The outcome of the war after the Polish-Lithuanian invasions of 1579 - 1580. and the fall of Polotsk and the Great Onions, was to decide the third, decisive blow of Stefan Batory on the Russian kingdom. By this time, Ivan the Terrible made several peaceful proposals, the Poles offered the world on very favorable terms. The decision on the need to end the long war that the Russian state had ravaged was taken at the end of 1580 at the Zemsky Sobor. However, the Polish government intoxicated with success did not want peace, the Poles dreamed of Smolensk, Pskov, Novgorod and the seizure of Moscow. For the new campaign, the Polish ruler borrowed money from the Saxon and Brandenburg electors and the Prussian ruler. Batory also convinced the Seym, gathered in February 1581, to agree to tax collection for two years. The Sejm, in turn, asked the monarch to end the war with this campaign, since the population was already tired of the constant requisitions for conducting military operations.
In December 1580 - March 1581, the enemy made a deep raid on Russian soil, reaching Lake Ilmen. During this campaign, the enemy seized Hill with a sudden blow, in March 1581, the Poles burned Old Russ. The city was not protected by fortifications and its governors took the entire population beforehand. However, during the secondary attack on the city, it turned out to be sudden, the senior voivode Vasily Turenin was captured in the city. In the same period, the enemy seized the Pskov fortress Voronech, and in Livonia - the castle of Schmilten.
The treason of Tsarist stolnik Davyd Belsky, who fled to Lithuania in May 1581 and spoke about the difficult situation in the Moscow kingdom, finally inclined Batory to the decision to continue the war and seize Pskov, and with the successful development of the offensive, Novgorod.
The third campaign of the Polish-Lithuanian army. The heroic defense of Pskov (1581-1582)
20 June 1581 of the year 47-th. the Polish army (in its composition there were more than 20 thousand mercenaries from European countries) launched a campaign. However, this time the Polish command failed to keep the direction of the main attack secret. The Russian commanders even conducted a preemptive military operation, destroying the environs of Dubrovna, Orsha, Shklov and Mogilev. This strike not only slowed the advancement of the enemy army for two weeks, but weakened its strength. The Polish king had to send to the eastern borders of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania a strong detachment under the command of the Trotsky governor Christopher Radziwill. In addition, thanks to the gain in time, the Russian command was able to transfer reinforcements from the Livonian castles from the Baltic States.
The Pskov governors Vasily Skopin-Shuisky and Ivan Shuisky began to prepare the city for defense. The Pskov garrison numbered 4 thousand nobles, boyar children, archers and Cossacks, it was reinforced by 12 thousand armed residents of Pskov and its suburbs. Already during the siege, the garrison was reinforced by the broken-through detachment of the Strelets head of Fyodor Myasoedov. Pskov had a powerful defensive system, which, thanks to regular attacks by the Livonians, was constantly improved. The city had four lines of defense - Krom (Kremlin), Dovmontov city, Middle city and Okolny city (Big city). The outer wall of the Okolniy town had 37 towers and 48 gates, stretching almost 10 versts. The western part of the city was protected by the Great River, therefore only here the walls of Pskov were wooden, from all other sides - stone. On the eve of the siege, the Pskov fortress was reinforced by the construction of additional fortifications. Outside and inside the walls were built new wooden towers and built a wide tower platforms - peals, intended for the installation of powerful tools. The construction of additional towers eliminated the main drawback of the old fortifications - insufficient flank defense (longitudinal firing, striking a target from the side, longitudinal fire makes it possible to defend large spaces with small forces and cause considerable damage to the advancing troops). The walls of the new outdoor towers were protected by turf, which protected from incendiary projectiles, and they were supplied with a large number of loopholes. The roundabout city also crossed the Pskov River. To protect against the penetration of the enemy along Pskov, two arches were constructed, which had lower and upper grates for passing water and ships. In anticipation of the enemy, the Pskov hastily fixed the fortifications, supplemented them with new ones. On the towers, peals and walls installed guns. A particularly large role in the defense of the city will be played by two large guns - “Leopard” and “Treskotuha”, which fired at a distance of about 1 versts. The Polish Army did not have a single gun equal to them.
On August 18, forward detachments of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth troops reached the near approaches to Pskov, and on the Cherekha river the Poles defeated a detachment of Russian cavalry. 21 August, unable to withstand the fierce shelling, the small fortress Ostrov surrendered to the enemy. During the day after that, the advanced Polish detachments approached Pskov itself, stopping at a distance of three cannon shots from the fortress walls. The Russian commanders, when approaching the enemy, were ordered to beat the siege bell and light the suburbs. However, the actual siege began only a week later, on August 26, when the main forces of the enemy army approached the city and the engineering work began. The defenders of the city met the enemy with artillery fire and forced him to retreat to a safe distance.
