Jaan Maide, VR II/3 (30 May 1896 – 10 August 1945) was a senior Estonian Army officer who fought in World War I, the Estonian War of Independence and World War II. He was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Estonian Military by Otto Tief's government in 1944.

Jaan Maide
Jaan Maide.jpg
Born(1896-05-30)30 May 1896
Vana-Kariste, Kreis Pernau, Governorate of Livonia, Russian Empire
Died10 August 1945(1945-08-10) (aged 49)
Moscow, Soviet Union
Allegiance Russian Empire
 Estonia
Service/branchImperial Russian Army
Estonian Army
Years of service1915–1918 (Imperial Russian Army)
1918–1940, 1944 (Estonian Army)
RankMajor General
Commands held1st Company, 6th Regiment (1918–1920)
Chief of Staff of the Estonian Defence League (1927–1934)
Armoured Train Regiment (1934–1935)
Chief of Staff of the Estonian Defence League (1935–1940)
4th Division (1940)
Commander-in-Chief of the Estonian Military (1944)
Battles/warsWorld War I
Estonian War of Independence
World War II
AwardsCross of Liberty
Order of Lāčplēsis
Order of the Estonian Red Cross
Order of the Cross of the Eagle
Order of the White Star

Early lifeEdit

Maide was born on 30 May 1896, in Vana-Kariste to Johann and Liso Maide.

Military careerEdit

Maide was drafted into the Imperial Russian Army in 1915. He graduated from a commissioned officer's academy in Kiev as an ensign in 1916, and served with the Latvian Riflemen regiment from 1917 until 1918.[1]

Following the Estonian Declaration of Independence, Maide joined the newly formed Estonian Army, where he was appointed commander of the 1st Company of the 6th Regiment.[2] He commanded his unit during the Estonian War of Independence, and was promoted to lieutenant on 12 February 1920.[1]

After the war, Maide stayed in the military. He finished General Staff officers' course in 1923, and was promoted to captain. From 1923 until 1927, he served as a general staff officer. In 1927, he was appointed Chief of Staff of the Estonian Defence League (Kaitseliit). On 24 February 1933, he was promoted to colonel. From 30 November 1934 until 30 November 1935, he commanded the Armoured Train Regiment, before returning to his former position as the Chief of Staff of the Estonian Defence League. On 1 February 1940, he was appointed commander of the newly established 4th Division, based in Viljandi.[1]

Maide survived the first Soviet occupation. During the German occupation of Estonia in World War II, Maide was Chief of Staff, and later Commander of the Omakaitse (Home Guard), a militia based on the Estonian Defence League.[1]

In wake of the German retreat and the Soviet offensive in September 1944, Otto Tief's government made one last attempt to restore Estonian independence. On 18 September 1944, Maide was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Estonian Military, and promoted to major general on 21 September.[3] Despite his attempts to reform the army, the plan to defend Estonia failed. Tallinn fell on 22 September 1944, and Maide himself was captured in Munalaskme on 24 October 1944.[4]

DeathEdit

Maide was transported to the Butyrka prison in Moscow and executed on 10 August 1945.[1]

Awards and decorationsEdit

Estonian awards and decorations
  Cross of Liberty, 2nd Class 3rd Rank
  Order of the White Star, 3rd Class
  Order of the Cross of the Eagle, 3rd Class
  Order of the Estonian Red Cross, 2nd Class
Foreign awards
  Order of Lāčplēsis, 3rd Class (Latvia)

PromotionsEdit

Promotions
Rank Date
Lieutenant 12 February 1920
Second Captain 27 July 1920
Captain 22 February 1923
Major 26 November 1924
Lieutenant Colonel 24 February 1928
Colonel 24 February 1933
Major General 21 September 1944

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e "Maide, Jaan" (in Estonian). Eesti Entsüklopeedia. Retrieved 30 October 2016.
  2. ^ "Estonian Declaration of Independence 24 February 1918". Archived from the original on 10 December 2007. Retrieved 20 September 2009.CS1 maint: unfit url (link)
  3. ^ "Kaitseväe juhatajad" (in Estonian). Estonian Defence Forces. Retrieved 30 October 2016.
  4. ^ "Kaitseväe ajalugu" (in Estonian). Estonian Defence Forces. Retrieved 30 October 2016.

External linksEdit

Military offices
Preceded by
Johan Laidoner
Commander-in-Chief of the Estonian Military
1944
Succeeded by
Aleksander Einseln
as Commander of the Estonian Defence Forces