Military Review

The defeat of Sweden

Campaign at sea

By the beginning of the war with Sweden, the Baltic Fleet had been greatly weakened by sending the best ships to the Mediterranean. So, in 1804, Greig’s squadron left as part of the 2 battleships and 2 frigates. In 1805, Senyavin’s squadron left as part of the 5 battleship and the 1 frigate. In 1806, Ignatov’s squadron left as part of 5 ships, 1 frigate and other ships.

Moreover, all these expeditions ended poorly for Russia. In August 1808, the Senyavin squadron (9 ships and 1 frigate) was captured by the British in Lisbon. In the English Channel, the British intercepted the frigate "Hurry" with a load of gold. Another frigate hid from the British Palermo and was surrendered to the Neapolitan king. The remaining ships of the Russian Mediterranean fleet took refuge in French ports (or belonging to France) - Toulon, Trieste and Venice. They were deposited with the French and their crews returned to Russia.

Thus, practically without a fight, the Baltic fleet was drained of blood. As historian A. Shirokorad notes: “During this“ maritime Austerlitz, ”the Russian fleet lost more ships than in all the wars of the 18th and 19th centuries combined.”

By the beginning of 1808, the operational fleet consisted of only 9 ships, 7 frigates and 25 small ships that were based in Kronstadt and Reval. The rowing fleet had about 150 ships, including the 20 galleys and 11 floating batteries. Most of the rowing fleet was in St. Petersburg.

1808 Russian campaign opened in early April. Rear Admiral Bodisko was ordered to land a landing party on the island of Gotland, which was to become part of the landing operation of the French-Danish landing force in southern Sweden (it never took place). Bodisko chartered several merchant ships, landed troops on them and successfully captured the island. However, the Swedes sent a squadron and the support of local armed residents fought off Gotland. Bodisko, in the face of superior forces, capitulated, but bargained for good conditions. Russian squad, surrendering weapon, but keeping the banners, he returned to Russia.

In Sveaborg, occupied by the Russian army, a large Swedish rowing flotilla was captured. From it formed two groups: Lieutenant Myakinin and Captain Selivanov. Both groups went as far as Abo and entered the fairways leading to this city from Åland and the Bothnian skerries. Russian rowing ships successfully endured a series of clashes with the Swedes. 18 Jun Russian squad (14 ships) attacked the Swedish rowing squadron in much superior forces (around 60 ships of various types). However, the shooting of the Russian gunners was so successful that the Swedes retreated. The Swedes attacked again, but also unsuccessfully. Meanwhile, the Russian squad received reinforcements from several ships.

June 22 The Swedes went on the offensive again. However, the Swedish attack repulsed. The gunners excelled again. We had damaged 11 ships, the Swedes - 20. On July 9, a Russian flotilla under Heiden’s attack attacked an enemy near the Jungfruzund Strait. The battle ended with the defeat of the Swedes. 20 July our vessels attacked the enemy and won a complete victory.

7 August Russian and Swedes converged again in the Jungfruzund Strait. The first day of the battle was limited to artillery fire. 8 August battle continued. On this day, superior enemy forces (20 gunboats and 25 armed launch boats from 600 landing troops) attacked 5 Russian ships, which were away from the main forces. The case quickly turned into a boarding battle. Fighting with grape-shot and rifle volleys, which turned into bloody melee fights, a small Russian detachment was bleeding in the fight against numerous enemies. A particularly fierce battle seethed on the Storbiorn gemame.

Gemami called sailing-rowing ships of the Swedish skerny fleet. Usually ships had 2 masts and up to 10 oars, artillery weapons up to 30 - 32 guns. This made it possible to achieve the ability to conduct heavy artillery fire from onboard guns, going under the oars.

All the commanders were killed on the ship, and 80 was killed from the lower ranks, and 100 people were injured. The Swedes were able to seize the ship. But at this time, the commander of the Russian squad Novokshenov brought help. The Russians fought off the lost ship and sank three Swedish gunboats and two longboats. As a result of this fierce battle, the Russian rowing flotilla knocked out the Swedes from Jungfruzund and opened an open passage all along the skerries from Vyborg to Abo.

