Forgotten feat Russian fighter — Battle of Fraushtadte

Forgotten feat of Russian soldiers - Battle of Fraushtadte One of the little-known pages of Russian history is one of the tragedies of the Great Northern War — a fight with Fraushtadte. Saxon-Russian army suffered a crushing defeat, and hundreds of Russian prisoners of war fighter were simply destroyed by the Swedes.

As previously mentioned in the previous article on the topic of the Great Northern War (Grodno maneuver the Russian army), to winter 1704-1705, Karl shared power in Augusta Polish and Saxon cavalry remained in Krakow, and Saxon infantry and the Russian Auxiliary Corps were pushed back across the Oder. With the start of the campaign in August 1705 and stepped teamed up with the Russian army in Grodno.

Summary Saxon army at the time was almost completely demoralized. Invariable defeat, retreat, a long exhausting campaign, the lack of salary prepyadstviya food supplies, have led to mass defections, apathy and reluctance to wage war. Even more difficult was the situation of the Russian subsidiary body, which was sent to support the Saxon army in 1704. In case there was no centralized supply of provisions, forage, ammunition. Saxon Command was flegmantichno to the position of Russian fighter — the salary was not paid, the new uniforms were not given (uniforms in two years turned into rags). The problem was with the command — Livonian nobleman, adventurer, compiled by various projects Johann Reinhold von Patkul, who managed to serve in Sweden, then Augustus, and in 1702 entered the service of Peter I, begged for the command of the Russian corps at the Saxon army. He constantly complained about the Saxons, has repeatedly expressed his opinion about the failure of the King Augustus and his ministers. As a result, Peter had ordered him to withdraw troops from Saxony in Russia through Rzeczpospolita or transfer them temporarily to serve the Emperor of Austria. Patkul chose the second option. In 1705, Saxon lurking advice arrested him and claimed that Russian troops remained in Saxony. Russian housing led the Saxons.


Despite the difficult situation in the army, the Saxons first in 1706 decided to attack. Was collected 20 thousand army, and she was under the command of Field Marshal Johann von der Schulenburg in the middle of January to march forth. She confronted the auxiliary 9-10 thousand Swedish Corps under the command of the coming of Charles XII advisor on military matters, General Carl Gustav Renshilda. He had a puzzle to cover the main Swedish army, which was placed in Poland from the west.

Renshild lure Saxon-Russian army to Fraushtadtu (Polish Wschowa, a city in Poland), and took the fight. Real took 2 (13) February 1706. On the left, the Saxon army was Russian auxiliary corps under the command of Colonel Baron Heinrich von der Goltz — 6.3 thousand infantry (10 battalions), 6 battalions stood in the front page and 4 in the second. In the center position were 19 battalions (Saxon, French and Swiss mercenaries), 12 battalions of the first band and 7 in the second. They are commanded by Major-General von Droste and background Tseydler. The right flank was holding Saxon cavalry under the command of Lieutenant-General Ploetz — 2 thousand people. Saxon artillery battalion of 300 men, with 32 guns was placed along the front in the intervals between the battalions.

It was Renshilda 9-10 thousand fighter without artillery, and, according to one cavalry dominated by its other was a bit smaller than the infantry. Swedish military commander acted on a standard scheme for the army of Sweden — the most powerful blow was dealt to the center of the Saxon army — it was stormed and Vestmanlandsky Vesterbottensky infantry regiments (4 battalions), at which time the Swedish cavalry came from the wing and slammed from behind. After 45 minutes, the Saxon center position has been crushed, "professionals" — the Swiss and French mercenaries not only surrendered, and fled to the Swedes, the instruments were turned off and the fire rained down on the Saxons second strip and the Russian left flank. The Saxons ran off, pursued by the Swedish cavalry masses surrendering prisoners.

Only the Russian left wing kept fighting capacity. Russian battalions were surrounded and in a few hours fought, shot guns seized from the Saxons, keeping the Swedish attacks, going to the counterattack. Saxon Commander G. Goltz escaped and surrendered. But Russia did not flinch, their headed by Colonel Samuel de Rentsel, he organized the defense. The first line of almost all died in combat. By nightfall, Colonel Rentsel managed to break through the Swedish bayonet ring and withdraw from the environment remains of the body — about two thousand weary soldier, and many were wounded.

Swedes in the battle lost about 500 killed and more than one thousand wounded, almost all were lost at Russian positions. Virtually the entire Saxon army was captured or escaped — about cowardice of commanders and fighter says the fact that the Swedes captured the 7 th of charged guns, their owners even once did not shoot. According to the Swedish data, loss of Schulenburg's army amounted to more than 7 million dead and 7.6 million prisoners surrendered.

It is necessary to note the insidious role of the Saxon ruler Augustus. He was 10-15 thousand Saxon housing (in the main cavalry) was only 10-15 miles from the battle, but instead to support the army Schulenburg, August fled to Krakow.

Military sin. In the battle of Fraushtadte clearly revealed the attitude of the "enlightened Europeans" to the "Russian savages." Schulenburg was a multinational army: the Saxons, Russian, Polish, French, Scottish and Swiss mercenaries. After winning the Swedish soldiers were taken prisoner by all, except Russian. In addition, the person on the order Renshilda, contrary to the laws of war, about 500 Russian prisoners of war fighter were shot and stabbed to death. There is evidence that a prisoner was killed 3-4 thousand Russian, but, apparently, they are wrong, other Russian soldiers killed in battle or were finished off the wounded on the field of battle. Swedes in this war is altogether different to the Russian brutal ruthlessness, but this order was not given in the heat of passion. He was perfectly obmyslen, rational — Russian did not have to contain, because, unlike the mercenaries had been recruited by them can not, well, the Swedes wanted to teach a bitter lesson "barbarians."

Unfortunately, when after the battle of Poltava Renshilda were captured him was displayed unacceptable nobility.

The fate of residues of the Russian housing

Of the survivors fighter regiment was created trehbatalonnogo composition. In August 1706 Saxon army, no resistance Swedish invasion of Saxony went to Austria, where the troops were interned. Schulenburg suggested that Russian officers to do the same. But the military council decided to abandon the Russian shelf go for it. Then the Saxons abdicated all responsibility for the Russian connection, once the Swedish master Carl XII claimed by Augustus and the Austrian governor to give him a Russian fighter.

Rentsel decided to make its way to Russia. Russian soldiers went through Cesarsky and Brandenburg land in Poland, in Lublin, where there was a Russian army. The campaign lasted for 16 months. To his left 1,300 people. For valor Rentselya Russian government made a major-general, and from the reduced squad formed a Saxon regiment. In the coming Rentsel also served valiantly Russia. He distinguished himself in the battle of Poltava, Peter personally p
ut on Rentselya insignia of the Order of St. Andrew and proclaimed commander of the division.

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