1918 – 1920 I Maailmasõda ja iseseisvumine - ajajoon

Esimese maailmasõja lõpp tä¬histas ühtlasi ka vabadussõja algust nii Eestis kui Lätis. Kaks noort riiki võitlesid üheaegselt mitme vaenlasega ja tõestasid oma suutlikkust eksisteerida ise¬seisva riigina.

November 1918
Soviet Russia invades Latvia

Soviet Russia annulled the Brest-Litovsk treaty, by which it had given Germany the Baltic territories.  The Red Army crossed Latvia's border on November 22, and on December 9, it took over Daugavpils without a battle. The Latvian red riflemen units were part of the Soviet Russian attack.

28. novembril 1918
Algas Vabadussõda

Punaarmee alustas pealetungi Narvale ja algas relvastatud konflikt Nõukogude Venemaa ja Eesti Vabariigi vahel.

29. novembril 1918
Narvas kuulutati välja Eesti Töörahva Kommuun, vormiliselt iseseisev Eesti nõukogude vabariik

Sisuliselt oli tegu Nõukogude Venemaa marionettriigiga, mis loodi selleks, et näidata Eestis toimuvat kodusõjana. Samaaegselt tegid põrandaalused kommunistlikud agitaatorid kogu Vabadussõja vältel aktiivset õõnestustööd Eesti tagalas ja sõjaväe ridades.

December 7, 1918
An agreement with Germany on establishing forces to defend Latvia

The new Latvian state did not have an army, so the temporary government of Latvia contracted with an authorised person from the German government on the establishment of armed forces.  These included an Iron Brigade (later division) consisting of volunteers from the 8th German Army, as well as the Landeswehr, which was established by Baltic Germans and included Latvian companies.

December 17, 1919
Formation of government for Latvia led by Pēteris Stučka

Supporters of the Bolsheviks in Moscow proclaimed the Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic led by Pēteris Stučka. 

23. detsembril 1918
Sõjavägede ülemjuhatajaks nimetati polkovnik Johan Laidoner, kelle eesmärk oli tõrjuda Punaarmee Eestist välja
January 3, 1919
The Soviet Red Army enters Rīga

As Soviet military units approached Rīga, the Landeswehr units failed to delay them at Inčukalns.  Most people supported the Bolsheviks, so the temporary government was forced to move to Liepāja.  The Student Company accompanied it, while other units retreated to Jelgava.  The Soviet Latvian government led by Pēteris Stučka arrived in Rīga by train on the night of January 3.  For the next five months, "red terror" ruled Rīga, Kurzeme and Vidzeme.  Famine spread, and people began to detest the Bolsheviks.  The Bolsheviks controlled nearly all of Latvia, except for the area around Liepāja.

January 5, 1919
Establishment of a separate Latvian battalion

Units loyal to the temporary Latvian government retreated to Jelgava, and that is where the 1st separate Latvian Battalion was established under the command of Colonel Oskars Kalpaks.  The units continued to retreat to the Venta River.

​7. jaanuaril 1919
Ümberkorraldatud Eesti väed alustasid koos Soome vabatahtlikega üldist vastupealetungi

Veebruari alguseks oli kogu Eesti territoorium enamlastest vabastatud. Oluline roll oli sealjuures vabatahtlike üksustel, nt kõrge moraaliga soomusrongide meeskondadel ja Julius Kuperjanovi pataljonil. Siitmaalt ja mitte enam!

31. jaanuar 1919
Toimus Paju lahing

Toimus Paju lahing Eesti Rahvaväe Tartu-Valga grupi ja Punaarmee Läti punaste küttide vahel. Paju mõisa pärast toimunud lahingus sõjaliselt olulise Valga linna ja raudteesõlme langemine Eesti vägede kätte. Lahingus sai surmavalt haavata Eesti vägede rünnakut juhtinud Julius Kuperjanov. Tegemist oli Vabadussõja ühe veriseima lahinguga. Eesti poolel oli langenuid 34, hiljem haavadesse surnuid 12, teadmata kadunuid 2 ning haavatuid 92. Punaarmee kaotas langenute, haavadesse surnute ja teadmata kadunute (ilmselt lahingu lõpus tapetute) näol ligi 30 meest, haavatuid oli vähemalt 40. 

