Smolensk War - Hostilities


The Russian army that crossed the Lithuanian border in early October 1632 had been carefully prepared and was under the experienced command of Mikhail Borisovich Shein, who had previously defended Smolensk against the Poles during the 1609–1611 siege. Several towns and castles fell as the Russians advanced, and on 28 October 1632 (the same day that the historic town of Dorogobuzh was taken), Shein moved to begin the siege of Smolensk.

Former Polish estimates of the size of the Russian forces varied from 25,000 through 30,000 to 34,500, with 160 artillery pieces. Recent research on 17th century Russian archive documents showed that the size of the Russian army was 23,961. Compared to former Russian armies, Shein's army was significantly modernised. Dissatisfied with their traditional formations of musket-equipped infantry (the streltsy), the Russians looked to foreign officers to update the equipment and training of their troops based on the Western European model of regulars, dragoons, and reiters. Eight such regiments, totaling 14,000 to 17,000 men, comprised part of Shein's army.

Read more about this topic:  Smolensk War

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