The crazy story of the man who fought for Finland, the Nazis, and US Army Special Forces

Discussion in 'Military History' started by Vergennes, May 14, 2016.

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  1. Vergennes

    Vergennes Captain Staff Member Ret. Military International Mod

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    Larry Thorne enlisted in the US Army as a private in 1954, but he was already a war hero. That's because his real name was Lauri Törni, and he had been fighting the Soviets for much of his adult life.

    Born in Finland in 1919, Törni enlisted at age 19 in his country's army and fought against the Soviet Union in the Winter War of 1939-1940, according to the newspaper Helsingin Sanomat.

    [​IMG] Wikipedia Lauri Törni as a Finnish soldier.

    He quickly rose to the rank of captain and took command of a group of ski troops, who quite literally skied into battle against enemy forces.

    In 1942 he was severely wounded after he skied into a mine, but that didn't slow him down. In 1944, during what the Finns called The Continuation War, he received Finland's version of the Medal of Honor — the Mannerheim Cross — for his bravery while leading a light infantry battalion.

    Unfortunately for Törni, Finland eventually fell to the communists in 1944.

    But instead of surrendering, he joined up with the German SS so he could continue to fight the Soviets.

    He received additional training in Nazi Germany and then looked forward to returning to the battlefield.

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    WikipediaLauri Törni as a German SS soldier.

    But then Germany fell, too, and the Finn-turned-Waffen SS officer was arrested by the British,according to War History Online.

    Not that being put into a prison camp would stop him either.

    "In the last stages of the war he surrendered to the British and eventually returned to Finland after escaping a British POW camp," the account at War History Online reads.

    "When he returned, he was then arrested by the Finns, even though he had received their Medal of Honor, and was sentenced to six years in prison for treason."

    He ended up serving only half his sentence before he was pardoned by the president of Finland in 1948.

    Törni's path to the US Army was paved by crucial legislation from Congress along with the creation of a new military unit: Special Forces.

    June 1950 saw the passing of the Lodge-Philbin Act, which allowed foreigners to join the US military and allowed them citizenship if they served honorably for at least five years.

    The rest at ------------->

    http://www.businessinsider.com/the-...-nazis-and-us-army-special-forces-2015-7?IR=T
     
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  2. Vergennes

    Vergennes Captain Staff Member Ret. Military International Mod

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    Interestingly,there's a somewhat similar story involving a Korean named "Yang Kyoungjong".
    He was conscripted into the Japanese army,then the Red army and then the German army.
    He was captured on the D-Day.
    There's a movie about this story called "My Way". A great movie,you should see it if you haven't.

    [​IMG]
     
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