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Battle of Kliszów
Part of Great Northern War
Battle of Kliszow 1702.JPG
Date July 19, 1702
Location South of Kielce, Poland
Result Decisive Swedish victory[1]
Belligerents
Naval Ensign of Sweden.svg Sweden Flag Kurfuerstentum-Sachsen bis 1806.jpg Saxony

 Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth

Commanders
Charles XII[2] August II the Strong[2]
Lubomirski[2]
Strength
8,000 foot[2]
4,000 horse[2]
4 three-pounder guns[2]
7,500 Saxon foot[2]
9,000 Saxon horse[2]
6,000 Polish horse[2]
46 artillery pieces[2]
Casualties and losses
300 dead[2]
900 wounded
2,000 dead[2]
700 wounded
1,000 captured[2]

The Battle of Kliszów took place on July 8 (Julian calendar) / July 9 (Swedish calendar) / July 19, 1702 (Gregorian calendar) near Kliszów, Poland-Lithuania, during the Great Northern War.[3] The numerically superior Polish-Saxon army of August II the Strong, operating from an advantageous defensive position, was defeated by a Swedish army half as large under command of king Charles XII.[1]

Contents

Prelude

August the Strong, elector of Saxony, king of Poland and Grand duke of Lithuania, had in 1699 planned a three-fold attack on the Swedish Empire together with Peter the Great, tsar of Russia and Frederik IV of Denmark-Norway.[4] The plan failed when Frederik was forced out of the war in 1700,[5] and Charles XII of Sweden in the same year defeated the Russian army in the Battle of Narva.[6] After Narva, Charles XII evicted August the Strong's forces from Swedish Livonia, and pursued him into the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.[7]

At Kliszów, south of Kielce, the Swedish and Saxon-Polish-Lithuian armies encamped some 5 miles (8.0 km) apart. The camps were separated by a large wood and a swamp, with the Swedes north of the woods, and the Augustus the Strong's camp naturally secured by a narrow stretch of swamps in the North and the swampy valley of the Nida river in the East. At 9:00 am, Charles XII moved his army through the woods in the morning of 19 July (NS), and at 11:00 am arrived north of the swampy stretch securing August's camp. The army consisted of 8,000 infantry, 4,000 cavalry and four guns - the bulk of the artillery was stuck in the forest. August's army consisted of 7,500 Saxan infantry, 9,000 Saxon cavalry, 6,000 Polish cavalry, and 46 guns.[8]

The battle

The Saxon left wing and center under the command of Johann Matthias von der Schulenburg, the right cavalry wing commanded by Jacob Heinrich von Flemming. The Polish cavalry was at the right wing and commanded Hieronim Augustyn Lubomirski.[2]

Charles XII's strategy was to rout the Saxe-Polish forces in an envelope maneuvre, and re-positioned his forces to strengthen his flanks. A Swedish assault on Lubomirski's flank was beaten back, as were two subsequent counter-attacks of the Polish cavalry and a Saxon assault over the marsh.[2]

After the Swedish forces had withstood the Polish charges, Lubomirski withdrew and thus left the Saxon right flank unprotected. Charles XII concentrated his main army at this flank and advanced into the Saxon camp within half an hour, evicting Augustus the Strong's remaining forces into the surrounding swamps.[2]

During the battle, Charles XII's brother-in-law Frederick IV, Duke of Holstein Gottorp was killed by artillery fire. Another 300 Swedes fell, also 2,000 Saxons. 1,000 Saxons were taken prisoner.[2]

The Swedes now attempted to encircle the Saxons by taking the crossing of the Nida. General Schulenburg, whose infantry in the center had scarcely been attacked, now committed himself to a fierce defense of the crossing, allowing the majority of Saxon units to withdraw.

Consequences

Charles had won the battle, but Schulenburg's actions had saved the Saxon army from destruction. The Swedes captured the Saxon artillery and the war chest, and king August's entire baggage. On July 31 Charles and his army marched into Kraków. August withdrew with his army to Sandomierz.

Sources

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References

  1. ^ a b Frost (2000), p.273
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q Frost (2000), p.272
  3. ^ Frost (2000), p.271
  4. ^ Frost (2000), p.228
  5. ^ Frost (2000), p.229
  6. ^ Frost (2000), p.230
  7. ^ Frost (2000), pp.229ff, 263ff
  8. ^ Frost (2000), pp.271-272

Bibliography

Coordinates: 50°37′0″N 20°31′33″E / 50.616667°N 20.52583°E / 50.616667; 20.52583


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