Movement of the troops of Karl XII to Narva

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12. November 1700

The young 18-year old king of Sweden Karl XII (on photo) arrived to Pärnu on 5 October 1700, having been on route from port of Karlshamn. Due to the autumn storms some of 35 ships were forced to turn back.

Pärnu was chosen the destination upon the proposal of admiral Hans Wachtmeister, as at that moment it was unclear whether one should be gone to besieged Narva by Riga or Russian troops endangered by Saksi troops.

The short visit of the king to the headquarters of general Otto Vellingki leading the defence of Livonia in Ruhja (Rūjiena) clarified that the direct danger under Riga has passed. Regardless of that the road conditions were very complicated due to the autumn rains which hindered the arrival of supporting troops from Sweden, the king decided to move through Tallinn and Rakvere to Narva.

Rakvere was also chosen the collection place of food and munitions. They set off from Pärnu on 15 October and the first troops arrived to Tallinn on 23 October. They stayed in Tallinn for some days and already on 26 October the Guards of the king set off towards Rakvere, followed by other military units.

The troops of general Vellingki having arrived from Ruhja had already gathered to Rakvere. Karl started off in the early morning of 12 November with 11 000 men towards Narva through the Virumaa regions plundered by the Russian troops without waiting for the additional troops.


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