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Lieutenant Colonel Alpo Marttinen

Finnish Forces

Lieutenant Colonel Alpo Marttinen

Alpo Marttinen (1908-1975) was a Finnish Army colonel and also one of the key figures in the weapons cache case where a large number of Finnish Army weapons and equipment was hidden away around the country after Continuation War(1941-44). The purpose of this was that in case of the feared soviet invasion, an immediate guerilla war could be launched. Because of these actions Marttinen and other highly decorated heroes that were part of the group now called as"Marttinen's Men", became "traitors" and they were forced to leave the country as the weapons cache case started unravel during spring 1945 and people taking part in it were being arrested by so called red ValPo (State Police). Through sweden this group escaped to United States where they were inducted into the US Army under the Lodge Act. Several of them were brought into the Special Forces at its inception. Most of them stayed in United States and served in the Army untill retirement. Estimated number of people participated in the weapons cache operation is around 5000-10000 in total. It was planned that they would hide material for 8000 men, but the participants worked so eagerly that it is supposed they hid material for 35000 soldiers. Most of the weapons were silently returned to army depots, and some were destroyed, but even today when old buildings are demolished, caches turn up. The investigators of ValPo failed to find out how many people participated in the operation, as the participants tended to be reluctant to divulge meaningful information. In the end, 1488 people were convicted, most of them receiving 1–4 months in prison.