Police Battalions

After the war between the Soviet Union and Germany began, the Estonians were hoping to fight free from the communist Russia's murderous grasp. Having experienced horrific repressions and deportation, nobody had a doubt that the Wehrmacht units which approached the Estonian border, had still enough strength to crush the communist monster and step from one victory into the next. The Estonians stood up for their national interests and tried to assist the Germans in any possible way. It was clear that the German army did not have enough human resource for the homefront. Many problems needed to be solved: the increasing number of prisoners to whom they didn't have enough guards – they already had to be fed on the account of the soldiers; another issue was the guarding of the highways, military storages and other strategic objects and the growing activity of the partisans in the German troops' homefront. All this forced the German management to form all kinds of units out of local men in released lands. The big units needed much help to beat the Russians out of Estonia. The men who had escaped repressions and compulsory mobilization had gone to the woods and now began an active battling against the Russians, thus helping the German units' fast development in South Estonia. German leaders did not want to give weapons to the local men in the released countries, but the reality made its corrections.

The formation of the Estonian Police Battalions began at the end of July and at the beginning of August 1941. At first it happened in the freed South Estonia and after the Russians were beaten out of Tallinn on August 28, it happened in North Estonia too. The men were recruited voluntarily with service contracts, which initially were made for one year. The contract also stated that the recruits will be used outside the Estonian border. Later, when it became evident that all hopes to end the war quickly were useless, the contracts were automatically lengthened without asking the soldiers permission. The new deadline of the contracts was the end of the war.

Initially the size of the Police Battalions was 460 men, who were divided into 3 companies and one headquarters unit, but in February 1943, after the Police Battalions were subjected to the German Order Police (Ordnungspolizei), the battalions' size was fixed to 501 men (4 companies and headquarters unit). Each company also received a shooters' unit, which involved 2 heavy and 1 light machine gun. In reality the number of men varied in different battalions between 300 and 800. Administratively the Police Battalions operated in the lines of the German Order Police and were subjected to the Estonian SS and Police leader, Brigadeführer Heinrich Möller. On the front the Police Battalions were subjected to different German units' leaders, according to where they were sent or they could have also operated independently. For example, during the destroying of the Kärevere-Voldi wedge under Tartu, the 38th Police Battalion was subjected to the 87th Division's battle group Tümmler, the 37th Police Battalion battled independently between the Finnish Boys and the 38th Police Battalion. The Police Battalions were typical infantry units and they did not have heavy weapons or bigger car parks. The infamous 36th Police Battalion, mostly consisting of men from Lääne County and West Estonian islands, battled bravely on Stalingrad front, under Surovikino. The whole management of the formed battalions was made up of Estonian officers. In addition, the battalions had some normal German economy junior officers and each battalions' headquarters received one German liaison officer.

At first the new battalions had all kinds of different names. These were: unit, Abteilung, Sicherungs Abteilung, Estnische Schutzmannscaft Batallion and some others. In Estonian the Police Battalions were also called the defence battalions. But since December 9, 1943 the battalions received numbers and a unified name was confirmed – the Estonian Police Battalion No ... (Estnische Polizei Batallion Nr. ...). After the reorganizing the current Wehrmacht ranks in battalions were changed and police ranks became valid. The battalions also differed because of their goals and actions. Thus, the Police Battalions differed in the following way: battle battalions (F – Front), guard battalions (W – Wacht), pioneers' battalions (P – Pioner), squadron battalions (S- Stamm) and assisting battalions (E – Ersatz). Unfortunately the battalions received weapons and clothes according to their assignments. Mostly the battalions were equipped with Russian trophy weapons and some German weapons. Later the situation of weapons improved, but it never became perfect. The men's uniforms at first were Latvian and Estonian, later the German one was added. The clothes of the men remained this colorful until the end of the war. The same applied for footwear – there were all kinds of shoes, French, Russian, German, Czech, etc.

All Police Battalions formed in 1941 wore dark green cuffbands, which showed their unit's name and the number of the wearer. The cuffbands were abolished in spring 1942, some units stopped using them even sooner – when the unit was sent to the front.

* At first six Police Battalions were formed in South Estonia, which received the numbers 37 to 42.

Police Battalion No 37 (W/F)

Estnische Schutzmannschfts-Abteilung Dorpat
Estnische Polizei Front Bataillon 37
Outpost No: 45380

Battalion Leaders:

  • Major Martin Bergman
  • Major Friedrich Kurg
  • Major Kusta Lindpere
  • Major Karl Saimre
  • Captain Paul Suude
  • Senior Lieutenant Felix Tamme

The first police battalion was formed in August 1941 and was initially named after the place it was formed – Tartu. The battalion was formed for the Wehrmacht's 207th Security Division in Tartu. Since the battalion's main line-up consisted of men from the previous Tartu's cavalry regiment, many wore the cavalry regiment's uniform at first and had a wide green cuffband with a German name. After the formation the battalion had 760 men and 4 companies. The battalion also included the independent company of pilot and Captain Sergei Maripuu, formed in Tartu, which in 1941-1942 was taken to Pihkva to secure the German airports. Paul Maitla, who became a legendary Estonian soldier, started his service in this company as the 1st group's leader. The battalion initially operated in Pihkva-Ostrov area. The 1st Company was in Ostrov, the 2nd Company guarded Pihkva's airport and the 3rd Company was in Ouduva. The battalion was later taken to Belarus. In connection with the Germans preparing to retreat to the Panther line and the 207th Security Division's area being decreased to only Estonia, the battalion was brought in October 1943 with the 38th, 40th and 42nd Police Battalions north of Pihkva near Lake Pihkva. In July 1944 the battalion received addition – the men from the dismissed 29th – 33rd Police Battalions were sent to the newly formed 2nd Police Regiment in the front behind Daugavpils. August 14 the battalion was brought back to Estonia. The battalion was briefly trained in Tallinn Military School's training site before being sent back to the front. August 27 the battalion was sent to destroy the Kärevere-Volt wedge on Emajõgi front in order to perform the operation Steinhägel (Stone hail). The battalion left Tallinn on a train and went to Tabivere station, then moved forward on foot.

The attack began on August 29 at 2 p.m. The battalion moved quickly towards its target, the Õvi II village, and conquered it the following morning, closing several 282nd Shooters' Division's units, the 291st Single Machine Guns and Artillery battalions, the 16th Single tank brigade, the 361st and 1433rd moving artilleries units' cannons into a pocket. Since the men from the 37th Police Battalion had found murdered civilians as they moved onwards, the next day the men's justified anger showed in the number of prisoners – there practically weren't any. By conquering the Õvi II village the Red Army's bridgehead was destroyed. The "lice mattresses" had retreated in panic leaving behind a whole car park and tens of armored machines, also a considerable amount of battle equipment, food and clothes. The men also got 30 tanks as plunder! The Red Army lost 2,000-3,000 men according to different data. The battalion's losses were also considerable. Battalion leader Karl Saimre was seriously wounded and died on September 5 in Tallinn. The Major received the 1st class Iron Cross posthumously. The battalion lost some ten men. The selfless battling of the police battalions and the Finnish Boys to destroy the bridgehead was noted in the 2nd Army Corps' war journal, where the police battalions' battle skills were especially brought out.

