The Russians besiege Tallinn for the first time

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21. August 1570

After Duke Magnus had become the vassal of Ivan the Terrible and "King of Livonia „in summer 1570, he arrived in front of up to 25 000 men troop to siege Tallinn. This started on 21 August, but the Swedes could constantly deliver munitions and food products to the ones besieged along the seaway, the Russians could not seriously endanger the city more seriously during the siege.

The bigger risk than the Russians was the plague epidemic broken out in Tallinn. This though spread also to the camp of Russians and forced them to end the siege on 16 March 1571. At the same time Paide was also besieged which could resist the Russian forces already for the third time.

After the siege of Tallinn failed, one of the Livonians having started cooperation with the Russians' former Tartu stift bailiff Elert Kruse was afraid of the revenge of the tsar and decided to go over to the Polish service. Prior to that he tried to haggle Tartu to the Polish, by organizing the rebellion against the Russians.

This though failed and many citizens of Tartu were executed and deported. The frightened Duke Magnus escaped to Saaremaa. But soon it clarified that the anger of the tsar is not endangering him and he remained continuously the "King of Livonia".

Andres Adamson. Hertsog Magnus 1540-1583: tema elu ja aeg. Tallinn: Argo, 2005.

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


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