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Encyclopedia > Battle of Kircholm
Battle of Kircholm
Part of the Polish-Swedish War of 1600-1611
Battle of Kircholm
A 1630 painting by Pieter Snayers
Date September 27 (or September 17 Old Style), 1605
Location Kircholm now known as Salaspils, Latvia
Result Decisive Polish-Lithuanian victory
Combatants
Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth Sweden
Commanders
Jan Karol Chodkiewicz, Grand Hetman of Lithuania Charles IX, King of Sweden
Strength
1,300 infantry
2,500 cavalry
5 guns
9,000 infantry
3,000 cavalry
11 guns
Casualties
100 dead
200 wounded
8,000 dead

The Battle of Kircholm (September 27, 1605, or September 17 in the Old Style calendar then in use in Protestant countries) was one of the major battles in the Polish-Swedish War of 1600-1611. The battle was decided in 20 minutes by the devastating charge of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth cavalry, the Winged Hussars. The battle ended in the decisive victory of Polish-Lithuanian forces, and is remembered as the greatest ever triumph of Commonwealth cavalry. Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1224x810, 270 KB) Permission File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Battle of Kircholm ... Events February 22 - Native American Quadequine introduces Popcorn to English colonists. ... September 27 is the 270th day of the year (271st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Old Style can refer to: Old Style and New Style dates, a shift from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar: in Britain in 1752, in Russia in 1918. ... 1605 was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Tuesday of the 10-day slower Julian calendar). ... Salaspils (population 21,106 in 2000 census, also known as Kircholm until 1917) is a town 18 km east of Riga in Latvia, on the western bank of Daugava river. ... Salaspils (population 21,106 in the census of 2000, known as Kirchholm until 1917), is a town 18 km south-east of Riga in Latvia, on the western bank of Daugava river. ... Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Noble Family Chodkiewicz Coat of Arms Chodkiewicz Parents Jan Hieronim Chodkiewicz Krystyna Zborowska Consorts Zofia Mielecka Anna Alojza Ostrogska Children with Zofia Mielecka Hieronim Chodkiewicz Anna Scholastyka Chodkiewicz Date of Birth 1560 Place of Birth  ? Date of Death September 24, 1621 Place of Death Chocim Castle, Poland Jan Karol Chodkiewicz... Charles IX (Karl IX) (October 4, 1550 – October 30, 1611), was King of Sweden from 1604 until his death. ... September 27 is the 270th day of the year (271st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1605 was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Tuesday of the 10-day slower Julian calendar). ... Old Style can refer to: Old Style and New Style dates, a shift from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar: in Britain in 1752, in Russia in 1918. ... The Polish-Swedish Wars were two wars fought between Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and Sweden between 1600 and 1629. ... Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Soldiers or warriors who fought mounted on horseback in combat are commonly known as cavalry (from French cavalerie). ... Polish Hussar Hussar (original Hungarian spelling: huszár, plural huszárok) refers to a number of types of cavalry used throughout Europe since the 15th century. ... Polish-Lithuanian can refer to: Polish-Lithuanian Union from 1385 until 1569 Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth from 1569 untul 1795 Categories: Disambiguation ...

Contents

History

Eve of the Battle

Positions of both sides after the initial Swedish advance
Positions of both sides after the initial Swedish advance

