Estonian assaults and the siege of Toreida

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May 1211

Triumph did not last for long - after hearing about the active war preparations of the Estonians, the crusaders plundered the southern areas of Saccalia county, as a precaution.

This was followed by fierce attack to the crusader's dominion. First, Estonians forayed the areas around Asti (Burtniek) Lake and Ümera River; then Estonian elders Lembitu and Meeme attacked Rubene, home place of Henrik of Latvia, where a church was set afire.

Also, the attacks of the Estonians against the Livoninans became more frequent, as latter were considered to be enemies. Livonians, who had been forced into war against Estonians, hoped to cooperate with Estonians somehow, but the raids turned the Livonians against the Estonians.

Oeselians joined in in the fight against Germans. They moved up the Koiva (Gauja) River, and raided the church parish of Kubesele. Later, Oeselians, Revalians and people from Läänemaa county (Wiek) joined in a much larger scale pillage. Army, put together from three different counties, is estimated to have been about 3000-4000 men. This army surrounded and started to besiege Kaupo's residence in Toreida. Germans sent a help request to Riga from a nearby Order's fort in Sigulda, and those arrived in Torieda in a hurry. Estonians were now trapped between two enemy armies. Despite fighting very bravely, which is recognized even by Henrik of Livonia, Estonians suffered great casualties.

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

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