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Unequal War: Vulnerability, Stress and Survival in the Finnish Army during World War II (UnWar)

Tampere University
Duration of project1.9.2023–31.12.2027
Area of focusSociety

The research project investigates the social composition of the Finnish Army in World War II, the changes hereby, as well as the Finnish soldiers' socio-economic and health-related pre-war background variables.

From this basis we will analyze how different war experiences, injuries, stress and fatalities were distributed among the soldiers. We will examine how (un)evenly the war burden affected different groups of people and what kind of concsequences this had both for individuals and for the whole society. We will also study private service paths and how they were connected to a person's survival in war.

Our most important empirical data consists of an internationally unique, representative and detailed database of the Finnish men who served in the army in 1939–45.

The project will be a basis for future longitudinal research, which will study the influence of different war experiences to the soldiers' and their relatives' and offspring's post-war life courses.

The project is carried out by Ville Kivimäki, Ilari Taskinen and Virva Liski. 


Research Council of Finland



National Archives of Finland

Research Council of Finland's Centre of Excellence in the History of Experiences HEX

What can we know about the past experiences, and how do we transfer them into accurate knowledge and historically informed decisions? HEX looks for answers to these fundamental questions by rethinking historical experiences, historical explanations and historical knowledge, and their place in the current world.