Military Wiki
Battle of Wenden
Part of the Polish-Swedish War (1600–1611)
DateJanuary 7, 1601
LocationWenden, Livonia (now in Latvia)
Result Polish-Lithuanian victory
Herb Rzeczypospolitej Obojga Narodow.svg Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth Sweden Sweden
Commanders and leaders
Maciej Dębiński
Jürgen von Farensbach
Hans Bengtsson
700 (including 350 Polish hussars)[1] more than 3,000[1]
Casualties and losses
10 dead
60 wounded[1]
Around 300–1,900 dead and wounded[1][2]
100 captured[1]
13 banners

The Battle of Wenden (also known as Battle of Kieś) took place on January 7, 1601, during the Polish–Swedish War (1600–1611). Polish-Lithuanian forces were led by Jürgen von Farensbach (Jerzy Farensbach) and Maciej Dębiński. The Swedes were under Hans Bengtsson. The battle is significant as the first encounter between Swedish reiters and Polish hussars.[1]


Military campaign began in late 1599. Swedish forces captured Narva, Estonia, then after reaching a 10-thousandths of troops under the command of Charles IX Parnu, Fellin, and 6 Jan 1601, Dorpat. The day after the capture of Dorpat Swedish (3,000 soldiers) suddenly attacked the Poles and Lithuanians camped under Wenden.[1]


Led by Colonel Maciej Dembiński, Polish-Lithuanian army despite the surprise, immediately prepared for battle and the same went for the attack. In the meantime, came up with reinforcements Jürgen von Farensbach, increasing the Polish-Lithuanian force to 700 soldiers. Trying to use the Swedish riders Caracole first encountered the hussars charge, they were ordinary use the army of the Polish-Lithuanian. The fight did not last long and the Swedish cavalry rushed to run away. When the Swedish cavalry entered the frozen river Gauja ice broke under the pressure of horses caused a further losses of Swedes. the Swedish infantry did not want to give up, was then destroyed and that was the main cause huge losses in this battle of Swedes - 300 to 1,900 had either been killed or wounded and about 100 captured, and all the guns. Poles and Lithuanians have lost only 10 killed and 60 wounded.[1][2]


The battle was won by the Poles, who, however, were not able to take advantage of their victory as their troops, having not been paid in a long time, commenced with looting of the local countryside. Winter of 1601 years the army of Charles IX captured Valmiera reaching the line of the Daugava River. The next stage of the war was the siege and Battle of Kokenhausen under the city walls.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Leszek Podhorodecki, "Rapier i koncerz", Warszawa 1985, ISBN 83-05-11452-X
  2. 2.0 2.1 Isacson, Claes-Göran (ed) (2006) (in Swedish). Vägen till Stormakt. Stockholm: Norstedts. p. 320. ISBN 91-1-301502-8. 

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