On August 18, a detachment of a Russian rowing flotilla from 24 ships under the command of Selivanov off the island of Sudsalo engaged the enemy squadron from 45 gunboats and 6 galleys. The fight was hard and lasted 8 hours. Despite the superiority in forces, the fire of the Russian gunners was so successful that the Swedes could not win. Russians lost 2 gunboats, people were saved from them. Selivanov sent a gunboat to XoNumX for repair, which received heavy damage and could barely float. The losses of the Swedes were greater: 17 gunboats drowned, and 8 exploded.

Thus, the Russian rowing fleet under the command of Rear Admiral Myasoyedov during the 1808 campaign went to the Abo area, where he had a number of successful skirmishes with the Swedish fleet. Rowers in late autumn guarded the skerries from the penetration of enemy landing.

The Swedish ship fleet, launched at sea in July, consisted of 11 battleships and 5 frigates, which reinforced the British ship 2. The English fleet (16 ships and 20 ships), after the defeat of the Danish capital, entered the Baltic Sea. The British sent help to the Swedes and the main forces blocked Sund, Belts, Denmark, Prussia, Pomerania and the Port of Riga.

The Russian ship fleet, which came out of Kronstadt on July 14 under the command of Admiral P. I. Khanykov, counted 39 pennants (9 ships, 11 frigates, 4 corvette and 15 small ships). Khanykov was instructed to destroy or seize Swedish ships, to prevent the Swedes from connecting with the British; support the army from the sea.

The Russian fleet reached Gangut, several ships went into cruise and captured several Swedish transports and brig. From Gangut Khanykov passed to Jungfruzund. Then he met the enemy fleet. The Russian admiral, not considering it possible to resist the enemy, evaded a decisive battle and, pursued by the Swedes, took the ships to the Baltic port.

At the same time, the 74-gun ship of the line "Vsevolod" under the command of Captain I rank D. V. Rudnev was damaged and was being towed. Six miles from the port, the tug has burst and the ship would have to anchor. Admiral Khanykov sent several boats under the protection of armed launch boats to tow the Vsevolod to the port. At 16, the boats came to the ship and started towing. Two English ships, having seen the plight of the Russian ship, approached and, having dispersed the boat’s frame fire, attacked him. Captain Rudnev, having decided to defend himself “to the last extreme”, put the Vsevolod stranded. Several ships of Khanykov’s squadron during this battle were removed from the anchors, but due to the weak wind they could not leave the port.

The British ships, taking advantage of the immobility of the enemy, shot the Russian ship, causing great destruction and great losses in people. Only after that they managed to climb aboard the Russian ship and after the boarding battle to capture it. Out of almost 700, the Vsevolod team man was saved only by 56, another 37 wounded sailors were captured. After several unsuccessful attempts to break off the Russian ship, the British, fearing the appearance of Khanykov’s ships, looted the Vsevolod and set it on fire. On the morning of August 15, the Vsevolod exploded.

Earlier, a similar feat was accomplished by the 14-gunboat of the Russian fleet "Experience" under the command of Lieutenant Gabriel Nevelsky. Sent to observe the enemy, the launch of the 11 June met at Nargen with the British 50-gun frigate Salsette. Despite the inequality of forces (there were only 53 people on the boat), the Russian boat refused to capitulate. Within four hours, the crew of the boat fought off the enemy and was forced to surrender only when the boat was severely damaged in the mast and hull and began to sink, and most of the crew were killed and wounded. Having captured the ship, the British, out of respect for the brilliant courage of the Russian sailors, freed Nevelskoy and all his subordinates. Upon learning of this battle, Emperor Alexander I ordered “that Nevelsky never be on any ship under command, and always be a commander”. Nevelsky was given 3000 rubles of reward, and the team was reduced in service, and "people are assigned to court courts".

