Bermontia I Wars of Independence

Bermontiad is part of the Latvian freedom struggle, in which the Latvian army, with the support of the Entente allies, from October 8, 1919 to December 3, 1919. It began with the attack of the Bermont army on Riga and ended with its defeat and expulsion from Latvia. The forces led by Pavel Bermont were better equipped and numerically larger, but the soldiers of the newly established Latvian army responded with vigor and patriotism.

The decisive turning point took place on November 10 and 11, 1919, when the Latvian Army liberated Pardaugava from the Bermontians and the soldiers of the Bermont Army (Western Russian Volunteer Army) retreated to Jelgava, the liberation of which on November 21 actually ended in Bermontia. Until the complete liberation of the territory of Latvia, heavy battles had to be fought, but Bermontia was one of the most significant turning points in the War of Independence of Latvia.

This was one of the bloodiest pages of the Latvian War of Independence (1918-1920) and at the same time a confirmation of the national will of the newly formed Latvian state, the first great victory of the Latvian Army as a unified independent unit. Bermontiad has a not only military significance in the history of Latvia, but also a sign of the heroism of the Latvian people. In the fierce battles, it was confirmed that the people of Latvia are able to fight for their own future. Most were united in the struggle not only for independence but also for the ideals of democracy, social and national justice. For Latvia, this victory meant the final liberation from German armed forces, as well as the opportunity to focus on the liberation of Latgale from Soviet Russia.

Pavel Bermont-Avalov (1877-1973) in this struggle was a symbol of everything the creators of the new Latvian state opposed. The self-proclaimed colonel cherished hopes for the restoration of the former Russian Empire, despising the right of small states to independence. In the revival of the collapsed empire, the new Latvian state of Bermont had exactly the same enemy as the Bolsheviks in Moscow.

Celebrating the liberation of Pārdaugava from the Bermontians, November 11 is now celebrated as Lāčplēsis Day, honoring the Latvian soldiers.

More information sources 2020. Bermontiad - an episode of the Latvian freedom struggle. Available: [accessed 06.05.2021].

Related objects

Sudrabkalniņš hill - memorial for fight against Bermondt army

Located in Riga, Pardaugava, at the intersection of Sloka and Kurzeme Avenue.

At the beginning of November 1919, during the Latvian War of Independence, street battles between the Latvian Army and Bermont troops took place in Pardaugava. A decisive attack on the Bermont army took place in the area. In 1937, according to the project of Kārlis Zāle, a monument was unveiled in Sudrabkalniņa, honoring the fallen soldiers of the 6th Riga Infantry Regiment and highlighting the military features.

Designed as a memorial wall - a symbolic fortification, the gate of which depicts a lion blocking the path of an opponent's attack. Bricked from the stone blocks of the Daugavgrīva fortress protective wall and forged from the remaining granite of the Freedom Monument. The cost of the memorial site was almost 35,000 lats. For comparison, 4 “Ford - Vairogs V8 De Luxe” cars manufactured in Latvia could be purchased for such an amount.

Today you can see one of the most impressive places of remembrance of the War of Independence.

A place of remembrance of the events of the Latvian War of Independence in Mārupe

It is located in the Mārupe region, on the side of the road between the Viesturi golf club and the Božu reservoir.

The memorial was opened in 2013. The history of the area is connected with the battle of the Latvian army against Bermont troops in 1919. Not far from Adainai's house, units of the Latvian army were stationed in combat positions.

During the War of Independence, due to the difficult situation, the Latvian government lacked the opportunity to supply the army with the necessary supplies. The appearance and armament of the soldiers varied. Most often, supply was based on the soldiers' ability to provide for themselves. At the end of September and beginning of October 1919, a Latvian military order came from Great Britain to eliminate the shortcomings. A month later, he also received a delivery of English armaments. With the first shipments, it was understood that Britain was getting rid of unnecessary stocks. Dirty, worn clothes and shoes, often too small, were also received. Soldiers wearing inappropriate footwear created health problems that affected combat capabilities. The garment was mended and re-stitched. The main unifying symbol was the 11-ray sun sign on the hat and a red-and-white armband around the left arm.

Today, several places of remembrance can be seen here. The facilities are part of a scenic, specially designed history and nature hiking route.

Guide Miķelis Yakunovs, +371 28353679.