The arrival of the Finnish Boys and the destruction of the Kärevere bridgehead, as well as stopping the Russians' attack on the Emajõgi – Väike-Emajõgi line, gave the Estonians hope and faith in keeping Estonia free until the end of the war. More and more men came to the recruiting places voluntarily to contribute to the battle with the enemy. Unfortunately the painful sobering came soon. At the beginning of September it became clear that the German leaders were planning to abandon Estonia. Without the German air force and heavy weapons support there was no hope in holding back the large Russian troops. Hiiob's message arrived on September 5, 1944: Finland had signed a peace treaty with the Soviet Union and stepped out of the war. The way from the Gulf of Finland to Estonia was unprotected and the Russian armies in Karjala were free to attack Estonia. Army Group Nord was forced to start the plan "Köningsberg/Aster". The leaders of the German Land Force, who without a doubt already were making plans how to protect the borders of Germany, began to take the troops out of Estonia. The Russians had began to attack Latvia in south and therefore many German units left Estonia – for example, Lauchert's tank unit, battle group Mann, Kurt Kuhlmey's air force unit Stuka Geschwader 3. From the Emajõgi line several units left to go under Narva, these units were Wagner's battle group, the 11th East Prussian division's 23rd Grenadier Regiment and the 11th Fusilier Battalion. On September 14 the units were quietly withdrawn from the Narva front, the Estonians were not notified of this. The 11th SS Panzer Grenadier Division Nordland also received an order to prepare for retreating. At the same time Stavka brought from Narva the 2nd battle army in addition to the 1st battle army and the 67th army to South Estonia. The 8th army was preparing for attack under Narva. The chess pieces were on their places and ready for a catastrophe. During the attack, which began on September 14, the last defence line in Estonia was conquered. September 16 Hitler, who so far had been uncooperative, agreed to abandon Estonia. The bloody retreat battles began.

The 37th Police Battalion, which operated on Emajõgi line in Kämari under the 87th Infantry Division, had to retreat through Laeva-Koogi swampy area, since the front was broken through from the east. The battalion leader, Captain Paul Suude, helped the battalion to stop the attacking enemy near Puurmanni, then the front's strategic situation forced the battalion to retreat again. After the battles in Põlva on September 21 and 22 the battalion retreated in an organized way, with all of its men, along with the 38th Police Battalion to Latvia. The angry defence battles of the Estonian units enabled the German units to leave Estonia almost untouched and evacuate thousands of civilians, just like the OKW had hoped. Only the German units retreating from Krivasoo were trapped in a pocket in Estonia, but most of the surrounding units were the Estonian border guard units.

Battalion leader Captain Paul Suude was seriously injured in a battle near Riga, Latvia. Senior Lieutenant Felix Tamme then performed the duties of the battalion leader. Suude was transported quickly to Riga, where he had an operation, but despite that he died a few days later. The 37th Police Battalion had its last battles in the suburb of Riga. Then the battalion was taken to Germany, where it stopped existing in October and the men were gathered into the 20th Estonian SS Division, which was being formed again.

Police Battalion No 38 (W/F)

Estnische Schutzmannschfts-Abteilung Fellin
Estnische Polizei Front Bataillon 38
Outpost No: 46903

Battalion Leaders:

  • Lieutenant Colonel Juhan Raudmäe
  • Commander Valter Mäeste
  • Captain Arnold Evert
  • Commander Jaan Pärn
  • Commander Julius Ellandi

The formation of the battalion began in September 1941. The 1st Company was formed out of the men from Viljandi and Mulgimaa, the 2nd Company out of Valga and Valga County men, the 3rd Company in Tõrva. The battalion was formed for the Wehrmacht's 285th Security Division, which was in Viljandi. After training a part of the battalion was sent to Russia at the end of 1941, the other part at the beginning of 1942. In Russia the battalion operated as the security unit in Luuga-Pihkva-Ouduva area guarding the airports, railway and other military objects. The battalion also participated in the battles on the front on Pljussa-Krasnaja Strug line. The battalion suffered great losses on the front – it received addition 5 times! Hando Ruus, a man who became a legend in the World War II, began his military career in this battalion – he started as the leader of the 1st Company's 2nd group. Thanks to outstanding battling on the front he became the leader of the hunters' unit on March 16, 1942. In October 1942 Ruus left the battalion, being one of the some ten selected men who were sent to the Estonian Legion.

In connection with the Germans preparing to retreat to Panther line and the 207th Security Division's area being decreased only to Estonia starting from October 1943, the battalion was brought along with the 37th, 40th and 42nd Police Battalion north of Pihkva near Lake Pihkva. The battalion returned from Russia in March 1944 and had only 131 men. The battalion received a short-term vacation in Võru County and then it was taken to Pärnu. The battalion received additional men in Peti garner in June, the 29th Police Battalion was merged with it. The unit also received new weapons and equipment and was then taken to Tallinn on a train. In Tallinn the battalion was merged with the 2nd Police Regiment and was then sent to Latvia to destroy the Russians breakthrough under Daugavpils, where the battles took place near the lakes Ritsu and Drishviath. Along with three Latvian police regiments the Russians' attack was stopped, but the regiment was trapped in pocket from which they managed to break out over Väina River on August 12. In the middle of August the battalion was brought back to Estonia and to Tallinn. Here the battalion was trained for a short period of time on the training site of the former Tallinn's Military School in Tondi-Rahumäe area. During the training the battalion received the men of the soon to be dismissed 40th Police Battalion and the battalion finally reached a normal size – 586 men. In the night of August 26 the battalion received an order to go to Tartu front the next day to destroy the Voldi-Kärevere wedge and to perform operation "Stone Hail". In the evening of August 27, at 5 p.m., the unit left Tallinn and on the early morning of August 28 the battalion was unloaded in Kaarepere station. At the same time an echelon left Lehtse station, the unit was sent to support the operation with fire. It was the 1st Police Anti-Tank Battery, led by Captain Karl Truus (145 men). From there on they moved through Mullavere to Väänikvere, where the unit started making preparations for the attack on the following day. During the operation, the battalion was subjected to the 87th Infantry Division's battle group Tümmler, which was in Laeva. German side had 3,000 men lined up to destroy the Voldi wedge, 1,800 of them Estonians, some ten tanks and 12 artillery batteries. The other side had 2 Russian divisions and about 100 tanks.

