Operation Albion

Operation Albion

The German Conquest of the Baltic Islands
Barrett, Michael B.
Distribution: World
Publication date: 02/19/2008
Format: Hardback 28 b&w photos, 9 maps
ISBN: 978-0-253-34969-9
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A Selection of the History Book Club and Military Book Club

In October 1917, an invasion force of some 25,000 German soldiers, accompanied by a flotilla of 10 dreadnoughts, 350 other vessels, a half-dozen zeppelins, and 80 aircraft, attacked the Baltic islands of Dago, Osel, and Moon at the head of the Gulf of Riga. It proved to be the most successful amphibious operation of World War I. The three islands fell, the Gulf was opened to German warships and was now a threat to Russian naval bases in the Gulf of Finland, and 20,000 Russians were captured. The invasion proved to be the last major operation in the East. Although the invasion had achieved its objectives and placed the Germans in an excellent position for the resumption of warfare in the spring, within three weeks of the operation, the Bolsheviks took power in Russia (November 7, 1917) and Albion faded into obscurity as the war in the East came to a slow end.

Author Bio

Michael B. Barrett is Professor of History at the Citadel and Brigadier General (retired), U.S. Army Reserve. He lives in Charleston, South Carolina.


A campaign relatively unknown even in the field of military history, Albion was quite significant in dictating events on the Eastern Front in World War I. It features a sea battle between German dreadnoughts and a Russian battleship; the use of aircraft and zeppelins; and an attack and dramatic stand by bicycle troops. And Michael Barrett writes very well, indeed.

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Table of Contents

List of Maps
Dates, Times, and Names
1. Submarine UC-58, Tagga Bay, 28 September 1917
2. The Strategic Importance of the Baltic Islands
3. The Decision to Mount Operation Albion
4. The Islands and Their Defenses
5. The Invasion
6. Ösel, 12<N>13 October 1917: The Central Island
7. Ösel, 12<N>16 October 1917: The Island's Ends
8. The Capture of Moon and Dagö Islands
9. The Naval Battle for the Baltic Islands
10. Conclusion
11. Epilogue

Appendix: A Word on Sources

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