1 September, convinced of the strength of the Russian defense and the strength of the artillery armament of the fortress, Stefan Batory ordered to start digging trenches to bring the positions of artillery and infantry to the city. The Poles dug trenches, gradually approaching the fortress, and at the same time built large and small dugouts in the trenches. The earth excavated from the trenches was used for the construction of the shaft in order to protect the workers from shelling from the side of the fortress and to hide the work being done. Storming the city Batory decided from the south side of the Okolny city, where the Pokrovskaya and Svinorskaya towers were located. By September 4 - September 5 siege work on this line was completed. The installed battery on the 20 guns opened fire on the fortifications of Pskov, which lasted two days. The main efforts of the enemy gunners were focused on the two towers and the 150 and the section of the wall between us. As a result of a powerful bombardment, the Pokrovskaya and Svinorskaya towers were badly damaged, and an 50 m gap appeared between them.
Pskov assault Stefan Batory appointed for September 8. The best forces of the royal army went to the attack - Polish and mercenary, German, Hungarian infantry. Despite the strong barrage of fire, the enemy was able to capture the Swinorskaya and Pokrovskaya towers. They were raised royal banners, Stefan Batory was confident that the storm was a success, his soldiers broke into Pskov, the victory was near. However, the matter did not go so well with the Poles. Before the storm, the defenders managed to build a wooden wall with several rows of loopholes behind a dilapidated wall. The infantry of the enemy, which attempted to break through, stopped a heavy fire. The Poles began shelling the city from the Swinor's Tower, but this attempt failed. With a single shot of the Bars cannon mounted on the Pokhvali roll, the upper tiers of the Swinor's tower were destroyed. Then, the Pskovs rolled up barrels of gunpowder to the base of the dilapidated tower and blew it up. The subversion of the Swinor Tower was a signal to the counterattack of the Russian garrison, led by Prince Shuisky. Russian troops drove the enemy from the captured section of the wall. The Pokrovskaya Tower was destroyed with the help of a tunnel, laying down gunpowder. The few surviving enemy soldiers retreated into their trenches.
During this fight, the defenders lost about 2,5 thousand people dead and wounded. The assailants lost only killed up to 5 thousand people. It was a serious defeat, the enemy army lost several thousand of the best warriors. The Pskov quickly restored the damaged wall, and reinforced it with an additional wall, dug a moat, strengthening it with a palisade. Stefan Batory, despite this defeat, did not lift the siege. He ordered mine digging to blow up the walls. At the Mirozhsky Monastery, on the left bank of the Great River and in Zaveliche, siege weapons were installed, on October 24, the Poles began shelling the city with red-hot kernels. But the fires that began in Pskov were rather quickly extinguished.
Total autumn and winter 1581 - 1582. 31 opponent once went on the attack, but to no avail. Each time the storms were repelled with heavy losses for the attackers. Pskov fiercely resisted and always won. The Polish command decided that the weak point of the fortress was the wall that goes to the Great River, decided to deliver another blow here. October 28 Hungarians, passing along the Great to the slope, on which stood the city wall between the corner tower and the Pokrovsky Gate, began to pick up its foundation with picks and crowbars. However, when part of the fortifications collapsed, it turned out that there was another one behind the wall, and there was a moat in front of it. The enemy attempted to take the second wall by storm, but the defenders greeted them with handguns with volleys, threw jugs of gunpowder over them, poured boiling water and hot tar. The Hungarians, having suffered great losses, stopped the assault and retreated.
Military setbacks led to a drop in the morale of the Polish army, which was aggravated by the onset of cold, the start of mass diseases, and the difficulties associated with supplying the army with food and ammunition. The last significant attempt to take the city by the enemy army was made in early November, after the regular 5-day bombardment of Pskov. The city wall by this time was already destroyed in many places and did not represent a serious obstacle for the attackers. This time the brunt was from the west. On November 2, the Poles crossed the Great River on ice, but they were met by such a strong fire that they stopped and then returned to their original positions.
The enemy did not succeed in attempting to make a big breach in the fortifications with the help of mine digs. The defenders of Pskov found them with the help of special wells - “rumors”. These wells helped to determine the direction and depth of the underground work of the Poles. Most of the enemy mine galleries were discovered, and two were blown up with counter galleries. The enemy did not manage to complete the rest of the digging.
The Polish king sent troops of the Germans and Hungarians to seize the Pskovo-Pechersky monastery in 60 km from Pskov. The garrison of the monastery was small - around 300 of archers under the start of the Streletsky head of Nechaev with the support of monks. The enemy destroyed part of the monastery wall with artillery fire, but on October 28, during the assault, the mercenaries suffered heavy losses and retreated.
