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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Svensksund´s battle memorial monument / Ruotsinsalmen taistelun muistomerkki, Varissaari

The Battle of Svensksund was a naval battle fought in the Gulf of Finland outside the present day city of Kotka on 9 July 1790. The Swedish naval forces dealt the Russian fleet a devastating defeat that resulted in an end to the Russo-Swedish War of 1788–90.

In 1790 an attempt to assault Viborg failed, and the Swedish navy along with King Gustav himself was caught in the Bay of Viborg. It manage to escape during the dramatic "Viborg gauntlet" on 3 July, though with heavy losses to the deep-sea navy. After retreating Svensksund, King Gustav along with his flag captain Lieutenant-Colonel Carl Olof Cronstedt waited and prepared the fleet for the expected Russian attack. On 6 July, the final decisions were made for the defences, and early in the morning on 9 July 1790 the order of battle was determined and the battle started.

The battle started very well for the Swedes. Although the Russians were superior in both men and guns, the Swedish forces were anchored in a strong horseshoe-shaped formation. The Russians attacked from the south, but soon became disordered. They took a battering from the Swedish coastal forces, including shore batteries, anchored frigates, galleys and gunboats.

The Swedes then counter-attacked with gunboats down the left flank, forcing the Russian gunboats to retreat. This in turn led to the Russian galleys being overcome by waves and sea, and either sunk or run aground. Several sailing ships, anchored in position, were boarded and either captured or burnt.

At dawn of July 10, the Swedes consolidated their position with an attack and succeeded in driving the Russian fleet off.

The Russians lost 9,500 of 18,000 men dead, wounded and captured, 64 vessels sunk, burnt or taken and one third of their fleet captured, compared with Swedish losses of 4–6 ships and 300 men. Along with 21 other ships the Swedes captured the Catarina, flagship of Nassau-Siegen.

The battle of Svensksund is the biggest naval battle ever fought in the Baltic sea: 500 ships (including supply ships and other ships not involved in combat), close to 30,000 men and several thousand cannons. At Svensksund, the Swedes boasted to have destroyed 40 percent of the Russian coastal fleet. It qualifies among the largest naval battles in history in terms of the number of vessels involved. Only the Battle of Leyte Gulf has involved a larger number of vessels (if sources from the Classical Era regarding the Battle of Salamis and Battle of Ecnomus are disregarded).

This defeat encouraged Russia to negotiate with Sweden eventually signing the Treaty of Värälä on 14 August 1790. Neither side gained any territory.

After the war the Russians started a massive fortification programme on the eastern, Russian, side of the Kymi river, building the sea fortress Fort Slava and the land fortress Kyminlinna. The forts later grew into the port city of Kotka.
Via Wiki.

At Varissaari is located Svenksund´s battle monument and a small maritime museum. The monument is erected in the year 1940 (TH Bruun).



Ruotsinsalmen toinen meritaistelu on Kustaa III:n sotaan kuulunut meritaistelu Ruotsin ja Venäjän laivastojen välillä 9.–10. heinäkuuta 1790. Se käytiin Kotkansaaren, Mussalon ja Kuutsalon saarten välisellä alueella nykyisessä Kotkassa. Taistelu on alusten lukumäärällä mitattuna yksi suurimpia koskaan käytyjä meritaisteluita ja suurin milloinkaan Itämerellä käyty meritaistelu. Vain vuotta aiemmin käytiin samalla paikalla Ruotsinsalmen I meritaistelu, jonka Ruotsi hävisi. Toinen taistelu päättyi Carl Olof Cronstedtin johdolla Ruotsin laivaston ylivoimaiseen ja Ruotsin historian suurimpaan merivoittoon.
[muokkaa] Taistelun vaikutukset

Voiton ansiosta Ruotsi sai paremmat lähtökohdat Värälän rauhanneuvotteluihin. Taistelun jälkeen venäläiset alkoivat rakentaa strategisesti tärkeälle Kymijoen suulle Ruotsinsalmen–Kyminlinnan kaksoislinnoitusta, ja varsinkin Kotkansaarelle kasvoi asutusta. Ruotsinsalmen linnoituskaupungin paikalle kehittyi myöhemmin Kotkan kaupungin keskusta.

Taistelun vuosipäivää 9. heinäkuuta vietetään Suomen merivoimien vuosipäivänä.

Via Wiki.


Varissaaressa sijaitsee Ruotsinsalmen toisen meritaistelun muistomerkki ja pieni merimuseo. Muistomerkki on pystytetty vuonna 1940 (T.H.Bruun).

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