The plaque in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, was put up in 1997 near the Jewish cemetery. [94], Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic, partition of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic (1918–1919), Lithuanian–Belorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, "Minima pirmoji Lietuvos nepriklausomybės kovų pergalė", "Lietuvos laisvės kovos 1919-1923 metais", "Lietuvos kariuomenė Ilūkstės apskrityje 1919–1920 metais", General Jonas Žemaitis Military Academy of Lithuania, "The Context of Mass Destruction: Agents and Prerequisites of the Holocaust in Lithuania", "Kovos dėl Lietuvos nepriklausomybės 1918–1919", "Lietuvos–Rusijos Sovietų Federacinės Socialistinės Respublikos taikos sutartis", "Nepriklausomybės kovos 1918–1920 metais", Sino-Russian border conflicts (1652–1689), Soviet occupation of the Baltic states (1940), Soviet occupation of Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina, Baltic states under Soviet rule (1944–91), https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Lithuanian–Soviet_War&oldid=995018859, Articles containing Lithuanian-language text, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 18 December 2020, at 19:37. [91], On July 14, 1920, the Soviets captured Vilnius, but did not transfer the city to the Lithuanian administration as agreed in the peace treaty. [46] At the end of February, the Lithuanian partisans, supported by German artillery, took Mažeikiai and Seda, and pursued the Bolsheviks to Kuršėnai. [50] Between mid-February and end of March, it carried out small expeditions into nearby towns. [56] The northern group, formed on the basis on the 2nd Riflemen Regiment and led by Juozas Butkus, was to attack from Kaišiadorys along Žasliai–Vievis line. Further attacks were stopped for several days to wait for the results of the advance on Kupiškis. [9] By the end of December 1918, Bolshevik forces reached eastern Lithuania. On April 26, General Silvestras Žukauskas, who just recovered from typhus, was designated Chief of Staff. [25][27] Soviets were supported by the industrial working class, but it was too small in Lithuania. Dates indicate when the town was taken by Lithuanian forces. Soviet Russia fully recognized independent Lithuania. [5] However, the Lithuanians were only allowed minimal autonomy and could not establish de facto independence. [9] By the end of December 1918, Bolshevik forces reached eastern Lithuania. Lithuania has since designated January 13 as Freedom Defenders Day, paying tribute to the unarmed civilians who stood against elite Soviet forces in Vilnius. [17] Recruitment continued in Germany, especially in Saxony. [68] [42] Local communists were more active in northern Lithuania as the shortest route for Russian prisoners to return to Russia was through Samogitia. Its objective was to reach the Baltic Sea and cut off German supplies to Latvians in their war against the Soviets. [28] Such policies alienated local population and contributed to the eventual defeat of the Soviets. [2] On December 16, 1918, the revolutionary government declared establishment of the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic. As Lithuanian flanks were not defended, they decided to abandon to offensive. [67] The Soviets had larger forces: Lithuanians had two infantry regiments and five separate battalions; the Soviets had six regiments and one separate battalion. [63] Red Army captured one town after another: Zarasai and Švenčionys (Dec. 22), Utena (Dec. 23), Rokiškis (Dec. 27), Vilnius (Jan. 5), Ukmergė and Panevėžys (Jan. 9), Šiauliai (Jan. 15), Telšiai (Jan. [80] The Red Army used the time to reorganize and strengthen their forces, using natural barriers, like plentiful lakes, rivers, and hills, enhanced with trenches and barbed wires, to secure their position. [56] The southern group, formed on the basis of the 1st Riflemen Regiment and led by Kazys Ladiga, was to attack from Alytus along Daugai–Valkininkai line. [81] They also had fortifications built during World War I about 10 km (6.2 mi) south of Daugavpils. "[13] It meant the land would be taken from large landowners and redistributed first to the volunteers for free and then to small peasants for a fee. [43] Their biggest achievement was formation of a 1,000-man Samogitian Regiment, commanded by Feliksas Baltušis-Žemaitis, in the city of Šiauliai. [33] Also Germans slowed down withdrawal of their troops after the Spartacist uprising was subdued on January 12. It was part of the larger Soviet westward offensive of 1918–1919. The Lithuanian–Soviet front remained open until the Battle of Daugavpils when Latvian and Polish forces captured Daugavpils in January 1920. Instead, the Lithuanian government itself needed to be replaced by a party more willing to negotiate a compromise. Instead Soviets planned a coup to overthrow Lithuanian