On September 27, 1605, the Polish-Lithuanian and Swedish forces met near the small town of Kircholm (now Salaspils in Latvia, some 25 km. south of Riga). The forces of Charles IX of Sweden were numerically superior and were composed of 11,000 infantry, 3,000 cavalry and 11 cannons. The Swedish army included a few thousand German and Dutch mercenaries and even a few hundred Scots. Image File history File links Kircholm_Phase2. ... Image File history File links Kircholm_Phase2. ... September 27 is the 270th day of the year (271st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1605 was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Tuesday of the 10-day slower Julian calendar). ... Salaspils (population 21,106 in the census of 2000, known as Kirchholm until 1917), is a town 18 km south-east of Riga in Latvia, on the western bank of Daugava river. ... Map of Latvia Coordinates: Founded 1201 Mayor Aivars Aksenoks Area    - City 307. ... Charles IX (Karl IX) (October 4, 1550 – October 30, 1611), was King of Sweden from 1604 until his death. ... Infantry of the Royal Irish Rifles during the Battle of the Somme in World War I. Infantry are soldiers who fight primarily on foot with small arms in organized military units, though they may be transported to the battlefield by horses, ships, automobiles, skis, or other means. ... Soldiers or warriors who fought mounted on horseback in combat are commonly known as cavalry (from French cavalerie). ... A small cannon on a carriage, Bucharest. ... A mercenary is a soldier who fights or engages in warfare primarily for private gain, usually with little regard for ideological, national, or political considerations, however, when the term mercenary is used to refer to a soldier of a national, regular army, it usually is an insult, epithet or pejorative. ... Wiktionary has a definition of: Scot A Scot is a person from Scotland. ...


After Polish Crown refused to rise funds for defence, although Lithuanian Hetman Chodkiewicz promised to pay his army wages form his own funds, so he was able to gather at least some army. The Grand Duchy of Lithuania army under Jan Karol Chodkiewicz was composed of roughly 1,300 infantry, 2,500 cavalry and only 5 cannons. However, the Polish-Lithuanian forces were well-rested and their cavalry comprised mostly of superbly trained Winged Hussars or heavy cavalry armed with lances, while the Swedish cavalry were less-well trained, armed with pistols and carbines, on poorer horses, and tired after a long night's march in torrential rain. Most of the hussars were from Grand Duchy of Lithuania, about 200 were from the Polish Crown, most of them mercenaries or close personal allies of Chodkiewicz. The Polish-Lithuanian forces were also aided by a small number of Tatars and Polish-Lithuanian Cossack horse (a class of light cavalry at this date not to be confused with the Russian Cossacks), used mostly for reconnaissance. This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... The presumable banner of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania with the coat of arms, called Пагоня in Belarusian, Vytis in Lithuanian and PogoÅ„ in Polish Another version of the Lithuanian banner The Grand Duchy of Lithuania (Lithuanian: Lietuvos Didžioji KunigaikÅ¡tystÄ—, Belarusian: Вялі́кае Кня́ства Літо́ўскае (ВКЛ), Ukrainian: Велике Князівство Литовське (ВКЛ), Polish: Wielkie KsiÄ™stwo Litewskie) was an... Noble Family Chodkiewicz Coat of Arms Chodkiewicz Parents Jan Hieronim Chodkiewicz Krystyna Zborowska Consorts Zofia Mielecka Anna Alojza Ostrogska Children with Zofia Mielecka Hieronim Chodkiewicz Anna Scholastyka Chodkiewicz Date of Birth 1560 Place of Birth  ? Date of Death September 24, 1621 Place of Death Chocim Castle, Poland Jan Karol Chodkiewicz... Polish Hussar Hussar (original Hungarian spelling: huszár, plural huszárok) refers to a number of types of cavalry used throughout Europe since the 15th century. ... The term lance has become a catchall for a variety of different pole weapons based on the spear. ... The presumable banner of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania with the coat of arms, called Пагоня in Belarusian, Vytis in Lithuanian and PogoÅ„ in Polish Another version of the Lithuanian banner The Grand Duchy of Lithuania (Lithuanian: Lietuvos Didžioji KunigaikÅ¡tystÄ—, Belarusian: Вялі́кае Кня́ства Літо́ўскае (ВКЛ), Ukrainian: Велике Князівство Литовське (ВКЛ), Polish: Wielkie KsiÄ™stwo Litewskie) was an... This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... Kültigin Monument where first mention of Tatar people is inscribed Tatars (Tatar: Tatarlar/Татарлар), sometimes spelled Tartar (more about the name), is a collective name applied to the Turkic speaking people of Eastern Europe and Central Asia. ... Reply of the Zaporozhian Cossacks to Sultan Mehmed IV of Ottoman Empire. ...


