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Estonian Sakala Partisan circa 1919 (?)

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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.

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Close up of the insignia. The contrast on the original is too bright-- on the left opposite the skull is a rather "Fabio" looking long haired male face:

The cockade appears to be painted, with a flake out of the black stripe:

No name or date, unfortunately-- only the photographer's stamp.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi Rick,

Your photo is from 1919-1924 period. After 1924 uniform reform in the Estonia Defense Forces, they start using only there own designed uniforms and different insignia.

But this volunteer is wearing some mixed uniform. First war aid arrived to Estonia from England 18th December 1918 when there fleet arrived to Tallinn. They bring as well lots of uniforms from England and States for young Estonia army. So, one is sure that photo cant be maid before year 1919.

Now insignia. The badge of Sakala Single Infantry Battalion was established at the end of the War of Liberation. Actually after the battalion went to the action (31st December 1918). Usually it was hand made to just recognize each other on the battle field. After the war same sword-half skull-half face design was on use as "Sakala partisans battalion" insignia. Sakala is the old name of the county where this battalion was formed. Now known as "Viljandimaa".

Cap insignia is as well from War of Liberation period (design remain an Imperial Russia army). After 1924 year uniform reform they start using different insignia as well.

Sakala Single Infranty Battalion metal badge was established 1st October 1930. Registered in 5th July 1934 in the Ministry of Defence and it was in use until 1940.

Sakala metal badge insignia


Sakala county in the south:


Sakala Single Infantry Battalion has not been restored after 1991.

This photo is definetly made end of the War of Liberation and before 1924.

Edited by Noor
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He looks like a 15 indeed! But there was lots of volunteers from schools who went to the front. Most of them demobilized after 1920 when the frontline was calm down. They was actually the guys who helped survive the goverment in the Estonia in the War of Liberation :speechless1: .

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The sleeve badge was later (December 1934) made a "tradition" badge for a permanent battalion of the Estonian army...

The sleeve badge was designed by artist Voldemar Kangro-Pool in 1919 and approved by the Battalion Commission in November 11th, 1919. It was binding to wear the sleeve badge on the left arm between the shoulder and elbow.

The sleeve badges made of cloth with embroidered design were in use for solders and nco. Metal design was used for officers.

An earlier battalion badge uses similar design and was probably made for the 5th anniversary of the battalion in 1923 (photos showing officers with the badges in 1923 exist). Enamelled and non-enamelled variants were in use.

A later badge has a cross-shaped design made by capten P. Liivak and it was approved by the commander of the battalion in Oct., 11th 1930.

Edited by pluribus
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  • 13 years later...

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