1914 - 1918 I WW1 - laika līnija

Vēl pirms Igaunijas un Latvijas valstu izveidošanās gan latviešu, gan igauņu karavīri cīnās Pirmajā pasaules karā Krievijas impērijas armijas sastāvā. Beidzoties Pirmajam pasaules karam, Latvija un Igaunija pasludina neatkarību. Taču oficiālas kara beigas nenozīmē, ka iestājies miers. Latvijai un Igaunijai nākas nosargāt savu pastāvēšanu, vienlaikus cīnoties pret vairākiem militāriem spēkiem un politiskām ambīcijām – Vācijas pretenzijām uz Latvijas un Igaunijas teritorijām, vācbaltu mēģinājumiem izveidot Baltijas valsti, Padomju Krievijas mērķiem pievienot Baltijas valstu teritorijas Padomju Savienībai, bijušo Krievijas impērijas armijas virsnieku centieniem sakaut lieliniekus un atgūt Krievijai Baltijas provinces.

28 June 1914
Assassination of Austro-Hungarian Archduke Franz Ferdinand: The pretext of World War I

The war was fought between two coalitions: the Triple Entente (Great Britain, France and Russia) and the Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire, Bulgaria and Italy, which joined the Entente soon after). The territory of Baltic States was a part of Russian Empire with a strategic importance to Russia during the war. First and foremost, the region was crucial in the defence of Petrograd, the then capital of the Russian Empire. Prior to the war, a number of significant military fortifications had been erected in Baltic region. Construction work continued into the war years, including on Peter the Great's Naval Fortress. Military factories and a port were constructed in Tallinn, which became a base for the Baltic Fleet of the Imperial Russian Navy.

 

July 1914
Mobilisation of reservists and recruits

At the end of July, Russia declared general mobilisation in Baltic provinces - governorates of Estonia, Livonia, Courland (Kurzeme) and Governorate of Vitebsk.It is estimated that approximately 80,000 men from Estonia and 250,000 from Latvia were enlisted into the Imperial Russian Army during World War I. Around a tenth of them died in combat. For many educated locals, the war was an opportunity to quickly earn the rank of an officer: by 1917 there were more than 2000 Estonian officers and 8000 Latvian officers serving in the Russian Army. 

1914. gada 28. jūlijs
Austroungārija piesaka karu Serbijai

Austroungārija piesaka karu Serbijai, iebrūk un apšauda Belgradu ar artilēriju.

1914.gada 1. augusts
Vācija piesaka karu Krievijai

Pirmā pasaules kara sākumā mūsdienu Latvijas teritorija atrodas Krievijas Impērijas Kurzemes, Vidzemes un Vitebskas guberņu sastāvā.  Krievija izsludina vispārēju mobilizāciju, latviešu karavīrus ieskaita Latvijas teritorijā izvietotajās Krievijas karaspēka daļās un nosūta uz Austrumprūsiju. 1914. gada augustā un 1915. gada februārī Krievijas armija cieš sakāvi kaujās pie Mazūrijas ezeriem un Augustovas, daudzi latvieši krīt kaujās vai nonāk gūstā.1915. gada aprīļa beigās Vācijas armija uzsāka uzbrukumu Lietuvas un Kurzemes virzienā. 7. maijā krīt Liepāja un līdz mēneša beigām vācu armija ieņem Kurzemi līdz Ventai.

August 1, 1914
Germany declares war on Russia

To defend Saint Petersburg (Petrograd), the construction of sea defences began on Estonian and Finnish coastlines (Peter the Great Naval Fortress) in 1912. The construction on the islands of Western Estonia began in 1915. 57 cannon-equipped coastline defence forts, 13 anti-aircraft forts and several seaplane bases were built by 1917. Potential landing operation areas were equipped with barbed wire and trenches.
80,000 men from Estonia (from the Governorate of Estonia and the Estonian part of the Governorate of Livonia) were mobilised, of whom approximately 15,000 died. Though before the war Estonian men served in regiments in Estonia, Livonia or Courland, during the war Estonians served on all fronts.
 

August 28, 1914
A German cruiser Magdeburg ran aground near Osmussaar

Most of the crew was evacuated but the Russian Navy succeeded in capturing 45 sailors and officers as well as German Navy codes.

