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Battle of Tannenberg Line

This is a sub-article to Battle of Narva (1944).

hill was known to Estonians as the Lastekodumägi (Orphanage Hill; Kinderheimhöhe in German). The central
was the Grenaderimägi (Grenadier Hill; Grenadierhöhe)
and the westernmost was the Tornimägi (Tower Hill, also
known in German as or 69.9 or Liebhöhe (Love Hill)).
The heights have steep slopes and rise 20–50 m above
the surrounding land.

The Battle of Tannenberg Line (German: Die Schlacht
um die Tannenbergstellung; Estonian: Sinimägede lahing;
Russian: Битва за линию «Танненберг») was a military engagement between the German Army Detachment
"Narwa" and the Soviet Leningrad Front. They fought
for the strategically important Narva Isthmus from 25
July to 10 August 1944. The battle was fought on the
Eastern Front during World War II. The strategic aim of
the Soviet Estonian Operation was to reoccupy Estonia
as a favourable base for the invasions of Finland and East
Prussia. Several Western scholars refer to it as the Battle
of the European SS for the 24 volunteer infantry battalions
from Denmark, East Prussia, Flanders, Holland, Norway,
and Wallonia within the Waffen-SS. Roughly half of the
infantry consisted of local Estonian conscripts motivated
to resist the looming Soviet re-occupation. The German force of 22,250 men held off 136,830 Soviet troops.
As the Soviet forces were constantly reinforced, the casualties of the battle were 150,000–200,000 dead and
wounded Soviet troops and 157–164 tanks.

The formations of Gruppenführer Felix Steiner's III SS
(Germanic) Panzer Corps halted their withdrawal and
moved into defensive positions on the hills. The 4th
SS Volunteer Panzergrenadier Brigade Nederland started
digging in on the left (north) flank of the Tannenberg
Line, units of the 20th Waffen Grenadier Division of the
SS (1st Estonian) in the centre, and the 11th SS Volunteer
Panzergrenadier Division Nordland on the right (south)
flank. Another front section manned by the East Prussians of the 11th Infantry Division was situated a few kilometres further south, against the 8th Army in the Krivasoo bridgehead.[5]

The Soviet Marshal Leonid Govorov considered the
Tannenberg Line as the key position of Army Group
North and concentrated the best forces of the Leningrad
Front.[9] Additional 122nd, 124th Rifle Corps and divisions from 117th Rifle Corps were subordinated to
1 Background
General Ivan Fedyuninsky, commanding the 2nd Shock
Army.[5] The goal set by the War Council of the 2nd
Main articles: Battle of Narva (1944) and Narva OffenShock Army was to break through the defense line of the
sive (July 1944)
III SS Panzer Corps at the Orphanage Hill, force their
After defending the Narva bridgehead for six months,
way to the town of Jõhvi in the west and reach the Kunda
River by 1 August.[4] To accomplish this, Govorov was
ordered to destroy communications behind the German
forces and conduct air assaults on the railway stations of
Jõhvi and Tapa on 26 July.[4]

2 Comparison of forces
2.1 Soviet
There is no complete overview of the order of the Soviet
forces or the detachment sizes in the Battle of Tannenberg Line.[5] For the attack on 29 July, Leonid Govorov
concentrated all of the capable Soviet units, consisting of
View from the summit of the Grenadier Hill towards the Orphan- eleven divisions and six tank regiments.[2][7] The Soviet
age Hill
units that had suffered losses were brought up to strength
with fresh manpower. The delivery of Soviet heavy arthe German forces fell back to the Tannenberg Line in tillery complimented the nine divisions of the 109th, the
the hills of Sinimäed (Russian: Синие горы) on 26 July 117th and the 122nd Rifle Corps.[5] The 109th and 117th
1944. The three hills run east to west. The eastern Corps were concentrated close to the Sinimäed, while the

