Klushino is a village in Smolensk Oblast, situated on the old road between Vyazma and Mozhaysk, not far from Gzhatsk. It was the site of a major battle during the Polish–Muscovite War; the village is best known as the birthplace of Yuri Gagarin, the first Soviet cosmonaut and the first man in space, born there in 1934. The Gagarin house has been converted into a museum
Smolensk is a city and the administrative center of Smolensk Oblast, located on the Dnieper River, 360 kilometers west-southwest of Moscow. Population: 326,861 ; the walled city in the center of Smolensk was destroyed several times throughout its long history because it was on the invasion routes of the Mongol Empire, Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, First French Empire and Nazi Germany. Today, Smolensk is noted for its electronics, food processing, diamond faceting industries; the name of the city is derived from the name of the Smolnya River. The origin of the river's name is less clear. One possibility is the old Slavic word "смоль" for black soil, which might have colored the waters of the Smolnya. An alternative origin could be the Russian word "смола", which means tar, or pitch. Pine trees grow in the area, the city was once a center of resin processing and trade; the Byzantine emperor Constantine VII recorded its name as "Μιλινισκα". The city is located in European Russia on the banks of the upper Dnieper River, which crosses the city within the Smolensk Upland, the western part of the Smolensk–Moscow Upland.
The Dnieper River flows through the city from east to west and divides it into two parts: the northern and southern. Within the city and its surroundings the river takes in several small tributaries. In the valleys are stretched streets, high ridges and headlands form the mountain. Smolensk is situated on seven hills; the old part of the city occupies the rugged left bank of the Dnieper River. The area features undulating terrain, with a large number of tributaries and ravines. Smolensk is among the oldest Russian cities; the first recorded mention of the city was 863 AD, two years after the founding of Kievan Rus'. According to Russian Primary Chronicle, Smolensk was located on the area settled by the West Slavic Radimichs tribe in 882 when Oleg of Novgorod took it in passing from Novgorod to Kiev; the town was first attested two decades earlier, when the Varangian chieftains Askold and Dir, while on their way to Kiev, decided against challenging Smolensk on account of its large size and population.
The first foreign writer to mention the city was the Byzantine Emperor Constantine Porphyrogenitus. In De Administrando Imperio he described Smolensk as a key station on the trade route from the Varangians to the Greeks; the Rus' people sailed from the Baltics up the Western Dvina as far as they could they portaged their boats to the upper Dnieper. It was in Smolensk that they mended any leaks and small holes that might have appeared in their boats from being dragged on the ground and they used tar to do that, hence the city name; the Principality of Smolensk was founded in 1054. Due to its central position in Kievan Rus', the city developed rapidly. By the end of the 12th century, the princedom was one of the strongest in Eastern Europe, so that Smolensk Dynasty controlled the Kievan throne. Numerous churches were built in the city including the church of Sts. Peter and Paul and the church of St. John the Baptist; the most remarkable church in the city is called Svirskaya. Smolensk had its own veche since the beginning of its history.
Its power increased after the disintegration of Kievan Rus', although it was not as strong as the veche in Novgorod, the princes had to take its opinion into consideration. Although spared by the Mongol armies in 1240, Smolensk paid tribute to the Golden Horde becoming a pawn in the long struggle between Lithuania and the Grand Duchy of Moscow; the last sovereign monarch of Smolensk was Yury of Smolensk. After the city's incorporation into the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, some of Smolensk's boyars moved to Vilnius. With tens of thousands of people living there, Smolensk was the largest city in 15th-century Lithuania. Three Smolensk regiments took part in the Battle of Grunwald against the Teutonic Knights, it was a severe blow to Lithuania when the city was taken by Vasily III of Russia in 1514. To commemorate this event, the Tsar founded the Novodevichy Convent in Moscow and dedicated it to the icon of Our Lady of Smolensk. In order to repel future Polish–Lithuanian attacks, Boris Godunov made it his priority to fortify the city.
