Full Text

Narva, Battle of


Subject History » Military History

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631168485.1994.x


(20 November 1700) After an arduous march along boggy roads, the army of the young Charles XII of Sweden arrived at Narva, a port in Swedish Estonia, on 13 November 1700. There were 10,500 effectives. Since 4 October, the town and fortress had been besieged by a force of around 40,000 Russians led by Tsar Peter I. The poor quality Muscovite artillery, under the command of the Saxon von Hallart, had barely made an impression on Narva's defences. Learning of the arrival of the Swedish vanguard and of Charles himself, who had recently defeated the Danes, Peter decided to leave his army to fetch reinforcements from Novgorod. His intention was to trap the Swedes between the two corps. After discussions with Karl Gustav Rehnskjold, Charles decided to mount the swiftest possible attack against the long line of contravallation which curved around the town for 7,200 metres, both ends resting on the banks of the Narva River. The only route by which Peter's troops could return to Russian territory was a raft bridge across the river near Kamperholm to the northeast. There were too few Swedes to make a methodical attack on a wide front against the double line of trenches. Instead, the king decided to break through on either side of the main Russian camp, which was under the command of the courtier Prince Yury Trubetzkoi, using two deep shock columns of infantry with fixed bayonets. The assault ... log in or subscribe to read full text

Log In

You are not currently logged-in to Blackwell Reference Online

If your institution has a subscription, you can log in here:


     Forgotten your password?

Find out how to subscribe.

Your library does not have access to this title. Please contact your librarian to arrange access.

[ access key 0 : accessibility information including access key list ] [ access key 1 : home page ] [ access key 2 : skip navigation ] [ access key 6 : help ] [ access key 9 : contact us ] [ access key 0 : accessibility statement ]

Blackwell Publishing Home Page

Blackwell Reference Online ® is a Blackwell Publishing Inc. registered trademark
Technology partner: Semantico Ltd.

Blackwell Publishing and its licensors hold the copyright in all material held in Blackwell Reference Online. No material may be resold or published elsewhere without Blackwell Publishing's written consent, save as authorised by a licence with Blackwell Publishing or to the extent required by the applicable law.

Back to Top