Latvian Riflemen in the First World War I WW1

Latviešu strēlnieki pēc apbalvošanas par uzbrukumu Vācijas armijai pie Veisu māju apkārtnē. 1915. Avots: Latvijas Kara muzejs.

World War I was a turning point in European history, and it was so in the history of Latvia. Already in 1915, war broke out throughout Europe, and in the summer of that year, the story of the heroic Latvian riflemen began. Thousands of volunteers in Latvia joined the army and established their own national units. Thousands of men wanted to voluntarily confront the enemy side by side with their compatriots.

In the spring of 1915, German troops invaded the territory of Latvia, and after almost six months of war, the front stabilized, splitting Latvia into two parts. The river Daugava became the front line and symbolic border, on the banks of which many native houses and relatives remained. The heroic predecessors of the Latvian riflemen were the two joint battalions of the Daugavgrīva fortress, which waged heavy battles against the invading Germans.

By the spring of 1915, the Russian military authorities had received several proposals to establish Latvian national military units. However, they were all rejected. After the successful battles of the Daugavgrīva Fortress National Guard battalions near Jelgava in early May 1915, the idea of the need for Latvian military formations reappeared. One of the most prominent Latvian politicians of that time, Jānis Goldmanis, a deputy of the Russian State Duma, stood for it. In order to discuss this idea and the possibilities of its implementation, on June 1, 1915, he invited prominent representatives of the Latvian intelligentsia, military and economic circles to a secret meeting.

The catastrophic situation of the Russian army in the summer of 1915 was one of the most important factors in obtaining a favorable decision to form Latvian units, promising Latvian command language, Latvian inscriptions on battle flags and special chest meanings. Hopes for political reforms after the end of the war also remained - the introduction of a larger local government in Latvia, administrative reform and cultural autonomy.

On August 10, 1915, the newspaper Dzimtenes Vēstnesis published an invitation written by writers Ata Ķeniņš and Kārlis Skalbe and signed by the deputies of the Russian State Duma Jānis Goldmanis and Jānis Zālītis, battalions and defend your homeland against German invaders.

In the early days, so many men arrived that the organizing committees worked even at night. There were many young men among the volunteers who had not experienced either war or service, but their enthusiasm also attracted older men who knew where they were going. A total of about 8,000 volunteers applied, and there were up to 25,000 men in Latvian rifle battalions throughout World War I. Until 1916, Latvian riflemen united in Daugavgrīva battalion, battalions of Rīga, Kurzeme, Vidzeme, Zemgale, Tukums, Bauska, Valmiera and Reserve, which were renamed regiments in later war years.

The Latvian Rifle Battalions went to the first battles in October 1915 to stop the German attack on Riga. In the summer and autumn of 1916, the riflemen fought on the Island of Death;

After the end of the First World War, some Latvian riflemen remained in Russia and fought in the Civil War on various sides of the front, some participated in the Freedom Fights in Latvia. In 1920, with the advent of peacetime, a large number of former riflemen who had spent the last five years at war returned to Latvia.

Of the approximately 3,000 Latvian riflemen who fell before 1917, 870 are buried in the Riga Brothers' Cemetery. Due to other reasons, it was not possible to transport them to Riga, therefore the burials of Latvian soldiers can be found in Sloka, Ķemeri, Tīnūži, Ķekava and elsewhere.

In addition to the events of the First World War, there was in fact another struggle in Latvia - a struggle for the self-confidence of Latvians, and at that time also a hope for the creation of one's own country was born from the spirit of the rifle struggle.

Daugiau informacijos šaltinių

1. Documentary "Under the Latvian Flags. The Birth of Heroes", 2015. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GmZV74r6EbI [accessed: 04.05.2021].

2. The blizzard of souls. Digital Museum. Available: https://www.dveseluputenis.lv/lv/laika-skala/notikums/67/latviesu-inteligence-nolemj-dibinat-strelnieku-vienibas/ [accessed: 05.05.2021].

3. Zariņš K. “The First World War in Latvia and the Fighters of Latvian Riflemen”, 2015. Available: https://www.sargs.lv/lv/pirmais-pasaules-kars/2015-07-15/pirmais-pasaules-kars- latvia-and-latvian-strelnieku-cinas [viewed: 05.05.2021.].

