Trapped In The Sorbe Peninsula, Hitler Refused To Allow Them To Retreat.

by Daniel Russ on December 27, 2013



Sorve or Sworbe Peninsula

It’s only 32 kilometers long by 10 kilometers wide. It is the best way to access the Gulf of Riga, and it lies east of Estonia in the Baltic Sea. It is, by it’s very location, strategic. So it is not surprising that the Tsars placed large defensive naval gun batteries along the coast. During the invasion of the Soviet Union, the Germans took control of the peninsula briefly before sweeping eastward into the heart of Russia. By the end of the war, it was the Germans who were defending against a juggernaut Russian army.


When the Russians began pushing German forces westward, elements of the German 67th Potsdam Grenadier Regiment and the 23rd Infantry Division were settled into defensive divisions around the Nasva River. They were undermanned, underfed and refused permission from Hitler to retreat. Already on the peninsula was the Russian 1st Battalion of the 917th Army and anti tank guns of the 370th Red Guards battalion.


In the early morning hours of the 29th of September 1944, the undersized German battalion tried to slip past the Russians. Flares exposed the retreat and a confused bloody night battle took place between the forces.


The Germans were able to break through and join other Wehrmacht forces defending the island. It would take another month of bloody fighting before the Germans evacuated entirely.


Hermann Urlichs, a Wehrmacht Battalion commander recalls Hitler’s orders, saying “No one leaves Sworbe except to go to Siberia.” The military genius he claimed to be had degenerated into a clownish imitation of a combat commander who refused to allow his troops to defend themselves when cut off. As a result, few Germans made it out alive, and to no avail.


That’s a  good thing for the rest of us.



The Morning After The Battle Of Tehumardi



Battle Map In Estonian



source: Wiki, history channel, BBC History




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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Young kid July 6, 2015 at 2:11 pm

Interesting page. I actually grew up in 90’s right there. Plenty of small ammo and shells still left there on ground and under ground. Found plenty of bullets grenades and big shells in woods. And if you had a showel you could get your backpack full of stuff to burn in fire and make a bang. Ofcourse we were stupid enough to just keep watching it right next to fire pit. One of my friends actually got hit by fragment too. Thats when we took some distance. And we just extracted gunpowder

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