Thus, the ship fleet under the command of Admiral Khanykov failed to prevent the formation of the Swedish and English fleets and took refuge in the Baltic port, where 19 (31) of August was blocked until 17 (29) of September, when at the request of the Swedes an armistice was concluded.

In the 1809 campaign, the Russian ship fleet concentrated in Kronstadt and was preparing to repel the attack of the British fleet, that is, holed up behind the forts of the sea fortress. Even when the British fleet approached Gogland Island (an island in the Gulf of Finland, in 180 km west of St. Petersburg), landed troops, Russian ships remained in place. Kronstadt was actively preparing for defense, around 20 of new batteries were built.

In 1809, England sent a powerful fleet of Admiral D. Moore to the Baltic Sea - the 52 ship with the 9 thousand airborne corps. In April, the British fleet passed through the Sound. In early summer, the British entered the Gulf of Finland. The British landed troops in one of the main strategic points of the bay - in Porcalaude. The British tried to prevent the Russian shipping in Finnish skerries and sent armed skiers to the skerries.

There have been several bouts. So, 23 June in Porkalauda four English longboats were fighting with three Russian gunboats. Two British ships were damaged and sank. On July 17, between the mainland and the islands of Sturi and Lilla Swart, six Russian Iols (small sailing-rowing ships) and two gunboats were attacked by twenty English boats and longboats. After a stubborn fight, two Iols were able to break through to Sveaborg, and the British took to the board the remaining ships. The Russians lost the killed 2 officers and the 63 lower ranks, 106 people were captured (half of them were wounded). The British lost killed 2 officers and 17 lower ranks, 37 people were injured. All captured Russian ships were badly damaged, so the British burned them down.

The British press trumpeted the great successes of the royal fleet in the Baltic. However, the British raids were local in nature and did not have serious tactical and strategic importance. The fate of the war was decided on land, and there Sweden was beaten in all respects, in 1809, the war was already in Sweden itself. But England did not dare to land a larger contingent in Sweden in order to really support an ally.

The defeat of Sweden

"The battle of the boat" Experience "with the English frigate off the island of Nargen 11 June 1808 of the year." Figure L. Blinova

Ending war

Using the complete superiority of the Swedish fleet in the Gulf of Bothnia, the Swedish command still hoped to win and return some of the previously lost territories. The Swedes developed a plan for the destruction of the Russian northern corps under the command of Kamensky. The corps of Sandels was strengthened by the troops, which were removed from the Norwegian direction. At Ratan, in two crossings to the rear of Umeå, where the Russians stood, they planned to land the “coastal corps”, which had previously covered Stockholm. Thus, the Russian troops fell between two fires.

Kamensky decided not to wait for the enemy to attack and counterattack the Swedish army. 4 North Corps August 1809 left Umeå in three columns: the first - General Alekseev (six battalions), the second - Kamensky (eight battalions), the third - Sabaneev reserve (four battalions). General Alekseev was to force the River Era on 15 versts above the mouth and attack the left flank of the enemy. The main forces were transported on the coastal path and were supposed to crowd the enemy.

However, 5 August with 100 transports at Ratan began to plant 8-thousand. The body of the graph of Wachtmeister. As a result, the body of Kamensky was in an extremely dangerous position. Ahead of the river Era 7-thousand. the corps of General Wrede, in the rear - landing Wachtmeister landing corps. From the River Era to Ratana, the entire 5-6 daytime junction. You can only move in a narrow coastal strip, maneuvering excluded terrain conditions. The Swedish fleet dominates the sea.

Swedish General Johan Augustus Sandels

Kamensky decided to attack the airborne corps as the most powerful and dangerous threat. He ordered the reserve of Sabaneev, which Umea had just passed, to go back. The vanguard of the left column under the command of Erikson was to remain on the River Era and mislead the Swedes, and at night move back to Umeå and destroy the crossings. All other troops were supposed to follow the former reserve of Sabaneev, which has now become the vanguard. These movements took the whole day of August 5. The Swedes at that time managed to land the vanguard of the Lagerbrinka (seven battalions with a battery). They pushed the small Russian units there. Swedish troops did not move further and stopped at Sevara, awaiting instructions from the command. This stop disrupted the effect of the sudden landing of the Swedish troops in the rear of the Russian corps. Especially since the terrain at Sevara was poorly suited for organizing a good defense.