The stone kremlin constructed in 1597–1602 is the largest in Russia. It features numerous watchtowers. Heavy fortifications did not prevent the fortress from being taken by the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1611 after a long twenty-month siege, during the Time of Troubles and Dimitriads. Weakened Muscovy temporarily ceded Smolensk land to the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth in the Truce of Deulino and for the next forty-three years it was the seat of Smolensk Voivodeship. To recapture the city, the Tsardom of Russia launched the so-called "Smolensk War" against the Commonwealth in 1632. After a defeat at the hands of king Wladislaw IV, the city remained in Polish–Lithuanian hands. In 1632, the Uniate bishop Lew Kreuza built his apartm
Lisowczycy – the name of an early 17th-century irregular unit of the Polish-Lithuanian light cavalry. The Lisowczycy took part in many battles across Europe and the historical accounts of the period characterized them as agile and bloodthirsty, their numbers varied from a few hundreds to several thousands. The origin of the group can be traced to konfederacja, organized around 1604 by Aleksander Józef Lisowski, they began to grow in strength and fame a few years when Lisowski's irregulars were incorporated into the forces fighting in Muscovy. The Lisowczycy unit of the Polish cavalry received no formal wages, they relied on their speed and fought without tabors, foraging supplies from lands they moved through. The Lisowczycy were feared and despised by civilians wherever they passed and they gained dubious fame for the scores of atrocities they carried out. However, they were grudgingly respected by their opponents for their military skills, they did not hesitate to plunder their homeland, where they sacked the Racovian Academy university of the Polish brethren.
Such actions were among the reasons the Commonwealth ruler Sigismund III Vasa tried to keep them away from the Commonwealth for as long as possible. The Lisowczycy took part in many conflicts, including the Dymitriads and in the Battle of White Mountain, they were disbanded in 1635. An account of Lisowczycy's exploits was written by their chaplain, Wojciech Dembołęcki, in Przewagi Elearów polskich co ich niegdy Lisowczykami zwano. In 1604, during the early stages of the Polish–Swedish War, the Sejm of the Commonwealth failed to gather the money to pay its soldiers fighting in Livonia against the Swedes. Aleksander Józef Lisowski became one of the leaders of the resulting konfederacja – a section of the army that mutinied and decided to gather its outstanding wages by pillaging local civilians, not caring whether these owed their allegiance to the Commonwealth or to Sweden. Although this annoyed Great Hetman of Lithuania Jan Karol Chodkiewicz, resulted in Lisowski being banished from the Commonwealth, little was done to stop the mutineers.
Soon after, Lisowski with his followers joined the Sandomierz rebellion or rokosz of Zebrzydowski, a revolt against the absolutist tendencies of the King Sigismund III Vasa. After the rebel forces were defeated at the Battle of Guzow, Lisowski's fortunes turned for the worse and he became persona non grata in most of the Commonwealth, was forced to seek refuge with the powerful Radziwiłł family. In the meantime, Muscovy's Time of Troubles were brewing, Lisowski did not pass over the opportunity of profiting from this, as many other local magnates and noblemen had, by meddling in Russian affairs, he soon decided he could profit best by lending his support to the Muscovite pretender, False Dmitriy II. In 1608, together with Aleksander Kleczkowski, leading his forces – a band of few hundred ragtag soldiers of fortune Poles and Ruthenians – he defeated the armies of tsar Vasili Shuisky, led by Zakhary Lyapunov and Ivan Khovansky, near Zaraysk and captured Mikhailov and Kolomna, moving on to blockade Moscow.
However, he was soon to be defeated at Miedźwiedzi Bród. He reorganized the army and joined with Jan Piotr Sapieha, but they failed to capture the Troitse-Sergieva Lavra fortress and were forced to retreat to near Rakhmantsevo. Came successful pillages at Kostroma and some other cities, he clashed with Swedes operating in Muscovy during the Ingrian War. The Lisowczycy proved essential in the defence of Smolensk in 1612, when most of the Commonwealth regular army, the and joined the Rohatyn Confederation. For the next three years Lisowski's forces were of importance in the guarding of the Commonwealth border against Muscovy incursions. In 1615, Lisowski invaded Muscovy with 6 companies of cavalry, he besieged Bryansk and defeated the Muscovite relief force of a few thousand soldiers under Kniaz Yuri Shakhovskoy near Karachev. Lisowski moved on to defeat the Muscovite advance guard of a force under the command of Kniaz Dmitry Pozharsky, who decided to not to attack and fortified his forces inside a camp.
