Baltische Landeswehr

Baltische Landeswehr

Infobox Military Unit
unit_name= Baltische Landeswehr

dates= November 1918 - July 3, 1919
country= Flag|United Baltic Duchy
patron= Rüdiger von der Goltz
colours= "Feldgrau"
march= Goose-Step
identification_symbol= Shoulder strap piping in light blue and white, the Baltic colors.
battles= Estonian War of Independence, Latvian War of Independence, Aftermath of World War I
notable_commanders= Rüdiger von der Goltz

Baltische Landeswehr [ [| The Formation of the Baltic States By Stanley W, Harvard University Press] ] ("Baltic Land Defence") was the name of the unified armed forces of The United Baltic Duchy Fact|date=September 2008 from November 1918 to July 3, 1919.

Command structure

Legally, the Commander-in-Chief of the Landeswehr was Rüdiger von der Goltz, a position he gained in November 1918. Administration and military authority initially lay with the war ministry under Major Alfred Fletcher.


*Major Alfred Fletcher (Jan 1919 - July 1919)
*Lieutenant-Colonel Harold Alexander (British; July 1919)


After the November 11, 1918, armistice the Inter-Allied Commission of Control insisted that the German troops remain in the Baltic countries to prevent the region from being re-occupied by the Red Army. As many of the demoralised German soldiers were being withdrawn from Latvia, a Freikorps unit called the Iron Brigade ( _de. Eiserne Brigade, later expanded and renamed the Iron Division [ [ Axis History Factbook: Eiserne Brigade (Freikorps) ] ] [ [ Axis History Factbook: Eiserne Division (Freikorps) ] ] ) was formed and deployed in Riga and used to delay the Red advance. New volunteers arriving from Germany and remnants of the German 8th Army were subsequently added to the Iron Division, which was assigned under the command of General von der Goltz. Also, the Baltic Germans and some Latvians formed the "Baltische Landeswehr", led by Major Alfred Fletcher.

Theaters and Campaigns

In late February 1919 only the seaport of Liepāja (Libau) remained in the hands of the German and Latvian forces. In March 1919, General von der Goltz was able to win a series of victories over the Red Army, first occupying Ventspils (Windau), the major port of Courland, and then advancing south and east to retake Riga. After the Bolsheviks had been driven out from most of Latvia, the Allies ordered the German government to withdraw its troops from the Baltic region. However, the Germans succeeded in negotiating a postponement, arguing that this would have given the Bolsheviks a free hand. General von der Goltz then attempted to seize control of Latvia with the assistance of the local German population. The murder of three men of the "Baltische Landeswehr" led to the coup d'état of April 16, 1919, by the proclamation of the Government of a Lutheran clergyman, Andrievs Niedra. Parleys, in which the United States and England took part, did not prevent the advance on Riga and the liberation of this city on May 22, where Baron Hans von Manteuffel made an entry with a small detachment, and died leading his men. Latvian national government was deposed while white Russian units and the Freikorps moved on to capture Riga on May 23, 1919. Latvians sought assistance from the Estonian People's Army ("Eesti Rahvavägi") which had been occupying Northern Latvia since earlier that year. In June 1919 General von der Goltz ordered his troops not to advance east against the Red Army, as the Allies had been expecting, but north, against the Estonians. On June 19 the Iron Division and "Landeswehr" units launched an attack to capture areas around Cēsis (Wenden), however in the battles over the following few days they were defeated by the Estonian army (led by Johan Laidoner) and Latvian national units. On the morning of June 23, the Germans began a general retreat toward Riga. The Allies again insisted that the Germans withdraw their remaining troops from Latvia and intervened to impose a ceasefire between the Estonians and the Freikorps when the Estonians were about to march into Riga. In the meantime, an Allied mission composed of British troops under General Sir Hubert de la Poer Gough had arrived in the Baltic with the task of clearing the Germans from the region and organizing native armies for the Baltic States. To ensure its return to Latvian control, the Baltische Landeswehr was placed under British authority.


