Lauri Sutela

General Lauri Johannes Sutela (11 October 1918, Äänekoski – 8 November 2011; surname until 1929 Schroderus) was a Finnish military officer.[1] He served as an officer in the engineer corps during World War II.[2]

Lauri Sutela
Born(1918-10-11)11 October 1918
Äänekoski, Finland
Died8 November 2011(2011-11-08) (aged 93)
Helsinki, Finland
AllegianceFinland Finland
Service/branchFinnish Army seal Finnish Army
Years of service1939–1983
Unit12th Jager Engineer Regiment.
Commands heldChief of Defence
Battles/warsWinter War
Continuation War

Sutela worked his way up the Finnish Army and finally became the Chief of Defence from 15 April 1974 until 11 October 1983. His appointment was controversial since he was the first (and last) non-combat arms officer to be appointed as the Chief of Defence, but he was appointed solely on the basis of seniority. He was considered to be acceptable and a consensus candidate to both Sweden, Soviet Union, West Germany and East Germany, i.e. the main foreign players with influence in the Finnish defence establishment.[3] As a Staff Colonel in the early-to-mid 1960s, he had authored several books on doctrine and tactics on how to adapt Soviet weapons systems to Western/Finnish doctrine and tactics.


Sutela died in Helsinki, Finland on 8 November 2011 at the age of 93. He is buried in the Hietaniemi Cemetery in Helsinki.[4]


  1. ^ "Puolustusvoimain entinen komentaja Sutela on kuollut" (in Finnish). Kaleva. 2011-11-08. Retrieved 8 November 2011.
  2. ^ "General Lauri Sutela har avlidit" (in Swedish). Åbo Underrättelser. 2011-11-08. Archived from the original on 15 April 2012. Retrieved 8 November 2011.
  3. ^ Jaakko Salmela (September 2009). "Kenraalit ovat tervaskantoja". Ruotuvaki. Retrieved 25 December 2010.
  4. ^ "Hietaniemen hautausmaa – merkittäviä vainajia" (PDF). Helsingin seurakuntayhtymä. Retrieved 27 August 2016.