Military Review

Aland Congress - the missed opportunity of the Russian-Swedish union

Aland Congress - the missed opportunity of the Russian-Swedish union

The final stage of the Northern War (1715 — 1721 years) was distinguished by the confusion of political-diplomatic and military events. Peter I was still thinking about how to deliver a decisive blow to the very heart of Sweden. He again proposes the Allies to deal a joint, powerful blow to Sweden and again, years go into intrigue, quarrels, countries pursue personal gains, putting them above the common interest. The situation was similar during the 1711-1713 campaign in Northern Germany (for more details, see Operations in Northern Germany) In addition, the allies are beginning to fear the northern power and are not averse to someone taming the "Russian peasants." In 1715, a new coalition was created against Sweden with the participation of Prussia and Hanover, who wanted to annex Swedish possessions in Northern Germany. In addition, England and the Netherlands, who wanted to ensure their interests in the Baltic Sea, began to help the Northern Union. Russian troops are again fighting for the interests of others in Germany. At the same time there is a "small war" in Ostrobothnia (Osterbotten - historical province in Finland).

In March, 1715, a clash of Russian ships with the Swedish off the coast of Courland occurred. Three Swedish capers and 157 people were captured. In late May, the Swedish squadron shelled Revel.

In Pomerania, the Prussian-Danish-Saxon army of October 19 (30) laid siege to Stralsund. The fortress defended 12 thousand Swedish garrison led by King Charles XII himself, who escaped from the Ottoman Empire. The allies, despite the fierce resistance of the Swedes, were able to seize the fortified camp in front of Stralsund, external fortifications. Seeing the futility of further resistance, Karl reached the Swedish ship by boat and departed for Sweden. December 21 garrison capitulated.

For 1716, a military campaign plan was drawn up, according to which the allies were going to seize the Wismar fortress in Pomerania, and then land the Russian-Danish airborne corps in the province of Skone (southern Sweden). They planned to support the invasion from the sea. fleet England, Holland, Denmark and Russia. At the same time, the Russian galley fleet under the command of Apraksin, with the support of the Danish naval squadron, was supposed to make a distracting attack from the Aland Islands.

Back in February, 1716, the Russian troops occupied the castle Kayaneborg - the last fortification of the Swedes on the east coast of the Gulf of Bothnia. Swedish General Armfeld left Torneo and retreated. 7 (18) April capitulated 4 th. Wismar garrison. Interestingly, the "allies" prevented the participation of the Russian detachment Repnin in the occupation of the city. The Russian army was redeployed to the capital of Denmark. A Russian squadron of 22 pennants was assembled here, not counting rowing ships. Peter came here, he headed the combined Anglo-Dutch-Danish-Russian fleet, which had in its composition the 83 ship. But the allies were slow, time convenient for the landing of the landing quickly ended. The slowness of the preparation of the landing allowed the Swedes to strengthen the coast, to concentrate the 20 thousand corps for its defense. In addition, the Danes did not solve the problem with the supply of landing troops. Nor did the venture of sabotage on the part of the Aland Islands. Apraksin with the galley fleet in July, stood at the islands, and stood until the end of September, waiting for the arrival of the Danish ships. The Danes did not arrive. Apraksin returned to Abo.

As a result, had to abandon the landing. In general, the plan for 1716 year, except for taking Wismar, was not implemented. Relations with the Danes took a tense character. The Russian corps was sent back to Pomerania. October 13 1716, the king wrote from Copenhagen to the Senate: “Even the gentlemen of the Danes were late in their operations, which in September we were transported here, and so, after a late period of action, the factions (parties) are not allowed, for no a new way, just from Aland, oppressing the enemy, why do you make any preparation? ”

The growth of the power of Russia, its army and navy caused strong fears among the Western European powers. In 1717, British diplomacy succeeded in splitting the Northern Alliance. Russia began to be accused of aggressive intentions in Germany. Peter withdraws troops from northern Germany. Guards regiments are taken by galleys from Rostock to Revel. Denmark and Hannover refuse to conduct military actions together with Russia. Abandoned joint action and England. As a result, the idea of ​​a joint landing of the landing army in Skåne died.

