The last battle of the Northern War: sea, land and diplomacy

The last battle of the Northern War: sea, land and diplomacy

After it became clear that the negotiations on the Aland Islands are completed world and has information on the agreement between the former allies against Sweden, St. Petersburg decided to resume military action. Sweden had to force to make peace, it required to move the fighting actually acts on the Swedish countryside. Sailing Fleet (it by the end of May 1719 there were 23 battleships, 6 frigates, 6 snows and several other ships in the number of personnel is 10.7 thousand people, with 1,672 guns) have decided to relocate closer to the coast of Sweden — to the Aland the islands. Sailing Fleet had to conduct reconnaissance and cover acts rowing fleet. Rowing fleet based in Turku and St. Petersburg, having composed 132 galleries and more than 100 boats Ostrowski, puzzle was put landings near the town of Gavle, and Norrköping. The Russian troops had to go to Stockholm to the north and south, along the way destroying military and industrial facilities.

It should be noted that OSTROVSKAYA boats called rowing boats to transport troops and landing assault, they were adapted to the rocky conditions had overstated maneuverability. Boats had one sail, one armed with a gun mounted on the bow, and can accommodate up to 50 people. The ship was a purely Russian-designed, manufactured fighters, first in the shelves of PI Ostrovsky and F.S Tolbukhina who stood on the Kotlin, from which takes its title.

Rowing fleet had a total of more than 20 thousand troops, including the Transfiguration and Semenov Guards regiments. We just kept the home in Finland, Ingria, Estonia and Livonia: 2 Guards, Grenadier 5, 35 infantry regiments (totaling 62.4 thousand people), 33 dragoon regiments (43.8 million people).

In addition, Peter wanted to provide information on the impact of the Swedish population — in both Swedish and German language was written manifesto that meant to distribute the middle of the local inhabitants. It explained the background of the war, our home offers peace. It has been reported that the deceased Swedish master Carl wanted peace, but the current government of Sweden longs to continue the war. The blame for the military disasters attributed to the Swedish government. Swedes offered to influence his government to a speedy conclusion of peace. Osterman took to Sweden several hundred copies of the manifest. About this document have been informed and Russian diplomats in Western Europe. He had to have a corresponding impact on public opinion.

The Swedish party was in talks with the British, hoping to support the United Kingdom and other countries of Western Europe against Russia. He fought in the Norwegian army was bred back to Sweden — the main force (24 million fighter) were concentrated in Stockholm, small compounds were in the South — in Skåne, and near the border with Finland. The Swedish fleet was in poor condition — most of the ships was in need of complete renovation. But, despite this the Swedes as previously underestimated the increased power of the Russian naval fleet. More combat-capable ships (5 ships of the line and one frigate) were oriented in the Kattegat.

The British, however, have expressed great fear about the rise of the Russian fleet. British ambassador in St. Petersburg, J. Jefferies, reporting to London about the Russian Navy, asked the government to withdraw the British masters of Russian shipyards, shipbuilding to harm Russia. Jefferies believed that if you do not do this measure, the United Kingdom, "will have to repent." Peter "openly expressed in the community, and that his fleet fleet England — the two best in the world, and if at the moment he sets up its own fleet of fleets of France and the Netherlands, why not imagine that in a few years, he acknowledges our own fleet of equal or even better than ours, "In his view, the ships in Russia has also built a fine, as in Western Europe. Peter took all possible measures for the development of marine science and the transformation of their own nationals in the real sailors.

First victory of the Russian naval fleet — Ezelsky fight (May 24 (June 4) 1719)

In May 1719 came the event that confirmed the truth of the words of British envoy. Taking into account the fact that the negotiations were sluggish, our home was waiting for the Swedish commissioners in Åland, in addition, the Government of Sweden in April 1719 imposed a ban on trade with Russia, the Revel squadron were ordered search the island of Oland. In the march came three ships of the line, three frigates and a pink under the command of Captain-Commander J. von Gofta (Vangofta). During the raid had been arrested 13 Swedish merchant vessels. One of the captured Swedish skippers Russian commanders said the release of the caravan merchant ships under the protection of the Swedish warships from Pilau in Stockholm.

