the reason for my move and some edits. Kyz2 (talk) 14:15, 12 April 2011 (UTC)[]

Ok. I take back about moving the page until a proper English language source is found, while at least a few of those translations seems to be kind of original research -ish and should be perhaps thinned off.Kyz2 (talk) 15:03, 12 April 2011 (UTC)[]

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