Operation "Erna"

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Edward L. Hsiao
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Operation "Erna"

Post by Edward L. Hsiao » 26 Jul 2019 06:27

On page 460 of the book "Canaris-Hitler's Master Spy":Eighty Estonian agents embarked on Operation "Erna",an attempt to wage guerilla warfare against Soviet troops in Estonia. It didn't say anything about results. Was the operation successful?

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stg 44
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Re: Operation "Erna"

Post by stg 44 » 02 Aug 2019 15:05

Are you talking about the 1941 operation? There is a wikipedia article about it, they ended up fighting the Soviet 'destroyer battalions', who were tasked with scorched earthing Estonia and they ended up saving a bunch of civilians from murder/torture:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erna_long ... ance_group
http://www.estonica.org/en/Erna_group_a ... attalions/

Later on in the war they basically became Forest Brothers and waged guerrilla war for years after the war:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forest_Br ... In_Estonia

Their 1941 action is apparently commemorated by a reenactment challenge since 1995:

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Re: Operation "Erna"

Post by Art » 02 Aug 2019 17:28

stg 44 wrote:
02 Aug 2019 15:05
Soviet 'destroyer battalions', who were tasked with scorched earthing Estonia
"Destroyer battalions" were irregular militia locally raised for rear security. In situation of the summer 41 in Estonia that meant fighting the guerrillas. In a nutshell what happened was a guerrilla/anti-guerrilla war waged mostly by local Estonian paramilitary from both sides. With a level of violence typical for that kind of war.
they ended up saving a bunch of civilians from murder/torture:
That doesn't mean that they actually saved anyone, that means that Mart Laar believed that losses could larger was it not for "Erna" actions. According to a less apologetic version "Erna" group itself was engaged in killing pro-Soviet civilians:

"Forest brothers" in post-1944 Estonia were relatively (relatively to Lithuania or Latvia) feeble and had nothing to do with the 1941's "Erna" operation. In general, considering resources used the operation can be seen as moderately successful - they harassed Soviet rear, attracted some forces on them, collected intelligence information etc.

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