Friday, 13 March 2015


You've read correctly, I will, in a future near YOU, write an article here on my page about the battle of Koporje 1708! You may if you like to post any source material you got but otherwise I'll use the sources I've already got! So BRACE YOURSELF!

Cheerio mate!

Saturday, 27 December 2014

The Skirmish and raid of Pelkola (Pelgola) 1701

The Great Northern War had just begun and only lasted for a year. In the Baltic war theatre; minor skirmishes and raids on both sides of the Swedish/Russian border have taken place. One of the many skirmishes/raids is the one of Pelkola 1701. 

Ever since the battle of Narva in late November 1700 Charles XII focused the greater part of his forces in the south in order to repeal the Saxon siege of Riga. The forces left in the cities and around Estonia and Ingria performed raids on Russian territory as response to Russian raids in Ingria. In this campaigns performed by Major General Abraham Cronhjort the Swedish forces often with newly recruited militia, "fördubblingsförband" and "tremänningar" were often enganged in combat. 

In april 1701 the war movements were resumed like last year with smaller detachements committing raids and minor battles. In the 19th of July Cronhjort went over the border at Järvisaari with a host of 1000 cavalrymen and 200 dragoons and continued to the village of Pelkola. 

Pelkola was a complex with 100 buildings and was at the time a Russian adminastrive centra and was defended by steltz and bojars (irregular cavalry). The village appears to have been fortyfied when Carl Gustaf Armfeldt and Abraham Cronhjort came there the 21th of July.  

To lure the Russians out of their defended position Armfeldt and 12 dragoons approached the village and frightened away livestock outside the village. As soon as the dragoons came close the garrison in Pelkola opened up fire. Quickly 52 "bojar"-cavalrymen and steltz joined the fight riding out towards the outnumbered Swedes. Though Cronhjort had placed himself with his men in an ambush position and engaged the bojars. The Russians fled in panic due to the power of the Swedish counter-attack. The Russian streltz infantry was cut down as the Swedish cavalry and dragoons persued them. One captain and four of the streltz were taken prisoners. 
The bojars took shelter in a nearby forest and the remaining garrison and the habitants fled desperatly out of the village as Armfeldt and his men entered the city and followed the fleeing. 

According to Cronhjort about 150 Russians were killed and the entire village was plundered and burned down. The Swedish force should according to Cronhjort not taken any casualties. 

After the raid of Pelkola Russian detachements responded by burning down the villages of Järvisaari and Lisilä. Soon after that Colonel Ramsay defeated two Russian cavalry forces in skirmishes nearby the border at Loppis. 

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Johan Stiernschantz

Stiernschantz Coat of Arms

He was born in Ingria, made a good military career in the Swedish army. Faught several battles and sieges and ended his days Persia. This was Johan Stiernschantz. 

24th of June 1670 Johan was born. Though not under the name Stiernschatz but Wessman. He started his military career early at age of 22 year 1692. He joined Brakel's Regiment and served in Brabant. Where he got wounded and became P.O.W. He Became "fältväbel" 1700 and a royal "Drabant" 1702. 1704 he became Major in Viborgs "fördbubbling" Infantry Regiment. 1705 he recieved a knighthood under the name Stiernschatz and was promoted 5 years later as colonel in Savolax Infantry and Commandant in Kexholm Fortress.

His first campaign was most likely Lybecker's attack on Ingria in 1708, where he was charge of Viborgs Fördubbling consisted of 631 Men in July.

His first major battle was the siege of Kexholm in 1710. Where he defended the fortress with 300-500 Men against a Russian under General Bruce and 6000 Men. After 2 Months of siege he finally gave up at the 9th of September. Though he and the garrison was allowed to  leave the castle to fall back to Nyslott.

In 1711 he commanded General Carl Gustaf Armfeldts troops in Savolax. He committed very successful raids in the beginning of the year. In Parikkala, Koitsanlathi, Hannukkala and even as far as to Mola he drove away minor Russian outposts.
After that Helsingfors (Helsinki) had fallen in 1713 he managed to in the Battle of Landsbro fend off the Russian attackers for long until he had to fall back and joined the Finnish Main Army.

