There are only three equestrian statues in Finland. Two of them portray Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim, the military leader of the ‘Whites’ in the Finnish civil war, commander-in-chief of Finland‘s defence forces during World War II, and the sixth president of Finland. Given the broad recognition in Finland and elsewhere of his unparalleled role in establishing and later preserving Finland’s independence from Russia, Mannerheim has often been referred to as the father of modern Finland