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Carl Gustaf Roos

    Carl Gustaf Roos (1655-1722) was a Major General of the Swedish Army. He started his military career as a volunteer in the German army. Later on the regiment he served in was sent to help the Dutch in their war against France. Carl Roos took part in the liberation of the Fortress of Trier (1675), which had been taken by the French, and in the siege of the Fortress of Philipsburg (1676). In 1677 he returned to Sweden and soon was promoted to the rank of second lieutenant in the Queen's Mounted Life Guard Regiment. When the young Charles XII succeeded to the Swedish throne in 1697, Roos was a lieutenant colonel in the Erik Soops Regiment stationed in Riga. After Roos distinguished himself in the Battle of Narva (1700), he was promoted to colonel. In 1707 he was appointed commander of the Närke-Värmland regiment. Roos was made a count in 1705, and in 1706 he was promoted to major general. Carl Gustaf Roos participated in the Battle of Malatitze, which took place on August 31, 1708 in Malatitze (present-day Belarus near the Russian border) during the Great Northern War. During this battle the Russian army, under the command of Mikhail Golitsyn, tried unsuccessfully to defeat the Swedes who were fighting under the command of Roos. The fighting occurred in a marshy area between the rivers Belaya (White) Natopa and Chernaya (Black) Natopa. The Swedish forces successfully repelled the Russian assault, suffering only a few losses. Roos also participated in the Battle of Poltava on June 27, 1709. However, after fighting near the Russian redoubts Roos’ units lost contact with the main Swedish force. They eventually retreated but were soon attacked by the Russians who outnumbered them. The Swedes suffered heavy losses in the bloody battle, forcing Roos to surrender. As a result, Charles XII lost one third of his infantry before the main battle had even started. The other two-thirds of the Swedish force successfully regrouped for an attack on the Russian camp but waited for two hours for Roos’ unit to join them. While the Swedish forces lost their momentum during the wait, the Russians were revitalized by news of the surrender of Roos’ unit. Roos was later taken to Moscow as a prisoner of war. He was released from captivity after the signing of the Treaty of Nystad (1721) but died on his way home.

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