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Armies of the Baltic Independence Wars 1918-20

Armies of the Baltic Independence Wars 1918-20


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This fascinating book concisely tells the story of the birth of three Baltic nation states: Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

Immediately following the end of World War I, amid the collapse of the German, Austro-Hungarian and Russian empires, bitter fighting broke out in the Baltic region as Poland, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania struggled for their independence, and Red and White Russian armies began their civil war. There were also German forces still active in what had been the northern end of Germany's Eastern Front. This book offers a concise but detailed introduction to this whole theater of war, focusing on the Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian, and relevant German and Russian forces, plus Finnish, Danish, and Swedish contingents. For each region there is a detailed map as well as meticulous orders-of-battle and insignia charts. Detailed for the first time in the English language, this fascinating book concisely tells the story of the birth of these Baltic nation states.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781472830777
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication date: 04/23/2019
Series: Elite , #227
Pages: 64
Product dimensions: 7.00(w) x 9.50(h) x 0.20(d)

About the Author

Dr Nigel Thomas is an accomplished linguist and military historian, formerly at Northumbria University, now a freelance military author, translator, and military uniform consultant. His interests are 20th-century military and civil uniformed organizations, with a special interest in Germany, Central and Eastern Europe. He was awarded a PhD on the Eastern enlargement of NATO. He lives in Tyne and Wear, UK.

Lieutenant Colonel Toomas Boltowsky has been a professional soldier for 25 years, joining the army in 1991 after Estonia regained its independence. He has served in various positions in the Estonian Defense Forces, most recently as Chief of the Arms Control and Verification Center. A graduate of Tartu University and of the Baltic Defense College, he is currently a lecturer at the latter institution, and is working on several projects focusing on ancient and medieval warfare.

Johnny Shumate works as a freelance illustrator living in Nashville, Tennessee. He began his career in 1987 after graduating from Austin Peay State University. Most of his work is rendered in Adobe Photoshop using a Cintiq monitor. His greatest influences are Angus McBride, Don Troiani and Édouard Detaille.

Table of Contents

Background 4

Red Army 7


The Red Army's Baltic campaigns: Estonian War of Independence, 28 November 1918-2 February 1920

Latvian War of Independence, 1 December 1918-11 August 1920

Lithuanian-Bolshevik War, 12 December 1918-12 July 1920

Estonia 12

Estonian People's Army


Uniforms & insignia

Rank insignia

Branch & unit distinctions

Equipment & weapons

Estonia's allies: Baltic Germans



Great Britain



Estonian Independence War, 22 November 1918-2 February 1920 The great retreat, November-December 1918

Reorganization & counterattack, November 1918-February 1919

Failed Red Army offensive, February-May 1919

Incursions into Russia & Latvia, May-June 1919

The Landeswehr campaign, May-June 1919

Defending the borders, July-August 1919

Second advance into Russia, October-November 1919

The last battles, November-December 1919


Latvia 37

Latvian Army


Uniforms and insignia

Rank insignia

Branch distinctions

Latvian Independence War, 1 December 1918-11 August 1920 An uncertain beginning

Southern Front, January-March 1919

The Landeswehr campaign, April-July 1919

Northern Front, January-July 1919

Final campaigns, October 1919-July 1920

Lithuania 46

Lithuanian Army


Uniforms & insignia

Rank insignia

Branch distinctions

Lithuanian Independence Wars, 12 December 1918-29 November 1920 Lithuanian-Bolshevik War, 12 December 1918-12 July 1920

Lithuanian-Bermontian War, 26 July-15 December 1919

Polish-Lithuanian War, April 1919-29 November 1920

Germany and the Baltic 52

Organization: Ober Ost

VI Reserve Corps (Freikorps)

Baltic Landeswehr

White Russian Forces 56

Organization: Pskov Volunteer Corps/ Northern Corps

Northern/ North-Western Army

Western Volunteer Army

Tables of rank insignia 62

Index 64

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