This article will, at this point in time, be published in The Review of Military History 2022 ( « Militärhistorisk Tidskrift 2022 ». Kungl Krigsvetenskapsakademien och FHS 2022)
The Navy has often had to fight for its survival as an organisation. Today it has almost the character of a « Bonsai fleet » – modern, well-trained but far too small. This means that the Navy cannot operate simultaneously on the West and East coasts; a strategic dilemma! But this dilemma is not new – is it?
The headline postulates that there is a dilemma – should the fleet be in the West Sea or the Baltic or both? Here one could have a long discussion about the dilemma – what is a dilemma? When is there one? I choose not to delve into this question. A warship is mobile, so it can operate anywhere along the coast – but the Sound has at times been an obstacle. Furthermore, a ship can only be in one place at a time. With enough ships, the fleet can be all along the coast.
The issue is really about the fleet’s task – controlling communications at sea. In the Baltic, this task has mainly been about power projection – first expansion of the Swedish empire, then defence. In the West, on the other hand, the task has, where appropriate, been more to protect our trade relations. The balance between these two tasks is the main theme of this article.
One problem is that the day-to-day operations of the navy – « continuous operations » as we say today – are not particularly glamorous. It is about naval presence – patrolling, protecting Swedish interests, etc. But the great naval battles, which historians prefer to write about, are few and far between. The writer, historian and politician Marie-Roche-Louis Reybaud (1799 – 1879) put it well: « the sea is a road and not a battlefield. » The reason is that a fleet that knows it is inferior is reluctant to engage in a decisive battle in which it risks being destroyed.
The author of this article is not a scholar and has not had the opportunity to conduct archival research. The article is therefore based on open, printed sources and the internet.
Theoretical starting points
Before discussing the tasks of the navy, it is necessary to make some forays into naval warfare theory or naval strategic theory. A key concept is sea power. However, power can mean both a capability in the sense of mighty, powerful and a more or less powerful state. In English, a distinction is made between Sea Power, which is a strategic concept, and Seapower, which is a matter of identity – political, cultural and/or economic. The UK is a Seapower and has always had Sea Power. Germany had Sea Power before the First World War but has never been a Seapower. The concept of Seapower comes from the Greek Talassokrati: talassa = sea and kratein = power. Since it is not possible to distinguish between sea power in one sense and sea power in the other, the English terms are used when necessary.
The American Admiral A.T. Mahan (1840 – 1914) is known as the one who introduced the strategic concept of Sea Power, but already the Swedish astronomer Bengt Ferner spoke of « Sjö-Magt » (Sea Power) in his inaugural address at the Royal Academy of Sciences. Vetenskapsakademien in 1756. Otherwise, it has been argued that the term first came into use in the 19th century. But this is obviously wrong. Talassocracy dates back to antiquity, of which Athens was one. The Roman statesman Cicero expressed his view of sea power as follows: « When you are master of the sea, you are master of everything. » The scholar Ferner, of course, knew Greek and Latin and could have had no trouble translating Talassocracy as sea power; he quotes Cicero above almost verbatim, by the way.
Sweden has periodically had a strong naval power but has hardly been a naval power in the sense of a Talassocracy.
What, then, is naval power in the strategic sense? A modern writer like Geoffrey Till gives the following definition: « what it takes to use the sea … and the ability to influence the behaviour of other people or things by what one does on or from the sea. » According to Till, the components of sea power are « naval fleets, coast guard, naval and civilian shipping, maritime industries in the broadest sense, and, where appropriate, land and air forces.
This is quite consistent with Ferner’s view that the concept of naval power is composed of a strong naval fleet and a successful merchant fleet. The aim of naval power is to increase the wealth of the state and to create dominion at sea (HtS).
We will not delve into the question of how the merchant fleet and other maritime industries contribute to state finances here, but simply note that this is the case. But at the same time it is clear that one cannot discuss naval power without discussing both the naval and merchant fleets and other maritime industries where appropriate. 
One problem here is that the naval history literature generally does not deal with the two « legs » of naval power. In the run-up to the 500th anniversary of the navy, several books have been published. But neither Ericsson Wolke’s nor Hammar’s Seafaring & Seafarers. Den svenska flottan under 500 år nor Zetterberg and von Hofsten’s Svensk sjömakt under 500 år. Flottan från Gustav Vasa till Carl XVI Gustaf takes a holistic approach to the question of naval power, contenting itself, in the main, with discussing the naval « leg ». And since the exploitation of the West Sea is very much a question of seafaring, the issue becomes complicated. From the literature I have found, I have done my best to bring the two « legs » together.
Maritime power is translated into action through a (naval) strategy. Here the key concept is « sea control » (from the English Sea Control) or the Swedish « Herravälde till Sjöss » (HtS) – compare Cicero above. Herravälde till sjöss – literally dominion of the sea – is, by the way, the expression used by Ferner. In this article we choose to use the Swedish term instead of the « Svengali » sea control.
HtS can never be complete; it is always more or less local and temporary; it can never include the underwater domain; something that has only been a problem for the last hundred years. A state that does not have HtS can still use the sea for its communications but not without special defence measures.
According to Mahan, HtS should be achieved by a decisive blow or blockade of the type the British inflicted on the French during the Napoleonic Wars. However, as I said, decisive blows are rare in history. More commonly, HtS is achieved through a series of successful battles; a cumulative strategy.
HtS can be contested by tactical offensives of various kinds and by Fleet-in-being. The latter concept requires some explanation. The term derives from the letter of defence written by Lord Torrington after the Battle of Beachy Head in 1690: the English fleet had been defeated, but not destroyed, by the French Admiral Tourville; Torrington then made the correct assessment that the mere existence of his fleet would protect England from a French attack. Fleet-in-being became the basic strategy of the Swedish navy from the end of the 19th century to the end of the Cold War; we will return to this.
The opposite of HtS or Sea Control is Sea Denial. A strategy based on Sea Denial does not aim at being able to exploit the communications at sea for one’s own benefit but to deny the opponent this possibility. A modern term is A2/AD – AntiAccess/Area Denial. Neither Sea Denial nor A2/AD have any working English translations, which is why Sea Denial is used here. At the time of writing (July 2022), one can speak of Sea Denial in the northern Black Sea: Ukrainian mines and coastal missiles prevent the Russians from using the sea, for example, for amphibious operations against the Ukrainian coast, while Russian mines block the coast. A kind of stalemate.
But Sea Denial, like Sea Control, is never total. During Operation United Protector in 2011 against Libya’s dictator Gaddafi, the coalition had HtS but despite this, Libyan special forces were able to lay mines off the port of Misratha. This forced the coalition into extensive minesweeping operations.
The important thing about HtS is that it gives freedom of action to conduct your own operations at sea and to thwart those of your opponent.
Wars are not usually fought at sea, but naval warfare can create the necessary conditions for victory or defeat. Since humans, including governments, are generally on land, naval warfare often requires the creation of conditions for some form of power projection; i.e. the navy projects power – troops, artillery fire, air strikes, etc. – from sea to land. But there is also a « reverse power projection » where land threatens the sea with coastal artillery, air strikes, etc. The development of technology increases the zone where land can fight sea – and vice versa.
The most important thing comes last. As Sir Julian S. Corbett (1854 – 1922) put it: « Dominion to the Seas means nothing more than control of maritime communications; either for economic or for military purposes. The aim of naval warfare is control of communications and not, as in land warfare, the conquest of territory. The difference is fundamental. »
French Admiral Raoul Castex (1878 – 1968) summarized as follows. « Depending on whether or not one has mastery of the seas, one may or may not:
– In an offensive strategy, obstruct the enemy’s communications and attack his territory from the sea.
– In a defensive strategy, guarantee own communications and prevent the enemy from attacking own territory from the sea. »
The classical naval strategists – Mahan, Corbett and Castex – were primarily interested in war. It is only in modern times that naval strategic theorists have begun to take an interest in tasks in peace and crisis. Several naval strategy authors have attempted to formulate a list of current naval tasks. A compilation leads to the following results:
– Intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance;
– HtS and actions to create or contest HtS including Sea Denial;
– Deterrence – by nuclear or conventional means (« war deterrence »);
– Defence of and attacks against sea links;
– Power projection and defence against;
– Naval presence and other naval diplomacy;
– maintenance of good order and security at sea;
– humanitarian operations;
The Kingdom is liberated and expands
Late in the spring of 1522, the Swedish War of Liberation entered its final phase. The young Gustav Eriksson Vasa was now master of part of Sweden, but the Danes under Kristian II still held Stockholm and a number of important fortresses. Gustav needed a fleet. He managed to borrow money and buy a fleet from the Hanseatic city of Lübeck. This arrived in Sweden on 7 June 1522 in Slätbaken. The Royal Swedish Navy was thus established. The fleet’s first mission was thus to force the Danes out of Stockholm and the rest of Sweden. Its first task was thus NOT, as Corbett postulates, to control Sweden’s communications at sea but to act against land – power projection.
The new fleet had its main base in Stockholm just outside the Tre Kronor castle. Ships were built and maintained in various cities along the Swedish and Finnish coasts. 
Stockholm had several advantages. The city is located where the Mälaren flows into the archipelago leading to the Baltic Sea. And Lake Mälaren was actually the heartland of the young empire, where resources such as timber, copper and tar were transported on ships for export. But Stockholm was also strategically located between the Swedish mainland and the Finnish provinces.
Stockholm had at least two disadvantages, however. The city is much further north than Copenhagen, the main Danish naval base – and Denmark was Sweden’s arch-enemy until the 19th century. This meant that the Danish fleet had a sailing season – depending on the ice conditions – that was perhaps two months longer than the Swedish. The deep archipelago also meant that the journey to the open sea took a long time with the sailing ships of the time.
A naval shipyard was established in Stockholm in 1618. The shipyard was a very important industry, as it required highly skilled workers, materials and efficient administration to build the great warships of the time. It was therefore of great importance for the development of the early modern European state. There were also other shipyards in places such as Gothenburg, Västervik and Riga.
According to conventional naval warfare theory, the naval and merchant fleets are interrelated. However, this was not the case, as we have seen, in Sweden in 1522, but not even later. Gustav Vasa provided Sweden with a naval fleet, but it was there to create and protect Sweden’s independence. Trade continued to be handled by the Hanseatic League over Lübeck; it was not a Swedish interest as the following quote from Gustav Vasa shows: « Is better that they German seek here in the kingdom with their goods than that we should seek to them with our goods and there so profligate them dispose of as here to day always happened ». It is only towards the end of the 16th century that Sweden begins to trade with its own ships.
The view of the benefits of trade changed in the early 17th century and Sweden adopted a mercantilist policy. The 1619 « Points » for the bourgeoisie stated: « Not only trade and morals but also the welfare of this kingdom, which is based on sailing and shipping ».
From the middle of the 17th century, Sweden’s trading position in the Baltic Sea area was strengthened, with around 40% of merchant ships from Sweden passing through the Sound flying the Swedish flag. The remaining 60% sailed under the Dutch flag.
