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The Great Northern War
Sunday, 29 January 2017
An account from Jewe
Topic: Devastations

On 20 September 1700 Johan Remmin, mayor of Dorpat, forwarded an account by a certain Jochen who had been sent by the town council to find out what was happening at Narva. Jochen explained that he last Wednesday had arrived at General Vellingk's estate Jewe (Jõhvi), where he had found a lot of peasants. These had destroyed all the windows and kept their horses in the mansion. The bailiff was said to be in Narva, while the priest had fled to Reval. The Russians had not yet appeared at Jewe, but had been seen in the area by associate judge Duncam's bailiff who had been out scouting. He had met about 50 Russians on foot, who were wearing white coats and four-cornered hats. Jochen had upon hearing this report turned back as he expected a larger force to be nearby.

Colonel Aminoff had also been to Jewe, but upon discovering that it was impossible to get through he had returned to Wesenberg. 

The peasants had said that there were two Russian camps, one at Stöppelmanshoff and the other a few kilometers from Narva between Jurowa and Prestane. It was impossible to get through their lines. The enemy took all cattle and grain they could find and brought it to their camp. The countryside was in a sorry state. Almost all Germans had fled and the peasants were behaving worse than the enemy.


EAA 1.2.285

Posted by bengt_nilsson at 12:01 AM CET
Updated: Monday, 10 April 2017 9:47 AM MEST
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Sunday, 5 August 2012
The summer of 1719
Topic: Devastations

In July and August 1719 Russian forces made numerous landings on the east coast of Sweden, burning and ravaging a large number of towns, villages, manors, mines and iron works. The armed resistance was in most cases quite weak, partly because the defense deliberately had been concentrated around Stockholm. Nevertheless, the nervousness was quite widespread even in the capital and the Council of the Realm was in endless discussions about the situation. One of the main worries was that the Russians would be able to land at Södertälje, transport their galley across land to lake Mälaren and then attack the capital from the west. The famous artillery specialist Carl Cronstedt (1672-1750) at one point even told the Councillors that this would result in all of them ending up as "slaves in Siberia".

In late July the County Governor of Västmanland in Västerås (nearly 100 km west of Stockholm) became so worried that he requested 6 000 muskets and 6 000 rapiers for the peasants in his county and a few days later an additional 1 000 muskets and 1 000 rapiers. To his first request the College of War (Krigskollegium) on 30 July replied that they had no muskets to send, but he could get gunpowder and ammunition from Örebro if guns could be found locally.

In this situation all sorts of schemes were proposed. The retired naval veteran Admiral Olof Wernfelt (1654-1731) openly questioned the leadership of Admiral Taube, who commanded the Stockholm naval squadron and suggested that a more active approach would be better. Wernfelt suggested that he should be given command of some of the lighter units and go out and attack the Russian galleys. This upset Taube, who not only complained to the Queen, but also invited Wernfelt to a meeting and (with the help of his officers) cut Wernfelt's idea to pieces. A couple of local privateers suggested that they should be given permission to collect some 2- 300 "idle people" in Stockholm and go out and fight the Russian galleys - an idea which was discussed back and forth for quite some time before being dismissed. 


Rådsprotokoll July-August 1719, Riksarkivet
Krigskollegii brevböcker, Krigsarkivet
Krigskollegiets registratur, Krigsarkivet


Posted by bengt_nilsson at 1:46 PM MEST
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