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Örjan Martinsson

Battle of Stresow 


Charles XII

5 November 1715 (Julian Calendar)
16 November 1715 (Gregorian Calendar)

Leopold of Anhalt-Dessau
2,000 men , , 11,500 men

The battle of Stresow was Charles XII's last battle and it was also the first time he lost a battle in which he personally led the Swedish army. But in no other battle were the participating armies more unequal in strength. Only 2,000 Swedes attacked a fortified camp with 11,500 Danes, Norwegians, Prussians and Saxons inside.

The battle was a consequence of the siege of Stralsund which the Anti-Swedish coalition had begun in 1715 with the intent of depriving Sweden of its last overseas bridgeheads. Stralsund could, however, be supplied from the island of Rügen and the anti-Swedish coalition therefore assembled an expeditionary force consisting of 11,000 infantry and 3,500 cavalry that would land on the island and conquer it. The transport fleet sailed on 1 November from Eldena Bay just east of Greifswald and threatened to land at Palmer Ort. There, however, Charles XII was waiting for them with his main force and the fleet instead sailed on 4 November to Stresow, which was defended by only 20 dragoons. There they managed to land all the infantry between 4 and 6 o'clock on the afternoon. The soldiers immediatly began to build field fortifications to protect their camp, which were finished at 9 o'clock when the artillery was in place. After that they began to disembark part of the cavalry.

But already around 8 o'clock Charles XII had arrived at Stresow with his cavalry. When he was told that the enemy had already entrenched, he is claimed to have said: "Oh God we came too late!". But if he was to prevent the enemy from capturing Rügen and thus also Stralsund, Charles XII had no choice but to attack the camp. However, no attack could be made until later in the night when the infantry and artillery had arrived. Meanwhile, the Swedes reconnoitred the fortified camp to select the site of their attack. Thanks to the onset of darkness, this could be accomplished without being detected by the enemy. The plan then devised was likely to attempt to repeat the feat at Narva 15 years earlier. By focusing on a single point, the infantry was to break through the enemy's field fortifications and then, together with the cavalry, attack the enemy inside the camp and prevent them from exploiting their numerical superiority. But with only two battalions against the enemy's 24, this was a very difficult task.

Shortly after 3 o'clock at night, the entire Swedish force was in place and could now begin the attack. They were formed in a column with the two infantry battalions leading followed by 20 squadrons two squadrons wide. The coalition's outposts discovered them and the Swedes were fired upon with both musket fire and canister shots. But without firing a shot themselves, the Swedish infantry pushed past the chevaux de frise, went down the trench and up the breastwork, and attacked a Danish battalion with such force that it briefly wavered. However, the Danes recovered and together with adjacent battalions opened fire on the Swedes and drove them back. At the chevaux de frise, the retreating Swedes met Charles XII, who rode a horse and urged his soldiers to carry out a second attack. But that attack too was repulsed with heavy losses. In that moment, Charles XII is said to have exclaimed: "Is there no longer a God on my side?" Shortly after these words both he and the horse were shot. Men from his Drabant Corps managed to pull free the wounded king who was lying under the dead horse. But the command of the Swedish force was taken over by Major General Strömfelt who ordered retreat.

Before the retreat, a cavalry battle had also been fought, which had gone better for the Swedes. A quarter of an hour after the start of the battle, the coalition army commander Leopold of Anhalt-Dessau ordered to send out all available cavalry to attack the Swedes in the flank. But there were only five squadrons to send and these were discovered by the twice as strong Swedish cavalry which was able to repel the attack. The Swedes were therefore able, after less than an hour's battle, to complete their retreat without being pursued by the enemy. Remaining on the field of battle, however, were their eight cannons and perhaps as many as 600 dead, wounded and captured men. In the following days, Rügen fell into enemy hands without any major resistance from the Swedish army, which retreated via Altefähr to Stralsund, which in turn fell on 12 December.