Gothenburg had been granted its city privileges in 1623 in order to improve Sweden’s trade routes to the west. However, it would be a long time before the city gained any significant commercial importance. For a few years, until 1626, there were warships to protect the city.
Once Sweden was freed from the Danes, a long period of expansion began, ending with the Peace of Roskilde in 1658. Sweden thus pursued an offensive strategy over time – power projection – which led to expansion along the Baltic coast and into parts of Germany.
A prerequisite for Swedish expansion was that the Swedish navy had, essentially, freedom of action at sea. Sweden almost managed to reach HtS in the Baltic Sea area towards the end of the period. However, such a development was against the naval strategic interests of the strongest naval power of the time – the Netherlands. The latter, and later the British, had major interests in the Baltic Sea because it was here that much of what was needed to build a navy was obtained: iron for cannons, spruce for masts, tar for sealing hulls, hemp for ropes, etc. The importance of the Baltic Sea in the days of sailing ships has been compared to that of the Persian Gulf for today’s oil-powered fleets.
During this period, the fleet fought a number of battles, mainly against the Danes, but also initially against the Hanseatic League (Grevefejden) and the Russians. Of course, the fleet suffered a number of setbacks during this period, but overall the results were good enough to make expansion possible. In the 1570s, Sweden had the most warships in Europe! But when the Swedes came close to capturing the HtS in the Baltic Sea area during Charles X Gustaf’s Danish War of 1657 – 60, the Netherlands intervened on the Danish side. Sweden lost the great naval battle in Öresund in 1658 and HtS remained disputed. Thus Denmark also survived as a nation.
An important task for the navy must have been to hold the expanding empire together. Troops must have been shipped back and forth across the Baltic, officers and officials sent between the capital Stockholm and the new areas. Not least, there must have been a constant flow of intelligence to the capital and instructions from it to the representatives in the areas that had come under the Swedish crown. Naval presence, naval diplomacy and protection of communications at sea must have been the « daily bread of the navy ».
In the second half of the 17th century, England replaced the Netherlands as the leading trading nation in the Baltic. However, England, and later Britain, had the same attitude to the HtS as the Netherlands: balance of power. Neither Sweden nor Denmark, nor later Russia, were allowed to hold maritime supremacy in the Baltic Sea area.
During the Franco-Dutch War of 1672 – 1678, Sweden was withdrawn for the last four years on the French side. The main task then became to protect the supply lines between the army in Pomerania and the homeland.
With the Peace of Roskilde, Sweden reached its greatest expansion. Particularly important was the acquisition of the southern counties (Bohuslän, Halland, Skåne, Blekinge), which meant that Sweden now had a sea border with Denmark; the hereditary enemy.
Stockholm was now no longer the geographical centre of the Swedish Empire. This, together with the disadvantages mentioned above – the deep archipelago and the northern position vis-à-vis Denmark – led to the search for a new, more central naval base with Karlskrona as the result.
Immediately after the Peace of Roskilde in 1658, the Field Marshal Count Erik Dahlberg began the search for a location for a new naval base. Relatively soon, the harbour at Bodekull in Blekinge was identified as a suitable site. A shipyard was built on the island of Bodön in 1659-60. Bodekull became a town in 1664 with the name Karlshamn. Work then ceased until 1676. The failed Scanian War (1675-79) demonstrated the importance of a naval base that was ice-free – at least no more ice-covered than Copenhagen.
The young King Charles XI now decided that the search for a suitable base should be resumed and ordered Admiral Hans Wachtmeister to conduct the search. After several locations had been discussed while the Danes attacked various places in southern Sweden, a very suitable bay was found in the Blekinge archipelago. Wachtmeister decided to station the fleet in this area during the winter of 1679-80. On 26 September, the fleet arrived and found the location very suitable. The decision to build a town on the island of Trossö in the northern part of the bay was taken on 19 November. The town was to be named Carlskrona. And in a letter dated 5 December 1679, the King gave his consent.
In fact, the state now had to build not just a shipyard but a whole new town in the archipelago. The shipyard was built from 1680 and the new town, Karlskrona (or Carlskrona), was built from 1683 on the French model. The first ship was built as early as 1682. People moved, more or less manu militari, from the nearby town of Ronneby.
Warships were still being built in other places such as Kalmar, Riga and Stralsund. But from 1688 Karlskrona is the main naval shipyard and by 1700 20 of a total of 22 ships were built in the new town. Riga stopped building ships in 1684.
After a visit by the King in 1688, the Admiralty College was moved to Karlskrona, which now became Sweden’s main naval base. Which it still is.
The new location had several advantages. It was at roughly the same latitude as Copenhagen, it occupied a relatively central location in the Baltic Sea and with respect to Swedish interests in (what we now call) the Baltic States and northern Germany. There is an archipelago but it is rather thin – it offers protection but does not hinder access to the open sea and forms a natural harbour. Normally there is no ice. But Karlskrona is not a trading port. The naval and merchant fleets were thus separated.
Another disadvantage was that the command of the fleet was geographically separated from the national command in Stockholm.
Bohuslän and Halland gave Sweden a continuous sea front from the Norwegian border southwards. The strategic position was significantly improved. A number of ships were again based in Gothenburg during the war years 1644 – 45. However, the recruitment of men – i.e. the establishment of boatswains in Bohuslän – went poorly – at least until the 1680s.
The War of the Palatinate Succession (1688-97) marked a breakthrough for Swedish merchant shipping. Swedish ships were able to sail under neutral flags and take over English and Dutch trade and shipping. Swedish ships also began to sail regularly in the Mediterranean. But Swedish shipping needed protection. A special convoy commission was formed in 1690 and the navy was engaged in convoying merchant ships, especially in the North Sea and Bay of Biscay but also down to the Mediterranean. Furthermore, the entire fleet went to sea in 1688 and 1689 for exercises but also to demonstrate strength. This is the first time that the task of naval presence is specifically mentioned.
In 1698, Charles XII instructed the College of Admiralty to propose a plan for the rearmament of the west coast’s naval defences. The College’s proposal was to establish a naval base in Gothenburg with a squadron and a shipyard. The ships would be built in Karlskrona and would not be larger than they could be used inland but could still be used in convoy service. The squadron would also be able to cut the link between Denmark and Norway, prevent landing attempts on the west coast and support the Swedish possessions of Bremen and Verden. Plans for the shipyard – the New Shipyard – were adopted in 1699. However, construction was slow and the Old Shipyard at Stigberget was used as a temporary facility for a long time. The west coast obviously became more strategically important, but nowhere near as important as the south and east coasts.
Towards the end of the 17th century, trade on Gothenburg increased. The important export of iron, first via the Netherlands but later directly to England, was increasingly handled by the merchant fleet from Gothenburg. In total, the Swedish merchant fleet numbered no less than 750 ships at the time of the boom in 1693. Shipping and its protection, both in the Baltic Sea and in the West Sea, must therefore have become strategically increasingly important for Sweden.
A medium-sized European power
The Great Northern War
The Great Northern War of 1700 – 1721, against Denmark – Norway, Saxony and Poland as well as Russia, can be divided into two periods. During the first, Sweden conducted a strategic offensive. During the second, after Poltava in 1709, Sweden is forced to adopt a strategic defensive and must eventually fight for its survival.
The war was a real test of naval strategy.
During the first part, Sweden had the closest HtS in the northern Baltic Sea and was thus able to maintain relations between Sweden proper and the possessions on the other side of the Baltic relatively unthreatened.
In the southern Baltic, the battle for HtS was between Sweden and Denmark. This battle was settled in principle when Sweden, with the support of England and the Netherlands, in 1700 carried out an over-shipment operation to Humlebaek north of Copenhagen. In the face of superior power, Denmark chose not to seek battle but to protect its fleet. Denmark was forced to make peace but kept its fleet. This is a clear example of the difficulty of winning a decisive battle against an inferior enemy.
With Sweden now in virtual possession of HtS, the fleet was able to move and reinforce the field army relatively freely, leading to, among other things, the victory at Narva and the lifting of the siege of Riga. At the same time, the Swedish fleet sought to blockade the now increasingly strong Russian fleet in the Gulf of Finland.
In the west, vital Swedish shipping continued westwards towards Dutch, British and French ports. The Öresund traffic was still lively. There was now a squadron in Gothenburg and it can be assumed that this was busy protecting shipping, not least in the Skagerrak and Kattegat where the Swedish line of communication crossed the vital line to Norway for Denmark. However, the convoy service seems to have ceased after Psilander’s hopeless battle with the ship Öland against British warships at Orford Ness in 1704.
But Denmark was no longer a belligerent, so the Swedish Admiralty may not have had any major problems with priorities between the Baltic and the West Sea.
The loss at Poltava in 1709 changed the strategic landscape completely. Denmark again declared war on Sweden and the Russian army took more and more Swedish possessions. Russia was able to break the blockade and made Reval (Tallinn) a forward base. 1713 saw the fall of Helsinki and Turku and 1714 of Åland. Now the Russian fleet could pose a direct threat to Sweden proper. The Swedish fleet had to switch to a defensive posture. However, there were no major battles between the Swedish and Russian fleets, apart from the Russian victory at Hanko in 1714.
After Hanko, Russia waged a kind of hybrid war against Sweden in 1719-21. During the summers, Russian galleys ravaged the east coast. The Swedish fleet, which had only sea-going vessels, had great difficulty fighting the Russian galleys in the narrow waters of the archipelago. In the Battle of Ledsundet, however, the Swedish fleet succeeded in destroying a large number of galleys. However, it is worth mentioning that British-Swedish squadrons managed to restrict the freedom of movement of the Russian galley fleet south of the Åland archipelago.
At the Battle of Köge Bay in 1710, the Swedish fleet managed to prevent a Danish-Russian invasion attempt against Skåne. But above all, this naval war became about relations with Swedish Pomerania. When Pomerania was lost in 1715, the naval war consisted primarily of a mutual naval war.
In 1716, the Swedish fleet in Karlskrona played the role of Fleet-in-being; its potential strength meant that an attack on Karlskrona planned by the British admiral Sir John Norris (1670 – 1749) and Peter the Great was not carried out. Instead, a major attack with galleys was planned against the Swedish east coast down to Kalmar.
The Russian advance to the Baltic coast meant that Sweden lost important areas in the Baltic with its ports of shipment of strategic raw materials (hemp, tar etc). This had at least two consequences. One was that Sweden had difficulty supplying the naval shipyard in Karlskrona with raw materials for shipbuilding. The second was that Britain came to trade with Russia, which had taken over the former Swedish territories. Swedish shipping virtually ceased in the decade after Poltava. At the same time, Swedish privateers waged an intensive naval war from the Gulf of Finland to the North Sea, with an emphasis on the West Sea. This was relatively successful but does not seem to have brought any major financial benefits to the Swedish state. However, one wonders what the consequences of the absence of Swedish shipping were. It would be interesting to know to what extent this led to financial difficulties for the Swedish state.
