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Episode 266             Episode 268
Episode 267

Finnish Civil War
Sat, 2018-Jan-27 00:35 UTC
Length - 3:44

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Welcome to featured Wiki of the Day where we read the summary of the featured Wikipedia article every day.

The featured article for Saturday, 27 January 2018 is Finnish Civil War.

The Finnish Civil War (27 January – 15 May 1918; Finnish: Suomen sisällissota; Swedish: Finska inbördeskriget; Russian: Гражданская война в Финляндии; German: Finnischer Bürgerkrieg) was a conflict for the leadership and control of Finland during the country's transition from a Grand Duchy of the Russian Empire to an independent state. The clashes in Finland took place in the context of the national, political, and social turmoil caused by World War I (Eastern Front) in Europe. The civil war was fought between the Reds, led by the The Communist Party of Finland, and the Whites, conducted by the non-socialist, conservative-based Senate. The paramilitary Red Guards, composed of industrial and agrarian workers, controlled the cities and industrial centers of southern Finland. The paramilitary White Guards, composed of peasants, along with middle-class and upper-class social strata, controlled rural central and northern Finland.

In the years before the conflict, Finnish society had experienced rapid population growth, industrialization, pre-urbanization and the rise of a comprehensive labour movement. The country's political and governmental systems were in an unstable phase of democratization and modernization. The socio-economic condition and education of the population had gradually improved, as well as national thinking and cultural life had awakened. World War I led to the collapse of the Russian Empire and a power struggle, militarization and escalating crisis between the left-leaning Finnish labour movement and the Finnish conservatives.

The Reds carried out an unsuccessful general offensive in February 1918, supplied with weapons by Soviet Russia. A counteroffensive by the Whites began in March, reinforced by the German Empire's military detachments in April. The decisive engagements were the Battles of Tampere and Vyborg (Finnish: Viipuri; Swedish: Viborg), won by the Whites, and the Battles of Helsinki and Lahti, won by German troops, leading to overall victory for the Whites and the German forces. Political terror became a part of this warfare. Around 12,500 Red prisoners of war died of malnutrition and disease in camps. Approximately 39,000 people, of whom 36,000 were Finns, perished in the conflict.

In the aftermath, the Finns passed from Russian governance to the German sphere of influence with a plan to establish a German-led Finnish monarchy. The scheme was cancelled with the defeat of Germany in World War I and Finland instead emerged as an independent, democratic republic. The Civil War divided the nation for decades. Finnish society was reunited through social compromises based on a long-term culture of moderate politics and religion and the post-war economic recovery.

This recording reflects the Wikipedia text as of 00:35 UTC on Saturday, 27 January 2018.

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