Jūsų komentarai

Please make corrections to the list of fallen Latvian archers. My grandmother's brother Indriķis Kadiķis, Jēkab's son, died on January 16, 1917, was born in Snæpel

 
Guntars Burkovskia
2024-03-19 20:29:14

Susijusios vietos

The Christmas Battle museum and outdoor exhibition

The Christmas Battle Memorial Park and Museum is located in Jelgava municipality, Valgunde parish, in the Mangaļi homestead. This museum is a branch of the Latvian War Museum. It was opened in 2005 and is located in the area where Christmas Battles took place. Unique World War I fortifications still remain in locations where battles took place. The indoor exhibit contains objects found in the battlefield. The open-air exposition has reconstructed fortifications. There are tourist routes and informative trails in the vicinity of the museum. The open-air exposition of World War I fortifications and indoor exhibits are available to visitors every day. Unique evidence of World War I fortifications can still be found in the vicinity of Ložmetējkalns. There is a 27 m tall observation tower that provides a panoramic view of the area where the Christmas Battle took place. The Christmas Battle is probably the best known and most dramatic event of World War I in Latvia. It has a special place in Latvia’s military and cultural history. This engagement is mainly associated with the attack of Latvian Riflemen on the German Army units in extremely harsh and unfavourable conditions. And it was also a unique situation where a large-scale combat operation was started without artillery support.

River trenches

The first leg of the route is in the center of the River Valley at the bus stop.

On the morning of September 1, 1917, after a three-hour artillery fire, the Germans began construction of three wooden pontoon bridges over the Daugava near Ikšķile. Approximately 560,000 rounds were fired from 1,159 cannons and mortars, which completely suppressed 66 Russian cannons and forced the retreat of the 186th division on the right bank of the Daugava. The commander of the 12th Russian Army, General Parskis, ordered the 43rd Corps to carry out a counterattack at the break and handed over to the Commander of the Corps the 33rd, 136th, 138th Division, 116th Division and 2rd Latvian Rifle Brigade.

On the afternoon of September 1, Latvian riflemen were ordered to fight against the Germans crossing the Daugava. The 2nd Latvian Rifle Brigade from Ropaži went towards the attacking German units and the soldiers of the 5th Zemgale Latvian Rifle Regiment reached the fortified positions along the right bank of the Little Jugla River around four in the afternoon. After the artillery fire, an attack on the positions of Latvian riflemen began in the middle of September 2. The defensive battles took place on the 14 km long front along the right bank of the Little Jugla. Soldiers of the 2nd Latvian Rifle Brigade with a few cannons opposed a numerically and technically stronger group of German troops, who also used aviation, fire throwers and cannon-filled cannon grenades in the attack. The riflemen managed to hold the front heroically for 26 hours until September 3. Having fulfilled their mission, the surviving Latvian soldiers resigned to the positions of Sigulda and Cēsis by order of the 12th Army Command. The losses were very severe - the 5th Zemgale and 6th Tukums Latvian Rifle Regiments knocked out more than half of the fighters, the 7th Bauska and 8th Valmiera Latvian Rifle Regiments suffered less.

 

 
Cultural Heritage Centre "Tīnūži Manor"

The Cultural Heritage Centre ‘Tīnūži Manor’ is located in Ogre municipality, Tīnūži village, 7 km from the cities of Ogre and Ikšķile. The first written evidence about the manor dates back to the 16th century. Until the mid-18th century it was considered an economic production unit with small and insignificant buildings. But over time it grew into a large farm. During World War I, battles between the Russian and German armies took place here, and the Latvian Riflemen were also involved. During the War of Independence Tīnūži manor was used as the headquarters and armoured car park of the 1st Valmiera Infantry Regiment of the Latvian Army. In 1932, the manor was given to the Union of the Latvian War Invalids, which provided accommodation and care for war veterans. During World War II (in 1943) the German Army unit FAT 212 was transferred from Estonia to Tīnūži manor. It was a saboteur unit that prepared soldiers to fight the Red Army. Latvian soldiers were also trained in the arts of intelligence gathering, guerrilla warfare tactics and sabotage. The lord house of Tīnūži manor was destroyed when the Red Army was moving towards Riga. Nowadays it is a place with a beautiful landscape and historical buildings on the banks of the Little Jugla River. Exhibits dedicated to historical events, including the ones concerning the Latvian Riflemen, can be seen at the Cultural Heritage Centre ‘Tīnūži manor’.

