I have full intentions for a war Sweden against Denmark-Norway to happen.It was a long term strategic plan of Sweden so nothing unrealistic about it, the main problem with it was that it was pure foolishness. Sweden believed that Norway would become a new Finland, which they could threat in a similar way, The problem was that Norway didn’t have that potential and that there was no positive synergy effect of Norway as a Swedish province. Sweden would have been far better off simply looking inward and develop the territory they already own.
Possibly I missed something but the only thing that I could find so far related to money was Treaty of Värälä signed in 1790 and it talks only about Russian permission to buy annually duty free in the Russian Baltic ports 50,000 rubles worth of bread (grain, flour) and 200,000 rubles worth of hemp for 8 years. https://rusidea.org/25081605Well OTL a defensive alliance between Russia and Sweden was signed.
OTL subsidies of 300 000 rubles annually for 8 years was paid.
Hmm, might have to go back and edit to something else.Possibly I missed something but the only thing that I could find so far related to money was Treaty of Värälä signed in 1790 and it talks only about Russian permission to buy annually duty free in the Russian Baltic ports 50,000 rubles worth of bread (grain, flour) and 200,000 rubles worth of hemp for 8 years. https://rusidea.org/25081605
Now comes the interesting part related to the treaty of 1791:
the wiki site on the Treaty of Värälä (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Värälä) does not include information above but mentions subsidy of 300,000 as related to the treaty of 1791. However the original text of the alliance treaty of 1791 does not contain any mentioning of the subsidy https://www.prlib.ru/item/850237 (I just looked through it). The same goes for the alliance treaty of 1799 https://www.prlib.ru/item/451027
Which most probably means that information supplied on wiki site is incorrect (a big surprise ).
Hmm, might have to go back and edit to something else.
This short transcription of "The Treaty of the defensive alliance between Russia and Sweden"
Mentions subsidies, but no number.
Two treaties between the Russian Empire and Sweden concluding the Russo-Swedish War of 1788-1790: the Treaty of Värälä (Traité de Paix, 1790) and the peaceful defense alliance treaty (Traité d'Alliance defensive entre la Russie et la Suede, 1791)viaLibri is the world's largest search engine for old, rare & second-hand books.www.vialibri.net
I refrase it.I read a complete original text and there is nothing in it about the subsidies. The only financial matters mentioned are related to the maintenance of the troops sent to help an attacked side in the case of war. Taking into an account that I don’t need help in reading Russian, and that the treaty of October 19, 1791 contains 21 article and not six, it looks like synopsis you are referencing to is a little bit confused mixing treaties of Varala and Drottingholm and allowance for the duty free purchases (from Varala Treaty) with the direct subsidies.
Moreover, I looked at various articles on the budget of CII Russia and while they contain various items all the way to financing the orphanages, I did not find any mentioning of the regular foreign subsidies (of course, these articles do not provide complete detailed lists so this is not an ultimate proof).
So Catherine visits Sweden??? Peter I famously toured Europe; Alexander I went on campaign with his army. But I don't believe any reigning Tsar or Tsaritsa between them ever left the country .Summer 1791, in Stockholm.
That was unusual; AFAICT it was very rare for a reigning monarch to travel outside the country except on campaign.Why would it be a huge deal? An alliance between Russia and Sweden was formed in 1791, and the new king Gustav IV was invited and visited St. Petersburg in 1796.
I refrase it.
The documents with the 21 articles and what was agreed upon are in 5 or 6 documents with several pages in the archives that the National Archives have.
But judging by the treaty of 1791 Sweden did not really need any subsidies for the military needs: its contingents defined by the treaty are smaller than Russian but quite comparable in size. And, taking into an account that at that time both Russian army and navy had been in a rather sorry state, I’d assume that Swedish forces were probably on the same or a higher level in the terms of organization and discipline.I can still make it work credible, I needed a higher income for the Swedish state, with 0 rubles in subsidy in the treaty of Drottningholm october 19 1791 even 10 rubles is a higher income than OTL.
Operation rewriting is a go.
I blame this whole ordeal on the Wikipedia author of the treaties of Värälä. And myself for not fact checking.
I don't think she visited Drottningholm castle in real history. See it as my homebrew version where Gustav III was even more flattering in his letter to her than OTL and she felt for a short boat ride cross the Baltic.So Catherine visits Sweden??? Peter I famously toured Europe; Alexander I went on campaign with his army. But I don't believe any reigning Tsar or Tsaritsa between them ever left the country .