Wolke states that the navy took the help of civilian privateers in the absence of « real » warships. But privateering was a relatively accepted way for the weaker state to fight the stronger state’s maritime relations; Sea Denial instead of Sea Control. For example, the famous French fortress builder Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban (1633 – 1707) published Mémoire concernant la caprerie [Memorandum on privateering] in 1695, in which he proposed precisely this form of naval warfare, which came to typify French warfare against Britain up to and including the Napoleonic Wars.
The Russian ravages meant that the fleet needed a base further north than Karlskrona. The old base at Skeppsholmen was therefore reopened in 1715. However, this was primarily where the increasing number of Swedish archipelago units were based. At the same time, the construction of the New Shipyard in Gothenburg came to a virtual standstill.
The Great Northern War also contains an interesting example of naval diplomacy through the presence of the British navy. Generally speaking, the British were primarily on Denmark’s side to help Sweden against Russia towards the end of the war. The aim was always the same: to secure their own sea links and to prevent either power – in this case first Sweden and then Russia – from becoming too powerful – to conquer the HtS in the Baltic Sea. But war was to be avoided. All this led to complicated instructions to the British admirals, primarily Sir John Norris, such as this one from 1716: « “You should observe no measures towards Sweden where the assistance of [king George’s I] fleet shall be necessary to deprive them of any signal advantage, or where your joining the Danes may procure them some signal advantage. But without one or the other of these two cases you are not to give the Danes such a degree of assistance as may be interpreted to amount to an open rupture with Sweden.”
This requires a brief theoretical digression. Naval presence is the basic measure of naval diplomacy; in this case, the British presence in the Baltic Sea. Without presence, no diplomatic effect. Presence can have a number of strategic effects: strengthening friendship and trust with friendly powers or respect with (potential) enemies) depending on the actions of the fleet in question. In this way, the navy acts as a strategic leveller. But the outcome also depends on posture and credibility. This can be illustrated by the following formula: diplomatic outcome = (action + attitude) x credibility; if credibility is zero, the outcome is zero.
In summary, the Great Northern War consists of an initial offensive part, while after Poltava the Swedes had to switch to a strategic defensive part. The tasks of the navy were reduced as Sweden’s Baltic Sea provinces were lost and with them the need to support the Swedish army. In the words of Count de Guibert (1743-90), the latter had found its grave in « the Ukrainian deserts ».
So what strategic dilemmas did the Swedish naval leadership face? Since the author of the article has not had the opportunity to read any strategic assessments, the analysis must be based on a modern perspective.
Initially, the priorities do not seem to have caused any major problems. The navy was able to support the Swedish army in the Baltic and Pomerania relatively undisturbed. Shipping could apparently be adequately protected.
After 1709, things become more difficult. Sweden was confronted with an advancing Russia, which posed a major threat to Finland and the east coast, including Norrland, and even threatened Stockholm (Battle of Baggensstäket in 1719). At the same time, Denmark, in combination with Russia and, initially, with the support of Britain, posed a major threat to the southern part of the kingdom. Shipping is more or less stopped with unknown economic consequences.
The navy should now have had a force in the northern Baltic consisting of both galleys and sea-going vessels, a strong fleet in the southern Baltic and ships for maritime protection on the west coast. The privateers could certainly attack merchant ships, but they were probably not built and manned to protect their own shipping. In this situation, the choice was obviously to focus on the south coast; galleys were not widely available. And the risk of Danish/Russian invasion must have been perceived as more dangerous than the loss of shipping.
The Age of Liberty
At the end of the peace, Sweden got back most of Finland and Pomerania. Russia, now a major naval power, posed a potential threat to the east coast, Denmark was still dangerous and likely sought to regain its former provinces in Sweden.
Perhaps most importantly, Swedish trade in the west increased during the 18th century. But this also brought risks. The barbarian states, for example, had set up a system of piracy, and the Swedish sailors brought in by the North African pirates were sold into slavery.
The Convoy Commissariat was re-established in 1724 – it had probably been abolished during the war when shipping virtually ceased – to protect Swedish merchant ships on the route between Sweden and Gibraltar. Swedish warships, usually one or two frigates, protected convoys of Swedish merchant ships against privateers. Another tactic was cruising, which basically meant patrolling particularly dangerous areas. This latter tactic gave the unit commander a certain freedom of action in dealing with foreign powers. By having two tactics to choose from, there was some flexibility in the conduct of maritime security. Other naval protection operations included diplomatic expeditions and gift deliveries.
The 18th century saw the emergence of what we now call globalisation with manifestations such as the triangular trade in slaves and colonial goods Britain – Africa – America and the East India Companies which were formed in many countries including Sweden (1731). An interesting example is the following. On 14 November 1755, the Swedish ship Johanna Elisabeth ran aground off the city of Maguelone on its way to Marseille. She had sailed to Lisbon from Stockholm with a cargo of tar and then took on board 24 500 silver piastres in Cadiz. The coins had been minted in the area around Peru and Bolivia in 1676 and 1754 – the same year as the shipwreck! So why was the silver being shipped to Marseille? Well, to be sent to Lyon, where the silver would be turned into silver thread and woven into fabrics for South America! The South American ladies were very fond of such fabrics. In parentheses, the Johanna Elisabeth would have been one of 28 Swedish ships in Marseille at the time.
The need for maritime security varied, of course, with the threat. After the peace with Algiers in 1729 and until 1754, when Moroccan privateers began attacking Swedish merchant ships, there were generally no expeditions for maritime protection. However, after 1754 and during the (European) Seven Years’ War, 1756-63, increased efforts of naval protection were required but convoying was not an obvious tactic. Especially during this war, Swedish shipping was able to benefit from Sweden’s neutrality.
Another aspect of the increase in shipping was that it also increased the number of sailors in Sweden, which also benefited the navy. Not least, the Swedish East India Company provided an opportunity for naval officers to obtain seagoing service at a time when few warships were equipped. The future Admiral Otto Henrik Nordenskjöld, for example, served for many years in the merchant navy in order to get the necessary sea practice.
Were the warships used for naval protection in the west based on the west coast – Gothenburg/Marstrand? Or in Karlskrona, which was the main naval base? It seems that there was a squadron on the west coast while the New Dockyard in Gothenburg was essentially a dull existence.
The Great Northern War had demonstrated the importance of galleys for the defence of the Swedish-Finnish coast. According to the 1722 defence plan, 56 new galleys were to be built to meet the Russian threat. However, when war broke out in 1741, there were only 21 galleys, so Russia was once again in control of the archipelago. In the only naval battle of the war, Korpoström in 1743, a squadron of galleys and ships of the line attempted to prevent the Russian fleet from taking control of the Åland archipelago, but failed. One problem was that it was difficult to coordinate the two fleets, probably because the galleys were based in Stockholm and the ships of the line in Karlskrona.
In 1756 the galley fleet became part of the army – the army fleet or archipelago fleet as opposed to the naval fleet. The Archipelago Fleet consisted of two squadrons – one in Stockholm and one in the purpose-built fortress of Sveaborg in southern Finland. When not in use, the galleys were stored in sheds (Stockholm, Karlskrona) or at the quay (Sveaborg). The Örlogsflott or Grand Fleet was based in Karlskrona. There were also galleys based on the west coast. However, the organisation often changed as different parties came to power.
During the reign of King Gustaf III, both the naval and galley fleets were considerably strengthened. Both were used in the war of 1788-90. The Swedish naval fleet met the Russian at Hogland in 1788 in a classic battle of the lines. The battle ended in a draw, but with a strategic loss for Sweden because the Russian fleet could not be destroyed. The most famous naval battles of the war are the Viborgska gatloppet and Svensksund; both in 1790. In the former battle the navy managed to get out of the Gulf of Finland through a Russian blockade and in the latter the galley fleet won a major victory against the Russian. The Gatloppet can perhaps be characterised as a costly Swedish strategic victory, as the main part of the fleet was saved and Sweden was thus able to avoid surrender. Overall, the fleets saved Sweden from further land cessions to Russia.
In 1789, Sweden was also at war with Denmark, which attacked Bohuslän, among other places, which required a naval presence in the south and west.
The 18th century is also the age of enlightenment. Ferner’s Sjö-Magt is particularly interesting because he makes a strong link between the naval fleet, the merchant fleet and the state’s finances. His prophecy is strongly reminiscent of Walther Raleigh’s (1552 – 1618) famous thesis: « He who controls the sea controls trade, he who controls world trade controls the wealth of the world and consequently the world itself. » Ferner had been in France and had certainly come into contact with Richelieu’s political testament, in which he wrote, among other things, that « the power of arms requires not only that the king be strong on land, but also that he be powerful at sea » and that thanks to his forty well-armed ships, always ready to intervene, the king would always be able to « protect himself against all insults and make himself feared in the ocean by those who have hitherto despised his forces there ».
However, those who write about tactics – no real naval strategic theory yet exists – are, in the spirit of the Enlightenment, particularly interested in describing rather than thinking new and big – nothing had to be left to the imagination.  For most of the 18th century, the focus was on what we would now call formal tactics, the art of maneuver and evolution, while applied tactics, the ability to win in battle, was little discussed. An important example of formal tactics is Paul Hostes’ (1652 – 1700) Traité des évolutions navales, composé sur les mémoires de Tourville of 1691, which is considered to be the first theoretical work on naval warfare. Admiral Falkengréen (1722 – 89), the first honorary president of the Royal Naval Academy, translated this book, which was published under the title Evolutioner till sjös (1752). Another example is Admiral Salomon Gyllenskepp’s (1754 (? ) – 89) Sjö-Tactique jemte Dag-Signaler för en Örlogflotta from 1784 – a title suspiciously similar to Bigot de Morogue’s (1706 – 1781) Tactique navale ou Traité des Évolutions et des Signaux from 1763. In 1752 he had founded the Académie de marine, which was probably the model for the Swedish Naval Society.
But these works were about how to manoeuvre a fleet – formal tactics – and not about the role of the navy in relation to shipping and trade. So there is a gap here between Ferner, Raleigh and Richelieu’s strategic insight and tactics. There was no theory of how these strategic ideas could be realised. This theory of naval warfare was only developed in the 19th century with Mahan as the most famous name.
Overall, the 18th century brought about a split in Sweden’s naval defence – the defence of trade relations on the one hand and invasion defence on the other. The main task of the galley fleet is to carry out an amphibious defence of the Swedish coast, while the naval fleet is split between the task of defending Sweden to the east and south and protecting shipping to the west. The naval strategic theory that could tie these elements together was lacking.
Sweden becomes a small power
From a naval point of view, the war of 1808 – 09 consists of two parts. One is the amphibious warfare waged by the Swedish and Russian galley fleets. However, the surrender of Sveaborg meant that most of the Swedish galley fleet disappeared and then it was basically back to the situation 100 years earlier: the Russian galleys were able to operate relatively freely in the archipelago areas where the Swedish naval fleet could not operate. However, the remaining galleys did their best to prevent the Russian advance by supporting the army’s sea flank with amphibious companies of various kinds.
In addition, both Sweden and Denmark used archipelago vessels of various kinds in the Öresund area.