In before the Battle of Storkyro he was one of many officiers who suggested to fall back instead of fighting the Russians. He did not participate in the battle and much afterwards in the war due to sickness.

In 1724 he left the Swedish Army and seeked service in the Russian Army where he served as officier, during his service in Russia he participated in the Ruso-Persian Wars and advanced as high up as Major General and commandant in Astara in Persia. After a long and intense life, as a very successful officier in both the Swedish and Russian Army he died four years later in 1728.

Even though the story of Stiernschantz's life and deeds has not been told often, I say that he was with no  doubt one of the most brilliant commanders in the Swedish Army during the Carolean era. Especially his and his men's bravour at Landsbro should never be forgotten!

"Karolinska Krigare" 

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Siege of Kexholm 1710

On the 11th of July a mighty host of Russian troops under command of General Bruce had reached Kexholm, Bruce was ordered by Tsar Peter to capture the Fortress and City of Kexholm. For Commandant Stiernschantz with his little garrison, it wasn't going to be easy. 

After Tsar Peter's victory in Poltava the Swedish Royal Army, the majority of the Swedish Army, had been totally destroyed, killed and captured. This meant that the falling Swedish provinces in the Baltic States were vastly exposed. Already 1704 the important fortified border cities of Narva and Dorpat had fallen. In the beginning of 1710, before the last Russian offensive in the Baltic States Following cities remained in Swedish control: Riga, Pernau, Reval, Kexholm and Viborg. 

The first city to be victim by the Russians was Viborg which fell 13th of June, second came Riga 5th of July third Pernau gave up at the 15th of August. 

After the success at Viborg a part of the Russian army at Viborg, but also from Nöteborg and St. Petersburg. 6000 Men, reinforced with two grenadier companies headed towards Kexholm. At the 11th of July the Russians started the siege by digging trenches on the land opposite to the two islands Kexholm fortress was located on. The garrison was commanded by Colonel Johan Stiernschantz. In Kexholm between 300-500 Men was placed to defend the city and its fortress. Three batteries of mortars were built and five for regular canons. 16th of July the Russian pieces were ready and they opened up fire on the castle walls.

Though the artillery gathered on place wasn't enough therefore more pieces arrived on small boats 4th of August. Not only did the Russians bombard Kexholm, they also encircled it more by possessing several islands around the fortress. 5th of September Commandant Johan Stiernschantz began to negotiate with the Russians. And finally, after two months of siege the garrison gave up at the 9th of September. The garrison didn't become P.O.W:s. General Bruce, the Russian commander allowed the to march to Nyslott. 

By capturing Kexholm the conquest of Viborg was fulfilled. Not only that, now the Russian army had two great headquarters for further operations into Finland. But maybe more important was that now St. Petersburg was even more protected and had to great forts to pass through.

In the Swedish garrison there were 3 companies of Åbo fördubbling Infantry. And when it comes to the Russian force I didn't find anything either. Though Vlad/Gromoboy on his blog: helped me with this and this is what he said General Major Roman Bruce had in his force:

Dragoons (3 Regiments)
Lutck Dragoon Regiment
Vologda Dragoon Regiment
Narva Dragoon Regiment

Infantry (5 Battalions)
Archangelsk Infantry Regiment
Apraxin Infantry Regiment Battalions (The grenadiers)
Infantry Battalion under Major Druckort (Reinforcement from Olonets 20th July)

"Kampen mot Övermakten- Baltikums Fall 1700-1710" s.178, 179, 205,222 
"Kampen kring Östersjön- Karolinska Krigare 1660-1721"

Thursday, 24 July 2014

History Blogs and Websites Recommendation

Hello dear reader!

I'm very new when it comes to history "blogging". I read the blogs from more experienced bloggers more than I'm active on my own blog. Also I've taken a lot of inspiration from other blogs during the creation of my own. This can be compared to Tsar Peters reforms of the Russian army where he took a lot of inspiration from other western armies and not to say the least from the Swedish army.

So I thought in this post I'll recommend my favorite blogs and websites:

In Swedish:
* - Website about Swedish history (some parts in English)
* - Above's blog about war, caroleans and tin soldiers.
* - Wesite about Swedish history mainly Great Northern War.
* - Website about the Battle of Fraustadt.
* - Above's blog.

