Here is without any doubt my most unique and favourite item of the collection. Complete and untouched uniform of the Grenadier of the 20. Estonian SS Division. What makes it even better is that I also know the full history of it.
It belonged to a soldier named Leo Saare who was mobilized to the W-SS on 12.04.1944. With him also his younger brother Heino was mobilized. They were both sent to 20. Est. Div. training camp in Klooga, Estonia. They were issued an uniforms and a week later they were sent to the 20. SS Feldersatz Abteilung in Kehra, Estonia. They continued with the training and 2 batallions for the 47th SS regiment were formed in Kehra - brothers Leo and Heino were designated to the I batallion of the 47th SS regiment. On 11.07.1944 their batallion was sent to the frontline south of Narva, in Auvere. When German Army pulled back from the Narva river line to the Tannenberg positsions I/47 was pulled to the rear.
On the evening of 27.07.1944 I/47 arrived back to the front and was designated to the positsions in Vaivara cemetary near the hill 69,9. The batallion had orders to attack the Orphanage hill at the same night. Attacked, suffered heavy casualities and on the next day the remains of the batallion pulled back to the Vaivara positsions where they stayed until the end of the battles of Blue Hills. It was the third defence line and ca. 1 km behind the HKL. The batallions positisons were under constant artillery fire and on 30.07.1944 Grenadier Heino Saare was killed by artillery fire. Leo, the owner of the uniform, got a 5-days vacation to get his brothers body at home and bury him. He went home and didn't return to his batallion. He left his uniform in the attic of his parents house and hide himself from German authorities.
He was arrested on 03.12.1945 because he spread anti-communist handbills in Tallinn. Was sentenced 7 years imprisonment and died / killed in prison camp.
I guess his parents didn't know that the uniform was in the attic so they didn't know to be afraid of.
Some info about the battle of Tannenberg line - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Tannenberg_Line
Ok, enough of the history lecture - here it is, complete uniform of the Grenadier Leo Saare from I batallion of the 47th regiment of the 20. Estonian SS Division.
As You can see it is actually a six button WH tunic and missing an eagle - it has never hand an eagle and he has changed the eagle on his cap for an estonian badge. A lot of M42 / M43 WH tunics were issued to 20. Estonian Div. soldiers in 1944. On the mannequin photo the cap is not his.
This is picture I took when I got the uniform two years ago - belt buckle, playing cards, lighter, razor and money was in the pockets of tunic and trousers.
Some close up pictures - mourning band sewed on the collar because the KIA brother:
Documents from archive where brothers Leo & Heino Saare are listed:
Aerial photo of the Tannenberg positions in Blue Hills: