SILENT NIGHTS


4th Vidzemes Latvian Riflemen regiment fallen by Machinegun hill

4th Vidzemes Riflemen Day Book

(Old and new calendar dates used. New first, Old in parenthesis)

(Translated from Russian to Latvian and then to English)


January combat losses:
                                                               

   
Officers
 
Soldiers
 
Units
wounded
wounded
Killed
and sick
lost
Killed
and sick
lost
1. Daugavgrivas
1
7
1
121
250
12
2. Rigas
7
78
311
212
1. Kurzemes
10
20
4
119
426
331
TOTAL
11
34
5
318
987
555

About 4th Vidzemes regiment losses combat logbook solely states, that 25th of January counter-attack Maztirela marsh the following losses:

Officers .................................. 12
Soldiers ................................ 884

1917, 8th (26th of December) January until 10th (28th of January) February including Colonel lieutenant E. Medna edited and annotations, Latvian Captain J. Berzins interpretation from Russian

8th (26th December) January. From morning regiment, light dawn, command relieve, 152nd Regiment, with 9th and 16th Siberian Riflemen regiment Division and occupy area from 16th point until Krisnanu road.

Regiment fortified positions from 16th point until our distant trenches, which located marsh,

Orders. Brigade 1917, 8th (26th December) January command Nr. 330 and l. Latvian brigade command Nr. 333.

9th (27th December) of January occupied area defended. Enemy with massive artillery a number of times shelled 7th and 6th Division areas. Still severe artillery, mortar and machinegun fire enemy all day directed against our right wing 5th and 8th Division area. Especially murderous effect by enemy mortar shells, nevertheless soldiers, held unflinching calm and, confidence, alertly followed each enemy movement, striving to constantly hamper.

Beyond compare hard combat, burdensome conditions marsh, snow and freezing, fenceless fields, positions without fortification this very was causing fatigue among the riflemen that several wandered about completely destitute of feeling.


Positions 5th of January positions


One company rifleman lay down by the fire, fell asleep, and while sleeping, his right arm caught fire, but the rifleman woke up only when a prominent part already was burnt.

After being released from guard duty, a number of 5th Division riflemen rested in a communal dugout. In it fell an enemy bomb, one rifleman killed and a number of wounded. The wounded, and other remaining riflemen were discovered in the dugout peacefully asleep, they had not or felt a thing.

21:00 hours the regiment replaced by 54th Siberian Regiment, and our regiment is positioned behind the 54th Siberian Regiment.

Orders: 1917 9th (27th December) of January command Nr. 378. Colonel Zeltinam.

10th (28th December) of  January, 6th and 8th company 17:00 hours left to be under 2nd Rigas Latvian Regiments disposition: Received orders to commit a combined combat task pursuance with the 3rd Latvian Regiment command and leave with one regiment battalion for Machinegun Hill. 21:00 hours, I battalion transferred to 1st Latvian regiment combat disposition. Remaining 2nd Division and NCO command was transferred and placed to take away Machinegun Hill from the Germans. 23:30 hours the regiment commanders summoned by the brigade’s commander, returned and he explained to the officer’s their combat assignments.


Area around Machinegun Hill


11th (29th of December) of January, Regiment was ordered to relieve 2nd Rigas Latvian regiment and to strongly defend captured area.

According with regiment commander orders, regiment at 05:00 hours arranged in formations, and left for Machinegun Hill, along existing German trenches, onto 2nd Rigas Latvian Riflemen Regiment area.

lst Latvian Riflemen brigade 1917, 11th (29th December) of January command Nr. 5.

This morning other sections were scheduled for an offensive; our artillery shelled the enemy with chemical projectiles. The enemy non-stop lightened the surroundings with rocket flairs. Along the roads laid many enemy corpses, which still was not removed after 5th (23rd December) of January battle.

At 08:00 hours, 2nd Rigas Latvian rifleman regiment was relieved, and departed. We were acquainted with new positions. Along right from us located lst Daugavgrivas Rifleman Regiment, along left 54th Siberian Regiment.