The operation began on August 29, 1944 at 2 p.m. The attack started with the 38th Battalion's 2nd Company's hit against the 291st Single Machine Guns' and Artillery Battalion positions, the hit was successful and the battalion got the whole Red Army's artillery battery. While the Russians managed to temporarily stop the battle group Tümmler Germans on the Aruvälja-Murru line, the Estonian units kept moving on. In the evening around 8 o'clock the 38th Battalion's 2nd Company, led by Lieutenant Voldemar Madisso, was about a kilometer away from the Kärevere manor. Although the communication between the battalion's headquarters and other units had stopped because of the stormy moving onwards and conquering the manor was the assignment of the German battle group that was coming along the highway, the unit decided to conquer the manor quickly to turn the surprise moment on their own advantage. The attack was perfect, the Russians were attacked right in the middle of the dinner, they retreated in panic and by 9 o'clock the Estonians had the manor. They got two heavy JS-tanks as plunder, also 80 mm mine-thrower, MG-42 and a load of ammunition. Estonians lost two men who were wounded. The battalion took circle-defence positions, fighting back several Russians' attacks, the 2nd Company's group leader Johannes Risti was killed. Since there was no communication, the Estonians' fast moving onwards was also a surprise for the Germans, who approached the manor in darkness and ignored the Estonians' signaling rockets. Thus there was a short fire exchange between the Estonians and Germans. A few men from the 1st Company were wounded, but the German side also had killed men. On August 30 fierce battles near the manor continued, but all attempts of the Russians to retake the manor were unsuccessful. Other successful units had been the Finnish Boys, the 37th Battalion and Germans – the Kärevere bridgehead had been destroyed. The almond-eyed cotton-growers had lost 3,000 men and a lot of equipment. The 38th Battalion lost about 20 men who were killed and there was a few hundred men wounded. The leader of the 38th Battalion's 2nd Company, Voldemar Madisso, received the 1st class Iron Cross for his courage in conquering the Kärevere manor and other six men from the same company received the 2nd class Iron Cross.

After the operation "Stone Hail" had been successful, the battalion (with 660 men) remained on defence on Emajõgi line, near the Kärevere bridge, being subjected to the 87th Infantry Division. A famous propagandist sentence from the movie "Inimesed sõdurisinelis" (People in soldier's overcoat) originates from that time: "Estonian boys, switch sides, you'll get food and be home by Christmas!" But the ones who said this sentence where the Estonians on the Russian side. August 17 the Red Army's attack began on the Emajõgi line with a massive fire attack. The 1st Border Guard Regiment was completely destroyed in the cannon fire and the Russians were able to cross the river without any obstacles, thus reaching Alatskivi by the evening of that same day. The battalion began to retreat through Laeva area's swampy forests towards Puurmanni. September 19 the trailing Russian units were stopped with the 37th Battalion near Puurmanni, after which they had to retreat again so that they wouldn't be captured in a pocket. From Puurmanni the battalion moved to Pikknurme. Near Tänassilma the battalion leader, Julius Ellandi, announced that from now on each man was free to do what he thought was best – who wants to go home, go, the others can continue retreating towards Latvia. Most men continued to retreat as police battalion's soldiers. Near Abja-Paluoja, close to Penuja village, the battalion crossed the Estonian-Latvian border on a rainy evening of September 23. The night began behind them…

In Latvia the battalion moved side by side with the 37th Police Battalion through battles towards Riga. They were heading towards Mazsalaca. About 50 kilometers before Riga they once again took their positions. The anti-tank company's leader, Captain Karl Truus, was killed and the 37th Police Battalion leader, Captain Paul Suude, was seriously injured (died after a surgery). The last battle along with the 37th Battalion was in October 5 in the suburb of Riga, Mezaparg, near Riga's zoo. In Riga the battalion abandoned its heavy weapons, mine-throwers and horses and on October 6 the battalion was taken from Riga to Gotenhafen on a ship, from there to Neuhammer am Queis, where on October 20 the battalion was merged with the 37th Battalion and formed the 3rd and 4th companies. A little bit later the battalion was merged with the new 20th Estonian SS Division.

Police Battalion No 39 (F)

Estnische Schutzmannschafts Abteilung Oberpahlen
Estnische Politzei Front Bataillon 39
Outpost No: 47521

Battalion Leaders:

  • Major Aleksander Sobolev

The battalion was formed in September 1941 in Põltsamaa. Battalion leader was Major Aleksander Sobolev and its initial size was 3 companies. In the winter of 1941 the battalion was sent east of the Latvian border to Russia, the 1st and 2nd companies were sent to the front on Loknja area and to support the front in the rear, the 3rd Company was put to action in groups to protect the airports in Pihkva, Ostrov, Luuga, Oudovo and Dno. The company was working under Luftwaffe and wore the air force's uniforms. Soon the battalion received the 4th and 5th companies formed in Tartu. The 4th Company, led by Captain Voldemar Mikkola, battled in the Cholm pocket in January 1942. The 5th Company was the skiers' company and operated as the battalion's headquarters' security company. According to some data a part of the battalion battled in the winter of 1942/1943 under Velikiye Luki.
In April 1943 the battalion was brought back to Estonia and was dismissed. Some men joined the Estonian Legion, others were sent to the 287th Police Battalion.

Police Battalion No 40 (F)

Estnische Sicherungs Abteilung Pleskau
Estnische Schutzmannschafts Front Bataillon 40
Estnische Polizei Front Bataillon 40
Outpost No: 39712

Battalion Leaders:

  • Major Kusta Lindpere
  • Major Karl Nortmaa
  • Captain Rein Mölder
  • Major Julius Ellandi

The battalion was formed in August 1941 in Võru out of the volunteers from Valga, Võru and Petseri counties. The battalion's formation order came from the HSSPF Ostland und Russland-Nord SS and Police leader, SS-Gruppenführer Hans-Adolf Prützmann. The battalion wore old Republic of Estonia's military uniforms, used Russian trophy weapons and already on September 2, 1941 was sent to Pihkva, Russia. Thus the 40th Police Battalion was the first Estonian unit, which crossed the Estonian-Russian border. In Pihkva the battalion performed guarding tasks. November 30 the battalion was sworn in.

