Operation Erna

(mythological mother of 11 sons by Jarl, the ancestors of the class of warriors in Norse society)

This was a German pair of airborne special forces raids (‘Erna I’ and ‘Erna II’) in Soviet-occupied Estonia by Oberstleutnant Paul Haehling von Lanzenauer’s Lehr-Regiment ‘Brandenburg’ zbV 800 (9 July 1941).

With the start of ‘Barbarossa’, the Abwehr German intelligence service arranged for Estonian volunteers to be delivered into Estonia with radio equipment to assess the position behind the Soviet front line and send reports to Generaloberst Georg von Küchler’s 18th Army, the element of Generalfeldmarschall Wilhelm Ritter von Leeb’s Heeresgruppe ‘Nord’ charged with the primary role in the German advance to the north-east through the Soviet-occupied Baltic states toward Leningrad.