Talk:Battle of Poltava

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Message to Wikipedia[edit]

I notice alot of Russian constantly is on wikipedia and twist information and make it false, lock this page after making some corrections or be more aware of changes thats made.

Please don't make me laugh, mate. --Nikitn (talk) 13:58, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

Adress too the author and wikipedia: I am sorry to say the article is in need of some serious clean up. The foreground before the battle need´s work, the battle itself need´s clairity as to the Swedish command, what orders were given on the Swedish side, formations and battalions involved. From the Swedish side one of the best book´s ever written on the battle is by Proff. Frans G. Bengtsson "Karl XII Life" where he has taken all avalible information from the Swedish Generalstaff Archives, letters and diaries of individuals at the battle. This is the 300th. year anniversary of the battle and I feel The Battle Of Poltava should be rewritten. I offer my services in trying to give an as accurate view of the battle as by what I have studied by Proff. Frans G. Bengtsson, Herman Lindqvist and Peter England. Ryttar (talk) 18:33, 26 March 2009 (UTC)Ryttar 25 March 2009 —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ryttar (talkcontribs) 18:41, 25 March 2009 (UTC)

Frans G. Bengtsson was a good novelist but he was not a historian. The same with Herman Lindqvist. He is a good journalist but not a professional historian. But Peter Englund is an excellent historian as well as writer whose book (which is not his doctoral thesis) about Poltava is a good source for this article. But there are also many other articles by other historians in different publications, especially related to details. And there are also new books coming this year. Närking (talk) 20:33, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

Mazepa and his Cossacks[edit]

Could someone say some more about Mazepa and his Cossacks, specifically why there were so few of them, and what happened to them during and after the battle? All they get is a brief mention early on in the article. TonySever 14:08, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

who created this story in the first place? The russian cav wasnt the reason the swedish line broke, it was the russian inf line that was longer than the swedish line and simply outflanked it

You are quit right, with the loose of General Roos and his 4 batalions the Swedish line was just too short. Ryttar 26 March 2009

Mazepas soldiers that didnt die on the battlefield was put to death after surrendering because of their treason

Who wrote the following: "Further north, the Swedish attack took a turn for the worse when a Russian counter-attack began at 10:10 by a cavalry force commanded by General Menshikov on the Swedish right flank which led to the Swedish infantry being isolated in the open by the Russian infantry in the center, personally led by Peter. Then another Russian cavalry attack at 10:30, commanded by General Bauer, attacked the Swedish left flank and rear, breaking the Swedish lines within 15 minutes" Because its NOT true. (a swede) The Russian cav had routed from the battlefield.

Again here we are in need of a map to understand just what happened: As the Swedish army was moving through the redoute system of 10 redoutes, six as a base line and four going out from the six forming a T formation. At the sound of alarm Menshikov´s cavalry 9000 man moved up behind the redoute base line. While the Swedish infantry attackt the first two redoutes the cavalry sept past them and through the base line redoutes engaging Menshikov who after stiff resistance gave way and fled to the north along the front of the Russian camp with the Drabant Koren, Småland Regement, Liv Regement after him. Unfortunatly they were call´d back by Reinskold as he wanted all his troopes together for a general attack on the Russian camp. Had they persued Menshikov he would have been distroyed as they would have been forced into the swamp just north of the Russian possision! as it turn´d out they were left in some wood´s where they were able too reform and attack the Swedish Cavalry from the rear as it was trying to negosiate wet ground behind the infantry line of battle trying to form on the right flank as the Rusian left wing was extended beyound the Swedish line. Ryttar (talk) 18:34, 26 March 2009 (UTC)Ryttar 26 March 2009


"and had to turn over command to Field Marshal Carl Gustav Rehnskiöld and General Adam Lewenhaupt. This was made all the more unfortunate by the divergent personalities of the two generals. Unfortunally when the high command decided to plan the battle they forgot to tell the subordniated commanders." No, Rehnskiöld formulated the plan with the king. The only other ones with full knowledge of the plan was count Carl Piper and colonel Gustav Henrik von Siegroth. The latter one was to be the appointed "colonel for the day", staff officer for the king. However, one of the earliest casualties was von Siegroth, who fell before he had informed the officer in charge of one of the columns of infantry, major general Roos his final orders.

