Red Army reaches Estonia

to map

01. February 1944

By the beginning of 1944, situation on the Eastern Front was ultimately favoring the Russians.

Germany had suffered heavy defeats; Soviet Russia, with the help of its Western allies, had managed to build a huge and extremely strong army. It moved swiftly westwards, with a goal to occupy as lot of Eastern Europe as possible, before the Alliance got there. In addition, conquering Estonia would have forced Finland to drop out of the war against Soviet Russia.
In the middle of January, Red Army's assault began near Leningrad and Novgorod, and ignoring Hitler's orders, the leader of the Army Group North, field marshal Georg von Küchler, ordered retreat. Army pulled back to the "Panther"-line, built in 1943-44, reaching from Narva to Pihkva.
Army Group "Narva" was formed out of the units that had reached Narva, their leader was general Johannes Frießner (see image).

On February 1, 1944, Russians reached Narva River, and assaulted the Narva bridgehead.

  • Sources: Eesti ajalugu. VI, Vabadussõjast taasiseseisvumiseni. Tartu: Ilmamaa, 2005
  • Eesti ajaloo atlas. Tallinn: Avita, 2006. 
  • Image sources

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