“The so-called 'Left-Hand Path' - that of Kaulas, Siddhas and Viras - combines the... Tantric worldview with a doctrine of the Übermensch which would put Nietzsche to shame... The Vira - which is to say: the 'heroic' man of Tantrism - seeks to sever all bonds, to overcome all duality between good and evil, honor and shame, virtue and guilt. Tantrism is the supreme path of the absolute absence of law - of shvecchacarī, a word meaning 'he whose law is his own will'." ― Julius Evola, The Path of Cinnabar.

“It is necessary to have “watchers” at hand who will bear witness to the values of Tradition in ever more uncompromising and firm ways, as the anti-traditional forces grow in strength. Even though these values cannot be achieved, it does not mean that they amount to mere “ideas.” These are measures…. Let people of our time talk about these things with condescension as if they were anachronistic and anti-historical; we know that this is an alibi for their defeat. Let us leave modern men to their “truths” and let us only be concerned about one thing: to keep standing amid a world of ruins.” ― Julius Evola, Revolt Against the Modern World: Politics, Religion, and Social Order in the Kali Yuga.

“We are born into this time and must bravely follow the path to the destined end. There is no other way. Our duty is to hold on to the lost position, without hope, without rescue, like that Roman soldier whose bones were found in front of a door in Pompeii, who died at his post during the eruption of Vesuvius because someone forgot to relieve him. That is greatness. That is what it means to be a thoroughbred. The honorable end is the one that can not be taken from a man.” ― Oswald Spengler, Man and Technics: A Contribution to a Philosophy of Life.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Lauri Törni aka Larry Thorne: From Waffen SS to US Army Special Forces

A remarkable story!:
From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lauri_T%C3%B6rni

Lauri Allan Törni (May 28, 1919October 18, 1965) was a Finnish Army captain who led an infantry company in Finnish Winter and Continuation War and moved to the United States after the war. He is known as the soldier who fought under three flags: Finnish and German (when he fought the Russians in World War II) and American (where he was known as Larry Thorne) when he fought in the U.S. Army Special Forces in the Vietnam War.

Larry Thorne, christened "Lauri Törni" at birth, was born in Viipuri, Finland, to a ship captain and his family. He entered military service in 1938 and attended the Reserve Non-commissioned Officers school in Hamina on February 1940 in the middle of winter war.

In the fall of 1939, Lauri Törni was just completing his enlistment in the Finnish Army when the Soviet Union attacked Finland. Törni's term in the army was extended as part of the country's general mobilization, and he was originally assigned to supply troops. During the battles at Lake Ladoga he was transferred to the front line. He took part in the annihilation of the encircled Russian divisions in Lemetti. His heroic feats during these engagements were quickly noticed by his commanders and toward the end of the war he was assigned to officer training where he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant as the war ended. After the Winter War, in 1941 Törni was one of the men who were sent to Germany to train with Waffen-SS, but he soon returned home.

Most of Törni's reputation is based on his successful feats in the Continuation War (1941–44) between the Soviet Union and Finland. In 1943 a famous unit informally named Detachment Törni was created under his command. This was an infantry unit that penetrated and fought deep behind the enemy lines and soon enjoyed a reputation on both sides of the front for its effectiveness. One of Törni's men was the future President of Finland, Mauno Koivisto. The two served together for instance in the crucial Battle of Ilomantsi, the very final Finnish-Soviet fight of the Continuation War in July and August 1944. Koivisto witnessed this battle as a soldier in a reconnaissance company commanded by Captain Törni.

Törni's units inflicted continued heavy casualties on Russian units and the Soviet Army had a bounty on Törni's head equivalent to 3 million Finnish Marks (650,000 USD), reputedly the only Finnish officer so recognized. He was decorated with the Mannerheim Cross, the equivalent of the American Congressional Medal of Honor, on July 9, 1944.

Törni was dissatisfied with the terms of the Finnish peace treaty with the Soviets and went to Germany in 1945 for additional Werwolf saboteur training in order to be able to organize resistance in the case that Finland would be taken by Russia. He surrendered to British troops in the last stages of the war and eventually returned to Finland after escaping a British POW camp. Upon his return, ValPo (State Police) arrested him and he was sentenced to 6 years in prison for "treason," one of many of Finland's decorated officers who paid for their valor in prison during the uneasy years following the war. Törni was pardoned by President Paasikivi in December 1948.

