Could the Baltic States have resisted to the Soviet Union?

Discussions on WW2 in Eastern Europe.
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Lit.
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Post by Lit. » 10 Jan 2005 17:28

cyberdaemon wrote:Can you tell me how many soviet soldiers and nkvd personel were KIA in this partisan war?


Thank you for a good question. But unfortunately I have no correct answer. The problem is that Russians were hiding these numbers, even to their own officials. This is understandable for those who know what Bolsheviks are really like.

The very good example could be number of casualties in one of the biggest battles in this war - "The Battle of Kalniske", that took place in 16-17th of May, 1945, near Simnas (close to Alytus). There were about 90 Lithuanian freedom fighters situated in very good position on the forest hill and very well armed. They were attacked by honorable The Name of "Order of Kutuzov" NKVD 220th Red Army infantry regiment from the 1st "Pribaltiskyi" ("Baltic") front during 24h. According to NKVD "official sources" Reds have lost only 4 men KIA in this battle, but local people estimated - 600-700. The funniest thing is, that after such big efforts and big losses well front-experienced Russian soldiers failed to take that Lithuanian hill.

May 16-17, 1945: Forest in the County of Simnas, District of Alytus
NKVD troops surround partisans [estimates vary from 60 to 120] led by J. Neifalta ["Pilot"-"Lakunas"]. 44 Lithuanians are killed, including machine gunner Albina Neifaltiene ["Pine"-"Pusele"], wife of the troop leader. Many members of the enemy are destroyed [no estimates available]. At sunset, partisans escape the siege which later becomes known as "The Battle of Kalniske."
AL-220, LBD-123, 222, LKA 17-197, L-350, (AKL-34, LKA 17-17, L-217, 376, 482), LKA 1-13, LKA 9-57. DA.

http://www.elnet.lt/vartiklis/voruta/kr ... ronic1.htm


Many Lithuanians in the hope of support from the West resisted forming the occupants - many of them participated in active armed resistance forming numerous partisan detachments (in spring of 1945 the partisans of the detachments numbered from about 30 to 40 thousand men), others resisted passively - by evading forceful enlisting into the Red Army or avoiding to execute various directions of new occupants. To break down the resistance in Lithuania in 1945 there were concentrated elite NKVD forces numbering up to 20 thousand. The effectualness of the forces can be accounted not only for their quantity but their mobility too - using American "Studebeckers" (that was our "logistics and help from the West" - Lit.) they swiftly moved from one locality to another. These forces in 1944 shot 2436 and in 1945 - 9777 people at least 1/3 of whom were not partisans but peaceful civilians. The atrocities increased the resolution to fight and armed resistance in Lithuania lasted as long as 1953 when the last resistance movement headquarters commanding the movement were routed.

Among different NKVD army formations devastating Lithuania in 1945 the so called NKVD army front rear defense regiments played an exceptional role. Lithuania was occupied by two fronts - the Ist Baltic Front and the IIIrd Byelorusian Front. Besides NKVD rear defense units of these two fronts Lithuania experienced the atrocities of a similar type NKVD army of Leningrad and the Ist Ukrainian Fronts. It should be noted that two campaigns had been executed by this army in Lithuania - in 02.1944-02.1945 and in 06-10.1945 (in 02-06.1945 the army "was establishing" Soviet Power in East Prussia) whereas NKVD forces of other fronts just after the War were demobilized and re-reformed.

Especially notorious was the group of NKVD forces of the 3rd Byelorussian front (commander General Lieutenant Liubyj) which during its first Lithuanian campaign consisted of 5 and during the second campaign of 3 regiments (1-1,5 thousand soldiers made a regiment). All the regiments of the Front that had been sent again to Lithuania in June 1945 had been awarded with Honored titles or orders and operated extremely brutally. As a rule the farm-steads suspected of supporting partisans were burnt down. This resulted in hundreds of farm-stead being burnt down in rural districts of Lithuania. Rural districts of Panemunes Dzuku and Čekiskes in the district of Kaunas had suffered most. Here entire villages were burnt down and their inhabitants were killed.

http://www.genocid.lt/Leidyba/1/Juozas_ ... auskas.htm

Pictures from article: http://www.xxiamzius.lt/numeriai/2004/0 ... ab_01.html

The first monument to commemorate this glorious event of Lithuanian Resistance was erected in 1988.05.17. From that date every year is now a tradition in Lithuania, to celebrate the battle of Kalniske in it's place. During celebration in 1991.05.17 soldiers of Russian occupation forces (from airborne division that was situated nearby) held the "maneuvers" shooting above heads of Lithuanian civilian people. After 3 days, at night they blew up that small monument. :D But that was all (for time being) that they were able to do. They never took Kalniske. And we know that they know that too. :P

