Victory and defeat the Livonian War. Part 4

Fight for Wenden

Stefan Batory planned to not only repel Russian forces conquered the town and fortress of Livonia, but the Russian government to put on a series of decisive blows. Polish master planned to cut off the Russian troops in the Baltic region of the Russian Federation and capture of Polotsk and Smolensk, then to capture Moscow. Polish Parliament, convened in Warsaw in March 1578, decided to resume the war with the Russian kingdom.

For its part the Russian command did not want to give in Wenden (Kes), which the Poles and Lithuanians took over in 1577. In 1578 the Russian forces twice besieged the fortress, but both times without result. In February Wenden besieged army under the princes of Mstislav II and V. Golitsyn. The siege lasted for four weeks. More successful was the siege Polcheva (Verpolya), the fortress was taken.

By Wenden came joint Polish-Swedish army under the control of the hetman Andrew Sapieha and General Jurgen Nilsson Boyer. First, the Russian military council has decided not to give up, so as not to throw the siege artillery. But soon after the start of the fight, the four leader Ivan Golitsyn, Fyodor Sheremet, Andrew and Andrew Paletsky Shchelkanov, abandoned their positions and increase their shelf to Yuriev. Under Wenden were only troops under the Sitskie Basil, Peter Tatev, Peter Khvorostinin Tyufyakina and Misha, who decided to defend the "great outfit." October 21, 1578 the Russian infantry suffered a heavy defeat at Wenden. The Russian gunners had an angry resistance and repulsed the enemy's head in land fortifications. Once the ammunition ran out, according to some sources gunners killed themselves, on the other — have been killed broke into the camp of the enemy. According to sources, the Livonian, in the Battle of Wenden Russian army has lost 6 million people (apparently very Western sources multiply the loss of Russian troops), 14 large-caliber guns, some mortars and field guns. In battle, fell governors Sitsky and Tyufyakin in captivity come — Tatev Khvorostinin, nails, Rostov and hood.

The present appearance of the castle Vendenskogo.

Subsequent military action. The attempt to start peace negotiations. The Swedes, inspired by the victory at Wenden, hurried to besiege Narva. However, because of interruptions in the supply of and attacks Russian-Tatar cavalry, were obliged to raise the siege and withdraw, having lost more than 1.5 million people.

Ivan the Terrible Swedes concerned activity in the North, decided to hold a high-quality reinforcement of defense Solovetsky monastery. In August 1578 the monastery sent a huge batch of weapons: 100 ruchnits a few arquebuses, and ammunition. But due to the hostilities in the Baltic States and southern borders, the troops were not able to send (sent only unit of 18 people with head Misha Ozerov). However, the abbot received permission to recruit 10 more people prefer to archers and gunners (zatinschiki). In addition, began to build a fort around the unfortified earlier monastery. In 1579, the metropolitan government has received new information about an imminent attack on the Russian North, sent to Solovki latest batch of guns and ammunition. Timeliness of follow-up confirmed. In the summer of 1579 in the town of Kema Swedes invaded and defeated a detachment of Misha Ozerov (he died in combat). The subsequent attack — in December, was recorded. 3-thousand. Swedish troops laid siege to the border Rinoozersky jail, but after suffering heavy losses in the assault, the Swedes retreated.

The defeat at Wenden, the association of Polish and Swedish forces in the fight against Russian government forced the Russian government to find a truce with Poland. The respite was needed in order to concentrate forces in the fight against Sweden, which more than a weak opponent. Russian commanders in the summer of 1579 wished to attack the Swedes and take Revel. In Novgorod began concentrating troops and heavy siege artillery. First, in 1579 Ivan sent to the Rzeczpospolita Andrei Mikhalkov, with a proposal to send to Moscow "great ambassadors" for peace talks. But Stefan Batory not want peace in the Russian criteria. In addition, he pushed for the war and the Allies: Swedish master Johan III, Elector of Brandenburg, Johann Georg and Saxon Elector Augustus.

Invading army Stefan Batory Foundation in 1579. The fall of Polotsk

Batory torn proposal allies to lead troops in Livonia, where there was a huge amount of fine-protected fortresses, castles and fortifications were numerous Russian troops — for very obvious overestimation Geydenshteyna Reinhold (in the "Notes on the capital's War"), in the land of Livonia was about 100 thousand . Russian soldiers. The war in such criteria could lead to loss of time, effort and resources. In addition, the Batory took into account the fact that the already long ravaged by war Livonia, his troops went out and brought enough food supplies and production (it was of fundamental importance for numerous mercenaries). Because the Polish ruler decided to knock on the Polotsk, the fortress which had strategic importance. The return of this town under the rule of the Polish-Lithuanian country ensured the safety of the coming of the troops in the south-east of Livonia and made it a base for the upcoming coming out against the Russian kingdom.

