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Battle of Narva

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The Swedish Victory at Narva, 1700 by Gustaf Cederström , painted 1910
Battle of Narva
Conflict Great Northern War
Date November 20, 1700
Place Narva, northeast Estonia
Result Decisive Swedish victory
Sweden Russia
King Charles XII of Sweden Field Marshal Charles Eugène de Croy
10,500 troops about 37,000 troops
667 dead about 15,000 dead, about 12,000 prisoners

The Battle of Narva was an early battle in the Great Northern War in which a Swedish army under King Charles XII of Sweden defeated the Russian army of Tsar Peter the Great at Narva.

On November 20, 1700 (Julian calendar) the 8,140 men strong main force under King Charles XII engaged the Russian Army that was besieging the Swedish (now Estonian) city of Narva. The main Swedish force was assisted by around 2,500 men from within the city. The Russian army had great numerical superiority, numbering about 37,000 troops. Swedish sources from the time, still quoted in some literature, claimed that the Russians numbered 80,000 to 100,000; this might be reasonable numbers when including the Russian support machinery of civilians, soldiers' wives and families.

The Swedish Army was commanded by the king himself, assisted by General Charles Renskjöld , and the Russian Army was commanded by the Duke of Croy. Tsar Peter had left the army just days before.

The Swedish Army went into action at noon, protected by a blizzard blowing into the Russians' eyes, blinding them. The Swedes broke through the Russian lines and put the entire Russian army in a panic.

The casualties were high for both sides. Sweden lost 667 men (almost 10%) and the Russian army lost about 15,000 men, many of whom fled the battlefield, only to drown in the Narva River.

The remaining Russians capitulated and were given full quarter after turning over their weapons. Over 20,000 muskets were turned over to the Swedes.

Last updated: 11-06-2004 16:49:40