Content

The Swedish Army in Pomerania

= Wismar and the Swedish-controlled part of Pomerania June 1715

= Swedish territory occupied by Prussia = Prussia

The Battle of Stresow is a part of the Pomeranian campaign of 1715 when a 50,000-strong combined Danish-Prussian-Saxon army invaded Swedish-controlled Pomerania in July and completed its conquest in December. The Swedish force defending Pomerania had a strength of 12,000 men. When the enemy approached Stralsund to besiege the city, the Swedish cavalry was brought over to Rügen while the infantry manned the Stralsund fortress. However, smaller detachments from the infantry regiments in Stralsund were also on Rügen and were part of the force of about 4,000 men who defended the island. In addition, more than 400 dismounted cavalrymen manned a redoubt on the small island of Ruden

We have two strength reports from June and October respectively preserved in the sources which I have summarised in the table below. However, these strength reports are not so easy to compare with each other because the one from October only includes the infantry regiments in Stralsund and does not mention how many soldiers from these regiments were commandeered. In the June report 1,604 infantrymen were commandeered, probably to other Pomeranian fortifications in addition to Stralsund, which was then still controlled by Sweden. Also 470 cavalrymen were commandeered and these are probably identical to the garrison on the small fortified island of Ruden.

Stralsund
12 October 1715

 

The Swedish Army in Pomerania 9 June 1715
 

Infantry Infantry Cavalry Commandeered SUM
(actual)
SUM
(in the source)
Difference
348 Officers 327 284 99 710 749 39
538 NCOs 527 472 161 1,160 1,225 65
258 Musicians 250 74 26 350 366 16
5,225 Rank and File 5,114 3,288 1,604 + 470 10,478 11,488 1,010
6,369 SUM 6,218 4,118 2 360 12,698 13,828 1,130

Sick Rank and File


676 (both infantry & cavalry and not included in the sums)

Note that the totals reported in the table's source are higher than the actual totals of regimental personnel (hence two columns in my table). The difference of just over a thousand men probably consists of artillery and fortification personnel and perhaps also the approx. 400 Vallacks who, according to the work by Danish General Staff, should have been in Pomerania. However, the Vallacks are probably identical to the Niester Dragoon Regiment that is included in the table (but with only 96 men + at least 20 commandeered men).

The Swedish Force on Rügen

It was the force on Rügen that contributed the formations that fought the Battle of Stresow. However, no order of battle has been preserved in the sources, which makes it difficult to determine the number of soldiers and which regiments took part in the battle. But the Swedish force in this battle consisted of two battalions and 20 squadrons. The artillery consisted of eight guns.

The Swedish General Staff's work "Karl XII på slagfältet" states the total strength on Rügen at 3,500 men, of which ca. 750 infantry and not less than 2,200 cavalry took part in the Battle of Stresow. However, the work also mentions that the British envoy Jefferyes who was on the island reported that the Rügen force was 4,000 strong. The Danish General Staff's work "Bidrag til den store nordiske krigs historie" criticises its Swedish counterpart for containing an incomplete and incorrect list of the regiments on Rügen. They instead estimate the strength at between 4,000 and 5,000 men. Of these, 2,000 men took part in the battle (according to Jefferyes) and the regimental commander of the Bender Dragoons (who were the first to arrive at Stresow) wrote in his diary that the cavalry strength was 1,200 men. Reports from deserters put the cavalry strength at 20 squadrons of 50 men each.

That no more than about 2,000 men out of a total force of around 4,000 men seem to have taken part in the battle is probably due to the fact that the Rügen force was spread across the island to guard the beaches. For example, Charles XII could follow the movements of the enemy fleet by the various detachments firing signal shots. In addition, a larger detachment was stationed at Mönchgut and the Zicker Peninsula as coastal artillery.


Detail of map of the Battle of Stresow from "Karl XII på slagfältet".
The entire map and in a larger size is available as an appendix below.

All this uncertainty makes it impossible to determine exactly which regiments the two battalions and 20 squadrons belonged to. The Swedish General Staff has indeed identified which regiments the infantry battalions belonged to, but this is criticized by the Danish General Staff, which states that one regiment was not on the island and that there were detachments from at least five infantry regiments on Rügen. Both battalions may therefore have been composed of personnel from several different regiments. Since the Swedish force lacked infantry and had plenty of cavalry, it is also not inconceivable that the infantry was reinforced with dismounted dragoons. The cavalry also lacked proper riding horses and therefore mainly rode ordinary peasants horses. However, the Holstein regiments are reported to have had good horses.

Cavalry on Rügen

Participated in the Battle of Stresow according to the work of the Swedish General Staff:

 "Karl XII på slagfältet"

(1,926 men)

The Drabant Corps ought to have been included here.