1.General der Infanterie AnKoževnikov ton Grasser • 117th Rifle Corps .Colonel Vassili Zinovev • • • • • Total: 28. which was threatening to collapse.000 infantrymen. The positions of the 11th Infantry Division were mainly attacked by the 35.Lieutenant Colonel plane fuel gave the Soviets massive air superiority. General der Infanterie.Major General Anatoli Koziyev • III (Germanic) SS Panzer Corps .000-strong 8th Army with their 112th Rifle Corps. the following com191st Rifle Division . The commander of the • 8th Army . two fresh Tank Regiments. Anton Grasser.Major General Pyotr volunteers was under heavy pressure while the spirit of some Estonian troops had already been severely damaged Romanenko in Grasser’s opinion. the combat morale of the Germanic 131st Rifle Division . The weakness of the tank was its limited ammunition capacity (only 28 rounds) and long reloading time for its main gun. These calls had • 112th Rifle Corps . 458 pieces of artillery.SS-Gruppenführer Felix Steiner • 11th SS Volunteer Panzergrenadier Division “Nordland” .[7] The small number of Gerrakovski man Junkers Ju 87 dive bombers and shortage of aero21st Engineers Brigade . The forces were supported by the 576-strong 13th Air Army.SS-Brigadeführer Joachim Ziegler • SS Panzergenadier Regiment 23 "Norge" SS-Obersturmbannführer Fritz Knöchlein .Lieutenant General Lembit Pärn • 11th Rifle Division • 43rd Rifle Division • 98th Rifle Division • 123rd Rifle Division • 189th Rifle Division • 206th Rifle Division 2.[2][7] Such reinforcements were beyond the capacities of Army Group North.Major General Vasili Trubachev • 120th Rifle Division . had repeatedly called Adolf Hitler's attention to the fact that virtually no divi• 2nd “Masurian” Rifle Division sion consisting of Germans was left at the Tannenberg • 377th Rifle Division Line.Major General Nikolai Truzhkin • 125th Rifle Division . the Sotanks viets would inevitably break through the Tannenberg Line on 29 June.[2][7] Vasilkov Grasser’s conclusion was short:[2][7] Leaving diplomatic formulation aside. 518 pieces of artillery.Major General Alexandr Batluk • 201st Rifle Division . a few tired German regiments without any reserve troops stood at their positions.[7] The Soviet order of battle (available data as of 28 July 1944):[5] Leningrad Front . While sufficient in ammunition 124th Rifle Corps Colonel Mikhail Papchenko and machine-guns.2 German Against the Soviet forces.680 assault guns.Major General Ivan Bubat proved the opposite.850 infantrymen. deployed in nine artillery regiments and 150 armoured vehicles. Grasser anTotal: 26.Major General Vyacheslav Yakutovich • 256th Rifle Division . Ferdinand Schörner.Marshal Leonid Govorov • 2nd Shock Army .Colonel Yakov Army Detachment "Narwa" .Lieutenant General Ivan Fedyuninsky • 109th Rifle Corps . battered by the Soviet artillery. assessed the German capacity as insufficient 122nd Rifle Corps against the Soviet attack.Major General Ivan Alferov • 72nd Rifle Division . The commander of the Army Detachment “Narwa”.[7] The armored forces included the brand new IS-2 tanks with extra armour and 122mm gun.Major General Filipp no effect.[7] Solovev The German order of battle (as of 28 July 1944) was:[5] • 48th Rifle Division . as Hitler’s response remained to stand or die.Ilya Yastrebov • 109th Rifle Division . 174 tanks and 44 self-propelled guns Separate Corps and Divisions (possibly subordinated to one the above-mentioned Armies):[5] • 8th 'Estonian' Rifle Corps .2 2 COMPARISON OF FORCES 122nd Rifle Corps to the southern section by the church of Vaivara Parish. 112 nounced that without immediate reinforcements.Lieutenant General Filipp Starikov Army Group.[2][7] However.

Flemish.General der Infanterie Anton In the morning of 27 July. Norwegian.SS-Sturmbannführer Albrecht Krügel 3 Combat 3.under the command of Obersturmbannführer Paul Albert Kausch.5 cm PaK 40 anti• 752nd Anti-Tank Battalion tank gun.Waffen.2 27 July • XXVI Army Corps .[13] A company of Nebelwerfer rocket launchers were placed behind them. • Waffen Grenadier Regiment 46 .On 26 July.SS-Hauptsturmführer Helmut the impact of the German artillery remained modest.saulted the positions of the “Nordland” Division seizing the eastern side of the Orphanage Hill. The DanAlfons Luczny ish anti-tank company used their Panzerfausts to set • Two Estonian border defence regiments fourteen tanks on fire. halted several Soviet tank attacks threatening to encircle and Walloon battalions[5] the "Langemarck" and the Estonian battalions. the Soviet forces began another powerful artillery barrage toward the Sinimäed. Sturmbannführer Wilhelm Rehmann left the in to • 4th SS Volunteer Panzergrenadier Brigade battlefield.[9] In the darkness grelle • 6th SS Volunteer Sturmbrigade "Lange. Danish.Rifle Divisions supported by the 98th Tank Regiment aslonien" .1 Orphanage Hill • 20th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS (1st Estonian) .[10] As a last resort. Separate detachments: being able to fire 48 projectiles within a few seconds.[7] • Eastern sector.1. the Soviet 201st and 256th • 5th SS Volunteer Sturmbrigade "Wal. the Soviet infantry forced the weakened "Langemarck" Sturmbrigade • 513th Naval Artillery Battalion to leave the south side of the Orphanage Hill and dig new trenches in front of the Grenadier Hill. It took a few days for Steiner to re• 4th SS Panzergrenadier Regiment "De pair the assault guns and until this had been completed Ruyter" . SS Panzmarck" .SS-Brigadeführer Jürgen Wagman batteries were badly hit. Schrijnen was wounded and cut off from the rest of his troops when he started acting as both the loader Total: 22. as Leutnant George D'Haese stepped [10] bring the brigade back to combat-readiness. the Anti-Tank Company.Waffen.SS-Sturmbannführer Georg ergrenadier Regiment 24 "Danmark" destroyed the Soviet tanks and regained their positions. coastal defence .Generalleutnant The Soviet attack concentrated at the Orphpanage Hill and the Danmark Regiment south of it.[12] Units of the "Nordland" Division were placed between the two hills and the defense was completed by the Anti• Four Estonian police battalions Tank Company. Dutch. destroying most of the • Waffen Grenadier Regiment 47 .[15] .of the following night.WaffenThe Soviet Air Force and artillery covered the German Standartenführer Juhan Tuuling positions with bombs and shells.250 troops[1] deployed in 25 Estonian and 24 and gunner. the Soviet attack fell onto the Tannenberg Line before the vastly Obersturmbannführer Harald Riipalu outnumbered Army Detachment "Narwa" had dug-in.[5][7] The headquarters of the newly Obersturmbannführer Paul Vent arrived Flemish 6th SS Volunteer Sturmbrigade Lange• Artillery Regiment Waffen. He and the Flemish heavy machine-gunners German.1.SS-Sturmbannführer Léon De. the commander of one of ner them was killed. Italian. The Ger"Nederland" .[14] Meanwhile.3.marck were destroyed and almost all of their officers Obersturmbannführer Aleksandr Sobolev wounded. AnticGrasser ipating an infantry attack. pursuing the withdrawing Germans.SS-Brigadeführer Franz Augs. a 7.forest on the hills. Steiner placed them behind the westernGeneralmajor Rudolf Höfer most Tower Hill in readiness positions.[11] Scholz Benefiting from the disorder.1 26 July berger • Waffen Grenadier Regiment 45 .3 • SS Panzergrenadier Regiment 24 "Danmark" . Steiner concentrated the few • 11th Infantry Division working armored vehicles consisting of seven tanks[2][3] • 300th Special Purpose Division . • 502nd Heavy Panzer Battalion Unterscharführer Remi Schrijnen used the only heavy weapon left in the sturmbrigade. 1st Estonian behind the "Nordland".[12] D`Haese • 227th Infantry Division • 113th Security Regiment 3.

