“Good initiative”: The battle of the Russian squadron with the Swedish convoy near the island of Ezel in 1719
On June 4, 1719, one of the last naval battles in the Northern War took place. In the battle off the island of Ezel, the Russian Baltic Fleet, already considerably strengthened in previous battles and having acquired a large number of large ships, defeated the Swedish. Typically, the outcome of the battle was decided solely by the ship’s guns.
It’s worth starting with the fact that this event was preceded by a raid of a Russian squadron consisting of three battleships and three frigates in the Baltic, which began on May 11, 1719. During the voyage, the ships of the Baltic fleet managed to intercept 14 Swedish merchant ships.
At one of them, Russian sailors received information that a large convoy was leaving from Pillau to Stockholm under the protection of Swedish warships.
The command immediately decided to move towards the enemy. On May 26, the above-mentioned squadron set out on a raid.
The first meeting of the Swedish and Russian squadrons took place on June 3. However, the Russian ships did not immediately recognize who was in front of them. At the same time, the Swedes, being in a disadvantageous position, tried to take advantage of the situation and leave.
In turn, the Baltic Fleet squadron gave chase and, having caught up with the “unidentified” squadron, fired a warning salvo. It was then that the Swedes were forced to raise their flags, which began the battle on the morning of June 4, 1719.
The battle lasted three hours. Moreover, it was carried out exclusively with ship guns. Not a single attempt was made to approach for boarding.
Despite the resistance of the Swedes, the advantage of the Russian squadron in firepower did its job. The enemy raised a white flag.
As a result of the battle, the Swedes lost 50 people killed, and another 400 were captured. The Baltic Fleet lost 9 people killed and the same number wounded.
In honor of the battle off the island of Ezel, Peter I established a medal in honor of the victory, calling the aforementioned naval battle a “good initiative.”
- Wikipedia/Ezel fight. Alexey Bogolyubov
Subscribe and stay up to date with the latest news and the most important events of the day.