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Julius Kuperjanov

Julius Kuperjanov
Julius Kuperjanov
Born (1894-10-11)11 October 1894
Lyokhovo, Dukhnovo parish, Pskov Governorate, Russian Empire
Died 2 February 1919(1919-02-02) (aged 24)
Tartu, Estonia
Place of burial Raadi cemetery
Allegiance  Russian Empire
Service/branch Army
Years of service 1914–1917 Imperial Russian Army
1918-1919 Estonian Army
Rank Lieutenant
Unit Tartumaa Partisan Battalion

World War I
Estonian War of Independence

Awards Order of St. Anna II, III, IV degree
Cross of St. George IV degree
Order of Vladimir IV degree
Order of Stanislav II, III degree
Cross of Liberty (Estonia) (posthumously)

Julius Kuperjanov VR II/2 and II/3 (11 October [O.S. 29 September] 1894 – 2 February 1919) was an Estonian military officer during the War of Independence and commander of the Tartumaa Partisan Battalion renamed after him posthumously.


  • Life 1
  • Family name 2
  • Contemporary view 3
  • Stamp issue 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


Kuperjanov was a schoolteacher in the village of Kambja. At the start of World War I, he was mobilised into the Imperial Russian Army and commissioned after receiving basic officer training. He was wounded in both legs.

In 1917 he joined the Estonian forces during the start of the War of Independence. In December 1918, he received permission to form a ranger battalion. Students were among the first to join the Tartu County Partisan Battalion.

On 14 January 1919, Julius Kuperjanov was among the liberators of Tartu. He died some weeks later of wounds received leading an attack during the decisive Battle of Paju.

Family name

Because his parents emigrated to Russia for work, they acquired a russified form of their family name (original Kupper). After returning to Estonia, they preserved this name.[1]

Contemporary view

The Julius Kuperjanov monument unrestored

To honour Kuperjanov, the unit he had raised was renamed after him.[2] It was disbanded in 1940 after the Soviet occupation and re-established after Estonia regained its independence from the Soviet Union.[3]

Julius Kuperjanov was posthumously awarded the Cross of Liberty (VR II/2 and II/3). His tomb at the Raadi cemetery, Tartu, was one of the few War of Independence monuments to survive the Soviet occupation. The monument was restored in 2008. During the Soviet occupation of Estonia from 1940 to 1991, Kuperjanov's tomb acquired great symbolic significance. Dissidents and patriotically minded students would periodically gather there on various anniversaries to light candles and place flowers in his memory. During the occupation period, the KGB kept a watch on the tomb, and arrested the persons who came to honor the memory of the national hero.

Stamp issue

In 2009, a commemorative stamp was issued on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of Kuperjanov's death by Eesti Post.

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ Traksmaa, August: Lühike vabadussõja ajalugu, page 109. Olion, 1992
  3. ^ Eesti Kaitsevägi:Kuperjanovi Üksik-jalaväepataljon

External links

  • Leitnant Julius Kuperjanov (Estonian)
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