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Brulloff Karl (1799 - 1852)  The siege of Pskov, the Polish King Stefan Bator in 1581  Oil on canvas, 1836.  The sketch  The Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia
Goback 14 / 195 Forward

Title: The siege of Pskov
Description:
Brulloff Karl (1799 - 1852)
The siege of Pskov, the Polish King Stefan Bator in 1581
Oil on canvas, 1836. The sketch
The Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia

The Siege of Pskov, known as the Pskov Defense in Russia ( in Russian) took place between August of 1581 and February of 1582, when the army of the Polish king Stefan Batory laid an unsuccessful siege and successful blockade to the city of Pskov during the final stage of the Livonian War of 1558-1583.

The first detachments of the Polish-Lithuanian army, which in the past two years captured Polock (1579) and Velikiye Luki (1580) appeared at the walls of Pskov on August 18, 1581. This action completely cut off Russian forces from territory of Livonia. The main forces of the invaders (31,000 men) laid siege to the city on August 24-26. Prince Vasili Skopin-Shuisky was nominally in charge of the defense of Pskov, but Prince Ivan Shuisky was the one to actually implement it. The latter had up to 4,000 dvoryane, streltsy, and Cossacks and some 12,000 armed citizens of Pskov and its surroundings at his disposal.

After a two-day shelling of Pskov, the Polish army attacked the city for the first time on September 8. The Russians repelled the assault, which resulted in heavy losses for the Poles. Attempts to blow up the fortifications with mines and a general attack on November 2 turned out to be fruitless, as well. In November, some of Polish forces attacked the Pskovo-Pechorsky Monastery, but to no avail.

King Stefan Batory then ordered a passive siege, and the battle became a blockade. On December 1 the King left the siege together with most of the Lithuanian Army, volunteers and German mercenaries. The command over the remaining forces was given to Zamoyski. At the same time, during all the siege in 1581, Polish cavalry raids devastated many regions of Russia, reaching Volga and Ladoga Lake. The regular cavalry was the best part of invaders forces. During the harsh winter of 1581-2 the rest of the besieging army would have mutinied but for the iron will of the Chancellor Jan Zamojski. The Chancellor held the blockade, although the Russian partisans had been active in the Pskov area, attacking enemy foragers and communications.

The Pskovian garrison undertook frequent sallies (approximately 46), mostly in November and December of 1581. There were 31 attacks by Polish troops during the five month siege[3]. The siege dragged on, with neither side able to end it; in the meantime diplomatic negotiations, in which Vatican became involved, led to the end of hostilities.

Stefan Batory and Ivan IV finally signed the Treaty of Jam Zapolski on January 15; Russia renounced its claims to Livonia and Polotsk and in ex the Commonwealth returned Russian territories its armies had captured. On February 4 of 1582, the last detachments of the Polish-Lithuanian army left the outskirts of Pskov.

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Goback 14 / 195 Forward
Brulloff Karl (1799 - 1852)  Bathsheba  Oil on canvas, 1832. Unfinished  88x62   The Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, RussiaBrulloff Karl (1799 - 1852)  The siege of Pskov, the Polish King Stefan Bator in 1581  Oil on canvas, 1836.  The sketch  The Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, RussiaBrulloff Karl (1799 - 1852)  Portrait of Princess Ye. P. Saltykova  Oil on canvas, 1841  The Russian Museum, St-Petersburg, Russia
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