Peter, given the complexity of the foreign policy situation, concludes an alliance with Prussia and France. The allied treaty was signed on 15 (26) on August 1717 of the year in Amsterdam. In the same period, the possibility of creating an Anglo-Swedish union. The ruling circles of Sweden understood that Russia could not be defeated alone, and they were looking for a strong ally. But Carl ruined the case, he did not want to make serious concessions to England. He demanded confirmation that after the war, Sweden will return all lost property in Scandinavia, Germany, the Baltic States. In addition, Karl claimed a number of lands of Hanover, which was subordinate to the English crown, and pursued a policy of privateering in the Baltics, which violated the economic interests of the British and the Dutch. Nor did the Swedish king reject the plans of conquest for Denmark, in particular, he wanted to seize Norway (it was ruled by the Danish crown).

The British demanded that the Swedes pay damages for privateering, ensure the safety of merchant shipping in the Baltic, refrain from conquering Norway and a number of Danish islands, and support the policy of emigrant representation of the Jacobites, supporters of the claimant to the British crown Jacob III Stewart ). Before receiving a positive response, the British refrained from helping the Swedes. Karl rejected all the claims of the British.

Interesting, but at the same time, the possibility of creating a Russian-Swedish union. Advisor to the Swedish king - Georg Heinrich von Goerz, Karl gave him almost unlimited power in matters of domestic policy and economics, made a plan to replace the king in England and to conclude a separate alliance with Russia. Karl and Hertz wanted to intervene in the internal affairs of England and restore the power of the emigrant Jacob III Stewart. After the change of the English king, England should have provided a subsidy to Sweden. Having corrected finances, it was possible to restore positions in Germany, conclude an alliance with Russia and deliver a devastating blow to Denmark. Denmark was going to take away Norway, thus compensating for losses in the Baltic States. It should be noted that Görz was executed almost immediately after the death of Karl. In 1716, the Swedish king invaded Norway. 25 March was taken by Christiania, but the assault on the frontier fortresses of Fredrikshald and Fredriksten failed. The Norwegians used scorched-earth tactics, made raids to destroy the enemy’s communication lines, and were able to eliminate Swedish transports. Without supplies and heavy artillery, Karl could not take the Norwegian fortress and retreated. 1717 year both sides were preparing for a new campaign. The campaign in Norway was the last for Charles - 30 November (11 December) 1718 of the year during the siege of Fredriksten fortress, he was killed in a forward trench with a stray bullet (according to another version, he fell victim to a conspiracy, he was simply killed, using the turmoil of the battle).

Aland Congress

Based on the plight of Sweden, Karl XII decided to begin peace negotiations with Russia, which began in May 1718 and continued through October 1719. They walked on the Aland Islands. Russia was represented by diplomat Andrei Osterman, general and senator Jacob Bruce, general and diplomat Pavel Yaguzhinsky. On the Swedish side were Georg Görz and Karl Yullenborg.

The British tried to thwart the Russian-Swedish negotiations, which could radically change the balance of power in Northern Europe. The union of Russia and Sweden was dangerous for England, and its plans in Europe. As early as the beginning of 1718, the British authorized representatives for the negotiations on the restoration of the union arrived in Sweden. The English crown promised a fleet and money in exchange for an alliance, but Sweden had to abandon Bremen and Verdun in favor of Hanover. Karl refused to give up these cities and demanded to provide specific proposals about the British help. As a result, the first attempt of the Anglo-Swedish negotiations failed. It should be noted that the Anglophilian circles in Sweden were very strong, and this was a great danger for the development of a unified program of a peace treaty between Sweden and Russia. The Swedish side was delaying the start of negotiations, there were waiting for new English proposals. Osterman and Bruce left for Abo in January 1718, and corresponded with the Swedes for a long time, defining the place and scope of the negotiations. The congress was opened only in May on the island of Sundscher.

Russian ambassadors received from Peter an extensive draft peace treaty from 23 points and 10 "separate articles" ("General condition to the world"). Russia wanted to get into perpetual possession - Ingria, Karelia, Estland, Livonia, Riga, Revel and Vyborg. Finland, occupied by Russian troops promised to return to Sweden. The border was to pass from Vyborg along the river Kyumen to Nyslott and to the old Russian border. The world spread to the allies of Russia. Prince of Saxony Augustus was to remain the Polish king. Prussia get Stettin with the county. Denmark and England could also join the Treaty. Peter defended the interests of Poland and Prussia, but was ready to compensate for the Swedish losses at the expense of Hanover and Denmark (to cede Norway to the Swedes). The explanations for this situation were simple: the English crown deceived Russia, assuring the Russian tsar of its friendship, while simultaneously bargaining with the Swedes, thinking only of their own interests. Denmark, being influenced by the diplomacy of Hanover and England, thwarted the Russian plans for a landing force to Sweden, wasted Russian time and resources. Danes de facto split the Northern Union.

