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Old 06-15-2013, 17:51   #16
ghp95134
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From my reading, Thorne and other Finnish officers had to take the ferry over to Germany and wear civilian clothing enroute to the W-SS Junkerschule (OCS). He was sent by his government, but -- as was said -- the Finns in this particular class were recalled before completing OCS.

Some researchers/interested parties posit that later, near the end of the war, Torni again went to Germany to participate in the Werwolf sabotage activities (I think this statement is contested by some and supported by others). He just hated communists and wanted to kill them. (I worked for a Major Dickinson at the NTC whose best-know response to almost everything was, "What's that got to do with killing Communists?" He would have loved Torni.)

Torni returned to Finland after the war and was identified along with Keravuori (if I recall) and others of stockpiling government arms on the QT, for future use (they were dissatisfied with Finland's easy truce with Russia). Torni was incarcerated but later escaped and made his way eventually to the US: he jumped ship in Mobile Bay (AL) and swam to shore.

Similar situation with Keravuori, though since he was not associated with the W-SS he had an easier time getting into the US and the Army. I remember my father telling me that LTC Keravuori could never even visit his family in Finland because he would still be arrested (this was ca. 1966-68). Dunno if that was accurate at the time or "urban legend" .... well "SF Legend."

My father also told me that Larry Thorne was a double-recipient of the Mannerheim Cross; but that is an incorrect SF Legend. Thorne had two orders of the Freedom Cross plus the Mannerheim Cross. There was only one or two individuals ever who were Mannerhiem double-receipients.

Regarding the Iron Cross II Class (EKII), Larry is reported to say that a number of EKIIs were provided by the Germans to be handed out to Finnish soldiers; he never understood why he received his as it was not related to any of his deeds against the Russians. (Again, I'm recalling this from memory and might not present a fully accurate summation.)


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Old 06-15-2013, 18:05   #17
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Originally Posted by PRB View Post
...[Thorne] joined the SS prior to the invasion of the USSR, ergo the anti Soviet deal doesn't wash....
That is correct, there was a pact with USSR; however, there is a deep history of distrust/resentment between Finland and Russia/USSR. Plus, in 1939 the USSR was playing naughty with Finland. So I think Torni had ample reason to be anti-Soviet.

Briefly from Wiki (yeah, I know...)
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In 1809, Russia conquered Finland from Sweden in the Finnish War. Finland entered a personal union with the Russian Empire as a grand duchy with extensive autonomy. During the period of Russian rule the country generally prospered. However, in the early 20th century Russia tightened its grip on Finland, causing widespread resentment. When revolution broke out in Russia in 1917, Finland declared independence. In 1918 the Finnish Civil War broke out between the generally right-wing government supporters and left-wing rebels. The war ended with the victory of the government forces, supported by Germany, and the expulsion of Russian troops.

During the inter-war period, the relationship between Finland and the Soviet Union was tense. Some elements in Finland maintained the dream of "Greater Finland" which included the Soviet-controlled part of Karelia. The proximity of the Finnish border to Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg) caused worry in the Soviet leadership.

On 24 August 1939 Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union signed the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. In a secret clause of the agreement, Finland was part of the Soviet sphere of influence. On 12 October the Soviet Union started negotiations with Finland concerning parts of Finnish territory, Karelian Isthmus, the Gulf of Finland islands and Hanko. No agreement was reached. On 26 November the Soviet Union accused the Finnish army of shelling the village of Mainila. It was subsequently found that the Soviets had in fact shelled their own village to create an excuse to withdraw from their non-aggression pact with Finland. On 30 November the Soviet Union attacked Finland. The attack was judged illegal by the League of Nations and, as a result, the Soviet Union was expelled from that body on 14 December.[1]

