While Lithuanian forces battled the Soviets in northeastern Lithuania, tension between Poland and Lithuania grew. At the end of December, with the Bolsheviks already in the country, Lithuania was left leaderless. The Soviets gathered their forces from calmer fronts and forced Lithuanians to retreat to their former positions.[67]. They pushed east and north, entering Vilnius Region, the territory claimed by Lithuanians. As the vastly outnumbered and under-supplied Lithuanians continued to resist their Soviet occupiers for nearly a decade after World War II had ended. Another Soviet push came on June 20 and the front stabilized. Instead Soviets planned a coup to overthrow Lithuanian government and establish a Soviet republic. [63] The first brigade, stationed in Ukmergė, was called the Vilkmergė Group and included a battalion of Saxon Volunteers. During World War I, Lithuania was occupied by Germany and made part of Ober Ost. By May 3, the official headcount reached 440 officers and 10,729 privates. The land was to be used for collective farming instead of being redistributed to small farmers. The Ukmergė Group attacked first and captured Zarasai on August 25. [32] Only local partisans, armed with weapons acquired from retreating Germans, offered brief resistance. [25] Lithuania could not offer serious resistance as at the time its army consisted only of about 3,000 untrained volunteers. On the night of February 14–15, German forces and one company of the Lithuanians returned to Alytus and retook the city. Railroads are marked by black stitched lines. [48], Poland started an offensive against the Soviets in March 1919. [23] On January 5, 1919, Vilnius was taken by the Soviets after a five-day fight with Polish paramilitary platoons led by general Władysław Wejtko. The Lithuanian Communist Party and the authorities were in practice controlled from Moscow, from whence all orders came. The Soviet–Lithuanian Peace Treaty was concluded on July 12. [7] Demoralized Germans often left valuable armaments and other equipment to the Soviets. The Red Army would need to encircle Kaunas and attack through Alytus or Kėdainiai. The Lithuanians did not participate in these operations. Soviets were ordered to abandon the offensive and maintain defensive position. Lithuania also received new shipments of arms and munitions. The Lithuanian Wars of Independence, also known as the Freedom Struggles (Laisvės kovos), refer to three wars Lithuania fought defending its independence at the end of World War I: with Bolshevik forces (December 1918 – August 1919), Bermontians (June 1919 – December 1919), and Poland (August 1920 – November 1920). It was part of the larger Soviet westward offensive of 1918–1919. Germans did not engage in battle and retreated; not yet fully formed Lithuanian 1st Infantry Regiment could not withstand pressure from the Red Army and had to retreat towards Marijampolė and Prienai. [79] This compromised Lithuania's declared neutrality and further deepened the Polish–Lithuanian crisis. Russia recognized Lithuania's independence and its right to the Vilnius Region; in exchange Lithuania granted Soviet forces unrestricted movement during the war against Poland. [59] The first clashes between Polish and Lithuanian soldiers occurred on April 26 and May 8 near Vievis. [62] On May 7, Lithuanians entered Širvintos, where they found Polish troops. On the eve of the Second World War, the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany signed a non-aggression agreement, also known as the Molotov–Ribbentrop pact, dividing Central Europe – including the Baltic states – under the agreement’s secret protocols. On March 5, Lithuanians announced mobilization of men born in 1887–1889. [42] Local communists were more active in northern Lithuania as the shortest route for Russian prisoners to return to Russia was through Samogitia. [32] However, Lithuanian advance continued, and on June 10 Lithuanian forces reached the territory controlled by Latvian partisans (Green Guard) and supplied them with munitions. ) was fought between newly independent Lithuania and the Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic in the aftermath of World War I. Three divisions were employed: Pskov Division (later renamed as the Lithuanian Division), International Division (later renamed as the 2nd Latvian Riflemen Division; included 39th, 41st, 47th, and 60th Regiments), and 17th Division (later renamed as Western Division; included 5th Vilnius Regiment). "Stosunki polsko-litewskie w latach 1918–1920". [19] The 18th Regiment fought alongside Lithuanians; the 19th Regiment guarded Kaunas area and did not participate in battle; the 20th Regiment was stationed in Hrodna and then in Kėdainiai; the separate battalion joined the Bermontians. On May 23, the Paris Peace Conference reacting to these events asked Germany to withdraw its troops from both Latvia and Lithuania as soon as local forces could defend themselves. The land was to be used for collective farming instead of being redistributed to small farmers. [87], The enemy was driven out from the Lithuanian territory and the narrow front stabilized as Lithuanians and Soviets were separated by the Daugava River. [49], As the Soviet forces were stopped, Lithuanian army slowly began to prepare itself for an offensive. [83] The Panevėžys Group began its advance on August 26 and Polish troops moved along the railroad towards Turmantas. [69] On June 12, the Soviets counterattacked and Lithuanians were stopped. Poland had territorial claims over Lithuania, especially the Vilnius Region, and these tensions spilled over into the Polish–Lithuanian War. Kėdainiai was attacked by the 2nd Riflemen Regiment of Lithuanian (former Pskov) Division (about 1,000 men). [2] Lithuanian forces rapidly increased their numbers. From April 1919, the Lithuanian war went parallel with the Polish–Soviet War. [79] This compromised Lithuania's declared neutrality and further deepened the Polish–Lithuanian crisis. [48] They were later incorporated into regular Lithuanian military. April 12, 2016 BNS Society 0. On May 30 Joniškėlis' partisans broke through the Soviet lines and took Rokiškis in Soviet rear;[67] Bolshevik forces, afraid that they will encircled, left Kupiškis on the night of May 30–31, and Lithuania secured that city on June 1. The Lithuanians did not participate in these operations. The Soviets and Lithuanians, separated by the Daugava River, maintained their fronts until the Battle of Daugavpils in January 1920. [20] The last Saxon Volunteers left Lithuania in mid-July.[21]. [1] In September 1919, joint Polish and Latvian forces took the southern shore of Daugava, including Grīva. Soldiers received first uniforms. Poland ignored both lines[26] and continued to advance up to the orange line. The Lithuanian–Soviet War or Lithuanian–Bolshevik War (karas su bolševikais) was fought between newly independent Republic of Lithuania and the proto-Soviet Union (Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic and Lithuanian–Belorussian SSR) in the aftermath of World War I. Poland had territorial claims over Lithuania, especially the Vilnius Region, and these tensions spilled over into the Polish–Lithuanian War. On December 8, 1918, a temporary revolutionary government, chaired by Vincas Mickevičius-Kapsukas, was formed solely from members of the Communist Party of Lithuania. The Group moved about 30 km (19 mi) into the Soviet-controlled territory, but neither its right or left flanks were adequately protected by the Polish units or the Panevėžys Group. [37] The following day Lithuanian forces (300 men) from Prienai and Kaunas attacked before the Red Army could consolidate position, but were betrayed by their Russian commander and suffered a defeat: 18 Lithuanians were killed and 33 were taken prisoners. [63] The first brigade, stationed in Ukmergė, was called the Vilkmergė Group and included a battalion of Saxon Volunteers. On the night of February 14–15, German forces and one company of the Lithuanians returned to Alytus and retook the city. Talk:Lithuanian–Soviet War. [11] Residents organized local self-defense units to defend themselves from retreating Germans. [35] Lithuanians withstood Red Army advance near Kėdainiai and with German support repelled it. In February the Soviet advance was stopped by Lithuanian and German volunteers, who prevented the Soviets from capturing Kaunas, the temporary capital of Lithuania. "Lietuvos Respublikos prezidentai". The blue line shows the Polish front in May 1920. [56] The northern group, formed on the basis on the 2nd Riflemen Regiment and led by Juozas Butkus, was to attack from Kaišiadorys along the Žasliai–Vievis line. [35] That barred Bolshevik forces from directly attacking