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The following program was originally released in 1956. These were the Valiant. From the four corners of the earth. University of Michigan PRESENTS True Tales of the greatest national heroes of all time. Tales of the Valiant to transcribe series of historic adventures produced by the broadcasting service of the University of Michigan under a grant from the educational TV and radio center in cooperation with the National Association of educational broadcasters. Today the story of Charles the 12 famous warrior king and hero OB's Weeden.
Sweden in the year 1780 Baron George vonder prime minister for King Charles the twelfth has just returned to Sweden from a foreign mission as he and his aide are galloping through the countryside. They become aware of an ominous song the somber tolling of church bells. There. I hear them again the bells your lordship. Yes. They were touring in the last village tonight and the one before that. Why do they Tony. I do not know your lordship. Well this is this is not Sunday not a feast day. It's a mystery that I one that needs solving. Oh look there's a there's a new book. We can get food and wine and perhaps an answer to a question. Let me help you sir.
What's your. Supper. But first we would know why the church bells are ringing. I don't know if. We're going to find out though. We would know immediately. Well quickly then it was bells have a disturbing sound. They fill me with foreboding. You don't think it could be. KING. He's in better they say not fighting as usual in the front line. I cannot remember him anywhere else. I have never seen him you're not you. If you are your age have. You left Stockholm 18 years ago determined to defeat Russia and overthrow bizarre. Bizarre is still on his throne. One child's fight song. Do you know the king will you know trip. You no one really knows him. He's a strange man. Oh do you and fierceness. A hundred Viking ancestors look out of eyes that are as blue and as cold as the northern lakes or the serving girl but I know you have news. It's a sad day for Sweden. The King. What has
happened to him. He's. Killed in battle. No. No I. Cannot believe that someone. Look here let me help you your logic. The morning's Good good. Drink this your lecture. Yes. Better. What a moment. This new moves quite overcame me. Young Did you know he lived through so much. Do you have an LED. Sometimes he seemed more than mortal. Now it is over. I can scarce believe it yet your lordship. My father thought for Charles in Copenhagen a novel. But. I would know more than him. How did his fight against Russia begin news.
Perhaps we should talk about the beginning. To keep our thoughts away from this sad end. The struggle with Russia began when child was only 18. One day there came news that Sweden's enemies were planning to attack or because Charles was still a boy his grandmother the Queen Dowager and his chief minister Count Piper hope to guide the nation in this crisis. Think we can persuade the king to follow our way in the sheer Majesty which he plays at being. All he cares about is hunting. Now that there is real trouble he will be glad to look to us for. Remember he is still a boy and I'm not too certain. Why do you say that. That there is a picture in my mind.
I remember at the coronation how he sees the cross from the Archbishop's hands and placed it on his own head. Oh a foolish act. Just what I would do I would like to believe that you might just wait for the K.. He's here. We shall have on some other con Piper what is this news. There is word that the rusher is plotting to attack Sweden your Majesty. She is conspiring against dust with Denmark and Poland. These three. But don't I recall recent expressions of friendship from all of them. The trick perhaps to put us off so they smile at us and secretly plan an attack they have not yet attacked. Above all we must do nothing to anger Russia might lead to destruction. That's what I might have expected if you count Piper. Those are the words of an old man. That is a harsh judgment sine you bring the word of a Russian threat and then advise me to wait until the blow falls. Ridiculous. There is only one answer to such a threat. We must attack first your Majesty. We dare not provoke the Zahau P-TECH could bring the multitudes of all
ages against. Not if we destroy him first. It is us he will destroy us. I remember another famous plan of yours. We sought the friendship of Peter by giving him guns. Is that not right. Just so no Peter has become so friendly that he plots to use our own guns against us. That was a mistake. So too is your present when Sweden is done with softness. Let us give Peter swords now held in the hands of Swedish soldiers Your Majesty I beg of you if we must attack let us do it against a weaker nation than Russia. Denmark has also joined the enemy coalition. So you advise us to move against Denmark. Urge that we wait and build our strength. But if we must move first let it be against Denmark. Perhaps you're right Hugh agreed grandson. I do but not for your reasons. Do you mean I'm thinking of Sweden safety. A move against Russia could be fatal with the Danish
forces at her heels. I think an ultimatum will serve our purpose nice the time has passed for ultimatums. We shall strike at Copenhagen Copenhagen. But the city is protected by the entire Danish. They will overwhelm not if we approach them through the eastern song. Have you got a map in the newspaper somewhere. Just a moment your Majesty. There. You can see the water is not navigable. Then we shall weigh them. Your generals will never know you breed to such that they shall fight when I command and then as your chief counsellor I must offer the sternest objection objections. I'm weary of your own ending objections. How long have you served this government count. Many years your Majesty I was your father's counsellor. Then you must have learned how to take orders. Yes your Majesty very well. These are my orders. First we silence Denmark then immediately we move