In summer 1942 the battalion was also engaged in anti-partisan battle in Slavkovitsh, Strug Krasnõje and Troitskaja Gora area. December 24, 1942 the battalion was taken from Pihkva to Võbor area, which is situated between Ostrov and Velikiye Luki. The battalion's headquarters was brought to Ostrov on March 1, 1943 and the battalion was then subjected to the 207th Security Division. The following 5 months the battalion was busy capturing partisans and bandits. The leader of the 207th Security Division, Lieutenant General Erich Hofmann, was very pleased with the Estonians' work and favored Estonians to Germans every time when they had to operate in the woods or on swampy areas, because the Estonians seemed to have a gift in battling in these kinds of situations. In mid-June 1943 the battalion's headquarters was taken to Strug Krasnõje and the battalion began to protect the Pihkva-Luuga railway. According to the memoirs of the battalion's fighter Raivo Kalamäe the 1st Company was in Proletarskoje station between Pljussa and Luuga villages, the 2nd Company in the Vladimirsk district and the 3rd Company in Kopolje. Every now and then they organized raids for the partisans.

September 10, 1943 the battalion was moved again – the headquarters was taken to Pljussa town, north-east of Pihkva, the 1st Company to Volossovo, the 2nd Company to Kotorsk near Lake Pesno and the 3rd Company to Aleksandrovka, east of Pljussa. October 19 the partisans attacked Pljussa and were almost successful, but a Caucasian unit entered the station the same time by accident. After this the Estonians built several secured bunkers to protect the headquarters and these were used by Rebane's battalion the following year. November 23, 1943 the battalion was taken north of Pihkva to secure the rear – the headquarters to Portjannikovo, the 1st Company to Lushkovo, the 2nd Company to Maslogost and the 3rd Company to Zavorovo.

March 5, 1944 the battalion returned to Estonia and at the end of March was sent to Lääne County on a vacation. June 20 the battalion was gathered in Uuemõisa, where the men from the dismissed 30th – 33rd Police Battalion joined the unit. The leader of the reorganized battalion was Major Julius Ellandi. July 8, 1944 the battalion was loaded on a train in Haapsalu and taken under Daugavpils in Latvia in the lines of the 2nd Police Regiment. The battalion battled near Lake Viesite, south-west of Jekapils. After three weeks in Latvia the battalion was brought back to Tallinn on August 14 and on August 19 the unit was dismissed. The men were joined with the 38th Police Battalion and a large number of men were sent to the 20th Estonian SS Division. Battalion leader Julius Ellandi was appointed to the 38th Police Battalion leader's position and its former leader, Major Robert Tammiste, was sent to work under the General's Inspectorate.

Police Battalion No 41 (E)

Estnische Schutzmannschafts Stamm Abteilung 41
Estnische Schutzmannschafts Ersatz Bataillon 41
Outpost No: 44445

Battalion Leaders:

  • Colonel Lieutenant Oskar Särev
  • Major Friedrich Kurg
  • Lieutenant Colonel Juhan Vermet

The battalion was formed in Tartu on November 1, 1941 as a training and supplement unit. The trained men were sent to supplement the Estonian Police Battalions which had suffered losses on the front. The battalion's headquarters was situated in Tartu the whole time. The battalion's size was supposed to be 975 men, but in reality it wasn't bigger than 300. In March 1943 the battalion's assignments were given to the 35th Police Battalion formed in Tallinn and, as a result, the battalion was dismissed. The data concerning the battalion's existing at the beginning of 1944 is unreliable and can likely be someone's mistake or a numeral confusion, since the men often found out too late that they will be transferred or their unit's number has changed.

Police Battalion No 42 (P)

Estnische Schutzmannschafts Bau Abteilung 42
Estnische Polizei Pioner Bataillon 42
Outpost No: 43167

Battalion Leaders:

  • Major August Schiller

The beginning of the battalion's formation was in November 1941 in Tartu, the size of the unit was supposed to be 560 men. The battalion was situated in the area of the Ropka manor. The battalion mostly had Estonian Russians. After a two-month training period, during which the men were taught pioneering works necessary in the military, the battalion was engaged into construction in Estonia according to its companies. At the beginning of 1942 the whole battalion was taken to Pihkva district in Russia. The headquarters was situated in the town of Pihkva, companies were widely used all over the district, often the companies were a few hundred kilometers away from one another. The companies performed all kinds of securing and construction works – built bunkers, roads, bridges, defence lines and trenches. The battalion was also in charge of protecting the organization Todt's construction workers. If necessary, the battalion was used in anti-partisan battles and also on the front – the battalion battled along with Major Valter Mäeste 13th Single East Company in Demjansk pocket.

In March 1943 the battalion returned to Estonia and after a short break it was sent to coast guard in Mehikoorma near Lake Peipsi. February 14 the battalion's 2nd Company participated in the battles near Meerpalu, led by Lieutenant Arnold Pest. In spring the same year the battalion was on the front in Russia, on the Velikaja river's line, in summer they retreated Võru-Petseri front and then in September Emajõgi line, where it took its positions from Kavastu until Koosa river's mouth under the 207th Security Division. The battalion was trapped in a pocket while breaking through Emajõgi front. The men who escaped from the pocket separated and that's where the battalion's history ended.

Police Battalion No 29 (F/W)

Estnische Schutzmannschafts Abteilung 29
Estnische Polizei Wacht Bataillon 29

Battalion Leaders:

  • Major Joann Peiker
  • Captain Karl Saimre
  • Major Karl-Richard Ant

The 29th Police Battalion was formed on November 5, 1941 in Tallinn on the order of the German Order Police for guard service inside Tallinn. Since the battalion's first and foremost assignment was to guard the military objects in Tallinn and near it, the battalion only included men who did not wish to serve outside Estonia. Nevertheless, the number of volunteers was small and therefore the Tallinn-Nõmme Self-Defence 2nd group was merged with the battalion on November 28. March 5, 1942 the battalion was unexpectedly, without equipment or weapons, sent to Leningrad front to Oranienbaum's bridgehead to wedge the Red Army's breakthrough. The men did receive trophy weapons, but they were sent to battle without any kind of training. Thus the battalion suffered great losses. The battalion also lost men because many went to join the Estonian Legion. In January 1943 the battalion's remains were brought away from the front and sent to Tartu for a vacation. Most remaining men were sent after the vacation to the 30th Police Battalion. The battalion as a front unit was dismissed and the remaining staff was used to form a new guard battalion with the same number in February 1943. Four fully manned Self-Defence companies were merged with the battalion. These units were situated in Tallinn, Haapsalu, Kuressaare and Pärnu. The leader of the new battalion was Major Karl-Richard Ant. The battalion then had 530 men. The battalion's headquarters was in Tallinn, on Adolf Hitler Street 58. At the end of 1943 the battalion was gathered in Tallinn.