In 1949 Törni, accompanied by his wartime executive officer Holger Pitkänen, escaped to Sweden, crossing the border from Tornio to Haparanda, where many Finns had settled after the war. From Haparanda Törni travelled by railroad to Stockholm where he found protection and shelter from the Baroness Von Essen, who had harbored many fugitive Finnish officers following the war. Pitkänen was arrested and repatriated to Finland, but Törni fell in love with a Swedish Finn, Marja Kops, and was soon engaged to be married. Hoping to establish a career before the marriage, Thorne travelled disguised in alias as a seaman from Sweden aboard a ship, SS Bolivia, whose destination was Caracas, Venezuela. In Caracas' harbour, Törni met one of his Winter War commanders, Finnish colonel Matti "Motti" Aarnio, who, also in exile, had settled in Venezuela after the war. In Caracas Törni, in 1950, was hired still under an alias to a Swedish cargo ship, MS Skagen, whose destination was the United States. In the Gulf of Mexico, near the city of Mobile, Alabama, Törni jumped overboard and swam to shore. Törni travelled to New York City where, with the help of the Finnish-American community living in Brooklyn's "Finntown," he got a job as a carpenter and a cleaner. In 1953 Törni was granted permit of residence through an Act of Congress that was shepherded by the law firm of "Wild Bill" Donovan, the head of the OSS, America's wartime covert military organization.

Törni joined the U.S. Army in 1954 under the provisions of the Lodge Act and took the name Larry Thorne. In the US Army he was befriended and supported by a group of Finnish-American officers who came to be known as "Marttinen's Men." Similar to Thorne, this group of decorated Finnish wartime officers had emigrated to the United States and were inducted into the US Army under the Lodge Act. Several of them were brought into the Special Forces at its inception. With their support Private Thorne, too, was soon on his way into the Special Forces. He ended up as an instructor in the Special Forces and taught skiing, survival, mountaineering and guerrilla tactics. In turn he learned parachuting. Quickly working through the ranks, he was commissioned a 1st Lieutenant (Res) in 1957. He later received an regular commission and was promoted to Captain in 1960. From 1958 to 1962 he served in the 10th Special Forces unit in West Germany. While there he co-commanded a search and rescue mission in the high Zagora mountains of Iran, an operation which gained him a notable reputation in the Special Forces. In November 1963 he joined the Special Forces unit A-734 in Vietnam and fought in the Mekong Delta. He was decorated twice.

In 1965 he had been transferred to MACVSOG training unit in Vietnam as a military advisor. On October 18, 1965, he left for a clandestine mission and his helicopter crashed 25 miles (40 km) from Da Nang, in a mountainous area of Laos. When the rescue squad arrived, they did not find his body. It is assumed that he either died in the crash or in battle afterwards on October 18.

Shortly after his disappearance in Laos, Thorne was promoted to the rank of a major in the U.S. Army.

Larry Thorne's remains were found in 1999 and formally identified in 2003. He was buried at Arlington National Cemetery, section 60, tombstone 8136, on June 26, 2003.

His U.S. memorial is the Larry Thorne Headquarters Building, 10th SFG(A), Fort Carson, Colorado. In Finland, the survivors, friends and families of Detachment Törni formed the Lauri Törni Tradition Guild.

In the book The Green Berets by Robin Moore, the "Sven Kornie" main character in the first chapter was based on Larry Thorne. The book was later made into a movie by the same name starring John Wayne.

In the 2004 TV programme Suuret Suomalaiset ("Greatest Finns"), Larry Thorne was voted the 52nd greatest Finn of all time.

Gill III, H. A.: The Soldier Under Three Flags, June 1998, Pathfinder publishing. 208 pages and 37 photographs, ISBN 0-934793-65-4.
Cleverley, J. Michael: Syntynyt Sotilaaksi, November 2003, Otava Publishing Co. 416 pages and 22 photographs, maps and timeline, ISBN 951-1-18853-4.
Cleverley, J. Michael: A Scent of Glory: The Times and Life of Larry A. Thorne, December 2003, Daphne Publishing Co., 339 pages and 22 photographs, maps and timeline, ISBN 960-7663-48-9.

More on Larry Thorne, by J. Mike Cleverley
More information
Special Forces Association Larry A. Thorne Memorial Chapter 33 website
Facts about Larry Thorne

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