Rus Articles Journal

When and where there was the first victory of the Russian fleet?

Gangutsky battle - one of brilliant pages in the history of the Russian fleet. It was the first big sea victory of young Russian regular fleet over the Swedish fleet strongest at that time. It was prepared by long and persistent work of the Russian seamen who created the national regular fleet without which it was impossible to return primordial Russian lands and to win an exit to coast of the Baltic Sea.

In sea battle met the Swedish squadron under command vice-the admiral Vatranga as a part of 16 linear ships, 2 brigantines, 2 bombardier ships and 8 galleys and the Russian rowing flotilla under command the general - the admiral Apraksin as a part of 99 galleys with 15 - a thousand landing. Using advantages of rowing fleet in the conditions of calm the Russian side gave battle at Rilaks - the fiord. In view of narrowness of the place, took part in battle only group of a shautbenakht of Erenshild as a part of 16 - the gun ship, 6 galleys and 4 shkherbot (only 116 guns) and the Russian vanguard from 23 galleys under command of the general Veyde. Actually vanguard Pyotr 1 ordered (shautbenakht Pyotr Mikhaylov). In heavy boarding fighting all Swedish vessels were seized. For this fight Pyotr 1 was made in vice-admirals.

Gangutsky battle between the Russian and Swedish fleet played an important role in the result of Northern war of 1700 - 1721, favorable for Russia. To spring of 1714 southern and almost all central parts of Finland were occupied with the Russian troops. Finally to resolve an issue of an exit of Russia to the Baltic Sea which was controlled by Swedes, was required to inflict defeat over the Swedish fleet. At the end of June, 1714 the Russian rowing fleet (99 galleys and auxiliary vessels with 15 - thousand army) under command of the general - the admiral F. M. Apraksin concentrated at east coast of Gangut (in Tverminne`s bay) with the purpose to break to Abo - Alandsky shkher and to land troops for strengthening of the Russian garrison in Abo (100 km North - to the west of the cape of Gangut). The way blocked to the Russian fleet the Swedish fleet (15 linear ships, 3 frigates and group of rowing vessels) under G. Vatranga`s command.

Peter I applied tactical maneuver. He decided to throw part of the galleys to the shkherny area to the north of Gangut through an isthmus of this peninsula 2,5 kilometers long. For performance of a plan he ordered to construct a perevoloka (a wooden flooring). Having learned about it, Vatrang directed to the northern coast of the peninsula group of the ships (1 frigate, 6 galleys, 3 shkher of a boat). Headed group counter - the admiral Erenshild. - the admiral Lillye he decided to use other group (8 linear ships and 2 bombardier ships) under supervision of vice-for striking a blow on the main forces of the Russian fleet.

Pyotr expected such decision. He decided to use division of forces of the opponent. It was favored also by weather. In the morning on August 6 (on July 26) there was a calm, from - for what the Swedish sailing ships lost maneuverability. The vanguard of the Russian fleet (20 ships) under command of the commodore M. H. Zmayevich began break, bypassing the Swedish ships and remaining out of striking distances of their fire. After it carried out having dug other group (15 ships). Thus need for a perevoloka disappeared. Zmayevich`s group blocked Erenshild`s group at the island Lakkisser.

Believing, as other groups of the Russian ships will continue break in the same way, Vatrang withdrew Lillye`s group, having released, thus, a coastal waterway. Having used it, Apraksin with the main forces of rowing fleet broke on a coastal waterway to the vanguard. At 14 o`clock on August 7 (on July 27) the Russian vanguard as a part of 23 ships attacked group of Erenshild who constructed the ships on the concave line which both flanks rested against islands. Swedes managed to beat off the two first attacks fire of ship tools. The third attack was undertaken against the flank ships of the Swedish group that did not allow the opponent to use advantage in artillery. Soon they were boarded and captured. Peter I personally participated in boarding attack, having shown to seamen an example of courage and heroism. After persistent fight also the flagman Swedish ship was given. All 10 ships of group of Erenshild were seized. The part of forces of the Swedish fleet managed to leave to the Aland Islands.

The victory at the peninsula of Gangut became the first large victory of the Russian regular fleet. It provided it a freedom of action in the Finnish and Botnichesky gulfs, effective support of the Russian troops in Finland. In Gangutsky battle the Russian command safely used advantage of rowing fleet in fight against linear sailing fleet of Swedes in the conditions of the shkherny area, skillfully organized interaction of forces of fleet and land forces, flexibly reacted to changes of a tactical situation and weather conditions, managed to solve maneuver of the opponent and to impose it the tactics. High morally - fighting qualities of soldiers, sailors and officers allowed the Russian fleet to inflict defeat over in number surpassing Swedish fleet.

Estimating value of fleet for the state, Peter I after a victory at Gangut told: The State which one army overland has has one hand and which and the fleet has, - both hands has .]