"The battle began before dawn at 3:45 a.m. on June 28, with the Swedes advancing boldly against the Russian fortified lines. At first, the battle started off in a traditional fashion, with the better trained Swedes pressing in on the Russians' redoubts, overrunning a few Russian defensive redoubts." The problem was that the Russians were in the process of building additional redoubts at the time the Swedish troops were forming up for attack. This led to the attack being somewhat hastened. The outermost 2 redoubts that had still not been fully finished were easily taken, but then because he was not aware of the plan of action, Roos used his column to attempt to capture also the next redoubt, instead of BYPASSING it as the other column(s), thereby placing 1/3 of the Swedish troops in a poor position, taking casualties fighting for no good reason and in the end was forced to surrender with the remains of his six battalions after a pointless and loosing battle against Russian reinforcments.

"The Swedish infantry, commanded by General Lewenhaupt, attempted to attack the Russians. But the Swedish advance soon faltered, partly because that the infantry got the order to withdraw and reorganise." No, Lewenhaupt tried to attack the Russian camp with his OWN column of troops after having successfully bypassed the redoubt line. As it was only a couple of battalions, Rehnskiöld recalled him.

"With over 1,000 casualties and ammunition running low, Roos was forced to surrender his command." Roughly 400 out of the 2600 remained when he surrendered.

"They were on the verge of a breakthrough and needed the cavallery, unfortunally it was disorganised." The left wing of Swedish troops, Östgöta and Närke regiments fell behind the push forward by the other Swedish troops giving the Russians a gap to advance through and simply overwhelm the already severly tried Swedish infantry. The cavalry however had been getting ready to support the attack, but was now instead used to attempt to cover for a retreat. If they were disorganised, they couldnt have done that?

Source: "Svenska slagfält" Ericson, Hårdstedt, Iko, Sjöblom, Åselius. Published by Wahlström och Widstrand 2003.


Much false information[edit]

Many sources say that the swedes had very little firepowder, since it had been destroyed by many reasons on the way there, so the most muskets were useless.

Yes, that's true that Swedes suffered a lot, there was of shortage of food and fourage. Alexandre Koriakine 23:30, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

Two things, Its true that the swedes didn't have any firepowder, and this should be mentioned in the article and the second thing is that 18,000 prisoners weren't taken during the battle, about 2000 swedes were captured in the battle, however a unit of several thousand men were forced to surrender three days after the battle. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Unit12360 (talkcontribs) 14:10, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

From one point it is correct, but many can assume it's the same battle: swedes were defeated and directly pursued, prisoners taken. So better to write both numbers with explanations. Alexandre Koriakine 13:30, 14 October 2007 (UTC)


Why did it turn the tide of the war?

It destroyed the Swedish army, which contained all of that nation's best fighting men. Sweden, with a fraction of the population that Russia had, couldn't just raise and train a new army the way Peter did after Narva. Plus, the defeat forced Charles XII to escape to Ottoman territory, where he remained for five years. In his absence, Peter and his Polish allies not only undid all of Charles' previous victories, but invaded Sweden's prewar holdings. In the four years he had left to live, Charles was unable to reverse the tide, and Sweden made peace after he died. Jsc1973 (talk) 04:58, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

The article in general and the battle section in particular show bias. Swedish advances and movements are described in detail. The condition of Swedish army is discussed. Swedish generals are named. Their personalities discussed. The Russians simply act as a background. The use of the word "unfortunately" in the battle section adds to the bias. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:11, 22 January 2008 (UTC)


I know that Russians mostly see the battle of Poltava as one 14-days battle were the surrender at Perevolochna but in Wikipedia there are already a page for Perevolochna, therefore I will restore the page to only show the casaulties in the actual battle. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Irtehprwn (talkcontribs) 13:28, 1 April 2008 (UTC)

