Military Heritage Tourism Stories

Tales, personal memories and evidence about the military heritage locations and their history.  These stories may be about a place that can be seen, in which case they are marked on the map along with other military heritage objects.  There might also be stories about objects that have disappeared and can no longer be found.  These are not on the map.

Note:  Not all of the stories will necessarily relate to historically proven facts.  They are based on people's personal memories, experiences and understanding of historical events.

Latgales partizānu pulka karavīri pēc Kokorevas ieņemšanas 1919.gadā ,pie ložmetēja P.Dille, stāv kreisās Jāzeps Grodņa. Avots: Balvu Novada muzeja fotomateriālu kolekcija
Liberation of Northern Latgale from the Bolsheviks

On December 1, 1918, parts of the Red Army, based on the Red Rifle units, invaded the territory of Latvia. In order to protect their homes, families, native counties and escape from terror, the men around Balvi took up arms and went into the forests, and the first "green" groups began to form. In the spring of 1919, when the mobilization was announced, many men in the Balvi area were not allowed to fight in the Soviet Latvian army and they joined the "green" groups. Balvi, Silakrog, Rugāji, Teteru-Dūrupe and Liepna groups were formed. In the vicinity of Balvi, the activity of "green" groups became more active in March 1919.

BUCH GräbenstattGräber
"Digging is better than burrial!"

The order of the Army Group “Kurland” is: "Build and build!" It is a task for every soldier of the front of the rear services. Which is best marked by the word: "Digging is better than burrial!"

Operatīvā spēle "Meteor". Sagatavošanās ASV spiegu lidmašīnas sagrābšanai KGB iekārtotajā lidlaukā Kurzemē. Priekšplānā ar mugurām divas neatpazītas personas. Otrajā rindā no labās: 1. PSRS KGB 2. Galvenās pārvaldes priekšnieks ģenerālleitnants Pjotrs Fedotovs; 2. Edvīns Ozoliņš (aģents "Pilot"); 3. LPSR KGB 2. daļas vecākais leitnants Jānis Lukašēvičs (ar foto aparātu uz krūtīm); 4. LPSR KGB priekšsēdētājs ģenerālmajors Jānis Vēvers; 5. LPSR KGB 2. daļas priekšnieks majors Alberts Bundulis (ar kabatas lukturīti rokās). Foto 1955. gada 10. septembrī. Foto: TSDC arhīvs
USSR double agent - Edvīns Ozoliņš with the nickname "Pilot"

Cold War intelligence and counterintelligence battles between the West and the USSR involved agents from both sides and double agents. Since the twenties of the 20th century, the Soviet security services had developed a completely new measure - disinformation - for the purpose of protecting the regime. A term which until then was not known at all in the West.

Foto: Jaunie Sarkanās armijas karavīri pirms došanās uz 43. gvardes latviešu strēlnieku divīziju beidzamās pusdienas Gorohovecas nometnē ieturēja starp ziediem. 1943. gada 4. jūlijs. Foto – A. Strautmanis. Latvijas Nacionālā arhīva Latvijas Valsts kinofotofonodokumentu arhīvs
Jūlij Bērziņš's testimony about the 201st (43rd Guards) Latvian Rifle Division of the Red Army in 1942-1945

In the fall of 2011, I received the memories of Jūlij Bērziņš (1900–after 1963), a Latvian living in Russia, a former soldier of the 201st (43rd Guards) Latvian Rifle Division of the Red Army (hereinafter - 201st Latvian Rifle Division; Division) - in two notebooks with a 189-page handwritten Russian story of a Latvian soldier about his experiences in the German-USSR war (1941-1945). These memories were also not commissioned work.

Stebel battery construction

Battery construction was hugely expensive.

Akmeņraga bāka. Foto: Edgars Šulcs
Prohibited lighthouses and the sea shore

During the USSR era, the seacoast in North and West Kurzeme were actually military zones closed to the public, but it was forbidden to visit the lighthouses or even take photographs

Rīgas brāļu kapi. Avots: Latvijas kara muzejs.
This is how the Brothers' Cemetery was founded in Riga

The narrator describes the conditions under which the most famous Latvian memorial dedicated to fallen soldiers was established. As can be seen from the memoirs, the cemetery of folk heroes faced a number of obstacles and disadvantages - not only from the church, but also from the management of the city of Riga.


After the outbreak of the war in the summer of 1941, the Red Soldiers were forbidden to communicate with the locals in Abruka.

VĒST foto 1919FEB KalpakiešusargpostenispieVe
Memories of Captain Alexander Leving on the reconnaissance of the Venta near Lena

In February 1919, both sides of the Venta River were active in reconnaissance activities. Captain Alexander Loeving, Chief of the Cavalry Division, was one of the commanders of the reconnaissance raids.

Death of Latvian merchant ships during the evacuation of Tallinn at the beginning of the Second World War

As German forces rapidly approached Tallinn, an ambitious Tallinn evacuation naval operation took place. During this time, many ships and their crews, along with people on board, were killed in minefields and from aviation attacks or shore artillery fire.

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Foto: Lana Poterjailo
About Upīškalns former military object

Memories of Valdis Pigožnis during the operation of "Upīškalns" about Upīškalns military base

(Pigožnis was former head of Kurmale parish)

Avots: Sanitas  Reinsones grāmata "Meža meita"
Forest Daughter Domicella Pundure (Lucia)

Domicella Pundure is 90. At Riga Castle on May 3, 2018, she received the Order of Viesturs from the hands of President Raimonds Vejonis for special merits in the national resistance movement and in defending the country's independence. Domicella Pundure remains the last witness to the battle of Stompaku bog.

Jūras pasta baložu stacija Nr.2 Liepājā ap 1903. gadu.
Winged soldiers

The use of carrier pigeons or carrier pigeons was a widely used means of communication in the early 20th century.

Izglītības ministrs Augusts Tentelis Cēsu pulka skolnieku rotai veltītā pieminekļa atklāšanas svinībās Cēsīs 1938. g. Avots: Cēsu Vēstures un mākslas muzejs
The unusual story of the Cēsis Regiment Students' Jewelry Monument

In the Cēsis battles of 1919, a group of volunteers from the Cēsis Regiment took part in the battles of the Cēsis Regiment. Already on the night of June 5 to 6, an hour after midnight, there was anxiety and the ornament was ordered to go into positions. Rota went on the line Mācītājsmuiža - Meijermuiža, which was considered to be the most important battlefield.

Dr. med. Eduards Akermanis  pirmajā rindā vidū, kreisajā pusē viņa sieva ārste Verena Treigute-Akermane un personāls pie lazaretes ēkas Cēsīs, Piebalgas ielā 6, 1917. gadā. Foto no Cēsu muzeja krājuma, CM 63483.
Memorial sites and burials of refugees from Kurzeme and Zemgale in Cēsis

Before the First World War, 2552 thousand people lived in the territory of Latvia. people. The 1920 census registered 1,596 thousand people. people. This means that during this period the population of Latvia had decreased by 956 thousand. people or by 37.5%.
In the summer of 1915, German troops occupied Kurzeme and Zemgale. More than half a million refugees fled their homelands in an endless stream. The first refugees arrived in Cēsis in April 1915.

Ekrānuzņēmums pamjatjnaroda
Hero of the Soviet Union - Lieutenant Jakob Kunder of the 8th Estonian Corps

The heroic actions of the fallen officer of the 8th Estonian Rifle Corps of the Red Army, Jakob Kundera, ensured the successful attack of the battalion, but he himself was killed and a monument is dedicated to Jakob Kundera at the place of his fall and a monument has been erected at the Tušku Brethren Cemetery.

Muhu Mother

During the Soviet era, marriages were registered in the Civil Registry Office in Kingissep.

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"The war is not over until the last soldier is buried" (Priekule Brethren Cemetery)

Kurzeme was established as a separate and isolated battlefield on October 10, 1944. About 500,000 soldiers of the German armed forces were counted as surrounded. According to the reports of the headquarters of the 1st Baltic Front, only a "slight effort" was needed to completely liberate the entire Baltic coast. However, the fighting in Kurzeme continued for another seven months and Kurzeme became a symbol of the end of World War II.

During the seven months of fighting until May 1945, the German armed forces lost 154,108 dead, wounded and missing soldiers in Kurzeme, while the Red Army lost around 400,000 dead, wounded or missing Red Army soldiers.

Riga ghetto and the Holocaust

Three fragments of the stories of different people's memories have been deliberately chosen, which allows us to look more closely at the Holocaust crime from different points of view.

Igaunijas armijas bruņuvilciens Nr. 2 Neatkarības kara laikā Valgā. Avots:  Võrumā Muzejs, (VK F 771:18 F/n),
About the Latvian War of Independence and the events of 1919 in Aluksne

On March 27, 1919, the 1st Valmiera Infantry Regiment, together with the Estonian bodyguard Tallinn (then Rēvele) and Tērbata battalions, as well as three armed trains from the banks of the Melnupe, began the liberation of Latvia from the Bolsheviks.

Description by Vilis Samsons of the Red Arrows battle with German police units on 7 March 1945

On 7 March 1945, the "Red Arrows" partisan camp was surrounded and attempted to be destroyed by German troops. Vilis Samsons, in his book published in 1974 by "Zinātne", Riga, describes the course of this battle

Kara postījumi Liepājā. 1945. gada vasara.
Liepāja - at the crossroads of various historical events

The inhabitants of Liepāja were among the first in Latvia to experience the outbreak of the Second World War and among the last for whom the war ended both literally and symbolically. The Second World War and the Soviet occupation of Liepāja ended only in 1994, when the last troops of the USSR's heir, Russia, left the city.

2 VĒST FOTO Ezeres māja
Memories of the help of Edgars Auniņš about the end of World War II Ezere

Excerpt from a memoir about the surrender of Kurzeme in May 1945, from the memoirs of Air Lance Corporal Edgars Aunins

Raunas Brīvības pieminekļa uzstādīšana, 20. gs. 30. gadu sākums. Avots: Raunas muzejs
Rauna Freedom Monument or Monument to the members of Rauna parish who fell in the First World War and the War of Independence

The origins of the idea of the Rauna Freedom Monument can be traced back to August 21, 1929, when the head of the city of Cēsis and the head of the Cēsis district invited the most prominent public employees of Rauna parish to a meeting, calling to honor the acquisition of freedom and build a monument in Rauna.

Latviešu leģionāri  Kurzemas cietoksnī. 1945. Avots: Latvijas Kara muzejs
Memories of Werner Preijer, Commander of the Company of the 42nd Regiment of the Latvian Legion, about the battles of Kurzeme.

The Kurzeme fortress was formed after the fall of Riga on October 13, 1944 and the Russian break-up to Klaipeda on October 10, thus stopping traffic with Germany by road.

Mikelandželo "Pieta"
Pieta or "Māmuļa" Memorial Ensemble in Nīkrāce

Pieta, or Mammy, is a well-known motif in European culture and art, and was also used in Soviet times.

Latviešu strēlnieki Nāves salā pie Vācijas armijas karavīriem atņemtā ložmetēja. 1916. Latvijas Kara muzejs
Creation of defensive positions.

The description looks at the battlefield fortification in general. It is based on the experience of the First World War and the situation when it is necessary to organize extensive work on the fortifications.

No labās: Dainis Ābelītis, Jānis Grava, Jānis Olmanis, Aivars Vīksna, Juris Miķelsons, Tālavs Megnis, Uldis Rolmanis un cēsinieks Jānis Beikmanis. Avots: Jānis Olmanis
Memoirs of Talava Megnis from Kocēni about the events in the 1991 barricades in Riga

Memoirs of Talava Megnis from Kocēni about the events in the 1991 barricades in Riga.
"On January 13, about 40 residents of Kocēni left Laz, driver Vitālijs Sprukts and minibus Latvija, driver Jānis Grava for the demonstration in Riga.
After the demonstration, when we met at the buses, we repeatedly heard on the radio the call of the Latvian People's Front, those who can, to stay in Riga and defend strategically important objects to make it more difficult to capture them, similarly to Vilnius television. We saw these footage filmed by Podnieks before leaving for Riga.

