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|Born||17 April 1875|
Pööra, Tartu County, Russian Empire, (now Puurmani Parish, Jõgeva County, Estonia)
|Died||30 June 1941 66) (aged|
|Years of service||1899–1917 Imperial Russian Army|
1918–1934 Estonian Army
|Unit|| Imperial Russian Army |
|Battles/wars|| Russo-Japanese war |
World War I
Estonian War of Independence
|Awards||Cross of Liberty|
Aleksander Tõnisson VR I/1 (17 April 1875 – 30 June 1941) was an Estonian military commander (Major General) during the Estonian War of Independence.
In 1899 he graduated from Vilnius Military Academy. Tõnisson participated in Russo-Japanese war and in World War I. In 1917 he participated in formation of Estonian national units and as commander of 1st Estonian regiment participated in battles at Riga front. In 1918 he escaped from German occupation to Finland, returned in autumn and became commander of 1st Division of Estonia. During Estonian Liberation War Tõnisson fought successfully at Viru Front. After war he served twice as minister of defence, in 1934 he retired from military and was mayor of Tartu 1934–1939 and Lord Mayor (ülemlinnapea) of Tallinn 1939–1940. In 1940 Soviet occupation authorities arrested Tõnisson and executed him the following year.
Otto August Strandman was an Estonian politician, who served as Prime Minister (1919) and State Elder of Estonia (1929–1931). He was one of the leaders of the centre-left Estonian Labour Party, that saw its biggest support after the 1919 and 1920 elections. Strandman was a key figure in composing the radical land reform law and the 1920 Constitution. He also served as Minister of Agriculture (1918–1919), Minister of Justice, Minister of Finance (1924), Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of War (1919). While he was in the office of Minister of Finance, he stabilized the economy and managed to avoid hyperinflation. Strandman was also the speaker of both the Estonian Provincial Assembly (1917–1918) and Riigikogu (1921). He was a diplomat, serving as an envoy in Warsaw (1927–1929), when he made contacts with Polish politicians, and in Paris (1933–1939). During the Soviet Occupation in 1941, Strandman was ordered to show up to the NKVD headquarters. Already knowing about his fate, he committed suicide in his home in Kadrina.
The Estonian War of Independence, also known as the Estonian Liberation War, was a defensive campaign of the Estonian Army and its allies, most notably the White Russian Northwestern Army, Latvia, and the United Kingdom, against the Soviet Western Front offensive and the aggression of the Baltische Landeswehr. It was fought in connection with the Russian Civil War during 1918–1920. The campaign was the struggle of Estonia for its sovereignty in the aftermath of World War I. It resulted in a victory for the newly established state and was concluded in the Treaty of Tartu.
Konstantin Päts was the most influential politician of interwar Estonia, and served five times as the country's head of government. He was one of the first Estonians to become active in politics and started an almost 40-year political rivalry with Jaan Tõnisson, first through journalism with his newspaper Teataja, later through politics. He was condemned to death during the 1905 Revolution, but managed to flee first to Switzerland, then to Finland, where he continued his literary work. He returned to Estonia, but had to spend time in prison in 1910–1911.
Jaan Tõnisson was an Estonian statesman, serving as the Prime Minister of Estonia twice during 1919 to 1920, as State Elder from 1927 to 1928 and in 1933, and as Foreign Minister of Estonia from 1931 to 1932.
Johan Laidoner was an Estonian general and statesman. He served as Commander‑in‑Chief of the Estonian Armed Forces during the Estonian War of Independence and was among the most influential people in Estonian history between the world wars.
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Johan Pitka, VR I/1, was an Estonian entrepreneur, sea captain and a rear admiral (1919). He was the Commander of the Estonian Navy in the Estonian War of Independence.
Paul Maitla was an Estonian commander in the German Waffen-SS during World War II. He is one of the four Estonians who received the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross of Nazi Germany. He received his award for leading the recapture of the central hill of the Sinimäed during the Battle of Tannenberg Line, effectively breaking the Soviet offensive in that sector.
Ernst-Johannes Põdder VR I/1 was a famous Estonian military commander in the Estonian War of Independence.
Nikolai Reek VR I/2, VR II/2, VR II/3 was the Estonian military commander during the Estonian War of Independence.
Jaan Soots was an Estonian military commander during the Estonian War of Independence and politician.
Karl Parts VR I/1, VR II/2, VR II/3 was an Estonian military commander during the Estonian War of Independence.
Andres Larka VR I/1 was an Estonian military commander during the Estonian War of Independence and a politician.
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The 1st Division was one of the three Estonian divisions created during the Estonian War of Independence, which was active till the Soviet occupation of Estonia. Since the restoration of independence in 1991 there are no divisions currently among the Estonian Defence Forces.
Anton Uesson was an Estonian politician and engineer.
Aleksander Jaakson was an Estonian general and educator. After beginnings as a teacher in Türi, he served with the Imperial Russian Army in World War I, and was advanced to Staff Captain. During the disintegration of the Russian Republic in 1917, he returned home to establish a branch of the Estonian Defence League. He was a decorated participant in the Estonian War of Independence and later continued serving in the Estonian Defence Forces in various positions, including military education.
Ants Kurvits or Hans Kurvits was an Estonian military commander, reaching rank of major general. He participated in the Estonian War of Independence and later became the founder and long-time leader of the Estonian Border Guard. Kurvits also served briefly as Minister of War.
Jaan Maide, VR II/3 was a senior Estonian Army officer who fought in World War I, the Estonian War of Independence and World War II. He was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Estonian Military by Otto Tief's government in 1944.
| Minister of War |
| Minister of Defence |
| Mayor of Tartu |
| Lord Mayor of Tallinn |