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  1. The sleeve badge was later (December 1934) made a "tradition" badge for a permanent battalion of the Estonian army, but this very strange British/American looking uniform appears to be from the actual war of liberation period? Have never been able to confirm this, since the only Estonian uniform sources I've seen are from the 1930s.
  2. Hello. I just bought this badge in Poland. I was told this is from the Estonian 1st Hussar Regiment, but the nut on reverse said it was made in Warsaw, Poland. Can you help identify this badge? Any information would be appreciated. Thank you. Linas
  3. All. Thoght it was lost, but I found it today! I have this little Silver cup with an added Liberty Cross. The cup is 65 mm high and the cross has enamelled arms, so I assume it should indicate one of the higher classes although I cannot be sure weather it's a 1st or 2nd grade cross. The cup is made by Tavast and have the inscription "Meie täname" which google translates to "Our thanks to" and the date 10. V 34. Would anybody here know at which event this cup were given, to whom and if the date means something special? A google search did not do the trick for me! Regards, Lars
  4. Hmm. I think I have found the law establishing them, but it is of course in Estonian... and Google Translate is refusing even to attempt to translate it (returns a blank screen, grrr) The link is here: https://www.riigiteataja.ee/akt/12906303 - ideally I'd like a translation but if someone can at least confirm it is what I think it is I'd be grateful!
  5. Dear Gentlemen, Here is a new topic talking about the modern Estonian military medals. I would be very glad if anybody can add information to this topic and I will answer on your questions with a great pleasure. Best regards, pluribus
  6. Maarjamaa Risti teenetemärk Instituted in 1995 and awarded to Estonians and foreigners for services to the state in 6 classes. Here is the Collar, which with a star makes up a 'special' class. Obverse: Reverse:
  7. Found this interesting news article: The highest honorary decoration of the Ministry of Defence, the First Class of the Cross of Merit, was given to General Mark A. Welsh, Commander, U.S. Air Forces in Europe, and the former Secretary of State for Defence of the United Kingdom, Dr. Liam Fox, for their contribution in achieving indefinite Baltic air-policing. The Third Class of the Cross of Merit was awarded to Lieutenant Colonel Martin Herem, Head of the Northeast Defence District, for his long-term professional activity in supporting the national defence of the Republic of Estonia. The Third Class of the Cross of Merit was also awarded to Katri Raudsepp, Deputy Director of the Procurement Department at the Ministry of Defence, as recognition for her long-term contribution in developing the field of defence procurement. The Ministry of Defence Distinguished Service Decoration (gold, silver) was also awarded to several diplomats, local government figures, officials of the Ministry of Defence, Members of the Defence Forces, Members of the National Defence League, employees at the Defence Resources Office, as well as members of medical committees, and co-operation partners. The Cross of Merit of the Ministry of Defence was instituted on 24 February 1999 as an order that is comprised of three classes. The first class of the order is awarded for special services in the defence of the Republic of Estonia or for development and consolidation of Estonia’s national defence structures. In 2004, the highest decoration of the Ministry of Defence was also bestowed on President Lennart Meri, Siim Kallas, Mart Laar, Jüri Luik, and Margus Kolga for their devoted contribution in the process of Estonia’s integration into NATO. In 2005, the first class of the Cross of Merit of the Ministry of Defence was awarded to Brigadier General Märt Tiru, in 2007 to Jürgen Ligi, former Minister of Defence, in 2009 to Lieutenant General Johannes Kert, in 2010 to Martin Hurt, Undersecretary for Defence Investments at the time, and in 2011 to General Ants Laaneots and Commander Senior Grade Lauri Tumm, Undersecretary for Defence Planning at the time. This award was also bestowed posthumously on former Minister of Defence Ülo Uluots. Read the complete article: http://www.defpro.com/news/details/32703/?SID=80559744db997cb099ae2b64aa8cec41 Jean-Paul
  8. Hi all, another unknown uniform but I suspect Estonian, can anyone identify the medals badges on his uniform? any help appreciated regards Alex K
  9. Hi all, I just picked up this fab picture from ebay where you can see three aviation mechanics (badges) from 1930s.
  10. This Estonian Lt Col was the military attache to Warsaw in 1934 and may have served longer there in that capacity. I am trying to identify him and locate any relevant biographical information. Can anybody help please. Many thanks.
