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Old December 6th, 2012, 01:38 PM   #1
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The Polish-Muscovite war


Hey, everyone! I'm doing a research on the Polish-Muscovite war. There are barely any books in my country about the war, so I was basically wondering if you guys could recommend me some books on the above-listed research. I've done a little bit of googling on the internet, there's barely any books on that subject in English. All authors are more or less Russians or Poles and their books have yet to be translated. The only books which I could find are from a historian called Robert. I. Frost. Never heard of him, so I think it would be best if someone who has more knowledge in Polish, Lithuanian and Russian history could tell me something useful. I'm also willing to buy any books (via Amazon and such) which could be useful.
Thanks again,
Andronicus

Last edited by Andronicus; December 6th, 2012 at 01:52 PM.
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Old December 6th, 2012, 02:15 PM   #2

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I've just started in on Russian/Polish/Ukranian/... let us just say Slavic history myself. I am finding the lack of English sources unsettling.

Good luck in your endeavor.
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Old December 6th, 2012, 03:07 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andronicus View Post
Hey, everyone! I'm doing a research on the Polish-Muscovite war. There are barely any books in my country about the war, so I was basically wondering if you guys could recommend me some books on the above-listed research. I've done a little bit of googling on the internet, there's barely any books on that subject in English. All authors are more or less Russians or Poles and their books have yet to be translated. The only books which I could find are from a historian called Robert. I. Frost. Never heard of him, so I think it would be best if someone who has more knowledge in Polish, Lithuanian and Russian history could tell me something useful. I'm also willing to buy any books (via Amazon and such) which could be useful.
Thanks again,
Andronicus
Добро дошли на Исторум / Welcome to Historum, Andronicus.

Exactly which Polish-Muscovite war are you interested on?

(BTW, please read the policy of this Homework Help Forum; please approach the Mods if you have any doubt)

Last edited by sylla1; December 6th, 2012 at 03:13 PM.
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Old December 6th, 2012, 04:25 PM   #4

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There was a series of wars in the end of 15th century and first half of 16th century in which Poland wasnt officially engaged. It were the wars between Lithuania and Grand Duchy of Moscow. In general inspite of some victories on the battlefield those wars didnt go well for Lithuania which was unable to defend its territory. Poland had to aid Lithuania.

First Polish-Muscovite war took place in years 1512-1522 (or Fourth Lithuanian-Muscovite war). During war Moscow allied with Holy German Empire against Poland. But Polish-Lithuanian victory at Orsha made emperor Maxymillian quit the alliance with Moscow.

After the Empire abadonned its Muscovite ally, Moscow has allied with the Teutonic Order which finally didnt decide to join the war.

Second Polish - Muscovite war which was known also as Fifth Lithuanian - Muscovite war took place in years 1534-1537. Lithuanians didnt fight well and lost some territories while Polish army on the southern theater of war took Homel and Starodub.

Third Polish-Muscovite war in years 1558-1570 ended with truce was part of bigger conflict between Poland, Lithuania, Sweden, Denmark, Moscow known as First Northern War or Livonian War which lasted till 1583. Players were changing sides, somtimes it was just Polish -Muscovite wars, somtimes war between allied Poland and Denmark against allied Sweden and Moscow and later even allied Poland-Lithuania -Sweden against allied Moscow and Denmark.


In its result Lithuania gained some territories of the Livonian Order but became more exposed on Muscovite attack what made it even more dependant on Poland which was forced to keep its own garrisons on the territories conquered by Lithuania. Meantime Poland and Lithuania became one state known as Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Since that moment every Muscovite agression against Lithuania was treated as agression against Poland. New king of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth Stephen Bathory launched 3 big invasions against Moscow and forced it to sign peace treaty favorable to Poland.

The next was Polish-Muscovite war in years 1605-1618 during which Commonwealth forces took Moscow which was during the conflict also allied with Sweden. The war eneded with nothing. Poland was able to take some Muscovite territories (Smolensk area being the most important of it) but failed to conquer the whole Russia. In 1612 Polish garrison in Moscow after long siege was forced to surrender. Only few hundrieds of Polish soldiers who defended themselves in Moscow returned back to Poland. Half of them was murdered just after they surrendered, inspite of the fact that one of the conditions of surrender was that they will recive safe passage to Commonwealth border. I have read memoirs of survivors, incredible thing.

Next was Smolensk War (1632–1634) during which Muscovites without succes tried to retake Smolensk. War ended with complete catastrophe of the Muscovite army, not only it suffered terrible casualties but after capitulation 4000 soldiers, mostly foreign mercenaries imidatelly joined Polish side. The war ended in pre-war status quo but king of Poland for 20.000 rubles in gold resigned from the title of tsar of Russia and returned russian crown and insignia to Moscow, together with the corpse of tsar Shuyski who died in Polish prison.

