Surrender at Perevolochna


Surrender at Perevolochna

Infobox Military Conflict
conflict=Perevolochna
partof=Great Northern War


caption=Map depicting the surrender.
Red=Russians and blue=Swedes. In the bottom left, Charles XII crosses the Dnieper.
place=Perevolochna, present-day Ukraine
date=July 1 1709
result=No fighting, Swedish surrender
combatant1=flagicon|Sweden|naval Sweden
combatant2= flagicon|Russia Tsardom of Russia
commander1=Adam Ludwig Lewenhaupt POW
commander2=Alexander Menshikov
strength1=12,000
strength2=9,000
casualties1=Entire force taken prisoner
casualties2=

The surrender at Perevolochna was the capitulation of almost the entire Swedish army on July 1 1709. It signified the annihilation of the once formidable Swedish army after the defeat at Battle of Poltava, and paved the way for the eventual Russian victory in the Great Northern War.

Background

:"Main article: Battle of Poltava"After the defeat at Poltava, Charles XII intended to lead the Swedish army over the Vorskla River near the village of Byeliki, south of Poltava, and into tatar territory. On the morning after the battle, no orders were given after the departure from Novo Senshary, and the march continued along the right bank of Vorskla. A ford existed across the river near Kishenka, but due to mistakes committed by several officers, the ford was overlooked and the force marched on to Perevolochna five kilometers further away.

The surrender

At Perevolochna, King Charles was given the chance to dash ahead with an escort of 1,500 men to Ottoman territory by General Adam Ludwig Lewenhaupt and the other senior officers. Among the reasons why the king wanted to cross there was his wish to quickly reach Poland. According to Charles' own plan, Lewenhaupt would have followed across the Dniepr River with him, but the general requested to stay and command the army. Charles ordered Lewenhaupt to lead the army across Vorskla into tatar-controlled territory, and he promised to carry out this order.

On the morning of July 1, General Menshikov approached from the north with a Russian force of less than 9,000 men, mostly cavalry. Lewenhaupt did not want to fight the Russians; instead, after conferences and voting among the higher officers, the Swedish army capitulated.

Effect on the war

The surrender was a contributing cause to the Russian victory in the Great Northern War. The Swedish continental army had ceased to exist, leaving the remaining defenses of the Swedish Empire hopelessly outnumbered. Strategically, Russia now had taken offensive, while Sweden would be hard pressed to muster a new army to defend itself. General Lewenhaupt was imprisoned and died in Russian captivity in 1719. King Charles did nothing to have him released, but fled to Bendery in what was then Ottoman Empire.


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