Lisowski's men broke contact with other forces, burned Belyov and Likhvin, took Peremyshl, turned north, defeated a Muscovite army at Rzhev, turned towards the Kara Sea coast to Kashin, burned Torzhok, returned to Commonwealth without any further contact with Muscovy forces. Until the autumn of 1616, Lisowski and his forces remained on the Commonwealth-Muscovy border, when Lisowski fell ill and died on October 11. In 1612, when the Polish occupation of the Moscow Kremlin had ended, loose Polish forces, which had fought under Lisowski, scattered over vast territory of the Tsardom of Russia, taking advantage of the so-called Time of Troubles. Exact whereabouts of Aleksander Jozef Lisowski at that time are unknown: the legendary leader most roam
Jacob De la Gardie
Field Marshal and Count Jacob Pontusson De la Gardie was a statesman and a soldier of the Swedish Empire. He was appointed Privy Councilor in 1613, Governor of Swedish Estonia between 1619 and 1622, Governor General of Livonia in 1622, Lord High Constable in 1620, he introduced reforms based on the novel Dutch military doctrine into the Swedish army. He commanded the Swedish forces against the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, he served as one of the five regents jointly ruling Sweden during the minority of Queen Christina. Antoine Marie Jacob De la Gardie was born in Reval, Estonia, as a son of Pontus De la Gardie and Sofia Johansdotter Gyllenhielm, the illegitimate daughter of king John III of Sweden, his mother died giving birth, his father perished two years in Narva. Jacob was raised in the Vääksy manor, Finland by his grandmother Karin Hansdotter, the mistress of king John III; as a young adult, De la Gardie was held prisoner in Poland for four years, together with Carl Gyllenhielm. After being released, De la Gardie took part of the Dutch Revolt as a volunteer.
Between 1606 and 1608, De la Gardie served under the Dutch general Maurice of Nassau, Prince of Orange. Impressed with the Dutch way of waging war, De la Gardie began introducing Dutch methods into the Swedish army upon his return to the service of Sweden. During the Polish-Russian War, Sweden signed an alliance with tsar Vasili IV of Russia in 1609. Sweden gained, in return, the County of Kexholm. De la Gardie was put in command of the Swedish force, which consisted of mercenaries, but Swedish and Finnish soldiers as well; this campaign, which took De la Gardie and his troops all the way to Moscow, is known as the De la Gardie Campaign. It ended with a devastating defeat at the Battle of Klushino in the summer of 1610, from which De la Gardie had to retreat. Not long thereafter, the Ingrian War between Sweden and Russia was initiated, during which De la Gardie played a significant part militarily, he claimed that Sweden should take advantage of the ongoing turmoil in Russia known as the Times of Trouble, try to place Charles Philip, younger brother of the Swedish king Gustavus Adolphus, on the Russian throne.
After some negotiating, these plans were abandoned due to lack of engagement from Gustavus Adolphus and uncertainty on the Russian side. In 1617, De la Gardie became the chief Swedish negotiator at the Treaty of Stolbovo that ended the Ingrian War, whereby Sweden was able to secure important territorial concessions from Russia closing off Russia from access to the Baltic Sea. Between July 1619 and 1622 was Governor of the Swedish Estonia and in 1626 De la Gardie purchased an estate with a medieval castle in Haapsalu, in modern-day Estonia, his time as governor of Estonia was followed by a time as Governor-General of Swedish Livonia 1622-1628. After 1621, De la Gardie took part in the Polish-Swedish War against his mother's half-brother King Sigismund III of Poland in Livonia, but he was recalled after serving as commander in chief between 1626 and 1628. De la Gardie was an advocate of peace with Poland and acted as one of the Swedish negotiators at the Truce of Stuhmsdorf in 1635. De la Gardie became a member of the Swedish Privy Council in 1613.