Next was Russo-Polish War of 1654–1667 which ended in Muscovite victory inspite of the fact that in the final campaign Muscovy suffered heavy defeats. This was critical time period in Polish history and the Commonwealth almost collapsed. On the Ukraine was great rebellion of Cossacks who allied with Crimean Tatars. From the east Commonwealth was invaded by Russia and from the north by Sweden. Swedes almost conquered the most of the country. Seeing Swedish succes also Transilvania invaded Poland from south. Finally after forcing Swedes to retreat PLC focused on the war with Russia. After significant succeses in the last campaign when the peace treaty was negotiated, Polish general and commander of the army, Jerzy Lubomirski started civil war in Poland, which forced Polish side to sign peace treaty profitable to Russia, which gained Smolensk and eastern Ukraine with Kiev. Polish king defeated by the rebels of Lubomirski abdicated and went on exile. Lubomirski had no idea what to do after his victory over king and also was exiled.

Next was the war in 1792 which ended with the second partitions of Poland.

And last would be the war in 1830-1831 when Poland, which was a separate kingdom joined with Russia by the personal union (Russian tsar was a Polish king) started rebellion which resulted in regular war. However Polish kingdom, so called Congress Poland (after Congress of Vienna in 1815) was just a small piece of land remained after napoleonic Grand Duchy of Warsaw which was partitioned by Russia, Prussia and Austria.

Last edited by Mosquito; December 6th, 2012 at 04:44 PM.
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Old December 7th, 2012, 12:00 AM   #5
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The Polish-Muscovite war of 1605-1618. Mosquito, you're Polish, maybe you know of some sources that we don't?
P.S Thank you for your welcome message, Sylla1.
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Old December 7th, 2012, 02:28 AM   #6

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andronicus View Post
P.S Thank you for your welcome message, Sylla1.
warm welcome is the only warm thing you can expect from Sylla


Quote:
Originally Posted by Andronicus View Post
The Polish-Muscovite war of 1605-1618. Mosquito, you're Polish, maybe you know of some sources that we don't?
P.S Thank you for your welcome message, Sylla1.
There are many but the best would be contemporary, like the memoirs of Stanisław Żółkiewski titled "On the Beginning and the End of the Muscovite War", also known as "Beginning and Progress of the Muscovy War".



Few people know it but the war was started as private undertaking of few 2 Polish magnates.

The story begins in the palace of Adam Wisniowiecki in 1603 in his private baths (unlike in western Europe in Poland nobles were enjoying it and kept themselves clean). One of the servants of Wisniowiecki was doing everything wrong what made his lord angry. Usually in such situations nobles were slapping faces of their servants and that was also what Wisniowiecki did. But his servant said that if his lord knew who he is, he would never slap his face. So Wisniowiecki asked his servant who the hell he think he is. The answer amazed him. Servant said that his name is Dimitri and that he is a son of Russian tsar Ivan the Terrible.

After death of Ivan the Terrible the power was held by regent Boris Godunov. It is said that he has killed the sons of the tsar because wanted to be the tsar himself. It is not sure if Wisniowiecki's servant was really the son of tsar or not. Historians are still quarelling about it.

But Wisniowiecki was pleased knowing that one of his lower rank servants is the rightous tsar of Russia. Polish nobles were very eccentric people. They liked everything what was strange, unusual and rare. They often kept on their courts dwarfs, unique cripples, sometimes even african animals such like for example girrafes. Everything what could have amaze their neighbours or make them envy was most wanted. First thought of Adam Wisniowiecki was probably "Wow! i have tsar of russia, noone in my province can have better pet than this". When Wisniowiecki told his friend, voivod Mniszech about his tsar, Mniszech invented plan to invade Russia and make Dimitri really a tsar. For making Dimitri tsar of Russia they demanded huge areas of Russia, a lot of cities, titles and of course a lot of gold. This was especially important for Mniszech who however powerful, was completelly ruined. The daughter of voivod, Maryna Mniszech was supposed to marry with Dimitr and to become new Russian empress. Dimitri together with Wisniowiecki and Mniszech started recruiting men for campaign. Thousands of poor and landless Polish nobles were coming to join them, after them came Cossacks from Ukraine and even Tatars. Outlaws, banits and infamis'es, criminals of all types, unemployed mercenaries. Everyone who had only life to loose, wanted to get gold of Russia. The army finally had over 5000 soldiers, maybe undisciplined but experienced. One can say, that 5000 against all Russia is not much. But in this case was enough.

