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Living History Group

"Preobrazhensky Life Guards", 1709

1700-s Week at Norrtalje, Sweden, July 22-24, 2005.

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History of the regt



Historical background
Festival in Norrtalje

Historical background.

By 1719 Sweden has lost most of its armed forces and almost all provinces were occupied by Allies. However, peace negotiations  were slow and fruitless and Russia used her fleet to make the negotiations move faster. Under cover of recently built Russian Baltic Navy, galley fleet of Admiral Apraksin with landing force onboard reached Swedish east coast. The goal was to enforce conclusion of peace treaty by inflicting intolerable damage to Swedish economy. Russian infantry and cossacks disembarked and advanced into Swedish territory; they approached as close as 2 miles near Stockholm. Landing parties burnt down iron and copper works, mills, stocks, towns and villages. Per order of Tsar Peter, only churches were to be left safe; civilians who did not fight with weapons in hand, were not to be killed or captured (or so the document says). See a copy of original "General report on military actions of His Tsar Majesty galley fleet in this campaign 1719" printed in Saint-Petersburg on August 30, 1719 (in Russian). 

Festival in Norrtalje 

Town of Norrtalje (around 50 km NE from Stockholm) was burnt down in July 1719 together with its iron works. Our group was kindly invited by Norrtalje Caroliner society to re-enact episodes of Great Northern War together (not to re-build what was burnt in 1719, thanks God).  It is nearly 10 years now that local cultural society holds "1700-s Week" when historical groups establish camp, parade on the town streets and perform drill sessions for the inhabitans. 

The Russian Guards were 9 men (from St.Petersburg and Narva); Swedish force was at least triple that large and comprised local Norrtalje Company,  Nerike-Wermlands and Magnus Stenbock caroliners with infantry, artillery and even cavalry.
Having arrived on spot on Thursday and set up the camp, on Friday we went to Stockholm, walked along narrow streets of it's old town; we visited the very impressing Army Museum; on Saturday we trained, paraded in the town, then fought and lost the battle and then had more training. Sunday saw another parade and joint training of Swedish and Russian troops.

We want to thank our Swedish friends for such a warm hosting in Norrtalje! We believe it was start of a long and good relationship and more and more joint events are ahead.


Бивак в Норртелье The Camp.
In Stockholm and in the Army Museum..
Parades and drill.
"Battle" re-enactment.
Swedish drill manual
(thank you, Rolf!)




Living History Unit "Preobrazhensky Life Guards" (с) 2005