Forest Guard's House On Fire

During the last days of February the Estonians attack to the bridgehead got started with an event that was relatively common for war time – a fire. On the enemy's bank a Vepsküla forest guard's house and its additional buildings were burning on the edge of the forest. Smoke was seen in the morning, there were huge flames coming from the roofs, which were seen several kilometers away in Olgino. The opponent was seen moving around the fire. Some Russian soldiers who were on watch that time went to warm themselves near the fire, because at the end of February the weather was cold outside.

It seemed as if the moment to attack was like a gift from the above. Using the enemy's confusion, Lieutenant Adson with one unit started to attack the men near the fire. An unexpected attack caused panic – almost a whole unit of Russians escaped, leaving their weapons behind. Other men on defence positions joined Adson's men and the forest was conquered almost without a fight. This way Estonians reached Vepsküla and Vaasa farms. The first step to conquer the bridgehead had been made. The enemy was now only a few hundred meters away from our front line men who had received an order to dig themselves in. The enemy seemed to settle with the situation, opened a fire between Vepsküla and the forest, probably thinking that the attack will continue. A quick meeting of all the division, regiment, battalion and artillery unit leaders from Narva front followed in Olgino. The Nordland's commander, SS-Brigadeführer Fritz von Scholtz, to whom the Estonian Division's 45th Regiment was subjected to, gave an order to attack.