Overview of the events of 1944

For the first time, the hostilities of 1944 reached the Lastekodumägi region in early February. While the German military division ‘Nord’ retreated to the Narva line, German staff and warehouse bunkers were built on Lastekodumägi Hill. A huge number of heavy weapons belonging to the ‘Narva’ army group were stored between the hill and the coast.
During the offensive that began in mid-February, the 30th rifle corps of the Red Army broke through to the Tapa-Narva railroad and significantly enlarged the Krivasoo bridgehead created earlier in the month.
In the course of the ensuing battles, attempts were made to move towards Lastekodumägi Hill, which dominated the landscape. The 170th German infantry division, which built its command post on the hill, managed to stop the advance of the Red Army. The latter made a new attempt to take the hill on 17 March, and Soviet tanks breached the Germans’ defensive line. The 502nd German heavy (Tiger) tank battalion covering the hill drove the Red Army back. As a result of this counter-attack, which began on 26 March under the command of Lieutenant General Hyazinth von Strachwitz, the Soviets were forced back behind the railroad and the front moved further away.

Vaivara Sinimäed Museum

The museum is located in the renovated Vaivara manor granary and smithy. The exhibits are dedicated to the battles fought on the River Narva and in the Sinimaed hills in 1944. The museum exhibits feature weapons, uniforms, soldiers’ personal eff ects, wartime photographs, propaganda posters from both sides in the confl ict, and more. Historical fi lms and documentary footage are shown on a large screen. In spite of the intrinsically grim war theme, the exhibits are accessible and meant for everyone: while the adults can focus on the details, there are also exhibits meant to be touched by younger visitors and they can even climb on some of the military equipment. Guided tours can be reserved by calling (ph. +372 392 4634), local experts serve as the expedition leaders and guides. The expedition leaders help visitors orient in regard to topics not necessarily covered by the museum exhibits, such as nature, military history and local culture. Guides and expedition leaders can be booked for walking and bicycle tours, and for bus trips as well.