Blog Tools
Edit your Blog
Build a Blog
RSS Feed
View Profile
« September 2016 »
1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30
You are not logged in. Log in
Entries by Topic
All topics  «
Artillery personnel
Great Embassy
Prisoners of war
Source criticism
The Great Northern War
Sunday, 4 September 2016
Vellingk's second thoughts : part 2
Topic: Battles

Otto Vellingk sent his next report on 6 June 1700. He started by alluding to his letter two days earlier and the supply problems he would encounter if the army crossed the river into Courland. Vellingk then went on to say that he believed the King would not favour an attack into Courland since this would risk drawing not only the Polish Republic but also Brandenburg into the war. Vellingk believed it important to proceed carefully and not move ointo Courland until the army could be supplied from Livonia. The General also stated that he was about to send letters two Hetman Sapieha and to the Duke of Courland in order to ascertain their views on the situation. Otto Vellingk also suggested that it would be beneficial to open an additional mail route from Pernau to Sandhamn, thereby improving on the two existing (Pernau-Reval and Dorpat-Narva). A couple of yachts going back and forth between Pernau and Sandhamn would speed up communications.

Vellingk's next report was sent on the 11th. He informed the King that the letters to Sapieha and the Duke of Courland had been sent. Three Danish ships had appeared outside Dünamünde and small vessels had been seen travelling between them and the fortress. Major Rosen had been sent on a scouting mission to Courland and the Lithuanian border in order to find out if rumours about Russian reinforcements to the Saxon army were true. Rosen had found that they were quite false. As for more Saxon troops, Vellingk believed it unlikely they would arrive before Midsummer. Before then Vellingk hoped to have collected enough supplies to be able to cross the river. It was unfortunate, Vellingk concluded, that many believed all sorts of rumours. Not long ago the peasants near Dorpat had started to run away because Colonel Skytte had spread unfounded reports.

On the 13th Vellingk again wrote to the King, informing him that Duke Ferdinand had replied. The Duke was in the Saxon camp and had had taken command of their forces. In his letter the Duke made it clear that his own service to King Augustus was an entirely different from him being the administrator of Courland. The Duchy remained outside the conflict. As Vellingk had been made aware of disagreemnts between the Dowager Duchess and Duke Ferdinand he had written to the former as well. The Saxon army had received reinforcements from Lithuania, but these consisted of untrained and badly clothed men. Vellingk remained intent on crossing the Düna, but the supply problems were still unsolved. For the time being it seemed better to remain on the defensive.

The news indicated that the Polish Republic would remain neutral. Sapieha's decision to support King Augustus with troops had caused a rift in Lithuania and many had gone over to Oginski. Vellingk had spread a rumour that a relief army of 8,000 had arrived from Sweden and he hoped that this would spread fear among the Saxons.

Source: Riksarkivet, Skrivelser till Konungen. Karl XII, vol. 29

Posted by bengt_nilsson at 8:20 PM MEST
Post Comment | Permalink

View Latest Entries