Talk:Battle of Orsha

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Review comments: M.K. 10:45, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
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Old talk[edit]

The problems I have with the version of User:W.V.-S.:

  • Although I understand that to some it might be somehow touchy, Kanstancin Astrožski was never spelt this way in his lifetime (and I doubt the Cyrillic version of that spelling would tell him anything). It is a modern Belarusian transcryption of his name and nothing more. That's why I decided to use both names he actually used and not the name invented long after his death. If that's considered wrong then perhaps we should use the form Konstantin Ostrozhsky consistently. Kanstancin Astrožski seems out of the question to me.
  • Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth did not start after the Union of Lublin. It has a much longer story and the history of Polish-Lithuanian alliances is one of its main parts. That's why I decided to use the term Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth rather than Grand Duchy of Lithuania. It was a joint military operation, with Polish army constituting approximately 50% of the forces. Stating that it was a battle between Lithuania and Muscovy is simply wrong.
  • Although the name of the state was Muscovy, the prince was as Russian as he was a Muscovite. Not all names need to be changed to Muscovy.
  • Also, I thought that the adjective of Muscovy is Muscovite, not Muscovian.

-- Regards, [[User:Halibutt|Halibutt]] 06:16, Sep 8, 2004 (UTC)

Anyone? [[User:Halibutt|Halibutt]] 04:20, Sep 21, 2004 (UTC)

Remove Polish propaganda[edit]

My source for the figures of casualties is Zimin's monograph "Rossiya na poroge novogo vremeni" (1972) which compares all figures given in various sources. Right after the battle king Sigismund wrote to the Pope Leo X that his army killed 30000 Muscovites and took prisoner 46 commanders with 1500 nobles. As the Polish government spread this news across Europe, these enormous figures grew larger and larger. The late 16th-century Polish historians (notably Strykowski) wrote about 40000 killed Muscovites and 2000 nobles taken prisoner. Meanwhile, there exist a document listing all the nobles taken prisoner after the battle, name by name. This is the only unprejudiced document we have. And it lists only 380 nobles. Feel the difference, as they say. But the efforts of Polish propaganda were fruitful, if not in relations with Muscovy (which even didn't notice this minor defeat), but with the Holy Roman Empire. Impressed by the figures of Muscovite losses, Emperor Maximilian offered a peace treaty to Sigismund.

Sigismund von Herberstein puts the number of Russian casualties to 30000, and the number of Lithuanian troops to 35000. He's generally a reliable historian, but his information about 80000 Muscovites is not believed by any Russian historian. Ivan the Terrible, who was much stronger than his father and commanded a larger territory, could never muster more than 40000 troops, of whom 20% were newly-conquered Tatars and Finns. Therefore I propose to cut 80000 figure in half. --Ghirlandajo 14:52, Dec 39, 2004 (UTC)

You are on the best way to be a new wikipedia troll. --Emax 15:46, 29 Dec 2004 (UTC)


I have edited this article, chiefly for style and English. Someone should review it for any inaccuracies, including such as I might have inadvertently introduced, and recommend it for Featured Article recognition. Logologist 01:06, 30 Dec 2004 (UTC)

some remarks[edit]

There was no Polish_Lithuanian Comm. in this time at all M.K. 12:20, 8 September 2006 (UTC)

Thanks. Sigitas 12:30, 8 September 2006 (UTC)
No problem! M.K. 12:31, 8 September 2006 (UTC)

I think that the 1903 picture is of limited relevance to this article. Mikenlesley (talk) 05:22, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

Comments from an Uninformed Reader[edit]

Two sections confused me somewhat. First, the section titled "Eve of battle" states: "At the end of 1512, Grand Duchy of Moscow began a new war for Grand Duchy of Lithuania's Ruthenian lands of present-day Belarus and Ukraine. Albrecht I Hohenzollern von Brandenburg-Ansbach, Grand Master of the Teutonic Order rebelled and refused to give a vassal pledge to Sigismund I the Old. Albert I was supported by Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor." The purpose of the last two sentences in relation to the title and first sentence is unclear. Presumably Albrecht's rebellion weakened the Grand Duchy and perhaps reduced the size of its available army and perhaps also the cash available to Sigismund I but that is speculation on my part. I also presume that Max's support of Albrecht suggests a larger conspiracy but without more information the statement is more puzzling than helpful. Second, the section titled "Aftermath" states: "The war between the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Grand Duchy of Moscow lasted until 1520. In 1522 a peace was signed, under the terms of which the Grand Duchy of Lithuania was forced to cede to Grand Duchy of Moscow about a quarter of its possessions within the lands of the former Kievan Rus, including Smolensk. The latter city was not retaken by Russia until almost a century later, in 1611. After the peace agreement of 1522, Grand Duchy of Lithuania tried to attack Russia one more time, but major military conflicts were settled for around 40 years." Did the Grand Duchy of Lithuania cede land to Moscow or vice versa? If Lithuania ceded land to Moscow, why would Russia retake Smolensk later?Rpclod (talk) 12:33, 8 September 2009 (UTC)

Sourced edits on newest research reverted without explanations[edit]

The user Loosmark reverted my sourced edit. If he has something to say, please discuss it here, first. --Kievlyanin (talk) 18:36, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