  11. Hello, Perhaps a kindly member may help me out on this item. A good friend has an original Estonian pilot's badge (eagle clinching a tri-colour triangle) and is wishing to sell. I like the badge but have absolutely no idea of a mutually fair price. The threaded cap screw to the rear is embossed with the maker's name Roman Tavast and Tallinn. Any assistance would be most appreciated, also the time of issue etc
  12. Hi all, I picked up this cap badge from Estonia and now I am really struggling to find out from which country and what period its from. I tought maybe its Estonian but can't confirm it. So, maybe its Latvian or somewhere else? Any info would be great!
  13. Hi guys, I am mainly busy in home with our one month old daugther but today I was able to finish initail write-up of Estonian War of Independent hero, who's medal I received to my collection as stated above. Sad personal story but I still can't believe the courage what he showed in the battle... Eduard Luha (28.03.1901 – 03.04.1972) Corporal 8th Company, 2nd Infantry Regiment (Tartu district) Eduard was born as a son of farmers Jaan and Maaria Luha on the 28th of March 1901 in Haaslava area, County Tartumaa, Estonia. They had seven children; brothers Oskar, Eduard, August and Alfred, sisters Adele, Luise and Helena. Eduard got 6 class education, after what he probably end up working on his family farm. During the Estonian War of Independence (28.11.1918-02.02.1920) Eduard enlisted voluntarily on the 18th December 1918 and he served as a Corporal in the 8th Company at 2nd Infantry Regiment (8. rood, 2. jalaväepolk), which was formed mainly from the local man from County Tartumaa. On the 23rd of April 1919 in the battle near Tõlva village, Southern Estonia, Corporal Eduard Luha showed great combat skills and courage against the Bolsheviks troops, because of this, he was nominated by the battle leader Ensign (Lipnik) Välja for Estonia’s highest bravery award, The Cross of Liberty Grade II/3 Class (Vabadusrist II/3). Recommendation was officially approved on the Government lists on the 5th March 1920 (4). Only 1,672 Estonian soldiers received this high recognition from the State (1). During the war, Eduard was wounded three times; - Near Zagorje village. Weapon spike bayonet wound to the hand - Near Tõlva village. Grenade fragments to the knee - Near Kõõriküla village. Suffered heavy shock from grenade detonation near by. After the war, Eduard trained in Tartu to become a baker later he found a job in Riga, Latvia where he met his wife Melli (Melita Niedrins). After returning back to Estonia with Melli, his daughter Ida Luha (Ida Victoria Sambrook - Luha) was born on 27th September 1927. In the 1930s they lived in Tartu, where Eduard worked first as a Baker and then became Tartu Prison Guard, promoted before the Second World War, to senior Prison Guard. He was also active in the Home Guard (“Kaitseliit”) and Union of Participants in the Estonian War of Independence (“Eesti Vabadussõjalaste Liit“ so called „Vapsid”) (3). Life became hard when the Red Army forced their military bases to Estonia soil, which ended up as a full occupation and repressions against Estonians. Eduard was forced to leave his Prison Guard work and Sunday, 22nd June 1941, when the war between Soviet Union and Germany broke out. He was arrested by the NKVD from 69 Puiestee Street in Tartu and deported to Russia. He was charged by Troika (2) and convicted guilty on the 27th January 1943 in Kirov Oblast (5). He was convicted based on notorious Article 58 two paragraphs (6): §58-4. Any kind of help to "international bourgeoisie" which, not recognizing the equality of communist political system, strives to overthrow it: punishment 3 years up to death. §58-13. Active struggle against revolutionary movement of "counter-revolutionary governments" during the Civil War. Usually this paragraph was used against ex soldiers who fought in the War of Independence, members of Estonia Police, Army, Home Defence, etc. He was released from the Vjatka labour camp on the 17th August 1943 and returned to Estonia Eduard arrived with the Red Army in September 1944. Tragically Melli had left Estonia with her daughter, going west and ultimately after the war she settled in the United Kingdom. Eduard was deported back to Siberia and he was released after Stalin’s death in 1954. Upon his return to Estonia and he was unable to find any traces of Melli and their daughter. He married the widow Endla, widow with 10 year old son Ants in 1956. But in the 1966 via Sweden Eduard was able to find a contact with Melli. But at this time “Cold War” was on its peek and a visit t each other was impossible. Eduard Luha died on the 3rd April 1972 and hs final resting place is in County Tartumaa, Luunja graveyard. His daughter Ida, who he didn’t see after 1941 and never again died in Bradford on the 4th October 2006 and her ashes are buried next to his father in the home ground. Sources (some in English - ENG): (1) Cross of Liberty (Estonia) ENG http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cross_of_Liberty_(Estonia) (2) Troika ENG http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NKVD_troika (3) Union of Participants in the Estonian War of Independence ENG http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vaps_Movement (4) Estonian President web page