Monument to the Battle of the Mazā Jugla at Tīnūži

Located in Ikšķile region, Tīnūžu village, by the highway near Tīnūži primary school.

A memorial to Latvian riflemen who fought against the German army during World War I. The battle of the Little Jugla River on September 1-2, 1917 was the culmination of the Riga operation. The German army launched an attack on Ikšķile with the aim of capturing Riga and capturing the 12th Russian army. German army units, crossing the Daugava via pontoon bridges, reached the vicinity of the Little Jugla River, where they were blocked by Latvian riflemen. They were ordered to delay the adversary until the entire Russian 12th Army left the siege without being captured by the German army. The fighting is taking a heavy toll on both warring parties.

Today you can see the monument to the sculptor Jānis Karlovs, "The Altar of Heroes", which was unveiled in 2005 and will be dedicated to Latvian fighters. Tīnūži Manor, where the exposition is located, is 300 meters away.

Machine Gun Hill

Located in Jelgava region, near the A9 motorway.

Ložmetējkalns is a place of World War I fighting, which is the only cultural and historical reserve of national significance in Latvia. It is located on the Long Dune, which is part of the Nordeķi - Kalnciems dune ridge. The name of the machine gun hill originated at a time when there were hard-to-occupy fortifications of the German army, which were defended by a strong machine gun fire.

Christmas battles are probably the best known and most dramatic event of World War I in the history of Latvia. It occupies a special place in the military and cultural history of Latvia. In 1917, the Latvian Rifle and Siberian units of the Russian army attacked Ložmetējkalns and occupied it. At least 600 opponents were captured, as well as valuable trophies, such as 19 machine guns. This was the most significant success of the Christmas battles and the greatest gain that the Russian troops had achieved on the Riga front. Latvian riflemen believed that they deserved the honor of the conquerors of the highlands.

Today, there is a lookout tower with views of former battles. Memorials and wartime evidence can be seen in the area. The Silenieki Brothers Cemetery is nearby.

Christmas battles memorial at Antinu Brethren Cemetery

Located in Babīte district, on the side of the road near the former Antiņi house and the old medicine warehouse.

The cemetery of Antiņi or Tīreļi soldiers was established during the First World War. The defense positions of the army of the Russian Empire were located in the area. In 1917, during the Christmas battles, the headquarters of the 5th Zemgale Latvian Rifle Regiment and an infirmary with a medicine warehouse were located nearby.

In the night of January 5, 1917, in the light of eight huge bonfires, 105 fighters of the 5th Zemgale Latvian Rifle Regiment were buried in military honor. They fell in battle against the German army or died from injuries. The funeral ceremony was led by Regiment Commander Jukums Vācietis. In later years, soldiers from other units of the Russian army were also buried in the cemetery. In 1925, a monument to the architect Eizen Laube was unveiled in the cemetery, and the territory was landscaped. Information about the 3,800 soldiers buried in the cemetery can be found in many places, but it must be assessed as unlikely and unverified.

 

 
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.

Latvian soldiers’ former medical warehouse

Located in Babīte district, near the Antiņi soldiers cemetery and restored trenches.

During World War I, from 1915, defensive positions of the army of the Russian Empire were located in this area. In 1917, during the Christmas battles, at the Antiņi house was the headquarters of the 5th Zemgale Latvian Rifle Regiment and an infirmary with a medicine warehouse, which was headed by the prominent Latvian military doctor Pēteris Snīķeris.

During the Christmas battles, the attacks of Latvian riflemen on German army units took place in particularly harsh and unfavorable conditions. The injuries sustained in the fighting were of all kinds - wounds, contusions and injuries caused by firearms, as well as frostbite. Thousands of Latvian soldiers had to be provided with timely medical assistance. It was organized so that the injured received care as soon as possible. There were unarmed paramedics on the battlefield who provided first aid and removed the wounded from dangerous places. Dressing points were set up in the vicinity of the battlefields, where care was continued and sorting was carried out. Severely wounded soldiers were evacuated to hospitals or hospitals in carts and cars. Cemeteries were set up near Lazarete, where the dead were buried.

