1918 – 1920 I Neatkarības kari - laika līnija

Pirmā pasaules kara beigas iezīmēja Latvijas un Igaunijas neatkarības karu sākumu. Atbrīvojoties no daudzajiem ienaidniekiem, abas jaunās republikas pierādīja spēju pastāvēt kā neatkarīgas valstis.

1918. gada novembris
Padomju Krievija iebrūk neatkarīgajā Latvijā.

Padomju Krievija anulē Brestļitovskas miera līgumu, ar ko tā bija atteikusies no Baltijas teritorijas par labu Vācijai. 22. novembrī  Sarkanā armija šķērso Latvijas robežu un 9. decembrī bez kaujas ieņem Daugavpili. Tikmēr Maskavā lielinieku piekritēji pasludina Latvijas Sociālistisko Padomju Republiku ar Pēteri Stučku vadībā.  Padomju Krievija uzbrukumā iesaista Latviešu sarkano strēlnieku vienības.

28 November 1918
The outbreak of the War of Independence

The Red Army invades the town of Narva, instigating armed conflict between Soviet Russia and the Republic of Estonia.

29 November 1918
Founding of the Commune of the Working People of Estonia in Narva, seemingly an independent Estonian Soviet republic

In reality, this was a puppet state of Soviet Russia founded solely for the purpose of portraying the conflict as a civil war. All the while, underground communist agitators were actively undermining the Estonian cause on the home front – something they would continued to do throughout the War of Independence.

December, 1918
Red Army continued its rapid advance in Northern Estonia.

The rapid advance of the Red Army in Northern Estonia continued in December 1918. One after the other, Jõhvi, Kunda, Rakvere, Tapa and Aegviidu fell into the hands of the Bolsheviks. In January 1919, the Red Army was only 40 km away from Tallinn. In Southern Estonia, the Red Army began its advance on 2 December 1918 in three columns (approx. 5000 men in total) from Pskov and moved towards the west. The first column moved towards Tartu, the second moved in the Võru-Valga-Valmiera direction and the third was active in Latvia in the Põtalovo (Abrene)-Gulbene-Plaviņa direction. On 8 December 1918, the Red Army occupied Võru and on 18 December, Valga. On 22 December, Tartu fell, despite the numerical superiority of the Estonian forces and the Northern Corps of the Russian White Army.

1918. gada 7. decembris
Līgumu ar Vāciju par bruņoto spēku veidošanu Latvijas aizstāvībai

Jaunizveidotajai Latvijas valstij nav savas armijas, tādēļ Latvijas Pagaidu valdība noslēdz līgumu ar Vācijas valdības pilnvaroto par bruņoto spēku veidošanu. Tajos iekļauj no vācu 8. Armijas brīvprātīgajiem izveidoto Dzelzs brigādi (vēlāk divīziju) un vācbaltu veidoto Landesvēru, kurās iekļautas arī latviešu rotas.

1918. gada 17. decembris
P. Stučkas valdības izveidošana

Maskavā lielinieku piekritēji pasludina Latvijas Sociālistisko Padomju Republiku ar Pēteri Stučku vadībā.

23 December 1918
Colonel Johan Laidoner is appointed commander-in-chief and tasked with pushing the Red Army out of Estonia.
January 1919
Frontline was stabilised

By the turn of the new year, the Red Army in Estonia was exhausted and the frontline stabilised. During the first week of January, the Red Army’s advance was stopped and a counter-attack was organised. At the same time, behind the frontlines, the Estonian Army was formed. Compulsory mobilisation was carried out, new units were sent to the front.

A squadron of the British Royal Navy arriving in Tallinn as well as Finnish volunteers were of great help to Estonia. The knowledge that we were not alone in fighting Soviet Russia significantly raised the morale of the troops and the population

By 5 January 1919, 14,000 men were mobilised and Estonian forces launched a counter-attack. On 19 January 1919, Narva was liberated and by 22 January, Estonian forces controlled Narva River along its entire length from Narva-Jõesuu to Vasknarva.

On 11 January 1919, armoured trains began advancing along the Rakke-Tartu railway towards Tartu, liberating the city with the help of the Kuperjanov Partisan Battalion on 14 January. After liberating the city, armoured tanks, along with the 2nd Division of the Estonian Army, launched an attack, reaching the Estonian border by the end of January. On 1 February, Estonian forces liberated Valga and Võru. On 4 February, Estonian forces occupied Petseri on the southern front. On 24 February 1919, General Laidoner reported to the Estonian Provincial Assembly that the enemy had been chased out of Estonian land.