Dimitri, Wisniowiecki and Mniszech were afraid of deafeat even long before they entered Russia. When were marching trough Ukraine they were in danger that another powerful Polish noble - Janusz Ostrogski will attack their army with his private forces, because Ostrogski was their private and political enemy who didnt like the idea of their expedition. But finally without being attacked they achieved Russian border and felt safe, at least from other Poles.

Russian cities were surrendering on their way. Finally tsar Boris Godunov sent against them his army under command of prince Mscislavski but Poles and Cossacks easilly defeated them.
Later there was a second battle which nobles lost, in the result of defeat their army almost desintegrated but soon the gathered again and reformed after hearing news about death of tsar Boris Godunov.

Death of Godunov made things much easier. All Russian garrisons were surrendering and joining to false tsar Dimitr who finally entered Moscow and crowned himself its Tsar. It was year 1605 AD. Maryna Mniszech became his wife and Russian empress. After their succes even more of poor Poles and cossakcs came to Russia to join them.

But Poles and cossacks didnt come to Russia for fun. In other words, they were raping thousands of women, murdering thousands of people, plundering, pillaging and burning russian cities and villages. Most of them didnt want to stay there with Dimitri and Maryna, their plan was to come back to Poland rich, very rich. When Dimitri and Maryna were ruling in Moscow, thousands of Polish nobles, soldiers, cossacks was traveling trough Russia into all directions looking for the cities and villages which wasnt plundered yet. The most cruel was colonel Lisowski and his free company, they were known for encircling Russian towns, entering, plundering, raping and in the end killing everyone. These skills which they trained in Russia, later they mastered in Germany during 30 years war.

Behaviour of Poles ( including all other people who come with Poles) and of Dimitri who was doing moreless the same what his Polish friends caused unrest and raised rebelious moods between both Russian boyars and paesantry. The plot to kill Dimitri was started by boyar Vasili Shuisky. He leaded the people of Moscow, boyars and paesants against Poles, killed many of them and murdered tsar. The empress Maryna Mniszech and most of the Poles who were in Moscow were imprisoned. Vasili Shuisky made himself new Tsar.
Dimitri Tsar of Russia was dead. Polish nobles decided that if they cant have old Dimitri, they must make new one. They picked russian guy named Ivan Bolotnikov and claimed that it is their Dimitri who havent been killed in Moscow and escaped. As Polish commander Stanislaw Zolkiewski wrote

"Second Dimitri didnt even look simialar to first Dimitri. The only thing in which they were similar was that they both were men".

This time even more Poles came to Moscow and even more powerful nobles joined to second false Dimitri. Tsar Vasili IV (Vasily Shuisky) send all his armies against the Poles. It was year 1608. The private army gathered by noble named Roman Rozynski defeated the army of Tsar Shuisky in the battle of Wolohov and marched toward Moscow. Next in the battle of Khodynka another Russian army, commanded by prince Skopin Shuisky (relative of tsar) was obliterated. Tsar Vasili IV wanted to make peace. As a gesture of good will he released empress Maryna, her father Jerzy Mniszech and all the Poles he had in his prison. He sent Russian troops and ordered them to escort "empress", her father and Poles to the border of Polish-Lithuanian Republic. On the way they were found by some Polish ruffiants who were pillaging countryside and brought to the main camp of the private army. Here all the people wittnessed a romantic scene. Maryna recognised "second false Dimitri" as her husband. In echange for 300.000 rubles in gold and 14 castles in Russia Jerzy Mniszech also recognised him as his old son in law. The private armies of false Dimitri and Polish nobles started siege of Moscow. Before it endend situation has changed. The parliament of Polish-Lithuanian Republic and the king declared war against Russia. Royal army under command of hetman Zolkiewski left Poland and marched toward Moscow. It caused great disorder in all the private armies that were besieging Moscow. Their "excursion" was illegal and condemned by parliament. Nobles were now afraid for their lifes and soon started deserting from the private armies, trying to join the royal army.

King of Poland wanted to make a tsar himself. False Dimitri was no longer needed, he was just another pretendent to Russian throne. He fled from camp.

In 1610 Zolkiewski with Royal army of 7000 soldiers in the battle of Klushino defeated joined armies of Russians and Swedes (all together over 35000 soldiers). After the battle Zolkiewski took Moscow. The nobles and their private army panicked. It was looking like that they are the next target of Zolkiewski and king's army. In this moment one of the most influent leaders of "private army" Piotr Sapieha surrendered and offered his own services and his men to Zolkiewski. There others had no choice and followed him. The private war was over. All what happend next was an official conflict between Republic and Russia.