Avinurme lahing

The Battle of Avinurme and the bloodshed by the Soviet military.

Pulkvedis - leitnants Eduards Graudiņš
The miraculous escape of Lieutenant-Colonel Eduards Graudins from being shot

In November 1944, a court-martial of the German occupation authorities sentenced 8 staff officers of General Kurel's group, three staff officers were pardoned for various reasons. The lieutenant colonel managed to escape from being shot, but Graudiņš was "trampled" by the German concentration camp system

MiG 27K
Mig-27D planes crashed at the Zvārde landfill and Ledurga

At the beginning of 1992, on one day, under mysterious circumstances, two "war" planes produced during the Russian Soviet era crashed at the Zvārde training ground and Ledurga, 40 minutes apart.

A commemorative badge dedicated to Admiral Makarov has been found in the courtyard

A small military relic can testify to an extensive historical story. And although the badge represents the events that took place during the Russo-Japanese War, it shows the variegated military history and the involvement of our Latvian riflemen in other military conflicts both before and after the Wars of Independence.

Recollections of the famous blacksmith of Muhu

Andrus Müüripea (1877-1945), aka Puka from the village of Andrus Lepik, was a famous blacksmith in Muhu before the war.

Rakstniekam K. Skalbem Jūrkalnes pagasta “Laukgaļu” mājās  65. dzimšanas dienā 1944. gada 7. novembrī  dāvātais apsveikums ar laivu bēgļu parakstiem.  Piebalgas muzeju apvienība “Orisāre”.
The last birthday celebration of Kārļis Skalbes on the coast of Kurzeme

On November 7, 1944, memories of poet Kārļis Skalbe's 65th birthday in Jūrkalne's "Laukgaļi" brought a bright mood to the Latvian refugee settlement on the Kurzeme coast. Just four days later, Kārlis Skalbe went by boat to Sweden as a refugee. It was the day when Kārlis Skalbe celebrated his birthday for the last time.

Monument to the War of Independence in Mustjala

The monument to the Mustjala War of Independence was a memorial stone during the Republic of Estonia.

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Border regime area

About times in the border regime area.

Pirmais zināmais sarkanbaltsarkanais karogs, kuru uzšuva Marianna Straumane. Uz tā pamatnes uzšūta saulīte. Pēc restaurācijas apskatāms Cēsu vēstures un mākslas muzeja ekspozīcijā. Avots: Valmieras muzejs
Jānis Lapiņš and the sketch of the first Latvian red - white - red flag

The creation of the Latvian national flag took place during the First World War. In 1915, when creating the flags of the Latvian Rifle Battalion, some artists offered red-white-red colors for the flag cast. After the teacher and journalist Jānis Lapiņš threw the red-white-red flag in the second half of 1916, it was made by his student, Marianna Straumane, a teacher at the Valmiera Refugee Shelter. It is the first known and actually made Latvian national flag, which has also survived to this day.

Stūra māja. Avots: Latvijas okupācijas muzejs "Stūra māja".
About the Corner House

The narrator describes the first impressions of getting to the Corner House. Memories reveal the harsh living conditions of the prisoners.

Why did the Olympic Games not take place in Latvia .... or submarine repairs in Daugavgriva, Baltic Naval Repair Plant

When Moscow was preparing for the Summer Olympics in 1980, the question was: where to hold a sailing competition? It turns out that the choice fell initially to Riga, because there are ideal conditions for sailing in the Gulf of Riga and the city is also old and beautiful, will not be ashamed. However, some Rigans still remember or the younger generation has read on the Internet that Riga, as if .. has given up this high honor and therefore the organization of the competition has been moved to Pirita, a suburb of Tallinn. The Estonians received huge funding and built a new and modern complex for sailing and recreation, which after the end of the Olympics no one was traveling to admire .... But now one interesting nuance has been revealed - it has become known why Riga has given up this honor ...

Foto: A.Jermuts
"Back in Mazirbe" (excerpt)

A sharp event from the life of Vilnis Blumbergs, when coming to Mazirbe to visit his aunt, turned into an unpleasant misunderstanding with the soviet border guards and a harsh night in the winter

Foto: Pāvilostas novadpētniecības muzejs

The residents of Pāvilosta Aina Jakovļeva and Irina Kurčanova share their memories of the Soviet times in Pāvilosta.

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The sunken ship in Mangalsala

During the Soviet era, the concrete cargo ship Lady Cotlin crashed here in the military zone, the remains of which can still be seen at sea near the shore. Various myths are still associated with this.

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Rūjienas vēstis Nr 497, "Atgādinājums nākošām audzēm". Avots: Jaunā Rūjienas Izstāžu zāle
Excerpt from the founding of the Northern Latvian Army on the Rūjiena side

The Army of Northern Latvia was a Latvian military formation during the Latvian War of Independence, which was established on the territory of Estonia and in the liberated regions of North Vidzeme from February 3 to March 31, 1919. Until July 1919, the brigade was subordinate to the Estonian Armed Forces Headquarters and the Commander-in-Chief of the Estonian Army in terms of logistics and operations. It was then merged with the Southern Latvian Brigade to form the Latvian Army.

VēstFOTO BrunuvilciensKALPAKS liepājā LKM
Latvian Army armored train No.5 or "Kalpaks"

Latvian Army Armoured Train No.5 or "Kalpaks" was a light armoured train in the Latvian Armed Forces in 1919.

Pirmais kausējums Liepājas "Sarkanajā metālurgā" - pēc kara Latvijas zemi piesārņoja tūkstošiem kara laika lūžņu - pakāpeniski tos novāca un liela to daļa tika pārkausēta. Liepāja, 1945.g. (Latvijas Kara muzejs)
Stories of sunken machinery

Numerous stories of machinery sinking in swamps and lakes have survived in Latvia. Few of them are true.

Colonel Kalpak's last battle near Airīte

Colonel Kalpaks was a respected figure in military circles and a true patriot. It was the spirit of patriotism and an unfortunate coincidence that led to the fatal clash between him and the German battalions, which unfortunately ended with the death of Colonel Kalpaks.

Memories of the Kolka border area

Memories of Biruta Freimane, a resident of Kolka, about the border area.

Source: Maritime museum of Porsgrunn, Norway
Lady Kathleen

What happened to Lady Kathleen?

Majors Jānis Ozols
Major Jānis Ozol's commanding abilities during the 3rd Battle of Kurzeme

A memorial sign has been installed for Major Jānis Ozola's division on the side of the Riga-Liepāja highway, in Džukste parish, about one kilometer away from the Kurzeme backwaters of the memorial site.

Major Jānis Ozols was a Latvian officer, participant of the 2nd World War, knight of the Order of the Three Stars, whose artillery division he commanded prevented the front from breaking during the 3rd Battle of Kurzeme.

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Exhumation of Soviet army soldiers in Blīdene parish in 2019

In July 2019, the Soldiers' Search Team "Leģenda" exhumed 66 soldiers' ashes in a forest in Blīdene parish. Due to superficiality or omission during the Soviet era, the majority of these soldiers are counted as officially reburied during the Soviet years. The names of these soldiers are even engraved on the tombstones in the Tuški Brethren Cemetery.

Slītere State Reserve in the border regime zone

Memories of former employees of Slītere State Reserve about Soviet times.

IrbenesRadioteleskops F64
Damage to Irbene radio telescopes

Before leaving Irbene, the Soviet army damaged all radio telescope systems

Foto: Lana Poterjailo
German army radar post in Jūrkalne

In order to protect the Kurzeme coast from a possible Soviet or even Western Allied attack, the German armed forces deployed radar stations in several locations, which allowed for a much earlier identification of enemy air activity. One of them was installed at Jūrkalne

Padomju iznīcinātāji Tukuma lidlaukā, 1967.gads. Tukuma muzeja arhīvs.
Were nuclear warheads buried at Tukums airfield?

Former commander of the guard Aivars Skurstenis has applied for an open conversation to the Tukums district newspaper "Neatkarīgās Tukuma Ziņas". He was once a reserve officer and a front-line bodyguard, who in 1993 was offered a guard position in the agricultural company "Durbe" headed by Laimonis Mucenieks. The office - Līvāni house - had to be guarded there. That is the beginning of the story.

Vācu armijas bruņuvilciens (attēlam tīri ilustratīva nozīme)
The last battle of the 3rd armored train of the German army at Vaiņode station

In October 1944, the German army retreats. The 3rd armoured train arrives at Vaiņode station.

As a result of the collapse of the German front, only small units of the German 61st Infantry Division, supported by the armoured train, were present in the eastern outskirts of Vaiņode. The resistance was quickly overcome and by the evening of 9 October the whole of Vaiņode was under the complete control of the Red Army.

The report of the commander of the German army armoured train No.3 reflects the intense events of those days and the loss of armoured train No.3.

Bijušais Līvu pagasta nams un piemineklis Cēsu pulka skolnieku rotas 1919. gada 6. jūnija pirmās kaujas atcerei. Piemineklis atklāts 1930. gadā. Arhitekts bijušais skolnieku rotas karavīrs Kārlis Dzirkalis. Avots: Cēsu Vēstures un mākslas muzejs
A monument dedicated to the ornamentation of students of the Cēsis Regiment at the former Livu Parish House

The company of volunteers of the Cēsis Regiment took part in the battles of Cēsis in 1919, which was formed as a battle unit of 108 young people of Valmiera and Cēsis schools on June 5 in the premises of Cēsis Progymnasium. Already on the night of June 5 to 6, an hour after midnight, there was anxiety and the ornament was ordered to go into positions. Rota went on the line Mācītājsmuiža - Meijermuiža, which was considered to be the most important battlefield.
In the first battle, several students were injured, but Edgars Krieviņš from Valmiera died from a very serious abdominal injury on the same day. On June 13, he was buried in a military honor at the Valmiera City Cemetery. After his death, Edgars Krieviņš was awarded the Lāčplēsis War Order.

Valmieras Latviešu biedrības nams. Avots: Valmieras muzejs
March 1917 - an important month in the history of Valmiera and Latvia

In March 1917, more than a year before the proclamation of the State of Latvia, the Vidzeme Provisional Land Council was founded in Valmiera, which adopted a resolution on Latvia's right to autonomy and self-determination. On the day of the founding of the Council, a red-white-red flag was raised at the meeting place for the first time.

Unfortunate event at the Command Centre in Oriküla

According to Major Sulev Truuväärt of the Missile Forces, an anti-aircraft missile from the Oriküla division was launched by accident in 1967.

The forgotten shore of Livonia

The area of the last Liv villages on the northwest coast of Latvia has been systematically destroyed by the Council since 1950 and declared a restricted area. In 12 fishing villages, only a small handful of this nation survived, which is currently experiencing a kind of cultural renaissance.

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Battle at Skrunda School on January 22, 1919

Memories of Lieutenant Commander Jānis Ķīselis about the battles at Skrunda School on 22 January 1919

Foto: Ivars Salmanis, Kurzemes plānošanas reģions
Nature photos of the Uzava coast and Soviet border guards

The story of a protected plant photo in a border guard area.

Kārļa Liberta skice. Saldus zeme
Karl Libert's memories of the day of capitulation of the German army in Ezere

The repository of cultural history and regional research materials of the lake "Muitas nams" has been established in a historically important building. On May 8, 1945, the act of capitulation of the Nazi German army group "Kurland" surrounded on the Kurzeme front was signed here.

