Military Review

The defeat of the Swedish fleet in the battle of Revel

21

Revel battle on May 2, 1790. A.P. Bogolyubov


Russian-Swedish War 1788 — 1790 230 years ago, in May 1790, the Revel naval battle took place. The Russian squadron under the command of Chichagov defeated the superior forces of the Swedish fleet.

"To Petersburg"


The Swedish monarch Gustav III, despite the failures of 1788-1789, financial problems, the ruin of the economy and public discontent with the war, decided to attack in 1790. The Swedish High Command, as in 1788, was planning a “lightning war”. On land, the army under the command of the king himself, generals von Stedingk and Armfelt, was to defeat the Russian troops and develop an offensive on Vyborg, creating a threat to St. Petersburg.

In the meantime, the Swedish fleet was supposed to attack and defeat the parts of the Russian ship and rowing fleet scattered in Revel, Friedrichsgam, Vyborg and Kronstadt. Then it was possible to land troops in the Vyborg area, which was supposed to support the advance of the ground forces. The Swedes had a numerical superiority at sea and hoped for success. Thus, King Gustav wanted to quickly defeat the Russian armed forces in the northwest, create a threat to the Russian capital from land and sea, and force Empress Catherine II to make peace in Sweden.

However, the Swedes could not organize coordinated actions of the army, rowing and ship fleet. On land in April — May 1790, several battles of local importance took place (The defeat of the Russian army in the battle of Kernikoski), where success was on the side of the Swedes, then the Russians. The Swedes had no superior either in the number of troops, nor in their quality. The Swedes could not defeat the Russian army and break through to Vyborg. The Swedish fleet attacked the Russians, but the matter was also limited to a series of battles that did not lead to a decisive victory for Sweden.


Plans and forces of the parties


At the end of April 1790, when the Russian squadron in Kronstadt was just preparing to go to sea, the Swedish fleet left Karlskrona. On May 2 (13), 1790, the Swedes were at Fr. Nargena, hoping for surprise. However, the Russians learned about the appearance of the enemy from the crew of a neutral vessel, which arrived in Revel and prepared for battle. In the morning, the commander of the Russian squadron, Admiral Vasily Chichagov, gathered flagships and captains and gave a short speech, urging everyone to die or glorify themselves and the Fatherland.

The Russian squadron under the command of Vasily Chichagov stood on the Revelsky roadstead, in the direction from the harbor to the shallows of Mount Vimsa. In the first line there were nine battleships and a frigate: Rostislav and Saratov (100 guns each), Cyrus John, Mstislav, St. Helena and Yaroslav (74 guns), Victorious Boleslav and Izyaslav (66 guns), frigate Venus (50 guns). In the second line there were four frigates: “Podrazislav”, “Glory”, “Hope of Well-Being” and “Pryamislav” (32 to 36 guns each). On the flanks there were two bombing ships - “Terrible” and “Winner”. In the third line there were 7 boats. The vanguard and rearguard were led by Vice Admiral Alexei Musin-Pushkin and Rear Admiral Pyotr Khanykov.

The Swedish fleet was under the command of the brother of King Duke Karl of Södermanland (the spelling of Karl Südermanland is also common in Russian tradition). There were 22 ships (armed with 60 to 74 guns), 4 frigates and 4 small vessels. That is, the Swedes had a double superiority in forces and could count on victory over part of the Russian fleet. The Swedish command decided to fight in motion, walking in a wake column and firing at Russian ships. And repeat this maneuver until the Russians are defeated. This "run through the ranks", in the words of the German researcher Stenzel, was a big mistake. The Swedes could not use their numerical advantage, did not anchor in front of the Russians to fire with them, where they would gain superiority due to the number of ships and guns. They didn’t try to get around the Russian squadron, to get closer, etc. In conditions of strong wind and inaccurate sight, the Swedes fired poorly. A strong wind tilted the Swedish ships to the side with which they acted against the enemy. Russian ships, anchored, fired better.

Revel battle


With an increasing westerly wind and noticeable unrest, the enemy fleet linearly entered the raid. The advanced Swedish ship, having caught up with the fourth-rank captain Sheshukov, the fourth ship from the left flank of the Russian line Izyaslav, lay down on the left tack and fired a volley. However, due to a strong roll and poor sight, most of the shells passed by the Russian ship. The Russians, however, fired more accurately and harmed the enemy. The situation was similar in the future. The leading Swedish ship, which quickly passed along the line towards the Wulf island, was followed by the rest of the Swedes.

Some Swedish commanders showed courage and tried to come closer, to reduce sails and roll, they reduced sails. They were met by sighting salvos and suffered more casualties in people and serious damage to the mast (device for setting sails) and rigging (all tackle of the ship). However, they could not cause serious damage to the Russian ships. The ship of the Swedish admiral "King Gustav III" was especially damaged. He was carried to the Russian 100-gun flagship "Rostislav", which fired at the enemy from close range. Another Swedish ship, Prince Karl, which went 15th in line, having lost part of the mast, dropped the anchor after a 10-minute battle and raised the Russian flag.

