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Rauna : Estonian Brief

 
This is a part of the Battle of Cēsis. On 21 June three Baltic Landeswehr columns attacked to the north and east of the town. The most northerly attack was repulsed, but the two other columns broke through the Estonian lines to the east of Cesis town, dispersing the Latvian 2nd Cēsis Regiment. These columns then peeled out, with the more northerly driving the main body of fleeing Latvians northwards, and the more southerly bearing mostly eastwards. This left the Estonian 3rd Regiment isolated at the southern end of the Estonian line and it had to fall back on Rauna during the evening.

 situation map
basic sketch, off a modern map

The game represents the next day, as the south-most column of Baltic Landeswehr pressed its attack further, trying to drive the Estonians out of Rauna and away from the rest of the Estonian army.
 

Estonian brief

You command the Estonian 3rd Regiment. Yesterday, after heavy fighting, you were forced to fall back to a line Muris–Smurgis–Baizkalna Estate–Rauna River–Mierens Cattle Estate with your southern edge along the Riga–Pskov highway.

It is vital that you hold the line of the Rauna river, since if you are pushed back the enemy will be able to drive a wedge between you and the rest of the army to your north and west. If possible you should try to hold the road through Muris, as this is the most direct line of communication (so far as you know) with the neighbouring units. If you must retire, then it should be to the north.

The enemy pulled back during the night to rest and you lost contact with them. You expect an attack, from the west, at any time. There are no known enemy to east, south or north of your positions.
 

Your men

2-i-C

1st Battalion:
1st Company – 4 bases
2nd Company – 4 bases
3rd Company – 4 bases
4th Company – 3 bases
1st MG Platoon – 1 base

3rd Battalion:
9th Company – 3 bases
10th Company – 3 bases
11th Company – 2 bases
12th Company – 2 bases
3rd MG Platoon – 1 base

MG Company – 2 bases
Foot Scouts Detachment – 2 bases
Horse Scouts Detachment – 1 base

Tallinn Independent Squadron (attached cavalry) – 3 bases

Attached artillery
3rd Battery, 3rd Arty Rgt – 1 x 6" Schneider howitzer base (heavy gun)
4th Battery, 3rd Arty Rgt – 1 x British 18 pounder base (field gun)

The men are well and eager to take on the enemy.

Your 2nd Battalion is protecting the rear and communication lines, so is unavailable at present. There are also some remnants of the Latvian 1st Battalion in Muris. They appear to number over 100 men, but since they broke and ran yesterday you cannot be certain that they will stand today – although they assure you that they will. There is no chance of reinforcements, since you are cut off from the rest of your army.

Your cavalry are really mounted infantry.

The scout detachments are your best troops.

The howitzer has 80 minutes supply of ammunition. The 18-pdr base has 120 minutes worth, but the men are unfamiliar with the guns, which have just been issued to them.

You are desperately short on all communications equipment. You have a couple of mobile telephone receivers and two kilometres of wire. There is a telephone connection along Muris–Smurgis–Baizkalna Estate–Rauna town–Mierens. You have intermittent telephone communication to your Army HQ, well to your northwest.
 

The enemy

You face elements of the Baltic Landeswehr, although most of them seem to be Reich Germans rather than local Balts. Their offensive spirit is considerable. Although they do not appear to be numerous, they have more MGs and artillery than you.
 

Terrain

You have been in the area some time and your map is accurate. You may question locals about any particular items of interest.

The area is relatively hilly, for Latvia. That and the fir forest cover (basically assumed to be 30m high) prevents most long range viewing.  The forests themselves do not have much undercover and are relatively easy going, except when boggy, in which case they become almost impassable.  Some of the river banks have deciduous trees and are scrubbier.

The Rauna River is frequently cliff-lined and fairly swift, but is slowly fordable by (determined) foot before it merges with the Cimzas River. The cliffs are more like steep banks than vertical rock faces but the softness of the ground makes them very hard to scale.

The bridges on the main roads are fairly sturdy wood except: the Pskov highway is stone or covered culvert; and the crossing immediately west of Rauna is a ford with cuttings on each side into the banks to make access easier.

The area is scattered with small farms, each only a few buildings clumped together, usually fenced. There are no other fences or hedges, but some ditches, especially along the roads or near boggy areas. There are occasional rye crops which provide good cover if infantry take care to move through them slowly.

Assume each farm will take basically a platoon (i.e. base) for the night.  Troops assembling in the morning will not be able to do this without being seen (if the enemy has a line of sight naturally).
 

Miscellaneous

The weather has been warm and dry for a while. Sunrise is at 2:30 and sunset is 20:20 (St Petersburg time).

A base represents approximately 30 fighting men, 4 MGs or 2 guns.

The Latvians did not clump their farms into tight villages. Therefore issuing orders with reference to a named place, while perfectly acceptable, is not precise. It is quite possible for troops to march through a “village” and not know they have done so, because on the ground it just looks like another set of indistinguishable farms scattered around. Therefore the marker for most named places is the road intersections, not the buildings.

The areas of trees are bright green for fir and a slightly duller green for the scrubby deciduous forests along the waterways and the park at Baizkalna manor. The yellow areas on the other forests indicate swampy areas.
 
 
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