Battle at the Little Jugla River / Riga operation

Vācijas armijas karavīri gatavojas šķērsot Daugavu Rīgas operācijas laikā. Vēlāk viņi cīnīsies kaujās pie Mazās Juglas upes. 1917. Avots: Latvijas Kara muzejs

The narrator describes his impressions of the beginning of the Riga operation, when the artillery of the German army starts firing on the positions of the Russian army. Describes the chaos that stands out in the Russian army and the mood of Latvian riflemen before the battles.

“In the early morning of September 1, we were awakened by a furious and continuous artillery whirlwind on the side of the Daugava. There was no doubt that the battle had begun there. We urgently saddle our horses and go to Ropaži manor. Riflemen gather near some country houses. Excitement. The headquarters received information from the army that the Germans had tried to force the Daugava, but had struck. However, this message cannot be believed. Time goes by and the hollow edge of the dungeon does not decrease. Refugees have appeared on the roads, who say that the Germans are already on this side of the Daugava. Wounded soldiers and fleeing Russian soldiers come unarmed and some even without hats. We have an order - to detain the deserters and turn them back. Diligent efforts. The number of fugitives is increasing every hour, as are the wounded and those poisoned by gas. The wounded say that after an extremely fierce shooting, even with gas charges, the Germans moved across the Daugava and forced the Russian troops to retreat. But the army headquarters still reports a successful repression of German attacks. No more waiting. Zemgalian jewelry begins to gather on the road. Ammunition bikes arrive. Riflemen hastily take cartridges and grenades from them. Unusual view - from Ikšķile come scattered fighters of the defeated Russian army, soldiers stuck in army chariots are driving. Everyone is just rushing away, but here, riflemen are entering the ranks and are waiting for an order to move on. Some refugee wives have gathered at the end of the pub, looking at us seriously and sadly - Latvian war men. A young girl, having gathered dahlia flowers, arrives and begins to distribute them to the nearest riflemen. ”

Storyteller: K. Baltgailis (1893 – 1979). 5. Zemgales latviešu strēlnieku pulka jātnieku- izlūku komandas strēlnieks. Kārlis Baltgailis- izcils latviešu gleznotājs
Used sources and references:

"Memories of Kārlis Baltgailis", p. 13 - 17 (Latvian War Museum Foundation). Available: