Carl Gustav Armfelt and the Struggle for Finland during the Great Northern War

Eirik Hornborg

A comprehensive account of the military career of one of the great and tragic figures from the final death throes of the Swedish empire.
Date Published :
March 2021
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Contributor(s) :
Eric Faithfull
Series :
Century of the Soldier
Illustration :
53 b/w & 17 color illustrations, 9 b/w & 6 color maps
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781913336479
Pages : 284
Dimensions : 9.8 X 7.1 inches
Stock Status : Available


Charles XII’s planned conquest of Norway died with him at Fredriksten fortress on 30 November 1718 (OS), and the small Swedish-Finnish army simultaneously besieging Trondheim was ordered to return to Sweden. Setting off on the final stage across the mountains on New Year's Day 1719 the army was struck by a blizzard harsher than any in living memory, and an orderly withdrawal turned into what has become infamously known as the Carolean Death March. That army was commanded by General Carl Gustav Armfelt, one of the great and tragic figures of Finnish and Swedish history, hero of Finland's brave but ultimately hopeless struggle against Russia under Peter the Great during the Great Northern War 1700-21.

This book draws on much primary source material to describe Armfelt’s military career. He was already an experienced soldier at the outbreak of the war having spent 11 years in the army of Louis XIV. The book describes his role in opposing the relentless march of the Russian forces in rolling back the eastern frontier of the Swedish empire from his Ingrian homeland through Finland and into Sweden itself. It concludes with the ill-fated Trondheim campaign during the empire’s final death throes and Armfelt’s final years in Finland after the war.

The author, Eirik Hornborg (1879-1965), was one of Finland’s leading and most prolific historical writers. The book was originally published in 1953 and this translation, by a descendent of General Armfelt, provides the first comprehensive account in English of the Great Northern War in Finland.

About The Author

Eirik Hornborg (1879-1965) was a Finnish politician, teacher, rhetorician, author and one of its leading and most prolific historical writers, much of his work relating to his country's military history. He is credited with over 1400 published writings including 54 books. He had seen brief wartime service at the age of 36 as a volunteer in a German jaeger battalion fighting the Russians on the eastern front 1916-17, and wrote of his experiences in a memoir in 1959. He was chairman of the Swedish Literary Society in Finland 1934-47 and received honorary doctorates at both the University of Stockholm (1936) and Helsinki (1950). A recent biography summarizes Hornborg's character as a 'fearless truth seeker and rights campaigner.'

Erik Faithfull, has had a life-long interest in military history, most recently that of his Scandinavian ancestry. He is a former English Civil War re-enactor and wargamer, and is a descendent of Carl Gustav Armfelt.


"...highly recommended for anyone who wants to expand their knowledge and delve into the less well known but no less interesting struggle for Finland."

- Wargames Illustrated

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