New general assault of the Peoples Force

to map

13. May 1919

Already in 1919, Laidoner, the Commander-in-Chief, had wished to take the war out of Estonia. That in order to prevent further destruction.


The defensive battles on the southern front postponed this gial by a few months. In May 1919, the new general assault of the Peoples Force began. The first blow was dealt by the Russian White's North Corp on May 13. Somewhat to their own surprise, they managed to advance from Narva city, over Lauga River, capture Jamburg and arrive at Petrograd by middle of June. The Peoples Force organized only two naval attacks, in Lauga and Kaporje bay.

The success near Narva spurred the Estonians on, who now moved towards Pihkva. Briefly before the attack began on May 24, 1919, the Estonian Communist Division, led by Leonhard Riti, defected to the Peoples Force.

By exploiting the gap in to front, Izborsk was capture on the same morning and on May 25 Pihkva was taken with the help of armored trains. Over 2000 Bolsheviks were taken prisoner, most of them belonging to the Estonian communist divisions.

On May 27, the Peoples Force also began advancing towards Latvia, taking Lemsalu (Limbaži), Volmari (Valmiera) and Aluliina (Alūksne) on the following days.

On May 31, they marched into Võnnu (Cēsis) and by June 5, Estonian forces had reached the city of Jekabpils and Väine (Daugava) River. Red Army was cornered in Northern Latvia by the Estonians. Due to this, and the German assault from the south, the puppet country Latvian Socialist Soviet Republic ceased to exist.

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

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