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BY FIRE AND SWORD -WARRING PARTIES

Warring parties

There were only a few years of peace for the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in the seventeenth century. Not only did the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth wage innumerous wars but all of its neighbors were also involved in various armed conflicts. And even during the years of peace, when no formal state of war existed, there were constant border clashes and Tatar raids. In a way the famous prayer of German landsknechts asking for a hundred years of war came true. Political and military struggles focused mainly in two regions – around the Baltic Sea (Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Sweden and Moscow) and in today’s Ukraine (Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Tatars, Cossacks, Turkey and Muscovittes).

The fighting for the Baltic coast saw the clash between Sweden, which wanted total control of the sea, and Moscow, that wanted to gain access to the Baltic Sea. The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was also keenly interested in keeping its influence in the Baltic area. As far as Ukraine was concerned the rivalry here was even more complicated. The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Cossacks, Moscow and the Crimean Khanate were all involved in the conflict. After the division of Ukraine in 1667 between The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and Moscow, the Ottoman Empire took a more active role in the region by taking the Cossacks under their “protection”.