Where exactly did the Estonian volunteers fight?

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BornGinger
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Liitunud: L Nov 23, 2019 12:26 pm

Where exactly did the Estonian volunteers fight?

Postitus Postitas BornGinger » T Jaan 07, 2020 2:26 pm

Hello everyone interested in the Estonian volunteers who went to Finland and fight.

A friend of mine has Estonian ancestry and has told me a bit about the Estonian's fights for independence, sometimes together with the other two Baltic countries, and also that many Estonians have fought together with the Finns, the Germans and even the Soviets (although not for the sake of becoming independent). This has caused me to look into this a bit and the fights in Estonia during WW2, which one hasn't heard or read a lot about earlier, has really amazed me.

Another thing that amazed me, or at least made me a bit confused, was that my friend's father who never really told any of his children anything about the war in Finland said that he and his fellow Estonian volunteers had been to Stalingrad. My friend was sure that his old dad must have mixed things up and had been meaning to say Leningrad. But as we both know that the so called Finnish Boys were positioned on the Mannerheim Line and around Viipuri we decided that I should check with you on this forum.

As far as I know there were Estonian volunteers in IR200 and also in the 3rd Battalion of IR47. And according to the book Finland's War of Choice Mannerheim stalled the Finnish advance south towards Leningrad and required of the Germans that they got closer to Leningrad and managed to surround it more before the Finns would go further south.

The only Finns or Estonians that would have been close to Leningrad were the once in the SS-divisions. It is maybe possible that my friend's dad was thinking about those when he said that they had been to Leningrad (although he actually mentioned Stalingrad) and was using "we" as a way of saying "us Estonians" whether those Estonians were in the Finnish army or the SS-divisions.

But I still wonder if my friend's dad could be correct in what he said about that Estonian volunteers, either from IR47 or IR200, being close to Leningrad or if they always stayed further north?

If you don't speak very good English you can reply in Estonian or Russian. I would use Google Translate or Systran Translate to get it to English.
Viimati muutis BornGinger, T Jaan 07, 2020 2:38 pm, muudetud 1 kord kokku.

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uscha
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Re: Where exactly did the Estonian volunteers fight?

Postitus Postitas uscha » T Jaan 07, 2020 2:32 pm

He might have fought near Stalingrad if he served in the 36th Estonian Police Battallion (1942-43) and later went to Finland and served IR47 or IR200.

HERE is a thread about 36th Estonian Police Battallion.
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BornGinger
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Re: Where exactly did the Estonian volunteers fight?

Postitus Postitas BornGinger » T Jaan 07, 2020 2:44 pm

As far as his children know he left Estonia for Finland when the Germans were collecting kids born in or around 1922, 1925, or whenever he was born, to fight for the Germans. So he never joined any police battalion as far as they know. But it is of course possible that he didn't tell his boys that he was in fact serving in the 36th Estonian Police Battallion. According to what he has told his boys he was around 16 years old when he was in Finland. So if he was in the police battalion before that he must have been one of the youngest Estonians in that police battalion.



Is there any Estonian online service to find out which Estonian served in what company and where?

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uscha
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Re: Where exactly did the Estonian volunteers fight?

Postitus Postitas uscha » T Jaan 07, 2020 3:07 pm

BornGinger kirjutas:
T Jaan 07, 2020 2:44 pm
Is there any Estonian online service to find out which Estonian served in what company and where?
Unfortunately no.

Perhaps You can find his name from here?

The easiest way is if You tell his name and I can look it up from a book.
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3 (1).jpg
4.JPG
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BornGinger
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Re: Where exactly did the Estonian volunteers fight?

Postitus Postitas BornGinger » T Jaan 07, 2020 3:19 pm

No, his father's name wasn't among those dead ones from the 36 Police Battalion.

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uscha
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Re: Where exactly did the Estonian volunteers fight?

Postitus Postitas uscha » T Jaan 07, 2020 3:23 pm

They were not actually killed.
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Wirbelwind
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Re: Where exactly did the Estonian volunteers fight?

Postitus Postitas Wirbelwind » K Jaan 08, 2020 7:49 pm

uscha kirjutas:
T Jaan 07, 2020 3:23 pm
They were not actually killed.
True. It was just a propaganda booklet. First name in list, Harald Riipalu:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harald_Riipalu

..he survived WW2 and died in Great Britain in 1961.

It is hard to believe that a veteran did not remember and mixed up those two big and different cities in different locations. And also- we did not have a compulsory mobilisation of young boys 1941-1943, so maybe he travelled to Finland for some other reason or he was not 16, but 18 or older.

As already mentioned, if You give us the name of Your friend's father, it is much easier to check from books and documents. But personally I haven't heard anything about Estonians in Finnish army near Stalingrad.

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Re: Where exactly did the Estonian volunteers fight?

Postitus Postitas BornGinger » R Jaan 10, 2020 4:13 pm

I talked to my friend and he was OK with me mentioning his dad's name in the forum. As his dad didn't want to talk a lot about the war my friend wasn't sure whether his dad would have wanted his name mentioned had he still been alive. But now when he isn't with the family anymore, there's no chance of getting to know what he would have thought about it.

His name was Harry Laanemäe.

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Re: Where exactly did the Estonian volunteers fight?

Postitus Postitas uscha » R Jaan 10, 2020 4:19 pm

Harry Laanemäe
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Re: Where exactly did the Estonian volunteers fight?

Postitus Postitas Wirbelwind » L Jaan 11, 2020 6:25 pm

So he traveled to Finland around at same time when Red Army entered to Estonia again and we had total mobilization (30.01.1944). But he was 17 then and not under mobilization.
There was only one way to get to Stalingrad or any other area in Russia at 1944- long-range reconnaissance patrols. Estonians were also involved, but mr Laanemäe probably not, as I see from the article above. One book about these patrols in Finnish:

https://kirja.elisa.fi/ekirja/paamajan- ... tkosodassa

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Re: Where exactly did the Estonian volunteers fight?

Postitus Postitas BornGinger » E Jaan 13, 2020 3:49 pm

Yes exactly.

So when he said that "we" were in Stalingrad, he most likely ment "we Estonians" and not he and his mates in his company. Or he ment "we Estonians were in Leningrad" and talked about those in the Eesti Legion or the ones in 20th SS-division who fought close to Lenignrad and not he and his mates in the company he belonged to.

As an old man with a memory that sometimes failed him he might have mixed up Stalingrad and Leningrad, both cities wearing names of prominent Soviet bandits, and talked about estonian soldiers in general.

Thank you for the chat. I'll read, and use online translating tools for it, other threads on this forum. The Avinurme battle and the Auvere battle are my focus at the moment.

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