Operation Beowulf

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Operation Beowulf
Part of World War II
WWII Moonsund Def.jpg
Date 8 September–21 October 1941
Location Saaremaa, Hiiumaa, and Muhu (Estonia)
Result German victory
Belligerents
 Nazi Germany  Soviet Union
Commanders and leaders
Nazi Germany Georg von Küchler Soviet Union Nikolay Kuznetsov
Units involved
61st Infantry Division 3rd Infantry Brigade of the North-Western Front
Strength
10.000 infantry 23.000
Casualties and losses
2,850 dead, missing, or wounded 5,000 killed
15,000 captured

Operation Beowulf refers to two German plans to occupy the islands of Saaremaa, Hiiumaa and Muhu, off the Estonian west coast. Both plans had the same objectives but assumed differing start points. The attack, using Beowulf II, started on 8 September 1941 and had achieved its objectives by 21 October.

Beowulf I[edit]

This version assumed a rapid German victory in the Baltic States. It would have been a re-working of the World War I Operation Albion, launched from Courland in Latvia. In the event, German forces were delayed as they crossed into Estonian territory.

Beowulf II[edit]

This version, which was executed, was an attack from the Estonian west coast. There were a series of diversionary attacks to confuse the Soviet defenders - Südwind, Westwind and Nordwind.

References[edit]

Coordinates: 58°30′00″N 23°00′00″E / 58.5000°N 23.0000°E / 58.5000; 23.0000