Crossing the Mannerheim Line

I spent almost a week in Finland conducting interviews and doing research prior to departing for St. Petersburg. In 2005, I had also visited Finland and Russian-occupied Karelia to conduct research and tour the Mannerheim Line with Finnish friends. I arrived in Finland in the western port of Turku via ferry and rented a moped to drive to Louhisaari Manor, the birthplace of Gustaf Mannerheim and a fitting start to my epic journey. I then travelled by bus to Helsinki where I spent considerable time interviewing Harry Halen, the foremost expert on Mannerheim’s Asia expedition, and doing research at the Mannerheim Museum, National Archives of Finland, National Board of Antiquities, Helsinki University Library and Museum of Cultures. I departed Helsinki on the Sibelius Express for St. Petersburg.

Route Map

Click on features and photos to view details and captions. Click here to view a larger version of the map.

Photo Slideshow


The book begins with an unusual 75th birthday party for Marshal Mannerheim. Below is a Second World War Nazi propaganda film documenting the birthday.


To learn more about Gustaf Mannerheim, check out these links:

Mannerheim Museum
Mannerheim on Wikipedia
Louhisaari Manor
Mannerheim Line
Mannerheim Foundation
Mannerheim League for Child Welfare

Further Reading