Former Red Army soldier Kārlis Liberts shares his memories of the events of that day

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Soviet aircraft bomb Riteli Cemetery

The Riteli cemetery was actually located in the centre of the target area. The locals could only watch as they were destroyed.

Foto: Ezeres Muitas nams
The memories of Jānis Miesnieks from Ezere about the end of World War 2 in Ezere

The repository of cultural history and regional research materials of the lake "Muitas nams" has been established in a historically important building. On May 8, 1945, the act of capitulation of the units of the Nazi German army surrounded on the Kurzeme front was signed here.

Jānis Miesnieks (b. 1930), a former resident of Ezer, shares his memories about the events of that day.

Plades krogs 1897. gadā pārbūvēts, ierīkojot skolu. Skola šajā ēkā darbojas līdz 1929. gadam, kad skolas ēku no Bīriņu pagasta atpērk Latvijas bērnu palīdzības savienība. Ēkā ierīko bērnu vasaras koloniju "Rūķīši" . Tajā vasaras pavadīja apmēram 120 Latvijas, Igaunijas un Lietuvas bērni. Avots: LNB, Zuduši Latvija
About the events of the children's colony "Dwarfs" during the pre-war and World War II

The families of the guerrilla supporters were deprived of their children. In March 1943, there were 1,100 children in the Salaspils camp. About 250 children died due to measles, typhoid and other diseases, several hundred children were transferred to the farms of the surrounding parishes, about 300 children ended up in orphanages in Riga's Jurmala, Igate and Saulkrasti.
In Saulkrasti, the children ended up in the children's colony "Rūķīši" of the Latvian Children's Aid Society.

Strazdiņu ģimene ap 1910. gadu. No labās: 1) Līze Rošteina; 4. Fricis Strazdiņš. Nav zināms kura no parējām divām jaunajām sievietēm ir Kate Strazdiņa (attēls no privātas kolekcijas).
Extrajudicial shooting of civilians in Liepāja's "Blue Miracle"

Extrajudicial killings in Latvian territory during the war, at the end of June and beginning of July 1941, were the last manifestation of repression and violence in the first stage of the communist occupation, which ended with the entry of Nazi German troops into the entire territory of Latvia.

The reason for the shooting was terrible and tragic – it was no longer possible to transfer the detainees to Russia, but they could not be left alive. As a result, extrajudicial shootings of residents took place in Liepāja during the war, similarly to the cases in Riga Central Prison, Valmiera Prison, Valka and Rēzekne militias, and on the Croix Hill near Ludza. In Liepāja, this crime of the Soviet occupation power was realized in the "Blue Miracle" – Liepaja militia building, Republikas Street 19.

VID 20210413 WA0047
Battle at Kaulači half-manor in March 1945

In 1945, there was a Red Army observation post near Kaulači half-manor. Eyewitnesses recalled that fighting broke out in March 1945. This is not the first time that World War II-era graves have been found in this field.

"But - who has a life by the sea" (excerpt)

A small excerpt from an interview with Erika Sēni from Ģipka. He shares his memories of his life.

KGB rokās nonākušie ASV CIA izlūku Alfrēda Riekstiņa un Edvīna Ozoliņa ieroči un ekipējums. 1952. gada septembris. Foto: TSDC arhīvs.
Alfred Riekstiņš with the nickname "Imants" dies as a result of the betrayal of a double agent of the USSR

Alfrēds Riekstiņš, a Latvian legionnaire, was recruited for cooperation with the US intelligence service CIA after World War II.

Crossing the border area

"Propusk" or permission to cross the border area was as mandatory as a bus ticket.

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The battle of February 23, 1946 in the vicinity of Zūru meža Dzelzkalni

1945/46. Misiņa's group spent the winter of 2011 in the Dzelzkalni area of Zūru forest, where several bunkers had been built. About 40 partisans stayed here. On February 23, 1946, the camp was surrounded by the internal affairs troops of the USSR and a fierce battle took place

MGB/KGB specaģents Arvīds Gailītis ("Grosberg"). Piedalījies 18 nacionālo partizānu nogalināšanā un 12 sagūstīšanā. Britu izlūkdienestam tika iesmērēts kā nacionālo partizānu grupas vadītājs. Foto pēc 1970. gada. Foto: Zigmāra Turčinska kolekcija
The role of the former lieutenant of the legion, Arvīdas Gailīš, in the liquidation of Pēteris Chever's group

Captain Pēteri Čevera and seven other partisans were captured on November 1, 1950 in the Engure forest massif, where the group of fake partisans of former legion lieutenant Arvīdas Gailīš (the agent-fighter's nickname was "Grosbergs") had stationed themselves by chance. It included operatives of the LPSR VDM and agent-militants who played the role of "forest brothers".

Akmeņrags lighthouse and shoal - one of the largest ship cemeteries in the Baltic Sea

It was in the Akmensrags lighthouse area that on January 13, 1923, a steamer Saratov ran aground and crashed, on which the interim government, led by K. Ulmanis, took refuge, when the independent state of Latvia became independent.

Ziemeļlatvijas Civilpārvaldes vadošie darbinieki pie Cēsu pils 1919. jūnijā. Sēd no kreisās puses: 1.- Aleksandrs Pētersons, 2.-Hugo Celmiņš, 3.-Markus Gailītis, 4.- Ādolfs Vickofs. Stāv no kreisās puses: 4.- Vilis Gulbis. Avots: Latvijas Kara muzejs.
Cēsis New Castle - walls where the security of the Latvian state has been created and identity documents are still protected

Cēsis New Castle was built on a military fortification - the ruins of a medieval castle. However, this is by no means the only military significance of the building.

Instruktāža pirms izbraukšanas uz raķešu palaišanu. Avots: No privātkolekcijas. Iesniedzējs: Madonas novadpētniecības un māksas muzejs
USSR army base in Marciena

The Baltics were one of the most important lines of defense for the Soviet empire, the extreme western bastion, so the concentration of troops here was enormous. It is believed that Latvia was the most militarized territory in the world at that time. The exact number of military personnel is unknown, various sources mention 200,000 to 350,000 at different times. In 50 years alone, 3,009 troops were deployed in more than 700 locations in Latvia. One such place was the USSR army base in Marciena.

IMG 20210731 162128
Akmeņrags military complex

There was a military complex in Akmeņrags during the Soviet era.

Aviācijas svētki Spilvē. 1920. gadu 1. puse. Avots: Latvijas Kara muzejs.
United Aviation Festival - a real national holiday

The narrator describes one of the most popular and widely attended events in Latvia - the Aviation Festival in Spilve. Describes the course and scope of the festival. The popularity of aviation in Latvia is emphasized.

Dāvids Sīmansons (1859-1933). Avots:āvids_Sīmansons
For the first Commander-in-Chief of the Latvian Army David Simanson

The essays of the book "Latvian Army Commanders" convince that history is significantly influenced by specific people. Although at the epicenter of the most important historical events for a short time, the true Latvian patriots, with their rich military experience, managed to accomplish a lot in the formation and strengthening of the Latvian army and the turn of historical events.
This story is about the first commander-in-chief of the Latvian army, David Simanson (1859-1933).

Flight to Vaiņode airfield

The story of the German air raid on Vaiņode airfield in June 1941

Baltijas Karaflotes A-20G “Boston” lidmašīna
Soviet aviation raids on the outskirts of Liepaja in October and December 1944

At the end of World War II, the German forces in Courland were able to successfully defend themselves for seven months, as the German Navy maintained combat capability until the end of World War II and supplied Army Group North and later Army Group Courland. The main port was Liepaja, through which 80% of all cargo was delivered and shipped. Liepaja thus became an important target for the Soviet Baltic Navy and long-range aviation.

Laivu bēglu pārcēlāji Laimonis Pētersons, Eduards Andersons, Voldemārs Jurjaks, Kārlis Prulis un Jānis Priedoliņš pie zvejnieku laivas “Aira” Vallevikenā, Gotlandē. 1945. gada aprīlis. Foto: D. Holmerts. Nacionālās mutvārdu vēstures krājums.
The place where the refugee boats moved from the coast of Courland to Sweden near the houses of "Paža".

One of the important places of relocation was near the "Pāž" houses, where the "Sail of Hope" monument is now installed. "Boats came regularly and the most people left from "Pāži"", says I. Freiberg's memories.

The Battle of Rannu and collected texts from the area – reasons to be proud of Rannu

About the Battle of Rannu and its connections with the work "Names on a Marble Slab".

Līču – Laņģu klintis. Foto: Juris Smaļinskis (2024. g. pavasaris)
Historical evidence in the rocks of Līču - Langģi

Excerpts from local history enthusiast Aivars Vilnius tell about history and its evidence found in Lode and Liepa, now in Cēsi county.

The story of the Altar of Victory in Aidu

The story of the demolition of the victory altar of the War of Independence in Aidu and the history of its remains.

Vācijas armijas somu jēgeru ložmetējnieki Liepājā. 1916. Avots: Latvijas kara muzejs
About Finnish Jaegers in Latvia

The history of Finnish Jaegers is interesting because it is extremely similar to the fate of Latvian soldiers in World War I and its great role in the formation of the nation state. For the Finns, World War I also provided an opportunity to lay the foundations for Finland's independence and the creation of its army. The source describes an event when a monument to Finnish Jaegers is unveiled in Latvia.

IMG 20200819 153734
A mess of Krasnoflotskaya letters

There were interesting incidents in Soviet times with the name and geographical location of "Krasnoflotskaya"

Šo sektoru aizsargāja Apmācību divīzijas “Kurland” 639. kājnieku pulka 3. bataljons ar četriem 45 mm padomju trofeju prettanku lielgabaliem un artilērijas diviziona “Ziemeļi” 3. bateriju, kurā bija trīs 76,2 mm padomju trofeju lielgabali
Red and German army plans between Mazirbe and Gipka in May 1945

At the very end of the Second World War, both the Red Army in offensive positions and the German Army in defensive positions had plans which, given the end of the Second World War, were not implemented by either side.

Küüditamine 1949 Valgamaa peres

On 25 March 1949, the second major wave of deportation from the Baltic Republics took place. In Estonia almost 21 000 people (7,500 families) were sent to Siberia. The story is about the family in Valga county.

VEST foto PriekulesZviedruVarti
The story of 19-year-old Rice Ahmedeyev about the reconnaissance battle on February 14, 1945 near Priekule

Bashkir-born Red Army soldier Rais Ahmadeev's (19 years old) account of the Soviet army's preparations for the attack on Priekule and the reconnaissance battle in Piekule on 14 February 1945.

Attempt to escape from the USSR

It will be difficult for young people and foreigners inexperienced in Soviet times to believe that it was practically impossible for a Soviet citizen to get out of the USSR legally.

I turn to the sea time

Edgars Hausmanis tells about life on the shores of the Baltic Sea at different times. Edgar has something to remember, we have something to learn.

Akmeņragabāka 3
"Here will be the Latvian SSR NPP!"

Andris Zaļkalns (born 1951, Chairman of the Vērgale Village Council of People's Deputies (1982-1989)) recalls the time when a nuclear power plant was almost built in Akmeņrags.

Pēteris Čevers - national partisan and commander of a partisan group

Pēteris Čevera - national partisan and commander of a national partisan group

Sarkanās armijas 109. un 131. strēlnieku divīziju jūras desanta sektori, 1945. gada aprīlis.
Soviet Army's unrealised plans on the Kurzeme coast in Melnsil and Gipka

At the end of World War II, the 6th Battery of the German Naval 532nd Artillery Division was stationed in Melnsil, but the Red Army had its own plans for the area, which were never realised until the surrender of the German army in May 1945.