In 1620 he became Lord High Constable and, as such, he was one of the five regents ruling Sweden during Queen Christina's minority. His pacifist and pro-French and pro-Polish attitudes put him at odds with chancellor Axel Oxenstierna, who led Sweden's war effort in the Thirty Years' War after the death of Gustavus Adolphus in 1632; as De la Gardie supported many of Oxenstierna's other policies the two leaders reconciled after Oxenstierna's return to Sweden in 1636. Although the marshal's office came under criticism that year, De la Gardie continued to operate making large profits from leasing royal revenues and from loans to the crown. in 1618, De la Gardie married Ebba Brahe, the love of young Gustavus Adolphus. The couple had 14 children, the most famous among them being Magnus Gabriel De la Gardie, Maria Sofia De la Gardie, Axel Julius De la Gardie and countess Christina Catharine De la Gardie, who married Gustaf Otto Stenbock and was mother of Magnus Stenbock. Count Jacob De la Gardie died in Stockholm in 1652 and is buried in Veckholm church in Uppsala County.
The city of Jakobstad in Finland is named after him. A shopping mall in Old Tallinn is named De la Gardie in honour of Jacob De la Gardie. During the De la Gardie Campaign, the Finnish soldiers nicknamed their commander Laiska-Jaakko due to the unusually lengthy six-year occupation of Novgorod; this name is still remembered in Finland. The siege was thus recorded in folk verse: Lähti suvi, lähti talvi, vaan ei lähde Laiska-Jaakko. Läckö Castle at Statens fastighetsverk Jacob De la Gardie Image at heninen.net Jaakkima - Lahdenpohja at heninen.net
Picket fences are a type of fence used decoratively for domestic boundaries, distinguished by their evenly spaced vertical boards, the pickets, attached to horizontal rails. Picket fences are popular in the United States, with the white picket fence coming to symbolize the ideal middle-class suburban life; until the introduction of advertising in the 1980s, cricket fields were surrounded by picket fences. Picket fences are popular in the United States, where the style has been used since America's earliest colonial era and remains popular today. Pickets were sharpened logs used to defend positions and used as such by early colonists. Now they are a decorative way to contain pets and children without blocking views, are used around both front and back yards. Traditionally picket fences were made out of wood and painted white, but now picket fences are widely available in polyvinyl chloride; until the introduction of advertising on fences in the 1980s, cricket fields were surrounded by picket fences, giving rise to the expression "rattling the pickets" for a ball hit into the fence.
A picket fence is 36 to 48 inches tall. A horizontal top rail and bottom rail are attached to fence posts, which are installed upright into the ground. Evenly spaced boards are affixed vertically to the rails; these boards with pointed tops are called "pickets" for their resemblance to the pointed stakes used by infantry to repel cavalry. Picket fences can be made of several types of materials. Wood has been the most popular material used for picket fences; this wood can be untreated, treated, or insect and rot resistant. Other non-wood options are available; the first step in installing a picket fence is to insert the posts into the ground. Traditionally this is done by digging deep holes either manually or with a power auger; the posts are placed upright into the ground and concrete is poured to cement them into place. Once they are set, the horizontal rails are affixed to the posts using fasteners, the pickets can be attached to the horizontal rails. By far the most time consuming part of installing a picket fence is setting the posts.
There are some vinyl picket fence systems on the market that are installed without digging holes or pouring concrete. These are installed by driving pipe deep into the ground, how chain link fence has been installed for years; this is the most popular way to install vinyl fence in Western Canada, where the deep frost can heave concrete footings out of the ground. A picket fence, ideally white, has iconic status as Americana, symbolizing the ideal middle-class suburban life, with a family and children, large house, peaceful living; this stems from the fact that houses in quiet, middle-class neighborhoods have gardens enclosed by picket fences. In recent years, some people have associated picket fences with what they regard as the more negative aspects of this lifestyle. For example, the director David Lynch uses ironic images of the picket fence in his 1986 film Blue Velvet; the phrase "picket fence" describes text without spaces between words. Such texts are common in Old Latin, with documents lacking both spaces and punctuation.
