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The Baltic Sea Division (German : Ostsee-Division) was a 10,000 man German military unit commanded by Rüdiger von der Goltz. The core of the division comprised two army brigades from the German Eastern Front: 95. Reserve Infantry Brigade (led by Colonel K. Wolff) and 2. Guards Cavalry Brigade (led by Colonel H. von Tschirsky und von Bögendorff). They were supported by additional artillery and pioneer troops, and transported to Finland by a naval squadron led by Hugo Meurer.
The military activity of the division in Finland served part of the foreign policy of the German Empire after the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk with Soviet Russia, signed on 3 March 1918. Germany aimed to establish a chain of satellite states in eastern Europe in order to provide raw materials for German industry and food products for the German people.
The Finnish Senate of Vaasa had requested German military aid for the Whites. The Finnish Senate paid all the financial costs of the military intervention of the Baltic Sea Division and urged the Finnish people to provide food, shelter, and any other aid needed by the Baltic Sea Division.
During the Finnish Civil War, on 3 April 1918, it landed at Hanko and moved towards Helsinki and Lahti. The Baltic Sea Division quickly took Helsinki from the Red Guards, who had previously deposed the official government in Helsinki. This enabled the Senate to return to Helsinki.
On 11 November 1918, the armistice ended World War I. Von der Goltz and his division left Helsinki on 16 December 1918
The Finnish Civil War was a civil war in Finland in 1918 fought for the leadership and control of the country between White Finland and the Finnish Socialist Workers' Republic during the country's transition from a Grand Duchy of the Russian Empire to an independent state. The clashes took place in the context of the national, political, and social turmoil caused by World War I in Europe. The war was fought between the Reds, led by a section of the Social Democratic Party, and the Whites, conducted by the conservative-based Senate and the German Imperial Army. The paramilitary Red Guards, which were composed of industrial and agrarian workers, controlled the cities and industrial centers of southern Finland. The paramilitary White Guards, which consisted of land owners and those in the middle and upper-classes, controlled rural central and northern Finland, and were led by General C. G. E. Mannerheim.
The United Baltic Duchy, also known as the Grand Duchy of Livonia, was a state proposed by the Baltic German nobility and exiled Russian nobility after the Russian Revolution and German occupation of the Courland, Livonian, and Estonian governorates of the Russian Empire. It was proposed in April 1918, after Estonia and Latvia had formally declared independence.
The Estonian War of Independence, also known as the Estonian Liberation War, was a defensive campaign of the Estonian Army and its allies, most notably the United Kingdom, against the Bolshevik westward offensive of 1918–1919 and the 1919 aggression of the Baltische Landeswehr. The campaign was the struggle of the newly established democratic nation of Estonia for independence in the aftermath of World War I. It resulted in a victory for Estonia and was concluded in the 1920 Treaty of Tartu.
The West Russian Volunteer Army or Bermontians was an army in the Baltic provinces of the former Russian Empire during the Russian Civil War in 1918–20.
Gustav Adolf Joachim Rüdiger Graf von der Goltz was a German army general during the First World War. He commanded the Baltic Sea Division, which successfully intervened in the Finnish Civil War in the spring of 1918. Goltz stayed with his troops in Finland until December 1918 representing German interests, and in practice ruled the country as a military dictator during this period. After the Armistice of 11 November 1918, Goltz commanded the army of the Baltic German-established Government of Latvia, which in 1919 was instrumental in the defeat of the Russian Bolsheviks and their local allies in Latvia, but suffered a defeat against Estonia and was eventually unsuccessful in retaining German control over the Baltic region after the War.
The Ice Cruise of the Baltic Fleet was an operation which transferred the ships of the Baltic Fleet of the Imperial Russian Navy from their bases at Tallinn, at the time known as Reval, and Helsinki to Kronstadt in 1918.
The Latvian War of Independence, sometimes called Latvia's freedom battles or the Latvian War of Liberation, was a series of military conflicts in Latvia between 5 December 1918, after the newly proclaimed Republic of Latvia was invaded by Soviet Russia, and the signing of the Latvian-Soviet Riga Peace Treaty on 11 August 1920.
Detachment Brandenstein was a unit commanded by German Baron Otto von Brandenstein. The 3,000 man unit which fought in the Finnish Civil War by landing at Loviisa April 7, 1918. Its assigned mission was to cut the Reds' railway connections by attacking to the East, thus cutting the railway between Helsinki and Viipuri. The major operation for Detachment Brandenstein was the Battle of Lahti in 19 April – 1 May.
The Baltic Landwehr or Baltische Landeswehr was the name of the unified armed forces of Couronian and Livonian nobility from 7 December 1918 to 3 July 1919.
