The Battle of Stalovichy
In the middle of the village of Stalovichy, near the former Catholic church, there is a memorial sign - a boulder laid in honour of the battle fought in September 1771 between the Confederates headed by hetman Michał Ogiński and the Russian troops led by Alexander Suvorov.
The battle was the beginning of the first partition of Rzeczpospolita (the Polish Republic)
On the stone there is a Belarusian inscription: On September 12, 1771, a battle took place here between the Confederates headed by hetman M. K. Aginski and A.Suvorov troops. God rest their souls.”
Hetman Oginsky Confederates sought not to let Russia dominate over the Republic of Poland. Under Oginski’s command, there had been several thounds of combat-ready soldiers mustered largely from lower- and middle-class Polish gentry.
Oginski led his troops to join the Condederate forces which were active in southern mountainous areas of Poland. A corp volant under the command A.V. Suvorov was sent to block the hetman’s forces. In the vicinity of Nesvizh Suvorov caught up with Oginski columns.
The Confederate forces comprised nearly 4,000 men of infantry and light cavalry and had 8 guns. The Russians who opposed them had 700 infantrymen and 200 cavalrymen. On September 11th, Oginski troops set up camp in the settlement Mir. Suvorov found out about it while approaching Nesvizh (he was 64 km from Nesvizh). He was marching to join the detachment led by colonel Diring which was stationed in Sverzhen, 32 km to the east of Nesvizh. Suddenly, Oginski left Mir and carried out a manoeuvre towards Stalovichy. The Confederates found themselves in the rear of Suvorov troops. But it didn’t embarrass Suvorov. He ordered his troops to turn round immeadiately and move towards another settlement. The Russian military leader’s plan was to attack Oginski at once by taking up a position at Stalovichy.
But it wasn’t easy to approach Stalovichy as they had to move through narrow forest openings. Suvorov arranged his advancing troops into 2 lines. The first one was infantry and the other one was cavalry. In the centre of the first line there were 5 guns, his whole artillery, and in the reserve - 30 Cossacks and an infantry company.
On September 12th 1771, by 11 o’clock, the battle of Stalovichi had been over.
The approaches to Stalovichy were blocked by a swamp, the log path over the quagmire was unreliable and was exposed to Confederate gunfire. Oginski infantry ranks fired heavily in volleys preventing the enemy to approach the swamp crossing. But the Russian soldiers were able to cross the swamp and cruss the defense.
Paying tribute to his men before the supreme command, Suvorov said that it was the best people of the Confederates who had been killed or taken prisoners.
Geographic coordinates: N 53° 12' 46,35" E 26° 02' 18,62"
Foto: Владимира ЗУЕВА, Олега ПОНОМАРЕВА