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Great Northern War

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Title: Great Northern War  
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Subject: Skirmish at Bender, Siege of Stralsund (1711–15), History of Estonia, History of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth (1648–1764), Battle of Kalisz
Collection: 1700 in Europe, 1721 in Europe, 18Th Century in Denmark, 18Th Century in Sweden, 18Th-Century Conflicts, Great Northern War, History of Poland (1569–1795), Poland–sweden Relations, Warfare of the Early Modern Era, Wars Involving Denmark, Wars Involving England, Wars Involving Great Britain, Wars Involving Moldavia, Wars Involving Norway, Wars Involving Poland, Wars Involving Prussia, Wars Involving Russia, Wars Involving Saxony, Wars Involving Sweden, Wars Involving the Duchy of Courland and Semigallia, Wars Involving the Dutch Republic, Wars Involving the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Wars Involving the Ottoman Empire, Wars Involving Wallachia
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Great Northern War

Great Northern War

Clockwise from top: Battle of Narva, Battle of Düna, Battle of Poltava, Battle of Gangut, Battle of Gadebusch
Date February 22, 1700 – September 10, 1721
(21 years, 6 months and 19 days, N.S.)
Location Northern, Eastern and Central Europe
Result Coalition victory:
Treaties of Stockholm: Prussia gains parts of Swedish Pomerania.
Hanover gains Bremen-Verden.
Holstein–Gottorp loses its part of the Duchy of Schleswig to Denmark.
Swedish Empire

Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth
Ottoman Empire Ottoman Empire

Cossack Hetmanate (1708–09)
Great Britain
Tsardom of Russia Electorate of Saxony
(1700–06, 1709–19)
Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth
(1701–04, 1704–09, 1709–19)
(1700, 1709–20)
Kingdom of Prussia (1715–20)
Electorate of Hanover (1715–19)

Great Britain
Commanders and leaders
Charles XII (–1718)
Eleonora I (1718–20)
Frederick I (1720–)

Frederick IV (–1702)
Duke Charles (1702–)
Stanisław Leszczyński

Ottoman Empire Ahmed III

Ivan Mazepa † (1708–)
George I
Peter I
Augustus II
(personal union)

Frederick IV

Ivan Mazepa (1700–08)

Frederick William I

George I
(personal union)
Initial force:
: 76,000[1]
: 5,000[2]

Temporary support (1700):
Brunswick-Lüneburg: 10,000
: 13 ships[3]
: 12 ships[3]

Later allies (1704–14):
: 24,000[4]
Ottoman Empire: 130,000[5]
: 4,000[6]
Initial force:
: 110,000[7]
: 30,000[8]
: 50,000[9]
: 40,000[10]
: 30,000[7]
Later allies (1715–20):
: 50,000
: 20,000[11]
Casualties and losses
About 200,000 Swedish:

25,000 killed in combat,

175,000 killed by famine, disease and exhaustion.[12]
At least 75,000 Russians killed in combat.
14,000–20,000 Poles, Saxons and 8,000 Danes killed in the larger battles.
60,000 Danes in total between 1709–1719.[13]

The Great Northern War (1700–1721) was a conflict in which a coalition led by the Brunswick-Lüneburg (Hanover) joined the coalition in 1714 for Hanover and in 1717 for Britain, and Frederick William I of Brandenburg-Prussia joined it in 1715.

Charles XII led the Swedish army. On the Swedish side were Holstein-Gottorp, several Polish and Lithuanian magnates under Stanisław Leszczyński (1704–10) and Cossacks under the Ukrainian Hetman Ivan Mazepa (1708–10). The Ottoman Empire temporarily hosted Charles XII of Sweden and intervened against Peter I.