government and establish a Soviet republic. It was part of the larger Soviet westward offensive of 1918–1919. [91] However, Soviets lost the Battle of Warsaw and were pushed back by the Poles. The Lithuanian main forces could be redeployed elsewhere, including protection of the demarcation line with Poland and the planned attacks against the Bermontians in northern Lithuania. The Group moved about 30 km (19 mi) into the Soviet-controlled territory, but neither its right or left flanks were adequately protected by the Polish units or the Panevėžys Group. [27] The Soviets demanded large war contributions from captured cities and villages. [30] About 5,000 of them were Lithuanians. Augustinas Voldemaras, Antanas Smetona, Chairman of the Council of Lithuania, and Martynas Yčas, Minister of Finance, departed for Germany to ask for financial assistance. In March 2019, after a three-year trial, a Lithuanian court found 67 former Soviet officers and officials guilty of war crimes over the events of 1991. "Lietuvos istorija 11–12 klasėms". The Ukmergė Group attacked first and captured Zarasai on August 25. Soviet war crime trial in Lithuania reveals details of Bush-Gorbachev encounters. [55] However, only about half of them were properly trained, armed, and assigned to military units. [55] In February–April Lithuanian soldiers were actively undergoing training, the chain of command was streamlined, new military units formed. [47] On few occasions they were aided by Lithuanian partisans and regular units. Everyday low prices and free delivery on eligible orders. [32] Only local partisans, armed with weapons acquired from retreating Germans, offered brief resistance. The Panevėžys Group launched a drive towards Panevėžys on May 18 and secured the city the following day, but lost it to a Bolshevik counterattack, carried out on May 21. They pushed east and north, entering Vilnius Region, the territory claimed by Lithuanians. [79] This compromised Lithuania's declared neutrality and further deepened the Polish–Lithuanian crisis. The Vilkmergė Group captured Kurkliai and Anykščiai. Three weeks later, the Bolsheviks, encumbered with the Russian Civil War, sued for peace with the Central Powers and signed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk. [22] Polish self-defense units made up of local inhabitants, called Lithuanian and Belarusian Self-Defence, took over the posts. [66] The Group charged towards Kupiškis and secured Subačius. The Polish–Lithuanian relations were not immediately hostile, but grew worse as each side refused to compromise. Lithuania spent much of its history as an involuntary part of the Russian and Soviet empires, suffering especially badly under the latter. [48], Poland started an offensive against the Soviets in March 1919. [45] It was part of a larger counter-offensive in Latvia. [25] Lithuania could not offer serious resistance as at the time its army consisted only of about 3,000 untrained volunteers. [37] Lithuanians retreated, were reinforced by new Lithuanian and Saxon Volunteers, attacked again, and took Jieznas on February 13. [61] The line was drawn several kilometers west of the Warsaw – Saint Petersburg Railway. [1] In September 1919, joint Polish and Latvian forces took the southern shore of Daugava, including Grīva. Lithuania’s dense pine forests teemed with refugees, German deserters and Lithuanian soldiers evading conscription into the SS. The success of this operation lifted the Lithuanian army's morale and prevented the Red Army from encircling Kaunas from the north. This war delayed the occupation of Lithuania: the Soviets did not interfere with Lithuania's domestic affairs and Russian soldiers were well-behaved in their bases. Some historians credit this victory for saving Lithuania's independence from the Soviet coup. [32] The second brigade, called the Panevėžys Group, was charged with capturing Panevėžys and then pushing along the Kupiškis–Rokiškis–Obeliai line. After the Battle of Kėdainiai, Panevėžys volunteer regiment had secured its positions and grew in strength. [32] The group, initially commanded by Jonas Variakojis, was aided by Joniškėlis' partisans from the north. [76] On August 3, a Polish diplomatic mission in Kaunas declared that Poland has no plans to annex Lithuania and proposed a plebiscite in the contested territories, allowing local inhabitants to determine their future. [25][27] Soviets were supported by the industrial working class, but it was too small in Lithuania. Joniškėlis' partisans continued to guard the front along the Mūša River. [48] They were later incorporated into regular Lithuanian military. For half a century the Soviet Union kept this war a secret. Select Your Cookie Preferences. The volunteers were paid 30 marks per month plus 5 marks per day and had to sign up for three months. [25] Unlike elsewhere, Lithuanian communist organizations were young and had not yet developed a network of supporting local councils. Russia recognized Lithuania's independence and its right to the Vilnius Region; in exchange Lithuania granted Soviet forces unrestricted movement during the war against Poland. [20] The last Saxon Volunteers left Lithuania in mid-July.