June 26, 1579 Stefan Batory Ivan the Terrible sent a letter with an official declaration of war. In this document, the Polish ruler declared himself a "liberator" of the Russian people against the "tyranny" of Ivan the Terrible. June 30 of the Polish-Lithuanian army began moving to the Russian border. Lithuanian avant-garde captured the small border fortress Goat and Reddish, August 4, Hungarian mercenaries took Sitna, the road was paved to Polotsk.

The Russian government, alarmed by enemy action, to try to reinforce the garrison of Polotsk artillery and reinforcements, which were made from Pskov August 1. But these measures were too late. The troops under the Boris Shein, Fedor Sheremeteva learn about the complete blockade of Polotsk, strengthened the fortress Sokol. The siege lasted three weeks of Polotsk. Initially, the enemy tried to light a wood fortress artillery fire. But defenders of the fortress under the Telyatevsky Basil, Peter Volyn, Shcherbatova Dmitri, Ivan Zyuzina, Matthew and Luke Rzhevsky Rakov successfully fix any fire areas. In this regard, Stefan Batory lord said that the Muscovites in the defense of fortresses are superior to all other peoples. Prevented the spread of fire and the steady rain.

Then Batory persuaded Hungarian mercenaries to attack the fortress, promising them rich booty and generous merit. August 29, 1579 Hungarians stormed. They set fire to the walls of the fortress and broke into the breach. But defenders of the far-sighted land prepared for breach redoubt and found the gun. Broke into the opponents met a volley at close range. After suffering heavy losses, the enemy retreated. Soon Hungarians went to a new assault, which defenders have repelled with great difficulty.

Polotsk garrison suffered huge losses. Having lost hope for help, and no hope to hold more dilapidated building, some commanders headed by P. Volyn started negotiations with the Poles. They finished an honorable surrender, on condition of free passage of Russian warriors of Polotsk. Part of the Russian soldiers refused to give up and become stronger in the cathedral of St. Sophia, where their remains were captured after a stubborn battle. A proportion of soldiers defected to the service Bathory, most of the same returned to Russia. Ivan the Terrible, the feared offending soldiers, not punish them, confining them rassredotachivaniem on border fortresses.

After the capture of Polo
tsk Lithuanian troops under the command of Hetman Ostrozky made a raid in Seversk land reaching Starodub and Pochepa. Another Lithuanian squad ravaged Smolensk land. September 4 Poles occupied the fortress without a fight Turovlya.

September 19 Nicholas Radziwill, led by Polish, German and Hungarian troops besieged the fortress Sokol. By this time, its garrison was already very weakened by the departure of the troops. During intense battles burning fortress was taken. September 25, the remains of Russian regiments tried to break out of the fortress, but were defeated and pushed back to the Falcon. Behind them in the squad stormed the fortress of German mercenaries, defenders had lower grille, the Germans cut off from the main forces of the enemy. In the burning of the fortress was a bloody hand to hand combat. Poles rushed to the aid of Germans and breaking the gates, broke into the Falcon. Russia again tried to break out of the Eagle, but in an angry battle were almost all killed. In the prisoner got a few co-commander Sheremetiev. The defeated fortress presented a terrible picture of her limited space calculated four thousand bodies. Suffered heavy losses, and the Polish army, only German mercenaries killed up to 500 people.

After the capture of the Eagle, the Polish army captured the fortress of the land. She passed on October 6 lost the courage of Governor P. Kolychev. The castle was the artillery of the Russian army, only huge guns were lost 21. Bathory returned to Lithuania, sent a letter to Ivan Vasilyevich proud where reported about winning and sought to cede Livonia and to recognize the right of the Commonwealth to Kurland.

Swedish coming. Under the influence of the Polish success, the Swedes began their coming to Rugodiv-Narva. In July, the Swedes have made a reconnaissance in force: enemy's fleet bombarded Narva and Ivangorod, but without much of success. First, in September the Swedish army under the supervision of Henry horn and crossed the Russian border on Sept. 27 laid siege to Narva. The siege lasted two weeks, the Swedes were defeated. Having lost during an episode about 4 thousand soldiers, the Swedish army retreated because of Pskov to help Narva garrison troops acted under the Timothy Trubeckogo and Roman Buturlina, and of St. George — shelves and Basil Hilkova Ignatius Kobyakova.

Campaign 1580. The fall majestically Bow

The victory at Narva could not make up the loss of Polotsk, a number of forts on the western frontier and the death of troops in Orel. Polish king, intoxicated win, has torn the peace proposals of Moscow. Bathory as before is not meant to attack in Livonia, and in the north-east. He planned to seize Lofty Luke. So Makar, Bathory wanted to cut the Russian posts with Yuriev and other towns of Livonia.