Temporary fencing Polyvinyl chloride Media related to Picket fences at Wikimedia Commons
A cannon is a type of gun classified as artillery that launches a projectile using propellant. In the past, gunpowder was the primary propellant before the invention of smokeless powder in the 19th century. Cannon vary in caliber, mobility, rate of fire, angle of fire, firepower; the word cannon is derived from several languages, in which the original definition can be translated as tube, cane, or reed. In the modern era, the term cannon has fallen into decline, replaced by guns or artillery if not a more specific term such as mortar or howitzer, except for high calibre automatic weapons firing bigger rounds than machine guns, called autocannons; the earliest known depiction of cannon appeared in Song dynasty China as early as the 12th century, however solid archaeological and documentary evidence of cannon do not appear until the 13th century. In 1288 Yuan dynasty troops are recorded to have used hand cannons in combat, the earliest extant cannon bearing a date of production comes from the same period.
By 1326 depictions of cannon had appeared in Europe and immediately recorded usage of cannon began appearing. By the end of the 14th century cannon were widespread throughout Eurasia. Cannon were used as anti-infantry weapons until around 1374 when cannon were recorded to have breached walls for the first time in Europe. Cannon featured prominently as siege weapons and larger pieces appeared. In 1464 a 16,000 kg cannon known as the Great Turkish Bombard was created in the Ottoman Empire. Cannon as field artillery became more important after 1453 with the introduction of limber, which improved cannon maneuverability and mobility. European cannon reached their longer, more accurate, more efficient "classic form" around 1480; this classic European cannon design stayed consistent in form with minor changes until the 1750s. Cannon is derived from the Old Italian word cannone, meaning "large tube", which came from Latin canna, in turn originating from the Greek κάννα, "reed", generalised to mean any hollow tube-like object.
The word has been used to refer to a gun since 1326 in Italy, 1418 in England. Both Cannons and Cannon are correct and in common usage, with one or the other having preference in different parts of the English-speaking world. Cannons is more common in North America and Australia, while cannon as plural is more common in the United Kingdom; the cannon may have appeared as early as the 12th century in China, was a parallel development or evolution of the fire-lance, a short ranged anti-personnel weapon combining a gunpowder-filled tube and a polearm of some sort. Co-viative projectiles such as iron scraps or porcelain shards were placed in fire lance barrels at some point, the paper and bamboo materials of fire lance barrels were replaced by metal; the earliest known depiction of a cannon is a sculpture from the Dazu Rock Carvings in Sichuan dated to 1128, however the earliest archaeological samples and textual accounts do not appear until the 13th century. The primary extant specimens of cannon from the 13th century are the Wuwei Bronze Cannon dated to 1227, the Heilongjiang hand cannon dated to 1288, the Xanadu Gun dated to 1298.
However, only the Xanadu gun contains an inscription bearing a date of production, so it is considered the earliest confirmed extant cannon. The Xanadu Gun weighs 6.2 kg. The other cannon are dated using contextual evidence; the Heilongjiang hand cannon is often considered by some to be the oldest firearm since it was unearthed near the area where the History of Yuan reports a battle took place involving hand cannon. According to the History of Yuan, in 1288, a Jurchen commander by the name of Li Ting led troops armed with hand cannon into battle against the rebel prince Nayan. Chen Bingying argues there were no guns before 1259 while Dang Shoushan believes the Wuwei gun and other Western Xia era samples point to the appearance of guns by 1220, Stephen Haw goes further by stating that guns were developed as early as 1200. Sinologist Joseph Needham and renaissance siege expert Thomas Arnold provide a more conservative estimate of around 1280 for the appearance of the "true" cannon. Whether or not any of these are correct, it seems that the gun was born sometime during the 13th century.
