Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Thursday, December 13, 2007


This is coolbert:

Got sisu??

Sisu - - "Finnish term that could be roughly translated into English as strength of will, determination, perseverance, and acting rationally in the face of adversity . . . . Usually sisu means the will and decisiveness to get things done against impossible odds, or to succeed when given the chinaman's chance."

Here is one of those Finnish soldiers who both during the Winter War and the War of Continuation, had sisu.

To the Finns, the man known as Lauri Törni.

To the Americans, the man known as Larry Thorne.

"Lauri Allan Törni (May 28, 1919 – October 18, 1965) was a Finnish Army captain who led an infantry company in Finnish Winter and Continuation War and moved to the United States after the war. He is known as the soldier who fought under three flags: Finnish and German (when he fought the Russians in World War II) and American (where he was known as Larry Thorne) when he fought in Vietnam."

First gained combat experience during the World War Two [WW2] era against the Soviets. Fought with distinction, in an exemplary fashion. Even lead a partisan unit of Finnish soldiers behind-the-lines. Wrought great havoc against communist forces. Had a considerable price on his head.

"The Soviet Army had a bounty on Törni's head equivalent to 3 million Finnish Marks (650,000 USD)."

Finally arrived in the U.S. [as an illegal alien??], enlisting in the U.S. Army, serving in the Special Forces [SF].

Taught American SF troopers the finer points of guerrilla [partisan] warfare. After all, who better to do so! This was a man that HAD ACTUALLY LED A PARTISAN UNIT AGAINST THE SOVIETS!!

Served several tours of duty in Vietnam, meeting his end tragically on the second tour. Killed in a helicopter crash. The character of Sven Kornie in the Robin Moore book, "The Green Berets" is based upon Larry Thorne.

"Larry Thorne's remains were found in 1999 and formally identified in 2003. He was buried at Arlington National Cemetery on June 26, 2003"

Here is an excellent Finnish web site [in English] dedicated to Larry Thorne. In Finland, he is a legendary figure esteemed by his countrymen!!

Larry was man that definitely had sisu.




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