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Estonian WW2 Uniform


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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!


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Sorry, busy here all the time....

Here is one picture of the Estonia uniforms. First on the right is the same Home Defence uniform with the yellow stripe on the collar - someone is removed sholder boards on yours.

Yellow means infrantry and was used up to platoon leadrs.... company level (and up) officers weared black collars.


Here is one picture of the member of the Home Defence as well.


Edited by Noor
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1) The seller stated that the boards were removed per German and Soviet regulations. He is apparently going to send me literature concerning this for confimation. Do you know if this is true Noor?

2) So this is a NCO / Enlisted tunic - would it have collar tabs or no? It looks like you have collar tabs on the greatcoat - but not the tunic. Do you have a web site which shows the rank system / uniforms of Estonia?

Thank you for sharing your collection with us! :jumping:

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You can't find Defence Legue (correct translation actually. In estonia "Kaitseliit") uniform what was weared during Soviet period. This organisation and all symbols where banned (and members sent to Siberia or killed by KGB) and most of the uniforms destroied by owners because uniform like this in home meaned lots of trouble!

What I have seen is regular Defence Force uniforms where was added Soviet insignia because all Estonian troops went under the Soviet control 1940. When the war started, most of those units where moved fast to Russia by sea (germans attacked convoy and casualties where massive) or land. Over the land moving units where monitored by KGB well but still they had contacts with the germans before Leningrad and thousends of people surrended to germans. After the backround check, most of them sign contract that they will fight against communism and police batallions where organized (mostly fighting against partisans. Even some estonian RK winners start they war in Soviet side), territorial units "Omakaitse" - based on location, main duties again partisans, monitoring bridges, roads, etc. In the start lots of estonians used they old army or Defence Legue uniforms. Some elements staid all the time ike cap insignia, flag, etc. Probably "omakaitse", who didn?t got much supplies at all, used old estonia army-defence legue uniforms all the time.

I don't know about the german regulations but I quess it can be true that the collar tabs are removed because that.

I didn't found anything in english at the moment but in Defence League collars don't indicate rank, they show positon...

Here is some pictures (nowadays variation), how they look:


On your picture its NCO or Private tunic.

Landmark dates

1917 - The Defence League was preceded by the Citizens' Defence Organisation (B?rgenwehr) which was Estonia's first armed home defence organisation against the dissolution of the public order and disorder accompanying the Russian Revolution.

1918 - On 11 November the Citizens' Defence Organisation was replaced by the Estonian Defence League which performed the tasks of a national guard in the War of Independence.

1924 - The attempted Communist coup on December 1 dispelled any doubts about the necessity for the Defence League. Development of the Defence League for the performance of tasks of national defence was started.

1925 - In October the magazine of the Defence League "Kaitse Kodu" ("Defend Your Home") was founded.

1926 - On 19-20 June the first Defence League Festival took place in Tallinn, to be followed by six more such events held before 1940.

1927 - To develop the Defence League and give it a family dimension, the Commander of the Defence League approved the temporary statutes of the Women's Home Defence.

1928 - The Body of Elders decided to invite the boy scout organisation the Young Eagles to join the Defence League.

1931 - The Government of the Republic approved the Statutes of the Defence League which have remained in force until the present day.

1932 - The girl scout organisation Home Daughters was established at the Women's Home Defence.

1934 - House Rules of the Defence League were adopted to regulate the life and work of the organisation.

1940 - With the Soviet occupation starting from 17 June, the liquidation of both the Republic of Estonia and the Defence League started.

1990 - The Defence League was re-founded on 17 February at J?rvakandi on popular initiative in order to defend Estonia's independent statehood.

1991 - On 4 September the Presidium of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Estonia reinstated the rights of the Defence League as a legal person.

1992 - On 28 April the Defence League was included in the Defence Forces as a national defence organisation.

1999 - On 8 February the Parliament adopted the Defence League Act stipulating the position of the Defence League in the society and national defence, the main tasks and structure of the organisation, the legal bases of its activities and administration and co-operation with other persons.

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  • 6 months later...


A very interesting uniform. Would you please post some close up pictures of the collar tabs, shoulderboards and badges.




Sorry, I don`t have a camera right now but I can scan insignia separately as I have them in my insignia collection too.


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