World War I

Estonia in Turmoil, 1918-1920

The democratic Republic, proclaimed on February 24th 1918, soon enjoyed the protection of the British. But it hardly controlled the country, for irregular German troops (the FREIKORPS), as well as the parties involved in Russia's civil war - the Whites (YUDENICH) as well as the Reds, operated on Estonian soil.
In summer 1919, Estonian forces expelled the Freikorps from Estonian soil. Only after years of diplomatic pressure, Britain achieved that Germany recalled it's irregular units. In February 1920, the TARTU PEACE TREATY (Peace of Dorpat) was signed between the Republic of Estonia and the RSFSR (Russian Socialist Federal Soviet Republic); in it, Russia recognized Estonia's independence.
The 2 years of war, in Estonia refered to as the WAR OF INDEPENDENCE, had cost the lives of 3,600 Estonians.

Estonia 1850-1939, from Estonica
Library of Congress, Country Studies : Estonia
Estonian War of Independence 1917-1920, from Armed Conflict Events Data
On the Danish Auxiliary Corps in the Estonian War of Independence 1918-1920, by Per Rønberg, in Danish
DOCUMENTS Estonian banknotes, from Ron Wise's World Paper Money
REFERENCE David G. Kirby, The Baltic World 1772-1993, London : Longman 1995
Article : Esthonia, in : New International Year Book 1918 p.196, 1919 p.227, 1920 pp.211-212 [G]

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted in 2000, last revised on March 18th 2007

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