After taking command of the Baltische Landeswehr in mid-July 1919, Lieutenant-Colonel Harold Alexander (the future Field Marshal the Earl Alexander of Tunis and Governor General of Canada, 1946-1952), gradually dismissed the German elements. The Germans released from the "Baltische Landeswehr" were incorporated into the "Deutsche Legion" in September 1919. The legion served under the West Russian Volunteer Army commanded by Colonel Prince Pavel Bermondt-Avalov. The British insisted that General von der Goltz leave Latvia, and he turned his troops over to Bermondt-Avalov's white Russian Army. Count von der Goltz later claimed in his memoirs that his major strategic goal in 1919 had been to launch a campaign in cooperation with the white Russian forces to overturn the Bolshevik regime by marching on Saint Petersburg and to install a pro-German government in Russia.

Prominent members

Prominent Baltic officers from the Landeswehr era include:

*Generalmajor Erich Alt (Luftwaffe) (leader of the 1. Baltischen Flieger-Abteilung (433))
*Generalmajor Rudolf Bader (in the Badisches Freiwilligen Abteilung Medem)
*Generalmajor Heinrich Baron von Behr
*Generalmajor z.V. Heinrich Burggraf und Graf zu Dohna-Schlobitten
*Generalmajor Karl Dormagen
*Generalmajor Dipl. Ing. Hans Henrici
*General der Artillerie Kurt Jahn
*Generalleutnant Heinrich Rauch (Luftwaffe) (aerial observer in Flieger-Abteilung 433)

(the ranks are the highest ranks reached in the Third Reich era)


Members of the Baltische Landeswehr wore shoulder strap piping in light blue and white, the Baltic colors.

Order of battle (20 May 1919)

*1. Deutsch-Balt. Kampfbataillon (Stoßtrupp Manteuffel; Baron Hans von Manteuffel)
*2. Deutsch-Balt. Kampfbataillon (Hauptmann Malmede)
*3. Deutsch-Balt. Kampfbataillon (Rittmeister Graf zu Eulenburg)
*MG-Scharfschützen-Abteilung (Hauptmann Freiherr von Khaynach)
*Russische Abteilung Fürst Lieven (Cavalry Captain Prince Anatolii Pavlovich Liven or, in German, Fürst Anatol Leonid Lieven)
*Lettische Kampf-Brigade (Colonel Jānis Balodis)
*Stamm-Kompanie Talssen
*Stamm-Kompanie Tuckum
*Balten-Kompanie des Gouvernement Libau
*Elements of the MG-Kompanie of III./Freiwilligen-Regiment Libau (Gouvernement Libau)
*Lettische Kavallerie-Abteilung
*Russische Kavallerie-Abteilung
*Kavallerie-Abteilung Engelhardt
*Kavallerie-Abteilung Drachenfels
*Kavallerie-Abteilung Pappenheim
*Kavallerie-Abteilung Halm
*1. Deutsch-Balt. Batterie (Ehmke)
*2. Deutsch-Balt. Batterie (Barth)
*3. Deutsch-Balt. Batterie (Sievert)
*Deutsch-Balt. Haubitze-Batterie
*Russische Batterie (Röhl)
*Badisches Freiwilligen Abteilung Medem (attached Korpstruppe)
*Lettische Pionier-Kompanie
*Pionier-Abteilung Stromberg
*Balt. Fernsprech-Abteilung
*Lettische Fernsprech-Abteilung
*Balt. Funker-Abteilung
*Flieger-Abteilung 433 (attached Korpstruppe)
*Armee-Kraftwagen-Kolonne 021 (attached Korpstruppe)
*Staffel-Stab der Landeswehr (Major Wölki)
**Munitions- und Train-Kolonne I
**Munitions- und Train-Kolonne II
**Landeskolonne III
*Wirtschafts-Kompanie 1
*Wirtschafts-Kompanie 2
*Sammeldepot Libau