In English:
* - Blog about the Great Northern War.
* - Blog about Russian history of war. Many parts about Great Northern War and in Russian.
* - Blog about European wars during the end of the 1600s and early 1700s.
* - Blog about Anglos-Dutch and French-Dutch wars during 1600 and 1700s. Many parts in Dutch.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Battle of Landsbro 1713

A Russian army of about 14 000 men had the objective to march on Åbo year 1713. With such a force the task should be easy. Though the army had to cross the river of Svartån. At the only bridge, Landsbro a Swedish force had taken position. 

This is Landsbro bridge, built in 1847. Most likely built at the same spot where the bridge was located in 1713.

The Swedish provinces in Estonia, Livonia, Ingria and Carelia had all fallen. The Russian conquest had started 1702 and ended 1710. At that point, the Russians turned attention towards Finland and was step by step occupying it. The Russian army used the "Kingsroad" between Viborg and Åbo to reach Åbo. At this point Viborg, was in the hands of the Russians and Viborg was probably the starting point of this operation. To stop the Russian advancement towards Åbo, the colonel Johan Stiernschantz with 500 men (probably one battalion from his regiment Savolax Infantry Regiment) had taken position at Landsbro, the bridge over Svartån at the village of Karis. These 500 had to face between 13 200-14 000 men. About 9000 infantry, 4000 dragoons and 300 Cossacks.

Stiernschantz and his men had taken position between "Kyrksjön" (Church lake) and Svartån itself. The bridge had been burnt down by the Swedes. 8 o'clock in the morning the battle commenced. The Russian dragoons charged but they had to dismount their horses due to heavy fire from the Swedes. For four hours the fightings continued with intence firefights. At the ending phase of the battle the Russian dragoons waded over Svartån. At that point Stiernschantz realized that he couldn't hold his position anymore therefore he fell back towards Åbo.

The battle was a Russian victory since now the road to Åbo was open. Though the battle for the Swedish was undeniably very impressive. It is astonishing how only 500 men could hold out for so long against a very superior enemy. This shows that the moral and discipline still was high in the Swedish army after the Poltava Battle 1709. But the main reason why these 500 Swedes could withstand the Russians for so long was due to the fact that the only bridge had been burnt down.


Friday, 30 May 2014

Raid at Laube 1706

It was early morning, the 3rd of February 1706. The same day the battle of Fraustadt would take place. The camp of Swedish Adelsfanan's Cavalry is about to get raided.

5 o'clock in the morning, the area around the village Laube was quiet and calm. The Swedish cavalry regiment of Adelsfanan has its camp and baggage train in Laube. Some camp followers had recently woke up preparing for the duties of the day. Suddenly the silence was interrupted by the sound of incoming horses. Out of the darkness came some houndred dragoons from Flemmings Dragoon Regiment under command of Lieutenant Colonel Alexander von Unruh. The dragoons charged the camp and plundered and killed, trying to gather as much as possible for lot. The chaos and panic spread around the Swedish camp, the surprise was total. Several of the camp followers were killed and wounded since their little resistance was futile. 

Pretty soon the dragoons had left the area and ride back in to the darkness. The dragoons had captured a dozen of horses, about ten wagons with tents, cauldrons, cloths and tools. Some camp followers and a sick rider was taken as prisoners. 

After the raid, von Unruh reported to Sculenburg and exaggerated the event as much as possible for his own benefit. After Schulenburg received the report he ensured with that the raid truly was "a great success".

Because of this event, Schulenburg was convinced that the retreat of the entire Swedish army earlier was true. Due to the fact that Adelsfanan abandoned the baggage train so quickly, Schulenburg thought that it was very important to continue the hunt for Rehnskiöld's army. Though this was exactly what Rehnskiöld wanted. 

Though there's a problem, Rehnskiöld said after the event that it all was planned by him. Today, we really don't know. If it was true he sure was a extremely great tactician. As I said, we don't know and it does not matter, even though it was a work by Rehnskiöld or not it helped Schulenburg to be more convinced that Swedish army was in full retreat. The retreat, that was a ruse of war.

Source: O.Sjöström Fraustadt 1706-Ett fält färgat rött, 2009 p147, 150, 151