Military Uniform M/22



Military uniform m/22 was the first properly standardized uniform for Finnish military. It must be noted in that in a degree calling the particular uniform and its items as military uniform m/22 is somewhat misleading in that sense, that the uniform regulations in which they were introduced were not all from year 1922, but over the years and they were not originally known as m/22 (as model of year 1922) – but in fact were only named as such at later date. In many ways uniform m/22 followed foot-steps of uniforms introduced already in 1918 - 1919, being based to it and including numerous items and details already introduced in 1918 - 1921. It is also worth known that military uniform m/22 was not really known with model number when introduced and got named as m/22 (model of year 1922) only circa year 1930. It is also worth noting that military uniform m/22 also made a lasting impression by determining and officially confirming numerous key ingredients, design details and symbols of Finnish military uniforms, which got repeated or developed further in later uniform designs.

PICTURE: Period photo showing Private of Finnish Army in typical uniform m/22 issued to infantry. The hat is fur hat m/22. The photo is probably from 1920's considering the soldier still has old leather belt design originally introduced in year 1918. Trousers are breeches. Notice collar design, dark cuffs with two buttons each and that the tunic has only side pockets. (Photo part of Jaeger Platoon photo collection.) CLICK THUMBNAIL TO SEE LARGER PIC (139 KB).

Among these key ingredient confirmed with military uniform m/22 were the standard colors for uniforms of various service arms of Finnish military and with some exceptions the same standard colors have remained in use to this day. Army (Ground Troops) standard uniform color was steel-grey (often referred as "field grey") with light grey jacket and dark grey trousers, while Navy standard colors was dark blue. The other two service arms, Air Force and Naval Artillery, used a mix of both steel-grey and dark blue uniform items.

PICTURE: Private of Finnish Air Force in uniform m/22. Breeches are dark blue and early version of Air Force tunic m/22 is otherwise steel grey, but has dark blue collar and cuffs. The hat is Air Force version of fur hat m/22 with black fur and dark blue fabric. Belt is again the old design used since year 1918. Hanging from the belt is puukko-pistin m/19 dagger. (Photo Jaeger Platoon photo collection.) CLICK THUMBNAIL TO SEE LARGER PIC (88 KB).

Another notable standard that military uniform m/22 set was introducing a separate military jacket design made from lighter material and intended for warmer summer months - this tunic type is commonly known as summer tunic (kesäpusero). With rather thick wool normally used in Finnish military uniforms, this was a very welcomed improvement that used also with later Finnish military uniform designs introduced before World War 2. Unlike in many other countries there were no separate lighter trousers for summer use.

Military uniform m/22 was also the uniform with which Finnish military first started widely using uniform symbols indicating service arm and/or unit type in which the particular soldier served – although admittedly these were heavily based to earlier foreign (presumably German) designs, they got so established that some have remained in use to this day. At the same time military uniform m/22 also officially started the standard according which all service arms of Finnish military use mostly the same uniform, but color of the uniform fabric and other uniform details would vary from one service arm to another. It is also worth noting that Civil Guard (Suojeluskunta / Skyddskår) had its own version of military uniform m/22 directly related to Army uniforms and Finnish police uniforms were in large extent also related to military uniforms (although with their own insignia and made from dark blue fabric starting police uniform m/23).

PICTURE: Period photo showing Alikersantti (Corporal) of Carelian Guard Regiment (Karjalan kaartin rykmentti) in his uniform m/22. The hat is again fur hat m/22, but the belt is leather belt m/22. Notice that tunic has only side pockets, two button-attached ribbons in dark grey tunic collar indicating non-commissioned officer and stripes indicating exact rank in epaulets along brass badge insignia of Carealian Guard Regiment. Also notice tunic cuff design - in Finnish Army this "Brandenburger" tunic cuff design was only used by guard units. Hanging from the belt is puukko-pistin m/19 dagger. (Photo part of Jaeger Platoon photo collection.) CLICK THUMBNAIL TO SEE LARGER PIC (103 KB).

The officially ordered military uniform types (uniform ensembles) that got introduced with military uniform m/22 included:

PICTURE: Private of Finnish Coastal Artillery Regiment 1 in his holiday uniform. The uniform he has is coastal artillery version of military uniform m/22. Notice armband seen in the photo - for conscripts it changed the normal field/service uniform into a holiday uniform. The upper left corner shows printed version of official military armband m/22 from writer's collection. The coastal artillery hat hat for enlisted men and non-commissioned officers seen in this photo was a grey-colored version of sailor's hat only issued to coastal artillery. Tunic is summer tunic m/22, pants are dark blue straight pants, belt is leather belt m/22 and shoes seem to be laced ankle boots normally issued to Navy. (Photo part of Jaeger Platoon photo collection.) CLICK THUMBNAIL TO SEE LARGER PIC (96 KB).