In January 1944 the battalion took its positions on Narva river's line in Uusna-Vääska area under Infantry General Otto Sponheimer's group – the 1st Company was near Ust-Zerdjanka village, the 2nd Company near Uusna village, the 3rd Company remained in reserve. February 2, 1944 the Russians broke through their defence in Krivasoo and near Vääska river and having suffered great losses (especially the 1st Company), the battalion was forced to retreat from its positions. The battalion's operative leading was lost in swampy land and the battalion was almost trapped in a pocket, but still managed to break out to Gordenka village. In March 1944 the battalion was taken to beach guard in Utria beach and Kalvi and Aseri space. In June 1944 the battalion was taken to Pärnu, where in Peti garner it was dismissed. Most men were merged with the 38th Police Battalion.

Police Battalion No 30 (E/W)

Estnische Schutzmannschafts Ersatz Bataillon 30
Estnische Schutzmannschafts Abteilung 30
Estnische Polizei Wacht Bataillon 30

Battalion Leaders:

  • Major Julius Ellandi

The 30th Police Battalion was formed in August 1942 in Tallinn. The battalion's headquarters was until September 1943 in Tallinn on Lai Street 49. The battalion also had a brass band. In March 1943 four Self-Defence companies in Tallinn, Paide, Türi and Tapa were merged with the battalion, the battalion then had 630 men.

In the early spring of 1943 the battalion's officers and junior officers went through a special German training course in Pirita. Since the battalion had a lot of young men who had not served in the army and their number increased even more in spring thanks to the boys that came from Tallinn's schools, the special course became the battalion's 5th Company and a training school (in German Schule Brigitta), it was led by Senior Lieutenant Härm Kore. The school was situated in Pirita district, in Villa Brigitta and in a summer house next to it (the former Tallinn's tram and bus drivers' home). One course lasted for 60 days. The first course, which included two groups and was made up mainly of school boys, ended at the end of July 1943. The same course later provided a number of talented junior leaders for the battalion, who on Narva front in 1944 proved that Estonian student-soldiers have high battle spirits. When the battalion was merged with the 40th Police Battalion, the same soldiers proved time and time again that they were successful leaders and soldiers in Daugavpils (Dünaburg) area and also in the lines of the 38th Police Battalion.

The school's second course was expanded with the third training course under the leading of Lieutenant V. Toome and it was situated in Kohila. This course was dismissed at the beginning of September according to an order, which stated that the 1st, 2nd and 3rd companies along with the headquarters have to go to Viru County immediately. Before moving the three abovementioned companies were reorganized and the Pirita school's team was distributed among these. The 4th Company was untouched by these new regulations and it remained in Tapa.

In the summer of 1943 the battalion's 1st and 3rd companies were in coast guard, the 4th Company in Tapa. The long waiting in the homefront did not have a good effect on the men's morale. The men had also heard rumors of the Estonian unit which was being formed in Finland and thus a lot of men ran away from the battalion and were hoping to cross the gulf. The 1st and the 3rd companies lost the most men because of their convenient locations. In autumn 1943 the battalion's headquarters was sent to Lüganuse manor, the 1st Company to Iisaku (a bit later to Varja village), the 2nd Company to Sadala village, the 3rd Company to Purtse village, the 4th Company remained in Tapa and the economy team remained in Tallinn.

At the end of January 1944 the battalion was placed near Narva river on the protection on the Tannenberg line from Vasknarva to Permisküla under the infantry general Otto Sponheimer's group – the 1st Company near Zagrivje village, the 2nd Company to Vasknarva, the 3rd Company to Kuningküla and the 4th Company on the opposite bank of Karjat (later retreated to the west bank). At that time the battalion had 300 men.

February 2 the 1st Company had its first battles near Zagrivje village, when the units who had broken through the Leningrad blockade first reached the Narva river. The battalion did not suffer any losses, got away easily compared with the 29th Police Battalion, which on that same day suffered great losses near Vääska river. According to Voldemar Madisso the Russians lost about 30 men.

There were some negative events too. During another Russians' bomb attack the 4th Company, which was in reserve, left the front on the order of the company leader, Captain Leopold Vaidla, who was in panic. Some men did return after a while under the leading of Lieutenant Enn Kaaret, but the battalion's reputation suffered. We now can only say that the 4th Company had the worst equipment in the battalion, the company was made up of men without front experience and who hadn't served in the Estonian army. Captain Vaidla also didn't have battle experience.

March 4, 1944 the 377th shooters' division forced a bridgehead on the west bank of Narva river near Omuti. The German unit, which was in protection duty there (the 214th division brought from Norway), was forced to retreat, the Russians invaded the trenches of the 30th Police Battalion's 3rd Company and tried to expand the breakthrough. However, the Police Battalion men managed to clear the trenches and made the Russians retreat over the river. March 24, 1944 the battalion was replaced on the Narva river line by the 3rd Estonian Border Defence Regiment and the battalion was sent to coast guard from Purtse to Aseri. At the end of May the battalion was replaced by the 288th Police Battalion, led by Captain Otto Kommusaar. In June 1944 the battalion was gathered in Vigala and in connection with the 2nd Police Regiment's formation, the battalion was sent to supplement the 40th Police Battalion. The 30th Police Battalion was dismissed and its leader, Major Julius Ellandi, was appointed to the 40th Police Battalion leader's position.

Police Battalion No 31 (W)

Estnische Schutzmannschafts Abteilung 31
Estnische Polizei Wacht Bataillon 31

Battalion Leaders:

  • Major Karl Kask
  • Major Paul Siegfried Lanno

The battalion was formed in the summer of 1942 in Rakvere. The battalion had a brass band and a transportation unit. The battalion's assignment was to guard coast in Viru County and anti-partisan fighting in northeast Estonia near the Estonian-Russian border. The battalion's headquarters and the 1st Company were in Rakvere, the other three companies were in Narva. In March 1943 the Self-Defence companies in Rakvere, Kunda, Jõhvi and Narva were merged with the battalion. At that time the battalion had 520 men. Starting from January 29, 1944 the battalion was under the Sponheimer's group on Narva front and on coast guard near Purtse. February 14, 1944 a part of the battalion took part in eliminating the Meriküla landing. In the middle of June the battalion was gathered in Ambla near Tapa and was dismissed. The battalion's men were divided between the 37th, 38th and 40th Police Battalions.

Police Battalion No 32 (W)

Estnische Schutzmannschafts Abteilung 32
Estnische Polizei Wacht Bataillon 32

Battalion Leaders:

  • Major Plaado

The battalion was formed in the summer of 1942 in Rakvere as a reserve battalion. In March 1943 the Self-Defence companies in Tartu, Viljandi and Põltsamaa were merged with the battalion, as well as some of the men from the 33rd Police Battalion. The battalion then had 456 men. The battalion's headquarters was at first in Rakvere. In January 1944 the battalion was on Narva front under the infantry general Otto Sponheimer, but according to some data the battalion was in Tartu guard duty later the same year. In June 1944 the battalion was dismissed and the remaining men were divided between the 37th, 38th and 40th Police Battalions.

