Mäntsälä rebellion


Mäntsälä rebellion
Mäntsälä rebellion
Date 27th March–6th April 1932
Location Mäntsälä, Jyväskylä, Salo, Seinäjoki, Pori
Result Finnish democracy prevails; the Lapua movement is disbanded.
Belligerents
Flag of Finland (state).svgFinnish Government Lapuan liike.svg Lapua movement
Commanders and leaders
Flag of Finland (state).svg Aarne Sihvo Lapuan liike.svg Artturi Vuorimaa, Vihtori Kosola, K. M. Wallenius
Strength
unknown at the time 500 in Mäntsälä, 5,000 in the whole country
Casualties and losses
none 1 suicide, 52 imprisoned

The Mäntsälä rebellion (Finnish: Mäntsälän kapina) was a failed coup attempt by the Lapua Movement to overthrow the Finnish government.

On February 27, 1932 some 400 armed members of the Suojeluskunta militia interrupted a meeting of Social Democrats in Mäntsälä with small arms fire. In the next few days, leading members of the Lapua Movement (Lapuanliike) and hundreds of armed members of Suojeluskunta arrived at Mäntsälä. The former Chief of General Staff, Major General Wallenius also joined the leadership of the rebellion. The men refused to disperse and demanded the cabinet's resignation and a change in political course.

Two days later the cabinet ordered the leaders of the Lapua movement arrested using the Protection of the Republic Act which the movement itself had urged for a year before. Army units began preparing as the Chief of Defence, Lieutenant General Aarne Sihvo was prepared to use force to end the rebellion. Orders were given to reinforce the defence of Helsinki with tanks and artillery in case the situation would escalate. As the tensions grew, so did the consumption of alcohol among the instigators.

On March 2 President Svinhufvud gave a radio speech in which he urged the militiamen to return home and promised that only the leaders would be punished. The men dispersed and the leaders were arrested a few days later. During the spring the Lapua movement was disbanded.

The Mäntsälä rebellion can be considered the last major incident caused by the radical right-wing activism in Finland after the Civil War. In the coming years the economic situation in Finland would improve and the radical movements would lose support.


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