Star exhibit – armoured car

Between the two world wars, Estonia's own armored cars were made at the Arsenal military factory. One copy of them is in the Jõgewa Military Museum.

Night Battle of Tehumardi

In the dark of October 8, advanced and retreating German troops met at the village of Tehumardi.

Avots: Gita Memmēna, Vidzemes tūrisma asociācija
For lesser known works by Latvian sculptor Kārlis Zāle in the old cemeteries of Dīvals and Trikāta

One of the little-known works of the sculptor Kārlis Zāle (1888-1942) is a sculpture made of limestone "Roses Roses", which was created between 1939 and 1940 and is related to the creation of the Brothers' Cemetery Ensemble.

Somu jēgeri Vasas ostā, 1918. gada februāris.
Consecration of the Finnish Jaeger flag at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Liepaja

The first flag of the Independent Finland was consecrated in 1918 in Liepaja, at the Holy Trinity Church, where the Finnish Jägers took an oath of allegiance to the legitimate government of Independent Finland before going home.

The Battle of Avinurme

Eesti Vabadussõjas toimunud Lohusuu lahingust ja seal osalenud meestest ja relvadest.

IMG 20200715 122653
The corncrake camp in 1945 - a place where destinies were dissolved

Historian Roberts Sipenieks talks about the finds at the site of the Grieze filtration camp

Foto: Alise Lūse
Slītere fake lighthouse

During the wars, various methods were used to deceive the enemy. False navigational signs were created to deceive ships at sea, one of which may have been at the Slītere lighthouse

Vācijas armijas karavīri gatavojas šķērsot Daugavu Rīgas operācijas laikā. Vēlāk viņi cīnīsies kaujās pie Mazās Juglas upes. 1917. Avots: Latvijas Kara muzejs
Battle at the Little Jugla River / Riga operation

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.

( Vācijas bruņoto spēku Heinkel He - 111 bumbvedējs pēc piespiedu nolaišanās Liepājas pludmalē 1939. gada 11.septembris.
Karosta - German He-111 landing place in 1939 on the beach of Liepaja

On 11 September 1939, a German Henkel He-111 bomber was raiding Polish cities when it went off course at night and made an emergency landing on Liepāja beach. This event is recounted in the memoirs of Vilis Zobens, a Liepaja resident and a liaison company officer of the Kurzeme Division. The landing site is not marked in nature. The approximate coordinates are N 56.59368° E 21.01598° - on the beach near the Northern Forts.

Б-13 lielgabals. Lielgabala apkalpe šaušanas mācībās.
The story of Ventspils 46th Coast Guard Battery Fire Correction Tower

The Ventspils Military Heritage Site is unique because it is one of the few coastal defence structures in Latvia and the Baltics that depict the history of World War II fortifications. It is also unique in that it is a military object built by the Soviet Union during the years of independence of the Republic of Latvia and in a way symbolises the inability of a small country to confront the superpowers on the eve of World War II. It is the only coastal defence battery that has survived so well, without historical layers and in its complete state of construction. The site shows the entire evolution of the Soviet military concept from 1939 until the withdrawal of Soviet troops in 1994.

"Wind. Despite. And the Liv flag. ” (excerpt) - Ghost ships and barbed wire

Gunta Kārkliņa's memories of the Soviet times on the Liv coast - how did the boat cemetery appear there?

Memories from the diary left abroad - service at Ķegums HPP

Jānis Jaunozoliņš. "Memories from the Diary Left Abroad" (August 16, 1944-13.10.1946) Excerpts.

Service in Mõntu battery no. 458

Memories of a soldier who served in the battery

Attēls ņemts no 1926. gadā publicētās grāmatas "Ziemeļlatvijas un Cēsu kauju piemiņai, 1919-1926". Kartes autors ir Voldemārs Ozols. Grāmata publiski pieejama LNB interneta krātuvē
The beginning, course and end of the battles of Cēsis

The victory in the battles of Cēsis was destined to become a turning point in the struggle of Latvians and Estonians for the independence of their country. This victory crossed the line between Andriev Niedra's government and German General Riediger von der Goltz's plans to conquer the Baltics. Instead, the Provisional Government of Kārlis Ulmanis resumed its activities in Liepāja.

World War I trenches by Väike Strait

The events of the war began on the islands on September 29, 1917, when the German army landed in Saaremaa near Tagalahti.

Bruņuvilciena “Kalpaks” komandieris, virsleitnants Alfrēds Kļestrovs, Vēsturisks foto. Karostas cietuma arhīvs
Reasons for awarding the award to Commander of the Armoured Train A.Klestrov

After successfully repelling an enemy attack, the commander of the armed train A.Klestrov falls and Colonel Danker issued the grounds for the award

Kogula Airport in Saaremaa

The Kogula Air Force Base was established in August 1940.

IMG 20210730 101250
About found war items

In today's Latvia, the collections of various museums are supplemented by the personal collections of private individuals, which are often exhibited in public and are accessible to everyone. Many people's hobbies are ancient things, including items related to military history. Visitors often do not have an idea of the origin of these things. They suddenly appeared? In all cases, it's several years of work and an interesting, personal story about one person's interests in putting things together to make a museum out of them, for example. The narrator describes his personal experience, giving the reader an idea of the situation in Latvia after World War II. The legacy of various armies and the lack of raw materials on the farm are forcing people to find creative ways to use virtually anything to survive. Over time, the useless on the farm become valuable, historical exhibits that tell about the experience of Latvia and its people.

Living conditions in Maantee

Even when viewed from Kuressaare, the military unit of Maantee village was located almost at the end of the world.

Shin beach protection battery no. 43

As early as 1907, Russia began to prepare for the development of pre-defense positions in its capital, St. Petersburg.

PiestāstaparAizvikuparku rakeshumashina
Aizvīki in the Kurzeme cauldron

In Aivvikai Park, bunkers, trenches and caponier ramparts from the 2nd World War, where weapons were stored, are still clearly visible. One of the types of weapons was the Katyusha rocket launch system.

The Estonian Navy assists Latvian forces during the War of Independence

On June 23, Estonians celebrate Victory Day, thus celebrating the joint Latvian-Estonian victory in the battles of Cēsis. And in this victory the Estonian navy played an important role, which in this Landeswehr war, as the Estonians call it, with its courageous actions and precise cannon fire in the mouth of the Daugava threatened the main supply routes of German forces across the Daugava in the immediate vicinity of Riga.

11 collu (280 mm) 1887. gada modeļa lielgabals Vladivostokā, 20. gadsimta beigas. Līdzīgas lielgabalu platformas izbūvēja Baterijā Nr. 1
About the cannons of Liepāja fortress

In the northern part of the fortress was located one of the four coastal defence batteries, Battery No.1, but at the time of the fortress's liquidation its armament was not fully installed.

Foto ir ilustratīvs, no globālā tīmekļa
Kurzeme coast - closed area

During the Cold War, the entire Kurzeme coastline was a closed zone to the public - Soviet border guards were the main decision-makers here, with guard posts at certain distances and observation towers with spotlight stations on the beach. Civilians were only allowed on the seafront during daylight hours.

“Storoževoj”, "boļšoj protivolodočnij korabļ" jeb lielais pretzemūdeņu kuģis
Rebellion on the warship STOROŽEVOJ

On 8 November 1975, as was customary in the USSR, Riga hosted another large-scale celebration of the anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution. Nobody, even in their wildest nightmares, could have imagined that the 58th anniversary of the Revolution would go down in the history of Latvia and the USSR as something unprecedented and unprecedented - a mutiny on board the Storoževoj, a large anti-submarine ship. For 15 years, the USSR denied that a mutiny had taken place on board.

No kreisās uz labo: leitnants Ölker, seržants Dorst, kaprālis Völcker, kareivis Rittweiler.
German army corporal Felker's account of the reconnaissance battle on 8 and 9 November 1944 at the Selješa home in Zvārde

Felker (German: Völcker) was a 20-year-old boy, serving in an intelligence division in the Nazi German army, who narrates the events of November 8 and 9, which vividly reflect the frontline events in Zvārde, where the frontline moved back and forth for 4 months, including in the vicinity of the Ķērkliņi church.

Skats no Akmeņraga bākas uz jūru. Foto: Raimonds Rāts
Cape and ship Saratov

It can be assumed that Liepaja was the capital of Latvia for a short period of time, because during the Freedom Struggle the Provisional Government was stationed on the ship Saratov in this very city. The Saratov took the Provisional Government to Riga after its liberation, but many people do not know that the history of such an important ship for us ended at sea at Akmenrags.

Ģenerālis Kārlis Gopers (1876-1941). Avots:
About General Karl Gopper

General K. Goppers (1876-1941) was an outstanding soldier and an outstanding man. He stood out as a successful commander who took over the command of the battalion and regiments, heroically leading his riflemen in battles for the freedom of Latvia during the First World War (1914-1919). He has participated in battles in Tīreļpurvs, Ložmetējkalns, and defended Riga.

Pirmā pasaules kara laikā izpostītie Mangaļsalas artilērijas nocietinājumi. 1920. gadi. Avots: Latvijas Kara muzejs.
Army presence in Mangalsala

I remember vivid impressions about the presence of the Latvian army in Mangalsala. The forts as well as the reinforced concrete fortification built by Sapieri are described. Memories describe the daily life of soldiers, the rhythm of life and illustrate the environment in Mangalsala. Visit of soldiers of Mangalsala and Latvian army

Hans-Gotthard Pestke

Knight of the Knight's Cross in the battles of occupation of Hiiumaa

Panfilovuakmens okupeklis
In this place "Panfilov's Division" met May 9

On May 9, 1945, the "Panfilov Division" of the Red Army was near Pampāli. Most likely, the divisional headquarters was located in the Pampāli elementary school

Foto vizualizācijai no globālā tīmekļa
Zvārdenieka's childhood in the shadow of bomb explosions - the fallen plane

The use of the landfill continued until 1992, and even in March 1992, a plane that took off from Lielvārde crashed in the territory of the landfill for unknown reasons.

Amatas dzelzceļa tilta sargi, 1919.gads. Avots: Latvijas dzelzceļš
Battle of Cesis on the shores of Amata

At the bridge over the Amata, a German Landeswehr attacks an Estonian armored train that has arrived for negotiations. Estonians open fire, Germans are beaten and the armored train returns to Cēsis.

Tvaikonis “Saratov” (pastkarte no Zudusī Latvija)
Memories of Artūrs Ozols about the ship "Saratov"

Artūrs Ozols graduated from Riga Polytechnic and served as a naval officer (midshipman) and engineer in the Russian Black Sea Fleet aboard the warship Panteleimon. During the Latvian Liberation Struggle, he joined the Student Company. In Liepaja he put the ship "Saratov" into service. Arthurs Ozols' memoirs about the ship "Saratov" were published in the Dauagava Vanagi monthly

Friendly Ragaciems border guard

As the time of change approached in Latvia, the coast guard became more friendly.

As partisans in 1945/1946 expelled the occupiers from Kabyle

As partisans in 1945/1946 expelled the occupiers from Kabyle in the year / Article (

Bumbu kalna skatu tornis un piemiņas vieta. Foto: Edgars Ražinskis. 2021.
Bomb Hill

Bumbu Hill is a high hill in the Bolderāja dunes, Kleistu Forest, Rīga. Memorial to the Latvian Freedom Fights. During the Bermontiad in November 1919, the command post of the Latgale Division led by Krišjānis Berkis was located here. The 6th Riga Infantry Regiment, attacking from Bumbu Hill, captured Sudrabkalniņa. A memorial plaque was erected in 1939 and destroyed in 1969. The memorial site was restored in 1989.