Holstein
Cavalry Reg.
(335 men)
Holstein
Dragoon Guard
(562 men)
Bassewitz'
(Wismar) Dragoon Reg.
547 men
Vietinghoff's
(Barth)
Dragoon Reg.
(306 men)
Bender Dragoon Regiment
(consisted of ethnic Swedes)
(176 men)

Additional troops that were wholly or partly on Rügen according to the work of the Danish General Staff:

"Bidrag til den store nordiske krigs historie"

(1,039 men + Drabant Corps)

Drabant Corps

Pomeranian Cavalry Reg.
262 men
Bremen
Cavalry Reg.
126 men
Bremen
Dragoon Reg.
307 men
 Verden
Dragoon Reg.
249 men
French
Dragoon Reg.
95 men

Force on Mönchgut and Zicker Peninsula

Cavalry units that were in Pomerania, but their whereabouts is not mentioned in the literature.

Niester Dragoon Regiment
(consisted of Poles)
(96 men)

Pomeranian Dragoon Reg.
301 men

Schwerin's Dragoon Reg.
6 men

The strength reports of the cavalry regiments is taken from "Bidrag til den store nordiske krigs historie" and applies to 9 June 1715. But "Karl XII på slagfältet" states that the Bender Dragoon Regiment consisted of 176 men and not 96 men as stated by the Danish General Staff. This despite the fact that they obviously use the same source. The Danes, however, state 96 men for both the Bender and Niester regiments. Could they have written the Niester regiment's number twice? In the table of the strength of the regiments on 9 June, the Danish General Staff also commented that the Vallacks, which should have consisted of about 400 men, were missing from the table. But the Vallacks are probably identical to the Niester Dragoon Regiment.

The Bender dragoons were part of the 300 men strong vanguard that, together with Charles XII, arrived at Stresow around 8 o'clock pm (one source says it happened between 7 and 8 o'clock while another says it happened at 9 o'clock). The Drabant Corps was probably also part of this vanguard. According to "Karl XII på slagfältet"", the wounded Karl XII was rescued by a Corporal Baumgarten of the Drabant Corps. So although this work does not explicitly list the Drabant Corps as participants in the battle, it was at least partially present there. The Danish General Staff Office also mentions another drabant who helped save the king (Tungelfelt).

Infantry on Rügen

Pomeranian
Regiment
Bremen
Regiment
Jönköping
Regiment
Rheinland
Regiment
Holstein
 (liv?) Regiment

Rügen
National Militia

Sailors from
three frigates


Artillery on Rügen

8 cannons at Stresow

4 cannons at Mönchgut and Zicker peninsula

According to "Karl XII på slagfältet", the infantry at the Battle of Stresow consisted of 750 men distributed among one battalion each from the Pomeranian and Bremen infantry regiments. In addition, the Rügen National Militia and crews from three warships were stationed on Mönchgut and Zicker Peninsula southeast of Stresow. These regiments also had detachments located in Stralsund.

"Bidrag til den store nordiske krigs historie" criticises its Swedish counterpart and claims that the Pomeranian infantry regiment was not present at all on Rügen. However, in addition to Bremen and Rügen, it also lists the Jönköping, Rheinland and Holstein regiments as fully or partially present on Rügen. In addition, officers from the Wismar, Stralsund and Holstein regiments were captured on Rügen.

There is no doubt that Jönköping's regiment was not only on the island but also took part in the battle. It is confirmed in the sources that they suffered losses in the battle (read more about in the section on casualties).

Mönchgut and Zicker Peninsula

The force stationed at Mönchgut and Zicker Peninsula in south eastern Rügen under Lieutenant Colonel Stenflycht's command served as coastal artillery. It also protected three Swedish frigates that had taken refuge in Zicker Bay. The crews of these ships subsequently formed part of the force but their guns cannot reasonably be included in the figure of four artillery pieces mentioned in the General Staff works. In addition to the sailors and the artillery, this force consisted of the Niester Dragoon Regiment and the Rügen National Militia. The work of the Danish General Staff states that they consisted of about 200 dragoons and about 300 infantrymen. But this collides with the same work's claim that the Niester dragoons in June 1715 only had 95 men. Admittedly, officers as well as sick and commandeered men were not included in the latter figure, but it is still a big difference because the commandeered men were probably in Ruden (see below).