the SS Reconnaissance Battalion 11. Special cious attempt to out-flank the German forces resisting at courage was shown by Sergeant Efendiyev who destroyed the Orphanage Hill from the north side. and nine heavy artillery regiments.[14] Under Soviet pressure. supported by a regiment of nearly 100 tanks (most of them of the heavy IS-2 variety).[5] The bombardment covered the Tannenberg Line in a dust cloud.2 Soviet advance guards on the Grenadier Hill forces fell back to the Grenadier Hill. The "Nederland" who were covering the hill from the north. The II.I. While having a great psychological effect.[14] The fighting for the Orphanage Hill was carried on to 28 July as one continuous battle. ducking down in their trenches.[7] 3 COMBAT Anticipating a major attack. which were repulsed by Gruppenführer Fritz von Scholz Edler von Rerancze sending twelve assault guns forward from the reserve.[14] The principle of the Soviet attack in the Sinimäed was an In the evening of 28 July. The surviving German 3.broke through to the top of the Grenadier Hill. Lavreshin of the 937th Rifle Regiment.[7] 3. Directly after the meeting. "Nordland" launched their fierce attempt to capture the Orphanage Hill which the Soviets repulsed. the "Katyushas" or so-called "Stalin organs" were inaccurate. but ordered an units who still resisted were paid no special attention by air and artillery assault aimed at destroying the withdraw[17] the Soviets as the main attack was carried westwards.Battalion. The platoon commanded by lieutenant Lapshin the morning of 28 July. The 72nd Rifle Division assaulted the II.000 soldiers of the viet tanks aimed to break through. launched a ferocious counterattack.[2][7] A meeting convened by von Scholz laid the tactics for the implementation of the orders. three The remmnants of the German advance guard were dehowitzer brigades.3 28 July mm guns to fire directly at the strong points showing any [4][16] For the next day.had been marching ahead of his troops [4] his hands. the Soviet forces made a fero. In close combat.1. ing German units. the Soviet 8th Army went on the attack and When a Soviet tank squadron arrived. the Soviet forces broke through the defense of the "Danmark" Regiment and seized control of most of the hill by night time. On 27 July. who with a red flag in viet armoured force.[7] At a portion of the German 11th Infantry Division. V. the Grenadier Division near the borough of Sirgala in the south. They used their 122 3. Anticipating the attack. German rear.3 Attack of Soviet main forces "Langemarck" repulsed the Soviets which brought it to near destruction.1 Preparatory fire The morning of 29 July began with the preparatory artillery fire of 25.[12] South from the Orphanage Hill.2 Grenadier Hill 3. Steiner ordered the heavy weapons of the SS-Panzergrenadier Regiment 23 "Norge" and the "Danmark" Regiment to be pulled together into two shock units. the 2nd Shock Army was reinforced signs of life and destroyed the remaining bunkers. the German attack drove a wedge into the north flank of the 11th Infantry collapsed. east. Battal- . Using the tactics tackers presumed to have reached the target. von Scholz was killed by a shrapnel splinter in front of the headquarters. erected it at the summit. The Soviet main tactical goal.Hill. The forest on the Sinimäed Hills was entirely destroyed. with the trees cut down to a height of two–three metres. Heavy casualties were inflicted on both sides . SS Volunteer Panzergrenadier Regiment 49 "De Ruyter".4 The Soviet attack also failed to penetrate the defence line of the II. By the night of 28 July. Dressed in camouflage uniforms. With the last a German strong point on the hill.the Estonian battalion was destroyed. causing little damage to the well dug-in German troops. Batallion. they remained unseen by the Soviet pilots. This was followed by Soviet bombers trying to hit the last of the German troops. the German defense threatened to collapse.Battalion. They suffered heavy casualties. the battle had subsided. the German forces attempted overwhelming frontal shock.2. the German troops advanced into no-man’s-land close to the Soviet units instead. Several Soviet tanks broke through to the headquarters of the battalion.000 Soviet infantry[4] began at 0900. the tillery fire preventing any reinforcements sent in from the troops seized the trenches on the slope of the feature. He ordered an immediate recapture of the Orphanage Hill. In stroyed.000 shells fired by the Soviets. The 109th Rifle Division attacked the drawal to a new defenseive line at the Grenadier Hill.[14] The attack of the 6. The small German through. the Soviets were denied a break.[7] On the night before 28 July.109th Rifle Corps.[5] order did not reach a significant part of the German forces The 120th Rifle Division hit the Grenadier Hill from the who remained in their positions at the Orphanage Hill.2.[7] With arof “rolling” small units into the Soviet positions. with the 31st and the 82nd Tank Regiments.2. Waffen Grenadier Regiment 47 (3rd Estonian).ganiser. The Komsomol oranti-tank gun of the "Langemarck" destroying the So. a Flemish regiment of the 3. "Nordland" and the I. Schörner arrived at the Sinimäed. the So. was to be assaulted by the 6. demanding fanatical resistance from the soldiers. The 70–80 German Nebelwerfers answered. Steiner ordered a with. with only a few of the atto regain the Orphanage Hill again.