It is worth noting that all these uniform types used the same uniform tunic m/22 as a jacket, while the items that varied and differentiated the uniform ensembles (types) from one another were trousers, belt and/or armband. White armband used to change the uniform’s status as parade or visit uniform was about ten centimeters / four inches wide, worn in left arm and was white fabric with Finnish coat of arms emblem on it. There were two versions of this armband - the version with embroidered coat of arms emblem that was intended for officers and a simpler version with printed coat of arms intended for enlisted men. Those soldiers who had served in Finnish White Army during Civil War could optionally use white armband with coat of arms of the region where they had served. These white armband designs and the function that they served had already been introduced in year 1919 and it were later used also with m/27 and m/36 uniforms. The standard shoe type used with uniform m/22 was "jackboot" type leather boots, but also laced shoes were still apparently rather common and Laplander boots were used as ski boots. Officers could use also normal leather shoes with straight pants. Overshoes were an item which could be privately acquired. Shoes of all type were normally worn with footwraps, but likely also wool socks were used in wintertime. When it came to riding spurs all personnel could obviously use them while riding horses, but otherwise their use was more limited. Junior officer ranks could use riding spurs in their boots at any time if their were stationed in such a task that a riding horse was allocated for them, while all Army generals and senior officers besides those serving in Tank Corps were also free to use them at any time.

PICTURE: While standard Finnish infantry uniforms m/22 shown in earlier photos of this page were quite basic no frills uniform designs, cavalry uniform was in other end of the spectrum in how decorative military uniforms m/22 could be. Here is a cavalry Sergeant's uniform m/22 from Uusimaa Dragoon Regiment. Cavalry tunic commonly known as "skeleton jacket" due to its decorative frogging on chest was shorter than standard tunic and had only side pockets regardless rank. Dark red cavalry riding breeches with their yellow stripes were known with nickname "charm pants" and only used by cavalry units. Piping ending to button in tunic collar and cuffs are indicator of non-commisioned officer, while stripes indicating exact rank are in tunic epaulets. Hat is fur hat m/22 used by all ranks - notice chin strap placed on top of the hat, this was normal for cavalry. Photo taken in Finnish Military Museum (Sotamuseo, Helsinki). CLICK THUMBNAIL TO SEE LARGER PIC (79 KB).



Military tunic m/22 (asetakki m/22):

This was the standard military uniform coarse cloth (thick wool) jacket of military uniform m/22. The easy distinguishing features include high collar and cuffs made from fabric of different color (most typically black or dark grey) than rest of the jacket (in most cases steel-grey). The standard version (steel grey with standard lenght) was issued to infantry, bicycle troops, signal corps, sappers, mine thrower companies and supply units. The tunic had three basic versions intended for different military ranks and they differed in tunic cut and collar design. From these three the version issued to enlisted men was the most simple and can be easily identified from not having any breast pockets, lack of any markings in collar, simple epaulets and having tunic collar, which was lower than the in officer’s version. Officer’s version of the tunic was the most elaborate design of the three - tightly fitted jacket closed with single row of buttons, breast pockets, center seam in back of the coat, very high folded collar with light grey stripes/sections of varying width depending rank and highly elaborate shoulder boards attached on epaulets. Tunic version used by con-commissioned officers was in between those two – its basic cut resembled officer’s version, but it lacked breast pockets or center seam and had lower collar than in officer's version. Non-commissioned officer’s version can be easily recognized from button attached ribbons on collar and have military rank markings on epaulets. In addition tunic cuff design varied in a degree with both service arm and rank. All tunic versions had side pockets, metal belt hooks in back of tunic and pockets closed with buttons, which had Finnish coat of arms lion. All ranks wore brass badges indicating their service arm and/or service unit on their epaulets or in case of officers on their shoulder boards. Highly elaborate decorative shoulder boards had been introduced for senior officers already in year 1918 and for junior (2nd Lieutenant – Captain) officer ranks in year 1919.

PICTURE: Tunic m/22 of Sergeant serving in Carelian Guard Regiment (Karjalan Kaartin Rykmentti. Notice how the tunic has only side pockets. Also notice cuff design and red epaulets with markings of rank. Piping in the collar is part of non-commisioned officers rank indicators. This individual tunic was manufactured in year 1924. Photo source - original photo by Armémuseum (Sweden), CC BY 4.0 Creative Commons license. CLICK THUMBNAIL TO SEE LARGER PIC (116 KB).

