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Martti Aho participated in the Finnish Civil War in 1918 and in the Aunus expedition 1919–1920. He served in the Border Guard as a company commander before the Winter War and during the war he was first a company commander, and later the commander of Erillinen pataljoona 8 (ErP 8; Detached Battalion 8). Aho was wounded twice during the Winter War.
In the beginning of the Continuation War, Major Aho commanded Infantry Regiment 50 (Jalkaväkirykmentti 50, JR 50), which belonged to the 11th Infantry Division. Due to his skilled command, during the Army of Karelia's breakthrough and the conquest of Petrozavodsk, Aho was rewarded the Mannerheim cross on March 1, 1942 as knight number 52. During the stationary phase of the war, Aho was stationed at the Svir River with his regiment. He was promoted Colonel on June 23, 1944. During the great Soviet offensive the 11th Division was transferred to the Karelian isthmus, where Aho and his regiment participated in the battle of Tali-Ihantala from June 27. Aho was again wounded in battle on June 29.
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