Other Soviet tanks reached the westernmost hill Tower Hill. "De Ruyter" which used their light machine guns to cause heavy casualties to the Soviets.Battalion. starshina S.[7] The central command post was destroyed by Soviet fire while the Germans.[15] Despite Schrijnen’s heroics. only one German Panther tank remained unscathed.[4] One of the tanks reached the community centre of the municipality of Vaivara. The gaps created in the attacking infantry and tank line by the German artillery did not stop the Soviet advance. Among the Soviet tank commanders. it . he fired his gun. The Soviets started searching the bunkers for documents and prisoners. The latter suffered heavy losses but re-grouped and cut the Norwegians off at the east side of the hill. Behind them at the summit of the Grenadier Hill. This remained the westernmost point the Soviet Armed Forces reached in Northeast Estonia until late September 1944. Probably being out of ammunition.2.Battalion.[7] 3. They shot down several German bombers and afterwards turned their fire on the German infantry. Battalion.[7] The counterattack started from the parish cemetery south of the Tower Hill with the left flank of the assault clearing the hill of the Soviets. the Soviet tank squadron retreated and the counterattack of the "De Ruyter" repulsed the Soviets from the Tower Hill. Battalion. which were poorly fortified from the north and the flanks.[17] The Soviet tanks threatened the headquarters of the "De Ruyter" Regiment. "Norge". were destroyed. Kampfgruppe Bachmeier and the III. Twenty less injured men responded. The remains of the II. joining the remains of the other destroyed units. shot himself dead. The attack continued towards the summit under heavy Soviet artillery and bomber attack. Nevertheless. Sturmbannführer Paul Maitla requested reinforcements from the men in the field hospital.[7] The arrival of the German tanks came unexpectedly for the Soviet armor. all the while firing away at the defenders.4 Germans capture the Grenadier Hill After the German counterattack. and II.[17] Meeting the Soviet attack. Battalion. The Soviet attack ran into the camouflaged anti-tank gun of Remi Schrijnen standing near the northeastern corner of the hill. With the seizure of the Orphanage Hill. they could not capture the summit due to heavy casualties caused by the German anti-tank guns and the anti-aircraft guns pointing their barrels down the slope. the Soviet forces had almost seized control of the Tannenberg Line.3 Germans capture the Tower Hill By noon on 29 July.[14] He distributed his tanks in three units.4 Germans capture the Grenadier Hill ion. the head of the II. The I. seeing a Soviet tank from his headquarters doorstep. and supported by the single remaining Panther tank. getting into close combat in the Soviet positions. stood the "Nederland". shooting a hole in the wall. A mortally wounded 5 German radio operator cleared the eastern slope of the Grenadier Hill by waiting for the Soviet troops to reach his position and then ordering an artillery barrage on himself as the Soviets surrounded him. Smirnov destroyed five German strong points. including a unit of the Kriegsmarine (navy).4 Soviet encirclement The 109th Rifle Division passed the remnants of the II. The 117th Rifle Corps stood ready to break through the last of the German defenses. The small German grenadier units were moved into the trenches. The defenders in their bunkers. During the attack. the German troops used Soviet grenades and automatic weapons taken from the fallen. The Soviets had anticipated the attack and had moved their self-propelled anti-aircraft units to the Orphanage Hill. These suffered great casualties from the fire of the last defenders who in turn were either killed or forced to the Grenadier Hill. The counterattack by the headquarters guards company was repelled and Obersturmbannführer Hans Collani. "Norge" at the Grenadier Hill assaulted the Soviets. the second of them secured the Narva–Tallinn Highway in the west and the third unit counterattacked between the Grenadier Hill and the railway a few kilometres to the south. the Soviet tanks besieged the Grenadier Hill and kept circling the hill.[7] 3. Norwegians and Estonians escaped destruction by lying down in their bunkers.3. His observations turned out to be erroneous as Steiner ordered the last German tanks out from the reserve (they were commanded by Paul-Albert Kausch).[4][14] On the western terrace of the Grenadier Hill. Running out of ammunition.[2][7] The Orphanage Hill fell to the Soviets with the 191st Rifle Regiment at the head of the Soviet attack.[2][7] 3. the Soviet 201st and the 256th Rifle Divisions were exhausted as the 109th Rifle Division continued to press towards the Grenadier Hill alone. they had suffered heavy casualties and were unable to secure their positions at the Sinimäed Hills. 3rd Estonian kept resisting. the tactical situation at the Tannenberg Line remained unclear. 3rd Estonian subordinated to Bachmeier had 20 to 30 men each. For the defense of the Grenadier Hill. Flemish. 'Waffen Grenadier Regiment der SS 45 "Estland" (1st Estonian) which had been spared from the previous counterattacks because of the scarcity of able-bodied men. One of them went on to counterattack the Soviets besieging the Tower Hill.[4] Steiner ordered an air assault using dive bombers from Tallinn Airport. 3rd Estonian Regiment which were defending the northern flank. every available Estonian was sent into battle.[18] After the counterattack. Battalions. The defenders were commanded by Josef Bachmeier. F. destroying seven tanks in the course of which he was severely wounded when his gun was destroyed by an IS2 tank returning fire from 30 metres.[16] Steiner had one more battalion to spare – the I. including communications personnel.[7] According to some veterans.