The war started when an alliance of Denmark–Norway, Saxony and Russia declared war on the Swedish Empire, launching a threefold attack at Swedish Holstein-Gottorp, Swedish Livonia, and Swedish Ingria, sensing an opportunity as Sweden was ruled by the young Charles XII, who was eighteen years old and inexperienced. Sweden parried the Danish and Russian attacks at Travendal and Narva, and in a counter-offensive pushed August II's forces through Lithuania and Poland to Saxony, dethroning Augustus on the way and forcing him to acknowledge defeat in the Treaty of Altranstädt. The treaty also secured the extradition and execution of Johann Reinhold Patkul, architect of the alliance seven years earlier. Peter I had meanwhile recovered and gained ground in Sweden's Baltic provinces, where he cemented Russia's access to the Baltic Sea by founding Saint Petersburg in 1703. Charles XII moved from Saxony into Russia to confront Peter, but the campaign ended with the destruction of the main Swedish army at the decisive 1709 Battle of Poltava (in present-day Ukraine), and Charles' exile in Ottoman Bender. The Ottoman empire defeated the Russian-Moldavian army in the Pruth River Campaign, but the peace treaty was in the end without great consequence to Russia's position.

After Poltava, the anti-Swedish coalition was re-established and subsequently joined by Hanover and Prussia. The remaining Swedish forces in defeated. Charles XII opened up a Norwegian front, but was killed in Fredriksten in 1718.

The war ended with Sweden's defeat, leaving Russia as the new dominant power in the Baltic region and arguably a major force in European politics. The formal conclusion of the war was marked by the Swedish-Hanoverian and Swedish-Prussian Treaty of Nystad (1721). Therein, Sweden ceded her exemption from the Sound Dues, and lost the Baltic provinces and the southern part of Swedish Pomerania. The peace treaties also ended her alliance with Holstein-Gottorp. Hanover gained Bremen-Verden, Brandenburg-Prussia incorporated the Oder estuary (Stettin Lagoons), Russia secured the Baltic provinces, and Denmark strengthened her position in Schleswig-Holstein. In Sweden, the absolute monarchy had come to an end with the death of Charles XII, and the Age of Liberty began.


  • Background 1
  • Opposing parties 2
    • Swedish camp 2.1
    • Allied camp 2.2
    • Army size 2.3
  • 1700: Denmark, Riga and Narva 3
  • 1701–1706: Poland-Lithuania/Saxony 4
  • 1702–1710: Russia and the Baltic provinces 5
  • Formation of a new anti-Swedish alliance 6
  • 1709–1714: Ottoman Empire 7
  • 1710–1716: Sweden and Northern Germany 8
  • 1716–1718: Norway 9
  • 1710–1721: Finland 10
  • 1719–1721: Sweden 11
  • Peace 12
  • Notes 13
  • References 14
  • Further reading 15


Between 1560 and 1658, Sweden created a Baltic empire centred on the Gulf of Finland and comprising the provinces of Karelia, Ingria, Estonia, and Livonia. During the Thirty Years' War Sweden gained tracts in Germany as well, including Western Pomerania, Wismar, the Duchy of Bremen, and Verden. During the same period Sweden conquered Danish and Norwegian provinces north of the Sound (1645; 1658). These victories may be ascribed to a well-trained army, which despite its comparatively small size, was far more professional than most continental armies, and also to a modernization of administration (both civilian and military) in the course of the 17th century which enabled the monarchy to harness the resources of the country and its empire in an effective way. Fighting in the field, the Swedish army was able, in particular, to make quick, sustained marches across large tracts of land and to maintain a high rate of small arms fire due to proficient military drill.

However, the Swedish state ultimately proved unable to support and maintain its army in a prolonged war. Campaigns on the continent had been proposed on the basis that the army would be financially self-supporting through plunder and taxation of newly gained land, a concept shared by most major powers of the period. The cost of the warfare proved to be much higher than the occupied countries could fund, and Sweden's coffers, and resources in manpower, were eventually drained in the course of long conflicts.

The foreign interventions in Russia during the Time of Troubles resulted in Swedish gains in the Treaty of Stolbovo (1617). The treaty deprived Russia of direct access to the Baltic Sea. Russian fortunes began to reverse in the final years of the 17th century, notably with the rise to power of Peter the Great, who looked to address the earlier losses and re-establish a Baltic presence. In the late 1690s, the adventurer Johann Patkul managed to ally Russia with Denmark and Saxony by the secret Treaty of Preobrazhenskoye and in 1700 the three powers attacked.