After the Battle of Stresow, the trapped frigates were burned and the troops were evacuated to Stralsund. The dragoons took the short route and passed the coalition army by only six kilometres. The infantry under Stenflycht's command, on the other hand, took the long way up to northern Rügen where they got hold of boats that could take them to Stralsund. Along the way they also met other Swedish soldiers who joined and increased its strength to 600 men.

The Ruden Command
(419 men in total)


Bremen
Cavalry Reg..
(24 men)


Pomeranian Cavalry Reg..
(33 men)

Bremen
Dragoon Reg.
(101 men)

Verden
Dragoon Reg.
(31 men)

Pomeranian Dragoon Reg.
(122 men)

Bassewitz
(Wismar)
Dragoon Reg.
(66 men)

Vietinghoff's
(Barth)
Dragoon Reg.
(19 men)

Bender
Dragoon Reg.
(3 men)


Ruden was a small fortified island between Rügen and the mainland that was manned by dismounted cavalrymen. After the capture of Rügen, this Ruden command was evacuated to Sweden where they merged and formed the Tyska (= German) Dragoon Regiment.

The strength report is taken from the work of Danish General Staff and applies to the month of December. That is, after the evacuation to Sweden. The figures indicate the rank and file only and do not include the 26 NCOs and 30 officers who were also on the island. Possibly, the manpower in the Ruden command should be deducted from the strength reported for the their regiments on Rügen. But those figures apply to the month of June when another 470 men were commandeered and it was probably to Ruden that these men were commandeered

When the merged regiment was mustered  in the late winter, early spring of 1716, it had very diverse uniforms. They consisted of hats with or without lace, or karpuses. Grey, blue, red, brown or black coats. Camisoles of leather or blue or brown cloth. Leather breeches or grey vadmal breeches.


Niester
Dragoon Reg.
(20 men)

Stralsund Garrison

The distribution of the regiments below and the strength reports in red indicate the situation on 12 October 1715. For comparison, I have also included the strength report from 9 June 1715 in black text. 16 The figures are not completely comparable because in the month of June 1,604 men were also reported as "commandeered" and 676 men as sick without indicating any regimental affiliation for these. Even in the month of October, some regiments should have left personnel for commands on Rügen. During the course of the siege, some reinforcements also arrived from the homeland, which explains why the Jönköping regiment increased its strength between June and October (and then the regiment may also have had a detachment on Rügen which is not included).

The garrison was divided into four commands, one of which constituted a reserve. Knieper Thor formed the northern front confronted by the Danes, Triebser Thor the western front confronted by the Prussians, and Franken Thor the southern front confronted by the Saxons. Altogether, the four departments consisted of 5,252 men. Stralsund was a strong but undermanned fortress because the fortifications were designed for 26,000 men.


Knieper Thor
(941 men)
 
Triebser Thor (2,104 men)
Wismar Regiment
451 men
300 men
Bremen Regiment
268 men
325 men
Stettin
National Militia
402 men
316 men
Wrangel's Regiment
440 men
446 men
Jönköping Regiment
388 men
822 men
Tyska livregementet
342 men
282 men
Malmö Garrison Regiment
259 men
278 men
Rheinland Regiment
388 men
276 men

Franken Thor and the Retrenchments
(1,422 men)
 

Reserve
(785 men)
Riksänkedrott-ningens livreg.
312 men
396 men
Pomeranian Regiment
469 men
423 men
Elbing Regiment
126 men
49 men
Anklam
National Militia

68 men
39 men
Delwig's Holstein Regiment
413 men
505 men
Stralsund Regiment
229 men
235 men
Rügen
National Militia

485 men
401 men
Holstein Livregiment
74 men
149 men

Danish sources describe captured militia soldiers as wearing simple peasant clothing. And because there is no record of them having uniforms it is possible that they never had any.

Wrangel's infantry regiment consisted of soldiers from indelta regiments who had been left behind in Wismar when Magnus Stenbock marched towards Tönningen. Most of them had been wounded at the Battle of Gadebusch and when they recovered they formed a combined regiment of about 1,100 men. At the end of 1713 it consisted of 78 men from Södermanland Regiment, 141 from Västmanland, 139 from Älvsborg, 172 from the Dal Regiment, 70 from Västgöta-Dal, 183 from Hälsinge, 83 from Närke-Värmland and 85 from Östergötland Regiment.