The second part consists of the activities of the naval fleet. This now had two priorities. Firstly, to prevent, with British support, Danish-French attacks in the southwest and secondly, to close in the Russian fleet in the Gulf of Finland.
But the main role was played by the British Navy, for many years under the command of Admiral Saumarez (1757 – 1836). The British continued to play this role for the rest of the Napoleonic Wars. The Royal Navy’s role here is an excellent illustration of Francis Bacon’s (1561 – 1626) famous thesis: « He who masters the sea has great liberty, and can take as much or as little of the war as he pleases, while those who are strongest on land are many times yet in great difficulties. »
Both fleets took part in the 1814 naval campaign against Norway. The Örlogsflott made an initial effort by retrieving 6,000 men from the Swedish army in Germany. The rest of the operation was an amphibious one – landing and coastal bombardment – with the two fleets working together; not without friction. The Swedish fleet had thus made its last real war effort to date. There is a certain irony in the fact that this, the last war effort, consisted of an amphibious operation while the navy’s task thereafter was primarily defence against them.
Swedish shipping declined after a peak in 1801 – 05, which is not surprising given both the Napoleonic Wars and the Swedish Wars. But did they try to protect it? Was there a dilemma here between the direct war effort and naval protection?
There is room for speculation here. From 1819 (see below) onwards, the Swedish defence has primarily prioritised defence against coastal invasion – historically a relatively unusual and also difficult operation. The most typical naval task – protecting communications at sea – has been downgraded or dropped. To quote Corbett again: « The goal of naval warfare is control of communications and not, as in land warfare, the conquest of territory. The difference is fundamental. » Could this downgrading be due to the experiences of 1808-09 and 1814?
After the wars, the Swedish merchant fleet increased – already in 1830 the merchant fleet was larger than it had been during the commercially lively 18th century. This positive trend lasted throughout the 19th century with a decline in the early 1890s with the switch to steam and iron ships. But already in the late 1890s there was a new upswing associated with the growth of the Swedish engineering industry.
19th century until the first armoured boat in 1885
This era has been characterised by an unknown writer as: « The centuries-old night whose memorable gloom hangs over the glorious battles of yesteryear can only be dispelled by diligent enlightenment. »
The 1819 « Defence Decision » established the principle of central defence as Sweden’s strategy. This can be described as a defensive strategy in which territory would be exchanged for time – the enemy’s advance into the heart of Sweden would mean that he would eventually reach what Clausewitz (1780 – 1831) called the culmination point and could then be defeated. This point is reached at the moment when a hitherto successful offensive loses its energy. The defender can then switch to an offensive strategy while the attacker must switch to a defensive strategy. The alternative was to meet the enemy on the coast but this was considered impossible given the logistical possibilities of the time. On the other hand, the idea that the navy would prevent the enemy from coming ashore does not seem to have been considered. In the central defence strategy, the archipelago fleet had a very limited role and the naval fleet virtually none at all.
Within the framework of the central defence strategy, the navy would primarily operate in the Stockholm archipelago and on the large inland lakes. According to the book Studier öfver Svenska Skärgårdsflottans historia, krigssätt och användande vid Sveriges försvar, af en Infanteri-Officer (Stockholm 1855), reviewed in Tidskrift i Sjöväsendet (TiS) nr 1, 1856, the strategy in case of a Russian attack would be for the army to conduct a delaying action, enter the Mälardalen together with the archipelago fleet and thus force the Russian army to enter with its archipelago fleet as well in order not to have its back threatened. The most important task of our archipelago fleet would be to hold the Mälaren, and, if this fails, to hold the Hjälmaren and the Vättern. The naval fleet was not needed because Sweden should avoid any « active intervention in foreign policy, as is the right of a power of inferior rank, which should seek increased influence only in internal affairs. »
Tidskrift i Sjöväsendet comes out with its first issue in 1835. From then on, it is possible to follow the debate within the Royal Naval Society.
The debate up to the construction of HM Pansarbåt Svea in 1884-85 is characterised by the dynamic development: sail – steam, wheel – propeller, wood – iron, full ball – explosive shell and muzzle loader – fluted guns. This debate is essentially outside the scope of this topic.
Parallel to this technical debate, there is a discussion on the archipelago fleet vis-à-vis the naval fleet, which is linked to the Swedish strategy. This also includes the question of maritime security; but also the question of the Swedish economy. A frequently used argument is that Sweden is a poor country that should concentrate on « inland forcafans ». The latter is changing with the development of Swedish industry towards the end of the century.
In TiS No. 3 1836, KÖMS chairman Commander Carl August Gyllengranat makes a strategic round-up. Sweden with Norway was now in an advantageous position; the threat from Russia was now much lower than when Finland was part of Sweden. The only possible threats came from England and Russia. Since Sweden was not threatened along its borders – an attack in the north was conceivable but unlikely – all attention could be focused on trade and shipping. Of the three options – army only, navy only or army and navy – the last option was the best because it would provide the most flexibility. Without a navy, we could not attack the enemy and he could choose the place of attack. All the material for the fleet was available domestically except for hemp, which had to be imported. However, there was a lack of understanding of naval weaponry, partly due to ignorance and partly due to the battle between the large and small fleets (the archipelago fleet and the naval fleet respectively). The fleet should consist of three components: a fleet of liners with frigates and smaller ships, a rowing fleet (archipelago fleet) and steamers allocated to the first two. The task of the ships of the line would be to attack the enemy’s large transport fleet, exercise sea control (« clear the sea ») and contest the opponent’s sea control (« worry the enemy »). The rowing fleet was necessary because of our large archipelagos and lakes. It had to interact with the army, facilitate its communications and support its flanks. The task of the steamers was, among other things, to tow, for example, when the line fleet had to operate in the archipelago and for reconnaissance. Sweden needed, among other things, 16 ships of the line of at least 74 guns, 100 gun sloops and 300 gunboats, according to the writer, who concludes that without « a complete naval defence there can be no independence ».
The first task here – « pacifying the sea » – was thus not self-evident; it was not part of the central defence principle. In fact, the entire 19th century can be characterised as a struggle to understand the need to be able to exercise control over Sweden’s surrounding sea areas. The reader will also note that while Gyllengranat acknowledges the importance of trade and shipping, the protection of the same is not part of his understanding of the navy’s tasks.
Another example. Issue 1 1847 reproduces the annual address of the chairman, Rear Admiral Carl Reinhold Nordenskjöld. Often, he writes, one hears it said that Sweden does not need a navy and cannot constitute a naval power. But our geographical position, the nature of our coasts, the importance of fishing, coastal shipping (1842 = 1 400 ships) and foreign shipping (1842 = 10 300 of which 6514 Swedish) showed the need for one.
Reading through old TiS, one notes that while naval officers argue for a fleet that could take up the fight at sea, they never see the army as unnecessary; instead, they argue for strategic/operational cooperation. The chairman, Commodore Johan Mathias Melander, addresses this issue in his speech at the ceremonial meeting (No 12 1851). He calls for better cooperation between the large and small fleets (the naval fleet and the archipelago fleet). The starting point for an appropriate fleet must be geography and what is required to prevent the enemy from establishing a dominion over surrounding waters, as well as the ability to support the army. The fleet should also be able to prevent over-shipment; here the President takes Napoleon’s plans for an invasion of England as a starting point. An attempted invasion should be met as far out as possible by ships of the line assisted by steamers, while ships of the archipelago met inland. The naval effort should be concentrated against the transport ships while avoiding enemy warships. In the event of a landing, the army and navy had to work together. Line ships were necessary because the enemy would have them. He also calls for more training and mentions that Swedish liners had only been armed twice between 1814 and 1851. The last is quite interesting as many still argued that liners were the core of the navy. But the number of officers who could actually command one must have been small. The tactic of attacking the transport fleet but avoiding enemy warships applied, essentially, up to and including the Cold War. This tactic contradicted Mahan’s doctrine that the enemy fleet should be defeated first.
The idea that the enemy should be met at sea was far from accepted. Minister of the Navy von Platen was no friend of naval defence, as the following quote from 1850 shows: ‘immediately any thought of a high-sea fleet should be stifled. Any naval defence was of secondary importance compared with land defence, but it should, in co-operation with the latter, be able to ‘prevent enemy landings’. »
The above-mentioned book Studies of the History, Warfare and Use of the Swedish Archipelago Fleet in the Defence of Sweden was reviewed in TiS No. 1, 1856. The reviewer challenges the author « Try the Archipelago Fleet in the autumn in bad weather and see what use it makes! » A rowing archipelago fleet was not reasonable in our climate. The author had twisted history to prove his point. The Archipelago Fleet was supposed to be a complement to the army, not the navy!
The entry of the steamship into naval warfare put a new spin on the strategic debate. The Archipelago Fleet is debated in Nos 4 and 5 1856. Two sides meet. One side believes that rowboats are superior to steamers, which can be used for towing. Steamers are expensive, difficult to acquire, maintain and replace. The other believes that it is high time to replace the rowing sleds with steam power. Archipelago fleet should be transferred to the army; it drew a lot of people and so did the army, which is the main weapon. Better a small but well-practised naval fleet than a larger one of low quality. In 1856, the first of a series of gun steamers was actually launched, later named 2nd class gunboats: HMS Hogland.
Towards the end of the 1850s, more and more people realised that steamships were the future. So what should the fleet look like? The chairman, Commodore Gustaf Edward Ruuth, addresses this question in No. 4 – 5 1858. The enemy should be met on or off the periphery and not in the centre. With steam power, even large ships could go into the archipelago; thus we should have ships that could fight freely at sea and no longer needed to divide the fleet into two parts. Should we keep 64 rowboats? You wouldn’t destroy what you had, but they would be phased out. Steam and only steam is the future!
Shipping, as has been shown, is given little attention. One exception is the chairman, Vice Admiral Carl Reinhold Nordensköld, in issue 6 1860. He notes, among other things, that there is a lack of understanding of the navy. Geography, trade and the need for self-defence made Sweden a natural naval power. 
But the need to protect or support the merchant fleet was actually given some attention. One example is the author of Vår Tid och Vårt Sjöförsvar af en sjöofficer, reviewed in No. 4 1861. Naval vessels should be stationed so that Sweden had a continuous presence in foreign waters – the motives being that this would both benefit education and protect trade. Another is that, according to TiS No. 4 1859, a proposal regarding naval protection had been put forward in the House of Lords. Naval vessels should be stationed in foreign ports of particular importance to trade. One motive was Sweden’s « inadequate » consuls who could not support shipping.
In 1865, the navy entered the machine age with the monitors – later 2nd-class armoured boats – and the smaller armoured steam gunboats – or 3rd-class armoured boats. These ships, especially the latter, were only useful in archipelagos and inland waters. They therefore fitted well into the central defence strategy. But in this the army dominated, seeing the ships, at best, as floating artillery. They were therefore not suitable for meeting an enemy at sea, which the army did not see as either possible or desirable. According to an anonymous author, the Monitor was currently the most suitable ship type for Sweden. We needed a basic navy that would give us an important role as an ally in a war against Russia. For more distant seas, wooden « screw ships » of the Vanadis and Gefle type were needed. Voices had been raised for the stationing of warships in distant seas to support the merchant ships.
