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  1. #1
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Small, Forgotten Small Wars

    I noticed recently a few posts on largely forgotten conflicts and although this thread has many references, I think a new thread is appropriate.

    Post on Estonia (thanks to Stan):
    In the 1940s the so-called Forest Brothers were responsible for more Russian officer (single shot) kills than any other military unit to include SS death squads. They couldn't afford to squander ammo nor spend too much time in the AO. They adapted well to both the terrain and their own shortcomings (Estonian's rarely whine when the chips are down).
    Added to by Cannoneer No.4:
    The Forest Brothers and the Selbschutz, Schuma Battalions, and the 20th Waffen Grenadier Division der SS (Estnische Nr. 1) whacked a lot of Sovs during the Great Patriotic War. Great Irregular Warfare stuff for a different thread.
    To which Stan responded:
    Generally speaking the Forest Brothers limited their activities to supporting Estonian and Finnish soldiers and were at one time something of a myth or legend when soldiers returning from the front recanted stories of “Forest Brothers” disrupting flanking enemy fire and saving their butts. They however were not an elite SS unit hangin’ out in the trees and Bogs. One very old dude told me “how easy it was to pick off Russian officers” as they always paraded around in class A’s with all the glittering accoutrements glaring you in the face.
    davidbfpo

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Missing one

    I know someone has posted a short post on counter-guerilla operations in WW2 Russia, but despite searching I cannot identify it.

    If you know where it is please link or copy & paste here.
    davidbfpo

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    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Excerpts from Estonian military awards and decorations, 1918-1940

    1939 – 1944, Serving in the Finnish armed forces, and the Winter War
    During this period an estimated 3,352 Estonian men crossed the frozen Gulf of Finland to fight in the Finnish armed forces (410 would form 10% of the Finnish Navy). Among those, was the Estonian reconnaissance unit ERNA, trained for action behind enemy lines. They would later return to Estonia’s front providing significant data to Finnish and German commands. ERNA together with the Forest Brothers, opposed to Russian occupation, would effectively fight against the Russian fighter battalion and military intelligence units.

    A little more background on the Defense League:
    On October 1st, 1917 the Tallinn Citizen’s Self-Defense Force under the command of CPT Johan Pika and merchant Eduard Saarepera was founded. The Self-Defense Force was founded out of political and practical needs. Great Russian chauvinism and Bolsheviks internationalism threatened to suffocate the idea of Estonian national self-determination. Estonia’s provisional government was unable to run the country and chaos reigned. Things at the WWI front were worsening for the Russians, when on 21 August information regarding the German occupation of Riga, Latvia was received. This spread panic among the Estonians, creating a new wave of refugees while Russian troops stationed in Estonia began robbing people.

    The Self-Defense Force displayed great vitality and took effective measure to stop the Bolsheviks ‘evacuation all the while under German occupation and illegal actions (such as the battle in the vicinity of the electric power station in Tallinn and the large beach gate on 24 February 1918). On 11 November 1918 the German occupation of Estonia ended and the Self-Defense Force was replaced by the Estonian Defense League. The Defense League, now directly subordinate to the Minister of War, began its activities under the leadership of MG Ernst Põdder and the chairmanship of Johan Pitka. Acting only upon the principle of acting with honor and in a manner for the good of the State, the Defense League operated without standing orders and statutes.

    A short piece of history regarding the Estonian Shooting Union – in order to give you an idea as to the Defense League’s and Defense Forces’ marksmanship capabilities.

    In November of 1930 representatives of the Defense League, Defense Forces, Border Guard and Police formed the Estonian Shooting Union Working Group, uniting shooting sportsmen and developing relations with shooting societies and unions in other countries.

    From 1935 to 1939 during competitions in Rome, Helsinki and Lucerne, Estonians broke four world records, six team and four individual world titles and twice winning The Argentina Cup for best free rifle team. By 1940 there were no less than 51 Grand Masters in Estonia. During four shooting events with large and small caliber rifle, free and combat pistol, Estonians won the Grand Masters title 77 times. They also held three triple and twenty double Grand Master titles.
    Last edited by Stan; 01-09-2011 at 08:58 AM.
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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default WW2 German counter-guerilla operations

    This was the post I could not find, by JMA in the Suppressive Fire thread:

    The book Communist Guerrilla Warfare by Dixon/Heilbrunn (1955) dealing with how the Germans dealt with Soviet guerrilla activity after the invasion of 1941 was useful reading in the 70s before COIN became an "industry". It is worth study even though some of the methods used against the guerrillas were considered war crimes at the time.
    This booklet, thanks to Fuchs, is available on:http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=2956428 (Requires registration for a free trial).

    I have a vague memory that German operations have appeared before somewhere.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 01-09-2011 at 11:58 AM.
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    Council Member tequila's Avatar
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    Let's not forget that German "anti-partisan" operations in occupied Soviet territory and the Baltics would eventually help shape the Holocaust post-1941. The enthusiastic massacre of Jews by locals in the Baltics was encouraged and channeled by the Germans as a method of recruitment and control, and eventually the Baltics became an important killing ground for for Jews from all over Eastern Europe.

    The mission of the Einsatzgruppen, according to Otto Ohlendorf, was essentially rear-area security, and they were aided and sometimes exceeded by Wehrmacht security divisions. "Where the partisan is, there is the Jew, and where the Jew is, there is the partisan" went the slogan, and to a large extent this attitude was endemic to the German conception of anti-partisan operations in the East. The difference between German operations can be seen when German units used to the Eastern way of doing things were transferred to the western European theater in 1944.

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Tequila,

    The reality of German operations in the former USSR was brought home to me, in visits to Western Ukraine, around Lvov or Lviv and in the Crimea. There is a superb, grim modern film about the topic, the title of which eludes me.

    As an aside anti-German feelings in the Crimea appear to have disappeared; I was touring with a mainly German-speaking group. In Lvov it was harder to establish, as a former Polish province the Poles had been expelled in 1945.
    davidbfpo

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    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tequila View Post
    Let's not forget that German "anti-partisan" operations in occupied Soviet territory and the Baltics would eventually help shape the Holocaust post-1941. The enthusiastic massacre of Jews by locals in the Baltics was encouraged and channeled by the Germans as a method of recruitment and control, and eventually the Baltics became an important killing ground for for Jews from all over Eastern Europe.
    Tequila,
    One of the research projects I was working on in 2006 included the massacre of Jews in the Baltic States. The Estonian archives claim less than 900 Jews killed in Estonia (Wiki has an even 1,000), 80,000 plus in Latvia and 140,000 plus for Lithuania (Wiki figures are somewhat similar).

    Of the people interviewed then (most well over 65 years old), I was unable to find one that, although part of an SS unit, had any information on the massacre of Jews in Estonia. While 1,000 deaths is certainly too many, I was struck by the general lack of information on massacres in Estonia.

    Lithuanian holocaust numbers tend to jibe with a 14th century Jewish ghetto (Jewish Quarter) and large Jewish population, but the figures for Latvia and Estonia don't fit.

    Do you have a better source than Wiki ?

    Regards, Stan
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    This was the post I could not find, by JMA in the Suppressive Fire thread:

    This booklet, thanks to Fuchs, is available on:http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=2956428 (Requires registration for a free trial).

    I have a vague memory that German operations have appeared before somewhere.
    David the key to that book is the German publication as follows:



    Larger image here.

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