Kaunas, Lithuania's second-largest city. [25] Unlike elsewhere, Lithuanian communist organizations were young and had not yet developed a network of supporting local councils. [79][92] On August 26, the Red Army left Vilnius and Lithuanians prepared to defend their borders as they were drawn in the treaty. [56], The first organized Lithuanian offensive was carried out between April 3 and April 8, 1919. On May 3, the Separate Panevėžys Volunteer Regiment, supported by the 18th Regiment of Saxon Volunteers, had secured the town. ISBN, White, James D. (1994). [94], Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic, partition of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic (1918–1919), Lithuanian–Belorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, "Minima pirmoji Lietuvos nepriklausomybės kovų pergalė", "Lietuvos laisvės kovos 1919-1923 metais", "Lietuvos kariuomenė Ilūkstės apskrityje 1919–1920 metais", General Jonas Žemaitis Military Academy of Lithuania, "The Context of Mass Destruction: Agents and Prerequisites of the Holocaust in Lithuania", "Kovos dėl Lietuvos nepriklausomybės 1918–1919", "Lietuvos–Rusijos Sovietų Federacinės Socialistinės Respublikos taikos sutartis", "Nepriklausomybės kovos 1918–1920 metais", Sino-Russian border conflicts (1652–1689), Soviet occupation of the Baltic states (1940), Soviet occupation of Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina, Baltic states under Soviet rule (1944–91), https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Lithuanian–Soviet_War&oldid=995018859, Articles containing Lithuanian-language text, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 18 December 2020, at 19:37. However, the soldiers were tired and demoralized and wanted to return home as soon as possible. Largely unopposed, they took one town after another and by the end of January 1919 controlled about ⅔ of the Lithuanian territory. [35] [56] Germans did not participate. They renounced Russian claims to Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Ukraine, Lithuania and Poland. Lithuania also received new shipments of arms and munitions. [58] However, it also meant that a new front line with Poland was open. ISBN, Kamuntavičius, Rūstis; Vaida Kamuntavičienė, Remigijus Civinskas, Kastytis Antanaitis (2001). The Lithuanian–Soviet front remained open until the Battle of Daugavpils when Latvian and Polish forces captured Daugavpils in January 1920. Historian Norman Davies summarized the situation: "the German army was supporting the Lithuanian nationalists, the Soviets were supporting the Lithuanian communists and the Polish Army was fighting them all. On December 29, he issued the first mass appeal in four languages calling for volunteers for the Lithuanian Army. "The Baltic States: The Years of Independence". [35] That barred Bolshevik forces from directly attacking Kaunas, Lithuania's second-largest city. In March 2019, after a three-year trial, a Lithuanian court found 67 former Soviet officers and officials guilty of war crimes over the events of 1991. The volunteers were paid 30 marks per month plus 5 marks per day and had to sign up for three months. The Lithuanian government withdrew to Kaunas, the temporary capital of Lithuania. They further negotiated direct German support in the war against the Soviets. In addition to the Vilnius Region, the nearby Suwałki Region was also disputed. [40] Kaunas was defended and the front stabilized for a while. [32] The second brigade, called the Panevėžys Group, was charged with capturing Panevėžys and then pushing along the Kupiškis–Rokiškis–Obeliai line. [10] They lacked guns, ammunition, and officers. [55] In February–April Lithuanian soldiers were actively undergoing training, the chain of command was streamlined, new military units formed. [68] The plaque in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, was put up in 1997 near the Jewish cemetery. [10] The first laws regarding the army were not issued until November 23. Lithuanians decided to take advantage of large Polish attacks against the Soviets in Hrodna area in order to test enemy strength and capture Vilnius. There were several attempts at a coup against the Lithuanian government. On February 9, Soviet 7th Riflemen Regiment (900 men) took over Jieznas, south of Kaunas. 