In the chaos surrounding the Russian Revolution, the former Grand Duchy of Finland declared independence in 1917. This led to a 1918 armed conflict between the Reds who were in favor of a Soviet style republic and the Whites who were in favor of a parliamentary style democracy. After a long and bloody battle, Finland became part of the German Empire when the Reds were defeated. Finland did not emerge as an independent state until after Germany’s defeat in World War I.
This only recently identified photo of White Verna Erikson has long been an iconic image of the Finnish Civil War. One of the few women enrolled in the University of Technology, Verna was about 24 when this photo was taken. She was part of an underground White resistance group of women who transported arms and participated in the fighting. A month after the war’s end in May 1918, Verna was among the women awarded the Order of the Cross of Liberty. In October of 1918, she passed away from breast cancer.
You can read more about Verna here. Hat tip to casinclaire for the suggestion.