For many centuries, military disputes between Russia and a very small state, Sweden, did not subside. The lands of the northern and northwestern part of our country have always served as the bone of contention. The first Russian-Swedish war broke out as early as the beginning of the XII century, and since then, for almost seven hundred years, this fire has been dying out, now it has flared up with a new force. It is interesting to follow the course of development of relations between these powers.
Centuries-old conflicts of two nations
The history of Russian-Swedish confrontation abounds in vivid and dramatic events. Here and numerous attempts of the Swedes to capture the Gulf with adjoining territories, and aggressive forays to the Ladoga shores, and the desire to penetrate into the country up to the Great Novgorod. Our ancestors did not remain in debt and paying of uninvited guests in the same coin. The stories about the raids committed by one or the other party was confirmed in many historical monuments of those years.
An attempt to revise the outcome of the Livonian Wars
The Russian-Swedish war of 1590-1593 was the result of unsuccessful attempts by Boris Godunov to restore the lands lost by Russia during the unsuccessful Livonian war for Russia by diplomatic means. It was about Narva, Ivangorod, Yama and Koporye. But Sweden not only did not agree with his demands, but also tried - under the threat of military intervention - to impose a new treaty contrary to the interests of Russia. The Swedish king staked on his son Sigismund, who shortly before that became the Polish king.
Victory, returning previously lost land
Without waiting for the help of the Poles, the Swedes attacked the Russian border garrisons. In response, the Russian army, located in Novgorod, moved in the direction of Yama and soon captured the city. Her further path lay towards Ivangorod and Narva, where the main battles were to unfold. To support the army, siege weapons and ammunition were sent from Pskov. In parallel, a large detachment was sent to the siege of Kaporye.
As a result of the shelling of the fortresses of Narva and Ivangorod, the Swedes requested an armistice and agreed to sign an agreement to end the war. However, negotiations were delayed, no agreement was reached. The fighting resumed, and this dispute over the lands that belonged to Russia, but so desired for the Swedish king, lasted for another three years. Sometimes, reading the documents of those years, one is struck by the stubbornness with which he constantly returned to this topic, which was sick for him.
Russian-Swedish war 1590-1593 years ended with the signing of the Treaty known in history as Tuzinski the world. And then emerged the extraordinary diplomatic skills of Boris Godunov. Very sensibly assessing the situation and taking into account the domestic political problems of Sweden, he managed to secure the return of Russian cities of Ivangorod, Koporie, Yam, Peanut and Ladoga. In addition, Russian has been recognized and several fortresses, captured during the Livonian war.
After the events described, peace between the two states was broken several times: in 1610 by the campaign of the Swedish field marshal Jacob Delagardi, who occupied the Karelian and Izhora lands and seized Novgorod, as well as the three-year war that broke out in 1614 and signed another peace treaty. We are now interested in the Russian-Swedish war of 1656-1658, one of the main goals of which was to gain access to the sea, since almost the entire coastal zone over the previous centuries was captured by the Swedes.
Sweden during this period was unusually strong and was considered the dominant power in the Baltic. As a result of the aggression, she captured Warsaw, established her control over the principality of Lithuania and threatened to invade Denmark. In addition, the Swedish state openly called on the Poles and Lithuanians to march on Russia. Parliament even allocated the necessary funds for this. As is often the case in history, the ringing of gold had the necessary effect, and future allies signed a treaty, which, fortunately for Russia, turned out to be just a paper fiction and fell apart at the very beginning of the war.
New military expeditions
Aware of the inevitability of war, the Russians delivered a preemptive strike. Starting hostilities in the summer of 1656, they in October drove the Swedes out of Poland and concluded a truce with it. This year the main battles took place near Riga, where the Russians, led by the sovereign, tried to seize the city. For several reasons, this operation did not have success, Russia had to retreat.
In the military campaign of the following year, the prominent role played by numerous military formation, consisting of the citizens and residents of Pskov. Their victory under Gdov above the body of the famous Swedish field Marshal Jacob de La Gardie, greatly weakened the enemy. But its main significance lay in the fact that, perceived in the Russian army as a triumph, it helped to raise her morale.
The Russian-Swedish war of 1656-1658 ended with the signing of an armistice, profitable and extremely necessary for Russia. It allowed her to intensify military actions against the Polish-Lithuanian troops, which, in violation of the previously established agreements, went over to open aggression. However, literally three years later, after recovering from military losses and concluding an alliance with Poland, the Swedes forced Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich to conclude an agreement with them, which deprived Russia of many lands won recently. The Russian-Swedish war of 1656-1658 left unresolved the main problem - the possession of the coast. Only Peter the Great was destined to cut through the “window to Europe”.
