Neva, Battle of the 1240

Neva, Battle of the (1240)


a battle between Russian and Swedish forces on the Neva River on July 15. The objective of the Swedish invasion was to capture the mouth of the Neva and the town of Ladoga in order to take control of a key sector of the route “from the Varangians to the Greeks,” which was under the control of Novgorod the Great. Having received news of the appearance of the Swedes commanded by Birger, the brother-in-law of King Eric XI, the Novgorod prince Aleksandr Iaroslavich set off down the Volkhov River without waiting for all his forces to arrive and reached Ladoga before the Swedes. There he was joined by a detachment of Ladoga soldiers. By this time the Swedes and their allies (Norwegians and Finns) had reached the mouth of the Izhora River. Taking advantage of fog, the Russians attacked the Swedish camp by surprise and crushed the enemy. Only the onset of darkness halted the battle and saved the remnants of Birger’s forces. Birger himself was wounded by Aleksandr Iaroslavich.

Among those who particularly distinguished themselves in the battle of the Neva were Gavrila Oleksich, Zbyslav Iakunovich, and Iakov Polochanin. For his skill as a commander and the courage that he showed during the battle, Prince Aleksandr

Iaroslavich was nicknamed Nevsky. The battle of the Neva was militarily and politically significant in that it warded off the threat of an enemy envasion from the north and guaranteed the security of Russia’s borders with Sweden.


Pashuto, V. T. Geroicheskaia bor’ba russkogo naroda za nezavisimost’
(XIII v.). Moscow, 1956. Ledovoe poboishche 1242. Moscow-Leningrad, 1966.