In the Trenches


Occupied enemy positions were noticeably advantageous. Hidden and situated well by the enemy and built kitchen shelter with machine gun and deep firing zones, with frontal and onto our rear.

Old German trenches supported our area left flank, but direction on our right flank was without fortification.
Changed positions with 2nd Rigas Latvian rifleman Regiment. Riflemen in such trench dugouts were able to settle in and recline. Enemy artillery began to heavily rake the area with shrapnel and massive grenades. Left wing was found two-three dugouts, enemy heavily shelled with mortar shells. Enemy uncovered also onto us machinegun fire, directly not only front, but also onto exposed rear, carefully following each of our movements.

Onto lunchtime, machinegun and artillery operated very intensive.

About 11.00 hours the enemy assaulted against our right wing, attempting to go around our right wings 1st company, but our rifleman and machine-gunners deadly fire induced the enemy to retreat in disarray, and abandon their fallen. Nevertheless, they were discontented and attempted to assault again, but our weapons fire dispersed them and they suffered heavy losses.

About 16.00 hours the enemy opened artillery and mortar fire with grenade and shrapnel, holding under ceaseless fire their old trenches, which were used by us to approach the combat zone, and raked all our rear area.  17.00 hours, group without guns approached our 5th Division area, all time shouting: "òe streïaj, òe streïaj" (don’t shoot, don’t shoot).

Divisions First Lieutenant Zandbergs, thinking, that they are enemy defectors, permitted them to come quite close. Nevertheless, realizing that they are enemy grenadiers with hand grenades, and that behind them followed waves of two attack groups, ordered open fire, by which after our first salvo, all of the first enemy group was exterminated.

Observing, that we were not deceived, the enemy threw another attack against the whole area, attempting to encircle our right flank and breakout through a little opening between 1st Daugavgrivas Latvian Riflemen Regiment and ours. The enemy revived against us, massive machinegun fire. Ignoring our tenacious artillery fire, the enemy hurled into combat continuously fresh waves of soldiers. Numerous machineguns were destroyed by enemy artillery and mortar fire and with pauses, we operated only two, therefore, our positions were laid open, not reinforced, and we suffered heavy losses. Nevertheless, none of the riflemen left their positions, but admiringly cold-blooded, without haste, shot the attacking enemy, more, and more of them lost courage.

Opposite our front, the enemy had already halted. Nevertheless, they continued nonstop to press atop our right flank where a disadvantageous position arose. First right flank division commander already was wounded. Observing critical condition, regiment commander hastened there, but this place already reverberated "urrâ", that picked up remaining riflemen and they hurled themselves atop the enemy. The enemy yielded in close combat, fled, covered their retreat with artillery and machinegun fire.

Clarification, 1) that I battalion commander Sockis, after seeing 1st Division commander wounded, hurried to the right flank, where, taking into account the critical condition, undertook Division leadership. Seeing before him cool-headed, riflemen and them a popular combat officer, the riflemen attained new vigor.

Observing the conditions with the enemy not anticipating this and was surprised, even though they still continued to attempt envelopment,  Sockis in front of the Division , hurled at the enemy flank and set panic among the attackers and they fled. The fleeing enemy with Sockis in pursuit threw a grenade killing him.

This assault especially arose all of 5th company. Standing their ground and completely ignoring the danger, permitted the enemy to get real close and then firing, leaving in front of them a pile of dead soldiers.

Day's combat lustrous success raised the spirits of the Riflemen Evening sent out scout group to reconnoiter. They crawled up close to the weary enemy and, observed an out of the way enemy group, which supposedly was sent out to reconnaissance or for body gathering. They hurled atop, them and killed all but one, which they captured. From the fallen, they removed unit markings, which was 33rd Regiment without numbers. Prisoner stated that they were there to deceive us, making it appear as a night assault but actually, this grenadier party was loaded with hand grenades, which were to be tossed into our trenches bringing our line into disarray, which was to be utilized by a full attack.


Captured German Territory


12th (30th December) January morning. Again occurred a lively gun battle, which participated artillery and rifles. About 16.00 hours the enemy began to concentrate artillery and mortar mass fire against our whole area front and rear.

17.00 hours the enemy charged the whole area, but especially heavy against 4th company.

17.20 hours the enemy, under our massive artillery and machinegun fire, began to fall, but then yielded and began to retreat, but some officer persuaded them to charge again until he arose and screamed waving his arms, but he was dropped by our bullets.

13th (31st December) January 02.00 hours the enemy continued the attack, at first, our right wing, but later the whole area. Our rifleman and artillery fire halted the enemy approximately, 300 footsteps from our trenches.

We observed the enemy, regiment commander ordering artillery fire to cease. For several minutes, there was dead silence, and then it was clearly audible that the enemy started to entrench. Regiment commander ordered the regiment to prepare counter attack and onto the enemy laid artillery fire. After 30 minutes gave instructions for the artillery to direct their fire on the enemy’s rear as the regiment starts their counter-attack.

03.10 hours reverberated "urra" along whole area. Enemy refused close combat but with covering machinegun fire retreated. Because of reserves shortage the regiment commander ordered to stop enemy pursuit, but remain in our own positions.

All day occurred mutual gun battle with artillery and rifles, which now and then transferred into massive fire, but the enemy, did not attack.

Our losses in December (after old style): fallen, lost and wounded together 440 men.

14th (1st) January began with 12th (30th December) January regiment filled positions from 16th objective in 477th quadrant.

Day was bitter with mutual battles with guns and artillery. 22.00 hours the regiment filled duty in combat area 152.

Orders: Regiment Commander Zeltina telephone message Nr. 8.

15th  (2nd ) of January 07.00 hours the regiment transferred onto Tornakalnu and placed in lodgings, Altonovas, Kapu and Mazas Nometnu street region.

16th (3rd) January 10.00 hours arrived brigades commander and ordered the moving the quartermaster to Nordek, where after finishing, the   regiment to follow.

12.00 hours II battalion and 14.00 hours also the I battalion moved to new positions.  Regiment was placed in Nordekos Marsh and Slokas street region.

17th (4th) of January after above massive battles, soldiers were given chance visit bathhouse and get a rest. Officers in detail inspected clothing and boots and distributed all replacements.

18th (5th) January the regiment commander addressed soldiers for past and oncoming battles, combat goals and period significance.

From 11.00 until 14.00 hours at the regiment showed up several women and distributed donated Christmas gifts, because of combat circumstances was not able to hand out earlier. Their presence enlightened riflemen and NCOs.

From 14.30 until 17.00 hours occurred combat training.

20th (7th) January Combat training and bathhouse.

Company and brigade training in fortified zones take, barbed wire cutting without noise and position reconnaissance.

20.00 hours, night training approaching positions without noise and barbed wire cutting.

21-22nd January, officers held friendly discussions with Riflemen War goals were explained plus obligations and national awareness cultivation.

Training in fortified zones settlement, approaching at night without noise, wire cutting and offensive movement.

23rd (10th) of January training in fortified zones taking and occupied area fortifications. Preparing night maneuvers.

19.00 hours arrived orders for regiment to prepare for march.

20.00 hours the regiment, with regiment commanders, followed orders to leave for Zeltinu front, marched in Mikenhofas direction, where the regiment was ordered to settle in Bukultu-Blodzinu-Tiles region.

24th (11th) of January 02.00 hours the regiment arrived by Bukultu house, but could not find designated bunkers, transferred to Solitudi Beberbeku Street.

06.00 hours, arrived news that 3rd Latvian Riflemen Regiment, behind following the 4th Regiment, left for Trencu house direction.

07.30 hours, regiment left for road.

09.00 hours arrived and prepared the regiment to settle in dugouts by forest Nr. 1.

The quartermasters brigade commander was designated to the region forest Nr. 1, southwest part, where crossed forest Nr. 1. Cenas estate and Blodnieku house roads, there also the regiment arrived at 11.00 hours.



           
4th Vidzemes Latvian Riflemen Regiment 400 fallen riflemen, which 25th (12th) January was discovered snow-covered grave by Machinegun hill

23.00 hours the regiment commanders were summoned to 1st Latvian Riflemen brigade headquarters.

25th (12th) of January, about 01.00 hours 4th Vidzemes Latvian riflemen regiment was situated in dugouts, along hills by forest Nr. 1.

01.45 hours orders for all officers gather regiment headquarters, where regiment commander informed and explained combat assignments.

12th army commander was ordered all cost to renew the combat field to old conditions, which existed until 22nd  (9th) of January, and hurl back the enemy  south.

4th regiment was ordered to transfer to German Machinegun hill and occupy it at 04.00 hours, assault zone in between quadrants 434 and 476th


 Grid Map of Area

last one turn out to former German trenches line. By which was needed separate assault opponent area from point Nr. 476, turn out for objective Nr. 16  and, strike with left wing along both sides existing German trenches, in connection with 3rd Kurzemes Latvian Riflemen Regiment quadrant.

Command: I Latvian Riflemen brigade from 25th  (12th) January Nr. 3.

Offensive was ordered to commence directly 05.00 hours, the 3rd Latvian Regiment along the right with 54th Siberian Riflemen Regiment assault objective Nr. 16 from east. Enemy placements were not certain but were supposedly, that he was marsh south of Machinegun hill.

Situation clarified the regiment commander with haste dispatched reconnaissance command.

02.30 regiment, with regiment commanders in front left in western direction for German Machinegun hill.


German bunkers behind the trenches

Enemy shelled road with chemical projectiles which missed us and exploded in the marsh, did not poison anyone.

04.00 hours the regiment, moved along our front guard post, arrived by existing German trenches onto Machinegun hill.

Regiment commander positioned the regiment so it was concealed on the hills south slope and ordered, immediately to install our barbed wire fences, as also assigned exit steps behind them.

Clarified conditions turned out, that Russian forward 10th Siberian Riflemen Regiment guard posts occupied hills south slope. Enemy, supposedly, occupied the forest edge about the 14th quadrant and placed from the marsh to their trenches its guard posts. Germans main strength after reconnaissance was located in the 12th quadrant.

04.20 hours trenches were already established and dug exit trenches. First assault group trenches were II battalion and second trench, reserves. Regiment commander was located with first group by II battalion.

Enemy non-stop and heavily lightened the surroundings with flares, observing from their front guard posts the regiments movement.

About 05.00 hours the regiment finished exit steps and was full combat assault ready.

Directly 05.00 hours showed up from I Latvian Riflemen Brigade headquarters Captains Grinbergs, and ordered the assault and then placed himself in front of the first wave.

Regiment commanders gave the command to immediately to advance.

05.15 hours the enemy received the attackers with massive rifle and machinegun mass fire, and from both flanks. 3rd Kurzemes Latvian Riflemen and 54th Siberian Riflemen regiment movement was not noticed. Overly strong enemy fire, the attacking line slightly halted, but then again on all fours crawled forward.

05.25 hours after situation clarification, dispatched half company for left flank strengthening east from German trenches, regiment commander, Zeltins, energetic deadly regiment assault.


 After 25th (12th) January bloody combat formation of remaining 400 Vidzemes Latvian Rifleman Regiment soldiers

Regiment knocked out the enemy from his barbed wire fenced protected trenches at 13th  objective, and by a hurried retreat, abandoned much shells and hand grenades, and especially blankets, pillows and equipment utensils.

Striking forward under strong frontal and flanking machinegun fire, the regiment nevertheless drew closer to 14th objective and forest edge. Nearing about 50 foot steps could not for we were directly atop enemy machine guns, by which all attempts to assault them, or go around, attempts ended with death.

From combat knocked out half of the officers, also both battalion leaders, almost all NCOs, machine gunners (only one was operating) and sizable part of the Riflemen.

Of others nothing remained, they waited until 3rd Kurzemes Latvian Riflemen regiment moved forward, who would enable Vidzemes regiment advance, secured the right flank, as also 2nd regiment soldiers movement, also was not able to move forward and remained in place.

Enemy, observing, that the regiment could not move forward, from 16th objective and forest edge, which was located onto west from the old German trenches, counter-attacked in sizable strength, but when they were allowed to approach close to us, our firepower forced them to flee back to forest edge by 16th objective suffering great losses. After that, the enemy laid down heavy mortar fire while digging in by 13th objective, repeated attacks two times. Each attack was permitted to approach close before firing at them forcing a retreat with great losses. Captured area by the regiment was held until 17.00 hours when the brigade's commander ordered the return to German Machinegun hill.

        The attack group consisted of

                30 officers,
1129 riflemen,
148, grenadiers,
Commanders with relief help 233 NCOs and soldiers.

 The regiment losses were, fell, wounded and lost:

                Officers - 12;
NCOs and riflemen -884.

26. (13.) January the regiment was placed 429th quadrant region, Machinegun hill north slope with 10th Siberian Riflemen reserves.
Orders Regiment Commander Karlson 25th (12th) January: dispatch Nr. 408.


Captured German Bunkers

According with brigade's commander orders 1st, 3rd and 4th regiment was assigned to fortify positions line from 11th (431) artillery point 277th quadrant, until 6th (425) artillery area 242-243rd quadrants. Also with it, 4th regiment was ordered to immediately proceed to trenches construction, from 258th 243rd quadrant corner crossing, until 6th (426th) quadrant.

Orders brigade commander orders Nr. 012. From 25th (12th) January and chart Nr. 233/8.

Arrived brigade commanders orders: the surplus company soldiers, which how many may or may not be prepared to immediately, equip and place on line, but all remaining to be positioned Beberbeku region and reinforce  their training.

Occasion: brigade 26th (13th) January orders Nr. 1127.

18.00 hours Machinegun hill gun battle and with enemy grenades, shrapnel wounded left hip regiment commander Zeltin and was evacuated and temporary commander was Briesmam.

21.00 hours by phone arrived orders for regiment to transfer and settle 263rd quadrant.

21:45 hours regiment left and 23.00 hours was situated 263rd quadrant dugouts.

27th (14th) January. According with brigades commander orders, regiment temporary commander was Colonel Ltn. Bangerskis.

Veteran doctor 27th (14th) January dispatch Nr. 22.

From 10.06 hours, the enemy reinforced shelling the regiment encampment with chemical projectiles.

28th (15th) January Regiment settled 263rd quadrant.

29th (16th) January. Enemy shelled encampment and regiment headquarters dugout with chemical projectiles. Owing accepted self-defense remedy, no one was poisoned.

30th (17th) January. 06.00 hours 4th Vidzemes Latvian Riflemen Regiment located along trenches, 263rd quadrant northern part.

06.15 hours the enemy began rake regiment encampment with heavy and light artillery choking gas projectiles. (Died two riflemen).

08.50 hours fire onto regiment encampment, main group, with gas projectiles.

11.20 hours I Latvian brigade headquarters informed that the enemy would precede attack against 11th and 12th Siberian Riflemen Regiment border crossing. Therefore, 1st Daugavgrivas and 3rd Kurzemes Latvian Riflemen Regiments were dispatched to help them. 4th Vidzemes and 2nd Rigas Latvian Riflemen Regiment ordered to prepare for movement.

14.00 hours the regiment commanded to leave and follow behind 2nd Rigas Latvian Riflemen Regiment and settle 6th area region left by departed 3rd Kurzemes Latvian Riflemen Regiment.

