Inside the Estonian national militia

Tiny Estonia, who share a long and increasingly tense border with Russia, uses a force of volunteer unpaid citizens– equipped with their own military arms– to hold the line.

The Estonian Defense League, a militia independent from the government, is made up of over 15,000 members, making it several times larger than the 6,500-member official Estonian Defense Forces.

Stationed in every part of the country the League is ready at a moment’s notice to sally out and repel possible invasion from unnamed neighbors. It’s the largest military force in the region and members vow to put up more of a fight than they did when the Soviet Union took over the county in 1940 and remained for decades.

Earlier this summer Vice News spent some time in-depth with not only the minutemen of the League but also those on both sides of Estonian politics and the above video shows some interesting footage of their training and doctrine.

The firepower shown is impressive, showing some sweet shots of donated German HK G3s and MG3s, old-school Chevy K5s that likely came from the U.S., a sweet 1950s-era Bofors Pvpj 1110 90 mm recoilless rifle, a smoking hot M240/FN Mag, some IMI Galils, a sprinkling of 84mm Carl Gustavs and at least one BTR-80 armored personnel carrier.

It seems Estonia is very down with the concept of civilian use of military-style arms.

Sure, Estonia has no illusions about stopping an all-out Russian incursion, but they just have to slow it down enough to allow fellow NATO members to apply action or rush reinforcements to the region and they plan to do so by putting a rifle behind every blade of grass.

“If Russia knows that attacking Estonia is not a walk in the park, maybe Russia will think twice,” says a commander.

Speaking of which, check out a recent NATO exercise with the League as part of Operation Hurricane in the video below.

With so much firepower at the hands of your everyday civilian, its hard to sell the prospect of being a member of the League because you want to hunt ducks.

But then again, back here in the states we know that Washington didn’t cross the Delaware to get to a duck blind.

More in my column at Guns.com

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About laststandonzombieisland

Let me introduce myself. I am a bit of a conflict junkie. I am fascinated by war and warfare, assassination, personal protection and weaponry ranging from spud guns and flame throwers to thermonuclear bombs and Soviet-trained Ebola monkeys. In short, if it’s violent or a tool to create violence it is kind of my thing. I have written a few thousand articles on the dry encyclopedia side for such websites as GUNS.com, Univesity of Guns, Outdoor Hub, History Times, Big Game Hunter, Glock Forum, Firearms Talk.com, and Combat Forums; as well as for print publications like England Expects, and Strike First Strike Fast. Several magazines such as Sea Classics, Military Historian and Collector, Mississippi Sportsman and Warship International have carried my pieces. Additionally I am on staff as a naval consultant and writer for Eye Spy Intelligence Magazine. Currently I am working on several book projects including an alternative history novel about the US-German War of 1916, and a biography of Southern gadfly and soldier of fortune Bennett Doty. My first novel, about the coming zombie apocalypse was released in 2012 by Necro Publications and can be found at Amazon.com as was the prequel, Chimera-44. I am currently working on book two of that series: "Pirates of the Zombie Coast." In my day job I am a contractor for the US federal government in what could best be described as the ‘Force Protection’ field. In this I am an NRA-certified firearms, and less-than-lethal combat instructor.

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