The above video is pretty interesting if you know the history of the guerrilla war in the Baltic states that was fought by as many as 50,000 Estonian, Latvian, and Lithuanian partisans against the Red Army from the tail end of WWII through the early 1950s. It’s an unsung war, and the various “Forest Brothers” groups (whose members included several former German soldiers as well as Waffen SS members of the various Baltic legions, a facet often glossed over) that were backed in part by Western intelligence agencies.
The above video was put out this month by NATO, which, especially when combined with other similar videos about modern equivalent of stay-behind units, is probably meant to provide a moment of pause to the big bear on the Baltic states’ Eastern border.
And cue the Russian butt hurt, which is rich considering the little green men running around the Ukraine and Crimea, and the fact that they annexed the Baltics in 1939 by force.
An interesting interview published through NATO’s channels of Lieutenant Silje Johansen Willassen, Norway’s Telemark Battalion’s first female tank platoon commander, in charge of a quartet of German-built Leopard MBTs. Telemark is the Army ‘s rapid reaction force and is equipped with Swedish CV-9030N infantry fighting vehicles and Leopard 2A4NO tanks, the latter picked up slightly used from the Dutch Army in 2001.
Norway will be sending a mixed force company to Lithuania in May to support NATO’s enhanced forward presence. The company, of around 200 troops, will be drawn from the Telemark Battalion– and Willassen will command half of the tanks slated for the force. They will provide combat support to the German-led multinational battalion. The deployment will be for six months.
U.S. Marine Sgt. Kirstin Merrimarahajara captured a Marine walking through Rukla Training Area, Lithuania during Exercise Iron Sword 16. The Marines, after all, have a history of fighting deep in the primordial forests of Europe despite their reputation as sea soldiers.
It reminds me of the words of Dr. Benjamin Rush:
“It would seem from this fact, that man is naturally a wild animal, and that when taken from the woods, he is never happy in his natural state, ’till he returns to them again.”
Speaking of Lithuanian forest dwellers, check out the below video that NATO published this week on the life of one of the 8,000 reservists in the Lithuanian National Defence Volunteer Forces (the same size as the regular active duty Land Forces). Note both German HK G3s and G36s being used side by side.
So yeah, apparently the Russians are having second thoughts about letting go of Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia. The last time this happened was in 1939. That’s a pucker factor for NATO right there…