The war, about which so much is written
So much has been written and said about it that one can hardly add something new. This war was the subject of many scientific works and inspired to create outstanding works of art. It lasted from 1700 to 1721 and ended with the birth of a new powerful European state - the Russian Empire with its capital St. Petersburg. Recall only its main stages.
Russia entered military operations as part of the Northern Union, whose members were also Saxony, Poland and the Danish-Norwegian Kingdom. However, this union, created to confront Sweden, soon collapsed, and Russia, as has happened more than once in history, alone bore the burden of war. Only nine years later, the military coalition was restored, and the struggle with the Swedes received a source of new human and material resources.
According to historians, very young in those eighteen years the king of Sweden was a good commander but a bad politician, prone to put the country and the army an impossible task. His main rival, Peter the great, on the contrary, in addition to outstanding military talent, had organizational skills and was a gifted strategist. He always knew how to make the correct analysis of the situation, and a number of victories were won due to the fact that the king promptly took advantage of the mistakes are too arrogant Swedish king.
Bitter lesson near Narva and Poltava triumph
As is known, the Northern War began for Russia with the defeat near Narva in 1700, which was the reason for the widespread opinion in Europe about the incapacity of the Russians. But Peter I, having shown the true talent of a statesman, managed to learn a proper lesson from defeat and, in the shortest possible time, rebuilding and modernizing the army, began a planned and steady movement towards a future victory.
Three years later, several strategically important victories were won, and the Neva was under the control of Russia throughout its entire length. At its mouth, at the command of Peter, a fortress was laid, which gave rise to the future capital of the state, St. Petersburg. A year later, in 1704, Narva was taken by assault - the very fortress that became a bitter lesson for the Russian troops at the beginning of the war.
Since 1708, the war is completely transferred to Russia. Begins the invasion of Charles XII, who was destined to an inglorious end, far from Petersburg, among the flowering orchards of Poltava. Happened here a General battle ― the battle of Poltava. It ended with the complete defeat of the enemy and his escape. Humiliated and confused all the fighting fervor of the Swedish king ran from the battlefield along with his army. Many participants in the Russian-Swedish war of those years became a holder of the highest orders. The memory of them will forever remain in the history of Russia.
Russian-Swedish war of 1741-1743
Twenty years after the vicious salvos of the Northern War died down and Russia became one of the leading European states, Sweden made an attempt to regain its former territories. The Russian ambassador in Stockholm on June 28, 1741, was informed of the start of the war. From the documents stored in the archives of Sweden, it is known that in case of victory, the Swedes intended to make peace, of course, on condition that they return all lands lost during the Northern War. Simply put, the goal of the military campaign was revenge.
The Russo-Swedish war of 1741-1743 years began with major battles on the territory of Sweden near the city of Villmanstrand. Russian troops commanded by field Marshal p. P. Lassi. As a result of his competent tactics managed to completely neutralize the enemy artillery, and after a series of flank attacks to overthrow the enemy. In this battle, 1250 Swedish soldiers and officers were captured, including the commander of their corps. In the same year, there were several major battles with the enemy in the area of Vyborg, after which the armistice was signed.
The manifesto of the queen and the signing of the Confirmation
The following year, the truce was broken by the Russian side, and hostilities resumed. This period includes the well-known manifesto of Empress Elizaveta Petrovna, urging the Finns to abandon their participation in the war with Russia and not support Sweden. In addition, the manifesto promised assistance to all who wish to secede from Sweden and become a citizen of an independent state.
In may of the same year the Russian troops of field Marshal lassie, crossed the border, began a victory March through enemy territory. It took only four months to capture the last stronghold — the Finnish city of Tavastehus. The following year the fighting took place almost exclusively at sea. The Russo-Swedish war of 1741-1743 years ended with the signing of the so-called "Overfiling act." According to him, Sweden has abandoned its revanchist plans and fully acknowledge the results of the Northern war, enshrined in 1721 Neishlotsky agreement.
New attempt at revenge
The next major armed confrontation between the two countries, which went down in history as the Russian-Swedish war of 1788-1790, was also one of Sweden’s attempts to reclaim the lands that it had lost during previous military campaigns. This time the aggression she started was supported by Great Britain, Prussia and Holland. One of the reasons for their invasion was the reaction of King Gustav III to Russia's readiness to become the guarantor of the Swedish constitution, so hated by the monarch.
