: Umpire's Notes
Estonian strengths in this
scenario are pretty accurate, the Freikorps ones slightly conjectural,
especially the reserves. The land of the area is really as flat as the
map shows – only the very pointiest bits are hills in any
In real life on 2 July the Estonians made one thrust towards Seltin,
which was repulsed, and another which took Salaspils and Kirchholm
after a struggle, but was later repulsed with considerable losses when
the Germans sent reserves in. It was probably the worst repulse of the
war for the Estonians.
It would seem that this scenario favours the Freikorps very heavily,
but the two times I played it suggest otherwise. Although an Estonian
player can hardly hope to drive the Germans totally from the field, if
they capture one of the towns and make the Freikorps commander call up
his reserves then they have done OK.
It is important that the Estonian player be quite attacking minded or
the whole scenario will fall apart into indecisive skirmishing from
cover – stress to him General Laidoner's insistence that his
attack be vigorous if he looks like flinching. That said, he has to be
allowed to ensure that his flanks are free of enemy before he attacks
the main line, which will take some time.
Since the German has a
reactive role, at least initially, and the advantage of good
communications it would seem the better command for the less
I played it using (slightly amended) Red
rules. In this
scenario a base represents approximately 30 fighting men, 4 MGs or 2
Bear in mind that the Estonian player’s map is not exact at
the start. It should be replaced with better portions as the player
advances to view the landscape personally (assuming he does).
The Latvians and the Estonian cavalry
The Latvians will attack across
the Zekul Ferry some time early in the morning, and will continue to
attack on and off throughout the morning, but with little luck. They
have no way of communicating with the Estonians unless they see them on
the Zekul to Ogre road and shout something across the river but the
noise of the fighting will be pretty obvious. They will provide no
assistance at any time to the Estonian, who should be told that if he
tries to get some sort of link going, but the German is not to know
The German briefing also leads him to suspect that he might be facing a
regiment of cavalry as well as the infantry. This prevents him
immediately emptying his line as soon as he calculates that the entire
enemy infantry regiment has appeared, which gives the Estonian a bit of
a hand in evening the odds. The cavalry was in fact stationary in Ogre,
but could easily have intervened and the German should left completely
in the dark about its likely arrival.
Freikorps reserves will be
sent if Kirchholm or Salaspils are in danger of falling and a telephone
request is made. They will take at least half an hour to arrive at the
map edge along the Zekul road. The infantry will take the short-cut to
Bribzemieks if requested to go to Amalienhof, but the cavalry may not
risk it. It is hard to see how the artillery could intervene in time,
other than pound anyone trying to advance up the northern road to Riga
(using a spotter and the telephone line).
1st Company – 3 bases
2nd Company – 3 bases
3rd Company – 3 bases
MG Company – 1 base
Uhlan Squadron – 4 bases
Heavy Battery – 2 x 150mm howitzer bases
The Jäger Battalion will not pursue the beaten enemy under anything but the most
propitious circumstances, and even then only
briefly. They were the reserve for the whole division and a transitory
victory on a flank would not be worth the risk that another part of the
line might collapse in their absence. The German player is welcome to
pursue with any of his own troops, if they are still fresh enough. Thus
if the Jägers are used the scenario ends when the
have been driven off.
It is more than likely that various planes will turn up to spot for the
Freikorps from time to time, dropping messages in the vicinity of where
they think the HQ is. If they can decisively identify a unit as
Estonian, then they might attempt a strafe or two. In reality the
attacks of the German planes on Estonian ground troops were
spectacularly unsuccessful, but they did tend to divert attention, and
in this scenario will act to warn the defenders.
The armoured car listed is speculation, but the division did have a
they may have been used. It should only be brought into play if the
the line at Kirchholm and are advancing down the road. Note that with Red Actions!
Estonian has used all his artillery shells then the
armoured car is almost indestructible.
If the Estonians try a wide outflanking move via Zekul they will be
counter-attacked by a battalion of the Iron Division’s 2nd
defending that village. These might also call in the reserve howitzers
if they see a tempting target to the south, such as a column trying to
get in behind Amalienhof.
Basically, the umpire should try to prevent
an attack too far north of Seltin, as that is in contradiction with the
Based on my
the course of the war I have amended the troop values for the Freikorps
from those in standard Red
(My values can be found in the wargaming section of the site, and my
full reasons in the articles on 1919 Latvia in the history section of the site.)
Despite my reduced values for the Germans, the Estonians still have a
hard job in this scenario. If one wishes to even the odds a bit in
their favour, and give them a greater rchance of breaching the line
without being excessively unhistorical, I suggest various options.
Morale was very high for the Estonians, so their units can have a +1 to
morale until they fail a test. Alternately, the Estonian can have his
smaller companies bumped up to 3 bases each (two base companies are
pretty dinky, and need to be merged in action). The option I
used was to remove the "specialist" characteristic from the Freikorps,
to simulate their loss of resolve following the debacle at Cesis. This
doesn't affect them when things are going well, but means that they
find it harder to press counter attacks and they retire more often.