Battles in Sinimäed Hills

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24. July 1944

In July 1944, the German military leadership was preparing to rectify the Eastern Front, front which had spread too long. On the night of July 24, forces were ordered to retreat, moving from Narva to Sinimäed Hills line.

Transport of heavy weaponry to the new positions began few days earlier. At the same time, Soviet army rallied a colossal force to Narva, with immense technical superiority.

On July 24, Russians began their assault on German's positions with heavy artillery fire. Bloody battle was held in Auvere springboard, where apparently the Soviet army lost about 80% of its soldiers. On July 26, Russians entered Narva, which the Germans had left behind. Germans were fortifying themselves on the new Tannenberg line, its key location was the area in the center of the line: three small hills called the Sinimäed Hills.

First red troops reached the line on July 26, on July 27 assault of Red Army's main forces began. Extremely bloody battles followed: every single smaller position was fought over, but ultimately the Red Army was pushed back. Both sides suffered heavy losses: around 100-200,000 Soviet soldiers perished and German side lost several tens of thousands.

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

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