Opposing parties

Swedish camp

Charles XII of Sweden[nb 1] succeeded Charles XI of Sweden in 1697, aged 14. From his predecessor, he took over the Swedish Empire as an absolute monarch. Charles XI had tried to keep the empire out of wars, and concentrated on inner reforms such as reduction and allotment, which had strengthened the monarch's status and the empire's military abilities. Charles XII refrained from all kinds of luxury and alcohol and usage of the French language, since he considered these things decadent and superflous. He preferred the life of an ordinary soldier on horseback, not that of contemporary baroque courts. He determinedly pursued his goal of dethroning his adversaries, whom he considered unworthy of their thrones due to broken promises, thereby refusing to take several chances to make peace. During the war, the most important Swedish commanders besides Charles XII were his close friend Carl Gustav Rehnskiöld, also Magnus Stenbock and Adam Ludwig Lewenhaupt.

Charles Frederick, son of Frederick IV, Duke of Holstein-Gottorp (a cousin of Charles XII)[nb 1] and Hedvig Sophia, daughter of Charles XI of Sweden, had been the Swedish heir since 1702. He claimed the throne upon Charles XII's death, but was supplanted by Ulrike Eleonora. Charles Frederick was married to a daughter of Peter I, Anna Petrovna.

Ivan Mazepa was a Ukrainian Cossack hetman who fought for Russia but defected to Charles XII in 1708. Mazepa died in 1710 in Ottoman exile.

Allied camp

Peter the Great became Tsar in 1682 upon the death of his elder brother Feodor but did not become the actual ruler until 1689. He commenced reforming the country, turning the Russian tsardom into a modernized empire relying on trade and on a strong, professional army and navy. He greatly expanded the size of Russia during his reign while providing access to the Baltic, Black, and Caspian seas. Beside Peter, the principal Russian commanders were Aleksandr Danilovich Menshikov and Boris Sheremetev.

Augustus II the Strong, elector of Saxony and another cousin of Charles XII,[nb 1] gained the Polish crown after the death of Jan Sobieski in 1696. His ambitions to transform the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth into an absolute monarchy were not realized. His meeting with Peter the Great in Rawa Ruska in September 1698, where the plans to attack Sweden were made, became legendary for its decadence.

Frederick IV of Denmark-Norway, another cousin of Charles XII,[nb 1] succeeded Christian V in 1699 and continued his anti-Swedish policies. After the setbacks of 1700, he focused on transforming his state, an absolute monarchy, in a manner similar to Charles XI of Sweden. He did not achieve his main goal: to regain the former eastern Danish provinces lost to Sweden in the course of the 17th century. He was not able to keep northern Swedish Pomerania, Danish from 1715 to 1720. He did put an end to the Swedish threat south of Denmark. He ended Sweden's exemption from the Sound Dues (transit taxes/tariffs on cargo moved between the North Sea and the Baltic Sea).

Frederick William I entered the war as elector of Brandenburg and king in Prussia – the royal title had been secured in 1701. He was determined to gain the Oder estuary with its access to the Baltic Sea for the Brandenburgian core areas, which had been a state goal for centuries.

House of Hanover, elector of Brunswick-Lüneburg and, since 1714, king of Great Britain and of Ireland, took the opportunity to connect his landlocked German electorate to the North Sea.

Army size

In 1700, Charles XII had a standing army of 77,000 men (based on annual training). By 1707 this number had swollen to at least 120,000 despite casualties.

Russia was able to mobilize a larger army, but could not put all of it into action simultaneously. The Russian mobilization system was ineffective and the expanding nation needed to be defended in many locations. A grand mobilization covering Russia's vast territories would have been unrealistic. Peter I tried to raise his army's morale to Swedish levels. Denmark contributed 20,000 men in their invasion of Holstein-Gottorp and more on other fronts. Poland and Saxony together could mobilize at least 100,000 men.

