Talk:Battle of Narva (1700)

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The date of the battle is something I would like somebody to clarify for me. The article says "20 November 1700 (Julian calendar)". At that time, Narva was part of Sweden, which at that time did NOT use the Julian calendar. It had decided to gradually convert from Julian to Gregorian over a period of 40 years, by successively omitting 11 leap days (29 February). The first omission was in 1700. The "Swedish Transitional Calendar" had now commenced, which would differ from the 10-day difference) in the Swedish Transitional Calendar, but to 19 November (11 days) in the true Julian Calendar. So it seems the info provided is not internally consistent. If the date really was 20 November in the Julian calendar, this would equate to 1st December in the Gregorian.

I suspect (but can't yet prove) that Narva happened on 19 November (Julian) = 20 November (Swedish) = 30 November (Gregorian). Does anybody know what the real truth is, and can they quote an authoritative source? I would be most interested, and Wikipedia would be the better for it.

The Swedish literature mention the 20:th November. As far as I know all dates of the GNW in Swedish literature are written in Swedish calendar (this is especially noticeable for Swedes visiting Halden in Norway, at the monument on Charles XII:s death, the Danish (Gregorian) dates are written that differs somewhat from the dates taught in Swedish schools and lit.). In Swedish lit. Charles fell Nov. 30:th 1718, the Norwegian monument puts his death in december (I do not remember the exact date). The link to the article on the Swedish calendar should be renamed into "Swedish transitional calendar" or something like that. Since most of the other dates (incl. Charles death) is written in Swedish calendar format, I suggest that the Swedish dates are kept, but Gregorian dates are added as well.

Swedish calendar: 20 November, Julian: 19 November, Gregorian: 30 November. I am sure!

-Objectivity Am I the only one sceptical about the phrasing in the aftermath part? Using the phrase 'wasted the victory' seems extemely objective to me. Being an encyclopedia, judgement should not be taken - especially in a topic that is much debated in military history (ie whether or not Karl XII made the right decision or not when it comes to the war strategy post-Narva).

I don't have a problem with the wording. I thought there was pretty much consensus that the strategy after Narva didn't do much good to the Swedish position. If you know sources that make an argument for the strategy I guess it could be a good thing to reword.

But if Charles XII would march into Russia after the victory then he would have August II in his back. Furthermore the russians still had 120000 soldiers in russia not so far from wer eCharles XII were going.Pukkie 07:34, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

Makeup of the armies[edit]

Should there perhaps be more information about the makeup of the armies. Eg the Swedish army was made up of large numbers of ethnic Finnish recruits as well as Germans. What about the Russian army? It is mentioned that most of the officers were foreigners. Where did they come from? KarlXII 22:19, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

Well the most of the swedish soldiers were born in sweden

The Russians must have used Polish, Cossack and other officers. This is an educated guess, since soldiers from these territories made excellent account of themselves in the battle, especially cossacks. Though I'm not sure if the Cossacks were even under the Russians at this point or still a rebellious force.

Zar Peter used a great many German Officers in his army, They were what we call Soldies Of Fortune. Many were King August officers from Saxony. Rytter.


Could someone verify the very detailed casualty count for the Swedish army. I have seen numbers accurate to the last man, but I am not sure it is 667. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 16:23, 15 April 2007 (UTC).

"Sweden lost only 667 men while the Russian army lost about 15,000 men, many of whom fled the battlefield only to drown in the Narva River."

Can I just ask how this can be said for certain?

Good question, I have seen accurate numbers way back (in a book that I cannot recall the name of), but 667 is not familiar. I guess you can make out very detailed KIA counts from the regimental archives. Should we change it to 700 or whatever is the standard rounded number?

The Swedish encyclopedia "Nationalencyclopedin" (my edition is printed 1994) lists 667 as the KIA count for the Swedish side, and 15000 on the Russian side, 12000 Russians is listed as captured.

It also lists the sizes of the armies as 10500 Swedes vs. 37000 Russians. The encyclopedia entry make a reference to Nils F. Holm, Det svenska svärdet: Tolv avgörande händelser i Sveriges historia (1948)

Swedish casulty numbers can be taken as being pretty accurate as many of the company rolls are still preserved in the Swedish Military Arcives. Russian numbers can be very much Guess Work, often tending to look favorable for their side. The total numer of Russian dead was never established and Zar Peter never fill´d in the number, possibly feeling it was too much too stomich. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ryttar (talkcontribs) 06:47, 14 August 2008 (UTC)

Right, now that we have seen what Swedish have written, why don't we look at russian side of the battle, shall we, just to be on the objective side, right?

this site estimates 3,000 killed for Swedish, 8,500 for russians. Maybe we should add both casualties, one under swedish claim, another under russian claim? Also, a question: how do we know Tzar Peter never counted the numbers? It seems rather unreal to me that after a devastating loss like that, you do not count how many dead you have, and how many you have left alive. You are, after all, building a new army. I shall look up more websites and literature for the russian side, one is not enough. -- (talk) 19:05, 27 June 2009 (UTC)Pavel Golikov.