14.20 hours the regiment, with regiment commanders in front, left in western direction and 14.50 hours with their forward element reached brigades headquarters 262nd quadrant.

Taking into consideration having received disturbing news, brigade's commander ordered 2nd Rigas Latvian Riflemen regiment depart west to aid 3rd Kurzemes Latvian Riflemen Regiment, and 4th Vidzemes regiment leave for 1st Daugavgrivas Latvian Riflemen Regiment reinforcement.

Approximately, by 10th (430th) quadrant, on German Machinegun hill, 15.35 hours regiment met 1st Daugavgrivas Latvian Riflemen Regiments leader, who designated the road not to the west, but onto north, alongside existing German trenches.

16.00 hours the regiment overtook 2nd Rigas Latvian Riflemen Regiment groups at 6th (426th) artillery quadrant.

16.10 hours, 4th Vidzemes Latvian Riflemen Regiment arrived at 1. Daugavgrivas Latvian Riflemen's regiment headquarters, which was in a dugout by 5th (425th) artillery point. Regiment Commander, Colonel Ltn. Bangerskis, ordered the regiment to be hidden in the shrub.


German dugout Machine gun hill

1st Daugavgrivas Riflemen regiment commander described conditions as following:

1) Enemy groups, which broke through 257th quadrant and further north, 1st regiment had stopped them.

2) 1st regiment commander was certain, that his regiment one battalion that was located in 275th quadrant, but a second battalion was needed to be more along left from that place – 258th quadrant. 

Soon came clarification that west from Kalnciema highway was located various units but main group was 176th Perevolocinskas Regiment groups. From the highway, south from 437 quadrants forest edge was 5th Zemgales Latvian Riflemen Regiment.

436th and 437th quadrant the enemy shelled with tenacious heavy and light artillery fire. Several injuries reported. The enemy overran elevated area south from 434th quadrant. Their position which cut into Kalnciema highway became clear but 4th regiment commander still not what was happening at 274th and 275th quadrant.

Regiment Commander Karlsons sent 1st regiment was designated to the 275th quadrant. 4th Vidzemes Latvian Riflemen Regiment and 1st Daugavgrivas Latvian Riflemen Regiment commander were assigned to leave 274th quadrant.

17.00 hours Colonel Ltn. Bangerskis by phone summoned 4th Regiment I battalion, from which 2 companies, with 1st Daugavgrivas Latvian Riflemen Regiments 5 companies of riflemen, leading, I battalion commander to be dispatched south with assignment to find 1st regiments right flank and taking positions and fortify it as one line and also to execute reconnaissance along the right until Kalnciema highway.

 At the same time, 4th regiment commander craved by phone to commit to his disposition all of the regiment, for position onto right half already was clarified. Regiment Commander Karlsons retained two (5th and 6th) companies for himself, transferred 4th regiment commander wholly his regiments 6 companies.

This time by 436th quadrant arrived 9th Siberian Riflemen Regiment three companies, under the guidance of Captain Aleksejeva; who was ordered to leave for 274th quadrant and providing for some Latvian Riflemen Regiment support.

18.25 hours, 1st Daugavgrivas Latvian Riflemen regiment commander ordered Colonel Ltn. Bangerskim with 4th regiment 6 companies and 9th Siberian Riflemen 3 companies prepare for attack, in order to set up previous condition, 11th Siberian Riflemen Regiment area, unite this area with 1st Daugavgrivas Latvian Riflemen Regiment companies.

18.40 hours after 4th Regiments, two companies (7th and 3rd) arrived at 436th quadrant, Colonel Ltn. Bangerskis personally with 4th regiment 3rd, 4th, 7th and 8th company and 9th Siberian Riflemen 5th, 6th and 7th company left for the south along roads in-between 436th and 415th quadrant.

At movement time, 4th Vidzemes Latvian Riflemen Regiment and 9th Siberian Riflemen II battalion were heavily shelled with artillery, but no losses.

East from 438th quadrant and the 256th quadrant, was located 2nd Rigas Latvian Riflemen Regiment I battalion.