1700: Denmark, Riga and Narva

Frederik IV of Denmark–Norway directed his first attack against Sweden's ally Holstein-Gottorp. In 1697, Danish forces had levelled several of Gottorp's fortresses. In March 1700, a Danish army laid siege to Tönning.[14] Simultaneously, Augustus II's forces advanced through Swedish Livonia, captured Dünamünde and laid siege to Riga. Earlier attempts to storm Riga had been made in December 1699.[15]

Charles XII of Sweden first focused on attacking Denmark. The Swedish navy was able to outmaneuver the Danish Sound blockade and deploy an army near the Danish capital, Copenhagen. This surprise move and pressure by the Maritime Powers (England and the Dutch Republic) forced Denmark–Norway to withdraw from the war in August 1700 according to the terms of the Peace of Travendal.[16]

Charles XII was now able to speedily deploy his army to the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea and face his remaining enemies: besides the army of Augustus II in Livonia, an army of Russian tsar Peter I was already on its way to invade Swedish Ingria,[16] where it laid siege to Narva in October. In November, the Russian and Swedish armies met at the First Battle of Narva where the Russians suffered a crushing defeat.[17]

After the dissolution of the first coalition through the peace of Travendal and with the victory at Narva; the Swedish chancellor, Benedict Oxenstjerna, attempted to use the bidding for the favour of Sweden by France and the Maritime Powers (then on the eve of the War of the Spanish Succession) to end the war and make Charles an arbiter of Europe.

1701–1706: Poland-Lithuania/Saxony

Charles XII then turned south to meet his last undefeated opponent: Augustus II, Elector of Saxony, King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania. Poland-Lithuania was formally neutral at this point, as August started the war as an Elector of Saxony. Disregarding Polish negotiation proposals supported by the Swedish parliament, Charles crossed into the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and decisively defeated the Saxe-Polish forces in the Battle of Klissow in 1702 and in the Battle of Pultusk in 1703. This successful invasion enabled Charles XII to dethrone August II and coerce the Polish sejm to replace him with Stanisław Leszczyński in 1704.[18]:694 August II resisted, still possessing control of his native Saxony, but was decisively defeated at the Battle of Fraustadt in 1706, a battle sometimes compared to the Ancient Battle of Cannae due to the Swedish forces' use of double envelopment, with a deadly result for the Saxon army. August II was forced to sign the Treaty of Altranstädt in 1706 in which he made peace with the Swedish Empire,[18]:701 renounced his claims to the Polish–Lithuanian crown, accepted Stanisław Leszczyński as king, and ended his alliance with Russia. Patkul was also extradited and executed by breaking on the wheel in 1707, an incident which given his diplomatic immunity, infuriated opinion against the Swedish king, who then was expected to win the war against the only hostile power remaining, Tsar Peter's Russia.[19]

1702–1710: Russia and the Baltic provinces

Charles XII of Sweden (left) and Peter I of Russia (right)
Shlisselburg, recognising it as the "key" to taking Ingria
Decisive Russian victory at Poltava 1709

The Ingria in 1703, where Peter captured the Swedish fortress of Nyen, guarding the mouth of the River Neva.[18]:691 Thanks to General Adam Ludwig Lewenhaupt, whose outnumbered forces fended the Russians off in the battles of Gemäuerthof and Jakobstadt, Sweden was able to maintain control of most of her Baltic provinces. Before going to war, Peter had made preparations for a navy and a modern-style army, based primarily on infantry drilled in the use of firearms.

The Nyen fortress was soon abandoned and demolished by Peter, who constructed nearby a superior fortress as a beginning to the city of Saint Petersburg. By 1704, other fortresses were situated on the island of Kotlin and the sand flats to its south. These became known as Kronstadt and Kronslot.[18]:691 The Swedes attempted a raid on the Neva fort on 13 July 1704 with ships and landing forces, but the Russian fortifications held. In 1705, repeated Swedish attacks were made against Russian fortifications in the area, to little effect. A major assault on 15 July 1705 resulted in the deaths of more than a third of a 1,500-strong Swedish landing force.[20]

In view of continued failure to check Russian consolidation, and with declining manpower, Sweden opted to blockade Saint Petersburg in 1705. In the summer of 1706, Swedish General Borgå and managed to return to Kronslot just one day before the Swedish battlefleet returned to the blockade, after being delayed by unfavourable winds.