6 August Russian troops were busy regrouping. Sabaneev supported the rear squad Frolov. Soon Alekseeva’s column approached. The rest of the troops lingered in Umeå, waiting for Erickson’s rear guard. The Russian rearguard successfully misled the Swedes all day, and at night went to Umeå. On the morning of August 7, Kamensky attacked Wahtmeister with Sevard’s forces. Hard fighting continued from early morning until midnight hours of 4. The Swedes could not stand it and retreated back to Ratan.

Kamensky, despite the advancement of the body of Wrede to Umeå, which reduced the distance between the two groups of the Swede to the 2-3 transitions, decided to attack the Wakhtmeister again. He began to pursue the retreating enemy with all his might. As a result, the Swedish squad was evacuated by sea. Kamensky ran out of ammunition, so he decided to withdraw from August on the Piteå 12 in order to replenish the ammunition. After a rest, August 21, Kamensky's corps moved back to Umeå.

Meanwhile, the 3 (15) August peace negotiations began again. It was a truce, according to which the Russian troops were given Piteo, and the Swedes remained in Umeå. The Swedish fleet was withdrawn from Kvarken and pledged not to act against the Aland Islands and the shores of Finland. Neutral ships could sail throughout the Gulf of Bothnia.

In St. Petersburg, they decided not to respond to the proposals of the Swedes in order to put pressure on them. Kamensky was ordered to prepare for a new offensive. Free shipping in the Gulf of Bothnia was used to concentrate stocks in Piteå. In Torneo, a special reserve was put forward in case of the need to support the Kamensky corps. The Russian chief commissioner in Friedrichsgame, Count Nikolai Rumyantsev, even demanded that Kamensky launch an offensive and offered to land troops near Stockholm.

Sweden was depleted by the war, civilian and military government were upset. Despite the increased issue of paper money, the money was not enough, taxes were increased, which became extremely burdensome for the population. The internal political crisis led to a coup d'état and the emergence of a constitution. The calculation for the help of England did not justify itself. The fighting on the Norwegian front also did not bring Sweden success. At the same time, part of the Swedish elite hoped that with the help of Napoleon and Alexander, Sweden would be able to compensate part of the losses. All this forced Stockholm to agree to such conditions of peace that were beneficial to St. Petersburg.

Friedrichs World

5 (17) September 1809, a peace treaty was signed in Friedrichsgam. From the side of Russia, it was signed by Foreign Minister Count Nikolai Rumyantsev and Russian Ambassador to Stockholm David Alopeus; from Sweden - Infantry General, former Swedish Ambassador to St. Petersburg Baron Kurt von Stedingk (Steadke) and Colonel Anders Fredrik Schöldebrandt.

Russian troops left Sweden at Vasterbotten to Finland beyond the river Tornio, which became the border. North of Västerbotten, a new frontier passed through the province of Lappland. All prisoners of war and hostages mutually returned not later than three months from the day the treaty entered into force. The former economic ties of the two powers were being restored. The arrests from the financial assets of the powers (assets), operations were mutually removed, and debts and incomes that were interrupted or violated by the war returned. Property and property seized during the war returned to their owners in both countries, etc.

All Finland (including Aland) before the river retreated to Russia. Russia, part of Västerbotten to the river Tornio and all Finnish Lapland departed. The border to the sea passed in the middle of the Gulf of Bothnia and the Aland Sea. The newly conquered region was transferred under a peace treaty "to the ownership and sovereign possession of the Russian Empire." Relocation of the Swedish population from Finland to Sweden and in the opposite direction was allowed. I must say that this world has upset a part of the Russian metropolitan public, which was unhappy that Russia had offended “poor Sweden” so much.

