Lāčplēsis Day

This is an informative article, however, it has some writing and grammar issues. Let’s take a look and learn a little Latvian history in the process!

Linked source: https://www.mod.gov.lv/sites/mod/files/document/Lascplesa%20diena_faktu%20lapa_ENG_0.pdf


Lāčplēsis Day is celebrated in Latvia to honour the victory of the independent Latvian Army over the West Russian Volunteer Army, or Bermont’s Army, 90 years ago – on November 11, 1919. Commemorating this event, Lacplesis Day is the day to remember Latvian Freedom Fighters.

The time from November 18, 1918 – the Proclamation Day of the Republic of Latvia – until August 11, 1920, – liberation of Riga from the enemy forces is one of the most complex periods in the history of Latvia.

Hyphens are used in writing to help clarify or give extra information. However, too many hyphens create a confusing and cumbersome sentence. In this case it would have been better to restructure this information into 2 clear sentences. Brackets, () can also be insterted into sentences (to give extra information).


Although the Independence of Latvia was declared in 1918, German and Russian forces were still in the country; and only in 1919, during the Latvian War of Independence, the invaders were driven off from Riga, it became clear that the country had regained and enforced its sovereignty.

The semicolon (;) connects two clauses or ideas. It is often used incorrectly, and generally, a period (full stop) does the trick. Remember that you can connect ideas with connector words such as however, as a result, because, etc)

One of the most decisive moments in the Latvian War of Independence was the battle between the Latvian Army and the West Russian Volunteer Army. The enemy army was formally led by the Russian Tsar’s army, Colonel Pavel Bermont; however, its de facto commander was the German General Rudiger von der Goltz. In the truce treaty, signed in Strazdi Manor on July 3, 1919, it was mentioned that the German Army had to stop the warfare and leave the territory of Latvia; however, von der Goltz had already made a secret agreement with Bermont to invade Latvia.

Interesting information, but hard to follow because of the writing style.



October 1919 is considered to be the beginning of the Bermontiade, when Bermont announced his intent to invade Riga.

Here a hyphen or brackets would be superior to a comma.

On October 8, Russian – German Army launched their attack on Riga. The attack was an unexpected turn of events for the Latvian government, but the presence of the enemy increased the patriotism of the Latvian nation and the Latvian Armed Forces, being just at their formation stage, they heroically fought in their defence positions.

The news about the attack of the Bermont’s Army spread throughout the world, taking into account that invaders’ actions were against political interests of western countries, Latvia soon started to receive help (weapons and essential goods) from abroad. During the attacks, significant support to

Latvians was provided by British and French warships.

There is misuse of the definite article “the” on many occasions throughout this text. The German Army, Bermont’s Army (proper noun, ownership), support to the Latvians (specific group). Keep an eye out for this mistake!


The Latvian Army began its decisive attack on Bermontians on November 9, even though the battles were fierce, on November 11, Bermont’s Army was driven away from Riga. To commemorate the victory of the Latvian Army over Bermont’s Army, November 11 is celebrated as Lāčplēsis Day. This day symbolizes the victory of the Latvian national hero, Lāčplēsis, over the Black Knight, which was anticipated in Andrejs Pumpurs’ epic poem “Lāčplēsis”.

Bermontiade is remarkable for the fact that the initially small Latvian Army with limited resources was able to defeat the much larger and better equipped West Russian Volunteer Army. The following are the main reasons for the Latvian Army’s victory: Latvian soldiers’ bravery and heroism, the support provided to Latvia by allied forces, and the lack of initiative in the enemy’s army due to poor organization of battles.

Lāčplēsis Day is remarkable also for the fact that on November 11, 1919, a Latvian Army reward was introduced – Lāčplēsis War Order with the motto “For Latvia”. Lāčplēsis War Order was awarded to Latvian Army soldiers, to the soldiers from Latvian Riflemen Regiments, as well as for- eigners who participated in the Latvian War of Independence or contributed to the foundation of the State of Latvia. In total 2146 Lāčplēsis War Orders have been awarded.


Facts and Figures

The Latvian War of Independence – Battles fought for the independence of the state of Latvia from 1918 to 1920.

The Duration of the Latvian War of Independence – From November 18, 1918, when the Republic of Latvia was proclaimed in August 11, 1920, the Latvian – Soviet peace treaty was signed. Russia acknowledged Latvia’s sovereignty and renounced the claim to Latvia’s land.

Bermontiade – A period in the Latvian War of Independence, during which German and Russian forces attempted to occupy Riga and destroy Latvia’s sovereignty.

The Duration of Bermontiade – From October 8, 1919, to November 28, 1919, Bermontians launched an attack on Riga and the West Russian Volunteer Army was driven off into Lithuania. The decisive moment in the Latvian War of Independence was November 11, when the Latvian Army liberated Pardaugava region of Riga from the Bermontians.

The Main Battlefields of Bermontiade – Riga (Pardaudgava), Kekava, Jurmala Saldus, Talsi, Sabile, Kuldiga, Jelgava, Liepaja, Grobina, Aizpute. Latvia’s Losses During Bermontiade:

  • Loss of human resources – 57 officers and 686 soldiers
  • Financial loss – 293 million Latvian rubbles (according to the currency rate of the time)

Information prepared by:

The Ministry of Defence


This article contains some specific vocabulary.

  • Volunteer (a person who does something by choice)
  • Independence (to be free or not dependent on something else)
  • Equipped (to be in possession of something)

How would your rewrite this text? Did you find any other mistakes? Did you learn something new about Latvian history?