The Siege of Danzig of 1734 was the Russian encirclement (February 22 – June 30) and capture of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth city of Danzig (Gdańsk) during the War of Polish Succession. It was the first time that troops of France and Russia had met as foes in the field.
The Russian Empire, also known as Imperial Russia or simply Russia, was an empire that extended across Eurasia and North America from 1721, following the end of the Great Northern War, until the Republic was proclaimed by the Provisional Government that took power after the February Revolution of 1917.
The Kingdom of France was a medieval and early modern monarchy in Western Europe. It was one of the most powerful states in Europe and a great power since the Late Middle Ages and the Hundred Years' War. It was also an early colonial power, with possessions around the world.
Augustus II of Saxony, who had also ruled as King of Poland for most of the years since 1697, died on February 1, 1733, sparking a struggle over his successor to the Polish throne. Stanisław I Leszczyński, who had briefly ruled as king during the Great Northern War (his reign was from 1705 to 1709), was elected king by an election sejm held on September 10, 1733, with broad support from the Polish nobility and population, as well as support from France (where his daughter was married to Louis XV), and Sweden (where Charles XII had supported him during his earlier reign). Russia, the Habsburgs, and Saxony, desiring a monarch over whom they would have more influence, opposed his election. Russia sent troops into Poland in August 1733, at first in an attempt to influence the election, but then forcing Stanisław, who had only 2,000 troops in Warsaw, to retreat to Danzig, where he entrenched with his partisans (including the Primate of Poland Teodor Potocki and the French and Swedish ministers) to await support that had been promised by France. On September 30 a Russian army of 20,000 under Peter Lacy arrived in Warsaw, and on October 6 a second sejm (composed of a smaller number of electors who had dissented from the previous election) proclaimed Augustus III king.
The Great Northern War (1700–1721) was a conflict in which a coalition led by the Tsardom of Russia successfully contested the supremacy of the Swedish Empire in Northern, Central and Eastern Europe. The initial leaders of the anti-Swedish alliance were Peter I of Russia, Frederick IV of Denmark–Norway and Augustus II the Strong of Saxony–Poland–Lithuania. Frederick IV and Augustus II were defeated by Sweden, under Charles XII, and forced out of the alliance in 1700 and 1706 respectively, but rejoined it in 1709 after the defeat of Charles XII at the Battle of Poltava. George I of Great Britain and of Brunswick-Lüneburg (Hanover) joined the coalition in 1714 for Hanover and in 1717 for Britain, and Frederick William I of Brandenburg-Prussia joined it in 1715.
Louis XV, known as Louis the Beloved, was a monarch of the House of Bourbon who ruled as King of France from 1 September 1715 until his death in 1774. He succeeded his great-grandfather Louis XIV at the age of five. Until he reached maturity on 15 February 1723, the kingdom was ruled by Philippe II, Duke of Orléans, as Regent of France. Cardinal Fleury was his chief minister from 1726 until the Cardinal's death in 1743, at which time the young king took sole control of the kingdom.
Sweden, formal name: the Kingdom of Sweden, is a Scandinavian Nordic country in Northern Europe. It borders Norway to the west and north and Finland to the east, and is connected to Denmark in the southwest by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund, a strait at the Swedish-Danish border. At 450,295 square kilometres (173,860 sq mi), Sweden is the largest country in Northern Europe, the third-largest country in the European Union and the fifth largest country in Europe by area. Sweden has a total population of 10.2 million of which 2.5 million have a foreign background. It has a low population density of 22 inhabitants per square kilometre (57/sq mi). The highest concentration is in the southern half of the country.
France, which had agreed to financially and militarily support Stanisław in his bid for the throne, was reluctant to send a fleet into the Baltic Sea since it was trying to avoid confrontations with Britain and the Dutch that might draw those neutral powers into the conflict. French funds made their way to Danzig in 1733 and were used by General von Bittinghofen, Danzig's military commander, to improve the city's defenses in anticipation of military action from Russia, Saxony, and Austria. In addition to 4,500 regular troops stationed in the city, a large number of Stanisław's supporters joined locally raised militia to bolster the city's defenses.
The Baltic Sea is a marginal sea of the Atlantic Ocean, enclosed by Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Sweden, northeast Germany, Poland, Russia and the North and Central European Plain.