Thus there were still effectively two fleets; one for invasion defence and one for ‘distant seas’. In 1821-22, a Swedish squadron cruised in North African waters. In 1828, another squadron – now consisting of Swedish and Norwegian ships – was sent to the same area. This type of expedition ceased after the French operation against Morocco in 1844.
However, the fleet continued to make long voyages. Almost every year, one or more ships were sent on longer or shorter voyages abroad. One task was to train cadets – you can’t be a sailor without a seaman! But of course these voyages also had tasks within the framework of naval diplomacy: flying the flag, making contacts, supporting Swedes and Swedish companies, etc. Sometimes the task was more security-related, as when HMS Balder was intended to protect Swedish interests in Turkey in connection with the Russo-Turkish War of 1896-97. Uppgiften utgick dock innan Blenda anlänt. The last real long-range voyage was carried out with HMS Carlskrona in 2005. Today the tradition is maintained with the naval schooners HMS Gladan and Falken.
The split between the naval fleet and the archipelago fleet in the 18th century thus had serious consequences for Sweden’s defence. The archipelago fleet, which between 1756 and 1823 belonged to the army, became part of the central defence principle, while the naval fleet was marginalised. Defence against hostile power projection became the priority task, which was also at the centre of the debate and later historiography.
But for a long time the navy had the task of defending our shipping, at least at times. The recurring long voyages are an example of naval diplomacy. But these tasks did not mean that the fleet was based on the west coast.
Creating a modern fleet
The report of the 1879 committee on the proposed types of ships condemned the monitors and especially the smaller ones (3rd-class armoured boats) which could not even cross large bays in heavy weather. The committee noted that the fleet did not have a single ship that could meet the requirement of being able to impede landings.
In 1883 a turning point came when the Riksdag decided on the acquisition of an armoured boat and a torpedo boat. The Riksdag had thus accepted the idea of a navy that could operate freely at sea and therefore needed seaworthy vessels. Over the next few years, some ten armoured boats and a number of torpedo boats were added.
In order to free themselves from the hegemony of the army in the Swedish defence, the naval men had to break with the « land military thinking » at the end of the 19th century. The army’s representatives argued that the navy should be subordinate to the army and did not understand that a fleet at sea could prevent an invasion attempt by threatening the attacker’s sea connections. Rather, the fleet was seen as a mobile coastal artillery or, at best, as cavalry that would rush out and attack the enemy near the area where he wanted to land. With this idea came the fact that a naval defence would require ships scattered all along the coast, which would of course be too expensive.
It was therefore necessary, through a more or less conscious process, to create a Swedish naval strategy as a basis for the development of naval equipment, tactics and personnel and their training. However, the discussions were based on the assumption that invasion defence would be the main task of the navy.
Commander Anton Baeckström published in 1887 a textbook on naval warfare for use at the Royal Navy. Sjökrigsskolan. The book provides an insight into how naval warfare was viewed at this time of transition, when the Swedish strategy changed from central defence with few tasks for the navy to peripheral defence. The book consists of two parts, the first discussing theory and the second a number of practical examples that illustrate the theoretical sections. The latter, in turn, consists of formal tactics – different types of formations and their use – and applied tactics. In the latter respect, various forms of combat are discussed – single ship combat, free sea combat, archipelago combat…
Battle in the archipelago is given considerable space. Baeckström described a system of armoured ships (2nd and 3rd class armoured boats), armed boats, mines and infantry and artillery ashore. The system was adapted to the Swedish fleet of the time and had low operational mobility. In practice, it was sufficient to defend a section of an archipelago – for example, the entrance to Stockholm. But if the enemy appeared somewhere else, the « readiness post » could not be moved. However, such « positions » were still being used during the mobilisation in August 1914 to protect the Stockholm archipelago.
Baeckström discussed trade wars in his textbook – then in the form of cruise wars. Given the high speed of modern merchant ships, forming convoys would no longer be an option, he argued. In war, only the fastest merchant ships would be used and these would be protected by their high speed.
Incidentally, the tasks of the navy included all measures for the protection and support of maritime trade. However, this can hardly be taken to mean that Baeckström understood the idea of « sea power ». He concentrates on tactics aimed at defeating or delaying an enemy, but nothing is said about how this would relate to the country’s defence or the deeper reason why the country needs a naval fleet.
But if the navy were to free itself from the restraint of army doctrine, it would have to develop a credible one of its own.
Admiral Mahan published his famous work The Influence of Sea Power upon History, 1660-1783 in 1890, three years after Baeckström’s book. It had a huge international impact. Naturally, it also attracted attention in Sweden. But his doctrine was problematic. Mahan’s main thesis is that naval supremacy should first be won, primarily by decisive battle and secondarily by blockade. But how could the Swedish navy claim a credible ability to defeat the Russian fleet at sea?
It was Naval Warfare by the British Vice-Admiral Philip Colomb, translated into English in 1892, that provided a solution to this problem. Colomb, and in particular his Swedish translator C.G. Flach, put forward a principle called Fleet-in-being. The concept should be defined as a fleet with the ability and the will to attack an enemy that attacks the territory it is supposed to defend. Herman Wrangel expressed the basic idea of this strategy: ‘Even inferior, even defeated fleets have, time and again, posed sufficient threat to landing parties. This is, so to speak, the common thread running through most of Colombs work. »
Fleet-in-being came to form the basis of naval doctrine until the end of the Cold War. There were, of course, changes depending on the balance of power. When the navy was relatively strong, as after the two world wars, the ambition was to be able to meet the enemy further out to sea and thereby threaten his dominance at sea. Conversely, when it was relatively weak, as in the 1970s, it stayed close to the Swedish coast.
From our point of view, there is an important difference between Mahan and Colomb (Flach). Mahan’s theory, if implemented, also involves protecting one’s own communications, whereas Flach’s Fleet-in-being is a strategy to deter an invasion attempt; it thus has a narrower purpose.
This problem is discussed in TiS No. 2 1903 by Otto Lybeck and Erik Hägg. The article, « Strategy and Shipbuilding », begins by stating that if we could prevent the enemy from gaining dominance at sea, the navy would thereby solve all its tasks of preventing invasion attempts, protecting against trade blockade, and protecting against firefighting. This required an effective fleet with freedom of operation. Our navy would probably be inferior to the enemy’s, so it had to be massed. But since the force-assembled fleet – the « coastal fleet » – could not be everywhere, « sectional squadrons » were required. The latter were to be located in Norrland, Stockholm, Karlskrona and Gothenburg. In principle, this division was to remain in place until the Coast Fleet was abolished in 1998.
Should Karlskrona still be the naval headquarters? A long and rather bitter debate was launched by C.G. Flach with the article « Stockholm or Carlskrona? Ett riksviktigt spörsmål » in issue 1 and 2 1904. It is about the coastal fleet, « our newly created fleet ». Flach proposed an « extended base of operations » including the archipelagos of Stockholm, Östergötland and Småland. Here lie the major cities of Stockholm and Norrköping, which could serve as primary bases of operation and would be difficult to blockade. Under the Fleet-in-being principle, the main naval force would now stay in the protection of the archipelago until it ran out to attack the enemy’s transport force. After a long geographical argument, Flach concludes that the Coastal Fleet should be based in Stockholm. The idea did not catch on at the time, but after the First World War the Hårsfjärds area became the Navy’s main base area and the centre of an « expanded base of operations ». No thoughts about Gothenburg or the west coast were put forward.
In TiS No. 1 1907, C.E. Holmberg mentions the importance of naval protection and suggests that « A theoretical as well as practical investigation into the nation’s dependence on its shipping and the real danger to which it is exposed during a war as well as the most effective means of averting such danger would certainly be of great importance and would certainly clarify for the nation both the great and important task of maritime trade and maritime defence. » The answer was given during the two world wars but was soon forgotten. The idea apparently did not lead to any action.
Daniel Landquist is one of the few strategists in Swedish naval history. As a second lieutenant, he gave a lecture entitled « The Influence of Naval Power on Swedish History », inserted in TiS No. 3 1914. Swedish naval history was lacking or substandard, which is why many naval officers knew more about the history of other countries than their own. Mahan, Landquist said, argued that the need for a navy is a consequence of the need for maritime trade but Gustav Vasa’s fleet purchased from Lübeck was justified by the need to capture Stockholm. « It is rather curious that the navy should play so great a part even in this war of liberation, which began in the centre – in the middle of the country – and developed towards the periphery – towards the coasts. » Landquist then goes through Swedish history. One conclusion he draws is « It certainly cannot be emphasised enough in this connection that the influence of naval power is often of such a nature that its effects do not lie on the surface ». L. concludes with « With the descent to a second-rate power, Sweden was forced to seek to contest an enemy’s dominion at sea. This compulsion still applies today. He who controls the sea around Sweden, controls Sweden. May we not forget this testimony of history! » The silent but long-term effect of sea power is perhaps best described by Mahan in the classic text, « Those far distant, storm-beaten ships [of Great Britain], upon which the Grand Army [of France] never looked, stood between it and the dominion of the world. »
So we see that although the navy was given a greater role in defending the invasion, it was also limited to this. Relatively few spoke for the other tasks of naval strategy: protection of communications, naval diplomacy, etc.
The First World War
When war broke out, it became clear that the protection of neutrality and shipping became the Navy’s most important task. Behind this task was, of course, the constant readiness to defend Sweden against invaders.
A General Order (GO) in 1914 regulated the duties of the Supreme Commander of the Coastal Fleet (HBK) while maintaining neutrality. This drew attention to the need for naval protection: the HBK’s task was to « seek to prevent, in subordinate territorial waters, the taking of measures by belligerent powers which violate Sweden’s neutrality, and to provide, as far as possible, security for the Kingdom’s maritime trade. »
In principle, « everything that floated » had to be used in order to keep up with the vital maritime traffic along our coasts. And then, in general, one could only just follow – not convoy with the ability to fight attacking forces. Once a proper convoy was conducted – in November 1915 by ore-laden ships. The fleet was undersized for its neutrality task. Single, older and lightly armed ships were often the only protection for shipping and neutrality along long stretches of coastline.
The heavy units played an important role as Fleet-in-being – ready to support the light naval forces in their operations. They also played an important role in the so-called Åland settlement in the winter of 1918, protecting the civilian population of the Åland Islands from the warring parties in the Finnish civil war that broke out after independence in 1917. This example of naval diplomacy was successful and could hardly have been carried out without the support of heavy ships. Unfortunately, neither the government nor the armed forces drew any conclusions from this effort.
In the first years of the war, the navy was able to carry out advanced exercises. In particular, they practised the interaction between surface ships, submarines and naval aircraft. After 1916, however, fuel shortages became so severe that only the absolutely necessary activities could be carried out.
