The Finnish Mosin Nagant Family Tree
My name is Tapio, bear king, God of the Finnish
Forest. Hunters prayed to my wife Mielikki and I before going
on a hunt. In addition to their offerings to the forest
spirits, they pledged not
break any of my taboos in the forest, such as making excessive noise or
shooting unusual birds that might be forest spirits in disguise.
I am a member of the Juma, a group of Gods that fail to age upon
reaching adulthood. My metabolism gives me superhuman
endurance in all physical activities. I date back to 500 BC and have
been looked up to by Finns ever since.
I take great pride in the accomplishments of the Finnish
people. I am particularly proud of those young men who fought
on behalf of their country after Finland declared its independence
from Russia in 1917. In
paying homage to the forest and following my rules, they learned
their lessons well. You will hear the stories of some of those
young men on my Web site. Of course, many didn't survive the
wars. Given it has been 70 years since the Continuation War,
many more are resting in peace. Of course, with my
supernatural powers I endure, allowing
me to tell the story of these brave men and their rifles.
What has survived are examples of the superior Mosin Nagant rifles the Finns produced, rifles that allowed them to take on the Soviet enemy even though
outmanned and outgunned. By tracing the history of the Finnish Mosin
Nagants we can learn not just about the rifles, but also the men that
carried them. These rifles deserve respect. They are far more
than military antiques. They also carry the spirits of the brave
men who took them into battle.
||The entire set of Finn Mosin
Nagants makes up a tree, The Finnish Mosin Nagant Family Tree.
At the very top of the tree is the Russian M-91 like the above 1895
The Finns acquired their initial stock of M-91s during the 1918
Civil War. Some were Helsinki arms depot rifles. Others
were captured by the victorious Whites from the Reds who were backed by Russia.
At the end of the Civil war, Finland found itself with many more
Russian Mosin Nagants than any other rifle. As a poor newly
independent country, it made sense to adopt the Russian Mosin Nagant
as their standard infantry rifle.
Subsequent to the Civil War, the Finns began to acquire Mosin
Nagants from a variety of other countries, most of whom had fought
the Russians in World War I. Many of these capture rifles were
in poor shape. So the Finns turned into the
ultimate parts scavengers. But they did far more than just
building Russian Mosin Nagants from parts. They began to
manufacture their own components with the objective of replacing
parts in short supply, and upgrading the quality of the components.
|This web site is organized into tree branches. Each branch is
made up of a significant sequence of rifles. These sequences are
evolutionary, taking you from the beginning of a branch to the
end. The sequence of rifle manufacture dates mark the passage of time, including times in which
Finnish soldiers exhibited great heroism.
a listing of the branches you will find at my Finn Family Tree Web site.
|The M-91 - of the rifles used by Finnish soldiers, the M-91 was the
most important rifle used in the Winter War with the Soviet
Union. Its numbers were surpassed by the M-39 only after the
Continuation War was in progress.|
|The Suojeluskunta, the Finnish Civil Guard - traces the history of
the Civil Guard and the progression of rifles developed by the Guard.|
|The Army - traces the parallel evolution of the rifles developed for
use by the Finnish regular army.|
|The M-39 - the most advanced Mosin Nagant rifle used in
||Each rifle is a leaf on the
branch. Leaves will be added to the branches as the rifles become available and
as I have an opportunity to document their history and features.
As with real trees, sometimes leaves from two different branches
touch. Those touch points in this Web site are rifles that
belong on more than one branch.
The far left column of this Web site provides tools to navigate the
site. Under the branch symbol are the major branches.
Under the leaf symbol is the files that are part of that branch.
There will be a bit of military history provided with each rifle.
While it is impossible to determine a specific rifle's history, it
is possible to identify where rifles like it served. So the
rifles pictured here will serve as surrogates for the many rifles
like them that saw action in Finland's three great wars.
I hope you
enjoy this peek into the military history of Finland and the soldiers and Mosin Nagants
that served our country so well.
The Kalevala (IPA: [ˈkɑlɛvɑlɑ])
is a 19th century work of epic poetry compiled by Elias Lonnrot from
Finnish and Karelian oral folklore and mythology..
It is regarded as the national epic of Finland and is one of the most
significant works of Finnish literature. The Kalevala played an
instrumental role in the development of the Finnish national identity, the
intensification of Finland's language strife and the growing sense of
nationality that ultimately led to Finland's independence from Russia in
Tapio is an East Finnish forest spirit or god, who figured
prominently in the Kalevala. Hunters prayed to him before a hunt. His wife
is the goddess of the forest, Mielikki. He was the father of Annikki,
Tellervo, Nyyrikki (the god of hunting), and Tuulikkii.
Fitting the Green Man archetype, Tapio has a beard of lichen and eyebrows