Nowadays you can see the old medicine store. The Antiņi Soldiers Cemetery is nearby, as are World War I trenches and dugouts. The environment is suitable for walks in the woods, revealing vivid evidence of military heritage.

 

 
WWI Historical Exploration Route and dugout

Located in Olaine, near the Olaine Museum of History and Art.

The historical route was established in 2018 at the site of the fortifications of the Russian army during World War I, which were part of the defense system of the area. The fighting between the German and Russian armies in the Olaine area attracts attention for several reasons. The marshy terrain prevented the warring parties from making rapid progress and required a variety of skills from the soldiers to operate in adverse conditions. Accurate terrain analysis, reconnaissance, and fortifications or engineering structures played an important role in the war.

Nowadays, the cognitive route is freely available and gives a rough idea of the living conditions of soldiers. The renovated buildings are closed, but can be seen by contacting the specialists of the Olaine History and Art Museum in advance.

 

 
Death Island

The group of islands is located in Daugava on the southern side of the Riga HPP reservoir near Daugmale. The Death Island is one of the scariest and most legendary battlefields of World War  I. When the Russian Army withdrew from Kurzeme and Zemgale in 1915 some units remained on the left bank of Daugava, where they took positions to fight the German Army. The banks of the river were connected by a bridge. One of the largest chemical weapons usage cases in the territory of Latvia took place here. Latvian soldiers called the place ‘Death Island’, but soldiers of other nationalities called it ‘Hell’. The position of Death Island was of strategic and symbolic importance. For Latvian soldiers it was part of Kurzeme occupied by Germany. Fights took place on the banks of Daugava near Ikšķile, and in some way they were associated with the fights of the ancestors during the Crusades. Nowadays this location is accessible by boat. Territory of the Riga HPP reservoir that was not flooded can be seen. The monument designed by E. Laube still remains. Defensive position elements have been reconstructed in some places. There is an information stand on the bank of Daugava near the Ikšķile Kābeļu hill. Death Island became a group of islands after the construction of the Riga HPP reservoir was finished.

Ogre History and Art Museum

Ogre History and Art Museum was established in 1981. The museum collection comprises more than 40 thousand different units obtained in the territory of Ogre city and the former Ogre district. It extensively depicts the cultural and historical heritage starting from ancient times till modern days. 

In the exhibition “From Bank to Museum” the visitors can get acquainted with the history of the building at 36 Brīvības street, and its transformation over the period of 50 years. Initially built as a bank of the USSR, it has lately become the home of Ogre History and Art Museum.

The exposition “Holiday-Makers in Ogre” is dedicated to one of the brightest and most legendary pages in the history of the town. It shows the recreation possibilities, the entertainments of the holiday-makers’, as well as the legends entwining the cultural and social life of Ogre from the beginning of the 20 th century till World War II. The life story of Ogre as a resort town is presented by carefully selected documents and objects, as well as their attractive artistic presentation.

Exhibitions at the museum change monthly. The thematic exhibitions are usually dedicated to different historical events but the artists, such as painters, ceramists, graphic designers, photographers and representatives of other creative professions from Ogre Municipality and the whole country, are represented in the art exhibitions.

Exposition of military bikes in the Bicycle museum in Saulkrasti

The Bicycle Museum is located in Saulkrasti not far from the A1 highway and the railway station Pabaži, near the White Dune. Museum’s collection is made up of technically the most interesting examples of bicycle development history in Latvia. It is the largest bicycle collection in the Baltics with about 60 bicycles made and used in Latvia, including army-type bicycles. In the beginning of the 20th century many armies started to widely utilise the availability and benefits of bicycles. Special bicycle units were formed because of their mobility. Bicycle units were able to gather intelligence and launch unexpected attacks more easily, and were more mobile than regular infantry when it came to operations over a wide area. After World War I the Latvian Army also had bicycle units who used Latvian-made army bicycles. Any soldier who was in such a bicycle unit had to meet strict requirements. Good stamina, eyesight and hearing, as well as a healthy heart and lungs were a must. They could not weigh less than 80 kg and their height had to be 165-180 cm. The standard in the Latvian Army was that a well-trained cyclist should be able to cover 80-100 km in day, and up to 150 km in forced conditions. In winter, when bicycles could not be used, skis were used. A soldier from a bicycle unit had to be able to ski 50-60 km per day. Many soldiers from bicycle units would later become professional athletes.