We both know that you are a vandal and that your numbers are those pulled directly from your behind to fit your own agenda so who are you kidding? Shipseggsbasket (talk) 21:30, 1 April 2008 (UTC)

Surrender at Perevolochna should merge with this article[edit]

Surrender at Perevolochna should merge with this article because:

Only 59 google results of "Surrender at Perevolochna"

The reason is because they are considered part of the same battle. The surrender 3 days later is considered a direct consequence of the Battle. The "Surrender at Perevolochna" that was created is a fiction, the surrender was part of the Battle of Poltava, as evidenced by the mere 59 Google hits for "Surrender at Perevolochna".--Berkunt (talk) 03:51, 9 June 2008 (UTC)

I am afraid you are wrong on this point, there was no surrender at Poltave, Karl XII and the remainder of his army made an orginized retreat after the battle to Perevolochan. Perevolochan may be tack onto this article as an aftermath and be held as a seperate article. Ryttar (talk) 18:35, 26 March 2009 (UTC)Ryttar 25 March 2009 —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ryttar (talkcontribs) 19:19, 25 March 2009 (UTC)

Strength and casualties[edit]

The Encyclopedia of Ukraine is a project by the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies in Alberta, Canada. It's correct the encyclopedia is about Ukraine, but to add figures from there and call them Ukrainian sources is certainly not true. The mainstream view among historians are the figures I and others have put in the article. Then there are Russian imperial and Soviet figures that are clearly exaggerated. Several editors think they don't need to be in the infobox but as a compromise I have put them there to show the Russian/Soviet figures. This was a battle between Sweden and Russia so it can be interesting to see how the Russian side views it. That's why they can be there. But to call the Russian imperial view Ukrainian is simply not correct. And as I said what can be interesting here is the Russian view, not a Polish, German, Italian and Ukrainian view (if there were any). Närking (talk) 20:16, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

Umm, one word. PROOF. Until you actually have any sort of backing (at ALL), your argument is empty air. And why is not the Ukrainian view allowed? Umm, they were part of the battle, in big time, last time I checked. Also, major parts of the Russian imperial army were Ukrainians, last time I checked. As I said before, your argument is empty air without proof.Kthxgodby --Nikitn (talk) 11:31, 10 December 2008 (UTC)

I don't think such a broad attribution will be fair here, as the disgreement exists in Russian sources as well. For example, the Illustrated Encyclopedia of Russia gives 6900 as the number of Swedish dead, whereas the Russian Great School Encyclopedia says that "it's over 9000" (c). It seems that the lower estimate is more widespread, especially if we include all the "Swedes lost 10000 in dead and wounded" accounts. --Illythr (talk) 13:25, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
Yes, that's why most editors didn't think it's needed it the infobox, but as a compromise I thought it could be there even though I personally don't think it's needed either. But as an example of the old exaggerated Russian imperial figures (like after the battle of Lesnaya they claimed they had killed 16,000 Swedes although there were only 12,000 Swedes present) it could be mentioned in a note for example. Närking (talk) 14:09, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
Well, if this number is to be kept (I don't know if it's an exaggerated Imperial number, or some alternative counting method, like, including the (executed) Mazepa's Cossacks), it should be marked somehow dofferently - as, clearly, not all Russian sources give the larger figure. For that purpose, it would be nice to find someone who knows how that figure came into being in the first place.--Illythr (talk) 15:08, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
Well, we all know how that figure came there at the first place. But if there should be another figure in the infobox it would be good if you could find a good reference to the Russian imperial view here. I trust you are much better in finding that than I am. That could in fact be interesting to have there. Otherwise I don't think it's needed with another figure there. But I'm not going to take it away from the article since I don't want my userpage to be vandalised again. Närking (talk) 21:43, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
We do? How? I don't... It's hard to find out whose view it is/was, because, as you can see in the two authoritative Russian sources above, both numbers seem to be in use in modern Russia. Need a real historian for that... --Illythr (talk) 18:52, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, I just meant how it ended up here in the article. But it would be interesting to know what Iunakov, N. ‘Severnaia voina: Kampaniia 1708–1709 gg.,’ Trudy Imperatorskago Russkago voenno-istoricheskago obshchestva, vols 2 and 4 (Saint Petersburg 1909) says about it. It's one of the sources "Encyclopedia of Ukraine" mentions in its bibliography. But hopefully we will also get more books on the subject next year when it's 300 years since the battle. At least I know of one Swedish/Ukrainian book that will be published next year and I would guess there might be Russian ones too. But until then I think we should make the best of this article since I'm sure many will read it during the next year. Närking (talk) 20:10, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

