The three army manoeuver of the Estonians

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April 1215

By the initiative of the Oeselians and with the help of people from Wiek, Saccalia and Ugaunia, a larger attack was organized. In the older history writing this is known as the three army maneuver of Estonians.

Oeselians were to siege the town of Riga, whilst others attacked the lands of Latgalians and Livonians.

In the spring of 1215, Oeselians sailed to the river mouth of Väina River, and begun to barricade it with old ship wrecks and log rafts. One part of Oeselians sailed to Riga and landed in front of the town. They were defeated by an army of townspeople, crusaders and Livonians. Riga was safe again.

At the same time, people from Wiek were pillaging Livonian villages in Metsepole, but were unable to capture any forts. After hearing that Livonians had gathered to Riga and the Oeselians had been defeated, the returned to home. As the third force, Ugaunians and Saccalians pillaged Latgalian villages in the Tolova county, torturing an old enemy, Talibald, to death in the process. However, this action was nothing more than a raid. It can be admitted, that Estonian maneuver was an useful act, but lacked then necessary decisiveness. In order to achieve greater success, e.g. capture Riga, much larger force was needed.

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

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