Military Review

Victory and defeat of the Livonian War. Part of 2

Victory and defeat of the Livonian War. Part of 2

During the truce with Russia, the Livonian Confederation found allies, with the support of the Lithuanians and the Swedes. In Vilna, the Livonians concluded an agreement with the Lithuanian Grand Duke Sigismund II, according to which the lands of the Order and the possession of the Archbishop of Riga passed under the protectorate of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Sweden received Revel for help, and the Bishop of Ezel gave the island of Ezel to the Duke Magnus, brother of the Danish king, for 30 thousands of thalers. In addition, the Livonians hired new detachments of "overseas Germans."

It should be noted that during the Livonian War - in 1569, the Lithuanian representatives concluded a union in Lublin with delegates from the Polish Sejm. As a result, the political union of two independent states, backed up by dynastic unity, was transformed into a currently united state (Rzeczpospolita) with 6 million population, quite comparable in its power to Russia.

Resumption of hostilities

Magister Gothard Kettler in October 1559 broke the truce, and a month before the end of his term unexpectedly attacked a detachment of voivode Zakharia Ovchina-Pleshcheyev near Dorpat (Yuriev). In the battle, thousands of Russian warriors died before 1. However, the head of the Yuriev garrison, the governor Katyrev-Rostovsky, managed to prepare the city for defense. When the Livonians laid siege to Yuriev-Derpt, the Russians greeted them with artillery fire and cavalry raids. For ten days, Kettler tried to make holes in the walls, and then retreated, failing to succeed. The rearguard of the Livonian army was defeated by a detachment of Gleb Obolensky and Timothy Teterin. Captured prisoners reported Kettler’s intention to attack the fortress of Lais (Laus).

In this castle was a garrison of 300 children of boyars and archers under the authority of Andrei Babichev and Andrei Solovtsov. Reinforcement was sent to the fortress — a hundred archer under the head of Andrei Kashkarov. Strelets Troops in Lais before the approach of the Livonian troops. The siege of the castle began in November 1559. The Livonians made a breach with the help of artillery, but the Russians were able to quickly close it with wooden shields. However, the Livonian command, confident in the power of its numerous troops, began the assault. The battle lasted two days, but the Russian soldiers repelled all enemy attacks. The Livonian army, having lost 400 soldiers, lifted the siege and retreated.

One of the reasons for the unsuccessful actions of the Livonians was the tensions between the new allies. So, Sweden and Denmark fought each other before 1570, which absorbed their attention. Conflicts often occurred between Lithuanians and Poles before 1569. This allowed Russia to continue the successful campaign in the Baltic States.

Russian offensive 1560 of the year

In February, the Russian army, under the command of I. Mstislavsky and P. Shuisky, occupied Marienburg in February 1560. In the summer of the 60-thousand Russian army with 90 guns under the command of I. Mstislavsky, M. Morozov and A. Adasheva moved to seize the most powerful fortress in eastern Livonia - Fellina. She was met by the Livonian army under the command of the "last hope of Livonia", the land marshal of the Order and commander of Riga, Philip von Bell. Livonians faced with 12-th. Russian avant-garde commanded by Vasily Barbashin. Prince Barbashin was instructed to cut the way from Fellin to the sea. 2 August 1560, a battle took place at 16 kilometers from Hermes Castle. During the clashes of the advanced patrols, the German knights overturned the Russian soldiers and clashed with the main forces of Barbashin. The German cavalry was surrounded and suffered a complete defeat: 261 knight was killed or captured (including the land marshal himself and 10 comtus), others fled.

The victory at Hermes opened the way to Fellin, where the former Livonian Magister Wilhelm von Furstenberg lived. The fortress was defended by most of the Livonian artillery (guns were purchased in Lübeck) and 300 mercenaries. The Russian army surrounded the fortress with trenches and subjected it to 3-week artillery fire. As a result of Fellin’s bombardment with incendiary shells, not a single whole building remained in the fortress. On August 30, after a breach had been made in the wall, the mercenaries, despite Furstenberg's persuasion to continue their defense, capitulated.

