The battle of Gottska Sandö was the first naval victory won by Peter the Great’s new deep sea navy. It came in the final stage of the Great Northern War, after the death of Charles XII of Sweden. The new Russian navy had been created in the Baltic ports captured from Sweden during the course of the war.
The first Russian squadron had left Reval in May 1719 to cruise around Öland and Gotland. While there the Russian commander learnt that three Swedish warships were at sea protecting a convoy heading for Stockholm. When the news reached Reval a second Russian squadron was dispatched under Captain Senyavin to find the Swedish ships.
The Russian squadron contained seven ships, six with 52 guns and one with 18. The Swedish squadron was much smaller, containing three ships, one 48, one 30 and one 10. At daybreak on 4 June 1719 the two fleets were in sight of each other. Badly outnumbered the Swedes attempted to escape towards Stockholm.
They were soon overhauled by the Russians. Their first attack, at about 6 a.m., on the Wachtmeister (48 guns), was beaten off, but the same two Russians ships then captured the Karlskrona Vapen (30). The smallest of the Swedish ships, the Bernhardus surrendered at about the same time. Two of the 52 gun Russian ships then caught up with the Wachtmeister. A prolonged fight followed, only ending at 3 p.m. with the surrender of the Wachtmeister. The Russians had captured all three of the Swedish ships while suffering only 18 casualties.