PICTURE: Field artillery Lieutenant Colonel's tunic m/22. As mentioned only officer's version of tunic m/22 had both breast and side pockets. Notice collar design with two stripes indicating senior officer and two large pips indicating exact military rank. Field artillery tunic cuffs only have one button as seen in this photo. Highly elaborate shoulder boards have dark red piping, which was color used for field artillery. Shoulder boards have two brass badges - officer's lions and "flaming bomb" of field artillery over it as unit insignia. Photo taken in Museum Militaria, Hämeenlinna. CLICK THUMBNAIL TO SEE LARGER PIC (106 KB).

Certain type of Army units and other service arms of Finnish military had other changes or even their own special versions of tunic m/22. Bicycle troops had their own version of tunic m/22, whose basic design is quite similar to summer tunic m/22 - a pull-over type blouse, but made from wool. This bicycle troops version has in its front a half-collar, which was closed with three metal buttons and two breast pockets, which have pocket flaps closed with metal buttons. Field artillery and tank corps used otherwise similar tunics m/22 as most of the Army, but their tunics were about 5 cm / 2 in shorter. Cavalry had its own notably different (also 5 cm/ 2 in) shorter tunic version commonly referred with nick-name "luuranko-takki" ("skeleton jacket") due visuals of decorative frogging on its chest. The decorative frogging on chest of cavalry tunic has eight lines of 10-mm thick braid with length of lines increasing from bottom towards the top. Due to decorative frogging all cavalry tunics m/22 had external pockets and officer’s version of the tunic did not have breast pockets. Cavalry tunics also had three-peaked pocket flap design. The decorative frogging design on tunic chest had originally been introduced by Hungarian hussars and had since become widely used by cavalry units of various European countries. Standard tunic had dark grey collar and cuffs. Coastal artillery units used tunics m/22 that were otherwise similar to standard Army tunics, but their collar and cuffs were dark blue. In addition coastal artillery tunics had buttons and metal belt hooks which sported Navy anchor-motif instead of coat of arms lion. Air Force m/22 tunics were otherwise similar to those used by the Army, but the whole tunic (including collar and cuffs) was dark blue – although early version of Air Force tunic as ordered in year 1919 had been steel grey with dark blue collar and cuffs. In general tunics m/22 were still apparently quite commonly issued for Winter War (November 1939 - March 1940), but does not seem to have seen any further use after it. However there was a notable exceptions to this - such as cavalry version of the tunic m/22, which officers, military officials and senior non-commissioned officers were allowed to use until year 1954 and the with cavalry officers the particular uniform seem to have seen some use until late 1950's.

PICTURE: Three privates of Finnish Armed Forces in three versions of military uniform m/22 - from the left to right bicycle troops, Air Force and infantry. Notice differences in uniform tunics and fur hats. Photograph probably from early 1920's. Photographed by E.A. Vesa. (Photograph part of Jaeger Platoon photo collection. Unlicensed use of photograph prohibited.) CLICK THUMBNAIL TO SEE LARGER PIC (212 KB).

PICTURE: Finnish Air Force private's uniform tunic m/22. Notice dark blue cuffs, collar and epaulets with Air Force insignia. Painted epaulets were used for lower military ranks. Photo source - original photo by Armémuseum (Sweden), CC BY 4.0 Creative Commons license. CLICK THUMBNAIL TO SEE LARGER PIC (116 KB).


Summer tunic m/22 (kesäpusero m/22):

This was a pull-over type lighter shirt-tunic version with half collar and intended to be used in warm summer months. While fabric used for standard issue tunic jackets m/22 was wool, summer tunic m/22 was made from cotton. Unlike other tunics issued by Finnish military summer tunic m/22 did not open all the way from the front, but had a half collar closed with two buttons. Back of the tunic has two belt loops closed with buttons. Lenght of the summer tunic was such, that it was extending to groin and had a folded collar. In addition it had cuffs about 7 cm / 2.8 in long and side pockets only. (Rare) officer’s version had standard Army buttons with Finnish coat of arms lion, while tunics used by other ranks normally had smooth tin buttons. According uniform regulations summer tunic m/22 was intended for enlisted men and non-commissioned officers, also officers could use it, but that was probably quite rare. It also belonged to many items of military uniform m/22 actually introduced earlier - summer tunic m/22 was officially introduced already in June of 1919. Rarity of this tunic design in use of officers might be partially explained by officer’s summer tunic included to Finnish Army uniform regulations in year 1920. Considering that Finnish military at 1920’s had notable opposition by principle against anything viewed as Russian, it is rather surprising how much resemblance summer tunic m/22 bears with traditional Russian gimnasterka / gymnastyorka issued to lower ranks of Russian Imperial Army. Later on bicycle troops got their own version of summer tunic m/22, which was 10 cm / 4 in shorter and had breast pockets instead of side pockets.