Meanwhile, the Russian Wikipedia provides a good estimate structure we might want to adopt:

Swedish combined army:
Swedish sources[1]:     26 000 Swedes (ca 11 000 cavalry and 15 000 infantry), 1000 Vlach hussars,       10 000 Cossacks, 41 cannons

Total: ca 37 000

Participated in battle: 8 270 infantry, 7 800 dragoons and "reitars", 1000 hussars, 4 cannons

Cossacks did not participate

Russian combined army:
Soviet sources[2]:        ca 37 000 infantry (87 battalions), 23 700 cavalry (27 regimants and 5 squadrons), 102 cannons

Total: ca 60 000

Participated in battle:       25 000 infantry, 9 000 dragoons and Cossacks, 3 000 Kalmyks arrived at the end of the battle

Garrison of Poltava:
4 200 infantry, 2 000 Cossacks, 28 cannons

That is, it provides a detailed overview on both participating and total numbers. --Illythr (talk) 16:58, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

Add all the sources you guys want, I don't really care. Just as long as the one I added isn't vandalized.

Also, I already said why this source is Ukrainian (encyliopedia of Ukraine is written primarily by Ukrainians, NOT CANADIANS), and is a common one in Ukraine. There are no grounds to rename it into Russian or wtv.

PS. This isn't some "Russian imperial estimate". I already told you that and all that else at tiopety's talk page, narking. PPS. Swedish view of the battle is NOT the "mainstream view among historians". It is the mainstream view of Swedish historians. I don't know where you get these claims from.

--Nikitn (talk) 19:50, 10 December 2008 (UTC)

Ukraine wasn't party to that conflict. There are two different estimates, one of which is used in most sources, the other - in some Russian and Ukrainian ones. The Ukrainian Encyclopaedia uses the larger estimate. Might as well write "according to some Russian sources" or something. --Illythr (talk) 18:52, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

What a load of bull****[edit]

Nikitns, you seem to be blinded by nationalism, seriously. The source should be refered to as the "Internet Encyclopedia of Ukraine" not "ukrainian sources" It's not every ukrainian source that states this, only one.

Also its the only source to name those ridiciously high numbers, but I guess if you want to include the casualties like that we should do that in Grengam too? Or will that hurt the glory of the mighty Russian revisionists eh?

Björnebacke (talk) 14:36, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

1. I'm not blinded by nationalism. You are. I've seen your lousy edits about other Swedish-Russian battles. You pull ridiculously high Russian casualty figures from no where, and lower the Swedish ones. Remember when you edited battle of Grodno? Suddenly, you removed the "light casualty figure" and replaced it with 8000 killed. This is not an isolated case, cause I've seen you vandalize 90% of the articles in the GNW.

2. Internet Encyclopaedia is written by Ukrainians, thus it is a Ukrainian source. But what is even more interesting, is that this source uses common Ukrainian estimates and belief. Check out Ukrainian wikipedia, battle of Poltava. This is proof enough for someone who don't know Ukrainian.

3. So I guess you can prove that every Swede thinks Engelund's estimate is correct?

4. Ridiculously high?! In a Russian or Ukrainian eye the Swedish estimates are ridiculously low.

5. Oh great, you actually use local folk-tales/legends as an accurate source about Russian casualties in a battle 250 years ago. You keep on impressing me with this.