In August 1708, a Swedish army of 12,000 men under General Ingria, crossing the Neva from the north. They met stubborn resistance, ran out of supplies and, after reaching the Gulf of Finland west of Kronstadt, had to be evacuated by sea between 10–17 October. Over 11,000 men were evacuated but more than 5000 horses were slaughtered, which crippled the mobility and offensive capability of the Swedish army in Finland for several years. Peter I took advantage of this, and was able to redeploy a large number of men from Ingria to the Ukraine.[21]

Charles spent the years 1702–06 in a protracted struggle with August the Strong; he had already inflicted defeat on him at Riga in June 1701 and took Warsaw the following year, but trying to force a decisive defeat proved elusive. Russia withdraws from Poland in the Spring of 1706, abandoning their artillery but escape from the pursuing Swedes who stop at Pinsk.[18]:700 Charles wanted not just to defeat the Commonwealth army but to depose August (see above), whom he regarded as especially treasonous, and have him replaced with someone who would be a Swedish ally, and this goal proved hard to achieve. After years of marches and fighting around Poland he finally had to invade August's hereditary Saxony to bring him out of the war.[18]:701 In the treaty of Altranstädt (1706), August was indeed forced to step down from the Polish throne, but Charles had lost a valuable time advantage over his main enemy in the east, Peter I, who had had the time to recover and build up a new and better army.

At this point, in 1707, Peter offered to retrocede everything he had so far occupied (essentially Ingria) except Saint Petersburg and the line of the Neva, to avoid a full-scale war, but Charles XII refused.[18]:703 Instead he initiated a march from Saxony to invade Russia. Though his primary goal was Moscow, the strength of his forces was sapped by the cold weather (the winter of 1708/09 being one of the most severe in modern European history)[18]:707 and Peter's use of scorched earth tactics.[18]:704 When the main army turned south to recover in the Ukraine,[18]:706 the second army with supplies and reinforcements was intercepted and routed at Lesnaya—and so were the supplies and reinforcements of Swedish ally Ivan Mazepa in Baturyn. Charles was crushingly defeated by a larger Russian force under Peter in the Battle of Poltava and fled to the Ottoman Empire while the remains of his army surrendered at Perevolochna.[22]

This shattering defeat in 1709 did not end the war, although it decided it. Denmark and Saxony joined the war again and Augustus the Strong, through the politics of Boris Kurakin, regained the Polish throne.[18]:710 Peter continued his campaigns in the Baltics, and eventually he built up a powerful navy. In 1710 the Russian forces captured Riga,[18]:711 at the time the most populated city in the Swedish realm, and Tallinn, evicting the Swedes from the Baltic provinces, now integrated in the Russian Empire by the capitulation of Estonia and Livonia.

Formation of a new anti-Swedish alliance

After Poltava, Peter the Great and Augustus the Strong allied again in the Treaty of Berlin with Denmark–Norway, the Treaty of Stettin with Brandenburg-Prussia, and the Treaty of Greifswald with Russia.

1709–1714: Ottoman Empire

When his army surrendered, Charles XII of Sweden and a few soldiers escaped to Ottoman territory, founding a colony in front of Bender, Moldova. Peter I demanded Charles's eviction, and when the sultan refused, Peter decided to force it by invading the Ottoman Empire. Peter's army was trapped by an Ottoman army at the Pruth river. Peter managed to negotiate a retreat, making a few territorial concessions and promising to withdraw his forces from the Holy Roman Empire as well as allowing Charles's return to Sweden. These terms were laid out in the Treaty of Adrianople (1713). Charles showed no interest in returning, established a provisional court in his colony, and sought to persuade the sultan to engage in an Ottoman-Swedish assault on Russia. The sultan put an end to the generous hospitality granted and had the king arrested in what became known as the "kalabalik" in 1713. Charles was then confined at Timurtash and Demotika; later he abandoned his hopes for an Ottoman front and returned to Sweden in a 14-day ride.[23]

1710–1716: Sweden and Northern Germany

Danish Altona burned down during Stenbock's campaign (1713). Russian forces retaliated by burning down Swedish Wolgast (same year)

In 1710, the Swedish army in Poland retreated to Swedish Pomerania, pursued by the coalition. In 1711, siege was laid to Stralsund. Yet the town could not be taken due to the arrival of a Swedish relief army, which secured the Pomeranian pocket before turning west to defeat an allied army in the Battle of Gadebusch. Pursued by coalition forces, the Swedish army was trapped and surrendered in the Siege of Tönning.[24]

In 1714, Charles XII returned from the Ottoman Empire, arriving in Elector of Hanover, had just signed an alliance on 17 (OS)/28 (NS) October.[25] Previously a formally neutral party in the Pomeranian campaigns, Brandenburg-Prussia openly joined the coalition by declaring war on Sweden in the summer of 1715.[26] Charles was then at war with much of Northern Europe, and Stralsund was doomed. Charles remained there until December 1715, escaping only days before Stralsund fell. When Wismar surrendered in 1716, all of Sweden's Baltic and German possessions were lost.[27]

1716–1718: Norway

Representation of Charles XII of Sweden, shot dead during the siege of Fredriksten in 1718.

