Clashes on the border and the battle of Erastvere

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29. December 1701

Peter I ordered the Russian forces of Pihkva and Novgorod, commanded by Boriss Cheremetyev, (see image) to launch a campaign.

In the early morning of September 4, a three-front force of 20 000 men attacked Swedish outposts, simultaneously in Räpina, Vastse-Kasaritsas and Rõuge. Russians only managed to surround and destroy the first outpost.

After the clashes on the border, the commander in charge of Livonia's defense, Wolmar Anton von Schlippenbach (who was soon thereafter promoted to the rank of major general) decided to withdraw from his headquarters in Aluliina and move to Erastvere.

In October 1701, a new Russian campaign to Livonia began: a force of 18,800 out of 21,600 men moved towards Erastvere, where 3000-3800 men along with the land defense units were waiting.

On December 29, 1701, a battle was fought in Erastvere, where the enemy outnumbered and defeated the Swedish. After the victory, Cheremetyev returned with his force to Pihkva, burning villages and estates left in his way.

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

Image source: A. Mäesalu, T. Lukas, M. Laur, T. Tannberg Eesti ajalugu I Avita 1997. lk 30

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