January 11th, 2004, 04:28 PM
What if Charles XII had continued focusing on Russia after winning the Battle of Narva 1700 before concentrating on Poland? Could he have won the Great Northern War? What would change in the following three centuries?
January 11th, 2004, 04:48 PM
If he had pressed immediately after the battle, yes he could have marched straight to Moscow and won the war. The Russian Army had 37,000 men in it immediately before the battle. Out of those 37,000 men, 15,000 were killed or wounded at Narva and a further 13,000 men were captured alive. This left the Swedish army, although small (about 11,000 men) with enough munitions to supply themselves for years. If they had marched straight or Moscow, they would have defeated the Polish troops regrouping there, taken the city (and, most likely, Tsar Peter), and won the war. I'd expect Sweden to be granted all of Livonia, all land north of the Volga (running to that lake, I forget its name), Estonia, Ingria, and Karelia (and obviously, Finland)
As for the effects, Russia won't become a Baltic power anytime soon as Sweden will own all land on the Baltic except for a small stretch owned by Prussia and another owned by Denmark. Arkangelsk will become the ONLY port in the European part of Russia, as the Swedish will probably have a clause in the treaty granting independence to the Cossacks fighting in the Ukraine. I expect to see the Swedish involved in the Napoleonic Wars (against Napoleon), but only to a limited extent. That King, once again, can't remember his name, will not be overthrown. I'd say that Sweden will eventually trade Pomerania to Denmark in exchange for Norway and (maybe) Greenland and Iceland. This would give Denmark all land north of the Elbe.
Sweden will be a dominant power in Europe, although maybe not a global power, with a MUCH larger population. By 2004, including the lands captured from Russia, and increased internal migration rather than immigration to the US, the Swedish population will somewhere along the lines of 50 - 60 million. I'd expect an uneasy alliance with Germany during WWI and WWII (due to repeated attempts by Russia to recapture 'their' lost lands), much like Finland had in WWII. I, however, do not expect harsh terms placed upon the Swedes as I doubt they will be at war with Britain and the US, but, rather, with Russia only. Swedish will become the dominant language of the entire nation, although it will become something of a mutt due to Finnish, Norwegian, and Russian influences. Lutheranism will be the state-sponsored religion. I expect some civil unrest when Sweden converts its Russian holdings, but nothing it can't control. All in all, I see Sweden, in 2004, being a major power in Europe, along the lines of France (a lot of talk but not that much, in global territory, to back it up). There will probably be a constitutional monarchy.
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