Eesti rahvusväeosade formeerimisest Nõukogude armee koosseisus aastatel 1940–1956 [Ethnic Estonian Units in the Soviet Army During the Period 1940–1956]

Peeter Kaasik


After the Soviet Union on 17 June 1940, occupied Estonia, the Estonian armed forces remained intact, under the name of the Estonian People’s Force (Eesti Rahvavägi). Until Estonia was formally united with the USSR in August of 1940, the country was run by a puppet government that had a minister of war, Major General Tõnis Rotberg, as well as a commander of the military forces, Major General Gustav Jonson. Both of them were legitimate Estonian generals, but the make-up of the puppet government, along with its minister of war, and the commander of the armed forces, had been dictated to the Estonian president, Konstantin Päts, by Joseph Stalin’s emissary to Estonia, Andrei Zhdanov.

The commander-in-chief of the Estonian armed forces, General Johan Laidoner, was dismissed on 22 June 1940, and thereafter, on July 19, was deported to Russia. The Estonian People’s Force was placed under the control of Red Army officers, particularly Soviet political officers and the secret police of the time, the NKVD. In 1940, the Estonian military and the Ministry of War employed about 14,000 officers, non-commissioned officers, enlisted men, and civil servants.








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ISSN 2228-0669 (trükis / print)