References to cannon proliferated throughout China in the following centuries. Cannon featured in literary pieces. In 1341 Xian Zhang wrote a poem called The Iron Cannon Affair describing a cannonball fired from an eruptor which could "pierce the heart or belly when striking a man or horse, transfix several persons at once."By the 1350s the cannon was used extensively in Chinese warfare. In 1358 the Ming army failed to take a city due to its garrisons' usage of cannon, however they themselves would use cannon, in the thousands on during the siege of Suzhou in 1366; the Korean kingdom of Joseon started producing gunpowder in 1374 and cannon by 1377. Cannon appeared in Đại Việt by 1390 at the latest. During the Ming dynasty cannon were used in riverine warfare at the Battle of Lake Poyang. One shipwreck in Shandong had a cannon dated to 1377 and an anchor dated to 1372. From the 13th to 15th centuries cannon-armed Chinese ships travelled throughout Southeast Asia; the first of the western cannon to be introduced were breach-loaders in the early 16th century which the Chinese began producing themselves by 1523 and began improving on.
Japan did not acquire a cannon until 1510 when a monk brought one back from China, did not produce a
False Dmitry II
False Dmitry II known as Pseudo-Demetrius II and called the "rebel of Tushino", was the second of three pretenders to the Russian throne who claimed to be Tsarevich Dmitry Ivanovich, the youngest son of Ivan the Terrible. The real Dmitry had died under uncertain circumstances; the second False Dmitry first appeared on the scene around 20 July 1607, at Starodub. He is believed to have been either a priest's son or a converted Jew, was highly educated for the time, he was something of an expert in liturgical matters. He pretended at first to be the Muscovite boyar Nagoy, but falsely confessed under torture that he was Tsarevich Dmitry, whereupon he was taken at his word and joined by thousands of Cossacks and Muscovites. In the course of the year Jerzy Mniszech, father of Marina Mniszech, widow of False Dmitry I,'reunited' him with Marina, who miraculously recognized her late husband in this second Dimitry; this brought him the support of the magnates of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth who had supported False Dmitry I.
Adam Wiśniowiecki, Roman Różyński, Jan Sapieha decided to support the second pretender as well, supplying him with some early funds and 7500 soldiers, among them Aleksander Józef Lisowski, leader of the infamous mercenary band known as Lisowczycy. He captured Karachev and other towns, was reinforced by the Poles, in the spring of 1608 advanced upon Moscow, routing the army of Tsar Vasili Shuisky at Bolkhov. Promises of the wholesale confiscation of the estates of the boyars drew many common people to his side; the village of Tushino, twelve versts from the capital, was converted into an armed camp where Dmitry gathered his army. His force included 7,000 Polish soldiers, 10,000 Cossacks and 10,000 other rag-tag soldiers, including former members of the failed Zebrzydowski Rebellion, his forces soon exceeded 100,000 men. He raised to the rank of patriarch another illustrious captive, Philaret Romanov, won the allegiance of the cities of Yaroslavl, Vologda and several others; the arrival of King Sigismund III Vasa at Smolensk caused a majority of his Polish supporters to desert him and join with the armies of the Polish king.
At the same time, a strong Russo-Swedish army under Mikhail Skopin-Shuisky and Jacob De la Gardie approached Tushino, forcing him to flee his camp disguised as a peasant and go to Kostroma, where Marina joined him and he lived once more in regal state. He made another unsuccessful attack on Moscow, supported by the Don Cossacks, recovered a hold over all south-eastern Russia. However, he was killed, while half drunk, on 11 December 1610 by a Tatar princeling, Peter Urusov, whom he had flogged. Hetman Stanisław Żółkiewski described this event in his memoirs: Having drunk deep at dinner...he ordered a sleigh to be harnessed, taking flasks of mead to the sleigh. Coming out into the open country, he drank with some boyars. Prince Peter Urusov, together with those several score horsemen with whom he was in league, was riding after him escorting him, and when the imposter had drunk well with the boyars, Urusov drew from his holster a pistol which he had ready, galloping up to the sleigh first shot him with the pistol cutting off his head and hand with his saber, took to the road.
False Dmitry I False Dmitry III