The First Officer of the Estonian Legion

On August 28 the anniversary of Tallinn's liberation was celebrated. Estonian Commissar General Karl Siegmund Litzmann announced on that occasion that the German higher board gave its consent for the Estonian Legion to be formed. The men who already had war experience and had battled under the eastern, police or other German battalions, were used for the Legion. For some reason the first meeting of the Legion founders took place in Pihkva. And that's where they went. Even their tiredness showed that the men had gone through war. Paul Maitla was already there. His decision to leave the police battalion and join the Estonian Legion was certain. It was exactly under this unit where he wanted to fulfill his duties as a soldier. Maitla was appointed to lead the 113 eastern battalion men who had gathered to Pihkva and wanted to join the Legion, to Debica training camp in Poland, which is known under the name of Heidelager ("moorland camp" in translation). They left Pihkva on October 8 at 11 p.m.

Passing through Latvia and Lithuania was like resting, as noted by Elmar Silm because most men had come straight from the front. When the Lithuanian-German border was crossed near Taurage, men became more lively. From Russia where the communism, collective farms and war had made the land miserable, they were suddenly among the well-cultivated fields, red-brick buildings and villages of Prussia. It seemed like coming out of the darkness. The men's sleepy and tired faces disappeared, they went from wagon to wagon. Tilsit, Thorn, Allenstein…