Capturing Fellin, Prince Mstislavsky, contrary to the sovereign's decree on the immediate appearance of Revel (Kolyvan), led the troops to the fortress Weissenstein (White Stone). However, the voivode did not take siege artillery with him and the well-fortified fortress withstood. Knight Caspar von Oldenbocken knew the defense of the stronghold. The Russian army stood under the white Stone 6 weeks (until October 18), and then retreated.

The collapse of the Livonian Confederation

The military defeat led to the final collapse of the Livonian Confederation. Dorpat's bishopric was abolished by Ivan the Terrible after the conquest of St. George, the Ezel-Vic bishopric was secularized and sold to Denmark in 1560, the bishopity of Courland was sold in 1560 to the Danes and transformed into the secular duchy of Kurland.

In 1561, the Riga Archbishopric was secularized, Riga received the status of a free imperial city. In June, the Northern Estland cities 1561, including Revel, pledged allegiance to the Swedish crown. In the same year, Lithuanian troops under the command of hetman Nikolai Radzivill moved under Riga. 18 (28) November 1561 of the year in Vilna between the Grand Duke of Lithuania and the King of Poland Sigismund II and the Master Gothard Kettler signed an agreement (Vilna Union). In accordance with this agreement, a secular state was formed on the part of the lands of the Livonian Order - the Duchy of Courland and Zemgale (Gothard Kettler took his possession, becoming the vassal of the Polish king), and the rest was transferred to Poland and Lithuania.

In December, Lithuanian troops occupied the cities of Pernau (Pernov), Weißenstein, Wenden, Ermes, Helm, Wolmar, Trikaten, Schwanneburg, Marienhausen, Dinaburg and others. Thus, the conflict involved other states that, taking advantage of the military defeat of Livonia, subjugated its parts. Moscow initially managed to agree with the Swedes who occupied Revel. 20 August 1561 in Novgorod with representatives of the Swedish king Eric XIV was a truce for 20 years. It was not possible to reach an agreement with the Lithuanians, soon border clashes turned into a real war.

War with the Grand Duchy of Lithuania

In the summer of 1561, the Polish king announced the gathering of gentry militia to war with the Russian state. However, the gentry did not hurry to the assembly points, and the campaign had to be postponed. In the 1562 year, on the eve of the expiration of the truce with Moscow, alarmed by the state of its armed forces, Sigismund II Augustus tried to extend the truce and ordered the frontier commanders and elders not to bully the Russians. However, it was not possible to delay the start of the war in order to start it on more favorable terms. In March, 1562, Ivan Vasilyevich ordered his commanders to start a war.

In the spring of 1562, the Russian army, which was concentrated in Smolensk under the command of commander Ivan Sheremetev, Ivan Vorontsov, Tatar “princes” Ibaki, Tokhtamysh, went to fight “Lithuanian places”. In summer, Andrei Kurbsky was ravaged from the Great Onions in the vicinity of Vitebsk. From Smolensk, under Mstislavl and on Dvina, went to the princes Peter and Vasily Silver, and from the Great Onions - the regiments of Mikhail Prozorovsky and Michael Denis. In Livonia, Russian troops recaptured the city of Tarvas (Tarvasth, Taurus) and Verpel (Polchev).

Lithuanians struck back. In the spring of 1562, a raid of Lithuanian detachments took place near Smolensk, Velizh, in the Pskov volosts. In August, the Lithuanians attacked Nevel. Voivode Kurbsky went in pursuit, caught up with the enemy, but could not break (he was injured himself). In the autumn of 1562, the hetman Nikolai Radziwill fought off Tarvas, capturing the Russian governor Timofei Kropotkin, Neclude Putyatin and Grigory Trusov. Lithuanian troops raided the Pskov lands.

Siege and capture of Polotsk by Russian troops. The seizure of Polotsk was planned by the Russian command in September 1562, at the same time preparations began for the march, in which the main forces of the Russian army were to take part. Capturing this ancient Russian city solved several important tasks. First, Moscow returned to one Russian state one of the oldest Russian principalities, an important and large city. The Grand Duchy of Lithuania was hit hard. There was an opportunity to strike Vilna. Secondly, Polotsk hung over the southern flank of the grouping of Russian troops in Livonia, could become a springboard for cutting off the blow to them. Thirdly, when capturing the city and the flow of the river. Western Dvina The Russian state would have had the opportunity for direct communication with the garrisons in Livonia from Smolensk via a convenient river route.