PICTURE: Period photo showing three Privates, who are all wearing summer tunics m/22. Two of the soldiers have field caps m/22, while the third soldier has field cap m/27. As can been from this photo basic summer tunic m/22 did not look that good, although it apparently served its purpose. (Photo part of Jaeger Platoon photo collection.) CLICK THUMBNAIL TO SEE LARGER PIC (108 KB).


Trousers of military uniform m/22 (housut m/22):

Dark grey breeches and straight pants made from coarse cloth (wool) were the types of trousers used in military uniform m/22 – they were used by infantry, bicycle troops, sappers, signal corps, tank corps and supply units. Breeches were the de facto standard trousers for all other ranks but officers, who could use either breeches or straight pants. To understand why the situation was such as it was, it might be good to notice that breeches had basically become the standard military trouser design for European countries already in 19th century, while in 2nd decade of 20th century straight pants were only becoming popular among European armies.

The third trousers design used by Finnish Army was riding breeches, which is basically a specialized version of breeches with leather or fabric reinforcements in buttocks and inner thighs and groin cleft - all these details included to make them more suitable for riding horses on regular bases. In Finnish military of 1920's and 1930's the main users of riding breeches were field artillery (which was almost completely horse-towed at that time) and obviously cavalry. Cavalry also had its own special riding breech type commonly known with nick-name "hurmahousut" ("charm pants") - dark red riding breeches with yellow stripes on sides of legs. The fabric originally used for making "charm-pants" had been bought from France in year 1919. As far as known it was the very same red fabric which French Army had used for their uniform trousers still in early part of World War 1 and have been since blamed as one of the reasons behind considerable French that the French military suffered. Over time the red riding pants m/22 with their yellow stripes became a cavalry status symbol for the cavalry. In addition apparently "charm-pants" also gained somewhat of a special status in Finnish military as item claimed to provide soldier wearing them a better chance of success with women - which presumably explains the nickname. Other nickname sometimes used for the pants was "hurmehousut" ("blood-pants") - undoubtebly referring to their red color.

PICTURE: Riding breeches for military uniform m/22. The groin section in the front is the more notable difference to normal breeches m/22. Photo source - original photo by Armémuseum (Sweden). Used with CC BY 4.0 Creative Commons license. CLICK THUMBNAIL TO SEE LARGER PIC (109 KB).

Both coastal Artillery and Air Force used dark blue straight pants in their military uniforms m/22. Coastal artillery had its normal pants with grey stripes on side of each leg, while Air Force had quite similar stripes only in its dress uniform pants. Over time the Air Force dark blue straight pants version gained quite similar special status as the red riding breeches of cavalry.

It is worth noting that leather belts issued with uniforms were not used to keep trousers up, but on top of a tunic or greatcoat and used for carrying equipment. Finnish military trousers did not have belt loops, because they had been intended to be used with suspenders and had buttons in waistline for that purpose. This feature was included also to trouser models issued with later uniforms m/27 and m/36.

PICTURE: Finnish Army Private with version of tunic m/22, that was only issued by bicycle troops - notice how the tunic has only breast pockets. Soldier is wearing field cap m/22 and breeches. Notice half-collar with three metal buttons. There is also a puukko-pistin m/19 dagger equipped with leather tassel hanging from his belt. According uniform regulations field cap chin strap, which was included only to field caps m/22 issued to bicycle troops and cavalry, were supposed to be placed inside field cap when not in use, but in reality wearing it over the cap in this manner seems to have been very common. (Photo part of Jaeger Platoon photo collection.) CLICK THUMBNAIL TO SEE LARGER PIC (108 KB).



Greatcoat m/22 (päällystakki m/22, "Mantteli"):

The basic idea of military greatcoat was that it was basically a overcoat which would also serve as a blanket, so greatcoats were normally made from wool and needed to be sufficiently long for the purpose. Finnish soldiers commonly referred this type of jacket as "mantteli", term that is probably based to German der mantel and/or Swedish mantel, which are both referring to similar jacket type. Finnish military had issued greatcoats starting year 1918, but greatcoat m/22 was the first real standard Finnish greatcoat design. Finnish military greatcoat m/22 was a steel-grey long coat made from coarse cloth (thick wool) with twelve buttons on two rows on chest and dark grey or dark blue collar about 12 cm / 4.7 inches wide. Army great coats have dark grey collar, while Air Force and Coastal Artillery greatcoats have dark blue collar and Coastal Artillery greatcoat also has standard gold-colored navy buttons with anchor insignia. When soldier was standing hem of a normal grey coat were to reach about 35 cm / 14 in from ground surface, while riding units used greatcoats that were about 5 cm / 2 in longer. All other service arms besides Navy and all unit types and ranks used the same basic greatcoat design, but in wintertime officers were allowed to add collar of their greatcoat a fur collar of similar color as the fur in their fur cap m/22. Internal jacket pockets had pocket flaps without buttons and left side pocket had a leather reinforced hole for carrying a sword. While typical material for liners was apparently cotton, greatcoats privately acquired by officers, senior noncommisioned officers and military officials sometimes had silk liners. Later many of these greatcoats were upgraded to greatcoat m/36 standard by replacing jacket collar.