Police Battalion No 33 (F/W)

Estnische Schutzmannschafts Abteilung 33
Estnische Polizei Wacht Bataillon 33

Battalion Leaders:

  • Major Jakob Kuuse
  • Captain Voldemar Pärlin
  • Major Johannes Koort
  • Major Robert Tammiste

The battalion was formed in the winter of 1941/1942 in Tartu and Viljandi. The battalion had a brass band, but in 1942 it was subjected to the 36th Police Battalion. In January 1942 the unprepared and not fully selected battalion was taken under Leningrad to the front. In the spring of 1942 the battalion received additionally 200 men. A year later, in December 1942, the battalion's remains were brought back from the front to Estonia and were sent on a vacation to Pärnu. After the vacation the battalion was taken to Tartu where in February 1943 it was dismissed. Volunteers left to the Estonian Legion, the others were distributed between the 32nd, 35th and 287th Police Battalion. At the same time the formation of a new guard battalion with the same number began. The new battalion was formed out of Self-Defence companies in Valga, Antsla, Võru and Petseri. The battalion then had 381 men in three companies – the 1st Company in Võru, the 2nd in Valga and the 3rd in Petseri. The leader of the new company was Major Robert Tammiste. The battalion was on guard duty and subjected to the 11th Infantry Division.

Despite the fact that the new unit was only meant for guard duty, in January 1944 it was sent to coast guard in Peipsi, near Mehikoorma, the 1st and 3rd companies to Võõpsu area, the 2nd Company was protecting Peipsi beach north from Mehikoorma until Laiksaare. One coast guard unit was sent to help the local Self-Defence protect Piirisaare and another German punishment company was there too. February 10, 1944 Russians invaded Piirisaare. Police Battalion's submachine guns were firing until they ran out of ammunition and retreated from the island with other protectors. February 11 the battalion's 2nd Company, led by Captain Aleksander Nordmaa, was taken to protect the Lake Lämmijärv's bank, which was opposite of Piirisaare and near a German farm. Captain Nordmaa's company had only 60 men aged 18-60 and they only had Russian plunder weapons. February 14 at 4 a.m. the Russians conquered Meerpalu and invaded towards south. The 2nd Company took its positions in the forest behind the German farm. When it became brighter outside, the Russians reached in front of Captain Nordmaa's company's positions and were forced to retreat under fire. Since the company's defence line was short, there was a danger that the Russians could pass them from west and surround the unit. At that moment the Estonian 20th SS Division's 45th Regiment's 1st Battalion arrived in the battle scene, led by Harald Riipalu. All together they went to counterattack and the Russians were forced to retreat. The next day the Russians' bridgehead in Meerpalu was completely destroyed, but the 2nd Company's leader, Captain Aleksander Nordmaa, was killed after being shot in the chest five times.

June 1944 the battalion was brought back from Peipsi area and was dismissed, the men were sent to the 37th, 38th and 40th Police Battalion.

Police Battalion No 34 (W/F)

Estnische Schutzmannschafts Abteilung 34
Estnische Polizei Front Bataillon 34

Battalion Leaders:

  • Major Rudolf Martinson
  • Lieutenant Henrik Sillapere (?)

The formation of the battalion began at the beginning of 1942 in Valga and Võru. But already in May the battalion, which was not fully selected, was dismissed and the men were sent to supplement the 36th Police Battalion. In March 1943 a new police-front battalion with the same number was formed. The battalion had 500 men and it was sent to Luuga district near Pihkva. The battalion was subjected to the Reich's construction organization Todt. The battalion guarded Todt's buildings in Pihkva, Luuga, Idritsa, Ouduva, Dno and in other places in Pihkva area. The battalions companies were in different places all this time, where exactly is difficult to say now. In January 1944 the battalion's headquarters was in Pihkva. Further information about the battalion is missing.

Police Battalion No 35 (W/E)

Estnische Schutzmannschafts Abteilung 35
Estnische Polizei Ersatz Bataillon 35

Battalion Leaders:

  • Colonel Lieutenant Hans Herman Stockeby
  • Major Jaan Pärn
  • Major Julius Renter
  • Captain Eervin Kivi
  • Captain Rein Mölder

The battalion was formed in January 1942 in Pärnu. Only two companies were formed. By April 1942 the battalion had gathered 200 men who were sent to Leningrad front to support the 33rd Police Battalion. The battalion as a battle unit was dismissed. The battalion's staff was taken to Tallinn, where in March 1943 a new training and reserve battalion with the same number was formed and it took over the tasks of the former 41st Police Battalion. Four companies were formed: 1st Company – guard and representative company; 2nd Company – company of the injured men; 3rd Company – company of the men who were recovering; 4th Company – reserve company. The battalion's headquarters was in Narva Road. In addition to training the supplement staff, the battalion was also responsible for guard duty in Tallinn. By March 1, 1944 the battalion had 400 men and an orchestra, which every now and then performed in the city. In 1944, as the Russians were approaching, the unit retreated with the Germans to Germany in time where the unit was most likely emerged with the 20th Estonian SS Division.

Police Battalion No 36 (F)

Estnische Schutzmannschafts Abteilung 36
Estnische Polizei Front Bataillon 36
Outpost No: 48885

Battalion Leaders:

  • Major Julius Renter
  • Superior Lieutenant Harald Riipalu

The battalion's formation began on November 23, 1941 in West Estonian islands and in Haapsalu. The 1st Company was formed in Haapsalu, the 2nd and 3rd in Kuressaare and the 4th in Kärdla. At first the battalion was located in Kuressaare and thus the battalion got cuffbands with the name: Schutzmannschafts-Bataillon 36. Arensburg. Later the battalion's location was in Haapsalu, Ehte Street 9. In March 1942 the battalion got uniforms, the former Latvian army uniforms, and also weapons. March 27 the battalion was ordered to gather to Haapsalu, according to the Order Police leader's announcement, and prepare for leaving. April 9 the battalion went to Tartu, where the training continued. The initial 4 companies were assembled into 3 companies.

August 2 the battalion went from Tartu to Belarus on train. August 5 the echelon reached Novojelnaja station, where the battalion was unloaded and moved 28 km east on foot – to Novogrudok settlement. The battalion was located in the former Polish cavalry's buildings (the Soviet Union had occupied these areas, so it would be more accurate to say that the battalion operated in Poland, not in Belarus). The battalion was used in anti-partisan battles, the stables near the buildings were used to keep prisoners. August 28 the battalion was taken to Tshistjakovo's industrial area, where it had to build prisoners' camps and keep guard. November 21 the battalion received the full front equipment.

