Anthony F. Upton

Anthony F. Upton (13 October 1929 – 4 July 2015)[1] was a British professor of Nordic history. Born in Stockton Heath, Cheshire, he graduated B.A. in Modern History from Queen's College, Oxford, with First Class honours in 1951, subsequently M.A. (Oxon). After leaving Oxford he travelled to the United States as a Fulbright Scholar and graduated A.M. in history from Duke University, NC in 1953. On his return from the United States, He was appointed as an Assistant Lecturer in History at the University of Leeds. He moved to the University of St. Andrews in 1956 as a lecturer in History. He was promoted to Reader before being appointed Professor of Nordic History in 1983. He retired from St Andrews as Professor Emeritus in 1996. He is a fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

He has published about the first decades 1918–1944 after Finnish independence. He received the Hon. D. from the University of Helsinki on 2 June 2000.

He is best known for sinking the so-called "driftwood theory"[2] (Finnish: Ajopuuteoria) of Finnish passivity in the Operation Barbarossa.[3]


  • A Short History of Finland, 1998, 209 p.
  • Europe 1600–1789, 2001. 437 p.
  • The Finnish Revolution 1917–1918, 1980, 608 p.
  • Finland in Crisis, 1940–1941, 1964, 318 p.
  • Finland, 1939–1940, 1974, 174 p.
  • Charles XI and Swedish Absolutism, 1998, 281 p.


  1. ^ Martti Häikiö, Eeva Simola (7 August 2015), "Professori upotti ajopuuteorian", Helsingin Sanomat (in Finnish), pp. B 13
  2. ^ Erkki Tuomioja: Puheenvuoro "Historiography and Politics" The Politics of the Past -symposiumissa. Jyväskylä, 9.6.2007
  3. ^ Markku Jokisipilä: Finnish History, Culture and the Second World War