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The only Waffen-SS hero buried at Arlington Cemetery

Finnish Green Beret Larry Thorne:
The Only Waffen-SS Officer Buried at Arlington Cemetery


Captain Larry A. Thorne, United States Army Special Forces (Green Berets).

SS-Untersturmfuehrer (2nd Lieutenant) Lauri Törni (pronounced like "Lowrey Turney") in May 1941 in one of the most respected warrior uniforms of all times.

Arlington National Cemetery contains a common grave for eleven of the 37 victims killed during the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty in 1967. The grounds were seized from Robert E. Lee during the War of Federal Aggression. Lee lived in a beautiful pillared Southern home on the property called Arlington House which still overlooks the cemetery, the Potomac River, Washington, D.C. and the grave of Waffen-SS major Larry Thorne. Perhaps Lee and Thorne have met in Valhalla.

[Here is the first instalment of an incredible story of Aryan bravery and excellence from one of the Aryan world's bravest nations, Finland. It is written by Henrik Holappa, a young man arrested by the Jews' minions in Finland for opposing gang-rape by Africans in his Nordic city of Oulu, finland. He is now visiting America, the land of the free and home of the brave. -- John de Nugent]



18th of October 1965, Kham Duc, northwestern South Vietnam.

It was a rainy, stormy and awful night. A CH-34 Kingbee helicopter was coming back from a top-secret military operation called ?Shining Brass.? Inside the helicopter were tired soldiers. One of them was a Green Beret officer, Captain Larry A. Thorne, 46. He still had a young-looking face, but tired eyes. He was already known as one of the best soldiers ever served in the Green Berets. Later he was known as ?the Legend.?

Captain Thorne and his South-Vietnamese officers wanted to go back to the base. The helicopter had gotten confirmation that it could return by a simple ?OK? signal. The helicopter had some navigation problems and because of the bad weather and heavy fog it crashed just 20 minutes away from its base near Da Nang. The Green Berets sent a search patrol to the the area, but they were not able to find Captain Thorne and his men.

The Green Berets' legendary soldier, Captain Larry A. Thorne, was declared dead on the 19th of October, 1966. Was this the end of this brave soldier? Who was this Larry A. Thorne who was known among his friends and fellow soldiers as a ?serious? and ?silent? man who did his duty as he was asked, feared by his enemies, admired by his men and missed by his family?

His story leads us back to northern Europe, to Finland, and to the cold and icy winter of 1939. Then he was an army volunteer, Corporal Lauri Törni (his original name in Finnish). His story as a young soldier in the Finnish Army began in November 1939 at the time of Soviet invasion of Finland.

From Vyborg to the Winter War

Lauri Allan Törni was born on the 28th of May 1919 in Vyborg (in Finnish ?Viipuri?), in the southeastern part of Finland, near Leningrad/St. Petersburg. Törni?s father was the sea captain Jalmari Törni and his mother's first name was Rosa. Törni also had two younger sisters Salme Kyllikki (born in 1920) and Kaija Iiris (1922).

Vyborg castle in 1938.

Vyborg was the oldest Finnish city, founded in 1293. Before the Second World War Vyborg?s population had grown rapidly to 80,000 inhabitants. It was also an important city for business trade because it had connections to Baltic Sea. The Soviet Union wanted to secure the area around Leningrad (a major city and the former capital) and demanded that Finland vacate the city to the Soviet Union.

Vyborg (Viipuri), formerly Finnish, on a recent map, northwest of Saint Petersburg (in Soviet lingo: Leningrad).

As a young boy Lauri Törni was interested in war games and often played war games with his friends. Everybody knew that some day Törni would become a good soldier. In his teenage years he volunteered for Finland's National Guard. Although because of his youth he did not receive military training, he still went out to learn to live in the forests and some important leadership skills. Törni attended high school in Vyborg and in 1936 he started his studies at a business college. Studying did not fit his nature and most subjects proved boring for Törni. He quit school and started to work at a steel mill.

Finland?s National Guard parades in Tampere in 1933. The National Guard was well-trained and -armed, and the members of the National Guard had the right to wear the uniform and keep a rifle in their home. Most of the National Guard?s soldiers had gotten their military training in Germany from 1914-1918 and were experienced soldiers from the trenches of the First World War.

