Härgmäe Battle

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02. August 1560

In February 1560, Russians attacked again, capturing the most important fortress of the Order on the eastern border: Aluliina or Aluksne. After that, they started assembling forces for capturing the most powerful order castle - Viljandi. Of course, the Order did its best to prevent this, but was interrupted especially by the argument with Duke Magnus who, in addition to the bishoprics of Saare-Lääne and Kuramaa, desired other neighbouring order premises as well. By the beginning of August, the Order was able to settle the argument with Magnus, but by then, it was too late.

On 2 August 1560, the 500-head troop of the Order, led by Field Marshal Philipp Schall von Bell, had ran into the Russian army of up to 10,000 men. The Order obviously did not know how many Russians there were and attempted to crush them. Soon, the troops of the Order were encircled and forced to surrender.

Several important order commanders either perished in battle or were sent to prison in Russia where they were executed at the end of the same year. This was the fate of the Field Marshall as well. The greatest blow to the Order was that it lost a great proportion of its management, including many of those who wanted to preserve the Order.

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


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