Battle of Polonka, 27 June 1660

The Peace of Oliva of May 1660 ended fighting in the First Northern War (1655-60) between Sweden, Poland-Lithuania, Austria and Brandenburg. This allowed John Casimir, king of Poland-Lithuania, to concentrate on the Muscovite threat (Thirteen Years War). He launched twin offensives, one in Lithuania and one in the Ukraine. The Lithuania expedition was commanded by Hetman Stefan Czarniecki and Paul Sapieha. Czarniecki commanded a Polish army 4,000 strong, Sapieha had 9,000 Lithuanians. On 27 June they attacked a larger Muscovite force under Ivan Andreevich Khovanskii in a prepared defensive position.

The resulting battle saw the Polish-Lithuanian cavalry win another victory against a larger Muscovite army. On the right wing, Polish cavalry was able to outflank the Muscovite line. The Muscovite cavalry was driven off, leaving the infantry to stand alone. Although the Polish-Lithuanian force was mostly cavalry, and only had two field guns, they were able to force the Muscovites out of their defensive positions. The Muscovite infantry was then surrounded and defeated suffering heavy casualties. Khovanskii escaped, but much of his army was lost. The Polish-Lithuanian army was then able to advance into Lithuania, recovering large areas lost earlier in the war.

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (27 July 2007), Battle of Polonka, 27 June 1660 , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/battles_polonka.html

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