Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Estonia Battle FDC

Estonia FDC
Name: Paju Battle, 90th Anniversary
Date of Issue: 29 January 2009

The battle against Red Latvian Riflemen for the Paju Manor near Valga in southern Estonia on 31 January 1919 was the most sanguinary encounter in the early stages in the Estonian War of Independence. On 30 January the partisan unit headed by Julius Kuperjanov occupied the manor along with the Tõlliste Stage. But during the night the manor again passed into the hands of the Reds. In a battle that lasted the whole following day Finnish volunteers together with the partisans managed to finally gain possession of the manor at the heavy toll of 42 men dead and 113 wounded. On 1 February the partisans and the Finns marched into Valga without meeting any resistance as the enemy had withdrawn from the Estonian-Latvian border town. This meant establishment of control over an important railway junction and pushing the front outside Estonian borders. In the Paju Battle the soldiers displayed death-defying courage against overwhelming enemy forces. Julius Kuperjanov, the head of the partisan unit, along with the other wounded, was taken to a hospital in Tartu where he died of wounds on 2 February 1919. A memorial was erected on the Paju Battlefield in 1994.

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