Attempt at counterattack by the Order

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October 1558

In the autumn of 1558, a significant change of orientation took place in the Livonian Order when the Viljandi commander Gotthard Kettler, who was pro-Poland, was elected as the Coadjutor (assistant to the Grandmaster). This allowed collaboration between the Order and Archbishop Wilhem von Hohenzollern in order to request military aid from Poland-Lithuania; regrettably, this was only verbal.

Regardless, in autumn 1558 when attacks by the Russians had subsided, Kettler decided to get back at least some of what had been lost. The main goal was set up to be the recapture of Tartu. At first, the forces of the Order arrived under Rõngu Fortress.

The Russians did defend it fiercely, but the Order was still able to capture it. Due to the lack of forces, the siege of Tartu was abandoned and Kettler proceeded to the Laiuse Fortress. There, he was wounded and after that, military actions were ended. Due to mediation by the King of Denmark, in April 1559, a half-year truce was achieved, which the Livonians used to seek outside help.

Mati Laur. Eesti ajalugu varasel uusajal 1550-1800. Tallinn: Eesti Entsüklopeediakirjastus, 1999.


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