Scholz earned the Knight’s Cross with Oakleaves. raising the number of troops to over 20.[7] Hauptsturmführer Helmut Scholz took units of the De Ruyter Regiment to the counterattack. the political commissar of the 2nd Shock quarters on 30 July Army admitted the failure to break through the defense.[17] The remnants of the I.000 rounds of their own. an improvised platoon of the "Danmark" arrived to rescue them. The Soviets attacked the II.[4] On 1 August.[7][25] The report presented the false assertion that the Germans had captured the Grenadier Hill only on 30 July.[5] At the nine kilometre long segment of the front.8 Soviet reinforcements in August Receiving the order from Stalin to break through to Tallinn at all costs.5 Soviet attempts to regain Grenadier Hill In the afternoon of 29 July. which were uncleared by the sapper units.[9] During the first days of August. it was repelled by the unit commanded by Bachmeier.[2] The subsequent attack by the Soviet heavy tanks broke through the defenses of the II. no combat took place. 3rd Estonian resisted the Soviet attacks on the southern flank.[4] On 31 July.6 3 appeared that low flying Soviet bombers were attempting to hit every individual German soldier jumping between craters. Despite inflicting immense casualties on the Soviets.Battalion. In the evening.[19] The Soviets were forced to retreat from the Grenadier Hill.913 assault guns were collected. "De Ruyter" consisting of 35–45 capable men running between their heavy machine guns. The last of the German reserves were sent into the battle.[2][20][21] 3. 3. the Soviet platoons were climbing up the Grenadier Hill under intensive German bombardment.[7] The 2nd Estonian Regiment was vir- . The gradual decrease in the number of shells fired by the Soviet artillery (9. making it 300 guns per kilometer. the Soviet command changed the direction of their preparatory artillery fire. the Soviets tried yet another assault on the Grenadier Hill. from time to time getting buried under the soil by the explosions of Soviet shells. the battle went on in similar fashion.000 shells were supplied to the artillery.[5] Soviet tank forces were also restored.000 rounds on 30 July). Soviet artillery increased the intensity of its fire to 30. 365 pieces of heavy artillery were aimed at the Grenadier Hill and 200 at the Sirgala hamlet in the south segment. As the justification of the failure to break through the German defenses.[5] 3. 3rd Estonian which in close combat. Battalion.[4] The Leningrad Front tried to shift the center of weight southwards. The commissar made serious reproaches against the commanders of the units and claimed in his report than they were very drunk while attempting to command the attacks.[7][23] Units of the Soviet 8th He explained it by stating the artillery fire was running late. cutting the German defenders off from the main army group. witnessed the weakening of the Soviet attacks.7 COMBAT 30–31 July On 30 July. The "Nederland" Brigade was reduced to the size of a regiment. As the daily amount. the Soviet forces made eight attempts to regain control of the Grenadier Hill.[17] For the battles of Tannenberg Line. destroyed 12 tanks and repelled this latest assault. including the supply troops.That time. Reluctant to admit the catastrophe in his report to the Soviet High Command on 30 July.[5][9] 3.[2][7] Just in time. who was later decorated with the Knight’s Cross. the only SS infantry company commander to be a recipient of the Oakleaves.[7][22] 3.[2][7] Soviet infantry started climbing up the Grenadier Hill. as both parties reorganized their forces. Govorov made Fedyuninsky responsible for reaching Rakvere no later than 7 August. while the two regiments of the "Langemarck" Sturmbrigade each had the strength of a reinforced company. The report also mentioned the poorly coordinated action of the armored units. with 104 armored vehicles at their command. destroying two tanks at the doorstep of Scholz’s bunker and forcing the Soviets to retreat.9 German condition in August The army detachment "Narwa" replaced its units with the less damaged detachments in the first days of August. driving to the minefields. 200. the Waffen-SS units were slowly getting worn down. the attack was repelled by German hand grenades.000 again. 1.[5] The 8th Army received similar additions to their forces with the 112th and 117th Corps ordered to join the attacks.6 Army advanced in the forests of the southern section of the front.000 shells. the 2nd Shock Army received the 110th and 124th Rifle Corps as reinforcements. the report cited the weak cooperation between the artillery and the infantry.[24] Report of the 2nd Shock Army head.Battalion.[7] Simultaneously. The Estonian units against them ran out of ammunition.[5] the German artillery answered with 10. the Political Commissar of the Soviet 2nd Army falsely assured that the Grenadier Hill was still in the possession of the Soviet 109th Rifle Corps. The two assaults by Maitla’s improvised platoon at the Orphanage Hill forced the Soviets to refrain from further attacks and gave the Germans time to re-group. and another Soviet attack was repulsed. this time aiming it behind the hill. Eventually.