PICTURE: Standard version of greatcoat m/22. Notice lenght of the coat, two rows of buttons in chest with six buttons in each row and dark grey collar - although in this photo one row of buttons is almost completely unbuttoned. Later greatcoat m/36 is very similar with main difference between the two greatcoats being in collar. Photo source - original photo by Armémuseum (Sweden), CC BY 4.0 Creative Commons license. CLICK THUMBNAIL TO SEE LARGER PIC (74 KB).

PICTURE: Three privates of Finnish Armed Forces in different versions of greatcoat m/22. From the left to right bicycle troops, Air Force and infantry. Uniform regulation manuals do not mention much shorter greatcoat version used by bicycle troops, but it made sense. Photographed by E.A. Vesa. (Photo part of Jaeger Platoon photo collection.) CLICK THUMBNAIL TO SEE LARGER PIC (103 KB).

PICTURE: There is some difference in between cut of standard issue greatcoat M/22 and the version, which was available to officer's and senior NCO ranks. This photograph shows Lieutenant of Finnish Army with what seems quite clearly be a tailored greatcoat. Notice shouldboards. Also other uniform items (tunic and fur hat) are military uniform M/22. The tower visible background seems to be bell-tower of Viipuri / Wiborg / Vyborg cathedral. (Photograph part of Jaeger Platoon Website photo collection. Unlicensed use of photograph prohibited). CLICK THUMBNAIL TO SEE LARGER PIC (118 KB).

Fur overcoat m/22 (turkki m/22 / turkistakki m/22):

Originally this duffel-type overcoat with fur liner was intended only for all ranks of field artillery and cavalry. Starting February of 1924 officers of all service arms could use it. Officer's version was a overcoat made from lamb fur and thick grey coarse cloth (wool) fabric similar to that used in great coats m/22. Version issued for non-commissioned officers and enlisted men of field artillery and cavalry was made from lamb fur and empregnated linen. The jacket was closed with single row of six wooden oblong buttons going through loops. Pockets used in this jacket were canted and quite uncommonly for Finnish military jackets of that time had no flaps covering their openings. Lenght of the officer's version was such that it was to end 10 centimeters / 4 inches above knee-line, while version issued to NCOs and enlisted men was slightly shorter. Hem and front of the jacket had a fur section about 4 cm / 1.5 inches wide. As with greatcoat m/22, the left pocket was equipped with leather lined hole and a hook intended for carrying sword. The jacket has a slit in hem of the jacket in the middle of back. Fur overcoats were the luxury item for winter uniform and neither cheap or easy to replace, hence fur overcoats m/22 seem to have commonly seen use with officers that owned one or lucky few soldiers have one issued for them throughout winters of World War 2.

PICTURE: Finnish Army infantry Major in reserves with fur overcoat m/22. Notice lamb fur and oblong wooden buttons of the overcoat. Tunic collar design indicates senior officer and single silver colored pips in collar show exact military rank and that he is in reserves. Pants seem to be be of later model. Hat is fur hat m/22. Sam Browne type belt with round copper buckle is officer's leather belt m/22. Photo taken in Infantry Museum (Jalkaväkimuseo, Mikkeli). CLICK THUMBNAIL TO SEE LARGER PIC (148 KB).


Leather belt m/22 (nahkavyö m/22)

This was standard issue belt intended for rank-and non-commissioned officers. It was 45-mm wide belt was made from (natural) light brown leather with removable rectangular blued steel belt buckle resembling German World War 1 era standard issue belt buckle, but the belt buckle has Finnish coat of arms lion surrounded by wreath. Mainly cavalry and bicycle troops could be issued with so-called Y-strap harness, which was used with the belt to make sure that it stayed in correct place. Y-strap harness used with leather belt m/22 is made from similar light brown leather as the belt and its metal parts are brass. The belt buckles used leather belt m/22 were later re-issued with leather belts m/27. Although leather belt m/27 was intended to be replaced with leather belt m/30, in reality both belt designs remained in use throughout World War 2.