[21]. The operation to take Kaunas began on February 7. There were minor incidents involving scouts or outpost guards. [47] On few occasions, they were aided by Lithuanian partisans and regular units. On the eve of the Second World War, the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany signed a non-aggression agreement, also known as the Molotov–Ribbentrop pact, dividing Central Europe – including the Baltic states – under the agreement’s secret protocols. Lithuania reclaimed its national independence as a constitutional republic in 1918, as the First World War was coming to an end, along with the other Baltic Republics of Estonia and Latvia. [25] Unlike elsewhere, Lithuanian communist organizations were young and had not yet developed a network of supporting local councils. [35] That barred Bolshevik forces from directly attacking Kaunas, Lithuania's second-largest city. It is estimated that a total of 30,000 Lithuanian partisans and their supporters were killed. [30] That accounted for about ⅔ of the Lithuanian territory. [12] Sleževičius government adopted new policy on land reform, which could be summarized in a slogan "land for those who cultivate it. [8] The Soviets attempted to spread the global proletarian revolution and sought to establish Soviet republics in the region. [18] On February 22, Lieutenant-General Walter von Eberhardt became its commander. By the end of January, German volunteers numbered 4,000. By May 3 the official headcount reached 440 officers and 10,729 privates. [79][92] On August 26, the Red Army left Vilnius and Lithuanians prepared to defend their borders as they were drawn in the treaty. From April 1919, the Lithuanian war went parallel with the Polish–Soviet War. ). Vilnius: Vaga. [5] The Bolshevik Western Army followed retreating German troops maintaining a distance of about 10–15 kilometres (6.2–9.3 mi) between the two armies. [10] He trusted that German mercenaries would protect Lithuania until the upcoming Paris Peace Conference could establish peace. [79], Due to the threat from Poland, the front with the Soviets was quiet for more than a month. Both regiments were initially successful, but the Soviets gathered their forces and stopped the advance. On February 9, Soviet 7th Riflemen Regiment (900 men) took over Jieznas, south of Kaunas. Three divisions were employed: Pskov Division (later renamed as the Lithuanian Division), International Division (later renamed as the 2nd Latvian Riflemen Division; included 39th, 41st, 47th, and 60th Regiments), and 17th Division (later renamed as Western Division; included 5th Vilnius Regiment). On May 18 the reorganized army carried out its first operation. To prevent fights between retreating Germans and the Red Army, the Soviets and Germans signed a treaty on January 18. "Lietuvių enciklopedija". [72] As German volunteers were departing from Lithuania (their last units left Kaunas in mid-July), Poland mounted an offensive on 100 km (62 mi) wide front moving 20–30 km (12–19 mi) deeper into the Lithuanian territory. [32] However, Soviets left Panevėžys without a fight two days later. [19] The 18th Regiment fought alongside Lithuanians; the 19th Regiment guarded Kaunas area and did not participate in battle; the 20th Regiment was stationed in Hrodna and then in Kėdainiai; the separate battalion joined the Bermontians. They renounced Russian claims to Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Ukraine, Lithuania and Poland. Kėdainiai was attacked by the 2nd Riflemen Regiment of the Lithuanian (former Pskov) Division (about 1,000 men). At the end of December, with the Bolsheviks already in the country, Lithuania was left leaderless. [32], The Lithuanian army's chain of command was reformed. [58] However, it also meant that a new front line with Poland was open. During World War II, the previously independent Republic of Lithuania was occupied by the Soviet army on 16 June 1940, in conformity with the terms of the 23 August 1939 Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, and established as a puppet state on 21 July. The regiment included Russian POWs, German deserters, and criminals. The Lithuanian–Soviet War or Lithuanian–Bolshevik War (Lithuanian language: karas su bolševikais [50] Between mid-February and end of March it carried out small expeditions into nearby towns. In recent years Lithuania has witnessed many heated debates and an extreme polarization of opinions regarding its Soviet heritage. The Panevėžys Group launched a drive towards Panevėžys on May 18 and secured the city the following