Fight at the Neva River - Alexander Nevsky


This was one of many battles between the Republic of Novgorod and Sweden, all fought over Novgorod's monopoly on the Northern European trade routes to the Silk Road to China, India, the fur trade, and the mineral wealth of the Ural  Mountains, diamonds and other precious stones. All trade goods from these routes going to Northern Europe came through Novgorod. The merchants and the city of Novgorod in general became very wealthy from this trade. Sweden wanted to add land to it's domains and obtain the riches from this trade. Sweden had to capture Russia's access to the Baltic, The Republic of Novgorod the Great to obtain their goal.

Frisians Gotlanders and Swedes, had enjoyed trade relations and had started settling near Novgorod before the Viking Age began. They were the ones who originally founded what would become Novgorod. Merchants from Gotland had their own trading house, Gutagård, and the St. Olaf church in Novgorod. But there were also isolated Scandinavian raids on Novgorod territory. Eiríkr Hákonarson raided Ladoga in 997, followed by his brother Sveinn Hákonarson in 1015. After Yaroslav I's marriage to Ingegerd of Sweden in 1019, Ladoga was made a vassal sub-principality of Kiev, under Jarl Ragnvald Ulfsson, father of King Stenkil of Sweden and there were no more raids. There were many dynastic marriages between Kievian and Scandinavian royal families.

According to the First Novgorod Chronicle, in 1142 Swedish ships attacked Novgorod merchant ships in the Baltic Sea. It is the first known case of hostilities between Sweden and Novgorod. In 1164, a strong Swedish fleet approached Ladoga but was soundly defeated with most of its ships captured by Novgorod.

Novgorodians and their Karelian allies launched a series pirate raids against mainland Sweden in retaliation.
In 1300 Sweden built the castle of Landskrona at the mouth of Neva River, a total threat to Novgorod trade. A Novgorod fleet sailed and attacked the castle from the river with rockets obtained from the Mongols and set the castle on fire, then landed scaled the walls took the castle and finished burning Landskrona castle to the ground.

The Neva Fight
The Swedes came with an army, which included Swedes, Norwegians, Finns and other adventurers seeking booty. The Swedes also came with their prince and bishops and they camped on the Neva River wanting to take Novgorod and the vassal city of Pskov.

The 18 year old prince of Novgorod, Alexander Nevski with his men at arms and the Novgorod militia, met the Swedish invaders on the shores of the Neva River, attacked at daybreak and won the battle.

Date July 15, 1240
Location Neva River, Russia
Result Novgorod victory


  Medieval Russian Armies 1250-1500
Medieval Scandinavian Armies 1100-1300
Battles 1001-1900
Novgorod, Russia, Sweden, battle, Fight at the Neva River, alexander nevski
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