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Karl Evald von Rönne

    Karl Evald von Rönne (1663-1716), General of the Cavalry, was a highly appreciated associate of Tsar Peter the Great. Von Rönne was born on Dec 15, 1663 in Reval (Tallinn). He started his career as a cornet (ensign) in the military unit assigned to the Swedish royal court (1675-1685), and then served for eleven years in the Danish army. In 1797 Rönne joined the Saxon army where he rose to the rank of captain of the cavalry. He took part in the siege of Riga in 1700. In 1702 Carl Rönne entered into a contract with the Russian military command and started his career in the Russian army as a colonel of the cavalry. On July 7, 1703 he defeated the Swedish detachment under the command of General Abraham Cronhjort near the newly founded city of St. Petersburg. In the same year he became commander of the dragoon regiment named the "Rönne Regiment." After the Swedish defeat near the fort of Nienskans, Carl Rönne was appointed to be the first commandant of St. Petersburg (1703-1704). In 1704 Rönne was promoted to the rank of major-general, and in the following year he rose to lieutenant-general. From 1703 until 1705 he participated in several campaigns in Livland and Estland. On October 3, 1706 he led a 3,000-strong vanguard of the Russian army in a successful attack on 13,000 troops under the command of the Polish Count Pototsky near Vindava (Poland). On July 3, 1708 he took part in the battle of Golovchin where the Russians, under the command of Sheremetev, were defeated by the Swedish forces which were led by Charles XII. On February 12, 1709, 10 dragoon regiments under his command defeated a Swedish detachment under the command of Charles XII. During this skirmish the Swedish king barely avoided being taken prisoner. On April 12th, Rönne's detachment, which consisted of only a few dragoon regiments at the time, was attacked by the 4,000-strong Swedish troops headed by General Cruse. The Russians repulsed this charge and forced the enemy back across the Vorskla River. In the Battle of Poltava (June 27, 1709) Carl Rönne was ordered by Peter to command the left wing of the Russian army. During the battle for the redoubts he was wounded and had to hand over the command to General Baur. For his valor in the Battle of Poltava, Rönne was promoted on July 10, 1709 to the rank of General of the Cavalry. During the unsuccessful Russian campaign on the Prut River his 5,600-strong dragoon detachment nevertheless succeeded in taking the fortress of Brailov. On July 25, 1711, he received the Order of St. Andrew for this achievement. From 1711 until 1715 General Carl Ewald von Rönne was in command of the army in Ukraine and lived in Kyiv. In 1716 he was sent to Poland to continue his service but died after only a few months on December 29, 1716 in Grodno.

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