PICTURE: Leather belt m/22. This belt used the same steel buckle as later leather belt m/27, but its leather is light brown due to different tanning process being used. Photo source - original photo by Armémuseum (Sweden), CC BY 4.0 Creative Commons license. CLICK THUMBNAIL TO SEE LARGER PIC (107 KB).


Officer’s leather belt m/22 (upseerin nahkavyö m/22)

Also this belt issued to officers and military officials was clearly based to German World War 1 era military belt design, but its circular belt buckle had lion from Finnish coat of arms surrounded by wreath. The version issued to Army and Air Force has belt buckle that is 45-mm in diameter, it was made from oxidized copper and the Sam Browne type (natural) light brown leather belt used with it is 45-mm wide. The leather strap (komentovyö) used with it that went over the right shoulder was made from similar light brown leather, 25-mm wide from the middle and 20-mm wide from its both ends. Belt version of officer’s belt m/22, that Navy and Coastal Artillery used has belt buckle that is 40-mm in diameter, made from bright gold-colored copper and it was used with black leather belt that is 35-mm wide. While partially replaced by officer's leather belt m/27, also officer's leather belt saw limited use in World War 2.

It is worth noting that also for dress uniform use officers and military officials also had a separate more decorative belt design - dress uniform belt with tassels (juhlavyö m/22 tupsuineen). The belt is a woven fabric belt with blue patterns and without belt buckle of any kind. The basic color of its basic version is white, while base color used in senior officer’s version is silver and in general’s version it is gold.


Uniform m/22 made from leather (nahkapuku m/22)

This was a version of uniform m/22 made from black leather, which regardless of its official model number (given it later on) had already been introduced in year 1920. It was intended to crews of motor vehicles and was first issued by Tank Regiment/Battalion and later on also to Motor Corps. Uniform cut used in it was similar to standard issue uniform m/19, but both tunic and trousers had been made from black leather. This uniform had been intended to be used as service uniform only, with normal m/22 military uniform being used as holiday/dress uniform, but at least Tank Corps liked to use their leather uniforms also for that purpose. In pre World War 2 era leather uniform m/22 achieved status of being one of the uniform items, which supposedly allowed soldier wearing them to have better than average chance of success with fairer sex. Besides being an item that stand out from other uniforms this may have based on somewhat special status that in early 1920's still somewhat rare motor vehicles and operator may have enjoyed in public perspective. While leather tunic m/22 was made from black leather, for practical purposes its collar and epaulets were black fabric. Some of the leather uniforms m/22 (or sometime just their tunic or pants) saw use all the way to Continuation War.

PICTURE: Two photos showing military uniforms m/22 made from black leather. The photo on the left shows three soldiers of Motor Corps in their uniforms m/22 and leather caps m/22 posing in front of ambulance, while the photo on the right shows Tank Corps version of the uniform with leather helmet. Left side photo part of Jaeger Platoon Website photo collection and right side photo taken in Tank Museum (Panssarimuseo, Parola). CLICK THUMBNAIL TO SEE LARGER PIC (268 KB).

Tank crews also had their own leather helmet design made from black leather that was used with leather uniform m/22. It was made from hardened leather, with top and brim of the helmet having a large ridge shaped leather cushions protecting head from impact and leather flaps in sides and rear of the helmet protecting both ears and back of a neck. This Finnish tank crew leather helmet introduced by early 1920's was based on World War 1 era aviator's leather helmet and remained in common use until circa 1940 - 1941. Motor Corps in turn had their own cap design known as leather cap m/22 (nahkalakki m/22), which was a visor-equipped peaked cap made from black leather and grey cloth. The leather cap m/22 seems to have been based to cap-design earlier introduced by Helsinki Civil Guard. In addition Motor Corps car companies also had their own specific fur hat models m/22 for non-commissioned officers and enlisted men. The non-commissioned officer's version was basically all black version of fur hat m/19 without blue stripes of fabric, while enlisted men's version was a simple peaked hat with section of fur that was normally folded upwards against rear and sides of the cap.








