Pašaizsardzība II WW2

Omakaitse (vācu val. mājas gvarde, Selbstschutz) bija iekšējās drošības organizācija Igaunijā vācu okupācijas laikā no 1941. līdz 1944. gadam.

1941. gada jūnijā bija pagājis gads, kopš Padomju Savienība vardarbīgi okupēja Igauniju, kas izraisīja arestu, deportāciju un sovjetizācijas vilni. Ieraugot strauji tuvojošos vācu spēkus Padomju Savienības iebrukuma pirmajās nedēļās, tūkstošiem igauņu slēpās mežā kā tā sauktie mežabrāļi, lai izvairītos no Sarkanās armijas iesaukšanas un grautu padomju varas iestādes. Pagaidu varas vakuuma laikā pēc boļševistu atkāpšanās un pirms vācu spēku ienākšanas daudzas Igaunijas valdības struktūras tika atjaunotas, ieliekot pamatus tiesībaizsardzības struktūras izveidei, kas vēlāk tika nosaukta par Omakaitse. Iekšējās drošības organizācijai, kurā pārsvarā bija bijušie Aizsardzības līgas biedri, tika uzdots cīnīties ar iznīcināšanas bataljoniem un Sarkanās armijas paliekām un nodrošināt likumu izpildi. Tie, kas tika turēti aizdomās par sadarbību ar padomju varas iestādēm, tika arestēti, un daži pat tika nogalināti saskaņā ar pūļa likumu. Vācijas varas iestādes izmantoja Omakaitse locekļus, lai īstenotu savu antisemītisko iznīcināšanas politiku.

Pēc tam, kad vācu spēki bija okupējuši Igauniju, Vācijas militārās iestādes izformēja Omakaitse un lika atlaist mežabrāļus, kas piedalījās 1941. gada vasaras karā, bet drīz pēc tam organizāciju atsāka Vācijas armijas grupas Ziemeļu komandieris Vilhelms Riters. fon Lēbs kā palīglīdzeklis tiesībaizsardzībai (Hilfsschutzmannschaft) Igaunijas pašpārvaldē. Omakaitse bija pakļauta vācu militārajām un policijas organizācijām. Omakaitse sastāvā bija brīvprātīgie miliči līdz 1943. gada oktobrim, kad tā bija obligāta visiem vīriešiem, kuri nekvalificējās mobilizācijai.

Omakaitse tika uzdots uzturēt iekšējo drošību, un tā veica gan policijas, gan valsts apsardzes pienākumus, tostarp aizsargāja dzelzceļus un šosejas un atturēja padomju desantniekus, uzraudzīja dažādus objektus, izsekoja izbēgušos karagūstekņus, krasta aizsardzību un tā tālāk.

Saistītie objekti

Timmkanal battle site

On 4 July 1941, Forest Brothers stormed the executive committee in Häädemeeste. The group was led by Elmar Toomingas, the headmaster of Metsapoole Primary School and the head of the Häädemeeste regional unit of the Defence League.

On 6 July, a Red Army destruction battalion arrived: some of them were killed, others were taken prisoner. 

On 7 July, a combined force of 400 men from Red Army infantry and destruction battalions attacked the local militia, which comprised 60 men. The defenders, with the help of two light tanks, were pushed back to Timmkanal, where they reorganised and took up positions again.

On 8 July, the destruction battalion burnt down 14 farmsteads and the schoolhouse in the village of Rannametsa and the church in Võiste. A battle ensued in Tahkuranna between the advancing Germans and the destruction battalion leaving Rannametsa, which suffered the loss of 57 men, with eight captured. Some sources claim the German unit was the 402nd Cyclist Battalion led by a Major Ullersperger. The Estonian and German units arrived in Pärnu that afternoon. The battle site is marked by a granite boulder adorned with a black tablet that reads: "On 8 July 1941 the destruction battalion of Pärnu burnt down 18 households and the schoolhouse in Rannametsa". The text is followed by a quote from a poem by Hando Runnel.

Defence Line "Walk"

The Valga defence line (Walk) was built along the Väike Emajõe-Koiva river line in early June 1944. The northern part of the line ended at Lake Võrtsjärv and ran from Pikasilla almost all the way to Ligaste Manor, located on the left bank of Väike Emajõgi. The defence line consisted of two defence belts, occasionally reaching a depth of 10-12 kilometres. The front line was covered with barbed wire and mine fields. All bridges on Väike Emajõgi and Koiva rivers were destroyed (though the Pikasilla and Jõgeveste bridges were only destroyed at noon on 26 August) and all bridges behind the defence line were ready to be destroyed. The second line ran along Õhne and Pedeli rivers and defence structures included the cities of Tõrva and Valga that were re-equipped to be points of resistance.

The main line of defence consisted of two sets of trenches, in the most important sections even three to four sets of well-developed trenches with connection systems. To build the defence line, the Germans used Russian prisoners of war and forcefully recruited the local population within Organisation Todt.

Trenches and fire trenches have been restored at the location. The area is used by the Valga Military Theme Park, which led the effort to restore the wartime appearance of the hill. The outdoor space was opened in 2015; the Valga Military Theme Park regularly organises laser weapon battles and other events on site.

The trenches and pillboxes have been restored in the former German fortified positions. The area is operated by the military theme park in Valga, which led the restoration work to revive the ridge's wartime look. The outdoor area, in which laser tag and special events are now held, was opened in 2015.

Pikasilla battle field

This is a part of the defence line Walk. The Valga defence line (Walk) was built along the Väike Emajõe-Koiva river line in early June 1944. The northern part of the line ended at Lake Võrtsjärv and ran from Pikasilla almost all the way to Ligaste Manor, located on the left bank of Väike Emajõgi. The defence line consisted of two defence belts, occasionally reaching a depth of 10-12 kilometres. The front line was covered with barbed wire and mine fields. All bridges on Väike Emajõgi and Koiva rivers were destroyed (though the Pikasilla and Jõgeveste bridges were only destroyed at noon on 26 August) and all bridges behind the defence line were ready to be destroyed.

The Red Army planned the liquidation of the German and Estonian forces located at the Narva front with an attack via Tartu from their back. To conduct the plan, the Red Army 3rd Baltic Front leadership sent four units to the Emajõgi line. Their task was to cross Emajõgi River and, with a circular movement over the northern bank of Lake Võrtsjärv, occupy Northern Estonia with the German 18th Army located at the Narva front. They also planned to break German resistance on the Pikasilla-Valga line and cut off the German path of retreat towards Riga.

In Southern Estonia, the defence consisted of six divisions and smaller units of Wehrmacht’s XXVIII and XXXVIII Army Corps, with the rear defended by the 207th Reinforcement Division. At the beginning of the operation, the Red Army had a numerical advantage in manpower and battle equipment. The German forces mostly consisted of different battle groups and smaller units. The Omakaitse units participating in the defence were poorly equipped and had low battle morale.

On 27 August, the Red Army managed to cross Väike Emajõgi River at Pikasilla and held a small bridge head there. Until 13 September, the German and Estonian Omakaitse division managed to stop the advancing Red Army units on the defence line Walk. On 14 September, the divisions of the 3rd Red Army Baltic Front began their assault, breaking through the line of defence on 17 September.