Negotiations with the Swedes were extremely slow. Goetz interrupted them more than once and went to Carl for new instructions. The Swedish side has repeatedly changed and clarified the conditions. At the same time, the Swedes were filling their price, constantly hinting at British proposals. Only by July 1718, the position of the Swedish king began to emerge. Karl was ready to cede Estonia, Livonia, but he wanted rewards at the expense of Denmark. At the same time, Russia was supposed to help Sweden with its troops. But Peter answered with a decisive refusal, he was not going to fight with his former ally. But the Russian tsar agreed to provide military assistance in returning the provinces of Verdun and Bremen, which were captured by Hanover. Peter was ready to provide Charles XII 20 thousand corps for joint military action against Hannover. As a result, Russia and Sweden could become allies against England (King George I of Great Britain was simultaneously elector of Hanover).

In addition, Karl wanted to return the territories lost in Pomerania, including the city of Stettin. In August, new conditions were put forward - the Swedes demanded the return of Kexholm and again began to insist on Russia's participation in the war with the Danes. The Russian side responded with a decisive refusal. Peter began to prepare the fleet for the "intimidation of the enemy."

By the end of August, the draft treaty was nevertheless agreed and Peter approved it. Russia remained Ingria, Estland with Revel, Livonia with Riga, part of Karelia with Vyborg and Kexholm. Finland occupied by Russian troops and most of Karelia returned to Sweden. Russia pledged to assist in the return of Sweden to Verdun and Bremen. Peter was even ready to meet Sweden in the Polish issue - to approve the Polish king's appointee of Stockholm and Paris, Stanislav Leschinsky. Fortunately, the Saxon Elector Augustus betrayed Russia more than once.

Sweden again began to tighten the approval of the world. In November 1718, the Swedish side again demanded Russia's participation in the war with Denmark. Peter refused, but ordered to continue negotiations. Russia agreed on the right of Sweden to force Schleswig to return the land in Pomerania, or to reward itself by seizing in Norway. Peter again confirmed Russia's readiness to help return the region of Verdun and Bremen, but only three years after the signing of the world by Russia and Sweden.

Russia and Sweden at the end of the war

I must say that the world was Sweden just needed. The country has lost over 100 thousand men, which has played a very negative role in industrial and agricultural production. There were negative trends in the leading Swedish industries - metallurgy and mining. Fell powder production, iron. Almost did not build battleships. By 1718, copper ore production, by comparison with the pre-war level, had halved (to 480 tons). Regular recruitment kits, compulsory food supplies, poor harvest of 1717, put the people of Sweden in distress. The Baltic territories and Finland, which provided Sweden with food and other supplies, were under the control of Russia. Iron removal to England fell to 0,5% from normal levels. The merchant fleet has shrunk almost four times (from 800 ships to 1718, only a little more than 200 remained). The economic breakdown led to a breakdown of finances - one had to borrow, get into debt, and release a large amount of unsecured money.

Karl tried to create a new Swedish army and in the 1718 year he put 60 thousand people under arms, but regular troops were no more than 36 thousand, the rest were militiamen. Moreover, part of the regular connections had to be left in the garrisons on the border with Finland and in Skåne. Therefore, Karl had no more than 20 thousand soldiers to wage war against Denmark. The Swedish fleet consisted of 27 battleships, but more than half became dilapidated and required major repairs.

Russia, despite the fact that the war slowed down its development, was on the rise. Affected by the presence of enormous natural and human resources, an active government policy in the development of industry, commerce, armed forces. About 200 industrial enterprises operated in the country. Metallurgy developed rapidly. So, in the Urals 10 worked large enterprises. Ural plants gave three-quarters of the total amount of metal. As a result, Russian industry could fully meet the needs of the country. Significant positive changes occurred in agriculture - the area of ​​arable land increased. New lands were developed, both in Central Russia and in the Volga region, in Ukraine and in Siberia. The state was able to move from a system of natural requisitions in favor of the armed forces to public procurement. The turnover of foreign trade has increased. The main port that connected Russia to Western Europe was the new capital, St. Petersburg. Russia conducted trade with almost all major European countries - England, Holland, Denmark, France, German states, Poland.

The Russian regular army numbered more than 100 thousand people and became a powerful force to be reckoned throughout Europe. Russian industry fully provided the armed forces weapons and ammunition. Russian artillery at the end of the Northern War was one of the best in Europe. The Russian ship fleet had a 21 battleship and other less powerful ships, plus about 130 galleys and 100 smaller ships. It was a formidable force.