After Charles XII had returned from the Ottoman Empire and resumed personal control of the war effort, he initiated two Norwegian Campaigns, starting in February 1716, to force Denmark–Norway into a separate peace treaty. Furthermore, he attempted to bar Great Britain access to the Baltic Sea. In search for allies, Charles XII also negotiated with the British Jacobite party. This resulted in Great Britain declaring war on Sweden in 1717. The Norwegian campaigns were halted and the army withdrawn when Charles XII was shot dead while besieging Norwegian Fredriksten on 30 November 1718 (OS). He was succeeded by his sister, Ulrika Eleonora.[28]

1710–1721: Finland

Battle of Gangut (Hanko)[29]

War between Russia and Sweden continued to rage. After the disaster of

  • Baskakov, Benjamin I. (1890) (in Russian). The Northern War of 1700–1721. Campaign from Grodno to Poltava 1706–1709 at in DjVu and PDF formats
  • Bengtsson, Frans Gunnar (1960). The sword does not jest. The heroic life of King Charles XII of Sweden. St. Martin's Press. 
  • Donnert, Erich (1997). Europa in der Frühen Neuzeit: Festschrift für Günter Mühlpfordt. Aufbruch zur Moderne (in German) 3. Böhlau.  
  • Frost, Robert I (2000). The Northern Wars. War, State and Society in Northeastern Europe 1558–1721. Longman.  
  • Mattila, Tapani (1983). Meri maamme turvana [Sea safeguarding our country] (in Finnish). Jyväskylä: K. J. Gummerus Osakeyhtiö.  
  • Meier, Martin (2008). Vorpommern nördlich der Peene unter dänischer Verwaltung 1715 bis 1721. Aufbau einer Verwaltung und Herrschaftssicherung in einem eroberten Gebiet. Beiträge zur Militär- und Kriegsgeschichte (in German) 65. Munich: Oldenbourg Wissenschaftsverlag.  
  • North, Michael (2008). Geschichte Mecklenburg-Vorpommerns. Beck Wissen (in German) 2608. CH Beck.  
  • Peterson, Gary Dean (2007). Warrior kings of Sweden. The rise of an empire in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. McFarland.  
  • Torke, Hans-Joachim (2005). Die russischen Zaren 1547–1917 (in German) (3 ed.). C.H.Beck.  
  • Wilson, Peter Hamish (1998). German armies. War and German politics, 1648–1806. Warfare and history. Routledge.  
For general reference
  • Sweden and the Baltic, 1523 – 1721, by Andrina Stiles, Hodder & Stoughton, 1992 ISBN 0-340-54644-1
  • The Struggle for Supremacy in the Baltic: 1600–1725 by Jill Lisk; Funk & Wagnalls, New York, 1967
  • Norges festninger by Guthorm Kavli; Universitetsforlaget; 1987; ISBN 82-00-18430-7
  • Admiral Thunderbolt by Hans Christian Adamson, Chilton Company, 1958
  • East Norway and its Frontier by Frank Noel Stagg, George Allen & Unwin, Ltd. 1956