Deployment

The Swedish forces seem to have been deployed in a checkerboard formation, made up of the infantry regiments formed in 7 or 8 well-spaced independent blocks, with intersecting fields of fire. The flanks were covered by the Swedish and German cavalry and the cannons were placed in front of the cavalry. 5 by 5 checkerboard pattern A checkerboard (or chequerboard) is a board on which American checkers is played. ... A regiment is a military unit, consisting of a group of battalions, usually four and commanded by a colonel. ... Flank is a word which might mean any of several different things: A flank is the side of either a horse or a military unit. ...

Polish-Lithuanian Hussar, by Józef Brandt.
Polish-Lithuanian Hussar, by Józef Brandt.

Jan Karol Chodkiewicz deployed his forces in the tradition deep Polish-Lithuanian battle formation - the so called "Old Polish Order" - with the left wing significantly stronger and commanded by Dąbrowa, while the right wing was composed of a smaller number of Hussars under Jan Paweł Sapieha and the centre, which included Hetman Chodkiewicz's own company of 300 hussars led by Woyna and a powerful formation of reiters sent by the Duke of Courland. The Polish-Lithuanian infantry, mostly armed in Hungarian haiduk-style, drew up in the centre. Some 280 hussars were left as a general reserve under Lacki. Image File history File links Husarz1. ... Image File history File links Husarz1. ... Józef Brandt Signature of Józef Brandt Józef Brandt (b. ... Noble Family Chodkiewicz Coat of Arms Chodkiewicz Parents Jan Hieronim Chodkiewicz Krystyna Zborowska Consorts Zofia Mielecka Anna Alojza Ostrogska Children with Zofia Mielecka Hieronim Chodkiewicz Anna Scholastyka Chodkiewicz Date of Birth 1560 Place of Birth  ? Date of Death September 24, 1621 Place of Death Chocim Castle, Poland Jan Karol Chodkiewicz... WING ESPN 1410 is an commercial AM radio station in Dayton, Ohio operating with 5,000 watts at 1410 kHz with studios,offices and transmitter located on David Road in Kettering. ... Polish Hussar Hussar (original Hungarian spelling: huszár, plural huszárok) refers to a number of types of cavalry used throughout Europe since the 15th century. ... Noble Family Sapieha Coat of Arms Lis Parents Jan Piotr Sapieha Zofia Weiher Consorts Zofia Zienowicz Anna Barbara Kopeć Children with Zofia Zienowicz Teodora Aleksandra Sapieha MichaÅ‚ Sapieha with Anna Barbara Kopeć Kazimierz Jan Sapieha Benedykt PaweÅ‚ Sapieha Franciszek Stefan Sapieha Leon Bazyli Sapieha Katarzyna Anna Sapieha Konstancja Sapieha Zofia... Hetman`s coat of arms Hetman StanisÅ‚aw Koniecpolski of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth Hetman was the title of the second highest military commander (after the monarch) used in 15th to 18th century Poland and Grand Duchy of Lithuania, known from 1569 to 1795 as the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. ... Reiters (German: Reiter, or horserider) were a type of cavalry, which appeared in the armies of Western Europe in the 16th century, in place of the outmoded lance-armed knights, along with the cuirassiers and dragoons. ... Coat of arms of Courland Courland (Latvian: ; German: ; Latin: Curonia / Couronia; Lithuanian: ; Estonian: ; Polish: ; Russian: ) is an historical Baltic province now part of Latvia. ... Haiduc (Romanian language), hajduk (Serbian or Croatian), aiducco (Italian), haïdouk (French), haidut (Bulgarian) are names given in the Balkans to an individual who was more than just a thief, something like a Robin Hood. ...


Battle

Chodkiewicz, having smaller forces (approximately a 1:3 disadvantage), used a feint to force the Swedes off their high position. The Swedes under Charles thought that the Lithuanians were retreating and therefore advanced, spreading out their formations to give chase. This is what Chodkiewicz was waiting for. The Commonwealth forces now gave fire with their infantry causing the Swedes some losses, at which point the Hussars quickly re-grouped their battle formations and charged at the Swedish lines. Feints are maneuvers designed to distract or mislead. ...