No kreisās: stāv – nezināms svešinieks, Gints Rullis, nezināms, Aldis Priedītis, Jānis Zītiņš, Aldis Apsītis, Leons Zirnis, Normunds Kalniņš. Apakšējā stūrī – pirmais Aivis Lazdiņš. Avots: Vaidavas pagasta novadpētniecības pastāvīgā ekspozīcija
Vaidavians on barricades

In 2020, in anticipation of the 30th anniversary of the 1991 barricades, Vismants Priedīte shares a story about the participation of locals in these historical events.

Padomju okupācijas laika propagnda. Latvijas PSR Drāmatiskais_teātris. 1940. Avots: Privātkolekcija
On the occupation of Latvia

The existence of the independent state of Latvia in 1940 was interrupted by the occupation and annexation by the Soviet Union, or incorporation into the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR).

Krasta aizsardzības lielgabali Daugavgrīvās apkārtnē vai Mangaļsalā. 1917. Privātkolekcija.
About Daugavgriva fortress

The narrator describes an event in the Daugavgrīva fortress during World War I, when it was bombed by an air force in the German army. The fortress was one of the strategic objects that remained important until the end of World War II.

Hunting in Saaremaa

The world-famous Soviet and Russian handgun engineer visited Saaremaa.

MiG 27D Jarraketi
Russian military planes crash in Ledurga and Zvārde landfill

At the beginning of 1992, two Soviet Mig-27 D planes crashed on one day in mysterious circumstances with an interval of 40 minutes in Ledurga and Zvārde landfill.

Undva Military Base

On August 22, 1940, 594 ha of land was allocated for the construction of the Soviet military base No. 32 (Undva) on the Tagamõisa peninsula.

Rudbāržupils ArmandsEglītis
Visit of General Ridiger von der Goltz to Rudbārži in February 1919

In February 1919, after a successful anti-German campaign in Finland, German General Ridiger von der Goltz was appointed commander of the German armed formations in Courland and Northern Lithuania, including the Landwehr, which included the 1st Latvian Battalion. During his visit to the front in February 1919, he also arrived in Rudbārži. Lieutenant Jānis Ķīselis, the battalion's special task officer, described the General's visit in his memoirs.

The fate of Alexander Stebel, the battery commander.

The fate of the legendary battery commander, Alexander Stebel, is overshadowed by a veil of mystery.

Coastal battery at Olmaņi

To the north of Ventspils is another significant coastal battery. It was located in Olmani and was called Krasnoflotskaya.

On the crimes of the Red Army soldiers in Tukums.

Several monuments to the Red Army have been erected in Tukums during the Soviet occupation. Today, they have still not lost their former Soviet ideological goals and continue to create the myth of the Red Army as liberators. There are many sources for the crimes of Red Army soldiers. One group of sources can be found in local newspapers, which vividly describe the Red Army's permissiveness and the scale of the crime.

Tartu on the list of US nuclear targets in the Cold War

Raadi military airfield in Tartu was the target of a US nuclear attack during the Cold War.

Anšlava Eglīša atmiņas par Latvijas Neatkarības karu un 1919. gada notikumiem Alūksnē grāmatā “Lielais mēmais”
Memories of Anšlavs Eglītis about the Latvian War of Independence and the events of 1919 in Aluksne

On March 27, 1919, the 1st Valmiera Infantry Regiment, together with the Estonian bodyguard Tallinn (then Rēvele) and Tērbata battalions, as well as three armed trains from the banks of the Melnupe, began the liberation of Latvia from the Bolsheviks.

Fotogrāfijā, kuru uzņēmis Lubānas fotogrāfs Alfreds Grāvers (1877-1954), redzama Kārļa Ulmaņa ierašanās Lubānā pēc neizdevušā atentāta mēģinājuma. Avots: Madonas Novadpētniecības un mākslas muzejs
Memorial to the assassination of Kārlis Ulmanis

On April 15, 1920, in a wooded area on the Lubāna - Dzelzava highway, an assassination attempt was made against Kārlis Ulmanis, who was the Prime Minister of Latvia at the time. A memorial plaque was erected on this place between the border of Dzelzava and Indrāni parishes on August 11, 1939.

Leonīds Zariņš čekā
Landed Leonid Zariņš - the check turns out to be useless for recruitment

Leonid Zariņš was recruited as a CIA agent in the USA and in 1953 he crossed the border of the USSR on a plane from Germany and landed with a parachute near Auce. Unfortunately, one of the contacts he was supposed to be in touch with had turned out to be a double agent, and Leonidas was soon arrested. He refused to cooperate with the Chekists and was shot without trial in 1954.

About the Latvian War of Independence and the events of 1918 in Aluksne

In 1918, when German troops entered Alūksne, Latvian rifle battalions retreated to Soviet Russia. Until the beginning of December 1918, the German regime was established and reorganized. After Germany succumbed to the war, the Bolsheviks returned to Aluksne and regained power. During the Latvian War of Independence, Finnish volunteers also fought in the Estonian army. On February 21, 1919, fierce battles took place between the Bolsheviks and the Finnish Volunteer Regiment "Northern Boys" in Aluksne, near the station.

Forced Labour on the Jalaka Line

How anti-tank trenches were dug on the Jalaka line to protect against German invasion in the summer of 1941.

Avots: Madonas novadpētniecības un mākslas muzejs
About the last Vidzeme partisan group

An incredible story about how the Chekists "surrendered" in front of the last partisan group in Vidzeme, asking them to come out of the forest.

Recollections of Olev Metsmaa

The base of seaplanes was built in Papissaare and the air defense batteries of Kiirassaare were built.

Strangers in the border area

Border guards have had a special way of finding out about strangers in the border area.

Railway bridge over Amata River. June 20, 1889. Source: Estonian National Archives
Battle at the bridge over Amata River

The Battle of Cēsis is one of the most important stages of the War of Independence of Latvia and occupies an important place in the history of the War of Independence of Estonia.

Vācijas armijas karavīrs Hermanis Fauls, 40. gadi. Avots:
Missing soldiers of the German army during the Kurzeme battles - Herrman Faul

The documentation of the German army group "Ziemeļi", which is later renamed "Kurland" during the siege of Kurzeme, still contains no clear information about approximately 50,000 German army soldiers. These soldiers are missing in action. Even today, the relatives of these soldiers are trying to find traces of their relatives and ancestors in Kurzeme, both documentary and physical. One such story is about

How Reola was liberated

Description of the Battle of Reola in January 1919, considered one of the turning points of the War of Independence, during which the Estonian troops thwarted the Red Army's attempt to conquer Tartu.

Pampāļos sagūstītie sarkanarmieši, 1919.gada marts
How the men of the Latvian government fooled the co-runners of the Pampali Bolsheviks

The former director of the Pampāli school (until 1959) Alfred Brūns has hand-printed an impressive book about the history of the Pampāli school and historical events around it with authentic photographs. In the book, A. Brūns describes the events of the War of Independence in Pampāli, describing in detail the events involved both Latvian statesmen, Bolshevik supporters, actions of the German army, etc.

We were all sons of fathers who won the War of Independence

Endel Laul recounts his father's story of participating in the Battle of Kõnnu and only just escaping execution.

Memories of Aivzvíkist Alfred Leja

The memories of the former airman Alfred Leja from the book "Forever a never-ending stream is raining".

Aizvīki and the inhabitants of Aizvīki also suffered a lot in the mills of the superpowers of the 2nd World War.

Alfred Leja writes in his memoirs:

2. Rīgas latviešu strēlnieku bataljona strēlnieki un vecākais ārsts Gerhards Feders (1. no kreisās) pie lazaretes zemnīcas Nāves salā. 1916. gada vasara
The daily routine of Latvian riflemen on the Island of Death

Memories vividly describe the daily life of soldiers on the Island of Death.

Botanical work by the sea

While performing the duties of a botanist, it was allowed to walk along the shore only with a border guard.

Jānis Sūna's memories of the time spent in the Grieze filtration camp

Lawyer Jānis Sūna has published his memories of his time in the Grieze filtration camp in his autobiographical book.

Brīvības pieminekļa svinīgā atklāšana. 1935. Avots: Latvijas Nacionālais arhīvs
Kārlis Zāle and the Freedom Monument

The narrator describes Kārlis Zali as a personality who created the most famous works of Latvian art. The description is dedicated to the commemoration of the hall in 1942 (the year of K. Hall's death). The memories have been chosen to describe K. Zāle's works based on the author's personal qualities and perception of the world.

4 Ģinters
The secret and dangerous activity of Valdemar Günter

The name of Valdemārs Ęinter was the last hope of many Latvian refugees to escape to Sweden. Too much attention from the fugitives was dangerous, and therefore Günther maintained secrecy

The story of Cīrava airfield

Cīrava airfield - created during the Second World War, used by the Soviets as a DOSAAF airfield, currently used for agricultural purposes and recreational trips, as well as Soviet-era aircraft on display in the hangar

The first refugee boat "Zeal" from Bambali

On 31 October 1944, the boat "Centība" left the Kurzeme coast. The departure of this boat was reconstructed by Valentīne Lasmane, the Convener of the Latvian Central Council, from the recollections of several fellow passengers

The place of the tragedy in the history of Latvia is still unclear

During the Second World War, when most of Latvia was already controlled by the Soviet Union and Kurzeme was ruled by Hitler's German viceroys, the so-called Kurelians in Kurzeme started the struggle for the restoration of Latvia's state independence.

Ciemos pie Blūmentāla
Meeting with Arvīds Blūmentāls - Crocodile Harry in Cumberpedia

The newspaper "Australian Latvian" published an article about a meeting with Arvīds Blūmentāls at his home in Australia. 

(A small episode from the journey to the roots of the Australian centre and west coast together with Aivars and Benita Browne.)

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Corncrake Prison Camp in 1945

In 2020, I.Kupce tells the story of her family member's father-in-law's experience in the Grieze Soviet filtration camp in 1945, after the surrender of the German army in Kurzeme.

V. Veščuna-Jansone. 20. gadu sākums, Rīga. K. Iltnera fotostudija. Meitas Aretas Jansones īpašums. Avots:
Awarding of the 7th Sigulda Infantry Regiment in bermontiad, awarding of the great soldier Valija Veščūnas with the Lāčplēsis War Order in Alūksne

After the Latvian War of Independence, the great soldier Valija Veščunas was awarded the Lāčplēsis War Order for the November 19, 1919 battles with the Bermontians at the Plan House. Valija Veshchun was one of the first to cross the Lielupe under the fire of the enemy.

Rescue the Nega River Bridge from blasting

By the time the Germans retreated in 1944, many important sites had been blown up and it was very difficult to prevent, but there are also stories of miraculous events where the courage of the locals and the tolerance of a soldier allow salmon to survive in places important to the locals. One of the stories is also about a discussion between a housewife and a German soldier who saved an entire bridge from being blown up.

70 years of Kalevipoeg. Will Kalevipoeg finally return home?

A story about the moods that prevailed in Tartu and among the students immediately after the statue of Kalevipoeg was taken down in 1950.

Pulvertornis. 20. gadsimta sākums. Avots: Latvijas Kara muzejs.
Memories of the beginning of the establishment of the War Museum

The narrator describes the conditions under which the War Museum was established. Problems and collection work are mentioned.

Closing Memories of True Value

Major Sulev Truuväärt, an islander who had served in Dejevo, recalled that a soldier had died in the army during his time.

Vilis Gelbe (1890-1919). Avots:
About the National Patriot Chief Lieutenant Vili Gelbi

The fate of Senior Lieutenant Viļa Gelbe (1890-1919) reflects the difficult situation in the formation of our country and army, as well as in the evaluation of these events.
With the proclamation of the Latvian state on November 18, 1918, the War of Independence and the work of forming the armed forces also began. Vilis Gelbe, a naval lieutenant born in Kurzeme, was in the front ranks of Latvian volunteers.