Gustav IV stayed quite a long time in Saint Petersburg.That was unusual; AFAICT it was very rare for a reigning monarch to travel outside the country except on campaign.
You, who can read and speak Russian, read the originals who did not contain any mentioning of subsidies. I am starting to think there was no subsidies, so far only the Wikipedia page claim there was subsidies.Well, there could be some other agreements, including the secret ones, but so far I did not find any reference to them. The only thing that I can say more or less definitely is that the specific treaty which the “anglophone” sites are referencing to does not contain information they are saying it does. It also worth noticing that these sites tend to bundle together two different treaties (piece - 1790 and alliance - 1791) thus creating an additional confusion and opening a possibility for confusing, as I said, favorable trade allowances with the subsidies.
I am ITTL trying to build a stronger and even more disciplined army than OTL, and have the eastern fortresses truly completed, for that a better economy is needed.But judging by the treaty of 1791 Sweden did not really need any subsidies for the military needs: its contingents defined by the treaty are smaller than Russian but quite comparable in size. And, taking into an account that at that time both Russian army and navy had been in a rather sorry state, I’d assume that Swedish forces were probably on the same or a higher level in the terms of organization and discipline.
Absolutely. That trade deal was part of the peace, perhaps there is some negotiations that could sweeten that deal in a alliance treaty.Actually, an ability to purchase hemp at essentially discount price for the next 8 years should be a big bonus for the Swedish navy.
I am 100% certain that the documents I wish a translated copy of from the National Archives are the same ones you have read. Only difference is that you found and read the Russian copy of the treaty and I want to read a translation of the Swedish copy. It is the same treaty and would contain the same text.Well, if the documents available to you contain certain information, you are not to be blamed for using it or even wiki because I found it in more than one place.
Very interesting but I still did not quite get the reasoning for spending the huge amount of money and. massive effort on the fortifications that can serve some practical purpose only against an ally with whom he does not want to spoil the relations and from whom he is getting some valuable carrots. I’m afraid that the diplomats would be rather useless in that scenario unless CII, Bezborodko, etc. are suffering from a collective dementia.Outside of Uppsala, end of July 1791
Prince Gustav was thrilled, enthusiastically exited. All the late winter´s, springs and early summers theoretical studies about the art of warfare had finally reached the one thing he had longed for the most. Battle! “-Not a real battle of course, but the closest thing” prince Gustav thought for himself. Major general Armfelt had arrange for a military exercise on the fields outside of Uppsala. Gustav was given command over Upplands infantry regiment with the orders of holding Uppsala against an attacking force. The opposing side was Hälsinge infantry regiment. Those two regiments together with Upplands artillery company was to form Upplands brigade during war but for this occasion they would exercise against each other. That was at least the long-term plan if he was to believe general Armfelt, apparently they was not part of the same brigade now, but was to be in the near future, it was a little confusing to Gustav but he did not give the topic any big thoughts, it was time to command in a battle and that was the only thing of importance for now. The artillery company spit in two and each regiment had 6 cannons, 3-pounders, at their disposal. Cartridges without a ball for both cannon and musket was to be fired to make the exercise more realistic. Armfelt followed Gustav to act as his mentor, the colonel in Upplands regiment became second in command for this exercise while the command structure in Hälsinge regiment remained unchanged.
To Armfelts disliking Gustav ordered Uppsala regiment to march forward, to engage the enemy head on in an offensive assault. The prince had learned that cannons was valuably and had them at the back while the regiment marched forward, each battalion forming one column. Hälsinge regiment answered with forming a line, gaps between companies and a 3-pounder cannon in the gaps. The guns of Hälsinge fired fast at the oncoming Upplanders, and not before echoes from at least 5 blasts from the cannons had roared over the fields did prince Gustav order to form a line. His own guns still in the rear, unable to respond to the cannonade behind the infantry in the flat landscape. Upplands regiment formed a line and marched on, under heavy fire from the Hälsinge side giving 3 ranked salvoes before the first salvo from Upplands regiment came.
Armfelt suggested to the prince that perhaps he should try to put his guns in position so they could be used. But the enthusiastic prince ordered a general melee charge instead. The Upplanders charged straight into 2 more ranked salvoes from the Hälsinglanders, second one at 20 meters. The commands of “cease fire, cease fire!” and “halt!” was given by officers and repeated by the non-commissioned officers. All halted, all smiling though the soldiers from Uppland was tired. The exercise ended with Hälsinge regiment ruled as the winner in this battle.