Departed past 2nd Rigas Latvian Riflemen Regiment, the regiment commander placed exit steps for assault by 4th Regiment I Battalion (3rd and 4th Company) southeast of hill, by 438th quadrant, and 9th Siberian Riflemen II battalion north of hill south end at 256th quadrant. 7th and 8th Company east positioned as reserves behind 4th Regiment I Battalion and telephone station, which maintained a liaison with 1st Regiment commanders and the battalion.

Proceeding to the front, the regiment commander tried to ascertain that all units were in place. 4th Regiment commanders Regiment Commander Karlsons gave notice that 4th Regiment needs to delay the offensive and 1st Daugavgrivas Latvian Riflemen Regiment Commander designated, that First Lieutenant Dardzans shoot a blue signal rocket.

4th regiment commander stated that this signal will come the forest in 275th quadrant, where was located the 1st Regiment groups which should remain unnoticed by the 255th and 256th quadrants border. From there the assault by the 4th Vidzemes Latvian Riflemen and 9th Siberian Riflemen groups would start that offensive and that attack begin directly at 20.30 hours.

20.30 hours, 4th Regiment commander ordered the assault, first, 4th Regiment I Battalion, then 9th Siberian Riflemen II battalion. First orders were to assault with the left wing alongside road, which joined 439th and 446th quadrant, through that came to attack the enemy left flank, which filled 274th quadrants hill backside.

9th Siberian Riflemen Regiment battalion ordered an assault east from road with the right flank heading onto 445th quadrant. After 4th and 9th Siberian Riflemen started the assault, Colonel Ltn. Bangerskis ordered also 1st regiment 5th, 6th and 7th Companies attack directly onto 445th quadrant. They were still waiting for the signal rocket but Colonel Ltn. Bangerskis stated that it was not happening so to go forward since the offense already had started.

After the assault began, Colonel-Ltn. Bangerskis returned to behind the hills south end. which was located 256th quadrant where he located 2nd  Latvian I Battalion commander Captain Ozolins, and gave him orders with their battalion to begin the assault, hugging by the 9th Siberian Riflemen left flank, for 4th and 1st Latvian and the 9th Siberian groups had already began the offensive.

Captains Ozolins immediately ordered 1st, 2nd and 3rd companies to leave attack, leaving the 4th Company as reserves.

Enemy greeted the attackers with deadly rifle, machinegun and mortar fire, raked Kalnciema and road in between 436th and 445th quadrant with massive heavy and light artillery.

20.50 hours. 1st Daugavgrivas Latvian Riflemen Regiment commander with telephone message Nr. 1 reported the first assault report results.

Lead and steel shower surprised the attackers slightly halted, but then quietly on all fours crawled forward, assembling almost by the enemy's ridge.

22.07 hours the regiment commander received 1st Daugavgrivas Latvian Riflemen Regiment Commander ordered that until there were reinforcements the offensive cease and whole section to entrench.

While this order was being read, already the whole line reverberated with “urrâ” and the groups burst in enemy trenches. It was informed to the 1st Daugavgrivas Latvian Riflemen Regiment commander with note Nr. 7.

22.30 hours with valiant self-sacrifice, and many tight bayonet fights, owing to coordinated 4th Vidzemes, 11th Daugavgrivas and 2nd Rigas Latvian Riflemen and 9th Siberian Riflemen regiment, the assault was a success driving the Germans out.


German dugout church on Machinegun hill

In order to hold captured trenches, 4th regiment I Battalion left to assist 4th Regiment, 7th and 8th Companies, which had heavily suffered from mortar shells at the first wave.

From 444th quadrant side the enemy all the time continued to shell Colonel Ltn. Bangerskis unit's site with flanking rifle and machinegun fire, which heavily troubled the company commander and showed concern for the right flank.

Small reconnaissance groups on reconnaissance along right from our occupied line, but could not find the enemy close.

