Sudrabkalniņš – memorial for fight against Bermondt army
Made of granite blocks from the Daugavgrīva Fort, as well as leftover granite from the Freedom Monument Project, this memorial at Sudrabkalniņš is dedicated to the soldiers of the Riga 6th Infantry Regiment, which in November of 1919 fought here the forces of Commander Pavel Bermondt-Avalov (1877-1974), and despite being outnumber and outgunned defeated the warlord.
This memorial, unveiled in 1937, was designed by sculptor Kārlis Zāle (1888-1942) and architect Ernests Štālbergs (1883-1958).
Even though Latvia proclaimed its independence on November 18, 1918, it still needed to fight for its freedom, as the Red Army invaded Latvia already in December. The leaders of the newly established state had to hurry to form a battle capable army. By April of 1919, the situation was so complicated that there were actually three governments vying for power in Latvia – the Soviet, a pro-German one, as well as the one representing the Latvian state. In October, enemy forces led by Commander Pavel Bermondt-Avalov began an offensive on Riga. The Bermondt army was made up of 45,000 men, 100 cannons, 600 machine guns and 100 planes. The Latvians, meanwhile, had 32,000 men, 20 cannons, 173 machine guns and three planes. However, despite being outmanned and outgunned, the Latvian forces were able to drive away Bermondt’s forces, with church bells ringing throughout the city on the morning of November 11 notifying residents on Latvia’s victory.