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Operation Albion
Part of World War I
Operation Albion Map.jpg
Operation Albion amphibious operations 10 – 20 October
Date September – October 1917
Location Baltic Sea
Result German victory
Flag of the German Empire.svg German Empire Flag of Russia.svg Russian Republic
General Ludwig von Estorff
Vizeadmiral Ehrhard Schmidt
Admiral Mikhail Bakhirev
23,000 men,
5,000 horses,
1,400 vehicles,
150 machine-guns,
54 guns,
12 mortars and munitions
Casualties and losses
Battleship Slava lost

Operation Albion was the German land and naval operation in September and October 1917 to invade and occupy the Estonian islands of Saaremaa (Ösel), Hiiumaa (Dagö) and Muhu (Moon), then part of the Russian Republic.

The land campaign opened with landings at Tagalaht Bay, Saaremaa, on 11 October 1917, after extensive naval activity to clear mines and subdue coastal artillery batteries, and the island was secured by 16 October. The Imperial Russian Army evacuated Muhu on 18 October.

After two failed attempts, the Germans managed to land on Hiiumaa on the 19th and captured the island on the following day.

The Russian Baltic Fleet had to withdraw from Muhu Sound after major losses (see Battle of Moon Sound).

The Germans claimed 20,000 prisoners and 100 guns captured during Operation Albion since 12 October.


Order of battle


German units

  • 42nd Division
  • 2nd Infanterie Cyclist Brigade
  • Special Unit
    • Flagship : Moltke
    • Squadron III
    • Squadron IV. Vizeadmiral Souchon.
    • II Aufklarungsgruppe
    • VI Aufklarungsgruppe
    • Flagship: Emden
    • II Flottille ( 10 boats )
    • VIII Flottille ( 11 boats )
    • VI Flottille ( 11 boats )
    • X Flottille ( 11 boats )
    • 7th Half-Flottille ( 7 boats )
    • U-Flottille Kurland ( 6 boats )
    • Sperrbrechergruppe.
    • II Minesweeper Flotilla.
    • 3rd Half-Flotilla
    • 4th Half-Flotilla
    • 8th Half-Flotilla
    • 3rd S-Half-Flotilla
    • S-Flotilla of the Baltic
    • Netbarrier Unit of the Baltic.
  • Battleship Kaiser

Russian units




Barrett, Michael B. Operation Albion: The German Conquest of the Baltic Islands. Indiana University Press: Bloomington, IN. ISBN 978-0-253-34969-9

External links


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