# Goltz Rüdiger von der, "Meine Sendung im Finland und im Baltikum", Leipzig 1920.
# Goltz Rüdiger von der, "Minu missioon Soomes ja Baltikumis", Tartu, Loodus 1937; faksiimiletrükk Tallinn, Olion 2004. ISBN 9985-66-379-9.
# Bermond-Awaloff Pavel, "Im Kampf gegen den Bolschevismus. Erinnerungen von...", Berlin 1925.
# BischoffJosef, "Die letzte Front. Geschichte der Eiserne Division im Baltikum 1919", Berlin 1935.
# "Darstellungen aus den Nachkriegskämpfen deutscher Truppen und Freikorps", Bd 2: "Der Feldzug im Baltikum bis zur zweiten Einnahme von Riga. Januar bis Mai 1919", Berlin 1937; Bd 3: "Die Kämpfe im Baltikum nach der zweiten Einnahme von Riga. Juni bis Dezember 1919", Berlin 1938.
# "Die Baltische Landeswehr im Befreiungskampf gegen den Bolschewismus", Riga 1929.
# "Eesti Vabadussõda 1918-1920", Tallinn, Mats, 1997. ISBN 9985-51-028-3.
# Kiewisz Leon, "Sprawy łotewskie w bałtyckiej polityce Niemiec 1914-1919", Poznań 1970.
# Łossowski Piotr, "Między wojną a pokojem. Niemieckie zamysły wojenne na wschodzie w obliczu traktatu wersalskiego. Marzec-kwiecień 1919", Warszawa 1976.
# Paluszyński Tomasz, "Walka o niepodległość Łotwy 1914-1920", Warszawa 1999.
# "Von den baltische Provinzen zu den baltischen Staaten. Beiträge zur Entstehungsgeschichte der Republiken Estland und Lettland", Bd I (1917-1918), Bd II (1919-1920), Marburg 1971, 1977.

See also

*Aftermath of World War I
*Estonian War of Independence
*Freikorps in the Baltic
*Latvian Riflemen
*Latvian War of Independence
*Military of Germany
*Ober Ost
*United Baltic Duchy

External links

* [ cannon of the Landeswehr]
* [ airplane of the Landeswehr]
* [ "Hans von Manteuffel" honor title]
* [ soldiers of the Landeswehr]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Baltische Landeswehr — Blason Période Novembre 1918 – 3 juillet 1919 P …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Baltische Landeswehr — Die Baltische Landeswehr war von 1918 bis 1920 der Name der baltischen Streitkräfte, ein militärischer Verband, der zum Großteil aus deutschbaltischen Freiwilligen bestand. In einem vielschichtigen, zum Teil bürgerkriegsähnlichen Konflikt wurde… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Baltische Landeswehr — …   Википедия

  • Baltische Landwehr — Die Baltische Landeswehr war von 1918 bis 1920, während des Vereinigten Baltischen Herzogtums und der ersten Jahre der Republik Lettland, der offizielle Name der baltischen Streitkräfte, ein militärischer Verband, der zum Großteil aus… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Landeswehr — Die Baltische Landeswehr war von 1918 bis 1920, während des Vereinigten Baltischen Herzogtums und der ersten Jahre der Republik Lettland, der offizielle Name der baltischen Streitkräfte, ein militärischer Verband, der zum Großteil aus… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Lettischer Unabhängigkeitskrieg — Als lettischer Unabhängigkeitskrieg werden die bewaffneten Auseinandersetzungen auf dem Staatsgebiet Lettlands von der Ausrufung der Republik am 18. November 1918 bis zum Friedensschluss mit der Sowjetunion am 11. August 1920 bezeichnet.… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • United Baltic Duchy — Infobox Former Country native name = Vereinigtes Baltisches Herzogtum conventional long name= United Baltic Duchy common name = United Baltic Duchy continent = Europe region = Baltic era = World War I status = Military Occupation Authority empire …   Wikipedia

  • Schlacht von Wenden — Teil von: Estnischer Freiheitskrieg, Lettischer Freiheitskrieg Datum 19. Juni 1919–23. Juni 1919 Ort Cēsis …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Rüdiger von der Goltz — Infobox Person name = Rüdiger Graf von der Goltz image size = 120px caption = birth date = December 8, 1865 birth place = Züllichau, Prussia death date = November 4, 1946 death place = Allgäu, Germany education = occupation = Major General spouse …   Wikipedia

  • Histoire des corps francs dans la Baltique — Histoire des corps francs de la Baltique Les Corps francs de la Baltique désignent de manière générique les différents Freikorps (corps franc), organisations paramilitaires s étant constituées dans l Empire allemand, qui évoluèrent notamment dans …   Wikipédia en Français

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”