Fallen of bloodiest WWII battle on Estonian soil remembered 72 years later
Chaplains of the Estonian Defence Forces laid wreaths at the Sinimäed Memorial in Ida-Viru County, saying prayers in remembrance of the fallen and the casualties of one of the deadliest battles of World War II to take place on Estonian soil.
The flowers and prayers commemorated all of the fallen, regardless of the side on which they fought, as well as the civilians who were killed or suffered in the hostilities, military spokespeople in Tallinn said.
The Battle of the Tannenberg Line (known in Estonian as the Sinimägede lahing, or Battle of the Sinimäed), which was fought from July 25 to August 10, 1944 in Vaivara Parish, Northeastern Estonia, brought vast destruction to the region. The exact number of those killed is not known to this day, but casualties on both sides are estimated to have exceeded 180,000, including at least 37,000 dead, and the number of Estonians killed is believed to have reached 2,500.
Similarly to the people of a number of other European nations, the Estonian people suffered under the criminal occupying regimes of both the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany, and fought against both sides. Estonia has repeatedly denounced the crimes against humanity committed by both totalitarian regimes and their followers.