Tallinn Operation of 1944

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Tallinn Operation of 1944

 

an offensive from September 17 to September 26 during the Great Patriotic War (1941–45) by the forces of the Leningrad Front and the Red Banner Baltic Fleet to liberate the Estonian SSR and its capital, Tallinn; an integral part of the Baltic Operation of 1944.

An offensive in August 1944 by the forces of the Third Baltic Front had liberated southeastern Estonia and thereby opened the way for a strike north along the western shore of Lake Chudskoe. The Soviet troops faced the fascist German Narva operational grouping; the enemy had a prepared defense that was especially strong in the Narva sector.

According to the plan of the General Headquarters of the Supreme Command, the forces of the Leningrad Front, commanded by Marshal of the Soviet Union L. A. Govorov, were to take over the Tartu sector from those of the Third Baltic Front and strike from there toward Rakvere with the aim of gaining the rear of the enemy’s Narva grouping and then advancing on Tallinn with the support of the Red Banner Baltic Fleet under Admiral V. F. Tributs. Lieutenant General I. I. Fediuninskii’s Second Shock Army was moved from the Narva area to the Tartu sector across Lake Chudskoe on river vessels. The Second Shock Army opened the offensive on September 17, broke through the enemy defense that same day, and advanced 28 km by the end of September 18. The Estonian Eighth Rifle Corps under Lieutenant General L. A. Pärn advanced along the western shore of Lake Chudskoe.

The threat of encirclement forced the fascist German command to withdraw its troops from the Narva sector, where the Eighth Army went on the offensive on the night of September 18 and advanced 90 km in two days. By the end of September 20, its advance units captured Rakvere and made contact with units of the Second Shock Army on the left flank. From September 21 the forces of the Leningrad Front continued the pursuit of the enemy westward. The offensive of the Eighth Army along the coast was supported by torpedo boats, by aircraft from the Baltic Fleet, and by amphibious landing parties. Advance detachments of the Eighth Army liberated Tallinn on September 22 and Haapsalu on September 24; on the latter day marines also liberated the city and port of Paldiski in a landing operation. The Second Shock Army liberated Pärnu and Viljandi on September 23. By September 26, the entire Estonian SSR, except the islands, was liberated.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.