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Battle of Trzciana
Part of the Polish-Swedish War (1626–1629)
Date June 25, 1629
Location Honigfeld, Prussia, (now known as Trzciana, Poland)
Result Polish victory
Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Holy Roman Empire Sweden
Stanisław Koniecpolski, Field Crown Hetman of Poland
Imperial Troop Commander Hans Georg von Arnim-Boitzenburg
Gustav II Adolf, King of Sweden
1,300 hussars
1,200 light cavalry
2,000 reiters
4,000 cavalry
5,000 infantry
Casualties and losses
300 dead 600 dead
200 captured

The Battle of Trzciana, also known as Battle of Honigfeld or Battle of Stuhm in June 1629) (recorded as June 17) was one of many battles of the Polish-Swedish War (1626–1629). Sigismund III's Polish forces led by field crown hetman Stanisław Koniecpolski and imperial troops under Hans Georg von Arnim-Boitzenburg and Ernst Georg Sparr, sent by emperor Ferdinand II to aid Sigismund III, met with troops commanded by Swedish King Gustav II Adolf, who supported the Protestant Lutherans of Germany and northern Europe. The battles continued in July and August and ended with stalemate and final acceptance of truce by Sigismund III.



Swedish and Polish-Lithuanian king Sigismund III sought to hold on to the crown of Sweden, but was rejected be the Swedish people, and Sigismund's uncle Karl became king of Sweden instead. Sigismund wanted to regain the Swedish crown and he also wanted to gain the crown of Russia. Russia sent help to Karl of Sweden. The Holy Roman Empire under the Habsburgs attempted to regain European countries for Catholicism and to gain control of northern German Baltic Sea trading cities, namely the Hansa, and to reverse the North having become Lutheran and thereby Sweden gaining supremacy over the Baltic Sea. The Trade routes for some time had been controlled by a powerful Denmark, which controlled and collected at the Sound in its territory. Sigismund III of Poland-Lithuania sought to wrest the Baltic Sea with its lucrative trade routes for himself and he repeatedly requested Swedish king Gustav Adolph to denounce his title of Swedish king as a prerequesit for a truce and peace negotiations. The Swedes saw through these delaying tactics by Sigismund III and so the battles and skirmished went on for years.


Eve of the Meeting at the Honigfeld

Polish king Sigismund III Vasa had received military support of 5000 infantry and reiters from emperor Ferdinand II. Reinforcements, led by General von Arnim and by Ernst Georg Sparr, arrived in Prussia in late spring 1629, and they set up camp near Graudenz (Grudziądz). Gustav Adolf had arrived in May. Several skirmishes (recorded as Scharmuetzel), broke out, one on June 17, 1629 at Honigfeld(t) or Honigfelde near Sztum, where Gustav Adolph led his army of total of 4,000 cavalry and 5,000 infantry from Marienburg (Malbork) against the Imperial and Polish forces.


The forces led by Koniecpolski (Polish hetman) and by von Arnim and Sparr (imperial) made contact with the Swedish rearguard waiting at the village of Honigfeld(e) on Stuhmsdorfer Haide (now Trzciana).

Upon learning of the proximity of the Polish-Imperial force, Gustav II Adolf ordered the troops of the Count from the Rhine (Rhein Graf) to continue the march as it is learned that the Polish and Imperial forces are in the vicinity. The Rhein count however did not follow his order and instead maintained a position at Honigfeld(e). Meanwhile Koniecpolski ordered his cossacks to advance through the woods NW of Sadowe and the Hussars to make another flanking manoeuvre behinds the hills SE of Honigfeld(e). Von Arnims slower reiters reached the battlefield last and formed into battle order to attack the Swedes from the front.

The Swedish leather cannons began to fire on the approaching cossacks as they came out of the woods and the Rheincount ordered his arquebuisers to attack them. Both the cossacks and arquebuisers were mobile cavalry with a good firepower but the Germans arquebuisers gained the upper hand and began pushing the outnumbered cossacks back towards the forest. At this moment the Polish Hussars arrived from their flanking manoeuvre, a few banners are sent to deal with the Swedish artillery and 60-80 musketeers supporting them but the majority of them advance to charge the engaged arquebuisers.

The arquebuisers understandably and quickly collapses as the hussars charged their flank and rear and fled in great disorder towards the north where the rest of the army was. Gustav II Adolf arrived to aid the Rheincount and they regrouped by charging with the Battalion (Zakarias Paulis squadron and Reinhold Anreps Finnish squadron) but most of the Battalion is demoralised by the flight of the rearguard and joins the flight. Gustav II Adolf is put to great risk as he and the remaining cavalry are faced with the pursuing cossacks. Gustav II Adolf is almost captured by a [cossack] but escapes by one of his men, Erik Soop, shooting the attacker and ,throwing off his harness over his head, is able to get to safety together with the rest of the cavalry.

The situation is critical as they reach the village Straszewo but field marshal Wrangel momentarily stabilises the situation by charging the pursuing Poles with his entire force. This gives Gustav II Adolf the time to reassemble some of the fleeing squadrons and rejoin battle. Then von Arnim's cuirassiers and Konieckpolski's hussars once again charged the battle and the Swedes are once again thrown back, but this time in better order. The Swedes then begin a withdrawal to Pulkowitz where the Gardescuirassiers and Streiffs squadron have taken up a defensive position while the infantry and artillery have continued to Neudorf where they took up defensive position at a river crossing.

The Swedes are during their retreat subjected to a fierce pursuit but as they near Pulkowitz, they were relieved by counter attack by Streiffs squadron. The battle now reaches a deadlock between the Swedes and the Poles until von Arnim once again catches up with his cuirassiers and turns the battle against the Swedes. The Swedes again withdraw, this time to Neudorf where the infantry and artillery have taken their position and without too much trouble are able to hold off the tired Polish-Imperial cavalry until darkness falls. The next day are the Swedes able to unmolested withdraw to Marienburg.

After the Battle

During the battle, Swedish cavalry suffered serious losses, with about 600 dead and 200 captured by the Poles, including many high ranking officers (Earlier records only speak of 2-300 losses on each side). Swedish infantry, however, remained mostly intact, so the balance of forces in the war didn't change.

Further attacks by the Polish side under Koniecpolski on July 15 was repelled and Aug 9 in the Elbinger Werder by a demoralized Polish group looking for food, were repelled and were followed by diplomats from other countries arrive at Warsaw and a truce is called.

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