Great Northern War

1700 to 1721
Coalition of Russian, Saxony, and Norway brought down the powerful Swedish Empire in the Baltic.

Noteable Battles

Battle of Meldorp   Dithmarsh victory
Fought 1500, between the Danes, 30,000 strong, under John of Denmark, and the inhabitants of the province of Dithmarsh, which John designed to bring again under Danish rule, after two centuries of virtual independence. The advancing Danes delivered an assault against a small fortified outpost, but were repulsed, and driven in confusion into the surrounding marshes, where over 11,000 perished.
Battle of Narva   Swedes victory
Fought November 30, 1700, between 8,000 Swedes, under Charles XII, and 80,000 Russians, under General Dolgorouky, The Russians were besieging Narva, and after driving in two large bodies who occupied advanced positions, Charles boldly attacked their entrenched camp. After a brief cannonade, the Swedes stormed the trenches, and though the Russian artillerymen stood to their guns, after three hours' hard fighting, the defenders were driven out in disorder, having lost 18,000 in the trenches, while many more fell in the fight. The Swedes lost 600 only.
Battle of Pultusk   Swedes victory
Fought 1703, between 10,000 Swedes, under Charles XII, and an equal force of Saxons, under Marshal von Stenau. The Saxons made practically no resistance, but fled from the field, losing only 600 killed and 1,000 prisoners.
Battle of Kalisch   Russians & Poles victory
Fought 1706, between 10,000 Swedes, under General Meyerfeld, and 30,000 Russians and Poles, under Prince Mentschikoff. The Swedes were defeated with considerable loss.
Battle of Frauenstadt   Swedes victory
Fought February 12, 1706, between 10,000 Swedes under Marshal Reinschild, and 20,000 Russians and Saxons under General Schulemburg. The battle did not last a quarter of an hour, for the allies fled without making any resistance. No less than 7,000 loaded muskets were picked up on the battlefield.
Battle of Smolensko   Swedes victory
Fought September 22, 1708, when Charles XII of Sweden, with 4,000 infantry and 6 regiments of cavalry, attacked a force of 6,000 Cossacks and Tartars. The king with one regiment was in the course of the action cut off from the rest of his troops by a body of Tartars, and had a narrow escape. His immediate following was reduced to 5 men, when he was rescued by a cavalry charge. In the end the Swedes routed the Cossacks with heavy loss.
Battle of Lesno   Russians victory
A series of actions, fought 1709 between 40,000 Russians, under Peter the Great, and 15,000 Swedes, under General Levenhaupt, who was escorting a convoy of 8,000 waggons to the army of Charles XII. The battle lasted over five days, at the end of which time the remnant of the Swedes, though defeated, were permitted to retire in good order, but without their convoy. The Swedes lost in this series of actions two-thirds of their numbers. The Russians lost 10,000 men.
Battle of Pultowa   Russians victory
Fought July 8, 1709, between the Swedes, 24,000 strong, under Charles XII, and the Russians, 70,000 in number, under Peter the Great. After some successes early in the battle the Swedes were overwhelmed by the Czar's great superiority in artillery, and were defeated with a loss of 9,000 killed and wounded and 6,000 prisoners. Charles with difficulty made his escape from the field by swimming the Borysthenes.
Battle of Gangud   Russians victory
Fought 1714, between the Russian fleet under Peter the Great, and the Swedish, under Admiral Ehrenskiold. The Swedes were utterly routed and Ehrenskiold and the whole of his squadron captured.
Battle of Aland   Russians victory
Fought July, 1714, between the Russian fleet of 30 ships of the line and 180 galleys under Admiral Apraxine, and the Swedish, about one-third of that strength, under Admiral Erinschild. The Swedes sought to prevent the landing of a Russian force on the island of Aland, and fought an unequal combat for three hours, when they were overpowered and forced to retire. The Czar, Peter the Great, who was serving under Apraxine as Rear-Admiral, captured Erinschild's flagship.
Siege of Thorn   Swedes victory
Siege was laid to this place by the Swedes, under Charles XII, September 22, 1702. It was defended by a garrison of 5,000 Poles, under General Robel, who made a gallant defense, but after a month's siege, he was compelled by famine to surrender.
Battle of Grangam   Russians victory
Fought 1721, between the Swedes, and the Russian fleet under Admiral Golitshin. The Swedes were completely defeated, losing four line-of-battle ships captured.
Battle of Hogland   Russians victory
Fought 1789, between the Russian fleet, under Admiral Greig, and the Swedes, under the Duke of Sudermanland. Each side lost a ship, but strategically the affair was a Russian victory, for the Swedes were compelled to seek the protection of the forts of Sveaborg.
Battle of Revel   Russians victory
This port was attacked in the spring of 1790 by the Swedish fleet, under the Duke of Sudermanland. The Russian batteries, however, aided by the fleet under Admiral Chitchagoff, drove them off with considerable loss.
Battle of Seskar (Aftermath ) Russians victory
Fought 1790, between the Swedish fleet, under the Duke of Sudermanland, and a Russian squadron, under Admiral Kruze. The Swedes were totally defeated, after a severe engagement, which lasted from daybreak till far into the night.

Story Links
Book Links
Peter the Great and His Reign  in  The Story of Russia  by  Robert van Bergen
Charles of Sweden  in  Historic Boys  by  E. S. Brooks
Charles XII of Sweden  in  Famous Men of Modern Times  by  John H. Haaren
Charles X and the Invasion of Denmark  in  Historical Tales: Scandinavian  by  Charles Morris
Charles XII, the Firebrand of Sweden  in  Historical Tales: Scandinavian  by  Charles Morris
Charles XII of Sweden  in  The Awakening of Europe  by  M. B. Synge

Image Links

Stratagems of the Swedes
 in Peter the Great

Flight of the King of Sweden
 in Peter the Great

Charles XII defends his house against the Turks
 in Famous Men of Modern Times

The Battle of Pultowa
 in Brave Men and Brave Deeds