Introduction

Etulinja was founded in 2007 as a reenactment group for likeminded people interested in the conflict that tore the world apart during the 1930's and 1940's. The emphasis was from the very beginning in understanding the common man and woman who fought on the frontlines, their daily strugles and life - even the more mundane experiences such as guard duty and life in the foxholes. Our members focused heavily on research on original sources and literature while testing what we had learned on the field conditions. While the experience of combat and death are impossible to fully grasb in this day and age, there are significant areas of military life that do not involve these experiences and are often ignored in the main stream reenactment and historical research over more glorified battle experiences and history. Out of respect we've always tried to stay in that more mundane area of research and military life.

While our members have researched various armed forces of the Second World War - inclusing the Soviet, US and German armed forces our main focus for years has been in reenacting and researching the Finnish military. With the benefit of being able to access original archived data as well as vast amounts of information available in Finnish we have an advantage in this field over the others. As research for the sake of research has never been our goal, we've always aimed at sharing as much of our knowledge as we've been able to those interested, especially abroad. This has culminated in the creation of this website.

On this website we would like to share in detail and visually information not easily found elsewhere - mainly on uniforms and equipment used by the Finnish Armed Forces, the Civil Guard, the Lotta Svärd Organisation as well as the Sotilaskotiliitto. All this is achieved by using modern and period illustrations, original photographs and surviving examples of the original equipment. We have used written sources as often as possible and we have listed all of them on our Biblioraphy page. When original sources are not available or we have been unable to trace them we have used second hand written sources and previously done research. We suggest those interested in the subject use the bibliography to further deepen their knowledge on the topic.

Below we would like to introduce our main contributors as well as our partners.

If you want to contribute information, pictures, original items or help us in any way, feel free to contact us through the contact page!




Petri Peltola

Petri is the illustrator of the website. He has drawn most of the illustarions you see on the uniforms and items. Hundreads of hours of frustrating research has gone in to creating these pieces of art and the research behind them. If only there wasn't so much variation...

Petri has been interested in the uniforms and clothing of the militaries since the childhood - from the British uniforms of the 18th century through the Napoleonic period to modern militaries. Serving in the Military Police Company of the Guards Jäger Regiment - which also functions as the Honour Guards Company of the Finnish Defence Forces - sparked his interest in the older Finnish uniforms. There were cool and amazing uniforms that the army had used in the past, but the uniform he used was ugly to say the least. Why not the cool ones?!

Both Petri and Panu worked as historical advisors in the Aku Louhiniemi's Tuntematon Sotilas.




Panu Korhonen

Panu is the heart of all the research - he has managed to find obscure information on equipment and pouches that the rest of us did not even know existed. Every time we see a weird piece of equipment in the photos, Panu knows the answer. Panu is also source of inexhaustible and well categorised wartime photos we use on this page.

Both Petri and Panu worked as historical advisors in the Aku Louhiniemi's Tuntematon Sotilas.




Aki Piesala

Aki is our go-to-guy with a vast knowledge of obscure little facts - the kind we like to confirm from him or did not know to begin with. Seems to always know a book or two others have not yet read.

Aki is finishing his Master’s degree in Finnish history, doing his thesis on Finnish weapons development. He is interested in the history of the Finnish military throughout the period of independence, from Civil War and World War periods to the Cold War era and peace keeping operations.




Julius Hyppönen

Julius has done extensive research on several Finnish WWII infantry regiments. To name one, he researched and translated the material for Infantry Regiment 7's Battle of Tyrjä - battle report. He is also a member of the infantry regiment 7 heritage foundation.

Julius' interest in war history began at a very early age. He is interested in several historical eras, but the Finnish continuation war and the German eastern front have always been the most fulfilling (and time consuming) fields. What started off as a casual hobby, ended up as a lifelong interest. He has transcribed handwritten war diaries and meticulously dug up written and photographic material from several sources to give the most accurate and complete picture of events.

Partners

These are our partners that have assisted our project in one way or another. They are not in any particular order.



Panssarimuseo.net

The Parola Armour Museum and their staff have co-operated with our research for years and have been great inspiration for us in our work.


Varusteleka.fi

Varusteleka has supported us for years in various ways.


DragoonMilitaria.com

Dragoon Militaria is the source of many of our original examples as well as photos of the original equipment we use on this page.


Collections

The collections we have been using for research and photography:

Copyright information

All photos and their rights on this page are owned by their respective owners unless otherwise mentioned. These photos are to be used according to their owners permissions.

Photographs marked with "Etulinja.net" symbol are from authors' collections and can be shared freely as long as the source is mentioned. For re-printing rights and high quality originals please contact authors through the contact form.




© 2020 | Design: Panu Korhonen | Content: Petri Peltola & Panu Korhonen