We have about 5000 visitors every year.

Saulkrasti dougouts

Located in Saulkrasti, in the coastal dunes near the restaurant "Lagoon".

Russian army fortifications were built during World War I to provide coastal protection against German army landing operations. It is part of the fortification system of the protection area, which was located in the vicinity of strategically important objects.

During the First World War, the Russian army had established several lines of defense systems in the territory of Latvia. Should one of the lines be disrupted, new positions and additional forces would prevent the German army from moving forward. One of the lines was located in the zone that started in Saulkrasti, continued in Līgatne, Nītaure and ended in Koknese, joining the first line of defense that stretched along the bank of the Daugava. The aim was to fortify the area around Saulkrasti, as there were many important objects. Several crossings over rivers, a branched road network leading in the middle of Vidzeme, as well as protection positions that reached the sea shore.

Today, the place has trenches in a beautiful seaside forest overlooking the sea. It is one of the attractions in the wide range of Saulkrasti tourism.

The Freedom Monument in Riga

It is located in the center of Riga, on Brīvības Square.

The Freedom Monument is one of the most outstanding monuments of Latvian history, architecture and art. It was built according to the project of Kārļis Zaales based on public donations. Opened in 1935 as a symbol of Latvian people's freedom and love of the fatherland. Together with the Riga Brothers' Tomb ensemble, it belongs to the most valuable examples of monumental architecture and sculpture.

The Freedom Monument expresses the ethical and aesthetic values of Latvian culture. The symbols reflect the philosophical nature of freedom and the Latvian nation's historical ideas about the stages of the struggle for independence. Indicates the embodiment of physical and mental strength. The heroic language tells about the Latvian nation as a self-reliant, active maker of history and a determiner of its own destiny.

In its place, there was originally a monument to the Russian Tsar Peter I. In World War 1, it was dismantled to be transported by ship to Petrograd. The ship was torpedoed by a German submarine and sank off the island of Worms in the Estonian territory. The Soviet occupation regime planned to demolish the Freedom Monument several times, but it did not materialize.

Nowadays, you can see one of the symbols of Latvia and observe the traditions of the army honor guard.

General Karl Gopper Memorial Room in the Muscat Hometown

Located in Plāņi Parish on the bank of the Vija River.

The memorial room of General Karl Gopper in his native house "Muscat" can be seen.

The Muscat farm was run by the general's brother, August Goppers, because the talented warlord was busy with major events and world wars. In 1920, the general returned to Latvia, to his native home. But many responsible duties connected him with Riga. August continued to operate in Muscat. In 1940, General Gopper was arrested and shot on March 25, 1941, in a check cellar. In 1944, the Gopper family went to Kurzeme as refugees with three horse-drawn carriages. The war divided the family, Alexander Gopper's daughters - Biruta, Elza and Anna - remained in Latvia. They were not allowed to return to Muscat. The houses were large and carefully maintained. Three four newcomer families were accommodated in separate rooms. A horse farm was set up in the big barn. A fire broke out in 1980 due to mutual scabies. The barn and the big barn burned down. Fortunately, the fire did not spread to the house, the flames were repelled by large trees planted by our ancestors.

In 1991, after the miraculous Awakening, the Latvian state was reborn for the second time. In 1992, the family of General Gopper's brother Augustus regained Muscat as an ancestral sanctity. For ten years, all the cheeses worked hard to save the houses from destruction, to restore and build the ruined buildings to make the entire Muscat farm beautiful. The houses have been restored to their old appearance, there is also a memorial room for General Karl Gopper. The memorial room can be visited in advance by calling +371 29396870, +371 29254285.

Excursion to the monument to the soldiers who died in the First World War in the park of Spāre manor

Located in the territory of the Spāre manor complex.

