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Kuperjanov Partisan Battalion

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Title: Kuperjanov Partisan Battalion  
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Subject: Julius Kuperjanov
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Kuperjanov Partisan Battalion

Kuperjanov' Partisan Battalion

Shoulder Sleeve Insignia of the Kuperjanov Battalion
Active 02.12.1918 - 21.06.1940[1]
Country Estonia
Allegiance Estonian Army
Branch Infantry
Type Partisan infantry
Role Guerrilla warfare
Size Battalion
Engagements Estonian War of Independence
Battle of Paju
Krasnaya Gorka
Lieutenant Julius Kuperjanov[2]

The Kuperjanov Partisan Battalion was an elite Estonian military unit established during the Estonian War of Independence.[3] The commando-type unit composed of volunteers was established after the Estonian Provisional government call for volunteers to the Estonian National Army. On 23 December 1918 Colonel Johan Laidoner was appointed Commander in chief of the Estonian armed forces, and the same day Col. Ernst Limberg gave Lt. Julius Kuperjanov the order to form the Tartumaa Partisan Battalion.

Kuperjanov had been a school teacher who was commissioned in the Imperial Russian Army. In 1917 he joined the Estonian forces at the start of the War of Independence. In December 1918 he received permission to raise a partisan battalion. Tartu County school students were among the first recruits of the battalion, which was formed at the Puurmani manor. Due to a flow of young but highly motivated volunteers, Kuperjanov's unit became an independent battalion known for its high morale and daring tactics. The detachment played a crucial role in liberating southeastern Estonia.

After the death of Kuperjanov on 2 February 1919, from wounds received at the Battle of Paju, the battalion was officially named Julius Kuperjanov Partisan Battalion by the Commander in Chief of the Estonian Defence Forces Gen. Johan Laidoner.

In 1919 the battalion had a central part in destroying the pro-German Baltische Landeswehr and liberating Latvia.

After the peace, the detachment acted as part of the peacetime Estonian Defence Forces. The battalion was disbanded in 1940 after the Soviet occupation.


The Kuperjanov Battalion was re-established on 9 March 1992 after Estonia regained its independence.[4] It is based in Võru in southeast Estonia and is now one of the largest battalions of the Estonian Defence Forces. It is known for high demands from its recruits and officers and a special esprit de corps uniting its members in service and in reserve.


See also

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