In the memories of Robert Ancāns at the Battle of Pilsbliden

Roberts Ancāns (November 11, 1919 - January 1, 1982) was an officer of the Latvian Legion, a knight of the Knights of the Iron Cross, who took part in the battles at Pilsblīdene on March 16 and 17, 1945. The sixth battle of Kurzeme continues for the fourth day. Ancāns had served in the vicinity of Pilsbīdene and was therefore well acquainted with these places. The Ancan division is once again diverted to another break in the front - an 8km deep invasion by the Red Army. Ancan is wounded in these battles.

"On the night of March 16-17, my unit in Lestene was replaced by the Germans. We are on our way again. Our division is acting as a" firefighter ". It is raining. With the arrival of the light, we are in Jaunpils. The Bolsheviks are also starting to fly right away, we can only continue the journey after a good hour. The rain assumes a gradual transition to snow. The men walking behind the carriages are angry, but they don't have to be so afraid of Russian attacks. We continue on our way to Lake Zebre.
There are continuous cannons at Lake Zebre and in Saldus district. The sixth battle of Kurzeme continues for the fourth day. In the evening we reach N. manor, where we are in a hurry. We have to replace the German defeated parts by morning.
But it is not yet natural to arrive when the cars are there and we have to drive to Pilsblidenen, where there is an 8 km deep invasion. It turns out the moonlight is shining and starting to cold. At the beginning, the car often stops, because we run into the mud and the wheels freeze around with a large layer of Kurzeme clay. Soon, however, the frost boils down to the mud, and we get off at Skrundu's home. The men have not slept for two nights, are hungry and now everyone is resting like a mower.
Together with the regiment commander we go to the headquarters of the German division to receive the battle order. We are immediately accepted and surprised, gen. Schulz addresses us in Latvian, as he has served in the Latvian army and commanded an artillery regiment. Our task is to occupy Pilsblīdene Castle and the highlands towards Saldus. The position of the front is unclear.
We are going to the new mission of the regiment - the Boar House and we have turned over to study the direction of the attack, here I am a good connoisseur of the area, because in 1940, when the 1st Liepaja Infantry Regiment was stationed in Kurzeme, I served in many combat training.
The artillery whirlwind should have started, but nothing. Call the regiment commander. Promised to be, but the German artillery no longer works. The attack is postponed for one hour. Men are tired. It is even difficult to replace items. Bolshevik artillery and grenade launchers are starting to shoot over us. Finally pl. 17 our cannons and pl. 17.30 we go on the attack. The Bolsheviks have been waiting for our attack for several hours. Although we quickly suppress the protruding front groups and we are at the castle, we are not moving any further, because at one moment the lock of the Bolshevik automatic weapons starts over us, which is so strong that we cannot lift a cock. Shoot not only from all corners of the house, but also from windows and attics. A strong roar of tanks in the castle yard and surroundings.
Several of them were involved in the battle, but our tanks were not in the park. the enemy of tank fists is out of reach. It would be foolish to continue the attack, why retract to try to attack from the left, bypassing the pond.
This maneuver is not successful either, and through the burnt park, the jewelry must be pulled back with losses.
After the unsuccessful attack, the Bolsheviks begin to take the initiative and attack our jewelry in the highlands from both flanks. is from the castle is along Kaulači road from the forest. With the onset of darkness, we are forced to withdraw our jewelry and move on to the defense along the edge of the railway line. Fatigue is insurmountable. The third night of insomnia begins. It is very difficult to organize changes of items.
Suddenly, a great bustle of the enemy begins in and around the castle. Commands, screams, spotlights, engine roar. The item has been watching for at least half an hour. After a while, the Bolsheviks really start the night attack with strong tank support, as all the air vibrates. We throw everyone out of the station in positions at the railway embankment. The clock is a little over one. As it slides slowly, rockets fall into the parachutes. Five Tigers advance into battle. My functors report the situation to the commander, but the artillery fails to summon Something unusual is finally happening

Our transmitter has managed to receive the same wave as the Bolsheviks, and now we are starting to play the Russian tank major Arturov.
With the help of this Artūrov, we directed the gativen attack to the place where the lake lies on the railway track with a loose layer of ice. A Bolshevik tank in flames fires submachine guns in continuous shells, grenades explode.
As suddenly as the battles began, the battles ended. Men go to peace, so it doesn't take long. The Russians want to repay for deception.
The light begins to sweat, and now we notice that the Bolsheviks are attacking with a whole tank battalion and several infantry ornaments. We also manage to summon our artillery and, knowing the area well, I want to try my luck in the Tigers. Everything has already been agreed with the tank officer.
Our intention is to take a silent position with 3 tanks under the guise of the left to allow the shrews to the railway line and then destroy them with a flank fire.
There is already air and the battle is in full swing. The station is the target of all heavy and automatic weapons of the enemy. My tank lieutenant has just explored an area where a grenade hit a tank and rubble richly in my right hand and
on foot.
The attack has stopped, but my forces are coming to an end.
The station's defenders are urgently demanding additional forces and at least 10 tanks, but before they arrive, the station falls into their hands in the third Russian attack in the afternoon.
The ambulance slowly takes me backwards. Along the way, I meet new jewelry and also tanks that give confidence that everything will be fine again.
Sitting next to the driver, I notice in the mirror how tired, overgrown, bearded, smeared with blood and pale looks.
Pl. 10 I am in Vanah, and the next day there come new wounded men, and I am taken to the Stand and further to Talsi. There, the wounds were slowly sutured and only 7 of the 13 holes were left in the hand.
Easter and the new school in Talsi are approaching, where the military hospital now has many visitors and delegations. Our soldiers have no less gifts than ever in Riga, Kurzeme believes in its fighters. "

Storyteller: Roberts Ancāns, "Laiks", 01.04.1953; Wrote down this story: Valdis Kuzmins
Used sources and references:

Roberts Ancāns (


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