Estonians retreat; the secondary battle

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21. September 1217 time 16:00

Invaders began to pursue retreating Estonians, is is possible that Estonians fought a hopeless secondary battle with the Germans.

After their attacks had been fought off, pursuit of the fleeing Estonians began. It is possible that the Estonians who had regrouped while retreating, fought a secondary battle with the Germans, west of the main battle field. The knights of the Order found themselves in a tricky situation.

Only after the rest of army had caught up with the knights, Estonians were finally crushed. Angry chase of the survivors began in local forests and swamps.

Estonian lost numerous men, according to the chronicle about 1000-1400 men perished. Even though these figures should not be entirely trusted, it is safe to guess that about 1/3 of the Estonian army was killed.

The crusaders received more than 2000 horses as loot. A number of Saccalian elders died, including Lembitu. But also the crusaders lost fighters, perhaps the most important of them was the elder of the Livonians and a good friend of the Germans, Kaupo.

Source: 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                            

Image source: A. Mäesalu, T. Lukas, M. Laur, T. Tanneberg Eesti ajalugu I, Avita 1997, lk 64      

 


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