1919. gada 3. janvāris
Padomju Krievijas Sarkanā armija ienāk Rīgā.

Padomju Latvijas armijas vienībām tuvojoties Rīgai, tās pie Inčukalna nesekmīgi mēģina aizkavēt Landesvēra daļas. Lielākās sabiedrības daļas atbalsts ir lielinieku pusē, tāpēc Latvijas Pagaidu valdība Studentu rotas pavadībā spiesta pārcelties uz Liepāju, bet pārējās vienības atkāpjas uz Jelgavu. Naktī uz 4. janvāri Rīgā ar vilcienu ierodas Pētera Stučkas vadītā Padomju Latvijas valdība. Turpmākos piecus mēnešus Rīgā, Kurzemē un Vidzemē valda “sarkanais terors” un bads, izraisot iezdzīvotāju naidu pret lieliniekiem. Lielinieku rokās ir gandrīz visa Latvijas teritorija, izņemot Liepājas apkārtni.

1919. gada 5. janvāris
Latviešu atsevišķa bataljona dibināšana

Apvienojot Latvijas pagaidu valdībai uzticīgās vienības, kuras atkāpušās uz Jelgavu,  tiek dibināts 1. Latviešu atsevišķais bataljons, ko komandē pulkvedis Oskars Kalpaks. Vienības turpina atkāpties līdz Ventas līnijai.

​7 January 1919
Reorganised Estonian forces, backed up by Finnish volunteers, launch their counter-offensive

By the beginning of February, all Estonian territories had been liberated from the Bolshevists. Volunteer units, including the highly motivated crew of the armoured trains and the Kuperjanov Infantry Battalion, were instrumental in the liberation process. From here on, not a step further!

January 20, 1919
Latvian units in Estonia

The representatives of the Provisional Government of Latvia in Estonia agree with the Government of Estonia on the formation of Latvian units in the territory of Estonia under the command of Col Jorģis Zemitāns.  The unit were named as the Northern Latvian Brigade.

31 January 1919
The Battle of Paju

The Battle of Paju is fought between the Tartu-Valga unit of the Estonian People's Forces and the Red Army Latvian Riflemen. The battle for Paju Manor resulted in the Estonian forces capturing the town of Valga and an important railway node. Julius Kuperjanov, who was leading the Estonian offensive, was fatally injured in battle. This was one of the bloodiest battles in the War of Independence. The Estonian side lost 34 men in the battle, while a further 12 later died of their injuries, two were missing in action and 92 were injured. Counting those who were killed in action, died of wounds and went missing (likely killed near the end of the battle), the Red Army lost close to 30 men. At least 40 were wounded.

1919. gada marts - maijs
Kurzemes un Rīgas atbrīvošana no lieliniekiem.

Februārī visu pretlieliniecisko spēku vadību Kurzemē un Ziemeļlietuvā pārņem ģenerālis Ridigers fon der Golcs. Viņa rīcībā ir Landesvērs ar latviešu vienībām tajā, Dzelzs divīzija un vācu 6. Rezerves korpuss. 3. martā tiek uzsākta operācija "Atkusnis" ("Tauwetter”) Kurzemes un Zemgales atbrīvošanai. 6. martā pārpratuma sadursmē ar vācu Borha bataljonu krīt pulkvedis Oskars Kalpaks un vēl 3 virsnieki, bet latviešu vienību vadību pārņem pulkvedis-leitnants Jānis Balodis. Uzbrukums turpinās un vairākās secīgās kaujās Sarkanā armija tiek atspiesta līdz Lielupei. 

1919
Fightings in Southern Estonia

1919, most of the fighting took place in Southern Estonia. In Northern Estonia, the front remained at Narva River until the end of the war. In late February, the Red Army began a new attack in the direction of Võru and Valga, occasionally reaching just a few kilometres away from the cities.

The 3rd Division was formed in March 1919, led by General Major Ernst Põdder. Armoured tanks and armoured vehicles with infantry battalions (Kuperjanov Partisan Battalion and Kalev Battalion) were joined to form the Armoured Tank Division, led by Captain Anton Irv, and by Captain Karl Parts after Irv’s death in April.

 April was the most critical period of the War. Estonian forces managed to repel the attack of the Red Army that lasted for two months.

 

1919. gada 16.aprīlis
Apvērsums Liepājā pret Latvijas Pagaidu valdību.