against Moscow. To. Us. You know with trials before Copenhagen. We all know what happened. He has told me often how the Swedish men in blue came marching right through the waters with a king in their midst. They caught the Danes by surprise. No it was a stunning victory in 15 days the power of Denmark was shattered. But funny the tribute not territory he was content to force Denmark to peace. That victory made famous. He became known as the wild warrior from the north and all of Europe tremble. All but those of Russia. Late in 17:00 the Russian legions attacked the Swedish port of Nava. Chiles immediately moved a small force against them. The winds of the north and winter
huddled around the king's tent outside the city was Count Piper sought an audience to preach his usual policy of caution. Have a mentor just. Show it to me and it is this is no place for a king it is fit only for a common soldier in this place I am a common soldier Count Piper. I fight with my men. I eat and live with my men. Now what is your business I bring alarming news you know much as to the Russian forces on larger than you thought. At least 40000 frontline troops. We shall attack when the moment is right. But your forces number only eight thousand you forget. They are Swedish soldiers. I have information that Peter is behind the lines with huge reserves. He could throw 80000 men into this battle. Ten to one against two high would that desire would lead his men instead of skulking behind the lines. With my own sword I
would take him prisoner or kill him. Your Majesty I beg you to reconsider this madness. There is still time to retreat and surrender Nava to those are perhaps that would satisfy him. It is clear Count Piper. That you do not see this is as I do. Here's a man who delights in blood. It is his pleasure to execute condemned prisoners with his own hands. You know these things. Here's the way of a ship. But he has tried to learn all our ways too. Yes yes he would use the knowledge of the West to help destroy us. His ambition is boundless. No Swede can sleep safely while he rules Russia. I fight this Russian barbarian with one aim. To destroy him. Preserve the freedom of our country. There is no moving you from this rush cause. This is the wind. It sounds as though it changed direction. Come on type of AC. There will be no fighting until the storm is over. This is the moment I
waited for. So you look the wind has shifted. Now it goes directly toward the enemy lines with snow in their faces the Russians will see us only as they feel our steel out of the way country what are you doing. I'm going to solve the attack. And that was how the battle of Nava began. My father told me that story. Time. How the Swedish troops burst upon the Russians from a Hollywood to Blizzard. The king with a terrible sword led the attack himself for the Russians it was surprise then despair and finally annihilation the broken enemy fled in disorder toward Moscow. But Peter escaped Charles prepared to follow but to the south Poland the third member of the enemy coalition threatened and Charles Turner from Moscow to secure his flank. I have heard many tales of his victories. How he defeated overwhelming forces then set the
captured soldiers free to return to their homes. He refused to add to Sweden's territory and even rejected the crown of Poland. He was great in victory. But he was even greater in defeat. Your father saw the king of. Our eyes saw him at both of them. It was in that awful catastrophe that he proved himself the greatest soldier I have ever known. It began after the Polish victories. Denmark was defeated Poland was at our feet. But Charles now the most feared warrior of his day was not content he dude saw those as a threat to Sweeden security. And the MUCH TO must go began. I was sent as an emissary of the Council of State on a most delicate mission. To persuade Charles to abandon his campaign and return home. When I reached him in his tent the winds of the bitter Russian winter home around us.
You bring me news of Sweden. I bring you news of the people your Majesty. They would see you in Stockholm. HELLO PEOPLE I shall come back when my task is finished. The council is satisfied with your victories already Your Majesty. We need you in Sweden to conduct our affairs. My place is here meeting my soldiers I must say what I hope to. My counselor sent me with an ultimatum. They demand your return demand this council gets out of hand. I will send one of my boots. They can take orders from that moment if you've only done your duty Baron goats. Tell the council members I would like to do their bidding. It is how long since I have been home. Seven eight years. I yearn for the sight of my native land. My soldiers are weary in this cruel winter they can find neither sufficient food nor warmth. Yes I would like to return home. Then why not do so now. Because that is what Peter would like too. He's patient and crafty.
He would wait until Sweden is soft and off its guard. Then he would attack tell the Consul that I Will your Majesty tell the council that your king will never rest until Sweden is secure and Sweden will never be safe until Peter is deposed. Your Majesty. No no. Send him in your pardon Baron my aide is ill. I've been awaiting the surgeon's report greeting your Majesty for your tidings. I have seen your aids. Oh is he. He is at rest. Good. I like not those words. I must see him. It is too late your Majesty. Too late. He is dead so I know impossible. He was at my side but a day ago the end was very sudden. Was it the cold I gave him my cloak. He was as warm as we could make him. I ordered that he be given full Russians were those orders disobeyed in his last hours he could not
eat. Well what was it then. You're holding something back. I hesitate to alarm Your Majesty but this may be calamity for your soldiers. What is it you may have heard of a strange disease that lurks in the Russian marshes. I fear that is what struck down your aid. The Russian plague its deadly or more deadly than bullets. Examine the men doctor see whether any more are showing symptoms. Do what you can for them then report back to me. Yes your Majesty I should like. This is terrible news. Does it mean you must turn back. I will not turn back to feel min die. Then we bury them in the snow and move to fight Russians on the plague. It means simply that one more enemy has joined the ranks against us. The Russian empire must be struck at its heart. We cannot retreat Moscow lies ahead. We march on. To. Us.
