After the collapse of the Kerensky offensive, the Germans sought to press home their advantage and drive the Russians into suing for peace. On the ground, General von Hutier pioneered the mobile storm trooper tactics later transferred to the western front and captured the port of Riga at the beginning of September. Meanwhile, the German Baltic fleet moved into position around the islands in the mouth of the Gulf of Riga seeking to trap the Russian fleet, with partial success. On 11–12 October, amphibious landings were launched on the islands. Within three days the Oesel Island had been captured, giving the Germans control of the Irbe Strait, which they proceeded to clear of mines. The fighting continued on the more northerly islands until 20 October, with the main naval engagement of the operation, in which three Russian battleships were badly damaged – the Slava was scuttled.
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