Military Review

Medals of the Peter epoch: from Vaz and Gangut to the Nishtadt Peace

After the unsuccessful Prut campaign of 1711, which almost ended in the capture of Peter and the whole Russian army by the Turks, the consequences of which for the Russian award system were discussed in the article about the Order of St. Catherine, the main hostilities were again transferred to the shores of the Baltic Sea. A small battle near the Finnish city of Vaza should have finally restored the prestige of our army, and the victory in it for reasons of moral and psychological order should have been specially noted, as a result of which a medal “For the Battle of Vaza” appeared. From here we continue our story about the medals of Peter the Great.

Medal "For the Battle of Vaz"

In February, the Russian detachment of Lieutenant-General Mikhail Golitsyn, the hero of Noteburg and Poltava, the knight of the Order of the Holy Apostle Andrew the First-Called, defeated the Swedes (Gustav Armfelt's corps) and took Vasa in February.

For participating headquarters officers (from major to colonel) 33 gold medals were made, of which 6 are "colonel", 13 are "lieutenant colonel" and 14 are "major", differing in size and weight. Ranks from the captain and below were entitled "not to offset" monthly salary. Interesting design awards. On its reverse, instead of the battle scene that was already customary by that time, the inscription in six lines was minted: “FOR - YOUR - BATTAL - 1714 - FEBRUARY - 19 OF THE DAY”. In the second half of the century, this is what the usual type of Russian medal reverse will be: only text and date, without a figure composition. For the time of Peter the Great is a unique case.

With the occupation of Vaz, the main phase of the land operation in Finland ended, and already on August 7 of the same year, the young Russian fleet showed itself perfectly at the Gangut peninsula. With many galleys, the Russian maneuvers on land and sea confused the Swedes and forced them to share their forces. Thus, the detachment of Rear Admiral Niels Erensheld (six of the nine galleys owned by the Swedes, three skerboats and the battleship Elephant) was sent to the bay west of the peninsula, where it was soon blocked by the main rowing forces fleet Russians, who, taking advantage of complete calm, calmly proceeded on oars along the coast past the useless Swedish sailing ships standing in place, out of the reach of their guns. “To our great regret and chagrin, I had to see how the enemy with his galleys passed us into the skerries,” wrote Swedish commander-in-chief at Gangut, Admiral Gustav Watrang, about the beginning of his defeat.

Medal "For Victory at Gangut"

The blockaded was offered to capitulate immediately, to which Nils Erenskjold decisively declared that he “never in his life asked for mercy.”
His arrogance was due to the overwhelming superiority of the Swedes in artillery: 102 guns against 43! Despite this, with the personal participation of Peter himself, our men swiftly attacked the enemy ships and took them aboard one by one. Having lost the Erenschold detachment (the admiral himself was captured by the wounded), the Swedish squadron retreated to the Aland Islands in disarray.

Russia's first major victory at sea thundered all over Europe and was celebrated especially solemnly in St. Petersburg, where a parade was held to mark it: the troops marched under a specially built triumphal arch with the image of an eagle (Russia) riding an elephant (heraldic symbol of Sweden; the name captive "Elephanta").

This was followed by awarding the medal "For the Victory at Gangute", in several stages. In the letter to General-plenipotentiary-kriegs-Commissioner Yakov Fedorovich Dolgorukov (the position of the head of the Commissariat’s department dealing with clothing, cash and food supplies of the Russian army was so wisely called) the Tsar sketched a rough painting, so that according to it “to make gold and so on one side worn out as well as the gold flakes, so that it was hard to put on over my shoulder ”. All in all, the king intended to make “gold manners with ceps: 3 for 150 pure CPS, 5 for 100, 11 for 70, 21 for 45, 40 for 30”, and “without cheps: 50 for 11 pure 70NUMX, 7 for 500, 1000 for 1000, 150 for 100, 70 for 45, XNUMX for XNUMX double XNUMX Russian case of the same identical XNUMX ruble mannets. " Subsequently, this plan was corrected: the huge medals in XNUMX of Chervonets were not minted, following by weight, in XNUMX and XNUMX of Chervonets, were soon returned to the smelting furnace, so the most powerful in all senses were “mannets” in XNUMX “red hearts”, hefty golden "cheps".