http://www.president.ee/et/vabariik/teenetemargid/kavalerid.php?id=16586 (5) Kirov Oblast ENG http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kirov_Oblast (6) Article 58 ENG http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Article_58 (7) Museum of Occupation, Memento 2005 http://www.okupatsioon.ee/en/memento-2005/76-l2005 ------------------------------------------------------- LUHA, Eduard, Jaan, s. 1901 Tartumaa, 6 kl., talunik, arr. 22.06.41 Tartu, Puiestee 69, erin. 27.01.43 §58-4, 58-13, 10a.; Kirovi obl. Vjatlag, vab. 17.08.43. Kaitseliit. Vaps. [7453-E] ------------------------------------------------------- (8) Haaslava district – photos http://www.haaslava.ee/?page=7 How Corporal Eduard Luha earned The Cross of Liberty during the War of Independent? Let him told the story himself: Magazin “Stories from War of Independence” (”Vabadussõja lood”) No. 5 – published February 1937. Young volunteer act of heroism; Alone against eight Bolsheviks and two machine guns. April 1919. 2nd Infantry regiment, after heavy battles in Petseri area and when they reached to the border of Russia, got some resting time. The regiment marching with a joyful mood to liberated city Võru. They are all happy because a break after battles is each soldier dream. Many of the soldiers can even go to vacation and visit home. Meantime the Bolsheviks were planning their counter attack on the city of Võru, in order to get some of the Estonian forces into the battle pocket. At first Russians had success on their side and they gain some ground. Because of that, the Estonian Army command trying quickly to put together all available forces in the area to stop the enemy and including 2nd Infantry Regiment has to be ready for action again. The “Good times” lasted only five days and during the Easter they find themselves again in the battles near Võru to push back the enemy. The Bolsheviks had secured themselves strongly in the village of Tõlva, which became a battleground on the last day in Easter, 23rd April 1919. From this attack the 8th Company volunteer, 18 years old young man Eduard Luha from Haaslava, who did something extraordinary in this battle but Lets let the hero tell his story himself: “April 1919, morning. There is a little bit of snow on the ground. Because of the frost during the night, the ground was still hard. We got our morning soup when it was still dark outside and because each soldier knew that we have to fight soon with the enemy who was larger in numbers we eat very well. The Enemy was around 2 kilometres from us in the village Tõlva. This village was surrounded by forest and open area between trees and houses were only 500 meters. 5th and 8th Company started moving. There were only around 60 men because many of the cadre was still in their vacation when the new orders arrived. We took with us two heavy machine guns “Maxim” and four light machine guns, because we were missing artillery support in this area. Orders received to move close to the enemy as silent as possible but because heavy machine guns metal wheels on the frozen ground, enemy heard us probably a long time before we was able to see their positions. They were ready in the trenches and even sent out scouts before we reach to them. My 8th company start attacking from the right and 5th company from the left. My company was commanded by Ensign Välja, who wasa new officer in our unit because all the other’s were gone, wounded or killed because of previous encounters. 5th company was commanded by Lieutenant Parts, who had been with the unit from the beginning. Commander of the operation was Capitan Matson, who was great man and an experienced soldier. When we reached the tree line next to the village, we were able to see the enemy infront of the village in the trenches waiting for us. Their scouts ran back to their position and we open fire on them. Some of them fell down. Meantime the Bolsheviks opened with well prepared heavy fire from the machine guns. They had around 5-6 machine guns. We had 60 men against around 400 of them, so the balance wasn’t good for us. When our machine guns started their work, then Russians shooting wasn’t so strong anymore but still was straight at us and the branches on the trees around us were sliced as if with the axes. At least their line of sight was a little bit high and this gives us opportunity to crawl to the top of tree line. From there we had good positions to start shooting back at them from behind the trees. Meantime two of our machine guns broke down. At this time enemy focused their fire against our 8th company, I platoon, who had orders to keep enemy down from far right. I platoon, instead of attacking started retreating. There was one coward who gave a bad example when he run back from the battle. I knew our right wing was moved back but some how I was so sure that we will win this battle. I just refused to believe that our regiment companies lost a battle against Russians near Võru. The situation worsened because our ammunition supply ran low. At least extra supplies reached to us in time and it helped with the morale. Then I thought that the enemy was is in the trenches, well protected and if we continue to just shooting at each other this will not lead us to any success. Our company leader was missing at this time and also 2nd officer was wounded, so we didn’t