Lai veidotu Vācijai labvēlīgāku Latvijas politiku, 1919. gada 16.aprīlī vācu Pfefera bataljona un Landesvēra Triecienbataljona vienības ar fon der Golca atbalstu padzen Latvijas Pagaidu valdību, tās vietā izvirzot provācisku valdību Oskara Borkovska, bet no 10. maija - Andrieva Niedras vadībā. Kārļa Ulmaņa Latvijas Pagaidu valdība patveras uz kuģa "Saratov", Liepājas ostas reidā, Antantes kara kuģu aizsardzībā. Andrieva Niedras valdība pastāv līdz jūnija beigām, kad pēc zaudējuma Cēsu kaujās tā savas pilnvaras nodod Antantei. 27. jūnijā Kārļa Ulmaņa valdība atgriežas Liepājā, bet 8. jūlijā ar "Saratov" ierodas Rīgā. Šis laika posms Latvijas vēsturē ieguvis nosaukumu "Trīs valdību periods."

​23 April 1919
The Estonian Constituent Assembly convenes in Tallinn

Its greatest accomplishments are adopting the national constitution and the Land Act. The latter enabled the radical land reforms of 1920, which were designed to nationalise and distribute the lands owned by large landowners (the majority of whom were of German descent) among the peasantry, and particularly among veterans of the War of Independence.

May 1919
Battles in Soviet Russia and in Latvia

The Northern Division of the Russian White Army started preparing their assault on Petrograd. The plan of the Estonian military command was to assist the Northern Division in order to create a buffer zone between Estonia and the Red Army.

The Northern Division began their assault on 13 May and by early June they occupied the majority of the Saint Petersburg Governorate. The Northern Division’s advance also helped the situation on the southern front, and Estonian forces were able to launch their assault. On 25 May, they occupied Pskov, which was transferred to Russian whites the next day.

Troops from the 3rd Division of the Estonian Armed Forces began their advance towards Valmiera on 17 May 1919, albeit unsuccessfully at first. Latvian units, Baltic Landeswehr and Iron Division liberated Riga on 22 May, helping the advance of the 3rd Division. As a result of the new assault, the Red Army was forced to retreat and Valmiera was liberated on 26 May. On 29 May, troops reached the Limbaži-Smiltene line. To raise the morale of the population and the 2nd Võnnu Division, the troops marched through Võnnu on 30 May and through Rauna village on 31 May.

 On 27 May, all other units of the Estonian 2nd Division, including the 1st Volmari Regiment of Latvia and a group of Danish volunteers, launched an attack towards Latvia from Southeastern Estonia. The main attacking force was the 1st Cavalry Regiment. The attack proved to be extremely successful; occupying Alūksne on 30 May achieved a large-scale breakthrough of the enemy’s lines and pushed the defence lines deep into the rear of the enemy. Gulbene railway junction was occupied on 31 May; by 5 June the troops had reached Daugava (Väina) River and occupied Krustpils and Jēkabpils in Southern Latvia.

By 5 June, Estonian forces liberated most of Northern Latvia from the Red Army and civil authority was transferred to Karlis Ulmanis’ government.

 

 

May 22, 1919
Liberation of Riga

An attack to Riga began on May 22.  The Bolsheviks were defeated and fled, rapidly leaving Riga and Vidzeme and taking up positions in Latgale.  The Soviet Latvian government left Latvia at first, but it returned to Rezekne in July.

June 1919
The campaign against the Landeswehr takes place

When Riga 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. This conflict concluded with the Estonian forces defeating Major General Rüdiger von der Goltz and his army, which comprised German troops and Baltic German nobility from both Estonian and Latvian territories. By defeating the Landeswehr, Estonia secured a friendly neighbour on its southern border in the form of the Republic of Latvia when Kārlis Ulmanis and his cabinet came to power. As Eastern Latvia was yet to be liberated from the Red Army and Latvian forces needed time to reorganise, the Estonian High Command decided to support them by defending the Latvian front until December 1919.

June 19-23, 1919
The Battle of Cēsis (Võnnu in Estonian) is fought in Northern Latvia between the Estonian forces and the German Landeswehr

After the clashes in early June and a 10-day ceasefire, no agreement was reached on the right of both sides to be in the region, which led to an intensified conflict between Latvian, Estonian and German units. Temporary units of the Latvian government and the Estonian army took part in the fight near Cēsis, and they defeated the German Landeswehr and the Iron Division. The defeated units retreated to Riga, and after the armistice concluded on July 3 at Strazdumuiža, they retreated to Zemgale. The Landesver was formed by the Baltic Germans and was reorganized into a Latvian military unit, which was sent to the front lines in Latgale. The last date of the battle, June 23, will be is celebrated in Estonia as Victory Day.