May 1, 1915
German Navy arrived in the Gulf of Riga

During the night of 1 May 1915, the German Navy arrived in the Gulf of Riga and sent a unit to the Island of Ruhnu. The unit landed at around 03:00. They were hoping to find Russian soldiers and a radio station. The Germans destroyed the top part of the lighthouse, including the lantern, and the petroleum warehouses. Four lighthouse guards were taken prisoner.

1915. gada 1. augusts
Brīvprātīgo latviešu strēlnieku bataljonu formēšana

13. jūlijā atsākas vācu uzbrukums no Kurzemes rietumiem un Lietuvas teritorijas. Līdz jūlija beigām Vācijas armija okupē daļu Kurzemes guberņas - mūsdienu Latvijas rietumu daļu, un turpina virzīties uz austrumiem, ieņemot pozīcijas gar Daugavu. Latviešu politiskās aprindas vienojas par nepieciešamību panākt nacionālo karaspēka vienību izveidošanu Krievijas armijas sastāvā ar mērķi nosargāt Rīgu un atbrīvot Kurzemi no Vācijas karaspēka. Tiek izdota pavēle par pirmo divu brīvprātīgo latviešu strēlnieku bataljonu formēšanu, skan aicinājums – "Pulcējaties zem latviešu karogiem!"  12. augustā sāk darbu uzņemšanas komisija, divu dienu laikā piesakās 472 brīvprātīgie.

August 1915
There were several smaller skirmishes between the German and Russian Navy in the Gulf of Riga

The German Navy tried to break through the minefields of the Russian Navy’s Baltic Fleet and supported the ongoing attack of German troops around Riga. The goal of the German Navy was to destroy units of the Russian Navy’s Baltic Fleet operating in the Muhu Strait as well as bomb fortifications at the mouth of Daugava River and Pärnu harbour. The German Navy also bombed Kuressaare and Roomassaare harbour, though without clear success.

On 20 August 1915, there was an attempt to land at Pärnu, but due to the counteractions of Russian forces the attempt was unsuccessful. The commandant of Pärnu, Colonel Aleksandr Rodzjanko, feared that more German troops would appear and ordered the most important civil buildings in the city, such as Waldhof’s cellulose factory and Pärnu Power Plant, to be destroyed. Though the activities of the German Navy were unsuccessful, the Gulf of Riga became one of the most active areas of fighting for the next two years.

 

1916. gads
Fronte pie Rīgas un Daugavas

Latvijas teritorijā nostabilizējas frontes līnija un turpinās ierakumu karš ar daudziem nesekmīgiem mēģinājumiem frones līniju pārraut. Martā un jūlijā notiek kaujas pie Ķekavas un Jēkabpils placdarmā, kā arī pie Ilūkstes. Augustā turpinās kaujas pie Smārdes.  No aprīļa līdz oktobrim latviešu strēlnieki cīnās Nāves salā, kur neļauj vāciešiem šķērsot Daugavu un doties uz Rīgu, ienaidnieks pielieto indīgas gāzes un iet bojā 240 strēlnieku.23.-29. decembrī  (pēc vecā stila) notiek tā sauktās Ziemassvētku kaujas Tīreļpurvā. Strēlnieki dodas uzbrukumā, cerot atbrīvot Jelgavu un Kurzemi, taču cieš milzīgus zaudējumus. 

1917. gads
Krievijas armijas sabrukums un Rīgas ieņemšana

Karam ieilgstot, Krievijas iedzīvotāju un politisko spēku vidū palielinās neapmierinātība ar cara varu un 1917. gada februāra revolūcijā cars zaudē troni un tiek izveidota Krievijas Pagaidu valdība. Novembrī to apvērsumā gāž lielinieki, jeb boļševiki - Komunistu partijas radikālais spārns ar V.I. Ļeņinu priekšgalā. Krievijas armija ir vāja – to izmanto Vācija un 1917. gada septembra sākumā ieņem Rīgu.  Latviešu strēlnieki kaujā pie Juglas aizkavē vācu uzbrukumu, ļaujot izglābt Krievijas 12. armiju.

30 March 1917
The Russian Provisional Government decrees that the lands with a majority ethnic Estonian population be merged into a unified Estonian autonomous governorate led by a Governorate Commissar.