The admiral gave the order Apraxin squadron of 4 x 52 — gun battleship and 18-gun snows ("Portsmouth", "Devonshire", "Yagudiil", "Raphael" and snows "Natalia", another two ships were delayed — "Uriel and "Varahail") under the command of captain second rank Nahum Akimovich Senyavina out to find the enemy squad. Swedish detachment under the command of Captain-Commander Wrangel came from Stockholm on May 19. It consists of 4 were the ship, including one linear and one frigate (later one ship separated from the unit).

At dawn on May 24 (June 4) at 3:00 am two groups met to the west of the island of Saaremaa. Swedish Wrangell commander assessed the situation and realized that the balance of power clearly not in favor of his unit, the ships turned to the north-west. Marching in the vanguard of the Russian ships: the flagship "Portsmouth" under the command Senyavina and "Devonshire" Captain 3rd rank Conon Zotov, do not wait the approach throughout the squadron began pursuit. They occupied the leeward side and quickly caught up with the Swedes. At 5 o'clock in the morning was given a warning salvo, the Swedes have raised flags. "Portsmouth" supported "Devonshire" resolutely entered the Swedish flagship — the 52-gun "Vahmeysterom" in the fight, trying to cut it off from the frigate and a brig. Artillery firing lasted from 5 am to 9 am. The Swedes, including a 32-gun frigate "Karlskrona-Wapen" and a 12-gun brigantine "Berngardus", tried to bring down the "Portsmouth" and rigging, so you can break away from the Russian ships. In part, the enemy succeeded, but the "Portsmouth" several volleys of grapeshot made Swedish frigate and a brigantine pull flags. Swedish flagship tried to leave.

At this time came the battleships "Raphael" (Captain Delyap) "Yagudiil" (Captain Shapizo) and snows "Natalia". Senyavin left to keep the occupied Swedish ships "Devonshire" and "Natalia" and "Raphael" and "Yagudiil" sent in pursuit. The hastily cobbled together a damage, it also joined the persecutors. At twelve o'clock the day or the Russian ships caught up with "Vahmeyster" and the fight resumed. "Raphael" tried to storm the enemy first. However, gaining a very big move, jumped by. "Yagudiil" first went on board the ship, but then changed course and opened fire. He was joined by "Raphael" and later "Portsmouth". Swedish commander Wrangel was seriously injured, his replacement, trolls continued fighting. S
wedish ship lost all the mast was very damaged and about 3 hours of day or to lower the flag.

As a result, were captured battleship, frigate, brigantine, 387 prisoners. The Swedes lost 50 men killed and 14 wounded. Russian warships have lost nine men killed and nine wounded. Fight showed good training of the Russian commanders, sailors and artillerymen. Peter referred to this fight "the good of the fleet wide effort." In honor of the battle was struck Ezelskogo commemorative medal.

The last battle of the Northern War: sea, land and diplomacy

"Battleship" Vahmeyster "fighting against the Russian fleet in 1719." Painting by Richard Ludwig.

Hike to the Swedish coast

At that time there were the last manufacturer to march on the Swedish coast. June 26-28 (July 7-9) was the General Council, which set certain tasks for sailing and rowing fleets. Sailing Fleet moved to the Aland Islands, and he got a puzzle covering the landing. Rowing fleet was due initially to conduct reconnaissance passes the archipelago. Then he put troops in Gavle, to divert the enemy's strength and Stockholm. Troopers gave the order that if the Swedish capital is not well fortified, poruha her. Sailing Fleet singled out two of his own squadron. The first was to look out for Swedish ships in Karlskrona. 2nd monitor the Swedish Navy in Stockholm.

Adjustments were made to the plan after the survey. Russian commanders found out that the Swedes joined their navies. 19 Swedish ships blocked the skerry passages in Vaxholm fortress on the way to Stockholm. Russian commanders concluded that the Swedes on the defensive, because if the ships were in good condition, fully Swedish command can enter into battle wielding such a massive fleet, with experienced crews. Because the ship's fleet received puzzle come to the rocky passages and maneuver in full view of the enemy, causing the Swedes on the fight. If the Swedish ships do not come for a decisive battle, means galley fleet had a free hand for their own actions.