The Anti-Swedish Coalition Army on Rügen

The coalition army assembled at Greifswald in October and then shipped over to Rügen consisted of 24 battalions and 35 squadrons. If the participating regiments were at full strength, this army would have consisted of at least 20,000 men (13,814 infantry and 6,186 cavalry). But the real strength was significantly lower. According to the Danish General Staff, the 438-ship transport fleet had only been ordered to have room for 17,219 men and 5,183 horses. These numbers also include more than just rank-and-file soldiers, but also officers, baggage train and other non-combatants. This means that the rank and file should not have been more than 3,500 cavalry and 11,000 foot soldiers

The Danish General Staff has not given any figures of the national distribution of the army. However, the German historian Hermann Voges has done that when he reported the planned order of battle. For Danes and Prussians, however, it is obvious that he has stated the nominal strength of the regiments and thus lands on a total strength that would not have been able to fit on the transport fleet. I have therefore made my own calculation of these figures to make them match the Danish General Staff's estimate.

Coalition Army Strength According to Hermann Voges
 

My Estimate of the Strength
 

Infantry   Battalion Strength Rank & File Battalion Strength
Saxons
Prussians

Danes & Norwegians
1,485
5,479

6,850
Kavanagh 405, the rest 360
Grenadiers ca 464, the rest 632

685 men
1,400
4,600

5,500
350
460

550
Sum 13,814   11,000  
         
Cavalry   Squadron Strength Rank & File Squadron Strength
Saxons
Prussians

Danes
324
2,838

3,024
162 men
Gens d'Armes 300, the rest ca 181

168 men
200
1,500
1,800
100
100

100
Sum 6,186   3,500  

Total Sum
20,000 14,500

Not included in the table is the artillery which consisted of 26 cannons. Neither the manpower nor its national distribution is reported. But it was under Danish command (Colonel Archot) and the number of cannons corresponds to the 120 men strong regimental artillery that the Danish army brought to Pomerania.

The Planned Order of Battle

Field Marshal Leopold of Anhalt-Dessau.

Right Wing

Second Line —  Lieutenant General von Wittau

Major General von Wüthenau's Brigade
 
Prince Albrecht's Dragoon Regiment
(2 squadrons)
 du Veyne's Dragoon Regiment
(2 squadrons)
Blanckensee's Dragoon Regiment
(2 squadrons)

First Line
—  Lieutenant General von Derfflinger

Major General von Hacqueborn's Brigade

     
Ansbach-Flemming Dragoon Regiment
(2 squadrons)
Derfflinger's Horse Grenadiers
(2 squadrons)
Gens d'Armes
(1 sqn.)
Leibregiment
zu Pferde
(2 squadrons)
Wartensleben's Cuirassier Reg.
(2 squadrons)
Schlippenbach's
Cuirassier Reg.
(2 squadrons)


Centre
General von Wilcken

Second Line —  Lieutenant General Schwertzell
 

  Major General von Borcke's Brigade Major General Brockdorff's Brigade  
     
Prussian infantry
(5 battalions)
Danish infantry
(4 battalions)

First Line —  Lieutenant General von Dönhoff
 
Major General Prince of Württemberg's Brigade Major General von Grumbkow's Brigade Major General Sponeck's Brigade
Saxon infantry
(4 battalions)
Prussian grenadiers
(5 battalions)
Danish-Norwegian infantry
(6 battalions)

Left Wing
General von Dewitz
(overall commander of the cavalry)

Second Line

Major General Prince of Hessen-Philippsthal's Brigade

   
Livregiment Dragoons
(2 squadrons)
2nd Jyske Cavalry Regiment
(2 squadrons)
Jyske National Cuirassiers
(2 squadrons)

First Line

 
  Major General Boysset's Brigade   Major General Juel's Brigade  
Holstein Cuirassier Regiment
(2 squadrons)
3rd Jyske Cavalry Regiment
(2 squadrons)
Württemberg's Cuirassier Reg.
(2 squadrons)
Dewitz' Cuirassier Regiment
(2 squadrons)
2:nd Fynske Cavalry Regiment
(2 squadrons)
Livregiment til Hest
(2 squadrons)

The Actual Order of Battle


An edited version of a map from "Chakoten Jubilæumudgave 1969 ".

