The river battle of Kastre

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03. May 1704

Since Charles XII and his forces were in Poland, the defense of the Baltic was quite neglected. In 1704, Russians sensed the possibility of a larger scale military operations. A new wave of enemy attack was heading towards Tartu, marked by clashes on Emajõgi River.

On May 3, 1704, Russian boats arrived on Emajõgi River, near Kastre, with 9000 men and 18 cannons. On the morning of the same day, the Swedish navy, led by captain Carl Gustav Löschern, with 14 ships, four of which were armed to the teeth, started moving from Tartu to Peipsi.

The Russians caught wind of the Swedish arrival and fortified themselves near the narrows of the river near Kastre. The unsuspecting Swedish force, moving down river, fell in to a trap and in three hours, the battle was lost. Löschern, commander of the fleet, ordered the flagship "Carolus" destroyed, along with himself and the crew. The Russians received 12 ships, along with 86 pieces of artillery and plentiful military equipment.

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

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