lists 665. the Soviet attack began as scheduled. de- . the front stayed quiet. killed or wounded. During the night before 6 August. Waffen-Grenadier Regiment der SS 46 (2nd Estonian) returned fire after inflicting severe casualties on the assaulting Soviets and counterattacked. reclaiming the Grenadier Hill.[25][33] The German side counted an additional 44 Soviet tanks destroyed on 3–6 August.7 tually lost and the "Nordland" Division a shadow of its former self.[27] Soviet tanks broke through in the southeastern section of the front as the Estonian assault team commanded by Hauptsturmführer Oskar Ruut.[2][33] The 2nd Shock Army reported on fifty of their tanks destroyed on 29 July. almost half of them in the battles of 29 July.Battalion. As the German artillery fire did not dent the Soviet superiority in manpower.827 casualties suffered by the Leningrad Front in 1944.[34] Russian author Grigoriy F.385 men who had initiated the Estonian Operation on 25 July. Russian authors have published some figures[30][31] but not for the whole course of the battle.[7][28] Overall on 3 August. 225 men survived of the Soviet 109th Rifle Corps carrying the main weight of the assault. In Steiner’s memoirs.10 Finale Estonian soldiers prepare to fire a Panzerschreck in August. the 124th Rifle Corps attacking the southern segment of the front by the Vaivara parish church was repulsed.[4] The Soviets reduced their operations to patrol activities with occasional attacks.[26] When the artillery barrage ended. 145.[2][32] The headquarters of the 2nd Shock Army reported 259 troops fit for combat within the 109th Rifle Division and a total exhaustion of the army on the night before 1 August. while a part of the defenders left their positions. the German forces lost 600 men. the Soviets made a stronger attempt with the preparatory artillery fire of 25. The defenders used this respite to rotate several exhausted units out of the line for a few days for rest and refit.[7] As the commanders of the rifle corps erroneously reported to army headquarters on the capture of the Grenadier Hill.[2][7] 3.808 men were lost.[16] In the same attack.[32] In the evening of 29 July. Soviet intelligence severely overestimated the strength of the defenders to more than 60 tanks and 800 pieces of artillery[4] while in fact there were just one tank and 70–80 guns left at the Tannenberg Line. the army detachment "Narwa" counted 113–120 Soviet tanks destroyed. Of the 120th Rifle Division. in his account “Soviet casualties and combat losses in the twentieth century”. and to strengthen their positions. In the attack of 29 July. However. The 110th Rifle Corps assaulting the Grenadier Hill found themselves in the middle of crossfire from the remnants of the I. missing in action. using the same tactics as previously. twenty Soviet tanks were destroyed.[29] Estonian historian Mart Laar. The Estonians counterattacked and cleared the hill. eleven tanks were destroyed. Each of them began with a massive artillery barrage and ended with a German counterattack. the Soviets made two more attacks on 3 August. restoring the previous positions. The fire caused heavy casualties. 1.[4] The rest of the Soviet rifle corps lost their capacity for further attacks.[7] The number of Soviet casualties can only be estimated by looking at other figures. or captured.102 of them as dead. and launched their rocket fire. The losses of the 8th Army were similar to that.[7][27] Simultaneously. retreated down the slopes of the Grenadier Hill pursued by the Soviet units. inflicting numerous casualties on the Soviet infantry and tanks before the beginning of the attack. losses in the Battle of Tannenberg Line were not mentioned in Soviet sources. To the German’s good fortune. the intensity of the fire and the nature of the battles reminded him of the Battle of Verdun. the war council of the Leningrad Front ordered the termination of the offensive and switch strictly to defense. and seven more on 5 August. Krivosheev. In a similar fashion.[5] 4 Casualties In the era of the Soviet Union. the 11th Infantry Division (consisting of personnel from East Prussia) and the 300th Special Purpose Division repelled them while suffering heavy casualties. six tanks were knocked out.000 shells reaching the level of the attack of 29 July. on 4 August.000–30. the main weight of the impending attack tended to be at the Grenadier Hill once more. The men of the "Nederland" who survived the artillery bombardment. the freshly drafted II. The Soviet attacks from 4 to 6 August were weaker. Until mid-September.Battalion. the artillery fire was lifted. 1944 By 2 August. Eleven Soviet rifle divisions and four tank regiments tried to spread their attack along the front. the 2nd Shock Army had re-deployed and assaulted.[29] In recent years.[5] On 10 August.[25] which probably meant a few thousand troops fit for combat out of the 46. 2nd Estonian Regiment.[5][7][17] On 3 August. The German artillery noticed the concentration of the Soviet forces.