Thats how the war did start.

Last edited by Mosquito; December 7th, 2012 at 02:35 AM.
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Old December 7th, 2012, 03:07 AM   #7

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Part of book of Polish Grand Crown Hetman Stanisław Żółkiewski:

Quote:
Pod tym czasem w ziemi moskiewskiej wariacja [zamęt] i odmiana wielka w rzeczach się działa: bo szalbierz impotenter [samowładnie] chciał panować, ciężary nie znośne kłaść, egzakcje [rekwizycje] wielkie wyciągać. Nasi zaś, którzy przy nim byli, rozpustnie żyli, zabijając, mordując, gwałcąc, nie tylko czemu inszemu, ale i cerkwiom nie przepuszczali. Zaczym, nie mogąc tych zbytków wytrwać, ci, którzy już byli do szalbierza przystali, jęli się od niego do Szujskiego przerzucać.
translation:


At this time the land of Moscow was in madness and a great variety of things were taking place: because impostor [Dmitri pretender, supported by the Polish nobels]wanted to rule alone, to introduce new taxes and requisitions. Our men who were with him, lived in debauchery, killing, murdering, raping, even not sparing Orthodox churches. The Muscovites unable to endure the excesses, began to support Shuyski.
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Old December 7th, 2012, 10:05 AM   #8

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The best source would be the work of Stanisław Żólkiewski which I mentioned earlier.

So far I see there were at least 2 publications in english:

Stanisław Żółkiewski (1547-1620)

"Beginning and Progress of the Muscovy War . . ."; excerpt. Trans. Michael J. Mikoś. Polish Baroque and Enlightenment Literature: An Anthology. Ed. Michael J. Mikoś. Columbus, Ohio/Bloomington, Indiana: Slavica Publishers. 1996. 59-65.

Expedition to Moscow: a Memoir. Trans. M.W. Stephen. London: Polonica Publications. 1959.

An inconspicuous in size, yet saturated with content and skillfully written work by Hetman Stanislaw Zolkiewski (1547-1620), describing Polish-Muscovite relations in the Polish-Muscovite War period, has already had several editions. This fact reflects popularity and importance of the book. The author aimed at the subjective yet basically honest presentation of his own role in politics of those times, shown against the background of the 1604-1611 events. The text was started in less than a year from the actual events. It is incorrectly described as a diary; actually it is closer to the convention of the literature of fact. Since the times of Waclaw Sobieski historians have pigeon-holed Zolkiewski as a supporter of the Commonwealth and Muscovy union. The exegesis of the work results in no premises proving such a thesis. The hetman belonged to the opponents of this war. He believed that the interference with the Muscovite issues could only take place on the Seym's or - in exceptional cases - on the Senate's approval. Once the war began, he reluctantly participated in it, motivated by the military leader's feeling of duty and the regalism, which he believed was a proper political attitude. After the victory in the battle of Kluszyn, in the treaties signed with Muscovite boyars he diverged from the agreement decided upon half a year earlier on the king's approval. This resulted in Sigismund III and his circles' criticism. Then, in a defensive gesture, pointing to the analogy of the state union of Poland and Lithuania, he hinted in a couple of sentences at the possibility of union with Muscovy. Taking into account the circumstances, the hetman used this argument not according to the plan but instrumentally.
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Old December 7th, 2012, 01:14 PM   #9
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Thanks a lot, Mosquito! Just what I was looking for! Do you maybe know of a website which sells his books in English?
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Old February 20th, 2013, 10:08 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andronicus View Post
The Polish-Muscovite war of 1605-1618. Mosquito, you're Polish, maybe you know of some sources that we don't?
P.S Thank you for your welcome message, Sylla1.
If you want some primary sources (i.e. accounts), then you might also check English eye-witness accounts from this war. From this book:

False Dmitri, a Russian romance and tragedy described by British eye-witnesses, 1604-1612 : Howe, Sonia E. (Sonia Elizabeth), b. 1871 : Free Download & Streaming : Internet Archive

http://ia700309.us.archive.org/10/it...4028446072.pdf

For example the account of Henry Brereton.

Click the image to open in full size.

Henry Brereton was a British soldier who - with 2,000 other Scottish and English soldiers - volunteered as a mercenary to the Swedish army of King Charles IX and in May 1609 came to Sweden. Henry Brereton then fought against Poles in Russia, including the battle of Klushino in 1610.

Here is Brereton's description of the battle of Klushino from his "Newes of the present miseries of Rushia" (scans from the book linked above):

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

And such an interesting opinion from Henry Brereton:

Click the image to open in full size.

Last edited by Domen; February 20th, 2013 at 10:18 AM.
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