What was the Battle of Sandomierz (1656)?

Introduction

The Battle of Sandomierz was a series of battles during Deluge.

Part of the Second Northern War, 1655-1660.

Background

On 20 March 1656, Charles X Gustav with his army of 8.000 men was trapped between the rivers San and Vistula, chased by a Polish-Lithuanian army of about 10.000 men. On the western side of Vistula was the town and castle of Sandomierz, which had a Swedish crew. The Swedes thought to cross the river at this point and then continue their march along the Polish coast.

The Battle

On 24 March, the bridgehead, the city and the castle were attacked by Jerzy Sebastian Lubomirski, with a Polish corps of 6.000 men. In the castle there were large stores of ammunition that Swedes the needed. The castle was held by Colonel Cronlood, with barely 280 men. However, Swedish garrison managed to flee down the river San in boats, saving most of the provisions, while the main army’s artillery shelled the Poles. However, 4000 grenades were left with matches lit, so the castle was blown in the air, together with several hundred Poles.

In the evening 300 Swedish soldiers departed from the Swedish camp, and in three boats crossed the San River. The troops immediately removed the Polish guards and more Swedish troops crossed the river, including cavalry who swam over with their horses. Lithuanians who held this river bank believed the entire Swedish army was on them, and fled in panic.

Aftermath and Legacy

On 26 March, Swedish army built a bridge over the River San, and the entire army crossed over. They took the abandoned camp left by the Lithuanians, and got a rest of a night. On 05 April, they were in security inside Warsaw’s walls.

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