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Major General Erkki Raappana, 1893-1962

Major General Erkki Johannes Raappana (June 2, 1893 in Oulujoki – September 14, 1962 in Joensuu) was the commander of the 14th Division of the Finnish Army during the Second World War. Among many of his known accomplishments, General Raappana was chosen to command the Finnish detachment - nicknamed "Group Raappana" ("Ryhmä Raappana" in Finnish) - that was to stop the enemy in the very final Finnish-Soviet battle during World War II. It was the Battle of Ilomantsi, fought during the Continuation War (1941–1944). The battle lasted from July 26 to August 13, 1944. It ended with a decisive Finnish victory, as the last major Soviet attack against Finland was stopped here. Two elite Red Army divisions were completely routed after a week and a half of fighting, leaving behind over 3 200 Red Army soldiers dead, thousands wounded and missing, and over 100 pieces of heavy artillery and approximately 100 mortars and the rest of the Soviet ordnance for the Finns to capture.

General Raappana was specialized and experienced particularly in forest warfare. He was awarded the most distinguished military award in Finland, the Mannerheim Cross.

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