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Old 06-15-2013, 18:07   #18
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The truth, I suspect, is somewhere in the middle...either way, a great soldier with an amazing story.
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Old 06-15-2013, 19:19   #19
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The truth, I suspect, is somewhere in the middle...either way, a great soldier with an amazing story.
I concur. I have been very interested in Thorne for years. I have to say, I never thought about the adrenaline junkie angle. Definitely that was a huge component of his personality. The bios and stories I've read always have the anti- commie slant. As we all know, no one writes a completely neutral biography.
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Old 10-26-2013, 09:48   #20
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Hello all. I usually lurk and don't post on this site since I don't have much to contribute among SF veterans. But I recently stumbled across an old Army archive video on youtube that I believe most here will appreciate. Notice the name tag on the older lieutenant wearing signal branch insignia.

Regards: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_mtIBRn1EI&app=desktop
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Old 10-26-2013, 13:54   #21
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Originally Posted by Riflecop1 View Post
Hello all. I usually lurk and don't post on this site since I don't have much to contribute among SF veterans. But I recently stumbled across an old Army archive video on youtube that I believe most here will appreciate. Notice the name tag on the older lieutenant wearing signal branch insignia.

Regards: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_mtIBRn1EI&app=desktop
Yeah, that's a classic! Thanks for posting the link.

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Old 10-26-2013, 21:09   #22
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http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/826/bm3m.jpg/

That's BG Albert E Milloy standing next to LTC Keravuori in the jeep.
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Old 10-27-2013, 17:34   #23
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Originally Posted by WCH View Post
http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/826/bm3m.jpg/

That's BG Albert E Milloy standing next to LTC Keravuori in the jeep.
WCH, many thanks for the positive ID. I'll pass that back to my dad who took the photo.

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Old 05-28-2014, 05:46   #24
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Happy Birthday MAJ. Larry A. Thorne. R.I.P Sir.
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Old 05-28-2014, 14:34   #25
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Old SF

"Old SF" was a little bit of everybody.

And the Europeans were invaluable for all the right reasons.

Thorne was one of the best. A rightful legend in SF.

As for all the Nazi stuff...

When I went through the "Q" course part of our required reading was "The Devil's Guard" - which has been republished and is available.

And the US GOV didn't have any problems with Germans/Nazis - Werner Von Braun and his rocket team were recruited and whisked away to the US with no issues and they were responsible for the V1 and V2 blitz against England.

RIP, Larry Thorne.
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Old 06-10-2014, 05:30   #26
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I met a platoon minus mob of Finnish Paras(some current, most prior service) who jumped in Normandy recently on a bunch of C47s.

Asking them about Lauri Torni was a great way to break the ice with a bunch of laconic, poker faced Finns.
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Old 08-06-2014, 07:53   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kasik View Post
"Old SF" was a little bit of everybody.

And the Europeans were invaluable for all the right reasons.

Thorne was one of the best. A rightful legend in SF.

As for all the Nazi stuff...

When I went through the "Q" course part of our required reading was "The Devil's Guard" - which has been republished and is available.

And the US GOV didn't have any problems with Germans/Nazis - Werner Von Braun and his rocket team were recruited and whisked away to the US with no issues and they were responsible for the V1 and V2 blitz against England.

RIP, Larry Thorne.
Politicians were no different then than they are now the battle against tyranny is not ever priotity for governments. Neither was fighting evil, governments then like now seek power and when the winner of a war has defeated the enemy they rape the country of its talent and builds the winning country into a stronger power and being right or wrong has nothing to do with it.
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Old 02-19-2017, 08:14   #28
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Thorne

Do you have more Thorne pics aswellas other Finns, Kairinen Paavo and Aito Keravuori ?
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Old 02-19-2017, 09:17   #29
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Do you have more Thorne pics aswellas other Finns, Kairinen Paavo and Aito Keravuori ?
Your join date says May 28, 2012, I'm guessing your intro was lost. If that is the case?? Please post an NEW introduction and fill in your profile.

As this thread is a bit old, you might better use your google fu and search the web for more pictures..
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