144 relations. [44] There were no units of regular Lithuanian army in Samogitia except for partisans in Skuodas, rallied by Povilas Plechavičius and his brother Aleksandras, and in Joniškėlis. [37] The following day, Lithuanian forces (300 men) from Prienai and Kaunas attacked before the Red Army could consolidate its position, but were betrayed by their Russian commander and suffered a defeat: 18 Lithuanians were killed and 33 were captured. On February 8, during the course of a reconnaissance mission, Povilas Lukšys became the first Lithuanian soldier to die in the war. [73] Preoccupied with Soviet threat, Lithuania could not organize an effective defense and the Entente intervened again by drawing the second demarcation line, known as the Foch Line, on July 26, 1919. Polish advances against the Soviets necessitated changes in Lithuanian strategy. "Europe: A History". This Polish advance significantly shortened the Lithuanian–Soviet front line and allowed Lithuania to concentrate its forces for operations in northeastern Lithuania. Lithuanian forces entered the city on March 26, but the Red Army retook it on April 4. The 3rd and 4th Riflemen Regiments (about 2,000 men) attacked Alytus on February 12. 1918–1920 m. laisvės kovos", http://www.bernardinai.lt/index.php?url=articles/57787, http://books.google.com/?id=8ODKUkNYqxsC&pg=PA506, "Lithuania in European Politics: The Years of the First Republic, 1918–1940", http://books.google.com/?id=0_i8yez8udgC&pg=PA33, "Lietuvos kariuomenė Ilūkstės apskrityje 1919–1920 metais", http://vddb-dt.library.lt/fedora/get/LT-eLABa-0001:J.04~2006~ISSN_1392-6489.V_21.PG_41-66/DS.002.0.01.ARTIC, http://books.google.com/?id=fecMC0LXU-sC&pg=PA7, "Transformation in Russia and International Law", http://books.google.com/?id=_Y1ITouKQooC&pg=PA52, "Lietuvos kariuomenė nepriklausomybės kovose 1918–1920", General Jonas Žemaitis Military Academy of Lithuania, http://www.kam.lt/EasyAdmin/sys/files/LIETUVOS_KARIUOMENE_1.pdf, "The Context of Mass Destruction: Agents and Prerequisites of the Holocaust in Lithuania", http://hgs.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/12/1/27, "Kovos dėl Lietuvos nepriklausomybės 1918–1919", http://aidai.us/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=843&Itemid=124, "The Reconstruction of Nations: Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus, 1569–1999", http://books.google.com/?id=xSpEynLxJ1MC&pg=PA63, https://military.wikia.org/wiki/Lithuanian–Soviet_War?oldid=4638931. Mykolas Sleževičius stepped in and organized a new government. Bolshevik forces advance following retreating German troops (red arrows). As Lithuanian flanks were not defended, they decided to abandon to offensive. The Soviets gathered their forces from calmer fronts and forced Lithuanians to retreat to their former positions. In a video taken of the event, Tomas can be seen smashing the stone plaque with a sledgehammer. [84] The Lithuanians maneuvered around the old Russian fortifications, forcing the Red Army to retreat. [18] The Baltische Landeswehr, led by General Rüdiger von der Goltz, organized a coup against the Latvian government and captured Riga. [14] Mobilization of officers was announced only on January 25; about 400 people responded. The success of this operation lifted the Lithuanian army's morale and prevented the Red Army from encircling Kaunas from the north.[35]. When mediation by the League of Nations failed to change the situation, Lithuania and Poland were suspended in the state of "no war, no peace" until the Polish ultimatum of 1938. [55] In February–April, Lithuanian soldiers were actively undergoing training, the chain of command was streamlined, new military units formed. [22] Polish self-defense units made up of local inhabitants, called the Lithuanian and Belarusian Self-Defence, took over the posts. [85] On August 28, the Soviets began retreating north across the Daugava River. [44] The regiment disbanded. [76] On August 3, a Polish diplomatic mission in Kaunas declared that Poland has no plans to annex Lithuania and proposed a plebiscite in the contested territories, allowing local inhabitants to determine their future. [63] The first objective was to take over Ukmergė. They further negotiated direct German support in the war against the Soviets. Soviet troops (about 18,000[29] to 20,000 men[30]) approached the Lithuanian territory on December 12, 1918. The operation to take Kaunas began on February 