The march of the Swedish forces towards Narva

to map

19. November 1700

The Swedish forces embarked from Pärnu on October 15, the first troops reached Tallinn on October 23.

They continued on to Rakvere, that had been chosen as a resupply point. There they met up with the forces of Otto Velling who was leading the defense of Livonia, that had arrived from Ruhja.

On the dawn of November 12, the king along with 11,000 men and 37 cannons, set out towards Narva. They moved through Virumaa, which had been desolated by Russian forces. On November 16, the Swedes came across the cavalry of Boriss Cheremetyev who were forced to retreat after swift battle.

According to later lore, an Estonian farmer by the name of Stephan Raabe (Ronga Tehvan) had helped the Swedes to move behind the enemy's back through secret paths. By the night of November 19, they reached Laagna estate (picture) and went on reconnaissance to get acquainted with the Russian's defenses. It was decided to go into battle on that same day, ignoring the rules of war of the time and not constructing a fortified camp.


Source: Eesti ajalugu. IV, Põhjasõjast pärisorjuse kaotamiseni. Tartu: Ilmamaa. 2003
Eesti ajaloo atlas. Tallinn: Avita, 2006.                                                                                                     Photo

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