Further reading

  1. ^ Olle Larsson, Stormaktens sista krig (2009) Lund, Historiska Media. p. 78. ISBN 978-91-85873-59-3
  2. ^ Bengt Liljegren (2000). Karl XII: En biografi. Lund: Historiska media
  3. ^ a b Ericson, Sjöslag och rysshärjningar (2011) Stockholm, Norstedts. p. 55. ISBN 978-91-1-303042-5
  4. ^ Peter From, Katastrofen vid Poltava (2007) Lund, Historiska media. pp. 214.
  5. ^ A Military History of Russia: From Ivan the Terrible to the War in Chechnya, David R. Stone. Greenwood Publishing Group (2006). pp. 57.
  6. ^ Peter From, Katastrofen vid Poltava (2007) Lund, Historiska media. pp. 240.
  7. ^ a b Boris Grigorjev & Aleksandr Bespalov (2012). Kampen mot övermakten. Baltikums fall 1700-1710. pp. 52
  8. ^ Lars-Eric Höglund, Åke Sallnäs, The Great Northern War 1700 - 1721, II. p 51.
  9. ^ Józef Andrzej Gierowski – Historia Polski 1505–1764 (History of Poland 1505–1764), pp. 258–261
  10. ^ ", Örjan Martinsson. Danish force". Retrieved 2014-08-24. 
  11. ^ Lars-Eric Höglund, Åke Sallnäs, The Great Northern War 1700 - 1721, II. p 132.
  12. ^ Ericson, Lars, Svenska knektar (2004) Lund: Historiska media
  13. ^ Lindegren, Jan, Det danska och svenska resurssystemet i komparation (1995) Umeå : Björkås : Mitthögsk
  14. ^ Frost (2000), pp. 227–228
  15. ^ Frost (2000), pp. 228–229
  16. ^ a b Frost (2000), p. 229
  17. ^ Frost (2000), p. 230
  18. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Tucker, S.C., 2010, A Global Chronology of Conflict, Vol. Two, Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, LLC, ISBN 9781851096671
  19. ^ Frost (2000), pp. 230, 263ff
  20. ^ Mattila (1983), p. 10–19.
  21. ^ Mattila (1983), p. 20–27.
  22. ^ Frost (200), pp.231, 286ff
  23. ^ Petersen (2007), pp. 268–272, 275; Bengtsson (1960), pp. 393ff, 409ff, 420–445
  24. ^ Wilson (1998), p.140
  25. ^ Torke (2005), p.165
  26. ^ Meier (2008), p.23
  27. ^ North (2008), p.53
  28. ^ a b Frost (2000), pp. 295–296
  29. ^ The Russian Victory at Gangut (Hanko), 1714 by Maurice Baquoi, etched 1724
  30. ^ Mattila (1983), p. 27–31.
  31. ^ Mattila (1983), p. 32–33.
  32. ^ Mattila (1983), p. 30.
  33. ^ Mattila (1983), p. 33.
  34. ^ Mattila (1983), p. 33–35.
  35. ^ Mattila (1983), p. 35.
  36. ^ Mattila (1983), p. 38–46.
  37. ^ Mattila (1983), p. 47.
  38. ^ Mattila (1983), p. 48-51.
  39. ^ a b c Frost (2000), p. 296
  40. ^ Donnert (1997), p. 510



Sweden had lost almost all of its "overseas" holdings gained in the 17th century, and ceased to be a major power. Russia gained its Baltic territories, and became one of the greatest powers in Europe.

Saxe-Poland-Lithuania and Sweden did not conclude a formal peace treaty, instead, they renewed the Peace of Oliva that had ended the Second Northern War in 1660.[40]

When Sweden finally was at peace with Hanover, Great Britain, Brandenburg-Prussia and Denmark–Norway, she hoped that the anti-Russian sentiments of the Vienna parties and France would culminate in an alliance which would restore to her her Russian-occupied eastern provinces. Yet, primarily due to internal conflicts in Great Britain and France, that did not happen. Therefore, the war was finally concluded by the Treaty of Nystad between Russia and Sweden in Uusikaupunki (Nystad) on 30 August 1721 (OS). Finland was returned to Sweden, while Swedish Estonia, Livonia, Ingria, Kexholm and the bulk of Karelia were ceded to Russia. Sweden's dissatisfaction with the result led to fruitless attempts at recovering the lost territories in the course of the following century, such as the Russo-Swedish War (1741–1743), and the Russo-Swedish War (1788–1790).[39]

Timeline of each main participator in the war

[39] In addition to the rivalries in the anti-Swedish coalition, there was an inner-Swedish rivalry between