The coalition army began the landing at Stresow at 4 o'clock pm on 4 November. After two hours all the infantry were ashore (24 battalions) and they immediately set about building a fortified camp surrounded by breastworks, trenches and chevaux de frise. At 9 o'clock the field fortifications were finished and all the artillery had arrived. The landing of the cavalry, however, did not begin until 10 o'clock. Admiral Sehested claimed that he had managed to bring over 2,000 cavalry to Stresow before 1 o'clock am, but still only five squadrons could be deployed when the battle began just after 3 o'clock in the morning.

The exact layout of the fortified camp at Stresow is unclear. There are several maps that differ from each other. I have included two maps in this section that I have coloured for clarity. Also, I have the same numbering of the individual battalions on both maps for ease of comparison. In addition to this, there are also the originals and additional maps at the bottom of the page as appendices.


10. Prince of Holstein's grenadier battalion

9. Sydow's grenadier battalion

11. Billerbeck's grenadier battalion

12. Barleben's
grenadier battalion

13. Reinch's
grenadier battalion

17. Weissenfels' Regiment

18. Dronningen's Livregiment

19. Norwegian Enlisted Reg.

4. Trondhjemske Regiment

5. Oldenburg Regiment
 


The Prussian grenadier battalions were temporary formations that had been created solely for this campaign. They consisted of grenadier companies from several different regiments and thus no battalion wore a standardised uniform. Their composition is reported in more detail on this page.


16. Kurprinz' Regiment

24. Anhalt-Dessau's regiment

20. Jyske
Regiment

3. Prince Georg's Regiment

8. Kamecke's Regiment

15. Königin's Regiment

21. Prince Carl's Regiment

2. Livgarden til Fods
 

7. Jung-Dohna
 

14. Ansbach-Kavanagh

26. Gens d'Armes
(1 squadron)
 

26. Horse Grenadiers
(2 squadrons)

22. Fynske Regiment

1. Grenadier Corps
 

6. Alt-Dönhoff

Artillery
(26 cannons placed between the battalions)

26. Ansbach-Flemming Dragoon Regiment
(2 squadrons)

23. Prince Albrecht's Regiment

The force numbered 25 on the map above consisted of 200 Saxons who had been detached from Kavanagh's regiment. The lower map from the work of the Danish General Staff, on the other hand, indicates that half the force was made up of Prussians.


An edited version of a map that is included as an appendix in the work of the Danish General Staff,

The map from the Danish General Staff  is misleading in that it gives the impression that it was the battalion from the Norwegian enlisted regiment (No. 19) that was at the centre of the Swedish attack. In fact, it was the Jyske (Jutland) Regiment's battalion (No. 20) that almost single-handedly resisted the Swedish infantry's two attacks. When the Jutlanders were subjected to the second attack, a Prussian general suggested sending forward the reserve, to which Leopold of Anhalt-Dessau replied:

"Nein! sie haben schon den Feind geschmissen und repoussiret, und dieweil sie allein haben des Werck gethan, so müssen sie auch allein die Ehre Haben"

("No! they have already thrown back and repulsed the enemy, and as they alone have done the work, they alone must have the glory")

Casualties

The Anti-Swedish Coalition

It was the Jyske battalion that defended the place that the Swedish infantry attacked. Consequently, they suffered the highest losses on the coalition side. Both its colonel and major and three other officers were killed. 75 privates had either died or been wounded during the battle. The losses for the Norwegian enlisted battalion were 12 men and for Prince Carl's battalion only two men. Since it was only these three battalions that had taken part in the battle, the total infantry losses were therefore 89 men killed or wounded.

The cavalry that had been sent out a quarter of an hour after the start of the battle to attack the Swedes in the flank had fought at a disadvantage and therefore suffered relatively high losses. The Saxons' two squadrons had lost two officers and 34 dragoons. The three squadrons of the Prussians had lost a colonel and 49 men (24 gendarmes and 25 horse grenadiers). All in all 83 casualties for a force of perhaps only 500 men.

