Haapsalu falls to the Germans

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20. February 1918

On February 20, 1918, German troops came to Virtsu and swiftly moved towards Lihula. On the same day, the 1. Estonian Division arrested the Council of Läänemaa in Haapsalu and disarmed the Russian naval battery on Vormsi Island.

On February 21, Germans, meeting no resistance, crossed the sea and reached Haapsalu. Leadership of the 1. Estonian Battalion informed the German military leadership, that Estonia stands neutral in the ongoing conflict, therefore it was demanded that Estonians could keep their weapons. Germans agreed and the 1. Estonia Battalion received orders to keep order in Haapsalu and nearby areas.
Some soldiers did not agree to this and began to retreat towards Tallinn, taking their weapons with them.

Source: Eesti ajalugu. VI, Vabadussõjast taasiseseisvumiseni. Tartu: Ilmamaa, 2005
Õie Elango, Ants Ruusmann ja Karl Siilivask. Eesti maast ja rahvast: Maailmasõjast maailmasõjani. Tallinn: Olion, 1998
Eesti ajalugu: kronoloogia. Tallinn: Olion, 2007
Eesti ajaloo atlas. Tallinn: Avita, 2006.
Image source: http://www.eha.ee/naitused_pildid/baltisaksa_vaade/2073_1_26.jpg

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