Great Leaders in History: Charles XII
Proved in battle Led my men to victory No man alive or dead commands me I answer to the Lord
Hear my orders Question me and die What I say was said in heaven And so it shall be done
Sabaton - Carolus Rex
Imagine this: your age is fifteen, you are newly declared king, soon after this moment all your neighbors plan and attack your country. What would you do in this situation? You are young, inexperienced in the ways of life, politics and war and you are suddenly confronted with an avalanche of situations that require immediate and diligent solutions.
[caption id="attachment_445" align="aligncenter" width="408"] Charles XII pointing to Russia. Image source: Wikimedia[/caption]
This is how Charles's XII reign started, king of Sweden from an early age and thrown into the Great Northern War between Sweden and a triple alliance between Denmark-Norway, Saxony-Poland-Lithuania and Russia. Despite being outnumbered in most of the battles that he fought, he was victorious each time, one memorable battle being the Battle of Narva (1700) where Charles defeated a Russian three times larger than his. Let's see what were the successful military tactics and the human and leadership qualities that Charles XII used in order to prevail against overwhelming odds.