Baltic German and Russian troops in Estonian army in the War of Independence

Besides Finnish, Swedish and Danish volunteers and the allied troops (the Russian Whites, Ingrians, Latvians) the Estonian armed forces during the War of Independence also consisted of military units of local Baltic Germans and Russians.

The Baltic Battalion (in German also regiment – Baltenregiment) was formed in late 1918 of Baltic German volunteers, who had gathered in Viljandi, Tartu and Rakvere. The legal basis of the Battalion was the agreement signed on 27 November 1918 between the Estonian Provisional Government and the knighthoods of Estonia, Livonia and Saaremaa, and the Estonian German societies. The commander was Colonel Konstantin von Weiss, the chief of staff, captain Viktor von zur Mühlen. The Battalion fought at the Viru front. In spring 1919 it contained 4 infantry companies, a squadron, an artillery company, cavalry machine-gun squadrons, an artillery battery and an ice yacht flotilla on lake Peipsi. The Battalion had altogether 1350 men, 71 were killed and 118 wounded.

The Russian Kachanov battalion was formed in late summer 1919 at the Southern front, initially as a regiment. Its core was made up of the partisan brigade of Kachanova parish in Ostrov county, supplemented on the orders of the Estonian army command by men conscripted from the Kachanova parish, the battalion formed earlier in Panikovich  (Pankjavitsa) parish and soldiers and officers of Russian origin. In September it consisted of about 1300 men. In October the regiment was reorganised into a single battalion. The commander was Captain Artur Saueselg, the chief of staff Lieutenant Tõnis Koern. The battalion had 5 companies, a machine gun company, a field battery and special commandos, altogether about 1000 men. From September to December the Kachanov battalion was greatly reduced: at least 11 dead, 44 wounded and 23 lost. From 1920 Kachanova belonged to the Abrene county, Kacēni parish, in the Republic of Latvia; most of the men returned home. According to the Tartu Peace Treaty, men who came from the territories now belonging to Soviet Russia were sent back to Russia. Some were then imprisoned by the Bolshevist regime.

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