1919. gada 10. jūlijs
Latvijas armijas dibināšana

Apvienojot pulkveža Jāņa  Baloža komandēto Dienvidlatvijas brigādi ar pulkveža Jorģa Zemitāna komandēto Ziemeļlatvijas brigādi, tiek izveidota Latvijas armija ģenerāļa Dāvida Simansona vadībā. Armiju sākotnēji veido divas divīzijas - no Dienvidlatvijas brigādes saformē Kurzemes divīziju ar 1. Liepājas, 2. Venstpils, 3. Jelgavas kājnieku pulku, bet no Ziemeļlatvijas brigādes saformē Vidzemes divīziju ar 4. Valmieras, 5. Cēsu un 6. Rīgas kājnieku pulku. Gatavojoties Latgales atbrīvošanai, augustā sāk formēt Latgales divīziju ar 7. Siguldas, 8. Daugavpils un 9. Rēzeknes kājnieku pulku, savukārt 1920. gada janvārī - Zemgales divīziju ar 10. Aizputes, 11. Dobeles un 12. Bauskas kājnieku pulku. Armiju papildina artilērijas daļas, jātnieku, inženieru un tehniskās vienības - tostarp aviācija un flote.

July-August, 1919
Occupation of Pskov and Saint Petersburg Governorates

As a result of the assault launched in May 1919, the Northern Division occupied most of the Pskov and Saint Petersburg Governorates. Estonian and British fleets, as well as a regiment formed by Ingrian Finns, aided the advance of the Northwestern Army.

The Red Army launched a counter-attack in late May; by the end of August the Northwestern Army held onto Jamburg and Oudova County.

 

1919.gads
Bermontiāde

8. oktobrī Rīgai uzbrūk Pāvila Bermonta-Avalova vadītā Rietumkrievijas brīvprātīgo armija. Bermonts ir ambiciozs, pretlielinieciski noskaņots Krievijas impērijas armijas virsnieks, kurš vēlas atjaunot Krievijā cara varu, tāpēc  1919. gada sākumā ar Vācijas atbalstu Vācijā esošajās krievu karagūstekņu nometnēs sāk vervēt brīvprātīgos un jūnijā ierodas Kurzemē. Pēc sakāves Cēsu kaujās, daļa vācu spēku pievienojas Bermonta armijai. Vācu un Bermonta mērķi ir izveidot Baltijā pretlieliniecisku, bet Vācijai lojālu Baltijas valsti. Cīņā pret Bermontu Latviju ar militāro un materiāltehnisko palīdzību atbalsta Antante. Īslaicīgi savu palīdzību ar bruņoto vilcienu sniedz arī Igaunija. Aptuveni mēnesi frontes līnija atrodas Rīgas centrā. 1919. gada 11. novembrī bermontieši tiek padzīti no Rīgas un 21. novembrī arī no Jelgavas. Seko pilnīga Bermonta karaspēka sagrāve. Kauju laikā Latvijas Pagaidu valdība uz vienu dienu pārceļas uz Cēsīm, bet, situācijai stabilizējoties, atgriežas Rīgā, turklāt vairāki valdības locekļi iestājas armijā.

September-November, 1919
Northwestern army

In September 1919, the Northwestern army started planning a new attack on Petrograd, as the Estonian government was looking for an opportunity to make peace with Soviet Russia and this would endanger the Northwestern Army’s existence in Estonia and Northwestern Russia. The attack that began on 28 September 1919 was successful. By 21 October, they reached Petrograd. British and Estonian fleets helped the attack from the sea. The Estonian high command sent a regiment of approximately 2000 men that would occupy the sea fortress around Krasnaja Gorka to help the Northwestern Army. On the southern front, Estonian units launched an attack towards Ostrov and Porhov to make the Northwestern Army’s advance on Petrograd easier, but due to harsh weather conditions and terrain the attacks were unsuccessful. Estonian soldiers did not want to go deep into Russian territory – war weariness had begun to take its toll. By the end of October, the Northwestern Army ran out of energy and the army, including many war refugees from Northwestern Russia, fled to Estonia.

On 11 November 1919, the Estonian Provisional Government decided to disband the Northwestern Army. However, units ready for battle remained on the frontline until the end of the Independence War.