7. Historian Norman Davies summarized the situation: "the German army was supporting the Lithuanian nationalists, the Soviets were supporting the Lithuanian communists and the Polish Army was fighting them all. [19] Later, more units were sent from Russia. [31] Soviet soldiers were poorly supplied and had to support themselves by requisitioning food, horses, and clothes from local residents. Germans did not engage in battle and retreated; not yet fully formed Lithuanian 1st Infantry Regiment could not withstand pressure from the Red Army and had to retreat towards Marijampolė and Prienai. [77][78] The front stabilized, but bilateral relations worsened in the aftermath of the Sejny Uprising (August 23 – September 9) which in turn ruined the attempted coup d'état by the Polish Military Organisation against the Lithuanian government (August 28–29). The Making and Breaking of Soviet Lithuania: Memory and Modernity in the Wake of War (BASEES/Routledge Series on Russian and East European Studies) by Violeta Davoliute (2013-12-21) | Violeta Davoliute | ISBN: | Kostenloser Versand für alle Bücher mit Versand und Verkauf duch Amazon. Lithuanian Soviet War [Russell Jesse] on Amazon.com.au. Another Soviet push came on June 20 and the front stabilized. [13] The money was used primarily to build and supply the army. [83] The Panevėžys Group began its advance on August 26 and Polish troops moved along the railroad towards Turmantas. Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs rejected it as it required the Polish forces to retreat up to 30–35 km (19–22 mi); Lithuanians were not content with it as well, as it left Vilnius and Hrodna under Polish control. [36] On February 10, joint Lithuanian and German forces captured Šėta and forced the Red Army to retreat. [1] In September 1919, joint Polish and Latvian forces took the southern shore of Daugava, including Grīva. Instead, the Lithuanian government itself needed to be replaced by a party more willing to negotiate a compromise. Between December 31, 1918 and January 1, 1919, the German garrison withdrew from Vilnius and passed authority over the city to a local Polish committee, against the pleas of the Lithuanian administration. Buy Lithuanian Soviet War by Russell Jesse (ISBN: 9785509337710) from Amazon's Book Store. [28] The divisions did not have a common military commander. Soviet Russia fully recognized independent Lithuania. Lithuania soon began organizing basic institutions, and established their first government led by Augustinas Voldemaras. [57] The Lithuanian government in Kaunas saw the Polish presence in Vilnius as occupation. [2] On December 16, 1918, the revolutionary government declared establishment of the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic. The red line shows the Soviet front in January 1919. Kapsukas and his government arrived in Vilnius from Daugavpils on January 7. Both regiments were initially successful, but the Soviets gathered their forces and stopped the advance. The Red Army would need to encircle Kaunas and attack through Alytus or Kėdainiai. University of California Press. [61] The line was drawn several kilometers west of the Warsaw – Saint Petersburg Railway. The Polish–Lithuanian relations were not immediately hostile, but grew worse as each side refused to compromise. Both regiments were initially successful, but Soviets gathered their forces and stopped the advance. [56] The southern group, formed on the basis of the 1st Riflemen Regiment and led by Kazys Ladiga, was to attack from Alytus along Daugai–Valkininkai line. [67] The Lithuanians together with Poles planned to push for Daugavpils starting August 9, but the plans were delayed until August 23. Mykolas Sleževičius stepped in and organized a new government. We use cookies and similar tools to enhance your shopping experience, to provide our services, understand how customers use our services so we can make improvements, and display ads. Entered Širvintos, where they found Polish troops moved along the Utena–Zarasai line decided. Battled the Soviets offered to negotiate a compromise. lithuanian soviet war 67 ] Converging on Daugavpils, the Lithuanian–Soviet shortened... Neutrality and further deepened the Polish–Lithuanian crisis Kaunas, Lithuania was left leaderless stabilized when Soviet forces were near! 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