On This Day: August 8th


On the 8th of August 1220 Sweden was defeated by Estonian tribes in the Battle of Lihula. It was fought between invading Swedes and Estonians for the control of a castle in Lihula, Estonia. The event is described in the Chronicle of Henry of Livonia and the Livonian Rhymed Chronicle. 

The Swedish army took the Lihula stronghold and set up a small garrison. Swedish jarl Charles the Deaf and bishop Karl Magnusson of Linkoping, both from the powerful House of Bjelbo, also remained in the castle. A combined Oeselian and Rotalian army encircled the castle at dawn. The castle was set ablaze in the course of the fierce battle that ensued. Swedish troops tried to make their way out, but they were killed on site except for a few soldiers that succeeded in escaping to Tallinn, which was held by Denmark. The jarl, the bishop, and almost 500 other Swedes were killed, leaving no Swedish presence in Estonia at all.


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