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"The Swedish Navy 1788-1809." Topic


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281 hits since 16 Apr 2018
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP16 Apr 2018 3:31 p.m. PST

"During Swedens era of greatness from the thirty years war forward to the death of king Karl XII, the navy was never in a good condition. The names of the defeats and setbacks were greater and always surpassed the few victories. During the Scanian war 1675-79, at the battle of Öland Sweden lost its most magnificent ship ever – The flagship "Kronan" (the Crown) – and never has the loss of one ship had such disastrous results. The Danish-Dutch alliance dominated the seas from then on. Sweden was too weak and poor to maintain a sufficient naval power which could cover all parts of the empire around the Baltic. The Baltic sea was the backbone of the Swedish empire and not even this vital goal to protect shipping on said sea, could be achieved. During the Northern war (1700-21) things suddenly changed; the war in the Northern seas took on new forms and the seawar against Russia was mainly fought in the shallow waters off the coast of Finland by small squadrons of coastal vessels. The coastal fleet saw its earliest days.

In the following article I will try to put some light on the Swedish naval operations during the revolutionary- and Napoleonic wars. I think this will be of some interest to Bravés readers, as things that have happened here in the cold north are most often not that well known out there in the rest of the world. Some of the details presented here will surely raise some eyebrows. Who of you ever knew that the British navy, under admiral Saumarez, that cruised in the Baltic sea in 1808 protected Sweden from a Franco-Danish invasion and that this fleet also included the ship "Victory"? I hope you will find this article interesting.

It is not my goal to give a detailed insight into the actions and operations, instead I have chosen to tell my story in a light way. I just want to make things clear. Of the books used while creating this website, "Krig kring Kvarken" (published by Oravais historiska förening r. f.) is a real masterpiece and I want to recommend it to any Swedish readers out there. It is an interesting and very informative work on the 1808-09 war. I just want to give that piece of literature an extra recommendation. Further, all the maps and illustrations have been done by the author of this article personally (all except the picture of Gustav III, the theatre king and the picture of Czar Alexander). I reserve all rights to the text and illustrations…."
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