List of wars involving Estonia

Below is a list of military conflicts in which Estonians participated or took place on Estonian territory.

Ancient Estonia

  • 380–1227, tens of raids and counter-attacks against Scandinavian people, mainly Swedes.

The Middle Ages

Estonia remained one of the last corners of medieval Europe to be Christianized. In 1193 Pope Celestine III called for a crusade against pagans in Northern Europe. The Northern Crusades from Northern Germany established the stronghold of Riga. With the help of the newly converted local tribes of Livs and Letts, the crusaders initiated raids into part of what is present-day Estonia in 1208.

The Reformation Period

By the late 1550s, the Reformation and Counter-Reformation had caused internal conflicts in Livonian Confederation, while its Eastern neighbour Russia had grown stronger after defeating the khanates of Kazan and Astrakhan. The conflict between Russia and the Western powers was exacerbated by Russia's isolation from sea trade. Neither could the tsar hire qualified labour in Europe.

  • 1558–1582, the Livonian War
  • 1600–1629, the Polish-Swedish War
    • 1600–1611, the war of 1600–1611
    • 1617–1618, the war of 1617–1618
    • 1621–1625, the war of 1621–1625
  • 1700–1721, the Great Northern War

The National Awakening period

1889 marked the beginning of the central government-sponsored policy of Russification. The impact of this was that many of the Baltic German legal institutions were either abolished or had to do their work in Russian - a good example of this is the University of Tartu. As the Russian Revolution of 1905 swept through Estonia, the Estonians called for freedom of the press and assembly, for universal franchise, and for national autonomy.

  • 1904–1905, the Russo-Japanese War (thousands of Estonians among the Russian Imperial armed forces)
  • 1914–1918, World War I (thousands of Estonians among the Russian Imperial armed forces)

The Declaration of Independence

After the collapse of the short-lived puppet government of the United Baltic Duchy and the withdrawal of German troops in November 1918, an Estonian provisional Government retook office. A military invasion by the Red Army followed a few days later, however, marking the beginning of the war of independence.

The Second World War

The first period of independence lasted 22 years, beginning in 1918. Estonia had pursued a policy of neutrality, but it was of no consequence after the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany signed the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact on August 23, 1939 in which the two great powers agreed to divide up the countries situated between them with Estonia falling in the Soviet "sphere of influence".

The Modern period

See also

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