Unternehmen Aster – the abandonment of the Estonian territory
The III (Germanic) SS-Panzerkorps had bled itself white defending the Tannenberg Line in Estonia. The headquarters of the Army Group North pulled it back into Latvia in September 1944 to defend the capital Riga. The Soviet forces launched a ferocious attack on Riga in September 1944, but the German and the European volunteer units held their positions. Riga was finally taken by the Soviets on October 13 1944 and Army Group North was driven into the Courland Pocket, where it remained isolated until the end of the war in Europe. Image: SS-Obersturmführer Hans-Gösta Pehrsson pictured sitting with his Sturmgewehr 44, conferring over a map with another Swedish volunteer. Photo is taken in Latvia in 1944. Public domain.