Dissertation on Finland's Air Surveillance 1930-1942

National Defence University 16.12.2016 9.00
Press release

Captain Jussi Pajunen's doctoral dissertation will be held at the National Defence University on Friday 20 January 2017. The doctoral thesis falls within the field of military history and the dissertation will take place in the Itälinnake auditorium of the National Defence University's Santahamina Building (Santahaminantie 2) at 1000 hrs.

The custos will be Ph.D. Mikko Karjalainen, Docent of Finnish Military History at the National Defence University. The opponent will be COL Petteri Jouko, Ph.D., Docent of Operational Art and Tactics at the National Defence University.

The topic of the thesis is "From Aerial Observation Service to Territorial Air Surveillance - the Development of Finland's Air Surveillance 1930-1942" (Ilmatähystyspalveluksesta alueelliseen ilmavalvontaan – Suomen ilmavalvonnan kehittäminen 1930–1942). The thesis focuses on the different stages and background factors in the development of air surveillance and related cooperation. The thesis shows that the development of air surveillance was affected by air threats, available resources, changes to the principles for use of the air forces and needs of partners in cooperation.

The thesis also shows that the interpretation presented in several earlier studies regarding the juxtaposition of Douhetism and defensive air defence in 1930s Finland is unsustainable, and that it was rather the schools of offensive and defensive air defence that were opposed. The research shows that Finland's air surveillance was not formed through improvisation, but rather that it was developed quite systematically. Reserving air surveillance personnel, mainly members of the Lotta Svärd women's auxiliary forces, in areas near their planned wartime area of deployment enabled flexible training and the high readiness to mobilise required by the threat of a surprise attack. The research shows that both offensive warfare and the demands set by monitoring conquered areas, as well as emphasis on supporting fighter aircraft within the field of air surveillance led to a shut down of the territorial air surveillance at the end of 1942.

The doctoral thesis can be downloaded online from the National Defence University's Doria Publication Archive.

Captain Jussi Pajunen completed his master's studies in military science at the National Defence University in 2008. He has served at the Lapland Air Defence Regiment and Army Academy. In 2014 he served in the UNIFIL operation in Lebanon. He has served at the National Defence University since 2015, first as a research officer and currently as a teacher of military history. Pajunen began his doctoral studies in military science in 2008.

Welcome to the public dissertation

The dissertation is open to the general public. Because the event will take place in a military area, we kindly ask that you register no later than Friday 13 January 2017 using the following link

You must show an official photo ID (issued by the Finnish Police) or a passport at the Santahamina entrance gate.

Additional information

Research: Jussi Pajunen, tel. 050 575 6025 or

General arrangements and information: Public Information Officer Henna Ristikangas, tel. 0299 530 121 or