Hanover-Great Britain and Brandenburg-Prussia thereupon negotiated separate peace treaties with Sweden, the treaties of Stockholm in 1719 and early 1720, which partitioned Sweden's northern German dominions among the parties. The negotiations were mediated by French diplomats, who sought to prevent a complete collapse of Sweden's position on the southern Baltic coast and achieved that Sweden was to retain Wismar and northern Swedish Pomerania. Hanover gained Swedish Bremen-Verden, Brandenburg-Prussia incorporated southern Swedish Pomerania.[39]

By the time of Charles VI concluded a treaty in Vienna aimed at the reduction of Russia's frontiers to the pre-war limits.[28]


Since Umeå once again. Later in July 1720 a squadron from Swedish battlefleet engaged the Russian galley fleet in battle of Grengam. While the result of the battle is contested it ended Russian galley raids in 1720. As negotiations for peace did not progress the Russian galleys were once again in 1721 sent to raid Swedish coast targeting primarily the Swedish coast between Gävle and Piteå.[38]

After the death of Charles XII, Sweden still refused to make peace with Russia on Peter's terms. Despite a continued Swedish naval presence and strong patrols to protect the coast since 1715 small Russian raids took place in 1716 at Öregrund while in July 1717 Russian squadron landed troops to Gotland who raided for supplies. To place pressure on Sweden, Russia sent a large fleet in July 1719 to the Swedish east coast. There under protection of the Russian battlefleet the Russian galley fleet was split into three groups. One group headed for coast of Uppland, second to the vicinity of Stockholm and last to coast of Södermanland. Together they carried a landing force of nearly 30,000 men. Raiding continued for a month and devastated amongst others the towns of Norrtälje, Södertälje, Nyköping and Norrköping and almost all buildings in the archipelago of Stockholm were burned. A smaller Russian force advanced on the Swedish capital, but was stopped at the battle of Stäket on 13 August. Swedish and British fleets, now allied with Sweden, sailing from the west coast of Sweden failed to catch the raiders.[37]

1719–1721: Sweden

In 1714 far greater Swedish naval assets were diverted towards Finland which managed to cut the coastal sea route past Hangö cape already in early May 1714. This caused severe trouble for Russian supply route to Åbo and beyond as supplies had to be carried overland. Russian galley fleet arrived to the area already on 29 June but stayed idle until 26–27 July when under leadership of Peter Russian galleys managed to run the blockade making use of calm weather which immobilized the Swedish battlefleet losing only one galley of his force of roughly 100 galleys. Small hastily assembled Swedish coastal squadron met the Russian galley fleet west of Hangö cape in the battle of Gangut and was overpowered by the Russians who had nearly 10 fold superiority. Russian breach of the blockade at Hangö forced Swedish fleet to withdraw to prevent Russian galley fleet from reaching Sweden itself. The Russian army occupied Finland mostly in 1713–1714, capturing Åland from where population had already fled to Sweden on 13 August 1714. Since Russian galley fleet was not able to raid the Swedish coast, with exception of Umeå which was plundered on 18 September, fleet supported the advance of the Russian army which led to hastily withdrawal of the Swedish army from Brahestad to Torneå. The occupation period of Finland in 1714–1721 is known as the Greater Wrath.[36]

Following this bulk of the Russian forces moved along the coast towards Borgå towards the forces of Lybecker to whom Armfelt had joined. On 21–22 May 1713 Russian force of 10,000 men landed at Åbo. This also severed the contact between Swedish fleet and ground forces and prevented Swedish naval units from supplying it. Soldiers in the Swedish army who were mostly Finnish resented being repeatedly ordered to withdraw without even seeing the enemy. Lybecker was soon recalled to Stockholm for a hearing and Armfelt was ordered to the command of the army. Under Armfelt's command Swedish army in Finland stopped to engage the advancing Russians at Pälkäne in October 1713 where Russian flanking manoeuvre forced him to withdraw to avoid getting encircled. Armies met later again at Storkyro (Isokyrö) in February 1714 where Russians won a decisive victory.[35]

[34] After the failure of 1712

The Vyborg castle ablaze after the Russian attack on the city in 1710.

[32] between 1710–1713 which devastated the land killing amongst others over half of the population of Helsingfors (Helsinki).plague outbreak which struck Finland and Sweden Swedish efforts to maintain their defences were greatly hampered by the drain of manpower by the continental army and various garrisons around the Baltic Sea as well as by the [31]

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