The cut and fit used for military uniform m/22 were such that the uniform was mainly suited for military parades and garrison use. Particularly tunic m/22 was terribly clumsy for real combat – due to its tight cut it did not work with many body types and often did not leave enough room to comfortably wear all layers needed in cold winter weather. If this had not been enough especially the tunic’s collar chafed neck and high collar used in officer’s tunic version also limited head movement. Uniform trousers m/22 apparently were not that successful either – the design used in breeches was uncomfortable while riding breeches apparently had also tendency of cause painful abrasion to riders. Neither field cap m/22 nor fur hat m/22 had a visor, which would have protected eyes in sunny weather. As typical in military fashion, influences had been loaned from various foreign uniforms – which in case of military uniform m/22 were likely mostly French, German and British. When it was introduced breeches were still the standard trousers used in European military uniforms and horses more common than motor vehicles, due to which breeches and riding breeches were the standard trouser designs used with it. The same trousers were worn year round and apparently suited quite well for winter, but were exceedingly warm and sweaty for warm summer. In addition hats were not really field-worthy in any way – field cap m/22 worked otherwise quite well as summer hat, while fur hat m/22 was suitable for sub-zero temperatures, but neither hat was particularly well suited for temperatures that fell in between and both lacked visor that would have provided protection against sun and rain.

PICTURE: Uniform m/22 for Private of Coastal Artillery. Coastal artillery tunic m/22 has dark blue collar, cuffs and epaulets. Notice row of three buttons in cuffs. Enlisted men of coastal artillery used version of navy hat with steel-grey top, while the version used by Navy was all dark blue. Hat band indicates service unit, in this case RANNIKKOTYKISTÖ R.1 (Coastal Artillery Regiment 1). The belt is leather belt m/27 and the bayonet scabbard hanging from it baoyonet m/91 and ammunition pouches for rifle ammunition. Coastal artillery uniforms had the same gold-colored buttons with anchor-motif as the Navy. Photo taken in Maneesi of Finnish Military Museum (Sotamuseon Maneesi, Helsinki). CLICK THUMBNAIL TO SEE LARGER PIC (89 KB).

Clothing used in civilian world and military uniforms have always been linked through to each other via civilian and military fashion, which influence one another. Military uniform m/22 is not an exception to this. In Finland of 1920’s breeches became a clothing item representing authority in such manner that they became the quintessential item of clothing for men who worked in supervisor position in such sort of works, in which wearing suit was not feasible and succeeded remaining popular in Finnish civilian clothing all the way until 1950’s – 1960’s. Another item that may have shown even more significant effect to civilian society was underwear that military issued for hygiene and practical reasons. Once conscripts got used into wearing underwear, they took the habit back them to civilian life and on the long run this increased popularity of using underwear also among civilian population. Issued underwear included several slightly varying versions manufactured from cotton, flannel and terry cloth. From these three flannel seem to have been intended for winter use and terry cloth was apparently issued only in quite limited scale.

As experiences from uniforms acquired by White Army during Civil War had shown, acquiring standard uniform required a large-scale manufacturer capable manufacturing them in industrial scale. Hence Republic of Finland decided to create one. State Uniform Factory (Valtion Pukutehdas, VPU), until late 1930's known as Army Outfitter (Armeijan Pukimo, AP), was established in year 1922 to manufacture uniforms for Armed Forces and other authorities. The another essential organization for supply of military uniforms was Army Centre Depot (Armeijan Keskusvarikko), which started out in Helsinki, but was moved to city of Hämeenlinna already in autumn of 1918, got renamed first as Army Equipment Depot (Armeijan Varusvarikko) and later as Clothing Depot (Vaatetusvarikko). December of 1941 Clothing Depot of Hämeenlinna was renamed as Clothing Depot 1 (Vaat.V 1), when Clothing Depot 2 was established in Pääskylahti and before end of Continuation War Clothing Depot 3 was established to Tampere.

PICTURE: Period photo taken of Finnish soldiers in middle of equipment inspection probably in 1920's. Soldiers have spread out items issued to them for inspection. This includes all the clothing issued to them in one pile. Notice steel helmets - German and Austro-Hungarian World War 1 era helmets were de facto the standard helmet type for Finnish Army from 1919 to 1939. All soldiers are wearing military uniforms M/22. (Photo part of Jaeger Platoon photo collection.) CLICK THUMBNAIL TO SEE LARGER PIC (122 KB).

Another obvious clothing-supply related need was ability to be able to wash uniforms and other uniform items. Early on military units used washing houses and saunas of their own units and privately owned laundries for this purpose. Starting year 1925 Finnish military started establishing its own laundries to its military units, with ten laundries being established by year 1939. The largest of these laundries belonging to military was Centre Laundry (Keskuspesula) established in city of Lahti in year 1926, it took care of washing clothes originating from three regiments and three other smaller military units.



Pekka Aarniaho: Kaluunat ja rähinäremmit. Itsenäisen Suomen virkapuvut ja arvomerkit 1918 – 1945 (Uniforms and Rank Markings of Independent Finland 1918 - 1945).

Petteri Leino: Asepuku M/36 vuosina 1936 – 1945 (Uniform m/36 in years 1936 - 1945).