“Nachalo osvoboždenija Sovetskoj Estonij”. After much argument. The "Narwa" withdrew quickly towards the Latvian border. [11] R. Narva 1944: The Waffen SS and the Battle for Europe. p.[7] The German Army Group North buried 1. Tragedy of the faithful: a history of the III. Tragedy of the faithful: a history of the III. Maryland: Bibliophile Legion Books. Retreat from Leningrad: Army Group North. [12] Wilhelm Tieke (2001). the Riga Offensive was launched by the Soviet 1st. Estonia in World War II.J. the German units withdrew towards the northwest while the incomplete II Army Corps was left to stall the Soviet attack.126-142 [16] Евгений Кривошеев. [8] Mart Laar (2006). Philadelphia: Schiffer Books. [15] A.500.000 men. Some of the Estonian formations now began to attack the retreating Germans. [7] Mart Laar (2006). Battle for the Narva Bridgehead and the combat in Finland estimates the number of Soviet casualties in the Battle of Tannenberg Line as 35. Boi zapadnee Narvy (Battles west from Narva”. p. Sinimäed 1944: II maailmasõja lahingud Kirde-Eestis (Sinimäed 1944: Battles of World War II in Northeast Estonia) (in Estonian). Landwehr (1981).J. Bibliophile Legion Books. Битва за Нарву (The Battle for Narva) (in Russian). 84. 98–99. ISBN 0-88740-806-0. Silver Spring.000 dead or missing and 135. attempting to secure supplies and weapons to continue a guerrilla war as the Forest Brothers against the Soviet occupation. These units continued fighting. [5] Toomas Hiio (2006). (germanisches) SS-Panzer-Korps.F. 105–140. Nordic Warriors. pp.Nielsen (1981).[5] Several troops of the Estonian Division stayed in Estonia.[8] 5 Aftermath Further information: Baltic Offensive (1944) and Tallinn Offensive On 14 September. pp. Accounting the standard ratio 1:4 of irrecoverable casualties to the wounded. p. Newton (1995). Atglen. pp. Tallinn: Varrak.Paulman (1980). It was aimed at capturing Riga and cutting off Army Group North in Courland. “II. 7–119.H. Estonia 1940–1945: Reports of the Estonian International Commission for the Investigation of Crimes Against Humanity. Tallinn. p. [17] Wilhelm Tieke (2001). Николай Костин (1984). Adolf Hitler finally agreed to allow the evacuation of all the troops in Estonia. Narva 1944: The Waffen SS and the Battle for Europe. 326. [9] Laar. “Combat in Estonia in 1944”.Fedorowicz.[36] 6 See also • Battle of Narva (1944) for the first phase of the campaign • Documentary film The Blue Hills REFERENCES 7 References [1] Steven H. Silver Spring. [13] R. The operation was aimed at encircling the army detachment "Narwa". In Toomas Hiio. p. Tallinn: Varrak. ISBN 0-918184-04-5. [14] R. ISBN 3-905944-01-4. & Indrek Paavle.000 wounded or sick. 105. Soviet casualties and combat losses in the twentieth century. Silver Spring. Mart (2005). [4] F. the 3rd Baltic Front launched the Tallinn Offensive from the Emajõgi River Front joining Lake Peipus with Lake Võrtsjärv. (germanisches) SS-Panzer-Korps. Sinimäed 1944: II maailmasõja lahingud Kirde-Eestis (Sinimäed 1944: Battles of World War II in Northeast Estonia) (in Estonian). the number of irrecoverable casualties in the period is approximately 2. Tallinn: Eesti raamat. Landwehr (1983). Winnipeg: J. T. pp. Meelis Maripuu. the total number of German casualties in the Battle for Tannenberg Line is approximately 10. western Latvia. Tallinn: Grenader. London: Greenhill Books. Lions of Flanders. On 22 September.I. 143. 2nd and 3rd Baltic Fronts. some survivors joining the guerrilla groups which fought the Soviet occupying forces until the end of the 1970s. Tallinn: Varrak. the exhausted men of the III SS Panzer Corps joined the withdrawal. 1035–1094.Krivosheev (1997). Landwehr. [6] G. The Last Knight of Flanders.Fedorowicz. Sinimäed 1944: II maailmasõja lahingud Kirde-Eestis (Sinimäed 1944: Battles of World War II in Northeast Estonia) (in Estonian). Tallinn was abandoned. Unable to hold the force. [2] Unpublished data from the official battle diary of the Army Detachment “Narwa” [3] Mart Laar (2006). pp. . Silver Spring: Bibliophile Legion Books. Ot Narvy do Syrve (From Narva to Sõrve) (in Russian). Winnipeg: J. 261. After months of holding the line. Landwehr (1981). Tallinn: Eesti Raamat.8 7 ducting the losses in the Leningrad-Novgorod Offensive. 1944/1945. fighting their way back from the Tannenberg Line.709 men in Estonia between 24 July and 10 August 1944. Maryland: Bibliophile Legion Books. [10] R.[8][35] Added to the men missing in action.Brandt. On 17 September.