Gold medal with an inscription on the reverse: “APPENDIX AND FIDELITY EXCEED STRONGLY”

They were received by assault foremen Peter Lefort and Alexander Volkov, as well as one of the naval commanders, the commander of the galley avant-garde, captain-commander Matvey Zmayevich. The rest went to army colonels and majors, to the guards non-commissioned officers - only 144 gold medals and to them 55 gold chains. Soldiers, army soldiers, ordinary soldiers and sailors were given silver prints - with the exact same king on the obverse, a battle scene and an inscription above the date on the reverse:

Thousands of silver medals were not enough for all 3,5 thousand of ordinary combatants, so some veterans had to remind themselves in writing, referring directly to the king:

"The Most Reigning Tsar Sovereign, the Most Gracious, I serve your servant, to you the great Sovereign in the navy in the galley battalion in soldiers in the past, Sovereign, 1714 was the year I was under the name of an enemy frigate and six galleys in the battle, and which my brothers were battalion soldiers Also, the matroses were in that battle, and they received your sovereign coins, and I did not receive your servant, as a matter of ... list, Sovereign, it is written that coins were given, Dementiy Lukyanov, and my name is Dementy Ignatiev ... Most Gracious Sovereign, I ask your Great of quality, your state of affairs will command your servant to me for the above described battle against my brother, His Sovereign of coins, to issue, and about this, his Sovereign, the most gracious decree to make ... ”.

The award was delayed right up to 1717, until, at the request of Admiral Fyodor Apraksin, the last batch of awards was not minted, to everyone's satisfaction. A few years later, commemorative medals on the Battle of Gangut were made slightly different from the prize ones - as well as Poltava commemorative medals, they have survived to the present day.

After the gangut victory, Russia became significantly more active at sea. Realizing that the rowing fleet is good only in the conditions of the Baltic skerries, Peter concentrated his main efforts on creating large sailing ships designed for long-distance sea voyages and artillery duels. In addition to battleships and frigates of their own construction, ships were bought abroad, from the British and the Dutch. As a result, the Russian power to the 1719 year has increased so much that when the combined coalition of the Netherlands, Denmark, England and Russia gathered at the island of Bornholm for joint action against the Swedes, the command of the naval unit was handed over to Tsar Peter. This event was also reflected in a commemorative medal beaten out on the occasion (Neptune in a chariot, with a trident in his right hand, on which a Russian flag flutters, and the inscription “LIFE EXECUTIVE TO FOURS AT BORNHOLM”).

Alas, the British were not going to seriously counteract Sweden, rather, they wanted, so to speak, to personally control Peter, holding back Russia in the Baltic, otherwise the Northern War could well have ended three years ahead of schedule. But it was too late to stop the Russians: May 24 squadron of rank 2 of the rank of Naum Senyavin (six battleships - the British 52 cannon Porstmut, Devonshire, which were equal to them in firepower domestic Uriel, Raphael, Varahil ”And“ Yagudil ”, built at the Astrakhan shipyard, and shnyava“ Natalia ”) intercepted a detachment of Swedish ships coming from the Konigsberg port of Pillau and going to the island of Ezel after a three-hour artillery battle forced it to surrender, seriously damaging the 52-cannon battleship“ Vakh ”, the Gods, the Vakhs, the Gods, the Vakhs, the Gods, the Gods, the Battles, led by the Nazis, forced them to surrender them to surrender, seriously damaging the 35-cannon battleship, the Vakhs, the Gods, the Vakhs, the Gods, the Vakhs, the Gods, the Gods, the Gods, the Battles, led by the Zakh people. gun frigate "Karlsk" onvapen », 12-brigantine cannon" Berngardus ". Russian captains and gunners showed themselves so well done that only nine officers and sailors were killed on our side, and nine more were wounded! We learned how to fight not only with numbers, but with skill!

Participants in the battle received 11 thousand rubles, which "according to rank" were divided among all. The officers and the commander of the Russian compound were separately presented with gold medals "For the capture of three Swedish ships" with the corresponding "picture" on the reverse and the familiar Gangut slogan.

Characteristic for that period is the figure of Captain Senyavin. Naum Akimovich was an independent man, hard on the arm and quick to punish. Once, insulted by the comments of an adjutant general on his own ship, he finished it so much that he complained to the secretary's office:

“We can say that no insult, which is worthy of swearing, cannot be scolded as much as he did with me, I lay for more than a week on the bed, that I cannot turn from the beating.” Launched in January 1719 to Hamburg to take a frigate to the crew and the yacht presented to Peter by the Prussian king, Senyavin, having noticed that one Hamburg warship refuses to salute the Russians, because “doesn’t know the Russian flag”, without a second word produced a volley of three guns at him . And a few years earlier, describing the incident with the Dutch ship, in vain trying to watch the unarmed battleship, just bought from the British and marching under Senyavin's command, our captain summed up: “Is the whole Dutch fleet on me will move and he can not voluntarily examine, can not force ; however, we are here only strong with one flag and pennant, for which we are not afraid of their entire fleet. ”

That was such a man.