I reverted your "sourced" edit because you presented things in a very biased way. You claim that the Lithuania-Polish sources give "huge numbers", "propaganda data by Sigismund" etc etc while presenting Russian source as the more objective. The sources of both side have to presented in a neutral way. Also sentences like The Russian historian A. Lobin tried to calculate the quantity of the Russian army at Orsha basing on the mobilisational abilities ot the towns whose townspeople served in the army. are very poor English.  Dr. Loosmark  18:49, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
1) "Propaganda data" is a quote from the source of a Polish historian, not my personal statement. 2) The word "huge" can be changed to "very big" but it certainly doesn't justify the complete removal of the text. 3) Poor English is also not a justification for the removal of sourced data which is important for the understanding of the whole context. You could easily correct the grammar if you wanted to. --Kievlyanin (talk) 18:56, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
There is no need to describe the numbers given by Polish-Lithuanian sources as "huge" or "very big" same as we don't describe the numbers given by Russian sources as "very small". New sources are welcome if they are 1) reliable 2) presented in a neutral way.  Dr. Loosmark  19:02, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
For the 16th century, it is an objective information that a 80,000 men army is big, if not extremely big. This has both demographical and logistical reasons that are sourced. For a non-specialist reader it is a useful orientation, however. If you can prove that the Russian numbers are objectivily too small, please present your sources and feel free to describe it like that. --Kievlyanin (talk) 19:37, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

Battle of Vorsha![edit]

Faked Wikipedia! Real name of the town is Vorsha! Real name of the medieval State is the Grand Principality of Litva!

I have a hope you will support me.

Lithuania is translation from Lithuanian.

But ORIGINAL NAME of the State is LITVA. This name was in all State documents. And I belive that name of each State must be translated for English from the language which the State (or people of the State) use or used. For example: Lietuva - Lithuania, Biełaruś or Беларусь - Belarus, Polska - Poland, Україна - Ukraine, Россия - Russia and etc.

Although the Grand Principality of Litva was multi-national State the State language was Old Belarusian: "А писаръ земъский маеть по-руску литерами и словы рускими вси листы, выписы и позвы писати, а не иншимъ езыкомъ и словы." The Statute of GPL 1588. Part 4, article 1.

This article of the Statute of GPL 1588 in contemporary Belarusian: А пісар земскі мае па-руску літарамі і словамі ўсе лісты, выпісы і позвы пісаць, а ня іншым языком і словамі. Only the word "язык" has another equivalent in the modern Belarusian and nowadays used with another meaning.

Not each Ruthenian is Old Belarusian. But the Statutes of GPL and most of State documents in GPL is exactly in Old Belarusian. And it is not Lithuanian for sure:-) And the name of GPL as the Grand Principality of Lithuania is an evident mistake.

The Grand Principality of Litva wasn't wholly Belarusian State (Litvians or Ruthenians changed their widespread names for less prevalent name Belarusians in 19 century), but Litvians or Belarusians had been ethnic majority and dominated. It was rather union of nations. And name of this union is Litva.

Wnen Soviet Russia signed agreement with Independent Lithuania in 1920 Lithuanians demanded "to return" their Metrics (archives) of GPL. Famous historic Mitrafan Dounar-Zapolski offered to give Lithuanians ALL DOCUMENTS in Lithuanian. But such documents did not exist. Most of documents were in Old Belarusian, the rest of them were in Polish, Latin and German.

P.S. Lithuania is only small half of Litva. And I am sorry but Vilnia (this town was a capital of GPL) is a Lithuanian's town only since 10 October 1939 as a present of Stalin.

Till 1939 Vilnia was a Belarusian cultural center, and the Lithuanians were an ethnical minority there. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:50, 28 June 2010 (UTC)

Russian numbers[edit]

The lead section states that the Russian army was far larger than the Lithuanian and the eve of the battle section says the Lithuanian "army was inferior in numbers" (the total is 35,500 in the body and 30,000 in the info box). But when it comes to the discussion of the size of the Russian army, I am left with a strong impression the best current estimate by academic historians is about 12,000, far smaller than the size(s) previously given for the Lithuanian army! This could be a contradiction. Qemist (talk) 11:09, 12 July 2010 (UTC)

Polish numbers[edit]

35,500 was the initial size of the Polish-Lithuanian army when they started the campaign (this number includes 17,000 Poles, 16,000 Lithuanians and 2,500 volunteers - mainly from Bohemia + artillery and one unit of engineers). But later some 4,000 - 5,000 were left for protection of captured fortress Borysow. Also several smaller clashes / battles took place (mainly during rivercrossings of Berezyna, Bobr and Droc rivers). There were also non-combat losses (dead of sickness, sick, deserters, etc.). And finally according to Michal Glinski's letter Zygmunt kept as hist last reserve force around 5,000 men without throwing them into the battle. So the actual number of men at Orsha was not higher than 30,000 and the actual number of those who took part in the battle was not higher than 25,000 - 26,000. Peter558 (talk) 19:28, 16 July 2011 (UTC)

B-class review failed[edit]

Insufficient citations. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk to me 16:20, 4 May 2012 (UTC)