Important dates


1 March

Delegates of the People’s Delegation of the Socialist Workers’ Republic of Finland and representatives of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic sign an agreement on the mutual relations between Finland and Russia.

2 March

The Red Guard Headquarters issues a declaration ordering all 18–50-year-old men who are employed in public work by the City of Helsinki to join the Red Guard.

3 March

Senate Chairman P. E. Svinhufvud flees to Tallinn on icebreaker Tarmo captured by civil guard troops.

5 March

German warships cast anchor in Eckerö Roads. The Germans land and announce that they have come to protect Åland from the Russians. After the landing, Swedish troops in Åland withdraw. The Germans disarm the Russian soldiers and transport them away.

10 March

P. E. Svinhufvud and Jalmar Castrén arrive in Berlin. Svinhufvud begins meetings with representatives of the German Foreign Service and high-ranking military leaders.

12 March

Mannerheim, Commander of the White Army, orders an assault on Tampere. He rushes the assault because he wants to defeat the Reds before the German landing.

16 March

P. E. Svinhufvud and Jalmar Castrén are invited to meet the German Parliament’s General Committee in Berlin and explain why Finland had requested the assistance of a German expedition. German Social Democrats are against an intervention.

20 March

Eero Haapalainen, leader of the Red Guard, is dismissed from his position as commander-in-chief. He is replaced by a team of three men. In practice, Eino Rahja takes the command and starts immediately to organise an expedition to Tampere.

23 March

P. E. Svinhufvud and Jalmar Castrén, returning from Germany, arrive in Tornio in the morning. Surrounded by a crowd of people, they board a train bound for Vaasa.

24 March

The Whites take Lempäälä. The Reds’ land connection between Tampere and Helsinki is cut off.

25 March

Intense fighting over the control of Rautu begins. The Whites aim to cut off the Reds’ rail connection with St. Petersburg.

26 March

Mannerheim orders that enemies surrendering in the invasion of Tampere must be treated as prisoners of war: executions are prohibited.

27 March

The Senate decides to issue a so-called liberty bond. It is set at 200 million Finnish Markka. The money will be used for covering “costs incurred by the fight for liberty.”

28 March

The “bloody Maundy Thursday” in Tampere. Battles rage, and the Reds are forced to retreat to the heart of the city.