Paris Peace Conference 184.01502/38: Telegram

The Chargé in Sweden (Wheeler) to the Commission to Negotiate Peace

319. Following received from Colonel Greene dated May 27th, Riga.

“30. May 27th. During past three days I have made close examination Riga and vicinity. By early arrival have secured much valuable information from direct observation and first-hand sources all of which will be forwarded you as soon possible. City taken as I telegraphed you16 by surprise attack executed by Letts and Russian volunteers center, German Iron Division right. Bolshevist reinforcements from northern Livonian front came too late. Hans Manteuffel, leading Bait attacking battalion, killed and buried yesterday with [Page 678] large military funeral. Prince Lieven dangerously wounded. All attacking forces were Euger [under?] Major Fletcher, a German officer who is chief of Bait territorial defense troops or Landeswehr. Bait, German, Lettish troops now hold city. Present front Livonian River and then across main north road at point about twenty kilometers from Riga water front thence to River Düna above Dahlern Island. Major Fletcher sole authority military, police, civil. Complete quiet and order now prevail in city in which is administered with a strong hand. City uninjured except for slight shell damage along river front. City waterworks captured intact May 24th. Population has suffered many privations under Bolshevist rule and energetic food distribution is needed immediately. Forty cars American flour at Mitau will come to Riga as soon as railway gauge altered probably May 29th. Story of starving people on island untrue. Before leaving Bolshevists commenced massacre civilians in prison with machine gun but only thirty-three killed before arrival attacking forces. These include ten women and seven pastors. Mine fields reported to contain over 400 mines, extend ten miles from Düna mouth. Major Fletcher has commenced sweeping operations which will be completed in three to six days when ships can enter. Needra17 here. Returning to Libau May 29th to meet Colonel Groome. Greene.” 319.

  1. Telegram not printed.
  2. Andreas Needra, Latvian statesman.