Sinimäkien taistelu (paremmin tunnettu nimellä Tannenbergin linjan taistelu) oli toisessa maailmansodassa akselivaltain ja Neuvostoliiton joukkojen välinen taistelu Sinimäen kukkuloista Virossa vuonna 1944, joka päättyi akselivaltain torjuntavoittoon.
Aluetta kutsuttiin nimellä Tannenberg-linja. Saksan joukkojen hävittyä Narvan taistelun, he vetäytyivät Suomenlahden ja Peipsijärven väliselle Tannenberg-linjalle, jonka tukipisteinä olivat kolme mäkeä, niin kutsutut Sinimäet, joista käytiin 26. heinäkuuta – 10. elokuuta Pohjois-Euroopan kiivaimmat taistelut.
Murskaavasta ylivoimastaan huolimatta puna-armeija ei onnistunut murtamaan puolustusta ja se menetti hyökkäyksissä arviolta 150 000 miestä, kun taas puolustautuneet akselivaltain joukot menettivät parikymmentä tuhatta miestä.
Sinimäkien taistelusta tehtiin vuonna 2006 tunnin pituinen dokumenttielokuva The Blue Hills. Taisteluista on tekeillä Elmo Nügasen ohjaama elokuva, 1944, joka on tuotantovaiheessa.
Torjuntavoitto aiheuttaa edelleenkin joissakin piireissä tunteenpurkauksia, vaikka taistelu ei ratkaissut koko sodan lopputulosta Virossa. Krematöörinmäen muistomerkillä suoritettiin ilkivaltaa 27. huhtikuuta 2007.
Yli kuuden kuukauden viivytyksestä oli kuitenkin merkittävää hyötyä Suomelle estämällä Neuvostojoukkojen pääsyn sen etelärannikolle.
The Battle of Tannenberg Line (German: Die Schlacht um die Tannenbergstellung; Estonian: Sinimägede lahing; Russian: Битва за линию «Танненберг») was a military engagement between the German Army Detachment "Narwa" and the Soviet Leningrad Front.
They fought for the strategically important Narva Isthmus from 25 July to 10 August 1944. The battle was fought on the Eastern Front during World War II.
The strategic aim of the Soviet Estonian Operation was to reoccupy Estonia as a favourable base for the invasions of Finland and East Prussia.
Several Western scholars refer to it as the Battle of the European SS for the 24 volunteer infantry battalions from Denmark, East Prussia, Flanders, Holland, Norway, and Wallonia within the Waffen-SS.
Roughly half of the infantry consisted of local Estonian conscripts motivated to resist the looming Soviet re-occupation. The German force of 22,250 men held off 136,830 Soviet troops.
As the Soviet forces were constantly reinforced, the casualties of the battle were 150,000–200,000 dead and wounded Soviet troops and 157–164 tanks.
After defending the Narva bridgehead for six months, the German forces fell back to the Tannenberg Line in the hills of Sinimäed (Russian: Синие горы) on 26 July 1944. The three hills run east to west. The eastern hill was known to Estonians as the Lastekodumägi (Orphanage Hill; Kinderheimhöhe in German).
The central was the Grenaderimägi (Grenadier Hill; Grenadierhöhe) and the westernmost was the Tornimägi (Tower hill, also known in German as or 69.9 or Liebhöhe (Love hill)).
The heights have steep slopes and rise 20-50 m above the surrounding land.
The formations of Gruppenführer Felix Steiner's III SS (Germanic) Panzer Corps halted their withdrawal and moved into defensive positions on the hills. The 4th SS Volunteer Panzergrenadier Brigade Nederland started digging in on the left (north) flank of the Tannenberg Line, units of the 20th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS (1st Estonian) in the centre, and the 11th SS Volunteer Panzergrenadier Division Nordland on the right (south) flank.
Another front section manned by the East Prussians of the 11th Infantry Division was situated a few kilometres further south, against the 8th Army in the Krivasoo bridgehead.
The Soviet Marshall Leonid Govorov considered the Tannenberg Line as the key position of Army Group North and concentrated the best forces of the Leningrad Front.
Additional 122nd, 124th Rifle Corps and divisions from 117th Rifle Corps were subordinated to General Ivan Fedyuninsky, commanding the 2nd Shock Army.
The goal set by the War Council of the 2nd Shock Army was to break through the defense line of the III SS Panzer Corps at the Lastekodumägi, force their way to the town of Jõhvi in the west and reach the Kunda River by 1 August.
To accomplish this, Govorov was ordered to destroy communications behind the German forces and conduct air assaults on the railway stations of Jõhvi and Tapa on 26 July.
There is no complete overview of the order of the Soviet forces or the detachment sizes in the Battle of Tannenberg Line. For the attack on 29 July, Leonid Govorov concentrated all of the capable Soviet units, consisting of eleven divisions and six tank regiments.The Soviet units that had suffered losses were brought up to strength with fresh manpower. The delivery of Soviet heavy artillery complimented the nine divisions of the 109th, the 117th and the 122nd Rifle Corps. The 109th and 117th Corps were concentrated close to the Sinimäed, while the 122nd Rifle Corps to the southern section by the church of Vaivara Parish.
The positions of the 11th Infantry Division were mainly attacked by the 35,000-strong 8th Army with their 112th Rifle Corps, two fresh Tank Regiments, 1,680 assault guns, deployed in nine artillery regiments and 150 armoured vehicles. The armored forces included the brand new IS-2 tanks with extra armour and 122mm gun. The weakness of the tank was its limited ammunition capacity (only 28 rounds) and long reloading time for its main gun. The forces were supported by the 576-strong 13th Air Army.
Against the Soviet forces, a few tired German regiments without any reserve troops stood at their positions, battered by the Soviet artillery. The commander of the Army Detachment "Narwa", General der Infanterie, Anton Grasser, assessed the German capacity as insufficient against the Soviet attack. While sufficient in ammunition and machine-guns, the combat morale of the Germanic volunteers was under heavy pressure while the spirit of some Estonian troops had already been severely damaged in Grasser's opinion. However, the following combat proved the opposite.The small number of German Junkers Ju 87 dive bombers and shortage of aeroplane fuel gave the Soviets massive air superiority.
Grasser's conclusion was short:
“The Army Detachment emphasizes that the situation is extremely intense and the great difference between ours and the enemy's forces demands the greatest attention from the High Command.”
Leaving diplomatic formulation aside, Grasser announced that without immediate reinforcements, the Soviets would inevitably break through the Tannenberg Line on 29 June. Such reinforcements were beyond the capacities of Army Group North. The commander of the Army Group, Ferdinand Schörner, had repeatedly called Adolf Hitler's attention to the fact that virtually no division consisting of Germans was left at the Tannenberg Line, which was threatening to collapse. These calls had no effect, as Hitler's response remained to stand or die.
|Part of Eastern Front (World War II)|
| Germany||Soviet Union|
|Commanders and leaders|
|Felix Steiner||Leonid Govorov|
|III (Germanic) SS Panzer Corps|
XXVI Army Corps
4 Estonian police battalions
Eastern sector, coastal defense
Two Estonian border defense regiments
|2nd Shock Army|
8th 'Estonian' Rifle Corps
70–80 assault guns
150 armoured vehicles
1680 assault guns
|Casualties and losses|
2,500 dead or missing
7,500 wounded or sick
10,000 total casualties
35,000 dead or missing
135,000 wounded or sick
170,000 total casualties