Book Review: The Suomi M/31 by Michael Heidler

Michael Heidler’s bi-lingual (German and English) book on the Finnish Suomi m/31 submachine gun is a small but dense history of one of the best submachine guns of World War Two. It covers Aimo Lahti’s background, the development of the submachine gun, its adoption by the Finnish Defense Forces, the handful of variations made, and its training and use in the Winter War and Continuation War. Because of Finnish tactics and the densely forested environments of the combat, the Suomi became perhaps the most important Finnish weapon in their wars against Russia. Light machine guns were too heavy, and their benefits could not be properly exploited by the Finnish fast-moving and close-in style of combat, but the Suomi excelled.

The book is just under 100 pages long, with about 60 of those consisting of a wealth of excellent photos from the SA Kuva military archive. All of the text and photo captions are presented side by side in both English and German. The book may not be large, but it is well presented and an excellent reference on an otherwise rather obscure weapon. Pricing at the time of this filming is 29 Euro shipped in Germany, 34 Euro shipped to the rest of the EU, and $44 US shipped outside of the EU. Available direct from the author via PayPal. Email him at to order a copy.