Arrival of the Russian troops to Narva

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12. September 1700

The notice about the border crossing of the Russian troops arrived to Narva on 8 November. On 12 November the first troops arrived to Narva. The troop lead by Ivan Trubetskoi crossed River Narva near Kreenholm and established the strong base there. Upon the order of commander Horn all suburbs of Narva and Jaanilinn were burned down. More troops came from Russia and the city was closed into besiege circle.

More than 140 cannons and 25 mortars were taken to the site, the total number of the Russians was 35 500 - 38 000, 7500-10 000 riders of which. The guard troops of Preobraženski and Semjonovski toughened during the military trip of Aasov made up the core group of the Russian army, but the main part of the army consisted of the hired voluntary men who had no battle practice.

The Russian army had few experienced higher officers. The field marshal Fjodor Golovin and the general of horse cavalry Boriss Šeremetjev were the men toughened in the battles, but they were not aware of the European military customs. Peter I still managed to hire some foreign commanders, one of the most important ones was the Duke Charles Eugène de Croy with major experience having earned the elector August II.

In addition to him, the higher officers of the Russian troops included the former service general Adam Weide of Prince Eugen, Austrian commander, captain Rudolph Felix Bauer having belonged to the horse cavalry of Sweden in Livonia who worked just before Narva battle as the secret agent on the side of the Swedes and the experienced military engineer Ludwig Nikolaus von Hallart.

The Russian soldiers though considered the foreign commanders from Europe strange which was intensified even more by the language barrier.

Sources: Eesti ajalugu. IV, Põhjasõjast pärisorjuse kaotamiseni. Tartu: Ilmamaa. 2003
Eesti ajaloo atlas. Tallinn: Photo: A. Mäesalu, T. Lukas, M. Laur, T. Tannberg. Eesti ajalugu I, Tallinn 1997, lk 127

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