Saturday, 16 June 2012

Siege of Empires: a short review

This film started rather slowly as it had to set the scene for the action that followed ... and a rather complex scene is was!

Latvian independence was proclaimed in Riga on 18th November 1918, and Karlis Ulmanis became the head of the Provisional Government. What followed is termed the War of Independence and involved fighting between troops loyal to the Provisional Government, troops of the Soviet Latvian Government, and various German forces including the Baltische Landeswehr and the German Freikorps 'Iron Division' led by General Von der Goltz.

The film tells the story of the attack by the Iron Division (operating under the name of the 'West Russian Volunteer Army' and nominally under the command of Pavel Bermondt-Avalov) on Riga, the capital of Latvia. After an heroic defence the attackers were defeated and Latvian independence was assured.

The film is a little slow in places, but the action scenes are well done and the recreation of uniforms and weaponry is of a high standard. I would grade this as a worthy rather than as an outstanding film. I am pleased that I bought and watched it ... and I will certainly watch it again. Furthermore it has encouraged me to find out more about the fighting that took place in the Baltic States after the Great War ... and how it might be the background for an excellent small-scale wargames campaign.

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