November 22, 1942 the battalion went to Suravikino station under Stalingrad, where it immediately (on November 23, 1942) got into a battle near the station. The battalion's leader, Renter, fell ill the same evening and the 3rd Company leader, Harald Riipalu, took over the leading and this man cannot be avoided in the Estonian military history. The battalion was subjected to Kampfgruppe von Stumpfeld. Constant battles with the large enemy began on the outer side of the Stalingrad pocket. By December 31, 1942 the battalion was gathered to Shatõ town and preparations were made to head home. Within one month the battalion deserved its neighbours', the Germans', great respect and acknowledgement. 42 fighters of this unit had received the Iron Cross. The battalion lost 39 men, 97 were wounded and 11 missing.

January 6, 1943 the battalion headed home. In Estonia the battalion was sent on a vacation. After vacation the unit was dismissed, the men and officers were distributed between the Estonian Legion, the 37th, 286th, 287th, 288th and 289th Police Battalions. Captain Harald Riipalu was sent to Heidelager.

Those who are interested in reading more about the accusations raised during the last few years against the battalion can read about them here: http://paber.ekspress.ee

* The 36th Police Battalion's actions are also depicted in the documentary "Vojennaja Ulitsa" (Military Street).

Police Battalion No 286 (F)

Estnische Schutzmannschafts Front Bataillon 286
Estnische Polizei Front Bataillon 286

Battalion Leaders:

  • Major Rudolf Martinson
  • Captain Ants Kübar

In May 1943 the Estonian SS and Police leader, Möller, gave an order to form a police battalion out of regular policemen. The battalion gathered in a schoolhouse on Vabriku Street in Tallinn. The men were supposed to be supported by all Estonian Police prefects (except Narva's and Petseri's prefects) based on the officials' number. The men were distributed into companies and groups based on the prefects. The 1st Company was formed out of Tallinn's policemen, the 2nd Viljandi's policemen, the 3rd Tartu's policemen and the 4th Company included policemen from other prefects. The battalion had 700 men. The battalion's leader was Major Rudolf Martinson, who was the only non-policeman in the whole battalion. The whole formation process was very quick, the men who received an order had to be in Tallinn within 36 hours. Four companies were formed – each had three shooters' groups and one beach guard group. There was a separate communication group and of course the headquarters.

The battalion's training lasted for 3 weeks because of the lack of time and because a lot of the policemen were reserve officers and former soldiers. The battalion had Russian trophy weapons. June 8, 1943 the battalion was taken to Riga's suburb Boldera, where the battalion received a horse train, field kitchen and ammunition. Starting from July 20 the battalion was engaged in anti-partisan battles in Augustovo woods in East Poland. The battalion's battles continued in Lithuania and in September in Belarus.

From November 1943 until February 1944 the battalion participated in the operation near Idritsa under Nevel, which's assignment was to eliminate the so-called Rosna Republic. The operation remained unfinished because the Russian troops broke the Leningrad blockade and forced the German units to retreat. The battalion suffered severe losses. After the front was stabilized, the battalion was brought back to Estonia at the beginning of March. The unit had a bit more than 200 men. February 11, 1944 the battalion reached Ülemiste station. Inspector General Soodla organized the battalion a reception in Estonia's concert hall. Since Estonia was destroyed in the bomb attack of March 9, it was the last big event in this building. In Estonia the men were sent back to their previous service places in police prefects and the battalion was put together again in February with mobilized men. Most officers remained in the battalion, Major Martinson was sent to reserve and the new leader was Captain Ants Kübar. The battalion was located in field work school's rooms in Vigala, Lääne County, and the new men were trained there. By April 1 the battalion had 692 men.

April 11 the battalion was subjected to the 1st Police Regiment and was sent to beach defence in Toila, Viru County. In August 1944 the battalion was sent to the 300th Special Purpose Division's headquarters' reserve and was located near Kuremäe abbey in Kivinõmme. After breaking through the Emajõgi front on September 17, 1944, the battalion began to retreat from Narva front according to plan "Aster", being the last unit to retreat towards Tallinn.

On the evening of September 17 the battalion was taken to Ahtme on a field railway and from there they moved on foot to Sompa station. On September 18 at 11 p.m. the battalion was loaded on a train and on September 19 at 4 a.m. the echelon left. Sompa station was blown up after they left. They stopped in Udriku and on September 20 the battalion was unloaded in Tapa. According to the initial plan the battalion was supposed to take its defence positions on Kadrina line under Major General Kurt Gerock's battle group, but then it was sent to protect Tallinn. According to some data the battalion participated in Avinurme battle on September 20. But from there on information about the battalion is missing.

Police Battalion No 287 (W)

Estnische Schutzmannschafts Wacht Bataillon 287
Estnische Polizei Wacht Bataillon 287

Battalion Leaders:

  • Major Johannes Koort

The battalion was formed in Tartu in spring 1943 and was put together of the men from dismissed battalions and Shooters' Corps Estonians who crossed sides under Velikiye Luki. The 1st and 2nd companies were formed in Tartu. In August the battalion was taken to Rakvere, where the 3rd and 4th companies had been formed. The battalion's headquarters was Rakvere from there on. The battalion had 842 men. Since autumn 1943 the battalion was subjected to the commandant of the Estonian SS Administration's Headquarters' prison camps and the battalion's companies were used in the outdoor guard of the prison camps. The companies were situated in the following way: 1st Company in Kiviõli, 2nd in Kurtna and later in Viivikonna, 3rd in Klooga, 4th in Kukruse and later in Lagedi. Some groups were in Ahtme, Vaivara and Narva's linen factory camp. 110 men from the 3rd Company were in guard in Klooga camp in September 1944.

September 19, 1944 the leader of Klooga camp, SS-Untersturmführer Wilhelm Werle, announced to the lined up camp that the camp will be evacuated. However, he did not announce to the 3rd Company men, who were guarding the camp, that there was no transport for all camp members and the most dangerous opponents of the Reich will be eliminated. The SD special commando arrived in Klooga, which began performing executions in the forest near the camp. Estonians were shocked by this kind of behavior and announced this to the Estonian 20th SS Division's training camp which was nearby. Lieutenant Egon Valter from the training camp went to see SS-Sturmbannführer Georg Ahlemann with a protest. The latter got angry of the Estonians' interference, tore the Iron Cross' ribbon off Valter's chest and arrested the Lieutenant. But now the Estonians were angry, broke into the weapons' storage and got armed. Valter was released and Ahlemann arrested. Estonians took the power completely in Klooga. The German was later released on Admiral Pitka's request. Although the 287th Police Battalion's men did not take part in the execution, 38 men from the battalion were sentenced to prison for a long time after the war.