have any leaders around then. I made quick decision and suggest to the soldiers next to me; Johannes Martinson, Georg Bauman, Roman Vold, Johannes Keerus and Karl Meos to run out from the tree line, to the small hill infront of us. They accepted this plan. I knew they are our IV platoon bravest men. We load our weapons with five bullets and I stood up, shouting “forward!” and I start running. When I reached to the hill, I looked back and I saw that I am alone. Others, who were positioned right from me, were forced down by enemy machine gun fire. I knew they wanted to follow me but because of the fire they weren’t able to. I understood I can’t run back because of the heavy fire and also my mates where in hard situation – bullets hit the ground very close to them now. I shout to them to pull more back to the forest, other wise the Russians will make all of us “cold”. I crawl top to the hill and I was surprised what I saw so close in front of me – just around 50 meters, behind the hill in the ditch there was a group of Bolsheviks with two “Maxim” heavy machine guns what were pointed directly to my location. One of the enemy, sawing me, shouted to others ”Smatri, belõi, tsort.” (Look, “white” devil!”). One of them jumped behind the machine gun and I understood he will start shooting me any second. I fired quickly one bullet to this soldier’s direction and as a lightning, I press myself against the ground, pushing face to the mud (the sun had melted the icy ground already by this time). A few second later it feels like a hearth exploding around me when bullets fly over my head and hit the ground in front of me. At least I was behind the hill enough, so the bullets didn’t reached to me. I moved just a little bit more back to be sure. And now started my fight between eight Bolsheviks who had two machine guns and I had only one gun with a small amount of ammunition. The others weren’t able to help me, because they were far back in the forest line and they can’t see the enemy position at all in front of me because of the hill. I got up a few times to my knees and shoot the enemy, each time I get back a of shower of bullets from the machine gun. But luck is with me and each time I am able to get down before the return fire. I try to think again and I was sure that I can’t stay here a long time because I am almost out of ammunition and I can’t run back to the forest as well because of the heavy fire on the field, so I decide to try to make something supportive here, before our troops have to pulled back. I move around the edge of hill, so I can move closer to the machine gun without the Russians being able to shoot at me. I load my rifle with the last five bullets and when I stood up, I was only 30 meters from the enemy machine gun. One of the enemy machine guns has been pointed to our 5th company and second one to the place where I was before. The Russians see me immediately and start shouting, the man behind the machine gun moves the gun barrel in my direction. I want to shoot at him; I aim and shoot and I can see he collapses in the ditch. I can see how the next men jumps behind the gun. I must say that I was very surprised, why didn’t they try to shoot me from their rifles?. I change the position again and get up quickly, aim and shoot but I miss the man. At least I hit the machine gun, so it is not working anymore. The second bullet hit the next gunner. Now I can see that the Bolsheviks wanted to escape with the machine guns. I know we need these machine guns what ever it takes! Because I have only two bullets left, I must be very careful. Also the enemy is hiding in the ditch now and I can’t shoot them. But soon they jump out and start running to their other position in the direction of the village, pulling machine guns with them. I start running as well. They have six men left. One of them takes out sword and start running against me. I aim him to the chest and shoot him down. Then one of them tries to shoot me again from machine gun. I hit him as well with my last bullet. Now there are only four of them but I don’t have any ammunition left. When I start running in their direction they give up and leave the machine guns and start running as fast as they can to the village. I take a bullet from the machine gun bullet belt and I shoot one of them to the leg. Because I am far from the others, I try to start pulling machine guns back to our position. It’s not the easiest of tasks at all because the sun is up and the ground is very muddy now. All of this took a few minutes. Meantime my comrades don’t rest as well. Ensign Välja was back and seeing my struggle, run top the hill as well, where I was before. Also Martinson, Baumann, Volt, Keerus and Meos followed. The Bolsheviks, who were in the village wasn’t able to shoot me, because their escaping men were between us. Basically they were able just to look at what happens to their two machine guns in the positions in front of them. When I start climbing back from the hill, only then they was able to open fire. Bullets splash mud up to my face around me but didn’t do any harm. I was so thrilled with what I just did, I was able to save for us two so valuable “death machines”. Russians were in shock because of what just happened and they weren’t able to fight properly for a second. Our soldiers used this moment as an opportunity and ran quickly to the corner of their trenches and opened fire along side of it, scoring hits with almost every shot because the trench was full of the enemy. The Russians finally lost their morale and started to run away. 5th company run out too and when we start shooting at them from their own machine guns, they escaped all in panic. All together we run to the village Tõlva from where we got another machine gun that the enemy had left behind and also we took some prisoners of war. For this act near Tõlva village on the 23rd April 1919, I got Cross of Liberty II Grade, 3 Class, recommended by Ensign Välja.” Picture of Eduard Luha