At the end of the war, the naval staff felt that the Navy should be the centre of gravity in the Swedish defence. The reason was the long Swedish coastline and vital sea links. The 1927 Defence Committee decided that the main tasks would be the defence of neutrality and defence against coastal invasion. The Navy returned to the 1934 Defence Committee with the suggestion that defence of the sea lanes would be an important task, but the Chief of the Defence Staff insisted that defence against invasion would be the priority task.
Congressman Strömbeck’s « Annual Report in Naval Art and History 1928 » is reprinted in TiS No. 2 1929. Developments demonstrated the need for destroyers to protect our maritime commerce during neutrality. But even more important was the need for light ships to maintain the balance of power in the Baltic, where we could not count on the British fleet to save us. « We must move up and strengthen our naval power, for without a strong naval defence we cannot protect our position in the Baltic and our seaborne trade. »
In the 1930s, two naval thinkers stand out: Captain Landquist, the future commander and head of the Royal Navy. Naval War College, and Captain H:son-Ericson, future Chief of the Navy. The former wrote a book on naval strategic theory – one of very few written in the Swedish language. The second is known as the creator of the light fleet; « light » as opposed to a fleet built with armoured ships at its core.
What then is the goal of naval warfare? According to Landquist, it is to achieve supremacy at sea (HtS). If this is not possible, the enemy’s HtS must be contested. The coercive means of naval warfare are trade wars and shipping companies or, more generally, the exploitation of the most important sea links. The central goal of naval warfare is to be « superior at the right point at the right moment. »
H:son-Ericson concluded from the First World War that the goal of naval warfare is the absolute control of communication routes. However, an absolute HtS was no longer applicable. Here H:son-Ericson is certainly inspired by the French Admiral Castex whose formulation is worth quoting: « in our time, supremacy at sea means control of the important sea links on the surface. » « On the surface » as a consequence of the importance of aircraft and submarines in naval warfare.
Later General Helge Jung and his followers in the circle of Ny Militär Tidskrift were critical of new armoured ships and favoured a switch to aircraft and submarines. In Antingen – Eller (1930) they proposed a terrestrial strategy in which defence would be taken up already in Finland. But since transport would take time, there was a need for a strong air force to gain time. The navy’s task should primarily be to prevent Soviet attacks north of the Åland archipelago and coastal defences. There would be no need to defend Sweden’s sea links as the ports on the eastern coast would be unusable while the US and Britain would probably keep the links open in the west.
The Navy’s view of the need for naval protection is reflected in an unsigned but important article in TiS No. 2 1934: « Seafaring on Swedish East Coast Ports, especially Stockholm, in Peace and War. » The writer begins by describing the Swedish convoy institution and that the protection of shipping has always been a wartime task. The General Staff had now, in investigations of 1931 and 1932, stated that in war all maritime traffic on the east coast would be transferred to the west coast and friendly ports and to the Norwegian ports while the inland traffic would take over the exchange of goods with the rest of Sweden. The Board of Trade, the National Commission for Defence Preparedness and the Railway Board had all been extremely negative about this idea. The article ends with « But one thing is in any case certain, and that is, that – if serious times come – it is the merchant navy, which is charged with trying to maintain Sweden’s maritime traffic even under the most difficult conditions; and it is also certain that the nation – and within it the merchant navy men – expect the navy to try to protect merchant shipping in its indispensable daily work for the kingdom. » The writer was right, as we know.
Unlike Jung and his followers, the navy men advocated cooperation. Admiral von Kruusenstierna noted that the question of the direct participation of naval forces in land operations constituted one of the most difficult issues of naval warfare. Landquist argued that defence against over-shipment companies must consist of army forces in conjunction with naval and air forces. This insight seems obvious but was not shared by all. The then well-known Major Kleen, for example, argued that since the navy could not protect the country against enemy battleships, it should stay in the archipelago; the main role should be played by the army.
H:son-Ericson advocated balance and cooperation between the three branches of defence. The long Swedish coast could not be covered by the army. But on the other hand, naval and air forces alone could not repel all the undertakings that could be carried out unless the army was so large that it required a gathering of forces from the enemy.
Despite the experience of the war, naval defence was again downplayed; the main task of defence was to be invasion defence and the debate came to revolve around the role of the navy in this. Once again it was wrong!
The Second World War
During the Second World War, the navy played an extraordinarily important role. This is made abundantly clear by Defence Minister Sköld, who said in March 1945: ‘It is believed that the army and the air force have contributed to keeping Sweden out of the war. About the navy, it is known that we could not have pursued the policy of neutrality we have done without the assistance of our navy.«
The importance of the navy lay mainly in four areas. It was a war deterrent through its strength against Germany. It protected our sea links along the coasts and, where possible, to the oceans. Unlike the First World War, regular convoys were now conducted, which was of great importance as Sweden was exposed to a naval war by the Soviet Union. Furthermore, important humanitarian operations were carried out, especially during the final stages of the war in connection with the Baltic refugee stream from the Soviet conqueror. Finally, the Navy carried out a very extensive mine clearance operation which continued long after the war.
Although day-to-day operations were dominated by neutrality guarding and naval protection, readiness to defend the country against invasion – primarily German – was the main task. In this context, the armoured ships played an important role as Fleet-in-Being – just as they had during the First World War.
The Cold War
The words of Defence Minister Sköld quoted above were soon forgotten. The navy had to fight for its survival against both the army and the air force.
In his capacity as Supreme Commander, Jung undertook an often-praised strategic study with a view to the 1948 defence review. The study was published in the book Our Future Defence: The Commander-in-Chief’s Proposals. Here he proposed a strategy based on delay, a defensive strategy using the large Swedish territory to buy time to get outside (Western) help. The strategy thus prioritised a strong army over other defences. It was also emphasised that land and air forces were more important than naval forces because they could be used in all scenarios, whereas the navy could only be used in a coastal invasion. Jung did not understand that a delaying defensive strategy would require protection of imports of strategically important goods. The lessons of the two world wars: that the survival of neutral Sweden had depended on the navy’s ability to defend shipping to and from Sweden and along its coasts, had been forgotten. Fortunately, the powers that be did not accept Jung’s ideas; the Swedish strategy of the Cold War came to be based on a peripheral defence with the strategy of delay as a backup strategy.
Initially, the navy was given extensive tasks regarding defence against invasion. It was to have primary responsibility for the defence of the east, west and north coasts. In addition, it would be able to allocate the bulk of its naval forces to the south coast. The second main task was maritime security. The future Chief of the Navy, H:son-Ericson, stated in a high-profile speech in 1948 that the protection of sea links should be the Navy’s most important task.
The navy also had important duties towards potential allies. Thus, in 1949, the Chief of the West Coast Naval District was tasked with interacting with possible Allied naval forces and preparing for their basing. In addition, cooperation with the British Navy and Norway was planned with regard to maritime security. Cooperation with Denmark was planned in the field of mines.
The Commander-in-Chief’s proposals for the long-term development of defence in 1954 set out a number of principles that would, in principle, apply throughout the Cold War. The main task of the Armed Forces was to be war deterrence – i.e. to deter attack. Until the 1960s, the Armed Forces (Krigsmakten as it was then called) would hold off an attacker long enough for us to receive military assistance from outside; i.e. from NATO. The principle of deep defence came to form the overarching doctrine: the attacker would be met already off its coast with submarines, mines and attack aircraft but the main battle – « meet, stop and strike » – would be fought close to the Swedish coast with the intention of preventing the attacker from getting a « firm footing on Swedish soil ». Maritime security would be de-prioritised, our supply would be based on emergency storage. No special resources would be provided for neutrality protection.
H:son-Ericson became Chief of the Navy in 1953, a post he retained until 1961. He had understood that the Navy needed a credible plan for the future, which led to Naval Plan 60, which involved a transition to a light fleet of destroyers and torpedo, missile and gunboats
His thinking can be summarised in three points:
– Using light ships and offensive tactics to contest enemy control of the sea;
– Citadel: a defensive strategy involving deep defence and using the archipelago for protection;
– Combination with other defence branches but with the fleet under naval command. This point also includes the importance of protecting own sea links; especially on the west coast. It is sometimes forgotten that the light fleet of submarines, torpedo boats and (later) missile boats would also include frigates for maritime protection.
Naval Plan 60 was submitted to the government in 1959. It was based on very extensive studies in the naval staff based on scientific studies, operational analysis, foreign studies, etc. The plan became the guiding principle in the development of the navy during the 1960s.
The plan was quite well received by the government. The idea that the ships would become smaller while the increase in their number was more doubtful was fully accepted. The ships became smaller but they did not become more numerous. Naval Plan 60 thus remained a pipe dream because its quantitative objectives were never achieved. The tactical consequence was that the invasion defence task became the central one and the ships were deployed closer and closer to the coast. The latter was also due to the fact that until the mid-1980s the fleet lacked a modern seagoing robot.
The ÖB’s downgrading of naval security was followed by the decision in 1972 to abandon the shipborne submarine hunting function. This decision had serious consequences in the context of the, in all likelihood, Soviet submarine incursions of the 1980s. In terms of naval strategy, the decision meant that the navy was left to fight only that task. The basic naval task of protecting sea links disappeared.
The submarine incursions of the 1980s had major consequences. The U-137, called ‘Whisky on the rocks’, which ran aground in military territory near Karlskrona, was the most famous. As a result, submarine hunting became the Navy’s priority task. From 1982 until the early 1990s, it waged a full-scale war against these submarines. First slowly, then at an increasingly rapid pace, the Navy acquired adapted weapon systems, developed effective tactics and made the naval operational system work. Since no other navy had such conditions to cope with, it had been necessary to develop both the tactics and the equipment it needed. Towards the end of the 1980s – and of the Cold War! – Sweden had a well-trained submarine hunting force that had been adapted to the very difficult hydrographic conditions of the Baltic Sea and the archipelagos with their shallow waters. The improvement in spirit and morale can hardly be underestimated.
With the RBS 15M robotic system on the Norrköping-class robotic boats, the fleet in the mid-1980s finally gained a capability that allowed strategic manoeuvring. But this also required strategic thinking. But the theoretical underpinnings had fallen by the wayside while the surface attack was being reorganised. « So we had good ships with excellent weapons systems but there was a lack of clarity about the basic tasks and concepts of naval operations. »
The then Captain Tornberg’s inaugural address to the Kungl. Krigsvetenskapsakademien in 1984 is particularly interesting. He noted that Corbett had emphasised that the aim of naval warfare must always be, directly or indirectly, to secure dominion at sea or to prevent the enemy from obtaining it. But « In Sweden we had become caught up in a stereotyped study and planning of defence against a coastal invasion and we have lost the essential overriding factors in naval warfare, » he wrote.
The submarine hunt of the 1980s was conceptually part of invasion defence. The protection of our shipping was still a low priority. It is only in the last perspective planning of the Cold War – ÖB 90 – that this task reappears – as part of the « ÖB’s 10 points ».
After the Cold War
It is an irony of fate that the international system was fundamentally changed by the fall of the Berlin Wall at the same time as the navy finally received adapted equipment and regained the naval mindset. Now it was time to find new strategies.
During the so-called strategic time-out from 2000 to 2004, there was massive disarmament. The navy lost most of its ships.
