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Örjan Martinsson

The battle of Kliszow, which was fought 9 July (Swedish calendar) or 19 July 1702 (Gregorian calendar) in southern Poland, was one of the greatest Swedish victories in the Great Northern War. It was also the first battle the Swedish king Charles XII led by himself without the help of battle plans devised by other generals. The Swedish army had also defeated the Saxon army the year before when the Swedes successfully crossed the river Düna. But the Saxons managed to leave that battle field without serious casualties. In an attempt to eliminate the Saxons as a military threat the Swedish army marched to southern Poland in 1702 where the Saxon army was located. The Swedes had however only 12 000 men against at least 16 000 Saxons, and when the battle had begun the Saxons were reinforced with a Polish cavalry force of 8 000 men. But despite the numerical inferiority and facing attacks on both flanks the Swedes managed to defeat their opponents and win a decisive victory.

The Saxons lost 2 000 men in killed and injured and an additional 2 000 men were captured. On the Swedish side 300 men were killed and 500-800 were injured. The casualties were however not evenly distributed. In the Guard (Livgardet) had 250 men died and 200 had been injured while Närke-Värmland only reported one dead and the Dal-regiment and Västmanland had neither any dead or injured.

Nevertheless, the campaign in Poland was not over with this battle. It would continue for an additional four years until it was finally decided by the battle of Fraustadt.

The map above comes from the work by the Swedish General Staff "Karl XII på slagfältet" and shows the Swedish army's difficult position just after the arrival of the Poles. The map has been slightly modified by me to reduce its size and increase readability.