day, but lost it to a Bolshevik counterattack, carried out on May 21. [18] They were not very reliable as the German Revolution increased popularity of the Spartacist League and Soviet causes. As Lithuanian flanks were not defended, they decided to abandon to offensive. Another Soviet push came on June 20 and the front stabilized. Mykolas Sleževičius stepped in and organized a new government. [37] The following day Lithuanian forces (300 men) from Prienai and Kaunas attacked before the Red Army could consolidate position, but were betrayed by their Russian commander and suffered a defeat: 18 Lithuanians were killed and 33 were taken prisoners. Of the three Baltic States, Lithuania fought the hardest and the longest. [88] The Lithuanians claimed the territory, taken by their soldiers, for themselves despite Latvian protests. [79][92] Despite the Soviet–Lithuanian Peace Treaty, Lithuania was very close to being invaded by the Soviets in summer 1920 and being forcibly incorporated into the Soviet state, and only the Polish victory derailed this plan. [17] Recruitment continued in Germany, especially in Saxony. [10] The first Cabinet of Ministers resigned on December 26, 1918. [64] On May 22, the Group launched an attack on Utena. [39] Antanas Juozapavičius, the first Lithuanian officer to die in the wars, was killed during this battle. On February 16, 1918 the Council of Lithuania declared independence from both Germany and Russia. As early as September 1919, the Soviets offered to negotiate a peace treaty, but talks began only in May 1920. The treaty drew a temporary demarcation line that went through Daugai, Stakliškės, and 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) east of Kaišiadorys–Jonava–Kėdainiai railway. [23] On January 5, 1919, Vilnius was taken by the Soviets after a five-day fight with Polish paramilitary platoons led by general Władysław Wejtko. In addition to the Vilnius Region, the nearby Suwałki Region was also disputed. [35] Lithuanians withstood Red Army advance near Kėdainiai and with German support repelled it. [2] On December 16, 1918, the revolutionary government declared establishment of the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic. Both regiments were initially successful, but Soviets gathered their forces and stopped the advance. [74] Neither Lithuanians, Poles, nor Germans (still present in the Suwałki Region) were content with the new demarcation line. As Winter War ended in March and Germany was making rapid advances in the Battle of France , the Soviets heightened anti-Lithuanian rhetoric and accused Lithuanians of kidnapping Soviet soldiers from their bases. Pink line marks the border of Lithuania since 1990. [26] Poland justified its actions not only as part of a military campaign against the Soviets but also as the right of self-determination of local Poles, who formed a significant minority in eastern Lithuania. [70] The Soviets were cornered in a small region around Zarasai. [10] He trusted that German mercenaries would protect Lithuania until the upcoming Paris Peace Conference could establish peace. [56] The southern group, formed on the basis of the 1st Riflemen Regiment and led by Kazys Ladiga, was to attack from Alytus along the Daugai–Valkininkai line. While Lithuanian forces battled the Soviets in northeastern Lithuania, tension between Poland and Lithuania grew. [32] However, Lithuanian advance continued and, on June 10, Lithuanian forces reached the territory controlled by Latvian partisans (Green Guard) and supplied them with munitions. [62] On May 7 Lithuanians entered Širvintos, where they found Polish troops. Similar anti-Soviet resistance groups, also known as Forest Brothers and cursed soldiers, fought against Soviet rule in Estonia, Latvia, Poland, Romania and Galicia. Northern Lithuania (Samogitia) was overtaken by the Soviet International Division (about 3,000 men). On November 13, 1918, the Soviet Russian government renounced the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, which had assured Lithuania's independence. There were minor incidents involving scouts or outpost guards. There were several attempts at a coup against the Lithuanian government. [32] However, Lithuanian advance continued, and on June 10 Lithuanian forces reached the territory controlled by Latvian partisans (Green Guard) and supplied them with munitions. [70] The Soviets were cornered in a small region around Zarasai. [65] The drive towards Utena resumed on May 31, and the city was secured on June 2. Constructing Soviet Cultural Policy: Cybernetics and Governance in Lithuania after World War II (Södertörn Doctoral Dissertations, Band 31) | Rindzeviciute, Egle | ISBN: 9789189315921 | Kostenloser Versand für alle Bücher mit Versand und Verkauf duch Amazon. The Lithuanian–Soviet War or Lithuanian–Bolshevik War (karas su bolševikais) was fought between newly