 

March-May 1919
Liberation of Kurzeme and Rīga of the Bolsheviks

By February, the command of all Bolshevik forces in Kurzeme and Northern Lithuania was taken over by General Rüdiger von der Goltz.  He commanded the Landeswehr and Latvian units, Iron Division, and the 6th German Reserve Corps.  On March 3, these units launched an operation called "Thaw" to liberate Kurzeme and Zemgale.  During a misunderstanding on March 6, Colonel Oskars Kalpaks and three other officers were killed by friendly fire.  Command of the Latvian units was taken over by Lt Col Jānis Balodis.  The attack continued, and the Soviet Latvian army was pushed back to the Lielupe River via several battles.  An attack to Rīga began on May 22.  The Bolsheviks were defeated and fled, rapidly leaving Rīga and Vidzeme and taking up positions in Latgale.  The Soviet Latvian government left Latvia at first, but it returned to Rēzekne in July.

April 16, 1919
A coup in Liepāja against the temporary Latvian government

Hoping to establish policies more favourable to Germany, the Pfeffer Battalion and Landeswehr attack battalions overthrew the Latvian temporary government with the support of von der Goltz.  They established a pro-German government run by Oskars Borkovskis, who was replaced by Andrievs Niedra on May 10.  The temporary government led by Kārlis Ulmanis took refuge on the Saratov ship in the Liepāja port.  Warships from the Entente guarded it.  Niedra's government lasted until the end of June when, after a loss at a battle at Cēsis, it turned over its authority to the Entente.  The Ulmanis government returned to Liepāja on June 27, and on July 8, the Saratov brought it back to Rīga.  This period of time is known in Latvian history as the "period of three governments."

​23. aprillil 1919
Tallinnas kogunes Eesti Asutav Kogu

Kogunes Tallinnas Eesti Asutav Kogu, mille suurimateks saavutusteks oli põhiseaduse ja maaseaduse vastuvõtmine. Viimase põhjal teostati 1920. aastal radikaalne maareform, mis oli suunatud valdavalt saksa rahvusest mõisnike suurmaaomandi riigistamisele ja talurahvale, eeskätt Vabadussõjast osavõtnutele, maa jagamisele.

Mai 1919
Sõjategevus kandus Eesti aladelt välja Loode-Venemaale ja Lätti

The front moves out of Estonian territories to North-western Russia and Latvia.

 

Juuni-juuli 1919
Toimus nn Landeswehri sõda

Selle käigus lõid Eesti väed Lätis asunud kindralmajor Rüdiger von der Goltzi sakslastest koosnevat väegruppi, kuhu kuulus palju baltisaksa aadli esindajaid Läti ja Eesti aladelt. Landeswehrile kaotusega lõppenud relvakonflikti tagajärjel tuli Lätis võimule Kārlis Ulmanise valitsus ja Eestile oli lõunapiiril kindlustatud sõbraliku Läti Vabariigi olemasolu. Et Ida-Läti oli veel Punaarmee käes ning Läti Vabariigi armee vajas esialgu organiseerimist, võttis Eesti väejuhatus sealse rinde kaitsmise osaliselt enda peale (kuni detsembrini 1919).

June 19, 1919
Battles at Cēsis among Latvian-Estonian and German military forces

The temporary Latvian government agreed on military co-operation with the Estonian government, and the Northern Latvian Brigade was established in March 1919 under the command of Col Jorģis Zemitāns.  Latvians from Estonia and Northern Latvia were drafted.  When Rīga was liberated from the Bolsheviks, Iron Division and Landeswehr units continued to move toward the north-east.  In early June, they encountered the Estonian army and the Northern Latvian Brigade units.  After the Bolsheviks were kicked of Estonia, the Kārlis Ulmanis government allowed the units to enter Vidzeme.  No agreement was reached on their right to be in the region, and that led to an increased conflict among Latvian, Estonia and German units.  The battle at Cēsis involved temporary Latvian government units and the Estonian army, and they defeated the German Landeswehr and the Iron Division.  The defeated units retreated to Rīga, and after an armistice concluded at Strazdumuiža on July 3, they retreated to Zemgale.  The Landeswehr was made up of Baltic Germans, and it was reorganised into a Latvian military unit that was sent to the front lines in Latgale.