6. Can someone bother to report this guy?

--Nikitn (talk) 15:07, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

2. The Ukrainian encyclopedia uses a number of sources, most of them Soviet. The original "over 9224" estimate is traced back to Russian imperial sources.[3] There is no need to quote the encyclopedia when we can attribute the estimations directly.
3. It is sufficient that this is an official Swedish figure, state to be such by authoritative scholars, including Soviet ones.
4 and 5. There are Russian sources that provide the lower (6900) estimate as well.
6. Due to your attitude, it is highly likely that sanctions will be applied to both of you. Or even just yourself. --Illythr (talk) 16:36, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

I would like to point out the Swedish historian Peter England did his Doctorship just on Poltava, a well written book but unfrotunatly nothing new from what other histroians have written on the battle. The work of Proff. Frans G. Bengtsson 1935 is of great value as he had utilized as much information as possible concerning troop numbers on all sides of the Great Northern War, not only from the Swedish Generalstaff Arcivies but also military records from Danmark, Dresdon Saxony (before the city was distroyed under WWII), Poland and St. Petersberg. To enhance this artikle any and all number statistics with backing from Russia would be forthcomming as even the Proffessor stated that knowing the accuret numbers on the opposing side was often times a guessing game att best as the Swed´s often had only the enamies regimental flag´s to deduce the numbers from, and as we all know, regemental numbers could vary greatly. Ryttar (talk) 18:37, 26 March 2009 (UTC)Ryttar 25 March 2009 —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ryttar (talkcontribs) 19:43, 25 March 2009 (UTC)

Frans G. Bengtsson was a good novelist but he was not a historian. Närking (talk) 20:37, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

Dear Närking. Thank you for the correction, he was a proffessor of philosophy. For a novelist he did a great work on his double volume of Karl XII Livnad, and if you have read it you can see he took great pains in detailing the swedish battles and in trying to give a clearer picture of just who Karl XII was. Herman Lindqvist follows Professor Bengtsson quit closely but gives more in his pictorial plates. His explination for the reasons for the Karl XII Norwegian Campain was very forthcomming as Bengtsson brushed over it a bit too lightly. Peter Englands Poltava I found was lacking in accuracy in a few points: pg. 60 "Karl was affraid of the dark and often slept with his men" true he slept with his men but where is the documentation that the king was affraid of the dark! He also claims Sigroth told the king his men would not fight? were is this statement too be found? Or that the army was starving! yes the army had starved on it´s march from Smolansk to the Ukrain, but from there it was restocked, "Every pain has it´s scream, but full belly´s remain silent" if there was a supply shortage at this time it would have been mentioned in letters and diaries. pg 75 he claims that the last coloum was led by G. M. Lagercrona! Lagercrona hade icka kommando i detta battali, nor did any officers who served under General Lowenhaupt. There are others I have found in his book, and this from a historian? Ryttar 8 July 2009 —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ryttar (talkcontribs) 20:07, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

Vallack hussars?[edit]

What exactly is this? Vallack - what's that? Peter558 (talk) 18:54, 14 December 2011 (UTC)

Vallacker och volloscher is just Swedish synonyms for vlachs, although I would say most of the men in those help troops were usually Polish or Lithuanian. Närking (talk) 20:12, 14 December 2011 (UTC)

Ok - so please replace the Swedish name by English name - Vlach. This is English wiki. But what kind of formation were those guys? What kind of hussars? Were they even hussars? In the Polish (Crown) army there was a formation of light cavalry called Vlach Cavalry and / or Vlach Banners (soldiers who served in this formation were usually Moldavian, Vallachian, Ukrainian Cossacks and Polish from regions of Mazovia and Podlachia) - but it had nothing to do with Husaria / hussars (which was heavy cavalry). Peter558 (talk) 04:33, 18 December 2011 (UTC)

I checked the article about battle of Poltava on Polish wiki and it says "1000 Polish vlach cavalry" ("1000 polskiej jazdy wołoskiej") - so, as I presumed, it clearly says about that formation of light cavalry which I mentioned above (Vlach Banners). So "hussars" is a mistake and needs to be corrected. They were not hussars (neither light or heavy - besides, in the Polish army at that time there were only heavy ones - Husaria). Peter558 (talk) 04:42, 18 December 2011 (UTC)

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