featuring Germans, Balts, Russians, Estonians and even some Latvians.
Initially I became interested in the Freikorps in the Baltic because I
wondered how 50,000 crack German Freikorps could be beaten in late 1919
by the 20,000 men of
the hastily raised Latvian army. There is little written about the
campaign in English or French, but eventually I managed to piece enough
together to understand that the story in most books on the period is
completely wrong. The Freikorps in Latvia were not the crack troops of
most histories, but men with wildly conflicting aims in an increasingly
difficult situation. Latvians have every right to be proud of their
ancestors' performance at the Battle of Riga, but their opponents were
considerably less numerous than generally stated, not to mention
already half beaten morally.
general history of Latvia in 1919
My findings, gleaned by
me from various sources. Since I don't read German, Estonian,
Latvian or Russian, I make no pretense that they are complete or 100%
accurate, but I feel confident that they are a huge improvement on what
is available in the non-specialist literature in English.
Battle of Cēsis
I have also been able to write a fairly detailed history of the Battle
Cēsis, but none of the credit is mine. Firstly Reigo Rosenthal provided
me with an enormous amount of information from Estonian sources. To
this Daniel Staberg added some stuff from German sources and balanced
out the Estonian view a bit. Valdis Kursietis added some information
about the Latvians, and Eduardo Lopez did a spot of translating.
Thank-you very much Daniel, Valdis, Eduardo and Reigo!
Orders of battle and
maps of troop placements
I would like at some time to do a similar treatment of the Battle of
Riga/Thorensberg, but in the meantime this is all I have:
I have very little interest in the fighting against the Soviets
(especially since it seems that the valiant and noble Freikorps were
actually not outnumbered like they made out) but I have collected some
bits and pieces that might interest others and Reigo Rosenthal has
kindly supplied a couple of cool maps of the Soviet movements in early
1919. (NB: the files are quite large.)
Wargaming the theatre
have drawn up some notes which might help people intending to game the
There are also a couple of scenarios set around the fighting at Cesis
in this site's scenario section: