Mannerheim (June 4, 1867–January 27, 1951), Finland’s best known war hero, served as president of Finland between August 1944 and March 1946. He guided the country through the transition from war to peace.
He served in the Russian army, where he attained the rank of general, before Finland gained independence in 1917. Later, in Finland, he was made a field marshal, and during the Second World War he was commander-in-chief of the Finnish forces and subsequently became president. No soldier had previously been president of Finland – nor has one been chosen for the post since Mannerheim. He was 78 when he retired, citing health reasons.
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