The Swedes

The information on how great the Swedish losses were in the battle differs in the various (non-Swedish) sources. Admiral Sehested who was in command of the landing fleet stated that over 100 men were killed and that 300 were captured or deserted. The Saxon general Wilcken, who was in command of the infantry during the Rügen campaign, stated that between 400 and 500 Swedes were killed and that 100 were captured. The British envoy Jefferyes who was on the Rügen claimed the total losses to be three generals and 600 men. While the casualty figures are uncertain, it does appear that Charles XII lost at least a quarter of his force at Stresow. In the distribution of losses, it should reasonably have been the infantry that suffered the hardest.

For the Jönköping regiment, we have the names of three non-commissioned officers who died in the battle. S. G. von Kothen's curriculum vitae mentions that from the Jönköping regiment few men, but all colours, returned after the action on Rügen. For comparison, it can also be mentioned that in October the regiment had 822 men on duty at Stralsund fortress (this figure does not include sick and commandeered personnel). By December its strength was reduced to 338 men on duty and 267 sick and wounded (a total of 605 men left of a regiment with a nominal strength of 1,100 men).

Charles XII himself was shot in the chest during the battle and fell under a dead horse. It was with difficulty that his Drabants succeeded in pulling him free and saving him from captivity. Major Generals Bassewitz and Grothusen and Colonel Wöllwart were killed in action. Major General Dahldorff and Lieutenant Colonel Jakob Torstensson were mortally wounded.

At Altefähr on November 7, the part of the Rügen force that had not had time to be shipped over to Stralsund surrendered (650 men according to Jefferyes). They seem to have consisted almost exclusively of dragoons and the Danes have reported the following composition of the haul one lieutenant general, three major generals, four colonels, two lieutenant colonels, four majors, 31 captains, 58 lieutenants & cornets and 540 non-commissioned officers and men. The high proportion of officers in relation to the rank and file was due to the fact that the manpower of the regiments was greatly reduced, while vacancies among the officers were constantly filled by promotions. In addition to these, there were likely to have been smaller groups of Swedish soldiers scattered on Rügen who were captured on other occasions.

At Altefähr, 2,000 men managed to be evacuated to Stralsund. And via boats from northern Rügen, another 600 men led by Stenflycht managed to get to Stralsund. This was all that remained of the original force of around four thousand men, and a month later they too would be captured when Stralsund capitulated on 12 December.

Appendices

Battle of Stresow

Printed from Daniel Schorr's website Northern Wars before he shut it down in 2010, and in 2014 erased all traces of it on the Internet. The map was originally published in Chakoten Jubilæumsudgave 1969.

From volume 7 of the Danish General Staff's work "Bidrag til den store nordiske krigs historia" (1922). The original in Hærens arkiv in Copenhagen.

From the the Swedish General Staff's work "Karl XII på slagfältet" (1919) and produced by their lithographic institute.

From Wikpedia.

From Wikpedia.

From Otto Vaupells work "Den danske Hærs Historie til Nutiden og den norske Hærs Historie til 1814 I-II" (1872-1876). The map does not match the sources and is of "unknown provenance".


Belägringarna av Stralsund
(den from 1715 om inget annat anges)
 

Siege of Stralsund 1711-1712. From Wikipedia.

Siege of Stralsund 1711-1712. From volume 3 of the Danish General Staff's work "Bidrag til den store nordiske krigs historia" (1906). The original in the Swedish krigsarkivet.

From volume 7 of the Danish General Staff's work "Bidrag til den store nordiske krigs historia" (1922). The original in the Swedish krigsarkivet.

From Wikpedia.

From Wikipedia.

From Otto Vaupells work "Den danske Hærs Historie til Nutiden og den norske Hærs Historie til 1814 I-II" (1872-1876).

References

Generalstaben (red. Carl Bennedich). Karl XII på slagfältet. Stockholm (1919)
Höglund, Lars-Eric – Sallnäs, Åke. Stora nordiska kriget 1700-1721 - Fanor och uniformer. Karlstad (2000)
Tidander, L. G. T. Anteckningar rörande Kongl. Jönköpings regementes historia. Västerås (1910)
Tuxen, A. P. - With-Seidelin C. L. Bidrag til den store nordiske krigs historie volume 6 and 7. Copenhagen (1920, 1922)
Voges, Hermann.
Beiträge zur Geschichte des Feldzuges von 1715. (article in Baltische Studien, volume IX) Stettin (1905)