ISBN 0-7643-0182-9. (Germanisches) SS-Panzer-Korps. • Tieke. Atglen. In Estonian) In: Mart Tamberg (Comp. Washington: The Compass Press. War in the Woods: Estonia’s Struggle for Survival. Otto. In Estonian) In: Mart Tamberg (Comp. “Na vysotah Sinimyae: kak eto bylo na samom dele. pp. • Michaelis. Харвест. Tallinn: Varrak. Eesti mehed sõjatules. Vesti.1 [29] Mart Laar (2006). 607. Tallinn: Varrak. J. Tagasivaateid. 303. Saku [20] A. [31] V. Kodukolle. Die 11. Tigers in the Mud.Fedorowicz. p. Sinimäed 1944: II maailmasõja lahingud Kirde-Eestis (Sinimäed 1944: Battles of World War II in Northeast Estonia) (in Estonian). Philadelphia: Schiffer Books. Fund 32. Tagasivaateid. EVTÜ.). EVTÜ. Fund 32 [26] Werner Haupt (1997).). Catalogue 12. 1944-1956. Estonian State Archive. 8 Recommended reading • Carius.(Looking Back.Aasmaa (1999). p. p. Saku [21] Mart Laar (2006). [28] Robert Helde (2004). File 7. ISBN 0-929590-08-2. p. pp. “Sinimäed – kangelaste surmamäed (Sinimäed Hills – Death Hills for Heroes” (in Estonian) 3. Sinimäed 1944: II maailmasõja lahingud Kirde-Eestis (Sinimäed 1944: Battles of World War II in Northeast Estonia) (in Estonian).Uudevald (2000). 294. Tallinn: Varrak. Десять сталинских ударов. 1941-1945.Aasmaa (1999). Vallutasime Grenaderimäe (We conquered the Grenadier Hill. Võitluse Teedel Nr. p. [30] В. Wilhelm. Võitluse Teedel Nr. [22] Political report No. Rolf. Võitluse Teedel. Sinimäed 1944: II maailmasõja lahingud Kirde-Eestis (Sinimäed 1944: Battles of World War II in Northeast Estonia) (in Estonian). Soldiers of the Waffen SS. p. Estonian State Archive.9 [18] Marc Rikmenspoel (1999). SS-Freiwilligen-PanzerGrenadier-Division “Nordland”. July–September 1944. In Estonian). 296.Saumets (1952).J. 304–327. 325. . line feed character in |title= at position 53 (help) [33] Mart Laar (2006). Tallinn: Varrak. [25] Unpublished reports of the Estonian Operation of the 2nd Shock Army. Palavad päevad Sinimägedes (Hot Days at Sinimäed Hills. p. 244. Sinimäed 1944: II maailmasõja lahingud Kirde-Eestis (Sinimäed 1944: Battles of World War II in Northeast Estonia) (in Estonian). ISBN 0-92199114-2.98–101 [23] J. Army group North: the Wehrmacht in Russia. [35] Unpublished data by the German War Graves Commission [36] Mart Laar (1992).(Looking Back. In Estonian). (On the Heights of Sinimäed: How It Actually Was)" (in Russian).Бешанов (2004). Sinimäed 1944: II maailmasõja lahingud Kirde-Eestis (Sinimäed 1944: Battles of World War II in Northeast Estonia) (in Estonian). Winnipeg [19] A. Tallinn: Varrak.329. Rodin (5 October 2005). Minsk. 023363 of the Head of the Political Department of the 2nd Shock Army on 30 July 1944. “Sõjakäik pealuu märgi all (Campaign Under the Sign of Bones and Skull” (in Estonian) (1). Eesti mehed sõjatules. Tragedy of the Faithful: A History of III. [27] Karl Sulger (2002). [32] Mart Laar (2006). 3 [24] E. [34] Mart Laar (2006).

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