Sweden was to make peace with Napoleon and proceed to the continental blockade of Britain. British military and merchant ships could no longer enter the Swedish ports. It was forbidden to refill them with water, food, fuel and other supplies.

Thus, the war with Sweden seriously strengthened Russia's military-strategic position in the North and the Baltic. Was solved the problem of great importance. Dotted in the centuries-old confrontation between Russia and Sweden in Finland and the Baltic. And in favor of Russia. Therefore, the war met the national interests of Russia. As Emperor Alexander rightly pointed out in 1810, Finland should have become a “strong pillow of Petersburg”. Indeed, Finland was needed for a strong defense of the capital of the Russian Empire.

At the same time, Alexander, who made indulgences to national suburbs, created the Grand Duchy of Finland, included in it the Vyborg gubernia, attached to Russia under Peter the Great. This act had dire consequences for the military security of Soviet Russia. Alexander retained in Finland the laws and practices that existed there.

A map of Finland showing the borders of Russia and Sweden at different times under contracts, as well as on the maps of the General Staff, Germelin, Lotter, Af-Knorring and a friend. Ordin, Kesar Filippovich “Conquest of Finland. Experience descriptions of unpublished sources. Volume I. - SPb: Type. I. N. Skorokhodova, 1889

Andersson I. History Sweden M., 1951.
Mikhailovsky-Danilevsky, A. I. Description of the Finnish War on a dry path and at sea in 1808 and 1809. SPb., 1841 //
Niva P.A. The Russian-Swedish War 1808 — 1809. SPb., 1910 //
Rostunov I. I. P. I. Bagration. M., 1970 //
Shirokora A. England. Neither war nor peace. M., 2011.
Shirokorad A. Northern Wars of Russia. M., 2001.
Articles from this series:
Russian-Swedish War 1808 — 1809

How Russia defeated Sweden and annexed Finland
Siege of Sveaborg and the capture of Finland
On Stockholm!
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  1. parusnik
    parusnik 2 November 2015 07: 52
    At the same time, Alexander, who made relief to the national suburbs, created the Grand Duchy of Finland... We can safely say that in this war Russia won independence for Finland ..
    1. Petrol
      Petrol 2 November 2015 10: 34
      Until the 16th century in Sweden there was only Slavic speech and customs, for example - the "deplorable speech" of the Swedish king Charles XI at the court spoke only Russian.
      before the Slavs were replaced by the Germans!
      nor who didn’t capture anything; there was a desire to regain their territory!
    2. Karabanov
      Karabanov 2 November 2015 14: 34
      At the same time, Alexander ... included in it the Vyborg province, annexed to Russia under Peter the Great.
      Very rash decision of the emperor.
    3. venaya
      venaya 2 November 2015 15: 11
      Quote: parusnik
      ... in this war, Russia gained independence for Finland ..

      And it stopped the occupation of this territory from a gradual, creeping Germanization, which began during the period of the "Crusades". So the gradual Germanization of local tribes in the use of foreign, non-autochthonous dialects was also suspended. Until now, in Finland, despite the second state Germanized (Swedish) language, the local dialect of the Finno-Ugric language is mainly used. groups.
      1. Petrol
        Petrol 2 November 2015 16: 53
        Ugri are the same Hungarians
  2. Moore
    Moore 2 November 2015 08: 04
    Thanks, very interesting. Not the most illuminated period of our history. Apparently, in view of the ambiguity of the then relations with Napoleon.
  3. Robert Nevsky
    Robert Nevsky 2 November 2015 09: 50
    Glory to Russian weapons!
  4. Riv
    Riv 2 November 2015 13: 43
    "The victorious Gates will not contain you, coming to us in battle!" - for this phrase young Pushkin drew a caricature: the overweight emperor is trying to climb through the triumphal arch. It is customary to treat Alexander the First ironically with the beacon of Russian poetry. And he lost Austerlitz, and bowed to England, and the Russian army defeated Napoleon for some reason ... But he consistently adhered to the principle that was later formulated by his great-grandson: “Russia has no friends except her army and navy. " It was necessary to fight with France - and fought with France. Not always successful, but the one who laughs last laughs, right? It was necessary to put Sweden in its place - they did. Without looking at "superpowers" and with minimal losses. It was profitable to join the continental blockade - they did. But of the "sanctions" imposed by Napoleon against England, only those were carried out that did not affect the country's economic interests.

