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Operation Albion
Part of World War I
Operation Albion Map.jpg
Operation Albion amphibious operations 10–20 October
DateSeptember–October 1917
LocationBaltic Sea
Result German victory
Flag of the German Empire.svg German Empire Russian Empire Russian Republic
Commanders and leaders
German Empire Ludwig von Estorff
German Empire Ehrhard Schmidt
Russia Mikhail Bakhirev
Russia Vasily Altvater
23,000 men,
5,000 horses,
1,400 vehicles,
150 machine guns,
54 guns,
12 mortars and munitions
Casualties and losses
Unknown Battleship Slava lost
Destroyer Grom lost
Submarine HMS C32 lost

Panorama of the Tagalaht Bay, Saaremaa, Estonia. This was the location of the German landing on 11 October 1917.

The gun turrets of a battleship. A gray zeppelin flies overhead

German battleship Grosser Kurfürst photographed during Operation Albion in October 1917

Operation Albion was the German land and naval operation in September–October 1917 to invade and occupy the West Estonian Archipelago, then part of the Autonomous Governorate of Estonia, Russian Republic. The land campaign opened with landings at the Tagalaht, Saaremaa on 11 October 1917, after extensive naval activity to clear mines and subdue coastal artillery batteries. The Germans secured the island by 16 October. The Russian Army evacuated Muhu on 18 October.

After two failed attempts, the Germans managed to land on Hiiumaa on the 19th and captured the island on the following day. The Russian Baltic Fleet had to withdraw from the Suur Strait after major losses (see Battle of Moon Sound). The Germans claimed 20,000 prisoners and 100 guns captured during the Operation Albion from 12 October.

Strategic significance[edit | edit source]

At the beginning of World War I the islands were of little importance to either Imperial Russia or Germany. However after the revolutionary turmoil in Russia during 1917, the German high command believed capturing the islands would outflank Russian defences and lay St. Petersburg vulnerable to attack.[1]

Order of battle[edit | edit source]

German units[edit | edit source]

Russian units[2][edit | edit source]

British units[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

Bibliography[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

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