Gustaf Mannerheim was one of the greatest figures of the 20th century. As a young Finnish officer he witnessed the coronation of the last Tsar and was decorated for bravery in the Russo-Japanese War. He spent two years undercover in Asia as an agent of the 'Great Game'. Crossing China on horseback, he stopped en route to teach the 13th Dalai Lama how to shoot a pistol; he also spied on the Japanese navy. Having escaped the Bolsheviks by the skin of his teeth in 1917, he commanded the anti-Russian forces in the local revolt and civil war and later, during Finland's darkest hour, he lead the defence of his country against the impossible odds of the Winter War. In this, the first major biography of Mannerheim for a decade, Jonathan Clements brings new material to light on Mannerheim's time in Manchuria and Japan. This is a fascinating appraisal of an adventurer and explorer who would go on to forge a new nation.