Germans advance and Bolsheviks flee Estonia

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23. February 1918

German advance continued on February 22, moving from Haapsalu and Lihula towards Tallinn. Tallinn's Red Guard and seamen units fought the first battles near Udruma community house and Kolovere estate.

Bigger clash took place near Riisipere railway station. Germans met most resistance by the Red Guard and seamen units that had rallied in Keila. In the evening, latter were forced to retreat. Germans came to Tallinn on February 24, reaching Saue town nearby.
In the evening of February 23, the Estonian Executive Committee, Committee of Russian Social Democratic Labor Party and other Bolsheviks held a meeting in Toompea castle. Jossif Stalin's (see image) telegram was read out, in which the Soviet government announced that they agree to the demands of Germany's peace delegation and will grant Estonia to Germany.

In such desperate situation, Bolsheviks, together with the Baltic Navy, decided to evacuate to Petrograd. Majority of Soviet activists, Red Guard and some workers together with their families boarded ships in the morning of 24 in Tallinn. Only Bolshevik town government, lead by Voldemar Vöölmann, stayed in the capital.

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.                                                                                                   

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