After the incident with the Germans the battalion along with men from Finland and the training camp boys began to prepare for the meeting of the Russian troops. But then the order to retreat arrived and the battalion left Estonia in companies to East Prussia, to the gathering camp in Schöwarling near Danzig, where all soldiers from the Police Battalions, Self-Defence and Boarder Guard Regiments were sent after they arrived to Germany. From there the battalion was taken to Neuhammer's training camp on October 29 and was merged with the Estonian Division, which was being formed again.

Police Battalion No 288 (F)

Estnische Schutzmannschafts Front Bataillon 288
Estnische Polizei Front Bataillon 288

Battalion Leaders:

  • Captain Otto Andreas Kommussaar
  • Captain Lannu

The battalion was formed in March 1943 out of Police Battalions' men and mobilized men. In summer 1943 the battalion was used in anti-partisan battles in Lithuania, took part in eliminating the Rosna Partisans' Republic in Rossonõ and was on the front under Nevel in 1943/1944, where it suffered great losses. In April 1944 the battalion was brought back to Estonia with only 198 men. The battalion was sent on a vacation and to recover. June 1944 the battalion had 639 men and was in beach defence near Purtse. The battalion was included into the 1st Police Regiment and sent to the front in northeast Estonia. In September 1944 the battalion's positions under the battle group Süd were near Permisküla alongside the Narva river.

September 19 at 6 a.m. the battalion began to retreat from its positions moving over Alajõe to Tudulinn. Based on all the available information we can guess that the 3rd Company emerged from the battalion near Tudulinn and moved to Tudu where they spent the night. The rest of the battalion moved south from Tudulinn towards Avinurme. In the morning of September 20 the 3rd Company reached Roela. The men's morale had began dropping and several men left the colon, announcing that they needed to take care of their families' evacuation. Senior Lieutenant Lamp shot himself in Roela. On Paasvere crossroads the men heard battle noises coming from south. This forced them to hurry and the men were moving on running until Laekvere. By the evening of September 20 they reached Rakke, where a large number of Estonian soldiers from different units had gathered. This group of men were led by the 288th Police Battalion's 3rd Company leader, Lieutenant Kaarel Kuutma. They decided to keep the Russians near Edru until the last retreating units had passed Rakke. The men, who now had a leader, were happier and moved on from their positions singing.

Kuutma gave a short speech: "Dear fighters, homeland protectors, we have been betrayed and there is no hope for help. This might be our last battle on our homeland. Act according to soldier's best beliefs and conscience. Do not get killed without a reason and avoid being imprisoned, the forests are free."

Near Edru they met the attacking Russians. They were able to stop the tanks for a moment and retreat over the railroad back to Koeru. There the officers had set in an improvised headquarters in the local barbershop. They decided that in the current situation resisting would result in pointless human sacrifice and the unit was dismissed. Lieutenant Kuutma announced to the men: "Boys, our battle has ended. Resistance is pointless. Those who want to can go on with us, those who don't, find a way home or disappear quietly into the woods. We have been left in the hands of fate. The newly formed government has left Tallinn and higher leaders are missing. There's no hope for help from the US. Boys, stay loyal to your homeland and do not surrender. Use every opportunity to continue fighting for free Estonia."

The battalion, which was moving south, immediately interfered in Avinurme battle. Further information about the battalion is missing.

Police Battalion No 289 (F)

Estnische Polizei Front Bataillon 289

Battalion Leaders:

  • Captain Ervin Kivi

Formed in February 1944 in Tallinn. The battalion had 600 men. From Tallinn the battalion was taken to Pärnu in spring for training, the unit was situated in a military building (Peti garner) near Vana Pärnu bridge. From April to June the battalion was trained. In June the battalion was taken to beach defence right over Sinimäed Hills. During retreat the battalion was trapped in a pocket near Avinurme and most men were imprisoned.

Police Battalion No 290 (P)

Estnische Polizei Bau Pioner Bataillon 290

According to some sources was first formed in December 1942 and dismissed in March 1943. Was formed at the beginning of 1944 for sure. The battalion was mostly made up of mobilized Russians. A part of this battalion participated in Avinurme battle on September 20, 1944, where it arrived probably at the same time with the 288th Police Battalion and parts of the 6th Border Guard Regiment. Other data about the battalion is missing.

Police Battalion No 291

Estnische Polizei Front Bataillon 291

Was formed at the beginning of 1944 out of mobilized men. From April 11, 1944 belonged in the 1st Police Regiment and was used in Viru County's beach defence. In June the battalion had 637 men. Later the battalion operated under the 300th Special Purpose Division on Tannenberg line, Krivasoo and near Narva river. While retreating from the Tannenberg line, the battalion was in the colon heading from Tudulinn to Tamsalu and according to some sources took part in Porkuni battle.

Police Battalion No 292 (F)

Estnische Polizei Front Bataillon 292

Battalion Leaders:

  • Captain Otto Andreas Kommusaar

Was formed in January 1944 in Tallinn. Headquarters was on Pühavaimu Street. The 1st and the 2nd companies' offices were on Vabriku Street 10 and the 3rd and 4th companies offices on Pärnu Road 10. That was where the mine-throwers courses took place. Training took place near Tallinn and lasted for couple of months. Then the battalion was taken to beach defence near Purtse. April 11 the battalion was added to the 1st Police Regiment. In June the battalion had 638 men. In July the battalion was subjected to the 300th Special Purpose Division and taken to Narva front in Permisküla area (battle group Süd). September 19 the unit retreated along Vasknarva-Rannapungerja-Tudulinn-Avinurme road. September 20 participated in Avinurme battle. A part of the battalion participated in Porkuni battle, Lieutenant Hans Kiindok was killed. A few days later the battalion was dismissed in Lääne County.

Police Battalion No 293

Data is missing.

Police Regiments

April 11, 1944 the 1st Police Regiment was formed in Tallinn, which included the Police Battalions with the numbers 286, 288, 291 and 292. Regiment's leader was Major Karl Saimre. Regiment was formed to operatively lead the beach guard and Tannenberg line units in battle situations. The regiment was very badly armed, the air force and armored units were missing. At the same time there was a need to form another regiment in Latvia. Since the 1st Estonian Police Regiment's battalions were subjected to the 18th Army and its leader General Lindemann refused to let these units go, except for the regiment's headquarters, on July 7, 1944 the 2nd Police Regiment was formed of the 1st Regiment's headquarters and Police Battalions 37, 38 and 40. July 16 the regiment with only light weapons was sent to the front. Transportation was along a railway over Riga and Daugavpils to the lakes area where the Lithuanain-Latvian-Russian borders meet in Gimzy district. Along with three Latvian regiments the Russians were stopped, but in order to avoid getting trapped in a pocket they broke out over Väina river on August 12. When the regiment reached Tallinn on August 20, 1944 it was dismissed.

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