[ENG SUBS] Sinimäed 2/6 (The Blue Hills) WW2 Estonian SS Legion


Uploaded by Eestimaaks on 19.09.2010

Transcript:
Finland was put in a crunch.
lf Estonia fell, defending their land wold be practically impossible.
Finns initiated peace talks with the Soviet Union.
ln order to defeat Finland, Stalin needed to conquer Narva.
More and more Red Army units are sent to the border with Estonia.
Hitler amasses his troops to Narva.
Once the retreat from Leningrad to the Panther line was completed,
we were given an order by the General Staff:
"We won't give up more land. We"ll stay here and defend it!"'
That was the only choice, as otherwise Hitler would lose the Baltic Sea
and the German army wold be cut off from Swedish ore.
Germans are desperate.
They need to conscript more men to stop the Red Army.
The campaigns are becoming more energetic.
Dr. Mäe, the head of Occupation Authorities, has called a general mobilisation.
Estonian men are signing up.
The Estonian resistance movement is in a qandary.
The Red Army has already crossed the Estonian border.
The general mobilisation in Estonia is failing again.
Should the promises of far-away western allies be trusted
or should Estonians accept the weapons offered by Germans?
Paul Maitla does not understand these doubts in the Eastern Front.
They are dancing at home while we stand in wind and rain,
in blizzards and storms to stop the Russians from marching westward.
While l have to hold on to the ground with my fingernails
to dodge shrapnel or machine-gun fire.
They were told from the very beginning that they woule be trained
and sent to defend the Estonian border.
The Germans betrayed them by taking them to Ukraine and elsewhere.
Great Britain and U.S. have signed the Atlantic Charter,
guaranteeing that pre-war borders wold be reinstated in Europe.
Everyone can see that the war is coming to an end.
lf the Red Army can be held at the Estonian border until the very end,
it is possible that the promises of the allies can hold water.
The resistance movement decides to support the mobilisation.
The pre-war Prime Minister Uluots speaks in the wireless
and says that holding the Red Army in check is a matter of life and death.
Germans promise that Estonian units wold be returned to their homeland.
Right now!
Paul Maitla Writes:
The boys kept asking: "When will we go?'
We had seen enough strife here in Russia.
lf we managed to beat them here, we could do more on the home borders.
There we would habe our homes behind us.
Only a soldier can understand how much it helps in a battle.
Bystanders will never get this.
The radio speech packs a big punch.
Germans were planning to conscript 15,000 men
but 38,000 turn p.
There's not enough equipment for everyone.
Many go to the front without any training at all.
But there are more Estonians in Russia hoping to get back home.
Not all of the men taken to Russia in 1941
have fled to German ranks or died in forced labour camps.
Vello Raigo was one of thousands who joined the Red Army.
His family did not hear of him for three years.
Now he's writing a letter home from Russia.
The rain rattles along
but l can feel the closeness of home in each clank of the wheel.
l can feel you coming nearer.
He could not send those letters home.
He's writing in the hope of delivering them personally one day.
Red Army has formed a rifle corps of the remaining Estonians.
They are not allowed to the front, as they would defect.
The battles have reached Estonia.
We are not taking part in them.
Narva is the key to make us move from here.
Narva is indeed the key, as the Germans themselves believe.
ln Febrary they start bringing Estonian units back home.
One train after another rolls to Tartu to be met byjoyful family members.
Our boys finally back home. What a pretty sight!
l felt relieved. We will show the Russians!
Old farmers, girls and women were running alongside the train,
stopping at each car to inquire about sons, relatives and friends.
Each one was holding a package.
l had to look for my brother but there were so many men.
All of them kept waiving to me. l waved back.
We arrived at night but we were also welcomed by the people.
Many friends had come hoping to find someone they knew.
lt was a party.
And then they said: ''Boys, stop the party. We'll go to battle.'
lt was weird to go on the closer we got to Narva.
Huge crowds of refugees in every station.
l had only seen it in Russia this far.
lt pained my heart.
Horses from around Narva were coming one after another.
A tarp-covered cart after each pair.
Carts, horses, carts, horses.
No weapons anywhere.
Then we knew that it was a full-scale retreat.
They weren't escaping soldiers but wounded ones coming from the front.
There was worse to come.
Stalin had ordered to conquer Narva during February.
The Red Army is pushing onwares, ignoring its huge losses.
They break through to the north and south of Narva.
Germans may ne surrounded.
Soviets otnumbered Germans 10:1 with planes.
With artillery it was 8:1 .
Tanks were 3:1 in favour of the Soviets.
lt was a cole winter, a lot of snow.
lt was impossible to dig trenches.
Germans lacked proper winter equipment.
When we came to Estonia, we had wadded clothing,
green on the one side and white on the other.
At night l heard horror stories abot our positions by Narva River.
ln the morning, looking at them, it seemed even worse.
Where were the praised German concrete bunkers?
They had dark nderground bunkers and meter-deep trenches by the river.
These had been dug by our boys.
Beating back the Russian who hae crossed the river to the north of Narva
was a task for the Estonian units.
At first they attempted to attack using the German plans
but they were beaten back with artillery fire.
There were huge losses.
Then they changed their tactics to trench warfare.
They used small fighter units to enter enemy trenches
and engage in close combat.
Harri Rent was a group leader.
When l told the boys: "Let's get going!''
all ofthem looked at you like: "Are you sure we should?''
But the group leader shouts: "Boys, follow me!'
and jumps out of the trench first.
Then the rest of the boys cannot stay behind, they must climb out.
Paul Maitla directs the battles at the beginning of March.
He writes in his diary:
"News from the front: no way forward because of Russian nombing.
Russian planes launch carpet bombing of Narva. The city is on fire.''
The machine gun is 200 metres from you and keeps a stream of fire going.
And not only that: the infantry is shooting,
mortars are spitting steel and cast iron over your head.
That's heroism when you manage to suppress your fear of death.
You wait for half an hor under the bombs thrown from planes.
Suddenly, a short crackle and hand grenade explosions.
Did my six remaining boys manage to kick the Rssians out of the trench?
The division leader wants to know.
l"m surprised that the telephone line hasn't been cut by the bombing.
The planes are swarming overhead like mosquitoes.
Don't believe those who say they weren't afraid. Everyone was scared.
There was fear of death.
But there was also a remarkable sense of onligation
and perhaps a feeling of shame that is worse than the fear of death.