By the way: one of those Lithuanian warriors who fell in Kalniske was uncle of Petras Austrevicius - well known Lithuanian official, MP who led negotiations on joining the EU. http://www.austrevicius.lt/

Those who are interested to meet those heroes of famous "Battle of Kalniske" welcome to the next traditional commemoration in the 17th of May. There will be 60 years Anniversary.
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Post by Lit. » 15 Jan 2005 17:06

In Lithuanian armed fight versus Soviet Union were active (Freedom Fighters) 4% of whole polulation of occupied Lithuania. To compare with for example Denmark - there were participants in antinazi resistance (armed and unarmed) only 2% of population, which are concidering as very big. But they are calculating even such persons who at least once caried one underground paper from one place to another :)
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Post by cipiao » 15 Jan 2005 19:40

Amazing photos. How organized the resistance must have been; the ceremonies, the use of uniforms, the existence of a centralized registration of the actions (wich, like in a convetional army) permited the decoration of fighters; the realization of manouvers, the numberes of the active resistance...What faith or hopes animated those men and women, so far from any help from the west.

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Victor
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Post by Victor » 15 Jan 2005 22:43

Lit. if the photos are already online use the [img] tags to include them into your post. Do not post them as attachments. Also, please mention teh source of all pictures.

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Post by Annelie » 17 Jan 2005 22:47

Lit

Thankyou for your contribution to the thread.

Most interesting thread and photos. This topic has long been a favorite of mine and I am never tired
of reading about these brave people.

Annelie

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Post by Lit. » 18 Jan 2005 12:41

Annelie wrote:Lit
Most interesting thread and photos. This topic has long been a favorite of mine and I am never tired of reading about these brave people.


Annelie and cipiao,
thank you for warm words :) Please check for the new photos added (if it'll be allowed me to do so by the admins of this forum) from time to time :)

There is another thread that has much in common with this one (I'm suggesting to read as a additional information):

viewtopic.php?t=68305

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Post by Rommel8 » 21 Jan 2005 01:34

Very interesting thread.

I have found a whole new respect for the Lituhuanian freedom fighters, and I must say this was the first I had learned about them. One of my great uncles, he was a Hungarian and was captured by the KGB in the early 50s. He was sent to the camps (wasnt to the Gulags, it was still in Hungary) and they tortured him for many years, and left permanent damage.

Too bad no justice will be brought

Very good thread!

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Post by Sotka » 21 Jan 2005 05:48

Very interesting thread & photos.

I had only information about Estonian resistance. Interesting to know also what happened at Lithuania. :)

Regards,

Tuomo A.

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Post by Lit. » 21 Jan 2005 14:29

Here is some original hand-made uniform signs and patches from various military districts of Lithuanian Freedom Fighters.

From the new album: "Lithuanian Military Uniforms and Small Arms in the 20th Century"

http://www.baltoslankos.lt/index.php?ln ... &objId=472
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Rommel8
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Post by Rommel8 » 21 Jan 2005 20:45

Very interesting!

Thanks so much for the information

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Post by Lit. » 22 Jan 2005 11:46

Some more badges from the book "The Unknown War - Armed anti-Soviet resistance in Lithuania in 1944-1953"

http://www.patogupirkti.lt/book/book.as ... 6-757-59-2
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Post by Lit. » 22 Jan 2005 13:27

Here is some more pictures with "Vanagas" - the last commander of Lithuanian armed anti-Soviet resistance.

Adolfas Ramanauskas - "Vanagas" ("Hawk") was born in 1918 March 6, in New Britain, USA. 1921 his family returned to Lithuania. In 1936 he finished secondary school ("gimnasium") in Lazdijai, later Pedagogical institute in Klaipeda, and Military school in 1940. He worked as a teacher in a very small town Krivonys, near Druskininkai. In 1945 he joined the ranks of the Freedom Fighters, first as commander of Nemunaitis platoon. In the summer of 1945 he became a commander of "Merkine" battalion in the "Dzukai" group. In 1946 he became a commander of "Merkys" brigade, and in the fall of 1947 - commander of "Dainava" military district. In 1948 "Vanagas" became o commander of all "South" region of Lithuania. Together with all commanders and leaders of Freedom Fight he signed the famous "Declaration of LLKS, 1949 February 16th" ("DECLARATION BY THE COUNCIL OF THE MOVEMENT OF THE STRUGGLE FOR FREEDOM OF LITHUANIA") http://www3.lrs.lt/cgi-bin/preps2?Condi ... ondition2=
In 1949 September 18 he get a rank - the colonel of Lithuanian partisans. Because of illness of chief commander J.Zemaitis - "Vytautas", from 1952 May 20 Adolfas Ramanauskas - "Vanagas" became a chairman of LLKS council. He was arrested in Kaunas 1956 October 12. After sadistic tortures by Russian occupants (details: viewtopic.php?p=625558#625558 ) he was sentenced to death penalty. Executed 1957 November 29.