On November 30, the main grouping of Russian troops headed by Ivan the Terrible came out of Moscow and December 4 arrived in Mozhaisk, from where last instructions were given to regiments moving from different cities. The general collection of troops occurred on January 5 1563 in Velikiy Luki, from where 50-60 thousand army with 200 guns, led by the sovereign, marched.

The regiments were ordered not to expel the forager detachments, all the supplies were carried with them, in order to preserve the surprise of the strike. However, in Polotsk soon received a message about the approach of the Russian army. Several defectors notified the Polotsk governor Stanislav Dovoyu of the approach of the Russian troops. After that, Ivan IV proposed to the Polotsk voevode to go to his service, but was refused.

The city was well fortified, it was defended not only by a garrison of 1 thousand mercenaries, but also by militias from the townspeople (the population of the city was 12-20 thousand people). Inside Polotsk there were two powerful stone fortifications - the Upper and Lower Castles. Posad defended the prison. 2,5-3,5 thousand detachment with 20-25 field guns under the command of Grand Hetman N. Ya. Radziwill came out to help the city from Minsk. He hoped to divert part of the forces of the Russian army and thereby disrupt the siege of Polotsk. The Tatar "prince" Ibak and the voivodes Yu.P. were sent against him. Repnin, A.I. Yaroslavov. At their approach, Radziwill retreated, the Russian troops did not pursue the Lithuanians and returned to Polotsk. After the fall of Polotsk, Radziwill withdrew to Vilna to cover the capital of the Grand Duchy.

31 January 1563, the Polotsk was under siege. The next day, the archers took strategically important Ivanovo island on the river Polote. 4 — 5 February began building siege structures and installing batteries against city walls. On the morning of February 5, the first assault took place, during which the archers of Ivan Golokhvastov seized the tower over Zapadnaya Dvina and made their way to the fortress. However, the Russian command considered that the continuation of the assault without appropriate artillery preparation would result in too great losses, and recalled the troops. The leaders of the Polotsk garrison conducted negotiations for 5 — 8 in February, delaying the bombardment and delaying time, hoping for the approach of the Radziwill forces. February 7 arrived "big outfit" (siege artillery), began its installation. Ivan Vasilyevich demanded unconditional surrender, February 8 negotiations were interrupted after someone shot at the royal envoy. On the same day, the siege artillery began to make gaps in the fortifications of the fort.

February 9 Russian troops took the prison where they were captured, according to Russian data - 12 thousand, according to Polish - 20 thousand citizens. During the retreat, the Lithuanians set fire to the Posad, in a great fire, 3 thousand courtyards burned down. 9 — 10 February, siege artillery was set up opposite the Polotsk castle in a conflagration, Zadvinie and Zapolot'e. 10 — February — 14 guns fired violently; for the last two days, guns have been beating day and night. Artillery fire led to a strong destruction of fortifications, the Polotsk garrison was reduced to 500 people. On the night from 12 to 13 February, the defenders of the castle launched a sally with all their might to destroy the Russian artillery, but it failed. In the night from 14 to 15 February, Moscow archers were able to burn part of the wall. Russian troops began preparations for the general assault. The position of the garrison became hopeless. Without waiting for the assault, Dovoyna capitulated.

Ivan the Terrible left himself a city "outfit" - 20 guns and treasury, all the other wealth was given to the soldiers. The Russian army lost during the siege, according to the Nikon chronicle, 86 people. Poles and Germans from the garrison were treated quite graciously (some were even bestowed), some mercenaries switched to the Russian service. Part of the population of the city and region was hijacked for resettlement in the central regions of Russia.

On February 27, the king departed from Polotsk, leaving the city governor P. Shuisky and the Princes of Silver. They were instructed to restore the heavily damaged fortifications and to carry out additional work on the construction of fortifications in the most vulnerable places that were discovered during the siege.

Failures of the Russian army. Defeat at Chashniki (on the Ola) 26 January 1564 of the year. The fall of Polotsk caused a lot of noise in Western Europe and very much alarmed the Poles. Lithuanians and Poles gathered all the available forces to cover the borders, mobilization began.