The Kingdom of Great Britain, officially called simply Great Britain, was a sovereign state in western Europe from 1 May 1707 to 1 January 1801. The state came into being following the Treaty of Union in 1706, ratified by the Acts of Union 1707, which united the kingdoms of England and Scotland to form a single kingdom encompassing the whole island of Great Britain and its outlying islands, with the exception of the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. The unitary state was governed by a single parliament and government that was based in Westminster. The former kingdoms had been in personal union since James VI of Scotland became King of England and King of Ireland in 1603 following the death of Elizabeth I, bringing about the "Union of the Crowns". After the accession of George I to the throne of Great Britain in 1714, the kingdom was in a personal union with the Electorate of Hanover.
The Dutch Republic was a confederal republic formally established after the from the formal creation of a confederacy in 1581 by several Dutch provinces—seceded from Spanish rule—until the Batavian Revolution of 1795. It was a predecessor state of the Netherlands and the first Dutch nation state.
General Lacy, required to leave large garrisons to deal with Stanisław's partisan supporters, marched 12,000 men to Danzig, which he began to besiege on February 22, 1734. Due to the lack of proper siege equipment and the winter season, little siege activity took place at first, and the Russians had to deal with constant skirmishing from partisans both inside and outside their siege lines.
Cardinal de Fleury, Louis XV's chancellor, ordered a small fleet to the Baltic in support of Stanisław. Departing Brest on August 31, 1733, a fleet of fourteen ships (nine transports carrying 1,500 troops, and an escort of five frigates) arrived at Copenhagen on September 20. The fleet was recalled before it became clear that Stanisław would need some sort of assistance, over the objections of France's ambassador to Denmark, Louis Robert Hyppolite de Bréhan, Count Plélo.
André-Hercule de Fleury, Bishop of Fréjus, Archbishop of Aix was a French cardinal who served as the chief minister of Louis XV.
Brest is a city in the Finistère département in Brittany. Located in a sheltered bay not far from the western tip of the peninsula, and the western extremity of metropolitan France, Brest is an important harbour and the second French military port after Toulon. The city is located on the western edge of continental Europe. With 142,722 inhabitants in a 2007 census, Brest is at the centre of Western Brittany's largest metropolitan area, ranking third behind only Nantes and Rennes in the whole of historic Brittany, and the 19th most populous city in France; moreover, Brest provides services to the one million inhabitants of Western Brittany. Although Brest is by far the largest city in Finistère, the préfecture of the department is the much smaller Quimper.
A frigate is a type of warship, having various sizes and roles over the last few centuries.
On March 17 Marshal Münnich arrived with reinforcements – 15,000 soldiers (raising the total size of the besieging army to 60,000, according to some sources [what sources?]) and took over command of the siege. The Russians made some advances, but were limited in their advances by inadequate artillery. Adam Tarło, a Stanisław supporter, led 8,000 men in an attempt to relieve the blockade; these were surprised by a detachment sent from the siege lines under Lacy near the town of Berent (present-day Kościerzyna) and repulsed. With the arrival of heavy artillery and 10,000 Saxons in May, the Russians captured Fort Sommerschanz at the mouth of the Vistula River, but were bloodily beaten back in an attempt to storm the Hagelburg.
Burkhard Christoph Graf von Münnich was a German general who became a field marshal and political figure in the Russian Empire. He was the major Russian Army reformer and founder of several elite military formations during the reign of Anna of Russia. As a statesman, he is regarded as the founder of Russian Philhellenism. Münnich also was a hereditary engineer and a specialist in hydrotechnology. He had the grade of count of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation.
Adam Tarło (1713–1744) was a Polish nobleman (szlachcic).
Kościerzyna is a town in Kashubia in Gdańsk Pomerania region, northern Poland, with some 24,000 inhabitants. It has been the capital of Kościerzyna County in Pomeranian Voivodeship since 1999; previously it was in Gdańsk Voivodeship from 1975 to 1998.
