Rus Articles Journal

Mysteries of history. Ice slaughter: great victory or fiction?

Beginning of 1242. Passed slightly more than a year after Batyev invasions to the Southern Russia. The wounds put during the Mongolian campaigns are not healed yet. Many cities are wiped out. The human victims are uncountable. What hopes for this fight the ruined cities could lay? And whether there was this victory so great?

It agrees to the traditional point of view in the Russian historiography, Ice slaughter was of great importance for Pskov and Novgorod as detained a pressure of serious enemies from the West. It is considered that the victory in fight on Lake Chudskoye prevented on April 5, 1242 further aggression of the German and Swedish feudal lords and stopped attempts to catholicize Russia.

And in the middle of 1990 - x years in Russia and some republics of the former USSR at the initiative of National - Bolshevik Party representatives of a number of the political organizations - NBP, the CPRF, ESM, RNE - in honor of a victory in Ice slaughter began to celebrate meetings and actions on April 5 an informal holiday the Day of the Russian nation urged to become date of association of all patriotic forces.

However modern researchers believe that value of fight on Lake Chudskoye is strongly exaggerated. Ice slaughter on the scales conceded to many other battles of the same period and in Alexander`s actions there was no something special. Alexander Nevsky directed on protection of borders against aggressors the same as it was done by other numerous defenders of Novgorod. Besides the Teutonic award, having signed the peace treaty with Novgorod and having refused all claims for Russian lands, in ten years tried to take Pskov again. Wars with Novgorod continued, so, the victory in battle did not liquidate probability of further approaches from the West.

Revaluation of the place and a role of Ice slaughter in the history of Russia happened in 30 - e years of the 20th century. Also this revaluation not is connected with scientific researches, and with change of a political situation. It is known that at this time as a result of the Stalinism which developed in the country it was established partiyno - the state control over various spheres of public life. The Stalin mode relied on authoritative ideology, but in the same time there was a reorientation from “revolutionary“ values to development of national traditions. That is on the statement in the Russian history and literature of patriotic ideas. Perhaps, it served as the reason of exaggeration of value of a victory on Lake Chudskoye.

So, for example, it is considered to be that the phrase “Who with a sword to us will come, from a sword and will die! “ belongs to the Novgorod prince Alexander Nevsky. Also he pronounced these words, allegedly, for edification of ambassadors who after Ice slaughter came to him to Novgorod to ask “everlasting peace“.

But actually Alexander Nevsky has no relation to these words. The author of these words is the Soviet writer Pyotr Andreevich Pavlenko, and they for the first time appeared in his film script “Alexander the Nevsky“. The artificial eminence of a role of fight on Lake Chudskoye is visually presented in Konstantin Simonov`s poem “Ice slaughter“ which was written in 1938.

It should be noted that there is a widespread version according to which the Lebanese knights chained in heavy armor sank as under them ice broke. But there are no proofs of this hypothesis. Besides an armor of the Russian combatant of that era on weight practically did not differ from the German. And opinion that Alexander Nevsky, knowing is better the district, consciously enticed knights to Lake Chudskoye, too has no justifications as in these parts wars went not one century and therefore tevtona, as well as Russians, had data where at the beginning of April ice is reliable and where it is not present.

In 2012 770 years from the date of Ice slaughter are executed. And, despite all contradictions, the victory of the Russian soldiers under the leadership of the prince Alexander Nevsky on Lake Chudskoye holds a specific place in the chronicle of feats of the Russian people.