The second monument to the soldiers of the first independent Latvia in Marupe

is located in Mārupe district, before the building of the golf club "Viesturi" on the forest road, opposite the sign to the golf training ground.

The authors of the project idea are Miķelis Jakunovs, Mārupe region guide, and Visvaldis Dumpis, the owner of the plot of land "Dumpmaļi".

In November 2014, during the week of Latvian patriots, in honor of Latvian soldiers, a second monument to Latvian soldiers was unveiled in the forest near Dzilnupīte, on the border of Mārupe and Babīte counties, in one of the battle sites of the First World War. The conceptual author and financier of the monuments is Visvaldis Dumpis, they were created by sculptor Ivars Feldbergs. The owner of the memorial, Visvaldis Dumpis, would like people to gather here not only on June 14 and March 25, but also on July 10, the anniversary of the founding of the national defense forces, and other important historical events for Latvians.
On November 9, 2018, an informative stand about the history of the place and attractions was opened near the monument. It is dedicated to the history of the place, telling about the "Adieņi" houses that once existed here and the Ķurbja family living there, the events of the First World War in the area, as well as the historical objects that can no longer be seen in nature - Dūči Bridge, Dzirnava Pond and Mill, Hunting Baths.

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.

North Pier and Battery No.3 in Karosta

The longest pier in Latvia - the Northern Pier - was built at the end of the 19th century as a very important part of the Liepaja Sea Fortress and military port. The length of the pier is 1800 metres, the width - 7.35 metres.

The Northern Pier is one of the first port structures of Emperor Alexander III, built between 1890 and 1892 before the excavation of the Karosta Canal. Together with the North Breakwater, the South Breakwater and the South Pier, the pier formed the outpost of Liepaja.

Liepaja Fortress Battery No 3 was located next to the North Pier of the Karosta and was planned to be the largest in terms of armament. Platforms were built for four 6-inch (152 mm) guns of the 1892 model of the Canet system, five 11-inch (280 mm) guns of the 1887 model and two 57 mm Nordenfeld anti-tank guns, as well as 18 9-inch (229 mm) guns and mortars.

Today, Battery 3 is most affected by the prevailing south-north sea current, which creates a whirlpool effect behind the North Pier, resulting in the washouts of the gun platform foundations.

The North Pier protects the Liepaja harbour area from North Westerly winds. It is a favourite place for residents and visitors to Liepaja to watch sunsets, fish and watch the sea in different weather conditions. Especially spectacular during storms.

There is ample parking at the North Pier. There are also restrooms and a café with a unique sea view.

Alūksne Museum

The Alūksne Museum is located in an architectural monument of national significance: the neo-Gothic Alūksne New Castle built in the late 19th century. The museum features an exhibition named ‘Memorial Room for Victims of the Totalitarian Regime’, which tells about the fate of the inhabitants of Alūksne municipality in Siberia and the Far East, while the time periods from prehistory to the present meet in the Alūksne history exhibit ‘Feast of the Ages’. It features a separate section devoted to the contribution of the 7th Sigulda Infantry Regiment to the military, culture and public life. The formation of the 7th Sigulda Infantry Regiment began on 20 June 1919 in the Naukšēni Manor. Initially, a battle group of 22 officers and 1,580 soldiers was formed from the reserve battalion of the Northern Latvian Brigade, and was named the Dankers Division. It was included in the 2nd Battalion of the 3rd Jelgava Regiment. On 23 August, following an increase in the number of companies, it became part of the 7th Sigulda Infantry Regiment. Having taken part in the battles against Bermondt, on 5 January 1920, the regiment was transferred to the Latgale front to fight the Bolsheviks. After the signing of the Peace Treaty with Soviet Russia, the regiment guarded Latvia’s eastern border. The Latvian War of Independence saw the deaths of more than 200 soldiers of the regiment, while 85 were awarded the Lāčplēsis War Order. In 1921, the 7th Sigulda Infantry Regiment was stationed in Alūksne. The regiment’s headquarters were set up in the Alūksne New Castle. After World War II, the castle was taken over by Soviet security institutions. As of the late 1950s, the castle housed various cultural institutions: the Culture and Cinematography Department of the Executive Committee, a pioneer house, a library, a cinema and a museum.

Related stories

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).

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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