During the First World War, the Russian Army Field Infirmary was located in Spāre Manor. The 24 soldiers who died there, including Latvian riflemen, were buried in the nearby cemetery. The monument was unveiled on October 6, 1935.

Rows of lindens were planted on both sides of the road during the memorial site (starting from the road). In 1935, all the improvement works in the area were carried out by the students of Spāre under the guidance of the school administrator Kārlis and Alvīne Skalbergs.
The pupils of Spāre Primary School in Amata Region are also involved in the cleaning of the memorial site. The land guards of Cēsis 27. KB provide great support in these works.
A torchlight procession to the memorial to the fallen in World War I, which is being held on 11 November, has become a tradition. This event is always crowded by the guards of Cēsis 27. KB, there is always a chaplain with them. Festive halls are an integral part of the event.

In the territory of the Spāre manor complex, an excursion to the monument to the soldiers who fell in the First World War (45 min.) Is offered by prior arrangement by calling +371 26558464.

Memorial stone for Latvian riflemen in Plakanciems

In Plakanciem, Latvian riflemen won their first victory in the historic night battle of October 29, 1915 - only a week after the 1st Daugavgrīva Latvian riflemen battalion had left Riga and started operations at the front. The successful battle of Plakanciems began the heroic struggle of our archers. The night attack near the Misa River also had an invaluable moral significance - no one questioned the fighting abilities of the Latvian archers, they quickly became popular and many Latvians from the Russian regiments joined our national units.

The commemorative stone was made by order of the Ķekava district municipality by the Ķekava district stone processing and restoration company "Akmens prāvaškas centrs "AKM"" - stone craftsmen Guntis Pandars and Pēteris Zvaunis.
Success in the Battle of Plakanciems was ensured by careful continuous four-day reconnaissance, the sudden attack plan prepared by the commander of the 1st company, Friedrich Briež, and the heroism of our soldiers.
The situation at the front at that time was very tense, as German soldiers in several places continued to slowly approach Riga. Near Plakanciems, they recently crossed the river Misa and started to set up a front bridge position, deploying the 2nd battalion of the German 376th infantry regiment and 4 machine guns.
The attack of the Latvian archers was based on surprise, quick action and coordination of various actions. Four hand grenades were issued to each rifleman of the 1st company, 60 soldiers put on their white coats because a thin snow had just fallen. When the attackers crept close enough to the German positions, at 22.00 the signal was given and the strike began. Both of our machine guns fired at both flanks of the enemy so that the Germans could not bring up reserves. Throwing hand grenades, Latvian riflemen quickly stormed the German trenches, Russian artillerymen fired at the bridge over the Misa river and the enemy's main defense line. The enemy soldiers were confused - suffering heavy losses, they retreated across the river and left the bridgehead in the hands of the attackers. One of our companies had defeated an enemy unit four times larger!
Latvian archers lost six fallen - Juri Buteniek, Frici Ārmani, Rudolf Hofmani, Kristaps Krūmiņa, Jānis Nauri and Kirijana Šnurov. They are all buried in the Riga Brothers' Cemetery. Of the eight wounded, two later died - Jāzeps Brūveris (buried in the Pleskodāle cemetery) and Jānis Skuja (buried in the Riga Brothers' cemetery). German losses – 31 soldiers killed, 34 captured and 45 wounded. The attackers received a machine gun and 35 rifles as trophies.

Monument to the soldiers who died in the First World War and the Latvian War of Independence

Located on Baznīcas Street opposite St. Anne's Church.

A monument to the soldiers who died in the First World War and the Latvian War of Independence can be seen.

On May 1, 1923, a "Hero's Grove" was planted opposite the Mazsalaca Lutheran Church, where an oak tree was dedicated to each fallen. According to Likert, a total of 97 oaks were planted - 23 for the fallen in the War of Independence and 74 for the fallen in the First World War. However, the press at the time mentioned that 106 oaks had been planted.

On August 21, 1927, a concrete monument built by architect Pauls Kundziņš was unveiled in the Heroes' Square, in the construction of which the sculptor Vilhelms Treijs also participated.

