The Red Army reaches Narva, general mobilization is announced

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30. January 1944

In the beginning of 1944, Red Army launched its general assault on the Eastern front. That forced the Germans army to pull back behind Estonian borders. In February, Red Army tried to cross Narva River and swiftly capture all of Northern-Estonia, which probably would have made Finland to give up the war against the Soviet Union. Germans tried to avoid this at any cost, and the defence of Estonia became very important.

On January 30, general mobilization to the German army was announced, bringing in more than 32,000 Estonians. The speech of Jüri Uluots had a great role to play in the success of the mobilization: he invited the nation to defend Estonia from communist threat. Primary reason for the Estonian nationalists to support the fight against the Red Army was that a new Soviet occupation would fully extinguish any hope of restoring Estonian nationhood.

Troops consisting of Estonians played a great role in halting the assault of the Red Army: in the end of February, several Soviet bridgeheads on Narva River were destroyed, thus stopping the Red Army from seizing Narva.

Soviet Union tried to achieve a break through under Narva, and sent there thousands of soldiers, cannons and other heavy weaponry. After several months of intense fighting, the Red Army captured Narva, but not for long, as in July, battles continued west from Narva, in Sinimäed Hills, where the Soviet troops never made their breakthrough.

Source: Eesti ajalugu. VI: Vabadussõjast taasiseseisvumiseni. Lk-d 196-227.

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