Border guard and military forces


The border guard or, in modern terms, tax and customs board, did exist on these coasts during the rule of the tsar, in the form of coastguard men. They moved around on horseback and their main function was to combat smuggling. For that purpose they inspected arriving and departing ships and ambushed on coasts. The position of coastguard men was abolished in Estonia and other Baltic states in 1780s. A border guard station was located on a cape opposite Hara Island; the station was operable both during the tsarist times and during the period of independence that Estonia enjoyed before World War 11. The old cellar next to the station house was also built during the tsarist period. All the different regimes have used it to store food. A brick factory, established by the owner and landlord of Kolga Manor, landlord Nikolai von Stenback, was also located next to the station building. In 1874 it was relocated to Loksa.


After Estonia was occupied, the station was taken over by the Soviet border guard and a military. harbour was built in the vicinity. Contin­ gent no. 53083 was established on 12 Sep­ tember 1953; originally it was called the 1st Polygon of the Navy. The polygon was un­ der the command of Physical Fields of Ships Scientific Research Institute of Technical Central Administrative Board of the Navy or the 1st Research Institute of the Navy. The “scientific” centre of the polygon was located on the eastern coast of Hara Bay, in Suurpea military campus, which housed, apart from military facilities, a school, kin­ dergarten, canteen, hospital-policlinic, resi­ dential and other different buildings. The harbour or technical centre of the polygon housed magnetic modelling and electric field laboratories, a centre for hydraulic-acoustic and a hydrodynamic stand, a stand for diminishing the magnetic field of a ship, etc. One of the most important activities of the polygon was the demagnetisation of ships (including submarines) or making them invisible to magnet mines. The equip­ ment needed for that purpose was located in the middle of Hara Bay, deep under water. Ancillary vessels and floating craft required to run the naval polygon (7-11, according to the information available) were accumu­ lated in the division of trial ships; its campus was located in Hara, just ahead of the harbour, next to the border guard command station. After the Republic of Estonia was restored, the Soviet army transported the equip­ ment of Hara polygon in 1993 to Primorsk, Leningrad oblast, where a new similar complex was established.