In late June, galley and sailing fleets together at Gangut Peninsula and headed to the island Lemland (Aland Islands). The peninsula was equipped with a temporary base fleets began its consolidation. 9 (20) July was another military council, which confirmed the earlier decision — to go to the Swedish side. The commander of the galley fleet Apraksin Peter handed annotation: in it he ordered to destroy the military, industrial objects, but not to touch the community and the church.

The aggravation of the situation of foreign policy. At the end of June 1719 a British squadron under Admiral D. Norris arrived in the Sound — the strait between the peninsula of Zealand (Denmark) and the Scandinavian peninsula (Sweden). In the British squadron had 14 ships: including two 80-gun, two 70-gun, three 60-gun, three 50-gun, one 40-gun.

Peter to clarify the purposes of the English 7 (18), sent a detachment of ships. Admiral Norris was handed the king a message. It is reported that our homeland will not prevent trading post on the Baltic Sea, but with the proviso that ships did not have contraband of war in favor of Sweden. In addition, the British were notified that if their ships will be in the Russian fleet and land without a corresponding warning, the Russian side will accept the measures of military nature. Norris, in a letter dated 11 (22) July), said that the British squadron arrived "to provide patronage to our merchants with the consent and approval of the allies …". The answer was ambiguous. Our homeland is not interfered with free trade, protect British merchant ships so strong squadron was not necessary. And it was not clear who is an ally of London — neither Sweden nor our homeland were not at war with Great Britain.

In fact, the British squadron came to the aid of Sweden. London said in Stockholm, Sweden was ready to help the sea. Norris got the secret annotation that ordered together with the Swedish Navy and take action to defeat the Russian fleet.

The emergence of the British fleet did not change the plans of the Russian Command. 11 (22) July the Russian galley fleet stood island Kapellskär, who was at the Stockholm fairway from the sea to the continent. 12 (23) July detachment of Major General P. Lacy of 21 galleys and 12 Ostrowski boats with 3.5 thousand paratroopers, was sent to explore and assault landing north of Stockholm. 13 (24), the main forces of the galley fleet moved to the south-east. 15 (26) July-sparing was landed a small detachment for reconnaissance. 19 (30) July fleet Apraksina Dalarö walked around the castle. On the islands Horno and Ute were destroyed and iron-smelting company. Then the fleet moved on. On the way from the main forces separated the landing party that sent to the continent. Russian troops were only 25-30 km from the capital of Sweden. July 24, the fleet headed for Nechipenga, and on July 30 the Norrkoping. These districts burned smelters. The small Swedish troops of resistance is not provided, the approach of the Russian forces, they fled. So, Norrköping 12 Swedish squad retreated, with all this themselves burned 27 merchant ships and the city. The Russian took a huge amount of metal and 300 guns of various calibres. First, in August Apraxin was ordered Peter to go to Stockholm to make a threat to the Swedish capital. Along the way, the forces of Apraksina united team Levashova that cruising the Aland Islands.

Apraxin offered to quit the court about 30 km from Stockholm and go to the city by land. However, the military council has decided that it is a very risky plan. Remaining under the protection of minor forces galleys would be attacked by the enemy fleet. It was pretty sight to hold the intelligence to find out more maritime and land routes and fortifications that defended Stockholm. For this to Apraksin sent engineers and experienced naval officers. Intelligence learned that lead to the Stockholm archipelago in three ways: a narrow strait Stekzund (in some places less than a width of 30 m at a depth of 2 m), to the north of the fortress Dalarö, two runs north-east of. Kapellskär and south-east of the lighthouse Corse, they are joined at the fortress of Vaxholm (it was located 20 km north-east of the Swedish capital.)