Avots: Iluta Bērziņa, Jēkabpils Vēstures muzeja Galvenā krājuma glabātāja
Soldiers of the 3rd Caucasus Rifle Regiment shot in Jēkabpils during World War I for incitement to disobey orders

On May 18, 1916, in the ruins of Ģegeri half-manor (~ 7 km to the south of Jekabpils behind Brody) at At 20.30, soldiers of the 3rd Caucasus Rifle Regiment were shot dead for inciting disobedience. The execution was led by Praporšchik Ravnyalichev.

Aircraft engine testing laboratory

During the Soviet era, there was a strange object north of Spilves Street, if the memory is not wrong - with two low rectangular "mega-chimneys" built of red bricks, from where a reactive sound similar to the roar of aircraft engines was quite often heard.

Avots: Kuldīgas novada muzeja krājums. KNM 28269.
Former wood processing plant "Vulkāns"

A powerful factory with a rich history starting from 1878.

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Aizporu half manor in the War of Independence

Aizporu Half Manor, Aizpute district, Kalvene municipality, is the westernmost place in Latvia to which Colonel Oskars Kalpaks' separate battalion retreated.

Halfway between Rudbārži and Kalvenė, on the side of the road, is the Aizpore cemetery. There is a monument and 12 memorials to the volunteer soldiers of Oskars Kalpaka's battalion.

Centrāltirgus paviljoni. 1940. - 1941. gads
Riga Central Market hangars

At the time of the creation of the Riga Central Market, it was one of the most modern markets in the world. It was based on the metal construction of the hangars of the German army airships of the First World War. The author describes the preconditions for the construction of the Riga Central Market and the scope of construction works, making it one of the largest buildings after the war in Latvia and one of the most modern markets in the world.

Latvijas armijas riteņbraucēju karavīru stāja pie divriteņ 30. gadi.
Particular remarks in the care of cyclists

The recommendations mentioned in the regulations for the training of cyclists are provided during the training of cyclists in the Latvian Army. The recommendations focus mainly on the health of the soldier.

Padomju iznīcinātājs Tukuma lidlaukā, 1967.gads. Tukuma muzeja arhīvs.
The secret of Tukums airfield

Tukums airfield keeps a secret that no one has solved yet - is there really a nuclear missile warhead in the territory of the airfield, which is ordered there by the special service of the Russian army, I left the airfield in the 90s?

Strangulation of Bishop Heinrich III

In 1381, the 80-year-old Bishop of Saare-Lääne Heinrich III found its end in the castle.

The bombing of Rezekne in 1944

The bombing of Rēzekne took place at Easter 1944, and as a result a large part of the city's buildings were destroyed and dozens of civilians were killed, while several thousand more were left homeless. People who have experienced these events on their own skin and can tell us about them were children at the time. One of them is also the author of this story.

Actor Harry Liepins' memories of his service in the German army

Harijs Liepiņš, a later popular actor, was drafted into the German army and sent to Ķegums in the autumn of 1944.

Bēgļi rindā pēc maizes Valkā, Alejas ielā, apt. 1915.g. (ēkas vieta tagad Puiestee iela Valgā, Igaunijā). Avots: Valkas novadpētniecības muzeja krājums
From Adolf Ers' book "Vidzeme in the Freedom Fights" about the life of refugees in Valka

From the time of the refugees, Valka agreed to play a more important role than other cities in Vidzeme, because the politically active newspaper Līdums was located here, where Latvia's spiritual and political weapons were minted, and also because there was a crossroads where roads from three On the Latvian side: from Riga, Alūksne, Mozekile, and also from Estonia and Russia, she had links with refugees everywhere - in Tartu, Pliskava, Moscow and St. Petersburg. There was a large refugee center here.

Tartu celebrates 1919 victory in Tähtvere

Description of the Battle of Tähtvere in the Estonian War of Independence in January 1919, during which Estonian troops liberated Tartu from the Red Army.

The legend of Ruhnu Lighthouse

The parts of the boiler plate lighthouse produced in the factory were transported by Ruhnu ship.

1976 milit speles EKrievins tanksT64
July 1976 military-patriotic game "Orlenko" at the landfill near Irbene

July 1976 military-patriotic games "Orlenok" at the tank training ground near Irbene, in which 17-year-old Evalds Krieviņš participated and secretly photographed the games, equipment and even the Irbene antenna with a Sme8M camera

Baski päritolu lendur Benito Aguirre

Lugu baski päritolu lendurist Benito Aguirrest (korrektse nimega Ignacio Aguirregoicoa Benito), kes Mustvee kohal alla tulistati.

Life on the Kegums side during World War II

Memories of a distant wartime flare up. For the older generation, it would remind them of their own experiences, perhaps bored of the young.

Fotogrāfijai ir ilustratīva nozīme. Toreizējās dāvida zvaigznes fotogrāfiju nav izdevies atrast.
Star of David at the Dundagh Concentration Camp Memorial

After regaining independence, the residents of Dundaga installed a large wooden star of David at the place of the murder and reburial of the Jews near the Mazirbe - Dundaga highway, and later the Council of Jewish Congregations and Communities of Latvia opened a memorial stone next to it.

Pētera Čevera grupas nacionālie partizāni Vandzenes pagastā. 1949./1950. gada ziema. No kreisās: rindā centrā – Pēteris Čevers, 3. rindā 1. Jānis Prauliņš, 7. Augusts Dundurs. Foto: Latvijas Nacionālais arhīvs – Latvijas Valsts arhīvs
The story of Peter Cheever's gang activity and destruction

P. Chevers gathered former officers of the legion around him, and also welcomed the local residents of Kurzeme into the group. They all chose to remain faithful to the idea of a free and independent Latvian state, rather than submit to a foreign occupation. Chever's group deployed in the territory of Vandzene - Upesgriva - Okte parishes of Talsi district, trying to avoid frontal clashes with Czech troops or fighter battalion fighters

Oskars Kalpaks (1882. gada 6. janvāris–1919. gada 6. marts). Avots: LNB periodika,1923.03.02 Nedēļa
In memory of Oskars Kalpaks

The memory of Oskars Kalpaks is preserved in many places - as evidenced by his native Liepsalu houses, a monument in Visagala cemetery, memorial events and beautiful concerts on March 6, Meirāni Kalpaks Primary School, streets in Lubāna, Madona and other cities and more. But in this article - about the preservation of the memory of Oscar Kalpaks in his native half of the 20th-30th centuries. years.

4. Vidzemes latviešu strēlnieku bataljona virsnieki pozīcijās. Olaines rajons, 1916. gads. 1. rindā centrā sēž bataljona komandieris Ansis Zeltiņš. Avots: Latvijas Kara muzejs.
About Latvian riflemen in the Olaine area

The memories reflect the daily life of Latvian riflemen in the Olaine area. Not only the living conditions are described, but also the usual task - intelligence of the opponent's positions.

Pēteris Supe (1920-1946). Avots: Viļakans novada muzeja arhīvs
Pēteris Supe - the initiator of the founding of the Latvian National Partisan Association

From 1944 to 1946, Peter Supem managed to unite the national partisan units scattered in the forests in an organized movement that fought against the occupation of Latvia in the Abrene district for several years after the Second World War. Pēteris Supe, nicknamed "Cinītis", was one of the most outstanding organizers and leaders of the national guerrilla movement in Northern Latgale.

Majora Jāņa Ozola ziņojums pēc 3. Kurzemes lielkaujas 1.daļa
Report of Captain Jānis Ozols of the III./19th Artillery Regiment (2nd Latvian) on the battles of December 24 and 25, 1944

Division Commander Captain Jānis Ozols 27.12.1944. in the report to the commander of the 15th (1st Latvian) SS-art. regiment about the losses of the weapons of the 7th, 8th and 9th batteries in the battles from December 24-25 in Zvejnieku - Dirba district

Salaspils nometne pēc nodedzināšanas. 1944. gada rudens. Avots: Latvijas Kara muzejs.
About the Salaspils Memorial as a symbol of the ideology of the Soviet occupation regime.

The description vividly describes the extent to which a place of remembrance is politicized and its role in the ideology of the Soviet Union. The text states that one of the main goals is to fight the "rebirth of fascism". This shows that efforts with ideological infrastructure to hide communist crimes and prevent dissent are continuing. Memorial sites, Soviet army cemeteries and museums, and various cultural events maintained the myth of the "liberation of Latvia" and the "Brother Soviet Union." An inverted view of the events of World War II in Latvia was created using the facts of Nazi crimes.

Barikādes Vecrīgas ielās. Avots: 1991. Barikāžu muzejs
From Rezekne to the 1991 barricades

The narrators describe the moods and personal experiences of the Barricade period. Memories illustrate well how information can reach the people of Latvia throughout its territory.

Foto: Dainis Kārkluvalks
Memories of the border area

Various scenes of life from the Soviet times, remembered by Gunārs Anševics, once living in the border area.

Latviešu strēlnieki ieņemtajā Ložmetējkalnā ar iegūtajām trofejām. 1917. Latvijas Kara muzejs
About Christmas battles

The Christmas battle ended on January 11. The Latvian riflemen of the heavily fortified position of the German army - Ložmetējkalns - managed to take the battle on the third day. The price of Christmas battles was very high. Hundreds of Latvian and other Russian army soldiers had lost their lives trying to knock the Germans out of position. The narrator vividly describes the scenes on the battlefield after the end of the Christmas battles.

Latviešu leģiona 19. divīzijas kapi Lestenē. 1945. gada janvāris. Avots: Latvijas Kara muzejs.
Battle in Kurzeme fortress near Lestene

The narrator describes his impressions of the battles around Lestene and the role of the Latvian 19th Division in the battles.

Ģenerālis Jānis Balodis un Elvīra Balode Saulkrastos 1959.gada septembrī. V.Caunes foto
The life of General Jānis Balozis after returning from deportation

When the Russians tried to force a military base agreement from the Latvian government in 1940, which would make the Latvian army's resistance to the Red Army almost impossible, General J. Balodis tries to get some amendments to this agreement. But it fails. But the general's bad guys use this circumstance to later correct J. Balodi almost as a traitor. After a conflict with the Prime Minister of the State and Prime Minister K. Ulmanis, on April 5, 1940, the General was relieved of the post of Minister of War. Then J. Balodis decides to participate in the Saeima elections from the Democratic Bloc, but nothing comes out of it, because only one list may stand for election - the list of communist candidates. Latvia becomes the 14th Soviet republic.

Foto: Dainis Karkluvaldis
About Kolka border guards

Baiba Šuvcāne, a resident of Kolka, tells about the times in Kolka when there were border guards.

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War airfield near Tukums

Today, in Soviet times, army destroyers stood in barely visible, overgrown hangars on the highway to Tukums. Even in those days, the airfield with hangars was disguised and ignorant people did not know about it.

Foto: Karostas cietuma arhīvs
Description of the combat activity of Vilis Narkevics on 6 November 1919

Description of the combat activity of the commander of the detachment, Lieutenant Commander Julius Rosenthal Vilis Narkevics, 3 November 1921

Foto: Alise Lūse
Compassionate Lithuanian Coastguard men

More than 70 years ago, Lithuanian coastguards were executed for helping their neighbours, Latvian boat refugees, to reach Sweden. When the German occupation authorities found out about this, they brutally

Kolka Cape border guard observation tower

During the USSR, border guards observed and controlled the waters of the Irbe Strait from this tower, and at that time it was often said that even a duck could not swim through this strait without the knowledge of the border guards.

Battles in Kübassaare

The Germans also landed in the southeastern part of Saaremaa from the mainland to the coast of Muhu in 1941 with an extensive sea landing.