According to Prop 2004/05:5, the main focus of the navy’s activities would be in south-east Sweden. « The naval base command should therefore be located in Karlskrona. The naval base should operate in the Karlskrona region, in the Stockholm region and on the west coast. Within the framework of the naval base, it should be possible to base naval units on the West Coast to at least the same extent as hitherto. » At the same time, the last naval unit on the West Coast – the 48th Patrol Boat Division – had been disbanded in 2001. This meant the disappearance of the small remaining capacity to protect Sweden’s shipping to the west.
The bill further provided « that by the end of 2008 the essential elements of the naval force should include seven surface combatants, seven minesweepers, four submarines, an amphibious battalion, a maritime information battalion and the signals intelligence ship Orion. Patrol boats, missile boats and the Stockholm-type corvette will be phased out. » One can compare this with an article by the then Chief of the Navy Lindemalm in TiS No. 2 1967. He points out that « The navy had been seriously reduced in recent years – from 130 combat ships in 1950 to 115 in 1966. »
With the 2004 defence decision, the task of defending the country against invasion basically disappeared – the task of protecting our maritime relations had, as we have seen, already been removed. However, a new task was added: international cooperation or naval diplomacy. By the mid-1990s, the navy had already devoted increasing effort to interoperability with NATO. Increasing interest was being devoted to international, peace-building tasks. These became a reality with the operations in Lebanon and Somalia (Operation Atalanta) and the leasing of a manned submarine to the US Navy.
The 2009 Defence Decision brought the government’s attention to the importance of the sea lanes. Now the navy’s ships were considered too small! At the same time, the Baltic Sea was given priority over peacekeeping tasks far away, which is natural given the importance of the sea lanes in this inland sea. However, this realisation did not lead to any concrete action.
An important problem here was that during the late 20th century the navy was increasingly integrated into the Armed Forces while at the same time letting go of its roots in the maritime world. Paradoxically, as the broad concept of security became more important with the end of the Cold War, the navy’s tasks were narrowed. Tasks such as fisheries support, icebreaking and maritime surveying have been transferred to civilian authorities. One of the major problems for the future is therefore how the navy can be part of both an integrated defence force and the maritime community.
The west coast was and is Sweden’s gateway to the great seas and the centre of vital shipping. The 2015 Defence Committee wrote: « Sweden is one of the world’s most globalised countries with extensive trade. Our prosperity and security is closely linked to that of our neighbours but also to other regions further afield. » Again, this insight does not lead to any more concrete action.
At the same time as most of the fleet has been scrapped, Swedish-flagged shipping has been in a slump. This has played a very important role in the economic development of Sweden. As late as the mid-1960s, Sweden was still one of the major maritime nations. Swedish shipyards were world leaders. From the 1970s onwards, the trend went backwards as neither shipyards nor shipping companies were able to remain competitive. Nor was there any political support. In 2010, it was predicted that there would soon be no Swedish-flagged ships left. The low-water mark was reached in 2017. By then, shipping’s share of domestic transport had fallen from 56% (1962) to 37% (2012). Since then, various policy measures have been taken and now the Swedish-flagged merchant fleet is growing again. In 2019, the number of Swedish-flagged vessels passed the 100 mark. But there is still a long way to go – in 1974 there were over 750! Here it must be remembered that only Swedish-flagged vessels can be called upon in times of trouble.
The 2019 Defence Committee report wrote: « The Defence Committee notes that in the Perspective Study (2018), the Swedish Armed Forces highlight the need to be able to conduct maritime security operations with the aim of protecting shipping or transport in several geographical areas at the same time. With limited resources, the need for maritime security must be operationally balanced against the ability to respond to armed attack and thus the overall war-fighting capability of the overall defence. To address both tasks in a strategic context, simultaneously and over time, a significant increase in naval forces is needed. » So far, so good, but the paragraph’s conclusion implies something quite different: « The Committee believes that the management of sea links to the West must be seen in an international perspective. »
In plain language, this meant that western maritime links, crucial to our security, would be managed by others. A return to Jung’s 1930 thesis! The conclusion was that « the Defence Committee proposes that the main focus of the Navy’s capability should be to respond to armed attack in the Baltic Sea. » This solves the dilemma of the title – the West Coast is handled by others because we do not have, and politically do not want, a capability to protect our supply.
But the decision to join NATO will change a lot. How, we don’t know, but Defence Minister Hultqvist’s article in DN 2022-07-27 contains some clues, including: ‘The same applies to [The ambition is to increasingly take joint responsibility for security in the northern region] the area stretching from Oslo, the Swedish west coast down to the Danish straits and the inlet to the Baltic Sea. Here it is important that both naval and air forces are present and that joint responsibility is planned from Norway, Denmark and Sweden. »
French President Macron recently said that « the 21st century will be maritime. » The sea is where the resources of the future are, the sea plays a key role in climate change, without shipping the world and Sweden will stop. But this realisation is having difficulty making itself felt in Sweden.
The navy was created for power projection – to liberate Sweden from the Danish army. Thus, the Swedish navy deviates from the common view that a navy’s main task is to secure its own and prevent enemy communications at sea.
This prioritisation of the navy’s role in the conquest and later defence of territory runs like a red thread through history. But it is also a false picture. Until Sweden lost Finland in 1809, it was the navy that held the empire together and enabled the Swedish army to fight in Finland, the Baltic States, Poland, Germany and Denmark. This role has been suppressed at least in part because the established war history, written by the General Staff’s War History Department, has chosen to ignore the naval part of our war history as pointed out by G. Unger under the telling title « Sjöhistoriska vrångbilder » in No. TiS 10 1925.
Another reason is that naval war history has chosen to concentrate on the spectacular – the relatively few major naval battles. The daily activities of the navy – naval presence and diplomacy, protection of communications both within the Swedish realm and with regard to international trade – are rarely portrayed.
A third reason is that naval representatives themselves have chosen to concentrate on the role of the navy in invasion defence. One reason is the lack of Swedish naval warfare theory. Fleet-in-being is a strategy precisely for invasion defence. There has been no overall naval strategy – until now. One can mention here A Navy for Sweden published by the Royal Naval Academy and Our Navy for a Secure Sweden and a Strong Europe published by the Royal Navy Academy. Krigsvetenskapsakademien. In recent years, Tidskrift i Sjöväsendet has published a relatively large number of articles on the need for Swedish shipping and its protection. As the quote from FB 2019 above shows, it is difficult to get these ideas accepted.
A fourth reason is the lack of higher education. Kungl. Sjökrigshögskolan was first created in 1898 and was abolished in 1961 when it was replaced by the army-dominated Kungl. Military Academy. Now, thanks to the transformation of the Defence College into a proper university, naval theory has also received a boost.
Well – the dilemma? There is nothing to suggest that the Swedish naval leadership perceived a dilemma regarding the naval base. The dilemma, to the extent that one can speak of one, has concerned the task – defence of communications relative to power projection – from 1819 invasion defence. It is only in recent years, after the unprecedented disarmament of the 21st century, that the low numbers of the navy combined with a greater understanding of the importance of maritime security pose a dilemma. Today’s fleet has too few ships to be able to operate in the East as well as in the West.
We conclude by quoting Landqvist’s 1914 lecture again: ‘He who controls the sea around Sweden, controls Sweden. May we not forget this testimony of history! »
 Depeyre, Michel : Entre Vent et eau. Un siècle d’hésitations tactiques et stratégiques 1790-1890, Économica et Institut de Stratégie Comparée, 2003), p. 294-295. Alla översättningar av författaren
 Lambert, Andrew: Seapower States.Maritime Culture, Continental Empires and the Conflict that Made the Modern World, Yale University Press, New Haven and London 2018, s. 3, 39
 Ferner, Bengt: Inträdes-Tal om Sjö-Magt hållet för Kongl. Vetensk. Academien den 28 Augusti 1756, Lars Salvius, Stockholm 1756
 Op. cit,. Depeyre, Michel, se not 1, s. 25
 Motte, Martin: “Splendor Rei Navalis”, Stratégique, no. 118, 2018, s. 71.
 Op. Cit., Ferner, se not 3, s. 12
 Till, Geoffrey: Seapower. A Guide for the Twenty-first Century, Frank Cass, London and Portland 2004, s. 4,
 Op. Cit., Ferner, se not 3, s. 9, 14
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 Castex, Amiral [Raoul],: Théories stratégiques, vol V, Économica, Paris 1997, s 87.
 Op. Cit., Ferner, se not 3, s. 14
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 Hattendorf, John: “‘Fleet in Being’ in Historical Perspective,” Naval War College Review. vol. 67, no. 1 (Winter 2014), s. 43-44.
 « Les mines marines, une menace toujours d’actualité », Brèves marines no 139, CESM, 14.12.2011.
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 Corbett, Sir Julian S.: Some Principles of Maritime Strategy, Conway Maritime Press, London 1972 , s. 90
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 Wedin, Lars: From Sun Tzu to Hyperwar. A Strategic Encyclopaedia, The Royal Swedish Academy of War Sciences, Stockholm 2019, s. 168.
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 E-mail 2021-09-17 från Fred Hocker, Director of Research, Vasa Museum, Ph.D
 Glete, Jan: Warfare at Sea 1500 – 1650. Maritime Conflicts and the Transformation of Europe, Routledge, London, 2000, s. 71
 Op.cit., Wendt, se fotnot 19, s. 82.
 Heckscher, Eli. F.: Den svenska handelssjöfartens ekonomiska historia sedan Gustaf Vasa, Almqvist & Wicksell boktryckeri AB, Uppsala 1940, s. 10 – 11. (Skrifter utgivna av Sjöhistoriska Samfundet I)
 Ibid, s. 10
 Ibid, s.13.
 Svensson, Harry R:son: ”Sveriges historia från sjösidan”, Tidskrift i Sjöväsendet no 1, 2019, s. 69.
 Zetterberg, Kent och Hofsten, Gustaf von: Svensk sjömakt under 500 år. Flottan från Gustav Vasa till Carl XVI Gustaf, Svenskt Militärhistoriskt Biblioteks Förlag, Stockholm 2018, s.42.
 Ericson Wolke, Lars och Hammar, AnnaSara : Sjömakt & sjöfolk. Den svenska flottan under 500 år, Nordic Academic Press, Lund 2022, s. 110
 Ibid, s. 118
 Författaren har som sjöofficer upplevt en hel del is i Karlskrona, inte minst vintern 1987
 Unger, G: ”Förspelet till Karlskrona örlogsstations grundläggande”, Tidskrift i Sjöväsendet, no 1, 1934 s. 3 – 29.
 Jag har sett en uppgift om att en fransk hamnstad stod modell för Karlskrona men jag kan inte konfirmera detta.
 Karlskronavarvet’ https://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karlskronavarvet.
 Op. Cit., Wendt, se fotnot 19, s. 426.
 Ljungberg, E.A.: ”Karlskrona. Örlogsstationen och staden”, Tidskrift i Sjöväsendet no 2, 1924, s. 89.
