Finnish Jääkärikomppania

The Jääkäri troops were initially Finnish volunteers served with the Germans, training as Jägers (elite light infantry), during World War I as the Royal Prussian 27th Jäger Battalion. They fought on the northern flank of the eastern front from 1916. The Finns were secretly recruited from university students and the upper middle class, though other member of Finnish society were also recruited.

At the outbreak of the Civil War in Finland Jägers who intended to engage on the “White” (non-Socialist) side in the war were released from German service. 2,000 volunteers were soon fighting to put down the communists.

Their contribution to the White victory and Finnish independence was critical. They provided crucial leadership and training to the mostly green troops of the Civil War.

Immediately after the Civil War, they were afforded the right to use the word Jääkäri in their military ranks. Many of the Jääkäri continued their military careers, and the Jääkäri units continued in service as Finland’s elite. During the 1920s there was some tension between the German trained Jääkäri officers and those who had served with the Russian Imperial army. By the Winter War most of the commanders of army corps, divisions and regiments were former Jääkäri.

Finnish Armoured Division

By early 1942 approximately 80 T-26 tanks of various models were in service and the armoured battalion was upgraded to Brigade status. During the summer of 1942 this brigade was combined with an elite Jääkäri light infantry brigade to form Finland’s first Armoured Division.

Finnish KV-1


A Jääkärikomppania (Light Infantry Company — pronounced yay-kar-ree komp-pa-nee-a) is led by a Kapteeni (Captain) who has been selected for his skill, courage and initiative. The Jääkäri provide much of the cutting edge of the Finnish army. Their tactics emphasis speed and mobility. A high proportion of their leaders are volunteers or former regular army officers.

Jääkäri means hunter as well as scout, and these units perform both roles. Whether they are fighting alongside an infantry unit or a Panssari unit, they are always at the vanguard. Often composed of men from rural areas, they have excellent fieldcraft skills.

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Last Updated On Thursday, July 8, 2010 by Wayne at Battlefront