The campaign of the Riga to Läänemaa (Wiek) county

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January 1211

The town of Riga became more active in fights against Estonians, who unlike the Order, tried to settle in Western Estonia. In 1201, a message was sent to the Livonians, Latgalians and to town of Pihkva, a large army was gathered, and in January 1211, the forces started to move towards the southern most parish of Läänemaa (Wiek), Soontagana. The army moved along the coastline.

Estonians found out that the army was on the move, but were unable to spread the word fast enough. It is thought, that the army surrounded the Soontagana fort. According to Henrik of Livonia, crusaders took a lot of prisoners, a number of Estonians fled to forests or onto sea ice, where they froze to death.

The attack, however, did not sway Estonians, and already on the following month they organized a raid to Metsepole county, where several villages and churches were burned to the ground. From now on, Germans waged war not only with Saccalians and Ugaunians, but also in the Läänemaa county.

Source: Sulev Vahtre. Muinasaja loojang Eestis: vabadusvõitlus 1208-1227. Tallinn: Olion. 1990
Eesti ajaloo atlas. Tallinn: Avita, 2006

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