 Modig, Nils : Båtsmän från Bohuslän. Tjänsten i flottan och livet på torpet, Universus Academic Press, s. 15, 39.
 Op. cit., Svensson, se fotnot 26, s. 71
 Op. cit., Wolke och Hammar, se fotnot 29, s. 120
 Warfvinge, Henrik: Nya Varvets historia. gg-kamratforening.se/arkivet/Nya%20varvets%20historia.pdf, s. 6 -9.
 Op. cit., Heckscher, se fotnot 23, s. 15.
 Ibid, s. 17.
 Op. cit., Wolke och Hammar, se fotnot 29, s. 121.
 Ibid, s. 122 – 123.
 Ibid s. 124.
 Ibid, s. 133
 Ibid. s. 122, Op. cit., Heckscher, se fotnot 23, s. 18, Op. cit., Warfvinge, se fotnot 42, s. 10.
 Kämpe, Fredrik: “Konvojsystemet, den seglande flottan och Kungl. Konvojkommissariatet”, Forum Navale nr 70, s. 115.
 Op. cit., Wolke och Hammar, se fotnot 29, s. 133
 Ibid. s. 133 – 134.
 Op. Cit., Zetterberg och Hofsten, se fotnot 28, s. 43 – 45.
 Op. cit., Wolke och Hammar, se fotnot 29, s. 136.
 Op. Cit., Zetterberg och Hofsten, se fotnot 28, s. 10.
 Op. cit., Wolke och Hammar, se fotnot 29, s. 127.
 Modig, Nils: Brittiska flottan i Östersjön, Universus Academic Press, 2021 s. 42
 Op. cit., Wolke och Hammar, se fotnot 29, s. 138
 Op. cit., Kämpe, se fotnot 50, s. 115
 Op. cit., Heckscher, se fotnot 23, s. 18
 Op. cit., Wolke och Hammar, se fotnot 29, s. 127 – 129
 Martin, Motte : Une éducation géostratégique. La pensée navale française de la jeune école à 1914, Economica et Institut de Stratégie Comparée, Paris, 2004, s. 61.
 Op. cit., Wolke och Hammar, se fotnot 29, s. 134 – 135
 Op. cit., Warfvinge, se fotnot 42, s. 10.
 Citerat i Aldridge, David Denis: Admiral Sir John Norris and the British Naval Expeditions to the Baltic Sea 1715 – 1727, Nordic Academic Press, Lund 2009, s. 137
 Op. cit., Wedin, se fotnot 9, s. 194 – 196.
 Guibert, Comte Jacques de: Essai général de tactique, Economica, Paris 2004 , s. 223. « Öken » betecknar här frånvaron av logistiska resurser i det fattiga Ukraina
 Op. cit., Svensson, se fotnot 26, s. 71.
 Ibid. s. 72.
 Op. cit., Kämpe, se fotnot 50, s. 118, 144.
 Föredrag i Académie de marine 2019-05-15 och https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Jeanne-Elisabeth (brick)
 Op. cit., Kämpe, se fotnot 50, s. 146.
 Op. cit., Wolke och Hammar, se fotnot 29, s. 143
 Op. cit., Warfvinge, se fotnot 42, s. 10 – 11.
 Op. cit., Wolke och Hammar, se fotnot 29, s. 147.
 Op. cit., Wolke och Hammar, se fotnot 29, s. 152
 Ibid., s. 151.
 Ibid., s. 156.
 Ibid,. s. 164
 Rubel, Robert: “Command of the Sea. An Old Concept Resurfaces in a New Form”, Naval War College Review, vol. 65, no. 4.
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 Op. cit., Depeyre, se fotnot 84, s. 90 – 93.
 Op. cit., Wolke och Hammar, se fotnot 29, s. 379. Wolke skriver att Evolutioner till sjös till ”betydande del” var en översättning av Hostes verk.
 Op. cit., Depeyre, se fotnot 84, s. 107
 Op. cit., Wolke och Hammar, se fotnot 29, s. 171 – 172.
 Ibid. s. 173 – 174.
 Op. cit., Corbett, se fotnot 16, s. 55.
 Op. cit., Wolke och Hammar, se fotnot 29, s. 178 – 183.
 Op. cit., Heckscher, se fotnot 23, s. 23.
 Op. cit., Corbett, se fotnot 16, s. 90.
 Op. cit., Heckscher, se fotnot 23, s. 28
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 Op. cit., Baeckström, se fotnot 117, s. 68.
 Mahan var en flitig skribent och kom med tiden att inta en mer nyanserad hållning men det är för den här redovisade synen han är känd.
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 Wrangel, H.: “Naval Warfare af Colomb och The Influence of Sea Power af Mahan”, Tidskrift i Sjöväsendet nr 2, 1895, s. 118
 Lybeck, Otto och Hägg, Erik: ’Strategi och fartygsbyggnad’, Tidskrift i sjöväsendet nr 2, 1903, s. 120 – 143
 Flach, C.G.: ”Stockholm eller Carlskrona? Ett riksviktigt strategiskt spörsmål”, Tidskrift i Sjöväsendet nr 1, 1904, s. 54 – 86, nr 2, 1904 s. 128 – 141. Se också Norrbohm, O.: ”Carlskrona och Stockholm. Ett riksviktigt – spörsmål”, Tidskrift i sjöväsendet nr 4, 1904, s. 434 – 439, Flach. C.G. ”Carlskrona och Stockholm. Ett riksviktigt – spörsmål”, Tidskrift i sjöväsendet nr 2, 1905, s. 141 – 154, Hjulhammar, C.A.: ”Carlskrona stations betydelse för Sveriges försvar”, Tidskrift i sjöväsendet nr 2. 1905, s. 211 – 223.
 C. E. Holmberg: ”Engelska flottans stora manövrer 1906 efter utländska tidskrifter och tidningar”, Tidskrift i sjöväsendet nr 1, 1907, s. 67 – 68
 Landquist, D.: “Sjömaktens inflytande på Sveriges historia”, Tidskrift i sjöväsendet nr 3, 1914, s. 251 – 269.
 Citatet från Mahan, Alfred Thayer: The Influence of Sea Power upon the French Revolution and Empire, 1793–1812, vol. II, 1892, citerat i Heinl, Robert Debs Jr: Dictionary of Military and Naval Quotations, US Naval Institute, Annapolis 1966, s. 289. Texten återges på engelska eftersom dess märg skulle försvinna vid en översättning
 När ej annat anges Op. cit., Wedin, se fotnot 118.
 GO 150H, 2/8 1914
 GO 428H 2/11 1915.
 Olofsson, Jan: ”Försvaret till sjöss. Studier i svensk sjöförsvarspolitik under mellankrigstiden och andra världskriget”, Forum Navale nr 40, 1984, s. 5.
 Berge, Anders: ” Sakkunskap och politisk rationalitet: den svenska flottan och pansarfartygsfrågan, 1918 -1939”, Almqvist & Wiksell International, Stockholm 1987, s. 107.
 Landquist, Daniel: Några av sjöstrategiens grunder, Marinlitteraturföreningens förlag, Stockholm, 1935.
 Edling, Per: La pensée de l’amiral Stigh H:son H:son-Ericson. Une étude de la pensée navale Suédois au vingtième siècle, Mémoire de stratégie, Paris, 2011.
 Op. Cit., Landquist, se fotnot 133, s.63
 Ibid. s. 65.
 Ibid. s. 36.
 H:son-Ericson, S.: Trupptransporter till sjöss: en studie i världskrigets belysning, Marinlitteraturföreningen, Stockholm 1943, s. 161 – 162, 168. Observera att detta är allmängiltigt påstående, huruvida H:son-Ericson ansåg att denna tanke också skulle appliceras på det svenska försvaret framgår inte.
 Op. cit., Castex, Raoul, Se fotnot 10, Tome I, s. 105. H:son Ericsons formulering är nästan identisk.
 Op. cit., Wedin, se fotnot 118, s. 225.
 von Kruusenstierna, H.: Likheter och olikheter mellan sjökriget på innanhaven och på oceanerna, Marinlitteraturföreningen, Stockholm 1930, s. 69
 Op. Cit., Landquist, se fotnot 133, s. 76.
 Op. cit., Olofsson, se fotnot 131, s. 8
. Op. Cit., H:son-Ericson, se fotnot 138, s. 261 – 266.
 Försvarsminister Sköld vid Flottans Reservofficersförbunds 10-årsjubilieum i mars 1945. Ericson, Stig H:son,: Knopar på logglinan, Bonniers, Stockholm 1986, s. 184
 Werner, Christopher: ”Andra världskriget – Kustflottan och neutralitetsvakten” i Hofsten, Gustaf von och Rosenius, Frank (red); Kustflottan. De svenska sjöstridskrafterna under 1900-talet, Kungl. Örlogsmannasällskapet, Stockholm 2009, s. 81 – 127.
 Jung, Helge: Vårt framtida försvar: Överbefälhavarens förslag, P.A. Norstedt & söners förlag, Stockholm 1947
 Haglund, Magnus och Wallén, Göran R.: ”30 år av kallt krig” i Hofsten, Gustaf von och Rosenius, Frank (red): Kustflottan. De svenska sjöstridskrafterna under 1900-talet, Kungl. Örlogsmannasällskapet, Stockholm 2009, s. 129.
 Ibid. s. 134.
 Ibid., s. 136
 Se Ibid. s. 151.
 Texten om Marinplan 60 bygger huvudsakligen på Op, cit., Edling, Per, se fotnot 134 s. 188.
 Bojerud, Stellan: ”Krigserfarenheter, ekonomi och marint nytänkande. Lätt flotta 1945 – 1963”, Tidskrift i sjöväsendet nr 2, 1984, s. 103, 107.
 Frisk, Göran:”Från jagarflottilj till ytattackflottilj och ubåtsjaktstyrka”, Tidskrift i sjöväsendet nr. 2, 1994, s. 96.
 Tornberg, Claes, ”Sjömakt eller vanmakt”, Tidskrift i sjöväsendet, nr 3, 1985. s. 197 – 204.
 Ibid. s. 199
 Artikelförfattaren deltog i detta arbete
 Regeringens proposition 2004/05:5 Vårt framtida försvar Prop. 2004/05:5, s. 165
 Ibid. S. 64
 Lindemalm, Åke: ”Aktuella marina försvarsproblem”, Tidskrift i sjöväsendet nr 2. 1967, s. 90.
 Försvarsberedningen, Försvaret av Sverige Starkare försvar för en osäker tid, Ds 2014:20, s. 22.
 Försvarsberedningen, Värnkraft, Ds 2019:8, s. 191.
 Ibid. s. 189
 Hultqvist, Peter: ”Natomedlemskap öppnar för operationsplanering med USA”, DN debatt 2022-07-27
 Gallois, Stéphan: ”Emmanuel Macron aux Assises de la mer : « Le XXIe siècle sera maritime » », Ouest-France 2019-12 -03.
 Erfarenhet av redaktörsskapet för Tidskrift i sjöväsendet 2017 – 21.
 Op. cit., Landquist, se fotnot 126, s. 269