The Swedish commander, the Duke Karl, watched the battle from the side of one of the frigates and was outside the zone of effective fire of the enemy. After two hours of shooting, the Duke of Södermanland ordered the battle to end. As a result, the last 10 ships of the Swedish fleet, without entering into battle, went north.

The Swedish 60-gun ship Raksen-Stender was damaged and landed on a reef north of Wulf Island. The Swedes could not remove the ship and burned it so that it would not go to the enemy. Another Swedish ship before the start of the battle ran aground north of the island of Kargen. He was taken aground, but most of the guns had to be thrown into the sea.

Thus, the Battle of Revel became the complete victory of the Russians. With almost double superiority, the Swedes could not achieve victory, destroying part of the Russian fleet. The Swedish fleet lost two ships and retreated. The losses of the Swedish side amounted to about 150 people killed and wounded, 250 (according to other sources - 520) were captured. Russian losses - 35 killed and wounded. After the battle, the Swedes partially put their ships in order in the sea and moved east of the island of Hogland. Several ships went for repairs in Sveaborg. It was a strategic victory for Russia, the Swedish campaign plan of 1790 was disrupted. They could not destroy the Russian fleet in parts. The combat effectiveness of the Swedish fleet decreased.


Plan of the Revel battle on May 2, 1790. A. Krotkov. Everyday recording of remarkable events in the Russian Navy. Map source: https://runivers.ru/

Friedrichsham battle


Meanwhile, another battle at sea occurred - the battle of the rowing fleets at Friedrichsham. After several setbacks on land, the Swedish king Gustav decided to switch to a rowing fleet in order to attack the Russians in Friedrichsham. Thus, the Swedish ruler hoped to distract the Russian troops from other directions and to ease the position of the troops of generals Stedingk and Armfelt, who should invade Russian Finland.

The Swedes had a chance of success. In early May 1790, the entire Swedish galley fleet was off the coast of Finland. Most of the Russian galley fleet was at Kronstadt and St. Petersburg. The winter of 1790 was warm, but in the spring it did not recede for a long time. There was a lot of ice in the skerries. An advanced Russian rowing flotilla squad under captain Slizov wintered in Friedrichsgam Bay. It included 3 large and 60 small vessels. Despite the outbreak of hostilities, the squadron's armament has not yet been completed. Many gunboats did not have full weapons and ammunition. The detachment had only half the crew. Yes, and he consisted mostly of peasants who, at best, had ever walked along rivers. But the biggest problem was the lack of ammunition. In addition, the commander of the rowing flotilla, Prince Nassau-Siegen, did not accept Slizov’s proposal to strengthen the position with coastal batteries, the construction of which seemed to the French naval commander premature.

Being in a vulnerable position, on May 3 (14), 1790, Slizov learned about the approach of an enemy fleet, which consisted of 140 combat ships and 14 transports. The Russian squad lined up at the entrance to the bay. On May 4 (15), the Swedes attacked in the early morning. Letting the enemy close range, Sliz opened fire from all the cannons. The stubborn battle lasted about 3 hours. The right wing of the Swedish rowing fleet was already flinching and was moving away, and the left wing was shaken by the fury of the Russian resistance. However, there was a lack of ammunition. Sliz ordered to depart, while firing at idle charges. Ten ships that could not be taken out of the battle were burned. The Swedes seized another ten ships, including three large ones, destroyed and sunk up to six. The Russians lost about 240 people.

Sliz retreated under the protection of Friedrichsgam. From the prisoners, the Swedes learned that there was a small garrison in Friedrichsham. King Gustav suggested the Russians lay down weapon and prepared for the landing. The city did not give up. The commandant of Friedrichsgam, General Levashev, answered: “The Russians do not give up!” The Swedish fleet shelled the city for three hours. Several Russian ships burned down, and shipyards were badly damaged. Then the Swedes tried to land. However, the Russians went on the attack and the Swedes, not accepting the battle, retreated to the ships. The enemy feared that strong reinforcements approached the Friedrichsgam garrison. At the same time, the Swedes failed to attack Friedrichsham from the sea and land. The Swedish detachment under the command of General Meyerfeld was still in Swedish Finland and arrived in this area only a month later.

