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Estonian Army Uniforms and Insignia, 1936-1944

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Estonian Army Uniforms and Insignia, 1936-1944
  • by Fred Limberg and Ted Koppel
    • Merriam Press Military Monograph Series
    • Fifth Edition 2012
    • 74 6x9-inch pages
    • 21 photos
    • 142 drawings
    • 14 illustrations
  • Paperback
    • $9.95
      • Purchase paperback here
This work presents, for the first time in English, comprehensive details of the appearance of Estonian troops during the end of that nation’s period of independence prior to World War II, continuing through the occupations of World War II.
Provides extensive and detailed coverage of the variety of uniforms, rank insignia, badges, headgear, belts, swords, and other accouterments of the Estonian Army (including cavalry) during this period.
Also included is much data on the rank structure, in Estonian with (approximate) equivalents in English.
Most of the more than 150 drawings and illustrations are the work of noted militaria artist Ted Koppel; all have been executed to his usual high standards and are the major feature of this important work.
  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1: Uniforms and Rank Insignia
  • Chapter 2: Collar Badges
  • Chapter 3: The Cavalry and Miscellaneous Details
  • Chapter 4: The 1939/1940 Rank Changes
  • Chapter 5: The Estonian Army Organization in 1939
  • Addendum (last-minute additions made by the authors which further develops the section on the unit badge portion of the collar emblems section)
  • Sources
The Authors
Fred Limberg was born in the Vorumaa district in southeast Estonia in 1910, later being engaged in the legal profession during the period of Independence. Emigrated to the U.S. in 1949. Interest in Estonian military history led to extensive research resulting in some articles and finally a reference book in 1980, Isamaa Eest (“For the Fatherland”). A second book on the Estonian armed forces was in preparation for many years and may some day be published by another publisher. Resided in Minneapolis, Minnesota, until his death a few years ago.
Ted Koppel was born in Tallinn, Estonia, in 1940 during the Soviet occupation. Escaped to Germany with his mother in 1944 and came to the U.S. in 1950. Served with a U.S. Army Advisory Team in Vietnam in the mid-1960s. Later worked as a freelance illustrator and in graphics production. Amateur military historian and collector, with articles and/or artwork appearing in over half a dozen enthusiasts’ publications. Ted now resides in Maryland.
Reviews and Testimonials
Review from Amazon (unsigned): A great beginning for an ignored historical subject. This book is the definitive piece on this subject, however, through my collections of post cards and other research I find this book to be lacking. I would truly like to see an author go the next step and use this book as a stepping stone. I would love to see some of the uniform plates they used for graphics, they seem truly outstanding. However, while this book does very well on the topic, I find that this topic is also daunting, seeing the true ultimate variations on the uniforms of Estonia during this period. Even in the collars you have both mandarin and fold down seemingly at the same time, so it is a difficult topic to research when you also take into account the fact that so much information on the topic has probably been destroyed due to the Russians and the Nazis.
Response to Above Review by the Publisher: Most of the drawings in this work are the result of examination of actual photos of Estonian soldiers. Some published works were consulted, which were not always accurate. Fred Limberg served in the Estonian Army and thus had personal knowledge of the topic, and spent most of his life researching and writing on the subject. He had written a massive work on the subject which was supposed to be published some years ago by a small British company, but as far as I and Ted Koppel, the other author of this work, know, it has never been published. Fred did publish a massive Estonian language work on the subject which I understand can be difficult to find nowadays. Fred and Ted's work was originally published in 1984, before the fall of the Soviet Union and thus they had virtually no access to any potential resources in Estonia. The authors spent many years researching the subject, with a lot of input from exiled Estonians around the world who had served in Estonia's army. A more comprehensive work on the subject could probably be done now that archives and other sources that were previously difficult or impossible to gain access to are more accessible to Western authors.

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