The united Russian army wins the Battle of Rakovor

18 February 1268

On February 18, 1268 near the Livonian town of Rakovor (Wesenberg, now the Estonian town of Rakvere) at the river Kegole took place a battle between the Danish-German forces under the commandment of the Livonian Order magister Otto von Rodenstein and the coalition of Russian princes led by Alexander Nevsky’s son Dmitry of Pereslavl and Daumantas of Pskov (the former Lithuanian apanage prince who ran away from Lithuania and found the second fatherland in Russia).

In 1268 the united army of seven Russian princes, having enlisted the support of the Livonian order ambassadors and the bishop of Yuriev, moved to Estland in order to strike a blow to Danes with whom the princes of Novgorod and Pskov had been competing in Baltic lands for many years. Having approached the river of Kegole, the Russian army suddenly encountered the Dutch and Livonian knights.

The Russian regiments crossed the river and stood in a battle formation. The Germans and Danes assumed the wedge-shaped formation and attacked the center of the enemy’s forces where stood foot soldiers (mostly from the Novgorod volunteer corps). The battle was bloody and fierce. According to annals, the regiment of the armored knights destroyed the Russian foot soldiers row by row. Nevertheless the Russians managed to reverse the course of the battle in their favor and put the knights to flight. The princes’ cavalry pursued the Livonians for seven verst up to Rakovor.

According to the Livonian historians at the battle place were killed 5 thousand Russian and 1350 German warriors including the bishop of Dorpat. After the battle the units of Daumantas ravaged the Livonian land. The Order suffered the most awful defeat from the time of the Battle on Ice and could no more threaten the princedoms of the North-West of Russia. The victory of the Russian host stopped the crusaders’ aggression at the East for 30 years.


Lit.: Битва при Раквере в 1268 г. и поход на Псков в 1269 г. // Крестоносцы и Русь. Конец XII — 1270 г. М., 2002; То же [Электронный ресурс]. URL:; В лето 6774 [1266] — в лето 6826 [1318] // Новгородская первая летопись старшего извода (Синодальный список) // Полное собрание русских летописей. Т. III. М.; Л.,1950; В лето 6766 [1258] — в лето 6780 [1272] // Новгородская первая летопись младшего извода (Комиссионный, Академический, Толстовский списки) // Полное собрание русских летописей. Т. III. М.; Л.,1950; Хитров М. И. Раковорская битва // Великий князь Александр Невский. СПб., 1992. Гл. 14; То же [Электронный ресурс]. URL:; Шефов Н. А. Самые знаменитые войны и битвы России. М., 2002.


Based on the Presidential Library’s materials:

История России: События 740-летней давности реконструированы в Калининграде // Новости. 9 января 2010 г.;

Энгельман А. Хронологические исследования в области русской и ливонской истории, в XIII и XIV столетиях. СПб., 1858.