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The Battle of More

In September 1944 the Red Army began military action in the Baltic area with the goal of dividing and destroying the German Army Group North.

The Red Army assault in the direction of Nītaure – Sigulda – Saulkrasti – Riga reached the German-built Sigulda line of defence in More parish on September 25. The 10-kilometre long trenches in More parish were filled almost exclusively with soldiers from the 19th Division of the Latvian Legion. Heavy fighting continued for five days. The enemy outnumbered the Legion tenfold. Nine battalions were sent to positions in the centre of More, which was defended by only two companies; the attack was supported by artillery, aircraft and tanks. The legionnaires destroyed four tanks with rocket propelled grenades. But as they ran out of ammunition, the Latvian legionnaires were forced to defend their positions in extremely heavy and continuous hand-to-hand combat for 48 hours.

The Red Army's breach at Kārtūži on the evening of September 28 was eliminated by the next morning in a heavy battle. Many Red Army soldiers were killed, including the commander of their regiment. The attacks became weaker in subsequent days and by September 30 the Battle of More had ended. The Latvian legionnaires had stopped the enemy and fulfilled their duty on their own soil.

The German army was ordered to abandon its positions around Sigulda on the night of October 5-6.

The Red Army and its reinforcements attacked and occupied the empty trenches in More on October 6.

The Battle of More can justifiably be considered the last battle in the defence of Riga. The Latvian soldiers' heroic spirit and love of their country delayed the Red Army's sudden break for Riga, diverted the encirclement of the German 18th Army in North Vidzeme and Estonia, and ensured the evacuation of unprecedented numbers of military personnel and civilians.

The German forces left Riga during the Battle of More. The subsequent occupation of the capital by the Red Army met with no resistance, and as a result Riga was not destroyed.

     

"Kalna Kaņēni", Mores pagasts, Siguldas novads, Rīgas rajons, LV-2170 Tālruņi: +371 64147236, +371 29446115