Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim was the Commander-in-Chief of Finland's Defence Forces during World War II.
Baron Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim (4 June 1867 – 27 January 1951) was the Commander-in-Chief of Finland's Defence Forces during World War II, Marshal of Finland and a politician. He was Regent of Finland (1918–1919) and the sixth President of Finland (1944–1946).Mannerheim was born in the Grand Principality of Finland, a territory of Imperial Russia, into a family of Swedish-speaking nobles settled in Finland since the late 18th century. His paternal German ancestor Marhein had emigrated to Sweden during the 17th century. His maternal ancestry has its roots in Södermanland, Sweden.He made a career in the Russian army, rising to general. He also had a prominent place in the ceremonies for Tsar Nicholas II's coronation and later had several private meetings with the Russian Tsar. After the Bolshevik revolution, Finland declared its independence but was soon embroiled in a civil war along class lines. The workers overwhelmingly held a socialist ("Red") creed; whereas the bourgeois, farmers, and businessmen held a capitalist ("White") creed. Mannerheim was appointed to be the military chief of the Whites. Twenty years later, when Finland was at war with the Soviet Union from 1939–1944, Mannerheim was appointed commander of the country's armed forces.