24.00 hours at 1st Daugavgrivas Latvian Riflemen regiment headquarters showed up 4th regiment 5th Company, according with regiment commanders orders, filled reserve status behind the right flank, and did assignments divided between reconnaissances and keeping an eye on Kalnciema highway. Immediately after that, appeared 4th regiment 6th Company and were placed beneath the hills back right (western) slope, which was located 274th quadrant.

31st (18th) of January about 03.30 hours, 4th regiment commander discovered 176th Regiment III Battalion commanders dugout in the 256th quadrant. From the last 4th Regiment commander was made aware that around the dugouts occupied also all of the battalion. 4th Regiment commander, oriented 176th Regiment III Battalion commanders the status, and ordered him immediately with two companies to occupy gap in between 2nd Rigas Latvian Riflemen Regiments right wing and Kalnciema, which the battalion immediately fulfilled.

04.00 hours arrived 1st Daugavgrivas Latvian Riflemen Regiment commander's announcement that Colonel Ltn. Bangerskis subordinate units and others, to substitute with 38th infantry division groups.

07.15 hours. Arrived 150th Infantry regiment forward units and proceeded in the Kalnciema highway direction.

Behind 150th Regiment stretched 149th Regiment Battalion.

Approximately, after 20 minutes, 4th Regiment commander reported that Battalion exchange places and prepare to occupy the positions, which already were recovered.

4th regiment commander, Colonel Ltn. Bangerskis, immediately left for the 149th Regiment II and III Battalion commanders and, explained the conditions, the Latvian element and 9th Siberian Riflemen Regiment II Battalion holding positions on the forward line in defense, the Germans would be able to still recover and that nights losses, take back. Turned out that 149th Regiment units had received orders to relieve 9th Siberian Riflemen units, but for the Latvian section, nothing was stated.

149th Regiment II and III battalion commanders, headquarters Captain Buzuks (Buzins) and Senkevics, while Colonel Ltn. Bangerskis, to them informed the present conditions, both correctly appraised the consequence of the delay and hastened to relieve forward Latvian and 9th Siberian Riflemen II battalion units, personally showing where to place companies and leaders.

09.00 hours 149th Regiment headquarters Captain Senkevica II Battalion replaced 2nd Riga and 4th Vidzemes Latvian Riflemen Regiment and left flanks 9th Siberian Riflemen Division. 303rd Regiment right flank joined the left wing, 9th Company, First lieutenant, Gorosilova under the guidance of transitional Colonel Ltn. Bangerskim subordinate units, about 09.00 hours the 149th Regiment headquarters exchange was complete.

Relinquishing his area, 4th Regiment Commander Bangerskis followed his own units to 1st Daugavgrivas Latvian Riflemen Regiment headquarters, by 5th (425th) quadrant, where reported about the finished combat and area deliverance, showing on maps where the combat occurred and where and which units were placed after the exchange.

4th Vidzemes Latvian Riflemen Regiment from combat losses fallen:
          Officers, riflemen and NCOs - 66;
   Wounded: officers; 3,
Riflemen 144;

Lost without any news: officers, riflemen and NCOs 4;        

Together, 3 officers and 214 riflemen and NCOs,

Officers 13%, Riflemen and NCOs 25%.

2nd Rigas Latvian Riflemen regiment 2nd Company captured 2 machineguns and 2 prisoners.

That same day the regiment received from reserves 235 Riflemen.


4th (22nd January) February. Regiment, Siberian element was relieved, transferred to Pinku region and placed at Beberbeku area.


8th (26th January) February. According with brigade's commander orders, 06.00 hours the regiment marching in columns left for Riga
until morning showed up Nordekos and placed in lodging, proceed to be army reserves.

10th (28th January) February. Colonel Ltn. Bangerskis transferred to 17th Siberian Riflemen Regiment and regiment temporary commander was Captain Gailitis.
            ________________________________________________________________________________________

Latvian Riflemen Book 4 – 5 1936, pages 455- 480