The Mystery

What happened next in Estonia, mostly on Narva front, is not a discussion point in only in a military-strategic plan. The distance of time gives the opportunity to go into the undercurrents of the events. And probably the Narva front will remain a mystery and its meaning will be discussed not only by military historians but also those who are dealing with human and mass psychology in war conditions. On Narva front, from January to September 1944, some things happened to which its hard to find a match in this century's wars, although some have tried to do so. Similar battles to the Auvere-Sinimäed Hills battles can be found from the Finnish Winter War. In the latter the Red Army's unsuccessfulness was the result of strategic incompetence, the Red Army did not have enough battle experience and the landscape was inappropriate for big military operations in winter conditions. But under Narva the Red Army had already been in several battles, its Generals had acquired a strategy and tactics. And the landscape was not better or worse than in other battle places.

Describing the phenomenon of Harald Nugiseks could be of help in resolving this mystery. Also getting acquainted with the other three Estonian Knight's Cross recipients fate can be useful. So what sort of forces were battling on Narva front? The Army Group Nord, consisting of the 16th and 18th Army, was led by Feldmarschall Küchler and had 741,000 soldiers and officers, 10,700 cannons and mine throwers, 385 tanks and 370 aircrafts. They were facing the Leningrad-Volkhov-Baltic front that was made up of 1,241,000 soldiers and officers, 21,600 cannons and mine throwers, 1,475 tanks and 1,500 aircrafts. So the overall relation of powers was: human resources 1:1,7; cannons 1:2; tanks 1:3,8; aircrafts 1:4,1. All numbers were in Red Army's favor. And considering the fact that the Soviet side brought in new powers constantly, the difference on Narva front grew all the time and always in favor of the Red Army.

Unfortunately most German WH units that retreated in panic and thus were of no help on Narva front. What went to West over Narva bridge was a chaotic and unshaped human mass, without weapons or leading. A large number of retreaters were sent to Saaremaa to be formed into new units. So the units that were protecting Narva river should be evaluated differently than the ones on Leningrad front.

According to Soviet intelligence, by February 20 Narva front had 100,000 men, 1,500 cannons and mine throwers, 100 tanks and attack cannons and 400 aircrafts. This shows that the relation of powers was even more depressive under Narva, considering that the Red Army's losses in the attack battles until Narva were not huge and only a part of the soldiers and military machinery were sent to other direction than the main attack direction. The hope of holding the attack back for a longer period of time seemed pointless, just like the Finns resistance in the Winter War had seemed four years ago.

What happened with the psyche of the people who lived here? A mixture of surprise, despair and anger that shook the people awake. People realized that the horrifying, insane and killing force from the East was once again attacking. If the Finns did not know a few years ago what a Red regime meant, people here knew it. They could guess what was coming. From somewhere the I-power reached people, changing the feeling of masses into a giant power by merging. Estonian acknowledged leaders, headed by our Prime Minister and the man performing the President's assignments Jüri Uluots, told the people: either to fight together with Germans or to fall into great misery.

The following is a transcription of the speech the Prime Minister Professor Jüri Uluots gave through radio on August 17, 1944, in which the representative of Estonian government directly tells Estonian men to battle against the Soviet Union in German uniforms:

"A great attack has began on Estonian front, not only from the East, but also from the Southeast. Thus a situation has been created, which needs a firm opinion.

I spoke in Tartu on August 10. Now our fellow citizens have urgently expressed a wish that I would repeat my speech on the radio, so that the big masses could hear it.

Many countries' and nations' interests are crossed in this war. Some nations are battling together with other nations, with whom they have no common aims or interests. They battle together but each have their own interests and goals.

Estonia has nothing to do with the world power countries and their battle against each other. A lot of propaganda is made in this war on the account of one or another nation and dust is thrown in each other's eyes. We have felt different kind of propaganda ourselves. We only have Estonian interests before our eyes.

We were invaded from the East without any reason. We protect out country and freedom. This is the only reason why we fight. Our people know what the assault from the East means. If Russia should occupy us once again, our people are doomed and taken to Siberia. In 1941 we longed for a savior and the savior came. If Russia occupies us again, we have no saviors to wait for. And if one day a savior should come, there will be no pure Estonians whom he could save.

The war is coming to an end. We have to keep our land free, until peace arrives or at least armistice. This could save us from being destroyed. We consider the rules in this war and we have the right to accept help from wherever it may come. This time we are helped by the Germans and that is why we are battling together with them. There is no second or third option. We have to use all our strength in this war. Those who so far have held themselves back, step out and go to the front. The Bolshevik Russia has no right to attack us. The merging with the Soviet Russia in 1940 was an act of violence, which was performed with terror and military power. Estonian people have nothing to do with that.

The fate has put a heavy burden on our current generation, but the previous generations have also had to deal with this type of difficulties. 39 wars have crossed our land since 1130 and the current one is the 40th. 90% of these wars came from the East. There have always been nations who have helped Estonia. Danes, Swedes, Germans, Poles. And Estonia survived all these wars. We place our hope on the king of kings and know that the law and justice are on our side. In our current difficult situation we hope on His help and trust ourselves in His protection…"

The people took the battle order as self-evident, just like the Finns during the Winter War. And with the help of Estonian soldiers a MIRACLE happened on Narva front, which is one of the biggest ones during the war. The troops in Narva area separated from the 18th Army and were renamed as Narva Army Group and this made the Narva front a battle symbol. It became a place where the European volunteers with German soldiers stood against yet another Mongols's and Eastern hordes attempt to invade Europe.