  14. Hi for everyone! It's a ribbon from an Estonian sailor cap with the name of interwar period destroyer Vambola (picture from estonian wiki). In the Hungarian Military Museum is an Estonian sailor cap from the same ship with little diference: the ship's name spelled Wambola...Does anyone know what could be the reason? (I saw an English book the same spelling.) My another question: What does it mean the M.R. abbrevation? Thanks M
  15. Hi guys, Here is one really nice and scarce ribbon bar from first Latvian Republic (1918-1940). It is very interesting to see that they used identical ribbon bar constructions, as their neighbours from North – Estonia. Maybe because Estonian Defence forces helped them gain the victory over German Freikorps (“Iron Division”) in the Battle of Cēsis (Wenden). After conflicts between themselves regarding borderline (especially city Valga/Valka what remain spited two still today), they had strong connections between two countries and defence organisations. This ribbon bar belonged to the young officer, who was probably member of Latvian Home Defence. This bar consists: ● Order of the Three Stars (Triju Zvaigžņu Ordenis) ● Order of Vesthardus (Viesturs Ordenis) ● Medal of Merit of the Home Defence (Aizsargu Medala ‘Par Centību’) Last two awards make this ribbon bar extremely rare. Order of Vesthardus was established 1938 and exist only two years. Medal of Merit of the Home Defence was established 1939 and only few hundred was ever awarded. - Probably many, who received these two awards, didn’t let the ribbon bar made same moment. Meantime times went hard already 1939, when Soviet Union forced their army bases to the Baltic States and probably many of the new award recipients didn’t think at these hard times how to get the ribbon bar made, instead more actual was to see how to survive these hard times. - During the WW2 lots of homes was destroyed when the war went over Latvia and as a part of all destruction – many awards and ribbon bars was destroyed. - As a part of Soviet block from 1944 people didn’t keep these kind items anymore because something like that was a ticket to repressions by KGB and Soviet authorities.
  16. Dear Colleagues and Friends, Try as I might, I find my resources for pictures of certain countries during the 1930-1945 period are simply too slim in America, online or in English. I am trying valiantly to create fill out pilot images from some pretty rare countries like: Lithuania Denmark (especially pre-war - I have some wartime on the site) Sweden Norway (pre-war in Norway - NOT in Canada - lots of those) Estonia What I am looking for are scans out of books or of original pictures showing: - Portraits of air force personnel showing their uniforms with rank and air insignia (most important!) - Casual pictures of air force personnel in uniform showing insignia - nice clear shots of parked aircraft showing the national insignia of the period. Can you provide any help? As I said, this is for advancing my online museum and resource at http://www.rathbonemuseum.com I would need the digital images to be of good size. Preferably at least 600X900 pixels but I will take anything at this point. Thanks so much in advance for your help. Cheers, Tod Rathbone tod@rathbonemuseum.com
  17. Hello All - In my quest to fill my closets with obscure itmes from rather grossly under recognized nations, I found this little gem on Ebay recently and could not pass it up. Question is that is this a "Home Guard" or National Defense tunic of the infantry which according to the seller was used by both "pro" Soviet and then later German units - hence the deletion of the shoulder boards...??? I have been trying to find any images about this tunic - but it seems that most photos depict similar tunics with a standing up collar. Can anyone confirm what it truly is (besides "Estonian" - unless it is something else?") Thanks in advance! :jumping:
  18. Dear Gentlemen, The Estonian national army was born in 1917. Most of the military units and institutions had their badges. The badges are rare as the right to wear the badge was enjoyed only by field officers and NCOs who had exemplary served in the unit for at least six months. The units were small and only 2000 men obtained the education of a proffessional officer between the two World Wars. So 50-200 is common number of issued badges for most of the units. Most of the military badges were made by Roman Tavast`s firm who`s output is distinguished for it`s exeptionally high workmanship and a good taste. Some famous artists, like P. Luhtein, G. Reindorff, designed Estonian military awards. Here you can see Motorized Tank Regiment badge. 450 men including 30 officers served in MTR in 1939.