In 1938 Törni was drafted into the Finnish army. That was the best thing that could have happened to him. Törni felt happiness and joy because finally he could do something he knew he was good at. In September 1938 Törni volunteered for the army. He started his service in a machine gun company in the infantry. He gave his military oath on the 8th of October.

Törni?s skills as a leader in the army were seen very soon and he was sent to NCO school (for sergeants and above). He became a corporal in the 4th Jaeger Battalion. ("Jaeger" is a word borrowed from German meaning "hunter" but also combat soldier.) After one year it was Törni?s time to be reassigned to the army reserve, but because of the threat of war with the Soviets Törni was sent back to active duty on the 16th of November, 1939.

?Fire and Ice?

Finnish soldiers awaiting a Soviet attack in December 1939. The tempature dropped extremely low in December -- even down to -50 degrees Celsius, when motor oil is like paste.

The "Winter War" started on the morning of 30th of November 1939. Most generals would not choose to start a war during wintertime, but Stalin foolishly did, and used Ukrainian troops unused to extreme cold. The Soviet Air Force bombed Helsinki, Finland?s capital city, causing the death of 100 people, including civilians, schoolchildren and older people. At the same time the Red Army launched its attack into the Karelian Isthmus using hundreds of tanks and artillery fire.

The Finnish Army withdrew to the Mannerheim Line to defend Finland. All the Russian attacks were stopped by the evening of Finland?s Independence Day, December 6, 1939.

Air surveillance women (from the "Lotta Svärd" military organization for Finnish women) and an officer prepare themselves for the next Russian air raid to Helsinki in December 1939. Almost 300,000 women volunteered for the Lotta Svärd organization during the Second World War in Finland from 1939-1944.

Second Lieutenant Lauri Törni in uniform in May 1940. Around this time the young officer found his first love in the niece of General Lennart Oesch.

At the same time as the Russians were bombing Finnish cities and killing civilians, the Finnish Army was fighting against the Red Army. Corporal Lauri Törni served in the supply section of the 4th Jaeger Battalion, which was led by the legendary Major Matti Aarnio. In January 1940 the 4th Jaeger battalion got the demanding mission to link up with the Finnish 8th Infantry battalion that had been encircled by an entire Red Army regiment. The 4th Jaeger battalion, consisting of special trained soldiers, decided to sent a patrol through Russian lines to make contact with the 8th Infantry battalion. Corporal Lauri Törni got this demanding mission and was appointed to be the patrol leader. Lauri Törni and his patrol left in on a dark and cold night in January.

He successfully penetrated through the Russian lines, although they were heavily armored, including machine gun bunkers and tank patrols. That same evening Törni reached the captain of 8th Infantry battalion. On the next morning Törni and his patrol returned to their 4th Jaeger battalion giving the coordinates of the Russian troops. The Red Army regiment was heavily attacked and bombarded by their mortar and artillery fire. The 4th Jaeger Battalion and the 8th Infantry battalion attacked the large Red Army regiment, breaking its siege and destroying the regiment.

Lauri Törni had led the first attacking patrol so well that his officers ordered him to go to the Reserve Officer School. On the 5th of February 1940 Lauri Törni started the Reserve Officer course. However, although Törni graduated as an officer in May 1940 the Winter War had already ended on the 13th of March.

Finns of the Viking Division

?? Where a Finnish SS man stood, the enemy was always defeated.? -- Reichsfuehrer-SS Heinrich Himmler, 11th of July 1943

Finnish SS volunteers marching in Germany. 1200 Finns volunteered for the Waffen-SS in April 1941, several months before the German invasion of the USSR.

As the result of the Winter War in March 1940 Finland lost 12 % of its area, including the important city of Vyborg, Finland?s second most poulous city. Now the city was part of the ?Karelo-Finnish Soviet Socialist Republic.? For 105 days the Finnish army had defended Vyborg successfully against the Red Army?s attacks and did not lose the city in battle. The ?peace treaty? took it. That loss at the negotiating table was a traumatic shock for the proud Finnish army.

