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.

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."

The daily routine of Latvian riflemen on the Island of Death

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

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.

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.

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

Crossing the border area

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

Muhu Mother

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

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.

Battle at Skrunda School on January 22, 1919

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

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.

Damage to Irbene radio telescopes

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

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.

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.

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

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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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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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

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.

Coastal battery at Olmaņi

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

 
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

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.

 
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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Nature photos of the Uzava coast and Soviet border guards

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

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.

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.

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 ...

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.

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.

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.

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.

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).

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.

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)

The legend of Ruhnu Lighthouse

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

On Košradznieki relations with Soviet army

Imants Upner's memories of the Soviet era.

Night Battle of Tehumardi

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Recollections of Olev Metsmaa

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

"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?

“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.

 
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

Pēteris Čevers - national partisan and commander of a partisan group

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

Memories of Jean Lipki

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.

Strangulation of Bishop Heinrich III

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

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

A mess of Krasnoflotskaya letters

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

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

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.

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.

 
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.

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.

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.

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".

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.

Lady Kathleen

What happened to Lady Kathleen?

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.

Abruka

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

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.

 
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.

"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

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.

Winged soldiers

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

Flight to Vaiņode airfield

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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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.

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.

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.

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.

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

Kurzeme (Female) monument

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

Hans-Gotthard Pestke

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

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.

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.

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.

Border regime area

About times in the border regime area.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Slītere State Reserve in the border regime zone

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

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

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.

About Kolka border guards

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

Kogula Airport in Saaremaa

The Kogula Air Force Base was established in August 1940.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

 
Friendly Ragaciems border guard

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

Stories of sunken machinery

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

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.

About Kolka coast border guards

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

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.

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.

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.

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

Baski päritolu lendur Benito Aguirre

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

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.

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.

Memories of the border area

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

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.

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?

 
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.

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.

 
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.

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.

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.

Living conditions in Maantee

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

"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.

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.

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

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.

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.

"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.

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 .

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.

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.

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.

Cattle at Piiri Missile Base

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

Stebel battery construction

Battery construction was hugely expensive.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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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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.

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.

The Battle of Avinurme

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

Akmeņrags military complex

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

Memories of the Kolka border area

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

The fate of Alexander Stebel, the battery commander.

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

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

Border guard laundry

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

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.

"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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Avinurme lahing

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

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:

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.

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.

Strangers in the border area

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

 
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.

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.

Aviator Utochkin's flights in Tartu

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

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

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.

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.

Teenistus Mõntu patareis nr 458

Patareis teeninud sõduri meenutused

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.

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.

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.

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.)

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.

 
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.

 
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).

Monument to the Liberators of Southern Estonia

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

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

Pāvilostnieki

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

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".

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

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.