  19. Hi, I managed to get something very very rare.... I got two pictures with forest brother from Estonia. I will get his name as well coming days I hope! Especially nice find because my grandfather was one of them (catched 1949 and killed by KGB) Some information from wikipedia: The Forest Brothers also: Brothers of the Forest, Forest Brethren; Forest Brotherhood; Estonian: metsavennad, Latvian: me?a brāļi, Lithuanian: mi?ko broliai) were Estonian, Latvian, and Lithuanian partisans who waged guerrilla warfare against Soviet rule during the Soviet invasion and occupation of the three Baltic states during, and after, World War II. The Soviet Army occupied the formerly independent Baltic states in 1940?1941 and, after a period of German occupation, again in 1944?1945. As Stalinist repression intensified over the following years, more than 170,000 residents of these countries used the heavily-forested countryside as a natural refuge and basis for armed anti-Soviet resistance. Resistance units varied in size and composition, ranging from individually operating guerrillas, armed primarily for self-defence, to large and well-organised groups able to engage significant Soviet forces in battle. In Estonia total 14,000 - 15,000 men participated in fighting during 1944-1953. Estonian Forest Brothers were most active in V?ru County and border areas between P?rnu County and L??ne County, and between Tartu County and Viru County. During period November 1944 - November 1947 they made 773 armed attacks and killed about 1000 Soviets and their supporters. August Sabbe, the last surviving Forest Brother in Estonia, was discovered by KGB agents in 1978, he was posing as a fisherman, instead of surrendering, he jumped into a river and hooked himself to a log, drowning. The KGB contested this story however.
  20. can't remember what this one is. highly vaulted, constructed of multiple pieces of silver with a gold 'I' in center. damage to enamel
  21. Hi, I got those nice estonian unit pictures lately . Great to see early AA machine guns on tripod stands and optical device in the middle! They are English weapons? Nice dagger on the right!
  22. Apologies for the copy-of-a-copy image, but can anyone identify the medal this Estonian colonel wears beneath the Polish Cross of Merit?
  23. Hi, Which country produced this mess kit? Markings appear to be: AST.APKAUST. Maybe it's an Estonian stuff? Best regards
  24. This jeton mayby (i am not shore) belongs tho a family that lived i russia and in Estonia. The daughter to a russian officer ended up in Sweden. But what is this? It is 36 mm high, looks like silver but has no markings besides the inscription on the backside. It could be military but can be something completley different. I am wery thankful for any answers!