The monument is located next to the church of St. Anne in Mazsalaca, which was built in a specially designated place to slide (58.6 m), the beautiful tower can be seen from afar. The church is well preserved, as it was neither destroyed nor adapted for any other use during the Soviet era.

Latvian archers' Brothers' graves

It is located near the Nītaure Orthodox Church, next to II. for the memorial ensemble of soldiers of the Soviet army of the World War.

On September 2, 1934, the graves of the shooters and unknown soldiers, who fell in a clash with the Germans near Nītaure in September 1917, were consecrated.

Chronological order in the construction of graves:

In September 1917, the front line was strengthened in the section Saulkrasti-Līgatne-Nītaure-Lobes ezers (near Krapa)-Koknese. On the road Mālpils-Peļni-Nītaure, the 6th Tukum and 5th Zemgale regiments had their last clash with the enemy - German troops. Colonel Jukums Väetis said about it:
"After this battle there was a lull on the front."
The fallen were buried near the Orthodox church in Nītaure and in various places of clashes in the section Mālpils-Peļni-Nītaure.

1922 newspaper "Latvijas Kareivis" No. 113.21.05 in the article "Historical battle memorials" it is mentioned that "The grave of the Brothers of Latvian Riflemen is still located in Nītaure, where clashes with the Germans also took place".

On July 17, 1929, a commission went to Nītauri to look at the burials, which found that in Nītauri, around 100 soldiers from the Russian army were buried near the Orthodox church (you should know, Latvian rifle regiments were founded as part of the Russian army), while 6 Latvian riflemen were buried near the Lutheran burial chamber. : Otto Bērziņš (5th Zemgale Regiment), Kārkliņš (6th Tukuma Rifle Regiment), Alfrēds Bedrītis (fell near Cēsis in the Liberation Battle in 1919), Sviļums (archer), Žanis Krūtainis (5th Zemgale Regiment) and an unknown Latvian soldier .

In 1933, the archers buried near Pelņi's house were reburied in Mālpils cemetery, while the remains of fallen soldiers in some places in More parish were transferred to the Nītaure Brothers' cemetery near the Nītaure Orthodox Church. 6 fallen soldiers who were buried in the Lutheran cemetery were also reburied here.

In the funds of the Cēsi Museum, there is a photograph of an unknown author, which shows the graves of the Brothers in Nītaure before World War II. world war.

After II. During World War II, the Soviet soldiers who died in the battles near Nītaura and More were buried in these cemeteries, and all evidence that the graves of the Latvian Riflemen Brothers were located here were removed. In 1984, the currently visible memorial ensemble of Soviet soldiers or Red Army men was created.

Thus, the memorial place of Latvian fighters was wiped off the ground.

In 2017, thanks to the initiative and work of Dace Eipures, a local history enthusiast and environmental guide of Nītaure, a new memorial was created in the territory of the old Brothers' graves.

You can familiarize yourself with the history of the memorial site and World War I in Nītaure in the "Latvian history adventures in Nītaure" program of the environmental guide Dace Eipure, by calling in advance and requesting a visit +371 29156765!

Cesis Brothers Cemetery

Located in Cēsis Lejas Cemetery, Lenču Street 15, Cēsis.

One of the most important memorial sites of the First World War and the War of Independence in Cēsis is the Brothers' Cemetery in the Lower Cemetery.
The cemetery is the monument of the Brethren's Cemetery, built in 1927 by the artist and thinker of Cēsis Augustus Julla (1872-1958), dedicated to the soldiers buried in the Brothers' Cemetery from 1915 to 1920.

About 200 soldiers are buried in the Brothers Cemetery of Cēsis Lower Cemetery. Among them, an unknown number of Latvian riflemen and Russian soldiers killed in the First World War, as well as soldiers of German (10), Polish and other nationalities. During the Latvian Liberation War, 22 fallen soldiers of the 5th (2nd) Cēsis Infantry Regiment, as well as 11 freedom fighters who fell in other Latvian army units, were buried in these cemeteries. 2 Estonians, 15 victims of Bolsheviks and also Latvian Red Riflemen are buried in the Brothers' Cemetery.