Can someone explain why the number 667 disappeared? It was accurately quoted, and as far as I understand it based on counts done in the military records. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:10, 8 October 2010 (UTC)


Im sorry but this battle was not decisive. Decisive doesn't mean "crushing victory", it means that it had a direct affect on the outcome of hostilities, in favour of the winning party. If it had been decisive, Sweden would have retained mastery over Russian and the continent. The battle didn't decide anything, apart from a Russian policy change from extrovert aggression to introvert modernisation. It was just another scirmish in a long war which Russia eventually won. Just because Charles XII pulled off a move of strategic genius doesn't change history. Yes Sweden won this battle, clearly, but Russia won the war and Narva did nothing to end hostilities. It wasn't decisive, and classing it as decisive seems to be a product of the "anti-Russian" tone of the whole article, which is the reason i wrote the thing. Far too biased, not decisive. Yours --Tefalstar 12:58, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

I've seen far more anti-swedish content on wikipedia than on any other site. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Sidesnoble (talkcontribs) 17:55, 9 September 2007 (UTC)
  • Wow, good point, i suppose we'll just let this bias and bad history slide then, Thanks for your contribution... --Tefalstar 17:44, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

Nonsense, a PoV. "If it had been decisive, Sweden would have retained mastery over Russian and the continent." Says you. There is no such defination requirement for a decisive victory in Wikipedia. "Russia won the war" No kidding? The Axis Powers lost World War II, Central Powers World War I - that doesn't invalid the decisive victories they won which do not cover your defination requirement. "Far too biased..."anti-Russian" tone" Quite the opposite, revisionism like this is anti-Swedish tone in regards of Sweden's history. Regards, --Kurt Leyman 13:58, 2 October 2007 (UTC)


Undoing the page since Soviet sources are known to be greatly unreliable. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Irtehprwn (talkcontribs) 22:56, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

Self references[edit]

From what I can see the references about Russian troops killing their foreign generals only referes to its own wiki page. Shouldn't the claim be removed if it can't be properly sourced? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:06, 4 March 2008 (UTC)


Books by Voltaire and other historians count as reliable sources, restoring page. Bertil124 (talk) 21:38, 1 April 2008 (UTC)

Haha do you think creating a new account will change who you are, you are the same person haha who do you think will fall for this haha the numbers are false just as everything you do is false never forget what your goal is and who and what you are, the greatest vandal in all of wikipedia Shipseggsbasket (talk) 21:58, 1 April 2008 (UTC)

Peter's Flight[edit]

The source is unreliable and no pages are cited. Book is impossible to find. The "facts" are purely biased, showing favour towards Charles XII and taking for truth that Peter fled out of cowardice, when no such thing occurred. Rewriting to be inclusive to both interpretations and using a different citation. Czarevich (talk) 18:49, 19 April 2009 (UTC)


How could a garrison of 6,500 Swedes (initial strength minus killed and wounded) capture and guard up to 30,000 Russian POW? Looks like Swedish editors like the fantasy genre. --Voyevoda (talk) 19:30, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

Well, I would guess the high figures come from the fact that the remaining Russian army of about 20.000 men capitulated. They were allowed to leave Narva, but had to leave their weapons and banners. Only officers and some soldiers were actually taken as prisoners. 134 prisoners arrived in Stockholm in May 1701, but among them were Jakov Dolgorukov, Ivan Baturlin, Avtomon Golovin, Ivan Trubetskoy, Adam Weide and prince Alexander of Imereti. Field marshal Charles Eugène de Croÿ remained as prisoner in Reval. Närking (talk) 19:58, 5 December 2009 (UTC)

Troop Count[edit]

The article states that Charles positioned his 10500 men in front of the Russians. But from my memory, I have not checked sources at this moment and hence I will not change the article, the troop count including the battalions sent from the city added up to 10500. The Swedish army advancing TO the city counted something like 8000-9000 heads or so. The entire troop compliment could not have been placed at the same place since there was an army between the city and the Swedish army.

Another point, the article does not have enough information on the tactics employed, I recall that the Swedish army had artillery on an elevated position in the centre and the wings consisted of infantry and cavalry. Normally, the centre would be made up from infantry with some field artillery placed between or in front of the infantry battalions. This is a rather interesting tactical development that should be discussed and linked to the proper military theory. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:39, 22 February 2010 (UTC)