Voldemar Hagglund

Voldemar Hagglund

Finnish military leader
Country: Finland

  1. Biography of Waldemar Hagglund
  2. Early Career
  3. Interwar Period
  4. World War II
  5. Later Years

Biography of Waldemar Hagglund

Waldemar Johan Hagglund (1893, Vyborg - 1963) was a Finnish military figure and lieutenant general.

Early Career

In March 1915, Hagglund secretly moved from Finland to Germany, where he became an officer in the Prussian Jäger Battalion, which later produced many Finnish army generals. He participated in military actions against the Red Army (1917-1918).

Interwar Period

During the interwar period, Hagglund held high positions in the Finnish army, serving as the commander of a military district and the commander of the 2nd Division. From 1939 to 1941, he commanded the IV Corps, which consisted of the 12th and 13th Divisions. During the initial stage of the Soviet-Finnish War (1939-1940), the 8th Soviet Army operated against his corps. Hagglund gained a reputation as one of the best commanders in the Finnish army. On December 1, 1939, Soviet forces launched an attack on his positions, but he managed to stop them, inflicting significant losses on the attacking forces. On January 6, 1940, he launched a counteroffensive and encircled the 168th and 18th Soviet Rifle Divisions, with the latter being subsequently destroyed.

World War II

After the war with the USSR began in 1941, Hagglund was appointed as the commander of the VII Corps, consisting of the 19th and 7th Divisions, as part of General A. Heinrichs' Karelian Army. He participated in the battles on the northern sector of the Soviet-German front. On September 4, 1941, he launched an offensive on Petrozavodsk and captured the city on October 1 (in January 1942, Petrozavodsk was renamed to Yaanislinna and served as the headquarters for the military administration of Eastern Karelia). He then started advancing towards Medvezhyegorsk.

Later Years

From 1943 to 1944, Hagglund served as the Inspector General of the Defense Forces. In 1944, he became the Chief of Staff for planning defensive structures and was tasked with preparing Finland's defense in the event of a war on its territory. In the fall of 1944, he oversaw defense works in Helsinki in anticipation of a potential attack by German forces. Hagglund's son, Gustav, also had a prominent military career in Finland and became a general. Since 2001, Gustav has been the Chairman of the Military Committee of the European Union.