Battle of the Gulf of Riga

Battle of the Gulf of Riga
Part of World War I
GulfofFinlanddefence1917.jpg
Scheme of defence of gulfs of Finland and Riga by the Russian Navy.
Date8–19 August 1915
LocationGulf of Riga, Baltic Sea
ResultAllied victory
Belligerents
 German Empire Russian Empire
 United Kingdom
Commanders and leaders
German Empire Ehrhard SchmidtRussian Empire Vasily Kanin
Strength
2 dreadnought battleships
2 pre-dreadnought battleships
3 battlecruisers
6 cruisers
4 light cruisers
56 destroyers
31 torpedo boats
Several minesweepers
1 pre-dreadnought battleship
4 gunboats
16 destroyers
1 minelayer
Several submarines
Casualties and losses
2 minesweepers sunk
1 battlecruiser damaged
1 destroyer sunk
1 destroyer slightly damaged
1 battleship damaged
2 gunboats sunk

The Battle of the Gulf of Riga was a World War I naval operation of the German High Seas Fleet against the Russian Baltic Fleet in the Gulf of Riga in the Baltic Sea in August 1915. The operation's objective was to destroy the Russian naval forces in the Gulf and facilitate the fall of Riga to the German army in the later stages of the Central Powers' offensive on the Eastern Front in 1915. The German fleet, however, failed to achieve its objective and was forced to return to its bases; Riga remained in Russian hands until it fell to the German Army on 1 September 1917.

Prelude

In early August 1915, several powerful units of the German High Seas Fleet were transferred to the Baltic to participate in the foray into the Riga Gulf. The intention was to destroy the Russian naval forces in the area, including the pre-dreadnought battleship Slava, and to use the minelayer Deutschland to block the entrance to Moon Sound with mines. The German naval forces, under the command of Vice Admiral Hipper, included the four Nassau-class and four Helgoland-class battleships, the battlecruisers SMS Moltke, Von der Tann, and Seydlitz, and a number of smaller craft.[1]