When it was learned in Paris that Stanisław was blockaded in Danzig in February 1734, a second relief fleet was organized. While Plélo requested fifteen to twenty thousand troops, at first only two ships (Achille and Gloire) under Commodore Barailh were sent with 1,800 men under Pérouse La Motte. These troops were landed at Weichselmünde on May 11. Four days later, Pérouse La Motte abandoned the position, declaring it untenable, and returned to Copenhagen. There Count Plélo insisted that action be taken, and, reinforced by the arrival of three more ships (Fleuron, Brillant, and l'Astrée), the fleet returned to Danzig, landing the troops on May 24. On May 27, in the first recorded meeting of French and Russian troops, this force attempted to storm the Russian entrenchments, but failing to do so (the attempt costing Plélo his life), retreated to Weichselmünde. A Russian fleet under admiral Thomas Gordon arrived on June 1, delivering additional siege weaponry; the fleet's guns so battered the French position that they surrendered, with Weichselmünde (and thereby control of Danzig's port) following two days later. Barailh returned to Copenhagen, but not before two of his fleet captured the Russian frigate Mittau; this ship was eventually exchanged for the captured French troops.
Danzig capitulated unconditionally on June 30, after sustaining a siege of 135 days, which cost the Russians 8,000 men.Danzig had suffered considerable damage and was also required to pay reparations to the victors.
Disguised as a peasant, Stanisław had contrived to escape two days before the city's surrender. He reappeared at Königsberg, whence he issued a manifesto to his partisans which resulted in the formation of a confederation on his behalf, and the dispatch of a Polish envoy to Paris to urge France to invade Saxony with at least 40,000 men. In Ukraine, Count Nicholas Potocki hoped to support Stanisław by joining up with a force of some 50,000 guerillas operating in the countryside around Danzig. However they were ultimately scattered by the Russians, and France refused to send any additional support. Stanisław formally renounced his claim on January 26, 1736.
Following the surrender, some of the Russian forces were sent further west to assist Austria in the defense of the empire against French military action in the Rhine River valley. Russian forces reached the Rhine for the first time, and helped to blunt further French military action in that theater.
The War of the Polish Succession (1733–35) was a major European war sparked by a Polish civil war over the succession to Augustus II, which the other European powers widened in pursuit of their own national interests. France and Spain, the two Bourbon powers, attempted to check the power of the Austrian Habsburgs in western Europe, as did the Kingdom of Prussia, whilst Saxony and Russia mobilized to support the eventual Polish victor. The slight amount of fighting in Poland resulted in the accession of Augustus III, who in addition to Russia and Saxony, was politically supported by the Habsburgs.
Stanisław I Leszczyński, also Anglicized and Latinized as Stanislaus I, was King of Poland, Grand Duke of Lithuania, Duke of Lorraine and a count of the Holy Roman Empire.
Augustus II the Strong, also known in Saxony as Frederick Augustus I, was Elector of Saxony from 1697, Imperial Vicar and elected King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania in the years 1697–1706 and from 1709 until his death in 1733.
Augustus III was King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania from 1734 until 1763, as well as Elector of Saxony in the Holy Roman Empire from 1733 until 1763 where he was known as Frederick Augustus II.
The Second Northern War was fought between Sweden and its adversaries the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth (1655–60), the Moscow Tsardom (1656–58), Brandenburg-Prussia (1657–60), the Habsburg Monarchy (1657–60) and Denmark–Norway. The Dutch Republic often intervened against Sweden.
Stanisław "Rewera" Potocki (1589–1667) was a Polish noble, magnate and military leader. Together with Stefan Czarniecki he was successful in defeating the invading Swedes and Russians during The Deluge. He was the most trusted advisor of King John II Casimir.
The Familia was the name of an 18th-century Polish political party led by the House of Czartoryski and allied families. It was formed towards the end of the reign of King of Poland Augustus II the Strong. The Familia's principal leaders were Michał Fryderyk Czartoryski, Grand Chancellor of Lithuania, his brother August Aleksander Czartoryski, Voivode of Ruthenia (Rus), their sister Konstancja Czartoryska,and their brother-in-law, Stanisław Poniatowski, Castellan of Kraków.
The Battle of Bitonto was a Spanish victory over Austrian forces near Bitonto in the Kingdom of Naples in the War of Polish Succession. The battle ended organized Austrian resistance outside a small number of fortresses in the kingdom.
Peter Graf von Lacy was an Irish military commander who served in the Imperial Russian army, he was one of the most successful Russian imperial commanders before Rumyantsev and Suvorov. During a military career that spanned half a century, he professed to have been present at a total of 31 campaigns, 18 battles, and 18 sieges. He died at Riga, of which he for many years served as governor.