England, as we have already said, prevented Russia's assertion on the Baltic, intrigued, as usual, and in August 1719-nd even sent a strong flotilla of John Norris to the Swedish shores to attack the Russian fleet. It did not come to a direct collision then, Norris returned to Albion, but in the spring of the next year he returned with eighteen ships of the line and several frigates (to be sure, as they say), though this time without clear instructions. On the day of the sixth anniversary of the Gangut victory, 7 August 1720, the Russian squadron of Mikhail Golitsyn, right under the British’s nose, mocked the Swedes to the Grengam island in the Aland Islands group with a sham retreat and used the shallow draft of the galleys to pull off the hooks of the hooks, and the propellers had to pull the hooks on the paths that the prosecutors used to make the propellers and the hooks of the receptacles and the hooks of the receptacles on the way to the Gregm’s island in the Aland Islands. Attacks and boarding followed, with the result that four Swedish frigates and several smaller ships were captured with the whole crew. It was possible to leave only a single battleship, badly beaten, and even some trifles.

Memorial medal in honor of the victory at Bornholm

There was a question about how to reward the victor, Prince Golitsyn. He received a gold sword decorated with diamonds and a cane covered with jewels as a gift from the king. His officers decided to award gold medals. “Major General Duprey medal in the 40 chain in the 100 red. Brigadier von Mengdin medal in 30 pure chain in 100 pure Boryatin medal in 30 pure chain in 100 pure. Colonels 7 people, but the newly granted Colonel Shilov total 8 people medals 20 pure red chain 60 pure. 6 Lieutenant Colonels for Humans 15 Medal for the 50 Chain of Hearts. For example, the 9 majors, the 1 major engineer, and the 10 total for human medals for the 10 red. 9 seconds majors, 42 captains, adjutant outfit under 1 general, secretary under 1 general, 53 total for people of 7 medal of hearts. Guarantors of 58, galley battalion to lieutenant 1, total 59 to people of 6 medal of hearts. 51 second lieutenant commanders, galley battalion 2 second lieutenants, 12 adjutants, total 65 men of 5 medals of red. 57 warrant officers, 1 warrant officer battalion, 58 total people medal on 3 chervonets, etc., right up to boatswains (silver ruble medals) and army non-commissioned officers (silver medals 200 silver medals in ruble silver medals (ruble silver XNUMX greats in ruble silver medals) The design of the award was typical: the profile of Peter on the obverse, the scene of the battle on the reverse. In the same place, on the back side, a circular inscription:


Interesting evidence of a contemporary, Vasily Alexandrovich Nashchokin, about how they wore the medals "For the victory at Grengam":

“Headquarters officers on chains of gold were awarded gold medals and wore over their shoulders, and gold officers were awarded gold medals to ober officers, on a blue narrow ribbon (ribbon of the Andreyevsky order. - M.L.) that they wore to a kaftan loop officers and soldiers silver portraits on a bow of blue ribbon, pinned to the same kaftan loop, were sewn, with inscriptions on those medals about that battle. ”

Medals of the Peter epoch: from Vaz and Gangut to the Nishtadt Peace

Medal "In Memory of the Nishtadt Peace"

So, the Baltic Sea is cleared from the Swedish fleet. The victorious Russian galleys sabotage the Swedish coast: five thousand troops and several Cossack hundreds threaten Stockholm.

And Sweden finally gives up: 30 August 1721, in Nishtadt (now Uusikaupunki in Finland), the long-awaited peace treaty was signed. His conclusion was marked by noisy celebrations in the new Russian capital. Among other things, a solemn dinner was held in the Senate for officers of the Life Guards regiments, after which all of them were awarded gold medals "In Memory of the Peace of Nishtadt." The medal depicts Noah's Ark with a flying dove, Petersburg, Stockholm and the inscriptions:


The window to Europe was cut through, Sweden forever ceased to exist as a great power, and the peoples who participated in the Northern War could now enjoy, albeit short-lived, peace.
Dear reader, to leave comments on the publication, you must sign in.
  1. Andrey Skokovsky
    Andrey Skokovsky 22 May 2016 08: 29
    Sorry for not quite the topic
  2. UVB
    UVB 22 May 2016 08: 34
    And this medal was intended for Judas Mazepa
  3. PKK
    PKK 22 May 2016 09: 50
    Why did the Swedes and Finns not please the Oldenburgs so much that Peter had to press the neighbors? Do not forget that the RomaNovy Dynasty completely controlled the Baltic. It was a war between fights, squabbles between uncles and nephews.