General Laidoner’s orders in the War Museum

The memorial room of General Johan Laidoner, in the Estonian War Museum, displays both his biographical information as well as the decorations he was awarded. It is one of the most outstanding collections of the war museum, both in terms of historical
background and symbolic value. General Laidoner, the commander-in-chief of the Estonian forces in the War of Independence, later an active state and social figure, received high honors from a number of different countries during his lifetime. Among others, he was a two-time Knight of the Order of the Legion of Honor – of which the Order of the Commander of the Legion of Honor has survived. He was also a
Commander of the First Class of the White Rose of Finland, and a Knight Commander of the Order of St. Michael and St. George of Great Britain{2). Laidoner was the only foreigner who held all three classes of the Order of Lāčplēsis, the highest military award in Latvia.

Three quarters of all decorations ever given to Laidoner have survived. They miraculously survived the Second World War and the Soviet occupation. After the Laidoners were deported to Russia, Laidoner’s cousin, Colonel Villem Saarsen secretly transported the decorations during the German occupation to Finland and from there to Sweden. At the end of his life, Saarsen also judged Sweden too unsafe for such a precious collection, so the decorations spent more than 20 years in the United States Army Military History Center before being returned to Estonia in the spring of 2004.

Location:The Estonian War Museum


Estonian War Museum

The right place for war – in a museum The Estonian War Museum is located on the border of Tallinn,…

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Mõisa tee 1, Viimsi, Harjumaa