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: http://rusmilhist.blogspot.ru 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)

Sources:
http://runeberg.org/nfcf/0719.html
"Kampen mot Övermakten- Baltikums Fall 1700-1710" s.178, 179, 205,222 
"Kampen kring Östersjön- Karolinska Krigare 1660-1721"

2 comments:

  1. Albeit in Russian, here's yet another text on the siege of Kexholm with some more details: http://lgpp1709.livejournal.com/23744.html

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  2. Thank you very much Igpp1709 for sharing the information!

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