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Battle of Weissenstein
Part of the Polish-Swedish War (1600–1611)
DateSeptember 25, 1604
LocationWeissenstein, modern-day Estonia
Result Polish-Lithuanian victory
Belligerents
Sweden Sweden Herb Rzeczypospolitej Obojga Narodow.svg Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
Commanders and leaders

Arvid Stålarm

Alonzo Cacho de Canut
Jan Karol Chodkiewicz
Strength
5,000 men
6 cannons[1]
2,300 men[1]
Casualties and losses
3,000 killed,
wounded or captured
6 cannons
26 banners[2][3]
50 killed
100 wounded[4]


The Battle of Weissenstein[3] or Battle of Biały Kamień[1] was fought during the Polish–Swedish War (1600–1611), between Sweden and the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth on 25 September 1604. The Swedish army was commanded by Arvid Stålarm and the Polish army under Jan Karol Chodkiewicz. The battle ended with a victory for Poland, who sent a relief party against the Swedish forces which besieged Paide (Weissenstein).[2]

Swedish army arrived in the summer to Estonia (6000 troops[4]) led by Arvid Stålarm and Spanish mercenary Alonzo Cacho de Canut besieged September 15, 1604 Weissenstein. The first Swedish assault was repulsed by fortress crew. September 25 came up to the rescue Jan Karol Chodkiewicz (2300 soldiers[4]). The battlefield was located between the road from Dorpat to Reval, which arrived the Polish-Lithuanian army and marshy streams located in the east, west and south. Nearby Weissenstein was located in the marshy valley west of the battlefield.

Seeing the approaching army of the Polish-Lithuanian Alonzo de Canut proposed setting loose formation in Spanish style. However Stålarm, keeping in mind that in previous battles Poles and Lithuanians at first chase away Swedish cavalry, and then cut out infantry, this time he decided to mix infantry and cavalry. The left, stronger flank Swedish, made up of Germans mercenaries led by de Canut was based on a narrow causeway and the road leading to Reval. The right flank, composed of the Finns was weaker, but protected with marshy streams. Center, led by Stålarm, consisted solely of Swedish troops. Chodkiewicz, after the diagnosis of the enemy formation, he decided to attack the left Swedish flank, because he believed that the Swedish commander did not expect such a move. Therefore the right flank of the Polish Army stood Hussars, on the left - light cavalry, in the center of infantry, reiters and artillery.

Before the Swedes were able to discern the intentions Chodkiewicz, hussars moved at them, which struck the Germans, breaking the German reiters. Fierce resistance put infantry commanded by Canut. However, when Canut was killed, was destroyed. After the destruction of the left wing of the Swedish army, Chodkiewicz rushed to attack the left wing and center. When they joined the hussars, the Swedish army was pushed to the swamp. The battle ended with the total defeat of the army led by Stålarm. The Swedes lost 3,000 soldiers, 6 guns, all equipment and 26 standards (5 of them have been destroyed), while the Poles and Lithuanians - 50 killed and 100 wounded.

Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Battle of Bialy Kamien
  2. 2.0 2.1 Isacson, Claes-Göran (ed) (2006) (in Swedish). Vägen till Stormakt. Stockholm: Norstedts. ISBN 91-1-301502-8. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 Sundberg, Ulf: Svenska krig 1521-1814, Hjalmarson & Högberg Bokförlag, Stockholm 2002
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Leszek Podhorodecki, "Rapier i koncerz", Warszawa 1985

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