The war begins; the Battle of Seritsa

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26. August 1501

The war between Livonia and Russian principalities - Pihkva and Moscow - began in August of 1501, when Wolter von Plettenberg took the army (which is sometimes considered the largest in all the history of Livonia) across the eastern border of the bishopric of Dorpat, to Pihkva area.

There he met the relatively large Russian army, which had been rallied there to attack Livonia, as it was clear already months earlier that the war will begin. The Russians were caught by surprise while crossing Seritsa River and Plettenberg succeeded in destroying them.

Livonians gained numerous cannons and other firearms as loot. Livonians moved on towards Ostrov fort, and captured it. Lithuanian additional forces were to rally there also, but they never made it, because the situation was becoming more complicated in the south, and grand duke Aleksandras had traveled to Poland to ensure the Polish throne. Thus, capturing Ostrov and the victory at Seritsa did not hold any strategical significance, because the Livonians had to leave the siege on Pihkva soon and return home; then diseases broke out and killed off numerous men.

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