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4 Holy War: Finnish Irredentist Campaigns in the Aftermath of the Civil War

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Chapter Summary

The Finnish irredentist wars were part of the political chaos during and after World War I and the Russian revolutions. However, the roots of the irredentism laid deep in the Finnish national movement, where both a romantic and a scientific fascination of the "family" of Baltic Finnic peoples had been essential. The idea of Greater Finland, usually described as stretching from Finland to the Lakes Ladoga and Onega, the White Sea and the Arctic Ocean, became part of the Finnish resistance movement during World War I. The Finnish Civil War opened the ideological and political path for a war policy and lifted the radicals of the resistance movement to top levels in the state and army. During the Civil War, both Red and White Finland showed considerable interest, both in theory and practice, in incorporating East Karelia into Finland.

Keywords: East Karelia; Finland; Finnish irredentist wars; Russian revolutions; White Army



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