“Well, my young prince. How do you think that played out?” the general asked his student.
“Honestly? It was fantastic! But I think that I might just have lost a battle” the prince answered.
General Armfelt together with the colonels and lieutenant colonels from both Hälsinge and Upplands regiments along with the major from the artillery company held a lesson after lunch with the intention of educating the prince more on warfare. They all agreed that the prince acted with courage sounding the attack. But even the prince agreed that it was unwise to attack a line of infantry reinforced with cannons, especially since his orders was to defend and hold Uppsala. To the officer’s surprise prince Gustav himself said what he should have done different. He should have waited to see what the opposing side would do, perhaps retreat a little and take up position along a stone wall that was half a kilometer behind his first position. Placing the cannons either on a small tree-lined hill northwest of the stone wall or place them among the infantry as the colonel from Hälsinge had done. He could have used his small force of light infantry to harass the enemy as they advanced. If he marched against the enemy, he should have marched with the guns in front, perhaps letting them fire every now and then while advancing. He said he knew now that he should have acted more defensively but he was to excited during the battle and just ordered the men forward.
The officers was a little impressed that a boy not yet 13 of age showed tactical knowledge and that he, prince as he was, actually listened to their words and tutelage. The prince might very well turn up to be a competent field commander when he was a grown man. General Armfelt was pleased with his student and already pondered on what his next assignment for the prince would be. Perhaps he should give him command over an entire brigade or even a larger force in the practical parts of his education next summer, or was that to big of a step for the boy to take?
Stockholm archipelago, August 1791
Prince Gustav felt a taint of seasickness as the archipelago frigate slowly bounced in the waves, he did not feel he had a clear mind. He saw colonel Cronstedt standing in the prow, looking entirely unaffected by the waves. Well, what could the prince expect from a naval officer, that he would puke hanging from the railing? Gustav was not given command of several ships in this, his first naval exercise. Instead, he was to captain this archipelago frigate and engage another archipelago frigate of the same size. Which did not go so well, no matter how Gustav tried to command the ship to move he was not fast enough to respond to the movements of the other ship. He was totally outmaneuvered and when he chased the other vessel in a strait between two islands his adversary swiftly used sail and oars to present its port side to Gustav´s ship and delivered a devastating broadside at close range. Before Gustav´s ship could turn and respond she took yet another broadside. After Gustav ordered the first broadside fire from his ship, he ordered his ship to as fast as humanly possible turn half a lap to fire a broadside from the other side of the ship. Colonel Cronstedt struck his own face with a palm but remained silent. Instead of the fast second volley Gustav hoped for the other vessel had the time to fire 3 broadsides before he could deliver his second and moments later received the sixth broadside from his “enemy”.
With screams and flags colonel Cronstedt ordered a cease fire and aborted the exercise.
“-My prince, what was your thoughts on turning the ship in a half circle?” the colonel asked with both eyebrows lifted.
“-Well, I thought I should start spinning the ship round and round and fire all cannons when they came in reach of the other frigate” was the prince somewhat confusing answer.
“-I believe, your highness, that such a maneuver would only result in the sailors becoming light-headed and our ship blasted to pieces. Not to mention we have to withdraw our oars before giving fire”
6 full broadsides against 2 made all participants agree that the prince had lost this battle. But Gustav was neither disappointed or angry, he knew he had a lot to learn and tried to remember all tips and pointers he heard from the naval officers.
Cronstedt decided this was enough of naval exercises for now and that the prince needed more theoretical studies, a lot more, if he was to command a squadron in an exercise next summer. The prince was not too happy for more books and long lectures, but he was truly motivated to become a commander who people would sing songs and write books about, for that he needed to learn more. Perhaps he could one day invent a maneuver that could actually work, yes he was certain that he would have a naval maneuver named after him.
Back in port Gustav could not help noticing the sheer amount of equipment and supplies in the storages of the naval port. He asked his tutor if all of these was necessary. Cronstedt answered that war ships needed a lot of supplies and equipment, least not in times of war. The young prince had however planted an idea in the colonel’s mind, and he would indeed like to be one of the kings favored ones, like major general Armfelt. He asked the court for a meeting with the king.