At the beginning of the fall of 1940 Finland and National Socialist Germany became closer. Germany was very impressed with Finland?s struggle against the Soviet Union and now offered an alliance. According to Finnish army major Erkki Hautamäki Germany secretly contacted the Finnish government and Marshal Mannerheim in February 1940 and offered cooperation against Soviet aggression. German troops arrived in Finland in autumn 1940 and that was seen as a sign in Finland that now the Finnish army would no longer stand alone against Bolshevism. Germany also sought the possibility to recruit volunteers for its elite Waffen-SS from Finland. The Finnish government at least agreed to send a combat battalion to Germany to be trained by the cutting-edge German Wehrmacht.

SS-Untersturmfuehrer Lauri Törni

For Lauri Törni losing Vyborg was a big personal loss. Törni?s whole family had been living in Vyborg for centuries and centuries. Lauri Törni was a dedicated nationalist who strongly opposed communism and believed that it had to be stopped whatever it took. What enraged Törni was that the Finnish army had never lost the battle to save his home city of Vyborg in March 1940 but the city was handed over by the politicians to the Soviets nevertheless, and despite all sacrifices. Törni had to look on and seethe as his family was thrown out of Vyborg  -- together with 400,000 Finns who had to leave the region of Karelia. Lauri Törni realized that Karelia was now under the orders of the half-Jew Bolshevik Yuri Andropov.  

Yuri Andropov was the first secretary of the Central Committee of the Soviet-Karelo Finnish Republic 1940-44. His mother was Yevgenia Karlovna (good Russian names) Fleckenstein (NOT a good Russian name), who was born, like Törni, in Vyborg. But the Fleckensteins were a wealthy German-Russian Jewish business family ? whose son Yuri went Bolshevik. Andropov organized partisan activities during the Second World War which caused the deaths of hundreds of Finns -- and thousands of members of the conquered Finnish minority were sent to the gulag by his order. Later Andropov crushed the Hungarian national revolt in 1956, then became the head of the Soviet secret police, the KGB, and ended his career in crime as the ruler of the Soviet Union after Leonid Brezhnev (1982-84).

When the Germans arrived in Finland Lauri Törni saw a ray of hope. He felt that with the help of the Germans Andropov and the Soviets would be thrown back out of Vyborg and Karelia. He then decided to volunteer for the Waffen-SS and continue his fight, the fight that became his own personal war for Finnish freedom and against communism. With 1200 other volunteers Törni headed to Gross Born, Germany, to a Waffen-SS training camp.

A typical German baracks at Gross Born in eastern Germany (now in Poland). The Third Reich started the base in 1933 and Hitler inaugurated it in 1938. For almost 50 years after WWII it was a top-secret Soviet base that on maps appeared only as "forest area".

Lauri Törni was allowed to serve in the Waffen-SS as an officer because of his previous service in the Winter War where he had become a Finnish Army officer. Törni got military training in the German tactics of the blitzkrieg (meaning "lightning war") and in weapons the Finnish army did not possess at all in the 1939-1940 Winter War, such as heavy machine guns and sub-machine guns.

Finnish SS-volunteers training infantry tactics in Gross Born in May 1941.

In June 1941 the threat of war between Germany and Soviet Union approached, and Germany's Operation Barbarossa started on the 22nd of June, 1941. The Germans used their military bases in Finland for this attack and therefore the Soviets bombed Finnish cities. Thereupon the Finnish government declared itself also to be at war with the Soviets. The Finnish Army attacked and reached Karelia and Vyborg.

Lauri Törni, still training in Germany, wanted to go back to Finland and be part of liberating his home province of Karelia. The Waffen-SS offered him and other Finnish volunteers the option to go back to Finland and rejoin the Finnish army. Since all that Törni wanted to do was to throw Andropov and his followers out of Vyborg and Karelia, on July 30, 1941 he signed out of the service of the Waffen-SS and returned to Finland. Once again Törni wore the gray Finnish army combat uniform and was ready to hit the enemy.

Törni?s personal war with Bolshevism had only just began.

Platoon leader and lieutenant Lauri Törni in his Finnish Army uniform.
To be continued?

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