In principle, Karl understood this fact, and, trying to use the favorable moment, on the eve of the conclusion of peace, he moved the 21 thousand army to the borders of Norway. He was going to improve his affairs at the expense of the Danes. Only a case could stop the Åland negotiations coming to a logical end. However, Carl is gone. Baron Görz was arrested and executed. Numerous supporters of the union of Sweden with Great Britain began to move in Stockholm.

Russian authorized Osterman and Bruce, upon learning of the death of Charles, immediately offered to start active hostilities to force the Swedes to peace. In addition, the most efficient Swedish troops were in Norway, Russia could conduct a successful operation. But, Peter chose a wait-and-see attitude, believing that the new Swedish government also understands the brunt of the situation in the country. In February, his younger sister Ulrika Eleonora, who inherited Karla from 1719, suggested that Russia continue negotiations. The Swedish side again delayed their discovery. The Swedish authorized baron Liliensttet arrived at the Aland Islands only at the end of May.

At the same time, in Petersburg, we learned that in early January in Vienna an alliance was concluded between England, Saxony and Austria. The British began to prepare the fleet for sending to the Baltic. Sweden, feeling the support of Britain, delayed the negotiations. The Swedish side demanded the return of Livonia. As a result, the negotiations by the autumn of 1719, finally reached an impasse and were interrupted.

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  1. Timoha
    Timoha April 19 2012 13: 30
    these Swedes are muddy. They strive for both smart and beautiful. And later they also prostitute, such as neutrals.
  2. Petrol
    Petrol April 19 2012 16: 23
    Slovenian speech was heard on the territory of Sweden until the 12th century; stone faces of Yar and Mokosh are still found there
  3. Alexander Petrovich
    Alexander Petrovich April 19 2012 19: 27
    And, as always, Britain, in all our troubles, small shaves are necessarily mixed. That's who it was necessary to beat. This is where global evil comes from.
  4. Vlaleks48
    Vlaleks48 April 19 2012 21: 14
    Thank you for the article! To all that has been said about the Swedes, they themselves acknowledge their duplicity and are not ashamed of this. And the neutrality to which these hot guys forced the Russian soldiers was at all times a false mask, behind which they did their dirty deeds, the merchants of death.
    An example of this is the supply of military products to Hitler and others like him.
    Glory to the Russian weapons and the people who held it!
  5. Prometey
    Prometey April 19 2012 21: 32
    For all the heroism of the Northern War — its successes, when compared with the costs that went to it — were very modest. The results of the Northern War are usually hyperbolized. to exaggerate, but few write about the consequences.
    For the 21 years that the war was on, demographic losses amounted to 2 million people. (10% of the total population). At the same time, the actual military losses of the Russian army over the entire period of hostilities amounted to 100 thousand people (killed, died from wounds, illnesses and due to desertion, which was especially massive in the period from 1705-1712).
    By the end of his reign, Peter 1 left a completely devastated village. Requisitions of grain and fodder, as well as cattle and horses - were not special cases. Often, the maintenance of regiments was superimposed on the population of the villages in which he had lodged, as the state sought to minimize the cost of the war. Peter's associate, Menshikov, at a Senate meeting, reported that there were cases where the population of entire villages simply ran away when they saw the approach of the detachment (Russian).
    For the development of the metallurgical industry, dozens of factories were built, which essentially opened up the development of capitalism. But the paradox was that the capitalist enterprises used the labor of forced laborers - ascribed peasants, who were forcibly driven from their habitable places and driven like cattle to new enterprises, where they became the property of new breeders. There is no point in repeating the operation at these manufactories. Such an absurd system persisted in Russia until the mid-19th century, when in fact only the abolition of serfdom destroyed bonded labor in enterprises.
    Created by incredible efforts by Peter the 1st Fleet in the Baltic, he essentially vegetated until the middle. 18th century and was almost immediately poher his descendants. Before the start of the Seven Years War, Admiral Mishukov answered Elizabeth’s question about the state of the Baltic Fleet without hesitation that Russian ships are full of holes, which it’s a shame to fight.
    Yes, they defeated the Swedes, cleaned up a number of territories, built Petersburg, while losing one of the largest ports in Europe at that time - Arkhangelsk (yes, it was freezing, but the Gulf of Finland - the same freezes in winter). The Swedes are still raising toasts to Peter I with the words "He made Russia strong and Sweden rich" drinks