Stig Roudasmaa: Suojeluskuntapuvut. Suojeluskuntajärjestön puvut 1918 – 1944 (Civil Guard Uniforms. Uniforms of Civil Guard in 1918 - 1944).

Juhani U.E. Lehtonen: Sotilaselämän perinnekirja (The Tradition Book of Military Life).

Puolustusvoimien huolto 1918 – 1986 (Supply of Defense Forces 1918 - 1986) by Huoltoupseeriyhdistys.

Suomalaisen sotilaan historia ristiretkistä rauhanturvaamiseen (History of Finnish Soldier from Crusades to Peacekeeping).

Marko Palokangas: Itsenäisen Suomen sotilasarvot ja –arvomerkit / Military Ranks and Rank Badges of Independent Finland.

Article: Jukka I. Mattila: Sotilaspuku M/22, Osa I: Sarkanutusta univormuksi (Military Uniform M/22, From Coarse Cloth Jacket to Military Uniform), (Ase-lehti magazine vol. 6/1999).

Article: Jukka I. Mattila: Sotilaspuku M/22, Osa II: M/22 antoi hahmon itsenäisyytemme alkuajan sotalaitokselle (Military Uniform M/22, M/22 Gave the Shape for Armed Forces of Our Early Indepedence Era) (Ase-lehti magazine vol. 1/2000).

Article: Jukka I. Mattila: Sotilaspuku M/22, Osa III: Ratsuv¨en puku (Military Uniform M/22, Cavalry Uniform) (Ase-lehti magazine vol. 4/2000).

Article: Tapani Saari: Panssarijoukkojen univormuja I osa (Uniforms of Tank Corps, Part I), Panssari-magazine vol. 4/1990.

Article: Tapani Saari: Panssarijoukkojen univormuja II osa (Uniforms of Tank Corps, Part II), Panssari-magazine vol. 1/1991.

Article: Tapani Saari: Panssarijoukkojen univormuja III osa (Uniforms of Tank Corps, Part III), Panssari-magazine vol. 2/1991.

Article: Marko Palokangas: Sotilasarvomerkkiemme taustaa ja taivalta (Background and Development of Our Military Rank Markings), (Ase-lehti magazine vol 5/1995).

Article: Panssarimiesten asepuvut (Uniforms of Tank Crews) by Kari Kuusela in Ase-lehti magazine vol. 1/1986.

Theses: Majuri J.V. Heinonen: Mieskohtaisessa varustuksessa (hiihtovälineet ml) todetut puutteet sekä suunnitelma vaatetus- ja varustusprobleemin ratkaisemiseksi erikoisolosuhteemme huomioon ottaen. (Indepedent Soldier's Equipment. Noted shortcomings and Plan to Solve Clothing and Equipment Problem Considering Our Circumstances). (Military academy thesis from year 1950).

Theses: Kristian Värri: Itsenäisen Suomen ratsuväen varusteiden kehitys talvisotaan mennessä (Development of Equipment in Cavalry of Independent Finland before Winter War).

Military manual: Valtakunnan sotavoimien virkapukuja (Uniforms for State's Armed Forces). Document of uniform regulations enacted in June of 1919.

Military manual: Uniformsbeklädnad för Rikets krigsmakt (Uniforms for State's Armed Forces). Document of uniform regulations enacted in year 1922.

Military manual: Valtakunnan puolustusvoimien virkapukuohjesääntö (V.P.O.) (Uniform Regulations for the State's Defence Forces). Book of uniform regulations in year 1930.

Military manual: Suomen puolustusvoimien virkapuvut (Uniforms of Defence Forces). Attachment to Valtakunnan Puolustusvoimien virkapukuohjesääntö of year 1930 with high quality color drawings of uniforms, uniform items and details.

Military manual: Muutoksia ja lisäksiä valtakunnan puolustusvoimien virkapukuohjeääntöön (Modifications and Changes to Uniform Regulations for the State's Defence Forces). Introduced November of 1938.

Military manual: Vuonna 1936 ja senjälkeen vahvistetut puolustuslaitoksen henkilökunnan virkapukumääräykset (Uniform Regulations Authorized for Defence Department Staff Since Year 1936). 2nd edition published year 1942.

Special thanks to Finnish Military Museum (Sotamuseo), Helsinki.

Special thanks to Museum Militaria (Museo Militaria), Hämeenlinna.

Special thanks to Infantry Museum (Jalkaväkimuseo), Mikkeli.

Special thanks to Tank Museum (Panssarimuseo), Parola.

Special thanks to Armémuseum (Sweden)

Last updated 16th of January 2022
Webmaster: JTV
Copyrights (text and graphics): Jaeger Platoon Website. Copyrights of photographs vary on case to case basis and are marked along each picture.