    The emperor tried to make Russia prosper, "like under his grandmother," and under Catherine, no cannon in Europe dared to shoot without her permission. He did what he could and God is now his judge. In fact, playing against Napoleon was not easy.
    1. Morrrow
      Morrrow 2 November 2015 17: 52
      Why then returned to the alliance with France in the 1880s?
      1. Riv
        Riv 2 November 2015 20: 27
        Sorry, what are you talking about? Alexander the First died in 1825. What could he have to do with the formation of the Franco-Russian alliance at the end of the 19th century?
        1. Morrrow
          Morrrow 3 November 2015 09: 11
          Do you think the whole thing is the whim of the kings? Did Alexander 3 love the republic?
  5. xan
    xan 2 November 2015 16: 38
    The story of the surrender of Senyavin’s ships is muddy. Before that, Russian sailors fought bloodyly with the French for several years and considered the British to be allies. The sharp turn of the front was incomprehensible to ordinary sailors, and the officers considered the war with the British temporary and formal, since it was clear that Napoleon was the main enemy, and that a new clash with him was not far off. Alexander himself considered the war with England a concession to Napoleon and did not consider the British a real enemy. It seems that Senyavin handed over the ships to the British with the condition of returning them to Russia after the war, and the teams were sent to Russia immediately.
    1. Riv
      Riv 3 November 2015 04: 48
      It is unlikely that everything was so simple. The British from the end of the 18th century stubbornly tried to crawl into the Caucasus and Central Asia. It is unlikely that Alexander was going to calmly look at it. Apparently some sort of diplomatic steps were taken that divided the spheres of influence. Immediately after the defeat of Napoleon, Russia began the Caucasian War, which will stretch for seven decades, and England very soon will begin the first Afghan war. As a result, Central Asia will fall under the influence of Russia.
      So England was quite a real, not a toy enemy, and this was perfectly understood.
      1. xan
        xan 3 November 2015 12: 27
        Quote: Riv
        So England was a real, not a toy enemy

        The Russians fought with the French in the Mediterranean Sea seriously, for a long time and bloody, and all the time they considered the British to be effective allies (Corfu and Dalmatia from the Russian side and Trafalgar from the English). Why risk the fleet and fight the British if the real enemy - Napoleon benefits from this? The British fought the war in the same way, with small skirmishes and demonstrations, the forces showed the Swedes that they were on their side and no more, and the Russians that they were not going to retreat from their interests and the line to confrontation with Napoleon. Napoleonic France, as well as England, seriously threatened Russia, and therefore both the Russians and the British were not going to seriously fight among themselves and bring such joy to Napoleon.
        1. Riv
          Riv 3 November 2015 18: 03
          Burned Russian ships - also an innocent demonstration? Well, I do not. After the battle of Navarin (only twenty years have passed) the English king said: "I am awarding him with an order, although I should have awarded him with a noose." This is about Admiral Corrington, who together with the Russians destroyed the Turkish fleet. The statement was public. The British did not like the strengthening of Russia in the Mediterranean, the king could not resist. Our attitude towards the British after the battle was also sharply negative.

          That is, to unite with someone in order to fight a common enemy is welcome. But ... England has no permanent enemies, no permanent allies. Some permanent interests. If this is obvious to us today, then the ancestors were no stupider.
        2. Misha
          Misha 7 November 2015 14: 22
          it is believed that any geopolitical interests did not intersect with France. at the same time, there was a constant confrontation with England over spheres of influence in the Caucasus, Central Asia and the Mediterranean. and Turks they constantly set us against us.