Mores latviešu leģionāru brāļu kapi. Foto: Edgars Ražinskis. 2020
Unrecognized soldiers. The story of a battle officer.

The Battle of Mores is an episode of the end of the Second World War, which was of great importance in the further course of the war in the territory of Latvia. The Battle of Mores marks the war in the Sigulda line of defense in the territory of Mores Parish, which took place from September 25 to October 5, 1944. In the trenches of the Sigulda line of defense, about 12 km long, the soldiers of the 19th Division of the Latvian Legion, fighting heavy battles with 10 to 15 times the enemy's defeat for 10 days, stopped the Red / Soviet army units moving towards Riga.

Tukums reserve aerodrome management in the 90s.

With the departure of the Soviet occupation forces, the looting of many former war bases began. Soviet soldiers tried to take out as much as possible and leave the degraded infrastructure. After the departure of the troops, these bases continued to be looted by civilians and to exploit former military infrastructure.

Mines, bombs, torpedoes and chemical weapons in the Baltic Sea

In the first days of February 2010, a message appeared on the Swedish TV channel SVT, which caused shock and deep surprise to many.

Stoning of tanks

During the Soviet era, the entire Kurzeme coast was a closed zone. Children who lived near the Soviet army unit in Targale parish, including Ovishi, used to have fun throwing stones at tanks.

As someone fled Ventspils from the border guards with a self-built boat

In the time of the USSR, border guard patrol vessels were based in the port of Ventspils, the task of which was to patrol the waters of the Baltic Sea and prevent the crossing of the border from either side - from the outside inwards or from the inside out. However, in the 1970s, one emergency occurred in Ventspils, about which the people of Ventspils themselves whispered in the kitchens for a long time and laughed for nothing.

“PZ" - border zone

Memories of Andris Zaļkalns, Chairman of the Vērgale Village Council of People's Deputies (1982-1989), about life in the border area.

Avots: Valkas TIB
In memory of Pēteris Radziņš, General of the Latvian Army, two-time Knight of the Lāčplēsis War Order

General Pēteris Radziņš, born in Lugka Parish, Valka District, in a simple farmer's family, where he learned to do field work. He was a very smart young man, after graduating from school he decided in favor of the war and it started his army rescue of Latvia from Bermont's troops. P.Radziņš was one of the most outstanding officers of the Latvian Army and was awarded with numerous Latvian and foreign orders and memorials.

Alfrēds Brūns - Bijušais Pampāļu skolas direktors (līdz 1959.g.)
Underground bunker of the German Army Division headquarters near the "Sirsniņi" house in Pampāļi

Alfred Brun's story about the German headquarters in the yard of his native house, through which a German soldier guided Alfred blindfolded under the cover of night, not knowing that these houses were his own and that Alfred knew every stone in the yard even blindfolded

Karls Grimms, pazudis bez vēsts pie Vaiņodes 1944.gada 27.oktobrī
Missing soldiers of the German army during the Great Battle of Kurzeme

The records of the German army group "North", later renamed "Kurland" during the siege of Courland, still do not contain clear information about the approximately 50 000 German soldiers. These soldiers are listed as missing. Even today, the relatives of these soldiers are trying to find traces of their relatives and ancestors in Kurland, both documentary and physical. One such story is that of Karl Grimm, a German soldier from Swabia (a historical region in south-west Germany, at the source of the Rhine and Danube rivers), whose war career was cut short on 27 October 1944 at the Krūmi home near Vaiņode (5 km to the NW from Vaiņode, Latvia)

10 facts about how the peace of Tartu was born

One of the most striking stories about the birth of the peace of Tartu is how young soldiers were made to march around the city in the winter of 1919/1920. It probably started with the failure of the border negotiations. estap Colonel Viktor Puskar, Commander of the Second Division, ordered the Tartu School Students' Battalion to march around the city in such a way as to repeatedly pass from Aia (now Vanemuise) Street near the conference house as well as Veski Street, where the Russian delegation stopped

Nogalinātie Dailoņa Breikša nacionalo partizanu grupas dalībnieki 1952. gada 16. aprīlī izlikti apskatei Raunas centrā. Avots: Raunas muzejs
About D.Breiksis national partisan group

The memorial site is located on the site of the former “Daiņkalni” and “Graškalni” houses of Rauna Parish, under which a group of national partisans led by Dailonis Breiks (nickname Edgars, 1911-1952) hid in the bunkers created from 1950 to 1952.

Kolka Coast Guard observation tower

The border guard tower is hidden in the last pines of the Cape of Kolka, where the border guard post was constantly located during the USSR and the small masonry wall next to it is now abandoned and destroying destiny.

Skultes bumbvedējs. Foto: Edgars Ražinskis. 2020.
Skulte military bomber

An article in a newspaper vividly demonstrates the situation in modern Latvia, when environmental objects glorifying the Soviet occupation army have been preserved and even restored in many places (often at the expense of the municipality). The indecision of power and the lack of will create long-lasting, confrontational situations in society. The various monuments, memorials and environmental objects are not perceived as places of history or memorial, but as instruments that continue the ideology of the Soviet occupation regime.

Cattle at Piiri Missile Base

The pasture of the local cows was close to the missile base.

Latvijas Centrālās padomes sakarniece Valentine Jaunzeme (Lasmane). V. Lasmanes privātkolekcija.
The successful escape of Valentina Lasmanes

A biographical story written by Valentina Lasmanes about how she managed to escape from detention during the German occupation

Julius Kuperjanov and his tomb

The tomb of Julius Kuperjanov, the hero of the War of Independence, became a symbol of resistance during the Soviet era.

Ģenerālmajors N. Dedajevs
Injury of Major General N. Dedajev at the Middle Fort of Liepāja Fortress

In June 1941, the successful attack of the German army had reached Liepaja, when Liepaja was attacked by the 291st Infantry Division of the German Armored Forces. When hostilities between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union began in June 1941, the Liepaja garrison of the Soviet Army consisted of troops from the Liepaja naval base of the Navy and the Red Army. During these battles Major General N.Dedaev was mortally wounded

Memories of the KGB cells in Tartu

Ülo Raidma, a member of the student resistance organization Sini-Must-Valge, recalls the time spent in his cells.

In the memories of Robert Ancāns at the Battle of Pilsbliden

Robert Ancans (11 November 1919 - 1 January 1982) was an officer of the Latvian Legion, Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross, who took part in the battles of Pilsblidene on 16 and 17 March 1945. The Sixth Kurland Battle is now in its fourth day. Anzāns had served in the Pilsblidene area and therefore knew the area well. Anzans' division is again diverted by another break in the front - an 8km deep invasion by the Red Army. Anzán is wounded in these battles.

Poligons lidar karte
Zvārdenieka's childhood in the shadow of bomb explosions - Polygon summers

Spending my childhood near the Zvārde target range, under the sounds of explosions and flying jet planes, but still sometimes on weekends I could enter the range. After the departure of the Soviet army, the land was littered with bomb craters and many explosive objects, not only from the time of the landfill, but also from World War II.

Discovery at the site of the Grieze filtration camp

Various objects belonging to former soldiers are often found at the site of the Grieze filtration camp and along the roads leading to it. Soldiers, arrested civilians, prisoners of war, etc. disposed of them for various reasons, both to avoid being identified and to avoid being subjected to "special attention".

Sudrabkalniņš 2020. gadā. Foto: Edgars Ražinskis.
Par Sudrabkalniņa atklāšanas svētkiem

Atmiņu stāsta izvilkums no ģenerāļa Jāņa Baloža uzrunas Sudrabkalniņa pieminekļa atklāšanas dienā. Pilnā tekstā ir atstāsts par atklāšanas pasākuma norisi, Valsts prezidenta Kārļa Ulmaņa un ģenerāļa Jāņa Baloža uzrunas. Atmiņas izvēlētas, jo spilgti parāda to kādā stāvoklī bija Latvijas armija, kura cīnās Sudrabkalniņa apkaimē.

IMG 20200819 154303
The fate of Krasnoflotsk after the Soviet withdrawal

After the last Soviet troops left Latvia in 1993, the Krasnoflotsk or Olmani coastal defence battery also came into the possession of the Latvian National Defence Forces. Soon the orphaned property began to be seized by for-profit prospectors.

Latvia and Estonia are building modern submarines

Latvia and Estonia are choosing new and modern weapons to strengthen their military forces - submarines built in France and Great Britain. Two submarines of the Latvian Navy later did not take part in World War II naval battles, but one of the two Estonian submarines dies, while the surviving Lembit is now on display in the restored seaplane hangars in Tallinn in the museum exposition.

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Bijušie bunkura iemītnieki pie "Dunča bunkura" vietas 2001.gadā - pa kreisi Jānis Pirtnieks, pa labi - Jānis Tilibs.
Jānis Tilibs' memories of the partisan unit "Tēvijas Vanagi"

Jānis Tilibs' memoirs about the activities of the partisan unit "Tēvijas Vanagi" in Southern Kurzeme until the year 1950

Baterijas shēma no grāmatas "Пушки Кулянккого берега". Юрий Мельконов, izdevniecība "Gvards", Rīga., 2005.
The story of a unique military object in Karosta

For years, I have not noticed any sustained interest in the unique places just eight to ten kilometres north of the city centre among the residents of Old Liepaja. But hidden in the thicket of the forest, on the dune bank or on the marsh paths, the historic sites of the Karosta are no less interesting historical facts and stories worthy of long-forgotten legends. One of them - the former 23rd Coastal Artillery Battery of the USSR - will be the subject of this story.

Krievijas XII armijas štābs Bērzainē pie Cēsīm. 1916.g. Avots: Krievijas Centrālais Valsts kinofonofotodokumentu arhīvs
Bērzaine Gymnasium - witness of the First World War

In the spring and summer of 1915, German troops occupied Kurzeme and Zemgale. The troops of the warring parties were stationed on the banks of the Daugava. Vidzeme became a frontline territory, but Cēsis became a frontline city, in the vicinity of which the 12th Army Headquarters of the Northern Front of the Tsarist Russian Army was located, which moved to Birkenruh bei Wenden .

Battle of Oskars Kalpaks battalion near Lielauce

On the night of January 15, the Kalpaka Battalion won the first battle near Lielauce, beating the red attack. It was the first significant battle of the Kalpaka Battalion, when the victory gave the soldiers a particularly strong moral impetus.

Avots tiks precizēts
Kurzeme (Female) monument

During the First World War, a monument in the form of a woman was created by the German army

Somu karavīru kapi Bejā (ap 1930.gadu). Avots:
Battle of the Finnish Boys' Regiment "Northern Boys" in Beja

On February 23, 1919, an intelligence unit of the Finnish Volunteer Regiment "Northern Boys", hoping to obtain additional armaments and ammunition, reached the cliff of the river Beja School, where a collision with the Bolsheviks took place (Battle of Babeckas). 10 soldiers of the Finnish regiment fell in this battle.

71 objekts stāsts  220px Würzburg Riese
German army radar post in Ulmale

The German armed forces deployed radar stations in several locations, which allowed much earlier identification of enemy aviation activity in the Kurzeme area.

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In the footsteps of tension

People's memory is sometimes quite short. Now that everyone can go and go wherever they want, many cry for the lost cheap sausage, but have already forgotten that right behind Mērsrags, a striped boom and armed Russian soldiers, called border guards, often landed in front of the road, were passed only with written and stamped props. And not every inhabitant of the Latvian SSR could receive a permit, but only one who had first received a so-called invitation from the Roja or Kolka village council, on the basis of which he could (or could not) receive a visa to enter his militia in ten days. in the restricted border area. I had bought a house on this unfortunate coast of Kurzeme, so every spring I and my family members also had to pray and land so that the authorities would renew the entry permit.

