Latvian War of Independence
1918–20 conflict between the newly-declared Republic of Latvia and the Russian SFSR / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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The Latvian War of Independence (Latvian: Latvijas Neatkarības karš), sometimes called Latvia's freedom battles (Latvijas brīvības cīņas) or the Latvian War of Liberation (Latvijas atbrīvošanas karš), 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.
|Latvian War of Independence|
|Part of Russian Civil War and Polish–Soviet War|
The North Latvian Brigade entering Riga in 1919
|1918–April 1919||1918–April 1919|
|April–July 1919||April–July 1919||April–July 1919|
|July 1919–1920||October–December 1919||July 1919–1920|
|Commanders and leaders|
Rüdiger von der Goltz|
Walter von Eberhardt
|69,232 (January 1920)|
|Casualties and losses|
at least 2000 POWs captured
|History of Latvia|
The war can be divided into a few stages: Soviet offensive, German-Latvian liberation of Kurzeme and Riga, Estonian-Latvian liberation of Vidzeme, Bermontian offensive, Latvian-Polish liberation of Latgale.
The war involved Latvia (its provisional government supported by Estonia, Poland and the Western Allies—particularly the navy of United Kingdom) against the Russian SFSR and the Bolsheviks' short-lived Latvian Socialist Soviet Republic. Germany and the Baltic nobility added another level of intrigue, initially being nominally allied to the Nationalist/Allied force but attempting to jockey for German domination of Latvia. Eventually, tensions flared up after a German coup against the Latvian government, leading to open war.
Following a cease-fire, a ploy was developed by the Germans, nominally dissolving into the West Russian Volunteer Army led by Gen. Pavel Bermont-Avalov. This West Russian Volunteer Army included Germans and former Russian prisoners of war nominally allied with the White Army in the Russian Civil War, but both Bermondt-Avalov and von der Goltz were more interested in eliminating the nationalists than fighting the Bolsheviks.
Certain episodes of the Latvian Independence War were also part of the Polish-Soviet War, particularly the Battle of Daugavpils.