I could not believe such a man and return to the safety of Sweden. I offered my services to my king and they were accepted. A messenger was sent to the council with Charles decision and then move deeper and deeper into Russia. And did the plague strike as you feared. Men by the hundreds others failed victim to the searing cold we left. Thousands of our finest men in the snows behind us. But a still greater disaster was ahead. The fleeing Russians had finally made a stand at Botha. But before attacking Charles waited for the arrival of another Swedish marching to reinforce him. Piper was pleading in vain for the change in course as he met with Charles and the king. This assault on the Russian forces is madness. We are outnumbered three to one. General even help is marching to support me. I expect a messenger from him in any moment. Besides we were outnumbered 10 to 1 at Narva remember the odds are getting better and idea of how many are sick. I have seen some who can scarcely stand they will
stand all right when they hear the bugle. I know my sweet Majesty I entreat you reconsider. There are rumors that Peter is willing to negotiate with you. Yes I might consider negotiation then you are not as inflexible as I thought I have only one reservation. I must designate the place where the meetings are to be held and the place Moscow. It is madness your Majesty to think this I would not agree. He would receive you in Moscow only as a prisoner. Then when Laban help arrives we attack bring him in here. Well what's the news here. There is no army Your Majesty. What do you mean by that. We were surprised by the Russians our forces have been destroyed. I managed to assign what about the artillery. The baggage captured by the Russian I knew it. This expedition is foredoomed your majesty we must retreat while there is still talk you are quite wrong. But we cannot go on without reserves. This means we must turn back. No it means we can know what tack we have all been waiting for reserves.
But no we need wait no longer. We strike the Russians at once. Thus began the battle of Poltava. Led by a warrior king we plunged into battle inspired by his flaming courage outnumbered forces were on the way to victory. When the final catastrophe happened. I was assisting Dr Newman in the hospital tent as the battle raged in the back when. Suddenly the tent flap opened and child staggered him. Immediately we rushed to his aid. Your Majesty your glance of what Dr. Newman quickly the king needs you Yes your Majesty what happens my father a musket glanced off and I think. Here let me see. Sire Your legs are swollen like you not remove your boot. Cut the leather quickly.
See what my luck is in this. Hold on this may draw you a little. Gold. How is it. Very bad your heel has completely shattered your Majesty when did this happen when the battle began. But that was six hours ago and you've been walking on this foot when it was necessary. Can credibly do what you have to do quickly I must rejoin the troops. Your Majesty I'm afraid that will be impossible. They always have done their damage. Gangrene has set in. There is only one remedy I hesitate to say it quickly. Your leg must be over. No no that cannot be. A soldier cannot fight on one leg. The poison is much too far advanced the King's life is in danger he will not save it by losing his leg. Six some other measures. There is only one the womb can be opened in the poison drain but it's a desperate chance. Begin it. One moment your Majesty.
What is that. Why in your Majesty it will help to dull the pain. No I must keep my head clear for the bottle I will have none of it. Do your work at once. Yes your Majesty. Hold Steady. Then this will be agony. Valentine Katz The king is feted. It is where he was born too much already. Now I can do what must be done his leg must be amputated. Stay I haven't done but his life is at stake so is yours. If you amputate against his orders you will be dead within the hour. I can explain up to Charles the twelfth. Never in my life have I seen argument changing from the course he has decided as a doctor I say that he cannot survive this poison you know medicine doctor. I know the man. Do as he ordered Dr. Newman. The.
