LKOK, General Pēteris Radziņš (1880-1930)
I WW1 & Wars of Independence


Pēteris Voldemārs Radziņš was born on May 2, 1880 in Lugažu Parish. Studied at Lugaži Parish School, Valka City School and Valka Nelson Real School.

In 1898, as a volunteer, Radziņš enlisted in the service of the Russian army. In 1899 he was sent to Vilnius Junker School, where he graduated in 1901. Participated in the Russia-Japan war. From 1907 to 1910, Radziņš studied at the General Staff Academy, obtaining the rank of captain. In 1912 he was transferred to the General Staff of the Russian Empire. Radziņš welcomed the First World War as a senior staff adjutant of the 38th Infantry Division. In 1914 he fought near Warsaw, Lodz, etc., but in the spring of 1915 near Siauliai and later in Jelgava district. In May 1917 he was promoted to colonel. During his service in the Russian Imperial Army, Peteris Radziņš was awarded the 4th class St. Order of St. George, 2nd and 3rd class St. Order of Stanislav, Class II, III and IV St. Anna of the Order. In March 1918 he joined the army of the Ukrainian state Hetman Skoropadsky, where he was the Chief of the Organization-Training Division of the General Staff, and from December he was the Assistant to the Chief of the General Staff of the Army of the People's Republic of Ukraine. He served here until September 1919, but returned to Latvia in October.

From October 27, 1919, Radziņš was appointed Chief of Staff of the Chief of the Army in the rank of colonel in the Latvian Army. In this position he led all the battles for the liberation of Riga, Zemgale and Latgale. On February 5, 1920, he was promoted to general.

On August 13, 1920, Radziņš was among the seven highest officers, the first to be awarded the Lāčplēsis War Order. He was awarded the first with the III class Lāčplēsis War Order with No. 1. Appointed a member of the Lāčplēsis Military Order Council at the same time as the award. He resigned voluntarily in October 1920. He has written on military history and military theory. Participated in the preparation and training of officers as a lecturer at the Military School, Aviation School and Officers' Course.

In February 1924, he was appointed commander of the Latvian Army. In 1927 he was awarded the 2nd class Lāčplēsis War Order and elected the secretary of the Lāčplēsis War Order Council. In 1928, he was voluntarily relieved of his duties as commander of the army and appointed head of the academic courses of the War. During his service in the Latvian Army, in addition to the already mentioned Lāčplēsis War Orders, he was also awarded the Order of the Three Stars of the First Class, the Order of the Estonian Freedom Cross, the Order of the French Legion of Honor, the Order of Virtuti Militari, the Class I White Roses and the Order of the Swedish Spear of the First Class. Radziņš was an honorary doctor of the student corporation Tervetia.

General Pēteris Radziņš died on October 8, 1930 in Rīga and was buried in the Riga Brothers Cemetery.

The General Radziņš Society, founded in 2015, takes care of preserving the memory of General Radziņš. At the initiative of the association, the Riga City Council decided to rename the beginning of Krasta Street to the embankment of General Radziņš. On June 12, 2018, Staicele Sports Vocational High School will be awarded the name of General Pēteris Radziņš.

More information sources

Knights of the Lāčplēsis War Order: Biographical Dictionary. Riga: Jāņa Sēta, 1995.… .p.

Senior officers of the Latvian Army (1918-1940), biographical dictionary (compiled by Ēriks Jēkabsons, Valters Ščerbinskis); Latvian State Historical Archive

Collection of articles by Pēteris Voldemārs Radziņš; comp. A.Purvins. - Valmiera: General Peter Radziņa Society, 2016:

Related objects

Memorial place of General Pēteris Radziņš

Located in Valka parish, driving on the road Valka - Rūjiena (P22) 4 kilometers, to the right, following the signs.

Pēteris Radziņš was born on May 2, 1880 in Lugavis Parish, Jaunvīndedze. Studied at Lugaži Parish School, Valka City School and Valka Nelson Real School. Joined the Russian army as a volunteer. In the autumn of 1919, he returned to Latvia and on October 27 was appointed Chief of Staff of the Commander-in-Chief of the Army, assuming this position at a time when the Bermontians were threatening Riga. As the chief of staff, he has led all the battles of Riga, Zemgale and Latgale. Promoted to General on February 5, 1920.

Today, a memorial stone dedicated to General Pēteris Radziņš (1880 - 1930) can be seen near the family house.

On November 11, 2017, a memorial plaque to Pēteris Radziņš was unveiled in Riga, at the corner of the Daugava gate.

Video: Memorial event of General P. Radziņš in Riga Brothers Cemetery in 2019

Video: On May 2, 2019, on the 139th birthday of General Pēteris Radziņš, a commemoration event took place on the embankment of November 11, near the Presidential Palace, covering the memorial plaque to the guard of honor and those interested.

The exposition of Valka Local History Museum “Valka - the cradle of Latvia's independence” also reflects the life and work of General Pēteris Radziņš.
In addition to the traditional ways of displaying the collection, the exhibition uses interactive multimedia solutions. Information and annotations translated into Estonian and English.

Exhibition “Valka – the cradle of Latvia’s independence”

The Valka Local History Museum is located in Valka, on the right side of Rīgas street, in the historical building of the Vidzeme Parish School Teacher Training Seminary. From 1853 to 1890, the building was home to the Vidzeme Parish School Teacher Training Seminary. Until 1881, it was led by Jānis Cimze, a teacher and founder of Latvian choir culture. After the School Teacher Training Seminary was closed, the building served various educational, cultural and household needs for 80 years. The building has been home to the Valka Local History Museum since 1970. The museum’s permanent exhibit – ‘Valka, the Cradle of Latvia’s Independence’ – has been set up as a story about social and political events in Valka from 1914 to 1920 when Latvia became an independent state. The exhibit reflects the preparation leading up to the establishment of the Latvian state and the formation of the North Latvian Brigade in Valka. Through four senses, namely, the Road, the Council, the Headquarters and the Home, the exhibit focuses on topics related to the city of Valka, refugees, the founding of the Latvian Farmers’ Union (1917), the 

Latvian Provisional National Council (1917), the Latvian Provisional National Theatre (1918), the Provisional Government of Soviet Latvia known as the Iskolat, the North Latvian Brigade (1919) and General Pēteris Radziņš. In addition to the traditional ways of showcasing collections, the exhibit makes use of interactive multimedia solutions.

Related stories

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.