Operation West (iii)

This was the German attack on subsequent seizure of the island of Hiiumaa (Dagö in German) off the coast of Estonia as part of ‘Siegfried’ (i) (16 September/21 October 1941).

The first landing was made on 16 September and secured a comparatively small initial beach-head, and the rest of the island was taken between 12 and 21 October. As a result of the 'Westfalen' feint operation, employing the light cruiser Köln, torpedo boats T 2, T 5, T 7 and T 8, and seven boats of the 1st Minensuch-Flottille and 2nd Minensuch-Flottille near Cape Ristna, and 'Ostpreussen' employing the boats of the 2nd Räumboots-Flottille against the east coast near the Kertel battery, the Soviet forces were misled and pinned. A landing was then made on the south coast, support against Soviet coastal batteries being provided by the boats of the 5th Minensuch-Flottille. On 14 October Köln once again shelled the Soviet positions on Cape Ristna, and between 16 and 21 October the Soviets evacuated part of the island garrison to Odensholm and Hanko, and Soviet resistance at Cape Takhkona ended on 21 October. In all, the Germans took 3,388 prisoners.