Armies prepare for the battle

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20. September 1217

Estonian elders were most likely aware that soon the crusader will catch up with them, therefore they decided to move on and find a better place to fight the battle.
This place was Madi farm, about 10 km from Viljandi, near later Risti's chapel, between Vanamõisa and Karuse areas.

The surrounding area was mainly forested, togther with rough grasslands, small moraine ridges, pools of water and thickets. This sort of landscape was difficult to pass through, therefore maneuvering there was quite uncomfortable for the crusaders. Estonians decided to fight the battle here.

Estonian army was divided into three, by the counties. Saccalians together with Lembitu were positioned to fight Latvians; Harriens (from Harjumaa/Harrien) and people from Ridala county (Läänemaa/Wiek) were set up against the Livonians. The center part of the joint army was made up of Revalians (Reval/Rävala), Wironians (Wironia/Virumaa) and men from Järva county. This was also the larges section of the army. Estonians hoped to swiftly crush the Livonians and Latvians, who were fighting on the flanks, then surround the Germans located in the center and destroy them.

Sources: Sulev Vahtre. Muinasaja loojang Eestis: vabadusvõitlus 1208-1227. Tallinn: Olion. 1990

Evald Tõnisson, Jüri Selirand ja Artur Vassar. Kui Lembitu kutsus... Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1968                            

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