About Nāves sala (Death Island)

Nāves Sala (Death Island) - an approximately 2 km2 large, moderate elevation in the River Daugava. 1. During the World War, as the Russian Army was retreating from Courland and Semigallia in 1915, some army units remained and developed defence entrenchments on the left bank of the River Daugava along the aforementioned tributary.

Death Island, according to initial geographical status, was a peninsula. It is a part of the bank of the River Daugava of the former Līve Municipality and current Daugmale Municipality, which protruded northwards into the River Daugava in a gracious semi-circle. It obtained its grave name during the period of the Latvian Riflemen, when it was separated from the South by multiple barbed wire lines and entrenchments of the enemy. Thus, the riflemen were locked by artificial structures and the nature. [1]

Currently, Death Island is no longer a peninsula, therefore it can be accessed by boat, raft or any other means of water transport. A monument To the Defenders of Death Island is installed on the island. The Collective grave of seven unknown soldiers and entrenchments can also be seen nearby. A recreation site equipped with a dry compost toilet, picnic area and fireplace area is also present on the island. [2]

To promote patriotic sentiment in contemporary youth, a book Latvian Riflemen on Death Island in 1916 was issued in 2014. The author of the book, Colonel Jānis Hartmanis - a knowledgeable expert on the life of war of the riflemen and their fates - has researched in detail several months of the battles fought by heroic Latvian men on the narrow patch of land surrounded by German invaders and the River Daugava, which has obtained the legendary name - Nāves sala (Death Island). The work is based on long-term research of documentary evidence, as well as the site of events, as a result of which the first monograph on Latvian riflemen on Death Island was created.

A song has been written to honour Death Island, which can be considered an anthem of Death Island, however, its author, unfortunately, is unknown.

***
Nāc uz Nāves salu, tur tev’ gaidīšu (Come to Death Island, I’ll be waiting for you)
Un pie raķeš’ gaismas saldi skūpstīšu. (And in rocket lights, I will be kissing you.)
Zilas tavas acis, skaidra tava sirds, (Blue are your eyes, clear is your heart,)
Sārti tavi vaigi, rožu lūpas mirdz. (Pink are your cheeks, rose lips aglow.)
Bet nav pusnakts pāri – zēns jau karā krīt, (Midnight is not over - the boy dies in battle,)
Un pie raķeš’ gaismas meitēn’ as’rās mīt. (And, in rocket lights, the girl is left in tears.)
[1] Death Island Booklet. Issued by: Daugmale Rural Territory Administration of Ķekava Municipality.
[2] http://kekava.travel/lv/apskates-vietas/item/50-naves-sala

Timeline events in Nāves sala (Death Island)

I Pasaules karš

Nāvessala (Death Island) received its current name during World War I, because every day a soldier was killed or died there.

Year 1915

October 1915

In October 1915

in battles against the attacking German army, Russian soldiers took over a foothold on the left bank of the River Daugava opposite Ikšķile, which was later called Death Island.

1916.gada pavasaris

Pavasara un vasaras cīņās Nāves salā strēlnieki zaudēja aptuveni pusotra simta karavīru, tika ievainoti arī abi bataljona komandieri Jānis Kalniņš un Jānis Francis.

1916.gada pavasaris

1916.gada 25.septembris

1916.gada 25.septembris

Visnežēlīgākais uzbrukums sākās 1916.gada 25.septembra agrā rītā, kad vācu armija pret Nāves salas aizstāvjiem pielietoja indīgās gāzes.
 
Tās pašas dienas pievakarē pār kājinieku tiltiņu un laivās 2.Rīgas bataljona strēlnieki drosmīgi devās gāzu saindētajā peklē, lai palīdzētu smagi cietušajam 173.Kameņeckas pulkam. Placdarmu strēlnieki aizstāvēja līdz 1916.gada 28.septembra vēlam vakaram.


1917.gada jūlijs

1917.gada jūlijā pēc Krievijas 12.armijas pavēlniecības rīkojuma, lai iztaisnotu frontes līniju, Nāves salu bez kaujas atdeva vāciešiem.

1917.gada jūlijs

1924.gada 27.jūlijs

1924.gada 27.jūlijs

1924.gada 27.jūlijā Latvijas Republikas Valsts prezidents Jānis Čakste atklāja pieminekli Nāves salas aizstāvjiem (Pieminekļa autors – arhitekts Eižens Laube). Tas bija Latvijā pirmais 1.Pasaules kara kauju un Brīvības cīņu atcerei veltītais piemineklis.

1936.gada novembris

1936.gada novembrī tika pabeigta Nāves salas muzeja celtniecība (arhitekts Roberts Legzdiņš). Tā laika kara ministrs, ģenerālis Jānis Balodis par muzeja direktoru iecēla bijušo strēlnieku, Lāčplēša ordeņa kavalieri Jāni Reingoldu.

1936.gada novembris

1964.gads

1964.gads

1964.gadā negaisa laikā nodega Nāves salas muzejs.

1974./75.gads

1974./75.gadā līdz ar Rīgas HES ūdenskrātuves izveidošanu, lielākā daļa Nāves salas teritorijas tika appludināta.

1974./75.gads

2014. gads

2014. gads

Lai veicinātu patriotismu mūsdienu jauniešos, 2014. gadā tika izdota grāmata "Latviešu strēlnieki Nāves salā 1916". Tās autors atvaļinātais pulkvedis Jānis Hartmanis.

Strēlnieku piemineklim Nāves salā - 90

Latviešu strelnieki Naves salā 1916. gadā - intervija