Estnische Selbstschutz

  • Estonian Home Guard
  • Eesti Omakaitse
Type of Entity
Corporate Body

Dates of Existence



In August 1941, the commander of the German occupying army unit Nord, Wilhelm Ritter von Leeb, decided to better secure the rear and so gathered the troops composed of the Forest Brothers who had participated in the Summer War. The new organisation was called the Estonian Home Guard and was subordinate to local civilian authorities (Estonian Self-administration). Territorially, the Home Guard was divided into 13 county units. Their leaders took orders from local police prefects. The Home Guard was a voluntary organisation; the minimum age for schoolchildren was 17 years of age, and for others 18. The maximum age limit was not determined. The membership was approximately 40,000. The Home Guard had two kinds of tasks. The units in the barracks were under the command of the army; one of their tasks was to organise defence in the rear, including protecting railways and roads, and fighting Soviet paratroopers. The police units were to guarantee security, guard various objects, pursue escaped war prisoners, etc. The Home Guard remained a voluntary territorial defence organisation until October 1943, when service in the organization was made compulsory for men aged 17 to 45, and from January 1944 for all men aged 17–60 not involved in the general mobilisation.


  • Security organisation in the rear area of the front.

Rules and Conventions

EHRI Guidelines for Description v.1.0