Russian-Lithuanian War 1500-1503

The Grand Duchy of Lithuania, in the 14th and early 15th century, had greatly expanded in a series of military conquests. The Personal Union established with Poland, and dominated by the latter, as well as internal strife within the Grand Duchy had weakened the latter. This weakness had invited Grand Duke Ivan III. of Muscovy to attack Lithuania and annex Lithuanian territory. A first such Muscovite-Lithuanian War had been fought 1486-1495. In 1495, Grand Duke Alexander hoped to improve relations with Russia by marrying Ivan's daughter Helena. However, Ivan attempted to interfere in the government of Lithuania, and in 1500, war resumed.
Grand Duke Alexander allied himself with the Livonian Order (Land Master Walter von Plettenberg); the Livonian Knights invaded Russia and inflicted two defeats on the Muscovite forces (Russo-Livonian War 1501-1502). However, these were of little effect. When King John Albrecht of Poland died in 1501, Grand Duke Alexander was elected King of Poland - and had to leave the conduct of the war with Muscovy in the hands of the Grand Ducal Council. In 1503 the Lithuanian force suffered a decisive defeat at the Wiedrosha near Dorogobush. On March 22nd 1503, truce was concluded; Lithuania ceded territory to Russia. Ivan III. had gained territory, but had failed to obtain his main objective - Smolensk.

Article Ivan III. of Russia, from Wikipedia, from Veliki Novgorod, from Russian History
Article Alexander of Poland, from Wikipedia
War with Muscovy, from Polish Renaissance Warfare, scroll down
REFERENCE Manfred Hellmann, Grundzüge der Geschichte Litauens, Darmstadt : Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft 1976, pp.56-59

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on April 9th 2004, last revised on November 18th 2004

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