19. kuni 23. juuni 1919
Toimus lahing Cēsise (eesti keeles Võnnu) lähistel

Lahing toimus Cēsise (eesti keeles Võnnu) lähistel Põhja-Lätis eestlaste ja Saksa Landeswehri vahel. Lahingu võitsid eestlased. Hiljem hakati seda päeva Eestis tähistama võidupühana.

July 10, 1919
Establishment of the Latvian army

The Latvian army was established by merging the Southern Latvian Brigade that was commanded by Col Jānis Balodis and the Northern Latvian Brigade that was commanded by Col Jorģis Zemitāns.  General Dāvids Simansons was put in command of the army, which initially involved two divisions.  The Southern Latvian Brigade was turned into the Kurzeme Division with the 1st Liepāja, 2nd Ventspils and 3rd Jelgava infantry regiments.  The Northern Latvian Brigade was turned into the Vidzeme division with the 4th Valmiera, 5th Cēsis and 6th Rīga infantry regiments.  In August, work was done to prepare the Latgale Division with the 7th Sigulda, 8th Daugavpils and 9th Rēzekne infantry regiments, the aim being to liberate Latgale.  The Zemgale Division was established in January 1920 with the 10th Aizpute, 11th Dobele and 12th Bauska infantry regiments.  The army was supplemented with artillery units, mounted units, and engineering and technical units, among them, aviation and navy.

1919
The fight against Bermont-Avalov

On October 8, a Western Russian volunteer army commanded by Pavel Bermont-Avalov attacked Rīga.  Bermont was an ambitious officer from the Russian Empire's army, and he was firmly opposed to the Bolsheviks.  The aim was to reinstate the power of the tsar in Russia, and so early in 1919, with support from Germany, Bermont-Avalov started to look for Russian prisoners of war who would join his efforts.  This group arrived in June in Kurzeme, and after a defeat at Cēsis, some German forces joined with Bermont's efforts.  The aim was to establish countries in the Baltic region which would oppose the Bolsheviks, but would be loyal to the Germans.  The Entente provided military, material and technical aid to Latvia in the fight against Bermont-Avalov.  Estonia briefly sent an armoured train to help out.  The front lines were in the city centre of Rīga for about a month.  On November 11, 1919, Bermont-Avalov and his men were kicked out of Rīga, and on November 21, they were expelled from Jelgava.  Soon the forces were completely defeated.  During the war, Latvia's temporary government was forced to find refuge in Cēsis for one day.  As soon as the situation stabilised, it returned to Rīga, where some members of the Cabinet of Ministers enlisted in the army.

​5. detsember 1919
Algasid rahukõnelused Nõukogude Venemaaga
3. jaanuar 1920
Hakkas kehtima relvarahu
February 1, 1920
The Army of Latvia liberates Latgale from the Bolsheviks

Bermont's attack against Rīga delayed the liberation of Latgale, which was an important prerequisite for organising Constitutional Council elections in Latvia.  In late August, the Polish army established a front line against the Bolsheviks to the south of Daugavpils, and by December, it had attacked the city several times.  That month, the commanders of Latvia's army agreed with the Polish forces on a simultaneous and co-ordinated operation to liberate Latgale.  The Poles attacked Daugavpils on January 3, and that was the start of the process.  Latvia s army attacked Northern Latgale on January 9, and on January 20, the Latvian army and the Landeswehr began an attack against Rēzekne.  By late January, all of Latvia was under Latvian and Polish control.

2. veebruar 1920
Allkirjastati Tartu rahuleping

Tartu rahulepinguga tunnustas Venemaa Eesti iseseisvust igaveseks ajaks ja loobus kõigist taotlustest Eesti ala valitsemiseks.

August 11, 1920
The end of Latvia's War of Independence

After the defeat of German forces in Kurzeme, Latvia's temporary government declared war on Germany on November 25, 1919.  The war ended on July 15, 1920, and less than a month later, after long and complicated peace negotiations, a peace treaty was signed with Soviet Russia on August 11.  Soviet Russia promised to waive its right to Latvia and her people for time eternal.  Latvia's War of Independence lasted for 628 days, and the result was a country that was based on territories that had historically been populated by Latvians - Kurzeme, Zemgale, Sēlija, Vidzeme and Latgale.