: Freikorps Brief
The battle of Cesis was a huge
victory for the Estonians, but that was over a week ago and the Iron
Division (Freikorps) and Baltic Landeswehr (local German militia) under
von der Goltz have retreated precipitously and are now lined up outside
Riga. The Estonians are itching to finish the Germans off and capture
The position is very strong, with almost all of it behind large
water features – except for along the Daugava River (Duna,
Dvina) near Salaspils, which is where this scenario occurs.
You are Major von Lossow,
commander of the 1st Regiment of the Iron Division, and you have been
in this sector for several days now. It was intended to attack here
yesterday, and troops were massed behind you to do this, but the
collapse of other sectors prevented it. As it stands the attack has
been postponed, not canceled. Your mission is to hold the line along
the Kirchholm to Zekul road, ideally so that it is open to traffic. The
2nd Regiment holds the sector north of where the Zekul stream crosses
the road. Your bosses will support you if you make a counter-attack at
obvious weakness, so there is no need to feel constrained to an
entirely defensive strategy.
The forest between the Riga–Zekul road and
rail line is pretty rough, and your reserves are down the
Riga–Zekul road, so if you are defeated in holding the line
should retire your men southwards to keep possession of the river road
and rail-line around Salaspils and Kirchholm: the neighbouring 2nd
Regiment can be left to hold the Riga–Zekul road.
There are telephone lines running Riga–Ukskula,
Riga–Zekul–Kirchholm, with receivers at Kirchholm,
Salaspils station, Salaspils estate, Amalienhof estate and Zekul. You
also have a receiver you can attach at any point and some wire. You
have a couple of light signaling devices, but finding open sight lines
is a problem with all the trees. You also have a handful of flares.
You know the area pretty well,
having been here a while now. Your map is generally accurate. You can
question the local (Baltic German) landowners about details of interest.
The area is extremely flat, with the highest hills (orange circles)
only 20 metres above river level. The two highest points are the church
steeple at Kirchholm and the Selekas hill but even these rarely see
over the forest trees.
The Dvina and Maza Jugla rivers are not fordable and neither side has
had time to accumulate any boats. The local streams are slow and are
not greatly cut into the ground: they are only difficult to cross when
boggy. They have a little bit of scrub along them sometimes.
The area is scattered with small farms, mostly only a few buildings
sometimes surrounded by fences, hedges or trees, but these make
crossing the open areas rather easier than if they were entirely bare.
They also provide night-time quarters for your men, so there is no need
to place them in the main villages (although they will greatly prefer
Houses are standard log cabin types except for major stone buildings at
Kirchholm and Zekul (churches) and Amalienhof and Salaspils (manors).
The railway station at Salaspils is pretty perfunctory, just a small
low station building and platform. Many of the smaller
“villages” are really just a loose collection of
The rye crops also provide some cover if infantry take care to move
through them slowly, but the hay has been gathered so the grass itself
is short. There are no hedges or fences, and rare ditches along the
roads or near boggy areas. The farmers usually do not farm boggy areas
(except sometimes to make hay) so most open space is good going.
The forests are not particularly dense with little undergrowth but most
are quite boggy – your map shows the worst bits, but there is
guarantee it is 100% accurate. Infantry and cavalry can move through
the dry forests without a huge deal of difficulty, although keeping
oriented is difficult in such flat land. There are lots of small
unmarked paths used for gathering firewood and berries which are
passable to artillery with difficulty.
The weather has been warm and dry for a while. Sunrise is at
and sunset is 20:20 (St Petersburg time).
You know absolutely nothing
about the enemy other than that the Estonian 3rd Regiment (about 1,500
bayonets) and 2nd Cavalry Regiment (unknown size) were heading towards
you the last you knew. They do not seem to have much artillery. Their
morale is good, following their victory at Cesis.
The railway line to Ukskula and Ogre does not connect with any lines in
enemy held territory. Therefore it cannot be used by their armoured
trains. Likewise they are extremely unlikely to have any armour.
You command the 1st Regiment of
the glorious Iron Division, with some attached cavalry and artillery
under your command.
1st Infantry Regiment
1st Company – 3
2nd Company – 3 bases
1st MG Company – 3 bases
5th Company – 3
6th Company – 3 bases
7th Company – 3 bases
2nd MG Company – 3 bases
9th Company – 3
10th Company – 3 bases
3rd MG Company – 2 bases
Mortar Company – 2 light mortar bases
Engineer (10 men) and Signals Platoon (12 men)
1st Uhlan Squadron
– 2 bases
1st Artillery Battalion – HQ base (this provides any required
observers) + 1 MG base
1st Battery – 2
x 77mm gun
base, 1 MG base
2nd Battery – 1 x 105mm howitzer base
3rd Battery – 1 x 105mm howitzer base
Your artillery carry 40 minutes worth of ammunition each, with a
resupply convoy with a further 40 minutes worth. (The artillery MG
platoon is not to be used as a general infantry platoon, it is for
guarding the guns.) The mortars are very short on ammunition and can
only fire for 15 minutes each.
There is a Reconnaissance Flight (Flieger Abt. 427) allotted to the
Iron Division. This may supply, from time to time, planes as
reconnaissance (or even messengers). They may also sometimes attack
enemy ground targets, if they can be entirely certain of their
identification. You may attempt to call their base for support, but you
have no authority to demand any particular action.
On the Riga to Zekul road lies the division’s reserve (a
based around a Jäger battalion), which will probably come to
assistance if things get sticky. However, you need to justify their
intervention, so merely spotting a few enemy is not sufficient cause to
call them up – and anyway, other sectors might have greater
You should only call them if the need is urgent.
(In this scenario a base represents approximately 30 fighting men, 4
MGs or 2 guns.)
deploy your men to
hold the Kirchholm to Zekul road, using the telephones as a means of
communication between HQs. Your main units should be in areas marked as
villages or towns, in order to provide suitable quarters overnight.
Pickets and small units may be as far advanced as you wish.