Pictures and information from "The unknown war" and "The small arms and uniforms of Lithuanian army" (see a.m.)
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Post by Lit. » 22 Jan 2005 18:46

From the album of Adolfas Ramanauskas - "Vanagas": partisans of "Zalgiris" brigade ("Tauras" military district) with German "panzerfaust", that was successfully being used in 1946-1947 in such operations like recapture of Zalioji town, attacking "istrebiteli" headquarters in Sintautai and other.
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Post by Lit. » 23 Jan 2005 15:30

It's always completely incorrect and even pity for us Lithuanians and also for Latvians and Estonians, when we sometimes read and hear (even from Western politicians or diplomats), that our - Baltic states "were the part of the Soviet Union", that we were "former Soviet Republics", that we were "nearly the same as Russians - Soviets". This is always insulting for us. Putins' Russia is still trying to keep such image that "Baltic states and it's people joined Soviet union nearly voluntarily". :x

So the policy of non recognition was the only support that our freedom fighters get from the West. The only democracy that have recognized this Communist lie was Sweden. Ironically Swedes probably "tried to help us" in our bloody war with Russia, by sending back some of our soldiers... :cry:

"If the status of Lithuanians in Germany and Austria was becoming "more normal", the same cannot be said about the status of the Baltic refugees in Sweden. Sweden extended diplomatic recognition to the incorporation of the Baltic States into the USSR and thus considered the Baltic refugees as Soviet citizens. In theory this meant that Sweden could have found grounds to forcibly repatriate all of the approximately 30,000 Baltic refugees, who were present in that country. But in practice, the Swedish authorities made a distinction (in respect to the Balts) between civilian refugees and those who had served in the Wehrmacht, in determining who was to be repatriated. The civilian refugees were allowed to remain in Sweden, but the 167 Balts (150 Latvians, 10 Lithuanians and 7 Estonians) interned together with a much larger number of German soldiers were returned to the Soviet Union, and that only after an intense and protracted pressure from the Soviet Union, which commenced with the end of World War II."

"Except for the first months of uncertainty after the end of hostilities and for the forcible repatriation of the Baltic internees from Sweden, these years can be represented as a period when the refugee position stabilized. Indeed, the latter part of 1945 and 1946 can also be seen as the years of hope for the Lithuanians because in this period the majority of Lithuanian refugees still believed that there was the chance that the political fate of Lithuania was going to be decided favorably, they expected to return to their homeland in the near future.

What was the basis for such hopes? First of all, the Atlantic Charter declaration of the Allies during the war had left a deep impression, not only on the Lithuanian refugees, but also on the anti-communist partisans who continued a hopeless struggle in the forests of Lithuania after 1945. One Lithuanian summarized his attitudes and hopes in respect to the Charter in the following terms: "Still in the beginning of the war, the Anglo-Americans announced the so-called Atlantic Declaration. The principles of this declaration are close to us. These principles were accepted by the United Nations at the San Francisco Conference. Presently we expect the implementation . . . We can expect that the Atlantic Declaration will be fully implemented and that it will serve as a beacon in the lives of nations . . . Taking all of this into consideration, neither unfounded optimism nor apathetic pessimism is justifiable in our ranks". "

"Lithuanian hopes were encouraged by the fact that the major Western Powers had maintained a policy of not recognizing the annexation of the Baltic States. It was expected that in a future Great Power gathering the Baltic question would be raised by the United States or Britain. And so began the period of waiting, from conference to conference."
http://www.lituanus.org/1983_2/83_2_03.htm


Here is some nice pictures about "winter sports" in so called "The Soviet Socialist Republic of Lithuania" recognized only by Sweden. (finally we've got long expected snow in Lithuania today! :) )
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Post by Annelie » 23 Jan 2005 15:48

Lit

It's always completely incorrect and even pity for us Lithuanians and also for Latvians and Estonians, when we sometimes read and hear (even from Western politicians or diplomats), that our - Baltic states "were the part of the Soviet Union", that we were "former Soviet Republics", that we were "nearly the same as Russians - Soviets". This is always insulting for us. Putins' Russia is still trying to keep such image that "Baltic states and it's people joined Soviet union nearly voluntarily".



Some of us know better than to assume or believe that the Baltic States were part of the Soviet Union and how
Putin is trying to again keep the image of voluntary melding.

The fight to differentiate it seems is still in the process?

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