The Swedish-Russian War of 1808-09

"The Emperor hereby declares before all European powers, that He from this moment on considers the part of Finland, that up until now has been in Swedish possession, a through the force of His weapons conquered province, that He forever joins with His Empire"

AT THE END OF 1807 and the beginning of 1808, the Swedish government ignored all reports of the massive maneuvres at the Russian border. The Swedish ambassador in St. Petersburg sent reports home to Stockholm and expressed his concern as the Russian armies were marching up. Nothing was done on the Swedish side. Without declaring war on Sweden, Russian troops crossed the border to Finland on February 21, 1808. This sunday, the Swedish major Gustav Arnkihl, of the Nyland dragoons - who was posted at the border - signed a report to the brigade command. "...That the Russians have crossed the border at 5 o'clock today, with a considerable force... it is also reported that they have crossed at Abborfors and also that they have gone over at Korois with Cossacks and pointed their march in our direction." The future of the 700-years old union between Sweden and Finland hung in balance as the Final War had begun.

THE TITLE OF THIS WEBSITE, The Final War, referrs to this fact. The war of 1808-09 was the last war of the Swedish-Finnish union. Swedish: Här finns en svenskspråkig sammanfattning av The Final War.

THE FINAL WAR OF 1808-09 was in many ways a dramatic conflict. It was fought in the very backwaters of the great Napoleonic Wars on the European continent, and as such it was a part of the worldwide powerstruggle between the French emperor Napoleon and his enemies. The Russo-Swedish war saw the breakup of the Swedish-Finnish union, the overthrow of the Swedish king in a Coup d' Etat and the overall political and strategic effects of the war were tremendous for Scandinavia. In Scandinavian history the war stamped a lasting mark and many legends around it were created. The study of the war is on this website done from an international Napoleonic perspective, with such an audience in mind, and therefore the material is written and presented in English. Unless otherwise stated all material is written and compiled by G. Frilund. There should be a Menu to the left, if there is none, click here.

This website is dedicated to the memory, honour and respect of the fallen, on both sides, in the war between Sweden and Russia in Finland 1808 and 1809.

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