Book. Just to your Majesty. They told me. What happened here. The king would be all right. He's still unconscious. To wake him up. Mediately Dr. Newman you please keep out of my way until and you don't understand the Russians are turning off flank our whole army may be annihilated into those guns we need the king and you listen to some professional advice come paper of the king is moved in the next 24 hours he will very likely bleed to death. Are you finished the bandages are in place. Dr. Newman has been joined Lego by just one of the battle counter disaster the Russians have had turned off flank. We must surrender and throw ourselves on the must see I must return to my troops. You cannot move your Majesty The wound has been left draining it would burst open at the
slightest jar I would never surrender my sword bearing on goats quickly. Now help me up. Oh you are right. I cannot stand here lie down quickly or our work will be undone we cannot meet the Russian barbarians on my feet as I would choose. But I can meet them on my back. Prepare a stretcher. I will be carried to Victoria Poltava. Here's Charles was carried into the better of Poltava on a stretcher. The sight of the king fighting from a stretcher rallied the desperate troops momentarily. But it was too late. The Swedish army was defeated overwhelmed by the Russian
forces. But by a miracle child escaped. He did not surrender. He has never surrendered. No the bells toll. And he is dead. I wonder where. Of this I am sure. He died facing Moscow. What does this mean for Sweden. Peace or conquest. Who can say. But if Charles could not depose Peter. No one gained but this the warrior king will never be forgotten. He pointed east. He showed us our enemy. He preserved our freedom against the threat of Russian barbarism. So long as we cherish independence so long as we respect the Dauntless will so long as we had my own courage we will remember this warrior king whose music was the wind of bullets and the clash of steel jaws the 12th will never be forgotten.
Don't let the bells toll road they toll in memory of a great king. All right. Laura his. Lord. In the preparation of the story. We wish to acknowledge the aide of Professor X will be with us at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden. Now here is Dr. C. good romp youre of the University of Michigan speaking on behalf of Professor Jones the 12th is a great hero to this religious people because of the unbreakable determination which he led the fight against Russia. He wanted to stop the endless wars through their actions
in the woods and along the wall theirs in the east in Finland. Has there been carried on since medieval times Charles's idea was this all the time distortion problem by an attack at the very center of Russian power. No argument no defeat could turn him from this in pushing it. He sacrificed everything to come for his help. Finally his life Charles the twelfth is a hero because in a day when war was the norm of policy all nations. He was the mightiest warrior or he was fearless and in a time a luxury at the court. He made an enormous impression sharing the lives of his soldiers in a simple blue uniform. One may still remember what author Samuel Johnson said 60 years after the death of King Charles and I quote where Socrates and Charles de throughout those reading both present in any company and sucker this to say follow me and hear a lecture in philosophy and
Charles laying his hand on the sword to say call on me in the throne the Czar in man would be a shame to follow Socrates in court. There are forces that use that really mean something to the Swedish people. The Statue of Liberty in New York zones goes the VAs and Mora Sergei's ghost of the third install called and before all this that your charm is that while in the Royal Gardens those local forcefully pointing towards D. In my opinion the national hero was read today and for many years to come is over form a king jousted throughout. University of Michigan has presented tales of the Valiant. And other in the transcribed series about great national heroes of all the world.
The story of Charles Atwell national hero of Sweden was written by Edgar E. Willis. And produced by the University of Michigan under a grant from the Educational Television and Radio Center featured on the program were when Honor Barbara Avalon Paul hurling or Ted Jerry Hoxton R. Jacobs and Nate catarrh Gordon Marrs and Stephen Nelson. Consultants for the program were Professor Axel but he is at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden and Professor Arthur Bull of the University of Michigan. Editorial supervision by William Bender joined tales of the Valiant is directed by Edward stature for the broadcasting service of the University of Michigan. Speaking. His program is distributed by the National Association of educational broadcasters it was. Screwing with through Earth. News. Originally released in
1956 the program you have just heard is from the program library of National Public Radio. The University of Michigan under a grant from the Educational Television and Radio Center featured on the program were when Arne or Barbara Avalon Paul hurling or Ted high Zal Jerry Hawks did R. Jacobs and Nate catarrh Gordon Marrs and Stephen Nelson. Consultants for the program were Professor Axel believe he is at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden and Professor Arthur Bull of the University of Michigan. Editorial supervision by William Bender joined. Tales of the Valiant is directed by Edward stature for the broadcasting service of the University of Michigan. Feels like it speaking his program is distributed by the National Association of educational broadcasters. Lord. Lord. Lord thing. Wrong with.
Tales of the valiant
Charles XII
Producing Organization
University of Michigan
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
Charles XII, hero of Sweden, attempts to dethrone the Tsar at Poltava.
Other Description
Dramatic stories of great national heroes outside the English-speaking world.
Broadcast Date
Sweden--History--Charles XII, 1697-1718
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Actor: Herlinger, Paul
Actor: Jacobson, Art
Actor: Nelson, Stephen
Actor: Avalon, Barbara
Actor: Heisel, Ted
Actor: Mars, Gordon
Advisor: Boe_thius, Axel, 1889-1969
Producing Organization: University of Michigan
Writer: Willis, Edgar E.
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 56-13-3 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:47
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Chicago: “Tales of the valiant; Charles XII,” 1956-01-01, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed August 12, 2022,
MLA: “Tales of the valiant; Charles XII.” 1956-01-01. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. August 12, 2022. <>.
APA: Tales of the valiant; Charles XII. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from