Cēsis history and art museum in the New Castle of Cēsis

The Cēsis History and Art Museum is located in the very centre of the Old Town of Cēsis, in the New Castle. The museum holds a permanent exhibit of history and interiors named ‘Cēsis, a Symbol of Latvian History’, with two thematic sections: the exhibit ‘Red-White-Red Flag in the History of Cēsis and Latvia’ explains the history of the Latvian national flag from the 13th to 20th centuries, the approved national symbol, the flags of Latvian rifle battalions and the traditions of using national colours during the Latvian War of Independence. The exhibit ‘Cēsis and the Latvian War of Independence’ focuses on the founding of the Cēsis Company in December 1918, the joint battle efforts of Estonians and Latvians in the 1919 Battles of Cēsis, the time when, during the Bermondt Affair, Cēsis served as the temporary capital of Latvia for a short time, as well as the history of the Cēsis Victory Monument. In an escape room named ‘Legends of the Battles of Cēsis’, the participants have one hour to find their way out by solving puzzles, making connections and finding hidden objects. The Cēsis Company, one of the first units of the Latvian Armed Forces, was established on 8 December 1918 in Cēsis Castle by Senior Lieutenant Artūrs Jansons. The museum’s exhibit features a memorial plaque dedicated to the Cēsis Company, unveiled on 8 December 1933 at the Cēsis New Castle, which, at the time, served as the headquarters of the 8th Daugavpils Infantry Regiment and the garrison officers’ club.

Kauču or Veco pine

The pine tree is located on the left side of the Strenču-Valka highway, about a kilometer beyond the border of Strenču, 140 meters from the highway, in the forest, 400 meters NW from Kauči.

A piece was torn from the rough bark of the tree and the words of the song were carved into the trunk with a knife in old Latvian print, which are now partially legible – ˝ …c smyltā / …ten tħli cīn… / … návīgo as… / …ņa wems a… / …dz katuli / … strādniek… ˝ ("Come, beloved girl, until the fight, take the deadly blade in your hand. We are workers who have suffered a lot.").

Researchers have expressed the version that this poem could have been engraved in the pine trunk between 1905 and 1918, when Latvia was overrun by the revolution and the First World War, state forest specialists of Latvia know how to tell.

Memorial place of J. Lapiņš, the author of the first flag of Latvia

It is located in "Lejas Pintuli", Veselava parish, Priekuļi district.

A memorial to Jānis Lapiņas, the author of the pre-flag of Latvia, can be seen.

The Latvian national flag was created during the First World War. In 1915, when creating the flags of the Latvian rifle battalions, some artists offered red and white colors to the flag throwers. In the second half of 1916, the red-and-white flag thrown by the pedagogue and journalist Jānis Lapiņa was made by his student, Marianna Straumane, a teacher at the refugee shelter in Valmiera.
It is the first known and actually made Latvian national flag, which has survived to our days.
In 2014, a memorial to Jānis Lapiņas, the author of the pre-flag, was opened in "Lejas Pintuulis" of Veselava Parish, Priekuļi County.

The first known authentic Latvian national flag, which passed through the refugee corridors in Russia, was carefully hidden during the Soviet and German occupation, and is currently kept in the Cēsis Museum of History and Art . It was given as a gift in 1997 by their daughter Lija Poga.

World War I line of fortifications in Olaine

The battle in the territory of Latvia began in the spring of 1915 with the invasion in Liepāja by the German Empire. Army units of the Russian Empire retreated through Kurzeme in the direction of Riga. By the end of the summer, the command of the German Imperial Army gave orders to take up and strengthen appropriate positions. When departing from Jelgava, the first units of the Russian Empire’s army arrived in this place. This was an important place for the protection of Riga, because the Riga-Jelgava highway was nearby, along which it was possible to bring the necessary war materials. In mid-November 1915, the front stabilised and both armies built positions. One kilometre to the SW of the forester’s house “Lapsas” there was the second line of defence, which was built above ground, because due to the swampy relief it was not possible to build the traditional trenches. The embankment-shaped wall consisted of a breastwork consisting of an earthen wall secured on both sides by small-diameter logs and metal wires. Today you can see the preserved line of defence, which has survived for less than a kilometre.

Susijusi istorija

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 .

The daily routine of Latvian riflemen on the Island of Death

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.