The battle of Paju and the liberation of Southern Estonia

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31. January 1919

After a brief pause, the Peoples Force gathered its forces to capture an important railroad junction Valga.

With the help of the armored trains, the Bolsheviks were forced to retreat from northern areas of Tartumaa county. On January 30, the city of Tõrva was taken back.

Red Army had gathered a considerable force around Valga. One of the bloodiest battles of the war was held north of Valga, in Paju estate, on January 31, 1919.

140 men were lost as wounded and dead. Among them was the leader of the legendary partisan squad, Lieutenant Julius Kuperjanov (see image), who was gravely wounded and later died in Tartu. In the evening, the Estonians managed to repel the Latvian Bolshevik forces from the manor and on February 1, Valga and Võru were freed.

Source: Eesti ajalugu. VI, Vabadussõjast taasiseseisvumiseni. Tartu: Ilmamaa, 2005
Eesti ajaloo atlas. Tallinn: Avita, 2006.                                                                                                

Image source:

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