Sunday, 30 August 2015

Livonian Campaign February through April 1702

After being repulsed outside Marienberg the Swedes retired on Valk, while the Russians continued with their siege operation in the snow. On 6th February with little hope of being relieved Marienberg surrendered. The new Russian commander General Nobakstorii determined to use this advantage to maximum effect.
Marienberg is captured.
The castle where Nobakstorii planned his next moves. (from Wikipedia)
March moves
 In March Nobakstorii moved to cut the muddy road between Riga and Valk, thus limiting the reinforcements available to the Swedish army. The Swedish General Gyllentrad hunkered down in Valk preparing the town for a siege. His plan was to weaken the Russians and await reinforcements from Sweden via Reval and Dorpat.
The surprise move
Then, suddenly, on March 24th the Russians made a surprise move. They went west and attempted to storm the town of Wolmer. The storming failed, but the town was caught unprepared and would be unable to resist a siege for long. On March 29th Gyllentrad left Valk with all of the troops he could muster. If Wolmer fell then he would be fatally cut off from Riga. If he lost this battle it would be highly likely that he would lose Riga. He needed to defeat the Russians before they could get their siege lines ready. The stakes were high on the morning of 1st April as the Swedes approached the Russian army arrayed for battle around a small hill outside Wolmer.


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