13 (24) of August came to power Apraksina Stekzundu. On both banks of the troops were landed by three battalions each under the command of Bariatinskii and S. Strekalova. On the left bank of the squad Bariatinskii came into Swedish squad, consisting of 2-infantry regiments and the 1st Regiment of Dragoons. These forces were part of the body F. Prince of Hesse-Kassel, who defended the Swedish capital. Hour and a half after the battle the Swedes broke and ran. The onset of darkness rescued them from prosecution. The next day found a significant exploration Swedish army and the fact that the channel is blocked by sunken ships. Therefore, we decided to explore the island fairway Kapellskär to Vaxholm. An exploration ship sent a detachment under the command of Zmaevicha and Dupree. Zmaevich withdrew from the fortress of Vaxholm plan and found that the path closes the enemy squadron — 5 battleships and 5 Pramila. In addition, the channel was blocked by steel chains. Whereupon Russian galley fleet returned to the island Lemland.

Successfully operated north of Stockholm and a detachment of Peter Petrovich Lassi. Lassie was a native of Ireland, and entered the Russian service in 1700. He walked north fairway along the coast. A landing at Östhammar, Eregrunde killed there smelters. 20 (31) July 1719 at Capel (approximately 7
-8 km from the Forsmark) 1.4 thousand Russian landing party defeated the numerically equal Swedish forces, which have been protected OUT LOUD. The Swedes did not survive the Russian attack and retreated. 3 guns were seized.

July 25 (August 5) Lassie dropped 2.4 thousand troops for the destruction of iron-enterprise Lesta-Brooke. The way they closed the Swedish squad — at the forefront of the Swedes were 300 permanent and 500 militia infantry, followed by 1.6 million people. Threatening the Swedes from the front, Lassie has forced the advanced units of the enemy to move to the main forces. Then he gripped the Swedish squad from the front and sent the unit to bypass the flanks. Attack from the front and flanks of the enemy forced to flee. Was captured 7 guns. After that, Lassie devastated neighborhood of the town Gävle. The city itself did not storm — there stood three thousand army generals Armfeldt and Hamilton, plus about one thousand militia. Carry out the assigned task and to not get involved in becoming a battle with the superior forces of the enemy, Lassie led to Lemlandu own team.

Hike of the Russian galley fleet was very successful. Sweden was shocked. Russian sway over large areas, like at home. Great damage was caused Swedish industry, especially the steel companies. Were surveyed in the circles of Stockholm.

In July 1719 the Russian envoy Osterman took the Queen Ulrika Eleonora Swedish and claimed clarification. Osterman said that it is only intelligence that was held because of the slowness of the Swedish side in the negotiations, to the same country as ever at war. The Swedish side presented its new ambassador requirements. They were drawn up by British diplomats and had a provocative nature. Stockholm claimed to return not only in Finland, but the whole of Estonia and Livonia. In practice, under the influence of the British, the talks were quite frustrated. The Swedish government is now all their hopes lozhilo the English fleet, which was to break the Russian Navy and save Sweden from invasion by the "men."

August 21 (September 1) Russian Navy retired from Åland, the ships returned to Revel, and galleys in Abo. The Russian command has taken into account the lessons galley campaign in 1719 and decided in 1720 to strengthen the rowing fleet, so that he could put him in Sweden 30 thousand troops. By the 1720 campaign, gave orders to build 10 galleys, 10 shherbotov, several 10-s Ostrowski boats.

Preparing for the 1720 campaign was in a difficult diplomatic situation. London apparently walked into the side of the armed conflict with Russia, intending to support virtually shattered Sweden and neutralize the growing power of St. Petersburg on the Baltic Sea. Swedish Government gave a written promise to the British in support of the British fleet. Stockholm lost in September 1719 Hannover (practically the British king) of Bremen and Verden, who do not wish to give the deceased Swedish master Carl. British diplomacy has developed a rough job of creating a buffer in the way of in the Western Europe. "Buffer" should have made Denmark, Poland, Saxony, Prussia. London assured the royal courts of Europe, which threatens our homeland Europe. 16 (27) of August the island of Bornholm British squadron Norris has teamed up with the Swedish Navy. Norris was ordered to kill the Russian fleet.

Our homeland has not given in to the military-political pressure and stubbornly preparing for the latest campaign. Colin Revel Peninsula and has been further strengthened. Protected the harbor booms, installed new batteries, built fortifications. So, just to protect the harbor of Revel found 300 guns. On the coast there are observation posts. Galley fleet was ready to reflect the probable enemy troops.

To be continued …

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