Battle of the Gulf of Riga

Battle Of The Gulf Of Riga

Military Conflict
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Battle of the Gulf of Riga

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The Battle of the Gulf of Riga was a World War I naval operation of the German High Seas Fleet against the Russian Baltic Fleet in the Gulf of Riga in the Baltic Sea in August 1915. The operation's objective was to destroy the Russian naval forces in the Gulf and facilitate the fall of Riga to the German army in the later stages of the Central Powers' offensive on the Eastern Front in 1915. The German fleet, however, failed to achieve its objective and was forced to return to its bases; Riga remained in Russian hands until eventually falling to the Germans on 1 September 1917.

Prelude

In early August 1915, several powerful units of the German High Seas Fleet were transferred to the Baltic to participate in the foray into the Riga Gulf. The intention was to destroy the Russian naval forces in the area, including the pre-dreadnought battleship , and to use the minelayer Deutschland to block the entrance to the Moon Sound with mine. The German naval forces, under the command of Vice Admiral Hipper, included the four Nassau-class and four Helgoland-class battleships, the battlecruisers , , and , and a number of smaller craft.

Battle

On 8 August, the first attempt to clear the gulf was made; the old battleships and Elsass kept Slava at bay while minesweepers cleared a path through the inner belt of mines. During this period, the rest of the German fleet remained in the Baltic and provided protection against other units of the Russian...
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