The battle started with the Polish-Lithuanian cavalry charge on the Swedish left flank. At the same time approximately 300 Polish-Lithuanian Hussars charged the Swedish infantry in the centre to prevent them from interfering with the cavalry action on both their flanks. According to contemporary source "Carolomachia" cavalry went to attack shouting Lithuanian battlecry "Mušk!"[citation needed] (approximate English translation would be "strike" or "beat"). After the Swedish cavalry was pushed back, Chodkiewicz ordered his left wing and all of his reserves to attack the opposing right Swedish flank. The Swedish reiters were beaten back on both wings and the infantry in the centre was attacked from three sides simultaneously. Quickly, with Swedish horsemen running back into their own infantry, the Swedes were in panic, and the whole army collapsed in flight. It was at this point that the Swedes suffered their heaviest casualties. Reiters (German: Reiter, or horserider) were a type of cavalry, which appeared in the armies of Western Europe in the 16th century, in place of the outmoded lance-armed knights, along with the cuirassiers and dragoons. ...


The fighting lasted barely 20 to 30 minutes, yet the Swedish defeat was utter and complete. The army of Charles IX had lost at least half, and perhaps as much as two-thirds of its original strength. The Polish-Lithuanian losses numbered only about 100 dead and 200 wounded, although the Hussars, in particular, lost a large part of their trained battle horses. Charles IX (Karl IX) (October 4, 1550 – October 30, 1611), was King of Sweden from 1604 until his death. ...


As in all crushing victories in this period, the larger part of the Swedish losses were suffered during the retreat, made more difficult by the dense forests and marshes on the route back to Riga. The Poles and Lithuanians spared few. Polish-Lihuanian casualties were light, in large part due to the speed of the victory. During the hussar's charges it was the horses that took the greatest damage, the riders being largely protected by the body and heads of their horses.


After the Battle

After the defeat, the Swedish king was forced to abandon the siege of Riga and withdraw by ship back across the Baltic Sea to Sweden and to Swedish possessions in northern Latvia and Estonia. However, the Poles proved unable to exploit the victory fully because there was no money for the troops, who had not been paid for months. Without pay they could not buy food or fodder for their horses or replenish their military supplies, and so the campaign faltered. An additional factor was the large number of trained horses lost during the battle, which proved difficult to replace. A siege is a military blockade and assault of a city or fortress with the intent of conquering by force or attrition. ... Map of Latvia Coordinates: Founded 1201 Mayor Aivars Aksenoks Area    - City 307. ... The Baltic Sea is located in Northern Europe, from 53°N to 66°N latitude and from 20°E to 26°E longitude. ...


A truce was eventually signed in 1611, but by 1617 war broke out again, and finally in 1621, the new Swedish king Gustavus Adolphus landed near Riga, and after a brief siege took the city, wiping away - in Swedish eyes - much of the shame suffered at Kircholm. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Map of Latvia Coordinates: Founded 1201 Mayor Aivars Aksenoks Area    - City 307. ...


External links

  • (Polish) Kircholm 1605 - a popular study (in pdf format) of the 1605 campaign in Livonia, prepared on the occasion of 400th anniversary of the battle. Includes a chapter about the anniversary commemorations at Salaspils, Latvia on 27 September 2005

  Results from FactBites:
 
Battle of Kircholm (September 27, 1605) (818 words)
Battle of Kircholm (September 27, 1605) was one of the major battles in the Polish-Swedish War of 1600-1611.
The battle ended in the decisive victory of Polish forces, and is remembered in Poland as the greatest triumph of Polish cavalry ever.
Battle of Kircholm, a 1630 painting by Peter Snayers, Note: In the left down corner, Hetman Jan Karol Chodkiewicz on a horse, holding the Bulawa in his right hand.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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