6 November Stefan Batory ordered to remove the guns from the batteries, stop siege work and prepare for the winter. Stefan Batory himself handed over the leadership of the army to the great crown hetman Jan Zamoysky and left for Vilna. At the same time, he took with him almost all the mercenaries, as a result, the number of the army was almost halved. This decision meant the complete collapse of the conquering plans of Stefan Batory and his advisers. The remaining Poles suffered from cold and disease, and the number of deceased and deserters grew. In addition, the Pskov constantly disturbed the enemy army with bold forays, made about 40 attacks on the enemy’s camp. The heroic defense of Pskov undermined the offensive power of the Polish army, Rzeczpospolita was forced to seek peace.
The Polish-Lithuanian state was exhausted and could not continue the offensive war, Stefan Batory decided to go to meet the peaceful proposals of Ivan the Terrible. 13 December 1581, when fighting continued near Pskov, negotiations on peace began in the village of Kiverova Gora in 15 versts from Zapolsky Pit (not far from Pskov).
Monument to the 300 anniversary of the Defense of 1581
Completion of the Livonian War. Yam-Zapolskoe and Plus armistice
Rzeczpospolita was represented by voivod Braslavsky Y. M. Zbarazhsky, Prince of Nesvizh A. Radzivil, secretary M. Garaburda and H. Varshevitsky. The representative of the Pope of Jesuit Antonio Possevino persistently inclined Poland to the world. He hoped to convince Ivan the Terrible to accept union with the Catholic Church. Russia was represented by voivode Kashinsky D. P. Yeletsky, voevoda Kozelsky R. V. Olferyev, deacon N. N. Vereshchagin and clerk Z. Sviyazev.
The negotiations concluded on 5 (15) on January 1582, with the conclusion of an 10-year truce. Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth returned to Moscow the previously captured cities - Velikie Luki, Nevel, Zavolochye, Kholm, Rzhev, Pskov suburbs - Ostrov, Krasny, Voronech and Velho. The Moscow government agreed to transfer to Poland all the cities and castles in Livonia, which were occupied by Russian troops (such were 41). Thus, a large part of the Baltic States was assigned to Rzecz Pospolita. In addition, Stefan Batory achieved the transfer to Poland of the Polotsk land, the cities of Velizh, Sokol, Ozerische and Usvyat.
4 February, almost a month after the conclusion of the Yam-Zapolsky truce, the last Polish troops left the Pskov land. In June, the conditions of the Yam-Zapolsky truce were confirmed at negotiations in the Russian capital.
Soon the war ended with Sweden. The Swedish command successfully used the time, during which all Russian attention was riveted on Pskov and the Polish army. 4 September 1581, the Swedish army under the command of Pontus Delagardi captured Rougodiv (Narva). The fortifications of the fortress were destroyed by the 24 fire of siege weapons. During the assault, the Swedes killed not only its garrison - 2,3 thousand archers and boyar children, but also 7 thousand "Russian burghers" (townspeople), including women and children. It was a real massacre. In 1580, the Swedes staged a similar massacre in Nut, killing 2 thousand people. 17 September 1581, the Swedish army occupied Ivangorod, its voivode A. Belskoy, surrendered the fortress to the enemy.
Having established themselves in Narva and Ivangorod, the Swedish army continued the offensive and on September 28 captured Yam-city, October 14 - Koporye with their counties. It was a serious success of the enemy. Soon, however, the Swedish offensive choked. In early February, Russian troops under the command of Prince D. Khvorostinin and M. Beznin, near the village of Lyamitsy in Votskaya Pyatina, utterly defeated the Swedish forces that had begun a new offensive. Having suffered a heavy defeat, the Swedes hastily retreated to Narva. In addition, the Swedish siege of Nut failed, they could not take this well-protected fortress.
Soon began the peace negotiations. In May 1583, a preliminary truce was concluded (for two months). The kingdom of Sweden was represented by the governor of Livonia and Ingermanland Pontus Delagardi, the baron Ekholm and the governor of Finland Klas Tott. On the part of Russia, negotiations were conducted by Prince I. S. Lobanov-Rostovsky, Duma nobleman I. P. Tatischev and Deacon of the Ambassadorial Order D. Petelin. 10 August 1583, on the Plyussa River between Sweden and Muscovy, was a 3 truce. In December 1585 of the year between the Swedish kingdom and the Russian state was signed the second Plusus truce for the term of 4. According to the Plus Truce, the Swedes were all captured by the city.
The hardest almost 25-year-old Livonian war was over. The Russian state at the initial stage of this war achieved great success by defeating Livonia and capturing almost the entire Baltic. However, in the end, Russia suffered a serious defeat in the war, losing the previously captured lands, and parts of its own territory of Sweden and the Commonwealth. For Russia in the Baltic only the Oreshek fortress and a small narrow corridor along the Neva River with access to the Baltic Sea remained. It should be noted that this was not historical defeat of Russia. It was obvious that Moscow would continue the struggle with the Commonwealth and Sweden for their lands. So, the next war with Sweden will begin in 1590 and will end with the victory of the Russian state.