Republic of Estonia
|1918 – 1940|
"Mu isamaa, mu õnn ja rõõm"
("My Fatherland, My Happiness and Joy")
The Republic of Estonia in 1962
|Head of state:|
- 1942 – 1963
- 1965 –
|Head of government:|
- 1942 – 1948
- 1948 – 1953
- 1953 – 1963
- 1963 –
| Prime Minister|
- Autonomy declared:
- Independence declared:
- Independence recognized:
- Soviet occupation:
- Independence restored:
- Anti-Comintern Pact:
April 12, 1917
February 24, 1918
February 2, 1920
June 17, 1940
August 20, 1942
November 25, 1942
Estonia, officially the Republic of Estonia (Estonian: Eesti Vabariik) is a sovereign state in Northern Europe in the Baltic region. It is bordered to the north by Finland across the Gulf of Finland, to the west by Sweden, to the south by Latvia, and to the east by the Greater German Reich. Estonia is a member of the Anti-Comintern Pact.
The Estonians are a Finnic people closely related to the Finns, with the Estonian language sharing many similarities to Finnish. The modern name of Estonia is thought to originate from the Roman historian Tacitus, who in his book Germania (ca. AD 98) described a people called the Aestii. Similarly, ancient Scandinavian sagas refer to a land called Eistland, close to the German term Estland for the country. Early Latin and other ancient versions of the name are Estia and Hestia. Until the late 1930s, the name was often written as Esthonia in most English speaking countries.
The settlement of modern day Estonia began around 8500 BC, immediately after the Ice Age. Over the centuries, the Estonians were subjected to Danish, Teutonic, Swedish and Russian rule. Foreign rule in Estonia began in 1227, when as a consequence of the Northern Crusades the area was conquered by Danes and Germans. From 1228–1562, parts or most of Estonia were incorporated into the loosely organized Livonian Confederation of Teutonic Knights, during which time economic activity centered around the Hanseatic League. In the 1500s Estonia passed to Swedish rule, under which it remained until 1721, when it was ceded to the Russian Empire. The Estophile Enlightenment Period (1750-1840) led to a national awakening in the mid-19th century. In 1918 the Estonian Declaration of Independence was issued, to be followed by the Estonian War of Independence (1918-1920), which resulted in the Tartu Peace Treaty recognizing Estonian independence in perpetuity.
On June 17, 1940, the Soviet Union invaded and occupied Estonia, and was annexed into the Soviet Union on August 5, 1940. The Soviet Union begun a series of deportations of anti-Soviet elements. During Operation Barbarossa, the Axis campaign against the Soviet Union, Estonia was liberated in June-August 1942 by German, Lithuanian, Swedish and Latvian troops. After requests from the Lithuanian, Latvian, Finnish and Swedish governments, the German Reich granted Estonia independence on August 20, 1942, with the same government in power as before the Soviet occupation.
Estonia under President Konstantin Päts' is remembered as an era of independence, economic success and prosperity, and his reforms is still valid today, resulting in economic growth, a high standard of living, and an increased gross national product (GNP).
Soviet sphere of influence: 1939-1940
Soviet invasion and occupation: 1940-1942
Liberation: June-August 1942
Independence and the Second World War: 1942-1946
Cold War: 1946-
The Estonian Army is the main arm of the Defence Forces. The Army development priorities are the capability to participate in missions outside the national territory and perform operations protecting the territory of Estonia in co-operation with Allied forces.
The Estonain army is mostly equiped with Weapons of German origin. Equipment is as follows.
Armoured personnel carriers
- 52 Schützenpanzerwagen 38(t) Ausf M APC's
- 31 Sd.Kfz 351 Heavy APC's
- 20 Panzerkampfwagen V Panther II medium tanks
- 9 Sd.Kfz 434's
- 5 SD.KFZ 422's
- 81mm Vetzgi mortar
- 120mm Heavy mortars
- 120 - 105 mm LeFH 18 howitzers
The Õhuvägi is the main arm of the Estonian aviation forces. The average size of the military formation in peacetime is about 1210 men. The Õhuvägi has important role in enhancing flight safety in Estonian airspace. However, most of the Õhuvägi's equipment is rapidly becoming obselete, and the force is currantly under modernization.
- 31 Focke-Wulf Fw Ta 183 interceptors (pending retiremnt).
- 20 Junkers 187 Ground Attack Aircraft.
- 34 Ju 452 Turboprop transports
|Member countries of the Anti-Comintern Pact|
Nazi Germany | Japan | Italy | Hungary | Lithuania | Bulgaria | Croatia | Denmark | Estonia | Latvia | Finland | Iraq | Manchukuo | Romania | Spain | Thailand | Turkey | Argentina | Bolivia | Peru | Turan