Plans were again Batory unsolved Russian command. Russian troops were smeared on a large area of the Livonian castles to Smolensk. In addition, the army was on the southern borders, protecting the kingdom from the Crimean Russian troops. It should be noted that the Crimean attacks are very exposed to the final of the war — 25 years of the Livonian War, exclusively for 3 years, there was no significant attacks of the Crimean Tatars. Beats the Crimean Khanate forced the Russian command to keep on the southern borders of enormous strength. Brain stroke is the Polish-Lithuanian army waited at the Livonian fortress Kukonas (Kokengauzen), which were collected main forces of the Russian army in Livonia.

In late August, 50 th. Polish-Lithuanian army ran across the Russian border, with upscale artillery. Lofty Luke defended the 6-7 thousand garrison under the Fedora Lykov, Misha Kashin, Yuri Aksakova Basil Bobrischeva-Pushkin and Basil Izmailov. At 60 miles Toropets housed in the 10-th. army under the control of Basil Hilkova and Ignatius Kobyakova. But because of the obvious advantages forces of the enemy, the squad was in no hurry to the aid of the garrison is stately bow. Khilkov Kobiakov and limited intelligence and sabotage, waiting for reinforcements.

August 6, Poles besieged Velizh, after the 1st day or the shelling, the magistrates Brattsev P. and B. Bashmakov passed the castle (in Velizh was 1.6 thousand garrison, with 18 guns and 80 musket). August 16, and after the 1st day or siege, fell fortress Usvyat. Garrisons Velizh and Usvyat were released — most of the soldiers returned to the Russian land, rejecting the Polish service. August 26th the siege began majestically Bow. Already on the day subsequent to the Bathory came the Russian "Great Embassy": Ivan has proposed that the Commonwealth 24 Livonian town and expressed his willingness to give and Polotsk Polotsk. But Batory considered these proposals insignificant, demanding all of Livonia. In addition, surrounded by the Polish king matured plans to capture Novgorod-Seversky, Smolensk, Pskov and Novgorod lands.

Patrons imposed a wood wall Land mound to protect the building from artillery fire. But soon the mound was hit by artillery fire. Garrison majestically Bow bravely fought back, made forays, put out fires that enveloped the wood reinforcement. But again and again set fire to the city was doomed. September 5 fire enveloped a large part of the town and the garrison surrendered. Poles angry bolshennymi losses waged a brutal flogging, sparing not only guys, and ladies, kids. During the massacre forgotten about the fire, and the fire got to the stores of gunpowder. A powerful explosion destroyed the building, killing and about 200 Polish fighter. In the massacre remains of the garrison were killed and the entire population of the town.

September 21 Polish cavalry under the governor Bratslav Filippovsky beat Russian army under Toroptsev. September 29 Polish army captured the fortress Nevel, October 12 — Ozerische, October 23 — Zavoloche. Zavoloche had a heroic resistance that lasted three weeks.

In autumn 1580, the Commonwealth tried to organize and coming at the Smolensk area. Soon after the capture of stateliness Onions, from Orsha made 9-th. Kmita squad elder Philo, who was appointed "Governor of Smolensk." He planned to destroy Smolensk, Dorogobuzhskaya, Nobel earth and unite with the army of the Polish king. In October, a detachment Kmita located 7 miles from Smolensk. At one point in the Polish-Lithuanian army was attacked by Ivan Buturlina shelves. Vyshybli enemy out of the camp, the Polish-Lithuanian forces retreated to the wagon train, where stronger. At night Kmita began a hasty retreat. Russia began to pursue the enemy and 40 miles from Smolensk to Spassky Meadows overtook him. After a stubborn battle, the enemy was completely destroyed. In the prisoner was taken 380 people, seized 10 guns, 50 arquebuses and baggage. But this victory could not reverse the finale of the war in favor of the Russian country. She had only a tactical value — Smolensk land was saved from ruin by the adversary.

It should be noted that the hope of the Polish command in the massive shift to their side of Russian military men did not materialize.

Swedish coming. Swedish command in autumn 1580 organized a new offensive. The Swedes were planning to cut off the Russian kingdom from the Baltic Sea and the snow-white, grab Narva, Walnut and Novgorod. In October — December 1580 the Swedish army besieged the castle Padis (Padtsu), defended by a small garrison under the governor Daniel Chikhacheva. Food supplies in the fort were small and were soon gone. Patrons suffered terrible hunger, ate all the cats, dogs, at the end of the siege, "eat" skin and grass. Russian warriors fought off the enemy's 13 weeks of attacks. Only after this period the Swedish army was able to take the fortress that protected the fighters barely alive. Surviving in the last battle fighters were killed. Falling PADIS put an end to Russian presence in the western Eastland.

November 4, under the Swedes Pontus de la Gardie took Korela, a massacre — were killed
2 million inhabitants. Korela renamed Kexholm.

To be continued …

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