To assist the Latvian Army in their fight with Bermon-Avalov’s Western Army, two armoured trains from the Armed Train Division were sent to Riga on 11 October 1919, a total of 11 cannons, 60 machine guns and approx. 400 men. Trains left when the Latvian Army took initiative and led a counter-attack.

 

November, 1919
The last battles with Soviet Russia

In November, the Red Army was again at the Estonian border and the fiercest battles of the Independence Army were fought on the Viru front in November and December 1919. The Soviet war command sent two armies to fight against Estonia, a total of 60,000 men. Estonia countered with 20,000 men. The situation on the southern front was calm. Soviet Russia could not break Estonian defences and a temporary ceasefire was signed on 31 December 1919.

November 11, 1919
Victory at Riga

Bermont-Avalov and his men were kicked out of Riga. The Lāčplēsis War Order is created in honor of this event. Nowadays, this day in Latvia is celebrated.

November 25, 1919
War with Germany

After the defeat of German forces in Courland, Latvia's temporary government declared war on Germany.  An Interim Agreement between Latvia and Germany on the Resumption of Communications was concluded on  July 15, 1920. Attack against Riga delayed the liberation of Latgale, which was an important prerequisite for organising Constitutional Council elections in Latvia. 

​5 December 1919
The beginning of peace talks with Soviet Russia
January 3, 1920
Liberation Latgale from the Bolsheviks

In late August 1919, the Polish army established a front line against the Bolsheviks to the south of Daugavpils. By December Latvia and Poland agreed on a simultaneous and co-ordinated operation to liberate Latgale. It began on January 3 when the Poles attacked Daugavpils. On January 9, a latvian offensive in Northern Latgale began, but on January 20, the Latvian army and the Landeswehr began the liberation of Rēzekne.

3 January 1920
An armistice between Estonia and Soviet Russia comes into effect.

On 31 December 1919, during Tartu peace talks, a ceasefire was signed that envisioned an end to all military operations between Estonia and Soviet Russia starting from 3 January 1920 at 10:30. According to the ceasefire, all military operations were halted until 10 January, after which either side could resume operations with 24 hours’ notice. Fortunately, this didn’t happen and the Tartu Peace Treaty between the Republic of Estonia and Soviet Russia was signed on 2 February 1920.

1920. gada 1.februāris
Latvijas armija atbrīvo Latgali no lieliniekiem

Bermonta uzbrukums Rīgai kavē Latgales atbrīvošanu, kas ir svarīgs priekšnoteikums, lai visā Latvijā varētu izsludināt Satversmes sapulces vēlēšanas. Augusta beigās dienvidos no Daugavpils frontes līniju pret lieliniekiem izveidoja Polijas armija, kas līdz decembrim vairākkārt uzbruka Grīvas pilsētai. Decembrī Latvijas armijas vadība panāca vienošanos ar Polijas spēkiem par vienlaicīgu un koordinētu Latgales atbrīvošanas operācijas sākumu. 3. janvārī ar poļu uzbrukumu Daugavpilij sākās uzbrukums Dienvidlatgalē,  9. janvārī sekoja Latvijas armijas uzbrukums Ziemeļlatgalē, bet 20. janvārī Latvijas armija ar tās sastāvā esošo Landesvēru uzsāka uzbrukumu Rēzeknei.  Līdz janvāra beigām visa Latgales teritorija jau atradās Latvijas un Polijas armiju kontrolē.

2 February 1920
The signing of the Treaty of Tartu

The signing of the Treaty of Tartu, in which Russia recognises the independence of Estonia in perpetuity and renounces all claims to Estonian territories.

1920.gada 11.augusts
Latvijas Neatkarības kara beigas

Sakaujot vācu spēkus Kurzemē, Lavijas Pagaidu valdība 1919. gada 25. novembrī piesaka karu arī Vācijai. Karastāvoklis starp abām valstīm beidzas tikai 1920. gada 15. jūlijā. Nepilnu mēnesi vēlāk, pēc garām un sarežģītām miera sarunām, 11. augustā Latvija noslēdz mieru ar Padomju Krieviju. Miera līgumā Padomju Krievija uz mūžīgiem laikiem atsakās no visām tiesībām uz Latvijas zemi un tautu. Latvijas Neatkarības karš ilgst 628 dienas un tā laikā Latvijas teritorijā apvienoja latviešu vēsturiski apdzīvotās teritorijas Kurzemi, Zemgali, Sēliju, Vidzeme un Latgale.