The next Russian-Swedish war began on June 21 with the invasion of the 38-thousand Swedish army. However, the Russian troops, led by General-in-Chief V.P. Musin-Pushkin, not only stopped the enemy, but also forced him to leave the country. Anticipating his offensive, Gustav III sent a message to Petersburg with a number of completely unacceptable demands. But we must pay tribute to the Russian empress, who took a tough stance on the king’s claims by the responding urgent expulsion of the army to the border. In the future, military happiness was changeable. In particular, the enemy managed to win in the area of the city of Kornikoski.
Victory of Russian sailors
The fact is that in those years a dispute with Turkey over control of the Black Sea was resolved, and most of the Russian fleet was far from Russia. The Swedish king decided to take advantage of this and made the main bet on the fleet. The Russian-Swedish war of those years went down in history primarily by a number of large naval battles.
Among them, the battle that took place in the Gulf of Finland, near the island of Gogland, should be particularly highlighted, as a result of which Russian sailors prevented the capture of Kronstadt and the possible invasion of St. Petersburg from the sea. Also important was the victory of the Russian fleet, won in a battle near the Baltic island of Öland. The squadron of admiral V. Ya. Chigachev defeated thirty-six enemy ships. Further, it is impossible not to recall the Rochensalmsk, Revelsk, Krasnogorsk, Vyborg and several other naval battles, which covered the unfading glory of the St. Andrew's flag.
The final point was set on 08/14/1790. The Russian-Swedish war ended with the signing of a treaty in which both sides recognized the pre-war borders. Thus, the perfidious plans of Gustav III failed, and Russia entered a new page in the book of the glorious victories of the Catherine epoch.
The last war between Russia and Sweden
The Russian-Swedish war of 1808-1809 ends the series of wars between the two states. It was the result of a complex political confrontation prevailing in Europe after the end of the Russian-Prussian-French war in 1807. Napoleon tried to stop the growth of the military potential of Sweden by all available means. To this end, he provoked her conflict with Russia. Contributed to the incitement of conflict and the UK, interested in weakening Alexander I.
This war was equally popular neither among the Swedish nor the Russian public. It was believed that the main benefit will receive the French Emperor. Its beginning was very unfortunate for Russia. One of the reasons for this was the actions of partisan detachments formed by the Finns. With their unexpected and secretive attacks, they caused significant damage to Russian troops. In addition, a powerful Swedish squadron approached from the sea, forcing a large detachment under the command of Colonel Vuich to surrender.
But soon the Russian-Swedish war of 1808-1809 was marked by a cardinal change in the course of hostilities. Emperor Alexander I, having every reason to be dissatisfied with his commander-in-chief, Count Buksgevden, removed him from command, transferring all the power to the general from Infantry Knorring. By signing this appointment, the emperor ordered categorically to transfer the continuation of the war to the territory of the enemy.
Such a stringent requirement to take effect, and immediately a plan was developed, according to which expected vigorous promotion through the lands of Sweden and the capture of Stockholm. And although reality made adjustments to the plans of command, and not all were implemented, however, this moment marked a significant advantage in favor of Russia. The Swedish king was forced to seek a temporary truce, which was signed soon.
The end of the war and the accession of Finland to Russia
The Russian-Swedish war of 1808-1809 ended with the complete defeat of the enemy in the territory belonging to present-day Finland. At this point, General Barclay de Tolly was at the head of the Russian troops. This outstanding commander was distinguished not only by his ability to make decisions without fail in difficult combat situations, but also by great personal courage.
The government of Sweden at that time also has changed. He ascended to the throne a new king, a person so little corresponding to the high rank. The Russo-Swedish war of 1809, which took place entirely in Finland and demonstrated a clear superiority of Russian, ended with the signing of the city Fredrikshamn peace Treaty. According to him, Russia forever received into the possession of the whole of Finland.
The results of the Russian-Swedish war of those years gave rise to many subsequent events in the lives of the peoples of Russia and Finland. For more than two centuries since those times, there have been periods of friendship and spiritual affinity in their relations, there have been stages of hostility, and even military conflicts. And today, diplomats of both countries still open a wide field for activity, but the beginning of the entire Russian-Finnish history was the Russian-Swedish war that ended in 1809, the peace treaty and the subsequent entry of Finland into Russia.