German advance and capture of Riga

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22. May 1919

In the beginning of March, German went on the move from Venta River and the front was moved to Lielupe River and Jelgava.
Due to the Estonian troops, Red Army's units in Southern Estonia, Northern Latvia and Pihkva were weakened and split up. This encouraged the Germans to launch an assault on Riga, which began unexpectedly on May 22, 1919, and was successful.


On may 27, Estonian People's Army went on the move in Northern Latvia, capturing Volmari (Valmiera), Lemsalu (Limbaži), Võnnu (Cesis) and Gulbene.

Estonian and German troops threatened to close in from two sides, thus the Red Army hurried to retreat.

In the beginning of June, some German units unexpectedly met Estonians near Võnnu. First confrontations were relatively peaceful, but both Estonian and German military leadership distrusted each other. Niedra's government's coming to power made the Estonian leadership anxious, as this threatened the two-sided agreement of Estonia and Latvia, which had been formed in February 1919. According to it, Estonians agreed to form, supply and lead Latvian military troops, Latvia offered financial and material support, also promised to make border rectifications beneficial to Estonia.

Source: Eesti ajalugu. VI, Vabadussõjast taasiseseisvumiseni. Tartu: Ilmamaa, 2005
Eesti Vabadussõda, 1918-1920, 1. Tallinn: Mats, 1996
Eesti ajaloo atlas. Tallinn: Avita, 2006.                                                                                                  

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