Jussi T. Lappalainen: Kuninkaan viimeinen kortti [The king’s last card]

28 October 2011 | Mini reviews, Reviews

Kuninkaan viimeinen kortti. Viipurinlahden ja Ruotsinsalmen meritaistelut 1790
[The king’s last card. The naval battles of Viipurinlahti and Ruotsinsalmi 1790]
Helsinki: Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura, 2011. 214 p., ill.
ISBN 978-952-222-230-5
€ 44, hardback

The War of Gustav III (1788–1790) was a conflict between Sweden and Russia whose aim was to regain the Baltic lands and the eastern areas of Finland for Sweden. The war plan was based on a manoeuvre strategy considered ideal from the end of the15th century in which the aim was to achieve the desired outcome by deploying one’s own forces in such a way that the enemy was forced to surrender without fighting. A substantial part of the Swedish forces were made up of an impressive navy which was nevertheless surrounded by the Russians. The king’s trump card was his archipelago fleet, which managed to defeat the Russians completely on 9 July 1790. The battle of Ruotsinsalmi was, in terms of the number of vessels involved, one of the largest naval battles ever waged. Its anniversary is celebrated as the anniversary of the Finnish naval forces. The book traces the background of the reasons for the outbreak of the war and its consequences and describes the vessels weaponry and tactics. Included are numerous contemporary maps and battle paintings. Translated by Hildi Hawkins

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