With the institution of the post of Governorate Commissar came the formation of a legislative diet called the Provincial Assembly, elections for which were held in spring and summer. This sparked a surge in political activity and the founding of political parties. The idea began to spread among nationalist politicians of attaining statehood for Estonia within the Russian Republic. There was also a surge in the popularity of Bolshevists, who oversaw the formation of workers' councils in cities and among the military units stationed in Estonia.

 

April 1917
The formation of Estonian military units

The formation of Estonian military units, which by that December had been merged to form the 1st Estonian Infantry Division. Tens of thousands of Estonian soldiers who had been scattered across military units in the Imperial Russian Army returned for the formation of the Estonian military units in 1917. This provided the basis for the Estonian army that would prove victorious in the War of Independence.

The German landing in order to occupy the Western Estonian islands, so-called Operation Albion, began on 12 October 1917 and lasted for one and a half weeks. The landing happened at Tagalaht. The leader of the operation was infantry general Hugo von Kathen, leading the XXIII Reserve Corps. 24,600 officers and soldiers, 8500 horses, 2500 carriages, 40 cannons, 220 machine guns and 80 mine throwers participated in the attack.

 

 

15 November 1917
The Provincial Assembly declares itself the highest authority in Estonia

This provided a legal basis for self-determination, even though the assembly was disbanded by the Bolshevists that same day.

 

November 29, 1917
Latvian Provisional National Council established in Valka

It was a political organization of the Latvian Central Committee for Refugee Support, representatives of Latvian political parties and Vidzeme Provisional Land Council and Latgale Provisional Land Council. Due to the achievements of the German army, the National Council also met in Petrograd, in secret from the Bolshevik regime. Council played a key role in strengthening the idea of Latvian independence in front of the Western Allies.

1918
Under German control

Following the failure of the Brest-Litovsk peace talks on 16 February 1918, the German army leadership announced that the ceasefire would be abolished on 17 February. During Operation Faustschlag, the German army moved forward rapidly along the railway lines without serious resistance. On February 18, German troops occupied the city of Daugavpils and continued to Estonia and Pskov. Already on February 19, Lenin urged the German side to offer a peace treaty on any terms. On March 3 the Brest-Litovsk treaty was signed between the Germans and Russia.The full German occupation meant that Latvian riflemen retreated to Russia and joined the Bolsheviks as Latvian red riflemen units as part of the Soviet Red Army.

24 February 1918
The Estonian Salvation Committee declares the independence of the Republic of Estonia

The declaration was made during the brief window when Russian forces were retreating but German forces had yet to occupy all of Estonia. The next day, a provisional government was formed in Tallinn (with Konstantin Päts as prime minister) which only enjoyed power for a few short days before the German troops occupied Tallinn. The German Empire did not recognise the newly-founded Republic of Estonia. There was an attempt to create the Baltic Duchy, as a client state to Germany, from occupied Estonian and Latvian lands. This would have been governed by Baltic Germans. The plan failed following the defeat of the Central Powers in November 1918. Germany then began evacuating its troops from Estonia.

 

1918. gada 11. novembris
Pirmā pasaules kara beigas

Līdz 1918. gada februāra beigām Vācijas armija ieņam  visu Latvijas un Igaunijas teritoriju. Krievijas armija sabrūk un karadarbība beidzas. 3. martā, kad  Vācija noslēdz Brestļitovskas miera līgumu Padomju Krieviju. Līdz ar pilnīgu Latvijas nonākšanu vācu okupācijā uz Krieviju atkāpjas arī latviešu strēlnieku vienības, kuras pieslejas lieliniekiem kļūstot par latviešu sarkanajiem strēlniekiem Sarkanās armijas sastāvā.

12 November 1918
The Provisional Government decides to form a regular army.

On 16 November 1918 the compulsory mobilisation of professional soldiers and the voluntary mobilisation of others was announced. Thus the Estonian Defence Forces were born.

 

1918. gada 18. novembris
Latvijas Republikas nodibināšana

Latvijas Tautas padome pasludina Latvijas Republikas nodibināšanu.Apvienojoties nacionālajiem un pretlielinieciskajiem politiskajiem spēkiem, tiek izveidota nacionāla Latvijas Pagaidu valdība ar Kārli Ulmani priekšgalā, kura no vācu okupācijas militārajām institūcijām pakāpeniski pārņem Latvijas civilpārvaldi.

19 November 1918
German government representatives sign a treaty handing over control of Estonian territories to the Estonian Provisional Government