07.08.

1714: The First Great Victory of the Russian Navy

1714: The First Great Victory of the Russian Navy
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons/The Battle of Gangut, by Aleksey Bogolyubov

Story Highlights

  • Historical event
  • 7 August 1714
  • The Russian victory at Gangut was total – all Swedish ships were captured or sunk. The Russians even captured Swedish admiral Nils Ehrenskiöld.

On this day in 1714, the Imperial Russian Navy achieved its first major victory at the Battle of Gangut, during the Great Northern War between Russia and Sweden.

The battle took place in what is now southern Finland, at that time a territory which the Swedes and Russians were fighting over.

Russian emperor Peter the Great vied with the Swedes for influence on the Baltic area. He managed to conquer practically the whole of southern Finland, but his forces there were then blockaded by by the Swedish navy.

The Russians decided to use their own warships to break through the Swedish blockade.

One of the Russian naval commanders was Matija Zmajević, a Catholic from the Bay of Kotor. Zmajević entered the service of Peter the Great, and even became a Russian admiral.

He won great renown in the Battle of Gangut on this day, during which he allegedly defeated seven Swedish ships.

The Russian victory at Gangut was total – all Swedish ships were captured or sunk. The Russians even captured Swedish admiral Nils Ehrenskiöld.

After the battle, the Imperial Russian fleet achieved temporary hegemony over that part of the Baltic, forcing the Swedes to use their remaining ships to prevent an invasion of the Swedish coast.

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