Thus, the Swedes received free passage in the skerries to Vyborg, which complicated the situation of the Russian army. Now the Swedes could land a strong landing in the rear of our troops. The Swedish king entered the Vyborg Bay and began to wait for his ship fleet. He hoped to land an landing near Petersburg.
Author:
Photos used:
https://ru.wikipedia.org/
Articles from this series:
Russian-Swedish War 1788 — 1790

230 years ago, the "Swedish king Swedish" attacked Russia
Strategic victory of the Russian fleet in the battle of Gogland
Åland Sea Battle
Glorious victory of the Russian fleet at Rochensalm
The last campaign of Gustav III. The defeat of the Russian army in the battle of Kernikoski
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  1. Vladimir_2U
    Vladimir_2U 15 May 2020 05: 18 New
    0
    It is necessary to remind about the victories of Russian weapons, thanks to the author, but the spruce-burns, such gross stylistic mistakes do not decorate the article at all:
    Some Swedish commanders showed courage and tried to come closer, to reduce the course and roll, they reduced the sails. They were met by sighting salvos and suffered more casualties in people and serious damage to the mast
    Who suffered casualties and serious damage to the mast? Swedish commanders?
    1. Catfish
      Catfish 15 May 2020 08: 04 New
      +8
      There is an even worse option:
      The Swedish king entered the Vyborg Bay and began to wait for his ship fleet.

      The king entered, stopped knee-deep in water, and waited. Whom or what? And the "ship fleet" ... I wonder what other fleet is in nature?
      1. Thunderbolt
        Thunderbolt 15 May 2020 09: 14 New
        +3
        Quote: Sea Cat
        I wonder what other fleet happens in nature.

        Galley.
        1. Catfish
          Catfish 15 May 2020 11: 04 New
          +2
          Galley.

          But is it not made up of ships? Galley is not a ship?
          1. Thunderbolt
            Thunderbolt 15 May 2020 15: 13 New
            +1
            Quote: Sea Cat
            But is it not made up of ships? Galley is not a ship?

            laughing In those days, ships were called large sailboats.
            __________________________________
            SHIP m. (Box?) In general, a large sailing sea vessel: || three-masted seagoing merchant and fishing vessel; || military, combat three-masted ship, with two and three decks, with 70 to 130 guns. Dahl's Explanatory Dictionary
            __________________________________
            It was such a fleet that the king was waiting for, not a galley / rowing one.
      2. Sergey S.
        Sergey S. 15 May 2020 09: 15 New
        +1
        Quote: Sea Cat
        I wonder what other fleet happens in nature.

        Rowing.
        With the landing on board.
        1. Catfish
          Catfish 15 May 2020 11: 06 New
          +3
          If rowing, and with landing on board, then these are ship boats, but certainly not full-fledged ships. And not the fleet.
          1. Sergey S.
            Sergey S. 15 May 2020 15: 59 New
            +1
            Quote: Sea Cat
            If rowing, and with landing on board, then these are ship boats, but certainly not full-fledged ships. And not the fleet.

            This fleet included galleys, half galleys - scampavays, brigantines, rowing frigates ....
            The most famous event in the history of Russian rowing fleet is the Battle of Gangut in 1714.
      3. Kote Pan Kokhanka
        Kote Pan Kokhanka 15 May 2020 12: 20 New
        +2
        Quote: Sea Cat
        There is an even worse option:
        The Swedish king entered the Vyborg Bay and began to wait for his ship fleet.

        The king entered, stopped knee-deep in water, and waited. Whom or what? And the "ship fleet" ... I wonder what other fleet is in nature?

        I agree with Konstantin - the naval fleet is a tautology!

        Quote: Thunderbolt
        Quote: Sea Cat
        I wonder what other fleet happens in nature.

        Galley.