Ziemeļnieki. II.daļa, 1974.gads. Avots:
7. Formation of Sigulda Infantry Regiment

On June 20, 1919, in the Naukšēni manor, near Rūjiena, the formation of the 7th Sigulda Infantry Regiment was started, according to the order of the Commander of the Northern Latvia Brigade, Colonel Jorgs Zemitans. Initially, a small battle group of 22 officers and 1,580 soldiers was formed from the Northern Latvian Brigade Reserve Battalion, which was named the Danker Division in honor of its first commander, Oskars Dankers. A few days later, the unit was included in the 2nd Battalion of the 3rd Jelgava Regiment, but on August 23, adding to the number of jewelry - in the 7th Sigulda Infantry Regiment.

Efforts to prevent the blowing up of Ķegums HPP

During the Second World War, when the armies retreated, a large part of the militarily and logistically important objects in Latvia were blown up, so that these resources would not remain with the current opponents. Such objects were also in the vicinity of Ķegums, where one of the most important objects is the Ķegums HPP, which, however, was not completely destroyed due to the efforts and efforts of its employees.

51. Žanis Lipke. 70.- 80. gadi. Avots: Žaņa  Lipkes memoriāls
Memories about Žanis Lipke

The Soviet occupation was followed by the German occupation. The Nazis committed crimes against the people of Latvia. One such ethnic group was the Jews. Initially, ghettos were established, but then the extermination of the Jews followed. Many Latvians saved Jews from extermination. One of them is Jean Lipke.

Latviešu strēlnieki Ziemassvētku kauju starplaikā. 1917. Avots: Latvijas Kara muzejs
An entry in the diary of the moment when soldiers learn about preparing for the Christmas battles.

Latvian riflemen and their officers were informed at the last minute about the start of the battle. Rūdolfs Ivanovs, a non-commissioned officer of the 5th Zemgale Latvian Rifle Regiment, described in the diary the last evening before the start of the battle. A short, but bright and authentic text that shows a very important moment for a soldier - learns about the day of battle.

Foto vizualizācijai: gaiši pelēkā ir padomju fosfora bumba, kas atrasta Zvārdē
Zvārdenieka's childhood in the shadow of bomb explosions - Phosphorus capsules

Spending my childhood in the vicinity of the Zvārde target range, under the sounds of explosions and flying jet planes, but still sometimes on weekends I could enter the range. After the departure of the Soviet army, the land was littered with bomb craters and many explosive objects, not only from the time of the landfill, but also from the 2nd World War. Especially the boys liked to burn phosphorus capsules ...

Žanis Skudra 1989.gadā
"Diary of Occupied Latvia" by local researcher Žanis Skudra

Žanis Skudra donates all his free time to local research, all his vacations to tours of Latvia. This is how materials, photographs were collected, and the "Book of Occupied Latvia Days" was published by the Latvian National Fund in Stockholm under the pseudonym Jānis Dzintars.

On June 7, 1978, Žani Skudra was arrested in Tallinn and in November of the same year, the Supreme Court of Riga sentenced him to twelve years of imprisonment for treason and espionage.

Settlement of Sēlija forest brothers in Sūpe bog

Sūpe swamp is connected with the places of guerrilla settlements and fighting, which have developed in the interaction of people and places. This is described in the ballad of the Latvian exile Albert Eglītis about the events in his homeland in Sūpe mire "Moss and mud" - a tribute to the partisans of Sūpe mire:

Pranks and games with military ammunition

After the Second World War, the land of Latvia was full of the physical remnants of the war. It was a large number of rounds, unexploded ordnance and simple cartridges. Even today, especially in places where there has been active warfare, unexploded ordnance is found, which is very rare, while in the post-war years these charges in the forests and even in the courtyards were the everyday life of the inhabitants and even children's toys.

28 VĒST karte Rudbarzu Lenuapkartne1920 1930
1. Crossing of the Latvian Separate Battalion Venta on March 3, 1919

One of the main challenges for the units of the 1st Latvian Separate Battalion was to cross the frozen river Venta and build a road across it.

Vilis Spandegs (1890.-1941.) Avots:
Memorial moment in the Garrison Cemetery

After the restoration of Latvia's independence, Uldis Veldre, the head of the department of the Alūksne Brothers' Cemetery Committee, took care of the maintenance of the Garrison Cemetery, the identification of the LKOK-related resting places related to Alūksne and the installation of memorials in the Garrison Cemetery.

Elmāra Heniņa uzņemtajā attēlā redzams ešelons uz Omsku īsi pirms attiešanas 1949. gada 26. martā Skrundas stacijā
Deportation echelon secretly photographed at Skrunda station in 1949

On 25 March 1949, Elmārs Heniņš, a pupil in Skrunda, witnessed his classmates being taken away. He took his camera and climbed a pine tree on a nearby hill to document what was happening, later hiding the pictures.
Alfred Riekstiņš - Knight of the Knight's Cross

At the beginning of 1945, fierce battles are still taking place in the Kurzeme fortress, where Latvians are fighting in the ranks of the German army. One of them was Alfred Riekstiņš in the battle of the 19th division. For his bravery, Riekstiņa is awarded the Knight's Cross and is presented in the Remte Palace. Shortly before the capitulation, he becomes a lieutenant.

The legacy of the legionnaire Andrej Apsīš in the Remte forest

Evidence of the Second World War is found in the forests of Kurzeme from time to time, because lovers of war relics and historical antiques visit the forests and fields of Kurzeme with metal detectors very often. At the beginning of 2021, various documents were found in an ammunition box buried in the forest on the Remte side of Saldus county, which proved belonging to the 19th division of the Latvian Legion, as well as the soldier's personal belongings. They had been lying in the ground for 76 years.

Lõpe-Kaimri defence line

On September 16, 1941, in connection with the successful invasion of German forces in Muhu and Saaremaa, the construction of a line of defense was started in the area between the villages of Lõpe –Teesü –Kaimri.

AlfonsWohlgemuth Kartoffelkeller
The story of 19-year-old Alfons Volgemuts about the intelligence battle on February 17, 1945 near Priekule

Alfons Volgemuth was a 19-year-old boy, a radio operator and served in the army of Nazi Germany.

"No one has come back from this operation and it is not known if there are any survivors. I myself took part in that war as a 19-year-old radio operator and I am one of the 2, later 3 survivors who were taken prisoner by the Russians. I want to reflect the events from my own experience."

2006.gada vasarā O.Kalpaka tiltā ietriecās tankkuģis "Anna"
The story of O. Kalpaks bridge

In its more than 100 years of existence, the bridge has survived two wars and different owners, which have affected its operation. The bridge was blown up during World War I, but was rebuilt after the war, only to be damaged again in 1926 by the steamship Narne. The bridge was rebuilt again, but it also suffered during World War II when the invading Soviet army shelled the port of Liepaja.

Foto: Dainis Karkluvaldis
About Kolka coast border guards

Kolka resident Valija Laukšteine's memories of the times in Kolka when there were border guards.

Aviator Utochkin's flights in Tartu

The first flights in the Estonian sky - a pilot over Utotškin Raad in 1912.

Border guard laundry

Mirdza Stankevica, a resident of Kolka, tells her memories of the times when she was a laundry.

Memories of Spilve helicopter base

During the Soviet era, there was a helicopter base in the southwestern part of Spilve Airport. It could be well seen from the nearby Kleistu forest dunes, as well as from the Riga-Bolderāja railway branch, which led to the Riga varnish and paint factory.

Foto: Embūtes TIC
Embute Church walls - witnesses of World War II

The Embute Church is one of the most vivid witnesses of the Second World War in Kurzeme. Traces of artillery and other shells can still be seen on the church walls and bell tower. The German army used the church (like many others in Kurzeme and elsewhere) for impregnable defensive purposes. As a result, the church was destroyed and has not been rebuilt since the Soviet

Foto: Jana Kalve
"The war is not over until the last soldier is buried" (Saldus German Soldiers' Cemetery)

Kurzeme emerged as a separate and distinct battlefield on 10 October 1944. Some 500 000 German troops were counted as surrounded. According to reports from the 1st Baltic Front Headquarters, only a "small effort" was needed to completely liberate the entire Baltic coast. However, the fighting in Kurland continued for another seven months and Kurland became a symbol of the end of the Second World War. 

During the seven months of fighting until May 1945, German forces in Courland lost 154 108 soldiers killed, wounded and missing. Since 1997, a war cemetery survey and reburial of soldiers near Saldus has been carried out and currently 27,000 names of fallen soldiers can be found here

Legend of the walled-in knight

According to legend, in 1785, a Russian engineer who had drawn up a plan for a convent building found a basement in the eastern corner of the courtyard of the fortress.

Fake amber on the Liepāja side

For more than twenty years, the seaside of Liepāja has been dangerous due to fake amber, which the sea tends to wash away from its depths especially during spring and autumn storms.

VestFOTO StendesStacijaa
The important place of Stendes station in the railway network of the kingdom

The main task of the royal railways in the area of the Partridge Strait was to provide the coastal defense positions of the German army with cannons and ammunition.

Monument to the Liberators of Southern Estonia

A list of the material and cost of making the monument.

Ashtray with panther head from German fortification lines

The last fortification lines of the army group "Kurzeme" were located in the vicinity of Krotė and many objects related to the Second World War have been found there.

Heroism of Colonel Oscar Kalpak in the Battle of Skrunda

Colonel Oskars Kalpaks won the respect of his soldiers by his personal example and encouragement.

Uz ziemeļiem no Dienvidu forta atrodas Liepājas lielākā kapsēta – Centrālā. Kapsētas dienvidu daļā izveidoti Sarkanās armijas karavīru brāļu kapi, kuros pārapbedīti Liepājas apkārtnē kritušie padomju karavīri, tajā skaitā 67. strēlnieku divīzijas komandieris ģenerālmajors Nikolajs Dedajevs, kurš vadīja Liepājas aizsardzību 1941. gada jūnijā.
Monument to the commander of the 67th Red Army Rifle Division N. Dedayev

To the north of the South Fort is the largest cemetery in Liepāja - the Central Cemetery. In the southern part of the cemetery there is a Red Army cemetery, where Soviet soldiers who died in the vicinity of Liepāja are reburied, including the commander of the 67th Rifle Division, Major General Nikolai Dedaev, who led the defence of Liepāja in June 1941.

LKM Redans cvvm41217
Battle of Redan in November 1919

Donāts Pudulis was a sergeant of Liepaja Military Port Commandant's Office, who received the Order of the Battle of the Battle of the Bulge for bravery and valour on 14 November 1919, when after the enemy attacked Redāns Fort, he took over the command of the commandant's company from the mortally wounded Lieutenant Commander Robert Radziņš and in a swift counterattack drove the enemy out of the fort, taking 8 prisoners and 2 working machine guns. His life up to the Battle of Liepaja is interesting. He volunteered for the Siberian Rifle Regiment in 1911 at the age of 16. In 1914 he took part in the battles against the German army at Warsaw, Lodz and elsewhere on the Polish front, and later in the battles against the Austrian army. In 1915 he sailed to France via Vladivostok as part of the Russian Expeditionary Corps and fought for 4 months at Verdun. At the beginning of 1917 he joined the Latvian Rifle Regiments, and on 7 April 1919 - the Latvian Armed Forces in Liepaja.

Remtes baznīca ap 1985.gadu. Oriģināla glabātājs: Jaņa Rozentāla Saldus vēstures un mākslas muzejs
How the Red Army soldiers burned the Remte church

After the capitulation of Germany and Army Group "Kurland" on May 8 and 9, 1945, the winners celebrated their victory in various ways in many places in Kurzeme. In Remte, during these celebrations, the Remte church was burned down. The church bell ringer's family kept the church bell in their homestead throughout the occupation.