In 1564, Ivan Vasilyevich outlined another campaign in the Lithuanian lands. To solve this problem, the corps of Peter Shuisky, who was stationed in Polotsk, was sent with several detachments from other cities. 18-thousand the army under the command of Shuisky, F. Tyatev and I. Okhlyabin moved from Polotsk to Orsha. Under Orsha, the corps was to be connected with the regiments of the Princes of Silver, who came out of Vyazma. Silver led and unarmed recruits from Smolensk. In the army of Shuisky was a large wagon train with weapons for recruits.

Fatal role played carelessness Russian governor. The Russians, reassured by their victories, did not take the usual precautions. Reconnaissance of the area was not conducted. Crowds of servicemen walked along narrow forest roads in crowds, without armor and heavy weapons, which were carried on sleds. No one even thought about the possible strike of the enemy. Meanwhile, hetman Nikolai Radzivil and Lithuanian hetman Grigory Chodkiewicz, received full information about the Russian army from spies and decided to deliver a sudden blow.

In the deep woods near the Uly river, Lithuanians trapped the Moscow army. 26 January 4-th. enemy squad struck an unexpected blow to the narrow forest road at the Russian rati. The Lithuanians were a complete success. Not a success to arm and prepare for battle, the Russian soldiers panicked and ran, leaving the wagon train at 5 thousand sledges. Pyotr Shuisky, the hero of the conquest of Yuriev-Dorpat, Neuhaus (Novogorodka), Kirnpe, Lais and other Livonian fortresses, paid for his mistake with his life. Died governor Semen and Fyodor Paletsky. Voevods Z. Pleshcheyev, I. Okhlyabin and 700 people were taken prisoner.

The princes Silver, having learned about this defeat, withdrew their forces to Smolensk, on the way destroyed the environs of Mogilev, Mstislavl and Krichev. In April, the famous Russian commander, one of the closest associates of the tsar, Andrei Kurbsky, turned over to the Lithuanians in 1564. He had full information about the number, places of concentration, weak points of the Russian army, plans for command. It was a serious blow to the defense of the Russian state.

Further fighting. In the summer of 1564, opponents struck each other in different directions. In June 1564, the Lithuanian forces launched a counter-offensive in Livonia. Getman Alexander Polubensky attacked the “Yuriev volosts”. In response, Yuryevsk voivode Mikhail Morozov sent a detachment of Dmitry Kropotkin to the “German suburbs”.

Failure of the campaign ended 13-thousand. troops of the voivod Yury Tokmakov on the Lithuanian fortress Ozerische, located on the borders of the Pskov land. 22 July the fortress was besieged. There was no siege artillery, only light field, so it was not possible to break through the gaps in the walls. July 26 Russian army clashed with 12-thousand. Lithuanian army under the leadership of the Vitebsk governor Stanislav Pats. Tokmakov blocked the roads to Vitebsk with zasekami, but the Lithuanians passed. The Russian voivode sent guns and infantry to Nevel, while he and the cavalry attacked the enemy. The Russians crushed the advanced Lithuanian detachment, seizing several dozen prisoners, and then retreated, without engaging with the main enemy forces. The Russian army was able to leave, avoiding defeat, but the march on an important fortress failed. In July, Vasily Buturlin’s equestrian army (Tatar, Nogai and Mordovian troops) marched from Smolensk and ravaged the environs of Mstislavl, Krichev, Mogilev and other cities.

In August, the Pskov militia, under the command of Vasily Vishnyakov, repulsed several attacks on border volosts. In September, Chernihiv governors Vasily Prozorovsky and Thomas Tretyakov defeated Peter Sapega, who had invaded Seversk land. Three weeks unsuccessfully besieged Polotsk by a large army under the command of N. Radzivil. However, the new fortifications of the city survived, and the enemy detachments retreated.

To be continued ...

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  1. Krasnodar
    Krasnodar 29 October 2012 11: 47
    How many people were beaten by how much in vain ... Horror!
    1. Suvorov000
      Suvorov000 29 October 2012 13: 18
      It is not in vain, but this is exactly what the great Russia did, and so the sowing day continues only in a modern way
  2. Ross
    Ross 29 October 2012 14: 06
    And yet, our great-grandfathers knew how to defeat powerful enemies.