        Then the Author should mention the fleet - linear, but not as “ship”! Although you can apply the term locally applying, for example, "skerry fleet"!
        Anticipating opponents, I will point out that the fleets can be divided according to the purpose of “military”, “trading”!
        Or for example, by the type of “mover” “sailing”, “rowing”!
        In fact, according to the terminology of those years, the “galley” was not a ship. "Ship" - a military vessel with full sailing weapons !!!
        Of course, you can look for incidents. For example, a horse galley! A ship is not a ship, a ship is not a ship !!! Or a gunboat, in the 18th century and early 19th “a boat with a cannon”, and at the end of 19th a “toothy boat”, in some cases stronger than a destroyer!
        So my personal opinion “ship fleet” appeared after processing the text by the “anti-plagiarism” program, instead of the phrase “linear fleet”!
        Regards, Kote!
        1. Catfish
          Catfish 15 May 2020 12: 45 New
          +2
          Good afternoon, Vlad. hi
          I also meant "butter oil". And the "horse galley" is good, as the Strugatskys wrote about the colonel of the motorized cavalry troops:
          "Probably, the whole thing was in his exotic military specialty. In the very idea of ​​a motorized cavalry, I fancied something fantastic. Now I imagined squat armored personnel carriers, above the riveted sides of which protruded grinning horse jaws and dignified horsemen in cloaks and lances in front of them. the picture was obscured by a completely apocalyptic spectacle: a herd of horses, saddled by motorcyclists on motorcycles, is dashingly unfolding across the battlefield into lava, and all motorcycles as one - at the third speed ... But then I remembered that the colonel was a contemporary and, perhaps, even a participant in the first successes aviation and airship construction, and then I dreamed of giant cylinders, from the gondolas of which, kicking and rusting, the cavalry squadrons on parachutes were falling on the heads of the stunned enemy ... "(c)
  2. Mavrikiy
    Mavrikiy 15 May 2020 05: 59 New
    +1
    planned a "lightning war"
    Yes, understandable, only she. Thirty Years War, taught. But what works in Europe, in Russia with its resources and "distances" .... The war turns into a viscous dough. Oh, why is she so sticky? (cartoon) fellow
  3. 210ox
    210ox 15 May 2020 06: 34 New
    +2
    I’m not at all surprised that Sweden has been a neutral country for more than two centuries. The Russian bayonet taught the mind to fear its own shadow (the notorious Soviet-Russian submarines)
    1. antivirus
      antivirus 15 May 2020 12: 00 New
      +1
      (notorious Soviet-Russian submarines)
      - well without a UFO for now.
      Russia is not to blame for space and violations of air borders
  4. knn54
    knn54 15 May 2020 09: 00 New
    +1
    Prince Karl Heinrich Nassau-Siegen: Colonel of the French Navy and Cavalry, Major General of the Spanish Royal Navy, Admiral of the Russian Rowing Fleet.
    A competent commander, but overly self-confident. NEVER listened to the opinions of others.
    Therefore, high-profile victories alternated with crushing defeats.
    1. Kote Pan Kokhanka
      Kote Pan Kokhanka 15 May 2020 12: 38 New
      0
      Quote: knn54
      Prince Karl Heinrich Nassau-Siegen: Colonel of the French Navy and Cavalry, Major General of the Spanish Royal Navy, Admiral of the Russian Rowing Fleet.
      A competent commander, but overly self-confident. NEVER listened to the opinions of others.
      Therefore, high-profile victories alternated with crushing defeats.

      First of all, the prince was more of a court than a military! In particular, it is precisely with his name that various "Victoria to the name day of Queen Mother" is associated! Ento you Kiev by November 7 to take !!!
      Chichagov Sr. looked like a colorful figure against the backdrop of Nissau, who could "blink" at Mother Catherine and Mother! And about victory by the day of an angel, her benefactress is something from the realm of fantasy!
      Cruise sailors beat a mortal battle, but when almost a mortal battle. But when once not drowned. After that, he did not touch the sailor's finger.
      Regards, Vlad!
  5. Senior seaman
    Senior seaman 15 May 2020 14: 29 New
    +2
    captain slyz

    cut eyes.
    Pyotr Borisovich at that time was not just a captain, but a captain of the first rank. In the past, the hero of the Battle of Chesme.
  6. Yaik Cossack
    Yaik Cossack 15 May 2020 22: 48 New
    0
    The author is right. Strange as it may seem, the Swedes had two fleets. The first was called ship and was equipped with classic sailing ships, frigates, etc.
    The second was called "army" and consisted of ships for action in the skerries. It included rowing galleys, gunboats, prama and the so-called skerry frigates. His task was to act in shallow skerries, off the coast, the defense of the main skerry channel from Vyborg to Hanko. Actually for its base, Sveaborg was built - the main maneuver base and wintering place.
    1. Yaik Cossack
      Yaik Cossack 15 May 2020 22: 55 New
      0
      In 1756, the Army fleet was generally withdrawn from the general fleet and subordinated to the army. Officers on the ships of the Army Navy (in Swedish armens flotta) wore land ranks. It consisted of 2 squadrons - Stogkolmskaya (base in Skeppsholmen near Stockholm) and Finnish (Sveaborg). In addition, there was a small detachment in Pomerania. For this war, the Stockholm squadron had 31 ships of various types, the Finnish - 81
      1. Yaik Cossack
        Yaik Cossack 15 May 2020 22: 58 New
        +1
        A significant part of the crews of the Army Fleet ships consisted of army infantry trained in rowing. In battle, they could, if necessary, also fight when boarding, or as marine corps with landings on the coast (islands).
  7. DimanC
    DimanC 16 May 2020 16: 24 New
    0
    п
    After a 10-minute battle, anchored and raised the Russian flag
    Did he take our flag with him in advance, or what? laughing laughing laughing So it was necessary to immediately raise and fight for the right side.
  8. VicktorVR
    VicktorVR 24 May 2020 08: 24 New
    0
    On the Revel battle plan, is the wind direction indicated? It’s important for a sailing fleet.

    In general, in this situation it was very presumptuous to meddle in a raid, the place was rather narrow, the Russians fired at anchors like a dash, and the Swedes did not have the opportunity to use their numerical advantage.

    Unprofessionalism of command.