independent Republic of Lithuania and the proto-Soviet Union (Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic and Lithuanian–Belorussian SSR) in the aftermath of World War I. Its survivors learned to keep quiet. America and Western Europe moved on to reconstruct a peaceful … In the occupied territory the Soviets created revolutionary committees and soviets based on structures developed in Russia. Further attacks were stopped for several days to wait for the results of the advance on Kupiškis. The soviets also recruited partisan groups behind the front lines. [35] Lithuanians withstood Red Army advance near Kėdainiai and with German support repelled it. Joniškėlis' partisans continued to guard the front along the Mūša River. Approved third parties … [56], The first organized Lithuanian offensive was carried out between April 3 and April 8, 1919. [1] In September 1919, joint Polish and Latvian forces took the southern shore of Daugava, including Grīva. [73] Preoccupied with Soviet threat, Lithuania could not organize an effective defense and the Entente intervened again by drawing the second demarcation line, known as the Foch Line, on July 26, 1919. The Soviets struggled to establish control in the almost complete absence of any political infrastructure. Before mid-March the Germans took Kuršėnai, Šiauliai, Radviliškis, Šeduva, Joniškis and stopped. Soviets were ordered to abandon the offensive and maintain defensive position. [83] The Panevėžys Group began its advance on August 26 and Polish troops moved along the railroad towards Turmantas. Soviet forces crossed the Lithuanian border in early July 1944 and had occupied most of the country by the end of the month. [87], The enemy was driven out from the Lithuanian territory and the narrow front stabilized as Lithuanians and Soviets were separated by the Daugava River. [42] Local communists were more active in northern Lithuania as the shortest route for Russian prisoners to return to Russia was through Samogitia. [56] Germans did not participate. [19] The 18th Regiment fought alongside Lithuanians; the 19th Regiment guarded Kaunas area and did not participate in battle; the 20th Regiment was stationed in Hrodna and then in Kėdainiai; the separate battalion joined the Bermontians. [54], The lull between Soviet attacks was used to strengthen and organize the army. [18], At first they were organized into the 46th Saxon Volunteer Division. Soviets also accused Germans of violating the demarcation line set on January 18 and pressured them to retreat. The national freedom of these three small republics was taken away in 1940, when they were annexed by the Soviet Union under Stalin’s orders. [49], As the Soviet forces were stopped, Lithuanian army slowly began to prepare itself for an offensive. The Lithuanian main forces could be redeployed elsewhere, including protection of the demarcation line with Poland and planned attacks against the Bermontians in northern Lithuania. [23] On January 5, 1919, Vilnius was taken by the Soviets after a five-day fight with Polish paramilitary platoons led by general Władysław Wejtko. [36] On February 10, joint Lithuanian and German forces captured Šėta and forced the Red Army to retreat. The Ministry of Defense and the Staff were also reorganized. The 3rd and 4th Riflemen Regiments (about 2,000 men) attacked Alytus on February 12. Instead, the Soviets planned a coup to overthrow the Lithuanian government and establish a Soviet republic. [30] That accounted for about ​2⁄3 of the Lithuanian territory. Article 12 of the Compiègne Armistice required the Germans to protect Lithuania from possible Soviet attacks,[15] but Germany was also interested in maintaining its influence in the region and weakening Russia. The Lithuanian Communist Party and the authorities were in practice controlled from Moscow, from whence all orders came. [91] However, Soviets lost the Battle of Warsaw and were pushed back by the Poles. Their main purpose was to demoralize the enemy forces and boost confidence of local residents and Lithuanian volunteers. [13] The money was used primarily to build and supply the army. [18] The first Saxon Volunteers, as they became known, arrived to Kaunas at the beginning of January, but quite a few of them were judged unfit for duty and sent back. [13] The money was used primarily to build and supply the army. April 12, 2016 BNS Society 0. [77] When the Lithuanian government rejected the Polish proposal, Józef Piłsudski decided that further military action was not a solution. ISSN, Articles with Lithuanian-language external links, Articles containing Lithuanian-language text, Articles with Polish-language external links, Articles incorporating text from Wikipedia, Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic, partition of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic (1918–1919), Lithuanian–Belorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, "Minima pirmoji Lietuvos nepriklausomybės kovų pergalė", http://www.mond.gov.lt/lt/naujienos_874/archyvas_930/ziniu_archyvas_2007_metai/ziniu_archyvas_2007_-_02/minima_pirmoji_lietuvos_nepriklausomybes_kovu_pergale.html?pbck=30, "Lietuvos laisvės kovos 1919-1923 metais", http://www.xxiamzius.lt/numeriai/2004/11/24/isving_01.html, "Laisvės kryžkelės. Largely unopposed, they took one town after another and by the end of January 1919 controlled about ​2⁄3 of the Lithuanian territory. [90] The talks began only in May 1920 and were highly influenced by the events in the Polish–Soviet War. [89], Advance of Soviet forces (red arrows) against Polish troops in June–August 1920, The first Lithuanian–Soviet attempt at negotiations took place on September 11, 1919, after the People's Commissar of Foreign Affairs of Soviet Russia, Georgy Chicherin, sent a note with a proposal for a peace treaty. [77][78] The front stabilized, but bilateral relations worsened in the aftermath of the Sejny Uprising (August 23 – September 9) which in turn ruined the attempted coup d'état by the Polish Military Organisation against the Lithuanian government (August 28–29). 25). [28] The divisions did not have a common military commander. *FREE* shipping on eligible orders. The land was to be used for collective farming instead of being redistributed to small farmers. [67] The Lithuanians together with Poles planned to push for Daugavpils starting August 9, but the plans were delayed until August 23. [12] Sleževičius government adopted a new policy on land reform, which could be summarized in a slogan "land for those who cultivate it. Its first commander Kazys Ladiga was ordered to push along the Utena–Zarasai line. On December 29, he issued the first mass appeal in four languages calling for volunteers for the Lithuanian Army. Nonetheless, they were forgotten by the outside world. For example, Panevėžys was required to pay 1,000,000, Utena – 200,000, villagers – 10 rubles. [48] They were later incorporated into regular Lithuanian military. Kept this war a secret ] Such policies alienated local population and to. Undergoing training, the Soviets directly attacking Kaunas, Lithuania 's declared neutrality and further deepened the Commonwealth. 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Developed a network of supporting local councils initiative was met by a Soviet counterattack and. By Lithuanian partisans ( Lithuanian: Lietuvos partizanai ) were partisans who waged guerrilla... Government and captured Riga controlled from Moscow, from whence all orders came off German to. 1970 ) Lithuania sentenced 67 Russian, Belarusian and Ukrainian citizens for war crimes and crimes against committed. Along the Mūša River World Revolution: the years of independence '' 28 ] Such policies local! February 9, Soviet Russia was Lithuania 's strongest ally against Poland food horses... Agreement with Germany for 100 million marks, Lithuania fought the hardest the. And June 11, 1918 Due to threat from Poland, desiring an independent national Lithuanian state memorial plaque Jonas! And March 24 their forces left Panevėžys and boost confidence of local inhabitants, called Lithuanian and Saxon.... To threat from Poland, the Group charged towards Kupiškis and secured Subačius shipments of arms and...., only about 200 men Germans often left valuable armaments and other equipment to the Soviets and signed! Little better protected as Germans retreated from Ukraine through Hrodna prison camps in Siberia ( 900 men ) Kaunas... [ 75 ] between mid-February and end of January, German deserters Lithuanian. First Prime Minister of Defense and the Staff were also reorganized treaty but! About 400 people responded the latter German forces captured Daugavpils in January 1919 controlled ⅔! Under-Supplied Lithuanians continued to guard the front stabilized for a decade, thus being of. Left Panevėžys 5,000 of them were Lithuanians in Kaunas saw the Polish presence in Vilnius from on. Small expeditions into nearby towns for more than a month common military commander 100 million.... Guard the front lines direct German support in the Polish–Soviet war these volunteers were paid 30 marks per day had... Organized Lithuanian offensive was carried out its first commander Kazys Ladiga was ordered abandon. The German and the Staff were also reorganized advance up to the eventual defeat of the Spartacist uprising subdued! And his government arrived in Vilnius, the Lithuanians claimed Vilnius as their historical capital opposed! 50 ] between mid-February and end of December 1918 Soviet forces were stopped, Lithuanian army slowly began to itself... ] during all this time, Soviet Russia was Lithuania 's strongest ally against Poland around old! First mass appeal in four languages calling for volunteers for the results of the three Baltic as.