The Polish–Swedish War of 1626–1629 was the fourth stage in a series of conflicts between Sweden and Poland fought in the 17th century. It began in 1626 and ended four years later with the Truce of Altmark and later at Stuhmsdorf with the Treaty of Stuhmsdorf.
The Battle of San Pietro, also known as the Battle of Crocetta or the Battle of Parma was a battle fought on June 29, 1734, between troops of France and Sardinia on one side, and Habsburg Austrian troops on the other, as part of the War of Polish Succession, between the village of La Crocetta and the city of Parma, then in the Duchy of Parma. Austrian troops assaulted an entrenched Franco-Sardinian position, and were ultimately repulsed, due in part to the death of their commander, Florimund Mercy, and the wounding of his second in command, Frederick of Württemberg. Both sides suffered significant casualties in the battle, which lasted for most of the day.
The Battle of Guastalla or Battle of Luzzara was a battle fought on 19 September 1734 between Franco-Sardinian and Austrian (Habsburg) troops as part of the War of the Polish Succession.
The Siege of Danzig was the French encirclement and capture of Danzig during the War of the Fourth Coalition. On 19 March 1807, around 27,000 French troops under Marshall Lefebvre besieged around 14,400 Prussian troops under Marshall Kalckreuth garrisoning the city of Danzig.
The Treaty of the Three Black Eagles or the Treaty of Berlin, was a secret treaty between the Austrian Empire, the Russian Empire and Prussia. Signed between Russia and Austria on 13 September 1732 and joined by Prussia on 13 December that year, it concerned the joint policy of those three powers in regard to the succession of the Polish throne in light of the expected death of the Augustus II of Poland and the Polish custom of royal elections. The three powers agreed that they would oppose another candidate from the House of Wettin, as well as the candidacy of the pro-French Pole Stanisław Leszczyński, father-in-law of Louis XV. Instead, they chose to support either Infante Manuel, Count of Ourém, brother of the Portuguese king, or a member of the Piast family.
The Battle of Okhmativ or battle of Ochmatów took place around 19 January - 22 January 1655 during the Russo-Polish War (1654–67) between the armies of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Crimean Khanate on the one hand and of the Russian Tsardom and the Cossacks on the other.
Grégoire Orlyk, also Hryhor Orlyk, was a French military commander, special envoy and member of Louis XV's secret intelligence service. Grégoire Orlyk was born in Ukraine, the son of Ukrainian hetman in exile Pylyp Orlyk and Hanna Hertsyk, received good education in Sweden, served in Poland and Saxony, participated in secret efforts of France to restore on the Polish throne Stanisław Leszczyński. He later commanded the king's regiment of Royal suedois. For his intelligence work and military exploits was given the title of a comte and promoted to the general's rank of Maréchal de camp. Grégoire Orlyk was an acquaintance of French philosopher Voltaire, championed Ukrainian cause in France and other countries.
The Siege of Kehl was one of the opening moves of the French Rhineland campaign in the War of the Polish Succession, at the fortress town of Kehl in the upper Rhine River valley. A large French army under the command of the Duke of Berwick besieged and captured the fortress, which was lightly garrisoned and in poor condition.
The Siege of Philippsburg was conducted by French forces against forces in the fortress of Philippsburg in the Rhine River valley during the War of the Polish Succession. The Duke of Berwick led 100,000 men up the Rhine Valley in opposition to Austrian forces, of which 60,000 were detached to invest the fortress at Philippsburg, beginning on 1 June 1734. A relief column of 35,000 under the aging Prince Eugene of Savoy was unsuccessful in actually relieving the siege. On 12 June Berwick was killed by a cannonball while inspecting the trenches, and command of the besiegers fell to Marshals d'Asfeld and Noailles. The fortress surrendered one month later, and the garrison withdrew to the fortress of Mainz with the honours of war.
The history of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth (1648–1764) covers a period in the history of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, from the time their joint state became the theater of wars and invasions fought on a great scale in the middle of the 17th century, to the time just before the election of Stanisław August Poniatowski, the last king of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth.
On February 1, 1733, the King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania Augustus II the Strong died in Warsaw, leaving the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth without a monarch. Another royal election was necessary. This time, the Polish – Lithuanian nobility firmly opposed a foreign candidate, such as Portuguese Duke Infante Manuel, Count of Ourem, who was supported by the Russian Empire and the Habsburg Empire.