Peter the Great's Naval Fortress or the Tallinn-Porkkala defence station was a Russian fortification line, which aimed to block access to the Russian capital Saint Petersburg via the sea. The plans for the fortress included heavy coastal artillery pieces along the northern and southern shores of the Gulf of Finland. The emphasis was put on the defenses of the gulf's narrowest point, between Porkkala, and Tallinn,. This was a strategic point, as the two fortresses of Mäkiluoto and Naissaar were only 36 kilometers apart. The coastal artillery had a range of about 25 kilometers and could thus "close" the gap between the shores, trapping enemy ships in a crossfire. Furthermore, a new major naval base was constructed in Tallinn.
A British submarine flotilla operated in the Baltic Sea for three years during the First World War. The squadron of nine submarines was attached to the Russian Baltic Fleet. The main task of the flotilla was to prevent the import of iron ore from Sweden to Imperial Germany. The success of the flotilla also forced the German Navy in the Baltic to keep to their bases and denied the German High Seas Fleet a training ground. The flotilla was based in Reval (Tallinn), and for most of its career commanded by Captain Francis Cromie.
The American Holland-class submarines, also AG class or A class, were Holland 602 type submarines used by the Imperial Russian and Soviet Navies in the early 20th century. The small submarines participated in the World War I Baltic Sea and Black Sea theatres and a handful of them also saw action during World War II.
The Battle of Cēsis, fought near Cēsis in June 1919, was a decisive battle in the Estonian War of Independence and the Latvian War of Independence. After heavy fighting an Estonian force moving from the north, supplemented by Latvian units, repelled Baltic German attacks and went on full counter-attack.
The Whites, or White Finland, was the name used to refer to the refugee government and forces under Pehr Evind Svinhufvud's first senate who opposed the "Reds", or the Finnish Socialist Workers' Republic, during the Finnish civil war (1918).
The Battle of Helsinki was a 1918 Finnish Civil War battle, fought in 12–13 April between the German troops and Finnish Whites against the Finnish Reds in Helsinki, Finland. Together with the battles of Tampere and Vyborg, it was one of the three major urban battles of the Finnish Civil War. The Germans invaded Helsinki despite the opposition of Finnish White Army leader Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim who wanted to attack the capital city with his own troops after Tampere had fallen on 6 April. However, the Germans had their own interest in taking Helsinki as quickly as possible and then moving further east towards the Russian border. The city had been under Red control for 11 weeks since the beginning of the war.
The Smolna is an Empire style building in the Kaartinkaupunki district of Helsinki, Finland. It is used as a banquet hall of the Cabinet of Finland and state visit meeting premises of the President and the Prime Minister.
The Pohjois-Haaga mass grave is a grave in Lassila, Helsinki, Finland, near the Pohjois-Haaga railway station that dates to the time of the Finnish Civil War in 1918. 28 men of the Red Guards or civilians thought to have been affiliated with them executed by the German Baltic Sea Division soldiers are buried at the site.
The Haaga executions of 1918 took place in Etelä-Haaga in what was then the Rural Municipality of Helsinge during the Battle of Helsinki of the Finnish Civil War on 12 April 1918. A total of 45 persons suspected of belonging to the Red Guards were executed by German troops at a bog at 8 o’clock p.m. at the site of the present Eliel Saarisen tie, halfway from the Pitäjänmäki roundabout to the tunnel leading to the Huopalahti Station, at the site of a pedestrian crossing. 28 of those executed were buried in the Pohjois-Haaga mass grave, which is located close to the current Pohjois-Haaga railway station.
The Valkoisten Voitonparaati was a military parade of the Finnish White Guard on 16 May 1918 celebrating their decisive victory in the Finnish Civil War, which officially ended the day before. The parade took place in Helsinki, the capital of Finland. The parade was presided by General Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim, the then Commander-in-Chief of the Finnish Defense Forces, a position he would resign from 14 days later. It consisted of 12,000 men marching down the streets of the capital. It is regarded today as a political show of force organized by Mannerheim to strengthen his position vis-à-vis the German troops in the country. The parade played an important role in Mannerheim's later career, as a result of which he became nationally known to the point of becoming the 6th President of Finland in the mid-1940s. The whites also organized victory parades in other cities they had occupied during the war. Large parades were also held in Vaasa and Vyborg, both of which Mannerheim attended.
Gunnar Isak Lindqvist was a Finnish Jäger and a senior lieutenant in the Estonian Army. He had received military training during the First World War as a Jäger and received his baptism of fire on the Eastern Front at Misse River in 1916. Later, he took part in the Finnish Civil War in the White Army as a signals officer and in the Estonian War of Independence as a battalion commander. During his life he served in the armies of three states and was a veteran of the six wars. In the 1930s and 1940s, Lindqvist took part in several Nazi groups.