  25. Hallo Gents, my brother forwarded the following picture, which he spotted while surfing the web, all he remembers is its off an American Web Site: It shows Irish Army Defence Force Members of I.S.A.F. deployed in Afghanistan in their unigue Desert camouflage. Why somebody photo-shopped the original names in the picture caption is beyond me as its obviously been released for Publication. Left to right ranks: 1. Commandant, 2. Company Sergeant, 3. Commandant, 4. Lt.Colonel, 5. Company Sergeant, (para qualified), 6. Cavalry Commandant (Glengarry on head), 7. Company-Sergeant. Points to note: Officers have a blackened Bronze Capbadge on Black Beret - Glengarry. Other ranks have "Staybright" plastic cap badges (which I hope the subdued with paint or boot polish quick!!!). Name tapes appear to have a mini Irish Tricolor then the name then the I.S.A.F motif in Green and White. Kevin in Deva. PART TWO: Defence Forces News = E.U. Battle-groups, 18 October 2007 The Nordic Battle-group Shoulder Flash On 18 Oct 07, 71 troops will fly to Sweden and join up with 15 advance troops that are in Sweden. They are deployed as part of the Nordic Battle-group (NBG) Exercise Nordic Resolution in which the full battle-group (2,600 troops) will be on exercise in Sweden. The bulk of troops (2,300) come from Sweden with the remainder from Norway, Finland, Estonia and Ireland. In Sweden until 15 Nov 07, the NBG troops will receive their equipment which has been shipped by sea to Gothenburg. The equipment contains 9 armoured personnel carriers, 11 other vehicles, weapons, pyrotechnics and equipment contained in a total of 230 tonnes of stores. During the time the troops will be accommodated in SKOVDE (300 km from Stockholm) initially where they will marry up with other nation?s troops in the battle-group. They will carry out initial interoperability training from 19 Oct ? 01 Nov 07. This will get all troops familiar with each others operating procedures and clarify command and control procedures. The main exercise (Ex Northern Resolution) takes place from 03 ? 12 November 2007 over 1,000 km NORTH of SKOVDE and inside the Arctic Circle in the area of BODEN. The temperatures can get down to as low as -28 degrees C and daylight at this time is between 0830 ? 1530 hours. The strategic movement and deployment of the 2,600 troops (mainly by rail) is part of the exercise as any Battle-group deployment will necessitate a strategic move. The troops will also be exercised in strategic, operational and tactical communication and establishing initial operational capability and the securing of the exercise area in and around the town of BODEN and working through a peace support operation scenario from a peacekeeping perspective. On return to Ireland in November the troops will undergo final preparations for standby for any potential battle-group deployment from 01 January ? 30 June 2008. During that time the troops in Ireland (based in Custume Barracks, Athlone) will be on 5 days notice to move with all stores and equipment to include food, water, ammunition to sustain the troops for 30 days. Ireland has provided a stand alone Improvised Explosive Device Disposal and Engineer Specialist Search unit as part of the battle-group, of 86 troops, under command of Commandant John Whittaker. This team offers the battle-group commander the ability to systematically detect, isolate, clear and dispose of conventional military munitions, land mines and improvised devices (home made/?booby traps?) which may be in any potential area of operations. We also have 5 troops in the Operational H.Q. that will be based in Northwood, U.K. for the exercise and throughout any potential deployment, and a further 14 troops in the force HQ, that will deploy in Sweden and to any potential troubleshot if the battle-group is deployed. Our troops have been in preparation for this exercise beginning with our own collective training in May of this year culminating in Full Operational Capability testing last July in Kilworth Camp in Cork. The term battle-group is a generic military term denoting the size of a force that is capable of standalone operations. Thus, the word ?battle-group? does not refer to any proposed mission of this international military grouping but to its size and structure.End of Article. PART 3: Irish Defence Forces News: Lebanon Stand-down, 26 October 2007. The relationship between the Defence Forces and Lebanon reaches another milestone tomorrow when the last Irish unit is stood-down at a ceremony at Camp Ida tomorrow, 27 October 2007. Defence Forces troops returned to the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) in October 2006 following the re-emergence of conflict in southern Lebanon. Troops were deployed with Finnish troops in a joint Finnish-Irish Engineer Battalion, in which the Irish troops were conducting reconnaissance, security and protection duties as the Finnish element went about de-mining and reconstruction work. The unit was deployed by Government decision for 12 months. The 160 strong Irish contingent of the 36 Infantry Group U.N.I.F.I.L., under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Michael McCarthy, is drawn mainly from the 2nd Eastern Brigade, with the bulk of troops from Dublin and Dundalk. Following the stand-down parade the unit will commence preparations for return to Ireland of their equipment and themselves which will be completed by late November 2007. Note: The Defence Forces previously served with U.N.I.F.I.L. from 1978 ? 2001 serving over 32,000 individual tours of duty in which 46 members of the force gave their lives in the service of peace. There are currently 565 members of the Defence Forces serving overseas. Photograph courtesy of Sarah Hunter. Kevin in Deva
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