The formation of Estonian Legion

August 28, 1942, on the anniversary of Tallinn' liberation, Estonian General Commissar SA-Obergruppenführer Karl Siegmund Litzmann announced that the German higher board gave the permission to form the Estonian Legion that would operate under the Waffen-SS. At first men were recruited from eastern and police battalions. The legion was supposed the be the size of a regiment and consist of three battalions (each having four companies) and grenade launchers and antitank defence company. The first meeting of the legion founders took place in Pihkva.

The legion was trained in Debica training camp (SS Truppenübungplatze Heidelager) near Krakow, Poland. The first men were the volunteers from the Eastern Front and untrained young Estonians. Estonian Legion was meant to be voluntary. The first arrivers on October 13, 1942 were 113 eastern battalion men, led by Lieutenant Paul Maitla. Estonian officers (80 men) were sent to a training course in SS military school in Bad Tölz, junior officers were trained in Poznan SS military school, wireless operators were sent to Potsdam and antitank defence men to Hilversum military school in Holland. The legion's 1st Regiment's (1st Estonian SS Volunteer Regiment) headquarters was set up with the 1st battalion. In October 1942 SS-Obersturmbannführer Franz Augsberger became the Estonian Legion 1st Regiment leader. Soon the battalion leader SS-Hauptsturmführer Georg Eberhardt arrived.

At the beginning of November 1942 the legion was trained by 89 SS Regiment Deutschland instructors. At the beginning of December 97 additional instructors arrived and some of them were appointed to the positions of group, squad or weapons' leader.

On December 10, 1942 the battalion's size was fixed to having 3 shooters and 1 heavy company, the 5th company was separated from the headquarters company and another junior leaders' group was formed to operate with it. At the end of 1942 the legion's 5 shooters and 1 heavy company had 969 men. The regiment leader's order arrived according to which the battalion was supposed to be battle-ready by the end of February 1943.

In January 1943 the 5th company's size was fixed to 134 men and 28 instructors. On January 20, 1943 an additional 46 men from Kiev's battalion was added to the Estonian battalion. On February 19, 1943 the regiment's intelligence company received 25 men, most of them being Germans. A day later 75 men were sent to the junior officers' school (3. SS Unterführerschule Lauenburg-Pommern) in Lauenburg near Hamburg.

On February 13, 1943 the battalion took a soldier's oath.
By March 1943 the legion had about 2,000 volunteers.