Stockholm, September 1791
The king was pleased, now he could realize some of his grand plans for his nation. Colonel Cronstedt´s suggestion was simple, would only increase the income slightly, but still it would increase it. 200,000 rubles worth of hemp each year for 8 years from the trade deal with Russia might be more hemp than the navy needed, at least some of the years. The colonel suggested that the crown would sell the excess hemp bought at a discount from Russia to the always interested British navy. Perhaps the results would be not a single pound of hemp could be sold, but just the possibility to make money made the king interested.
He talked with the army officials, war college, general staff and commanders of fortresses. They said that with the current funding it would take somewhere around 20 years to complete Sveaborg and Svartholm to the original plans of Ehrensvärd and Wrede, as they stated in the briefing with the government earlier this year. The king asked if they could be completed sooner if the funds increased, the army commanders was prepared for such a question and answered that if more money were spent on the fortifications and a high number of cannons was built for the fortresses it could be possible to complete them in 12 years. That was all the king needed to hear.
King Gustav assembled the government for a meeting about the eastern fortifications. The king declared that Sveaborg and Svartholm was to be finished to the original plans, land fortifications, connections between the island forts and all guns needed. There was some protest, mostly from the head of treasury, that such a grand project was not within what the state could afford. Gustav asked if the prolonged trade deal with Russia they just signed, the rooting out of corruption in the over all bureaucracy, streamlining said bureaucracy and increased tax revenue would not be enough to pay for some stone and labor? The head of treasury answered that the increased tax and decrease of costs for the state apparatus had so far given a small amount of money, not to forget that the tax reformation was just a theory now. But he agreed that income for the state appeared to be increasing and that a tax reform would increase it further.
With that the ever-spontaneous king issued a royal decree: Sveaborg and Svartholm should be finished to the original plans, if improvements to the defensive abilities could be made, small changes in the plans was allowed. War was the only acceptable reason to paus the constructions. Soldiers and unemployed people from all over the realm was to be used as workforce. He made every single member of government and Riksdag as well ass all officers above the rank of colonel and represents from Riddarhuset sign the decree. Nothing besides war could stop the constructions of Sweden’s greatest fortress now, and king Gustav was pleased. To take “The lock in the east” by force would be a nearly impossible task. For now the only possible power who might try the fortifications strengths was Russia, who was an ally.
“Hopefully, Catherine will not see this as a hostile move” Gustav thought, and he had his first doubts about the project. To anger Russia was not why he wanted to strengthen the fortifications, and if that would be Russia´s reaction he could use some skilled diplomats.
As you said earlier. They are allies for now.Very interesting but I still did not quite get the reasoning for spending the huge amount of money and. massive effort on the fortifications that can serve some practical purpose only against an ally with whom he does not want to spoil the relations and from whom he is getting some valuable carrots. I’m afraid that the diplomats would be rather useless in that scenario unless CII, Bezborodko, etc. are suffering from a collective dementia.
Besides, with Sweden not having too much of the extra money, would’t these money be better spent upon strengthening army and the navy? BYW, one may only guess for how long Russia would be allowing Sweden to keep purchasing tax free hemp if it becomes known that this hemp, or a big part of it, is being resold to the Brits, thus negatively impacting cost of the Russian own export to the Brits. My guess is that the whole bonanza may end up immediately (unless CII considers it to be too small potato to pay attention).
As you said earlier. They are allies for now.
It is my firm believe that Sweden would have completed it if they could afford it.
I am not certain which date construction ended OTL, if the alliance with Russia was in place or if the alliance happened just after the constructions ended.
CII and the Russian negotiators agreed to give Sweden some rubles to aid Sweden in its military reformation and small build up. Luckily/unfortunately it was not specified exactly how and what was to be built up.
ITTL the constructions on Sveaborg never stopped in 1791 as in OTL, so I guess Russia was probably not unaware that Sweden was still working on the fortress, difference now is will be finished some years earlier.
I agree with the estimated number of needed canons and garrison.The fortress had earlier received very poor funding. Since its completion in 1791, Sveaborg received no extra financial support from the government. “Completion” implies OTL smaller version without the land fortifications. It also means 734 cannons instead of 1,600 and no artillery update since then. Probably for the extended project there would be a need in at least 2,000 cannons so for few all Swedish gun production should go to this fortress (perhaps @von Adler can provide the numbers for the Swedish side but, for comparison, by 1812 Russia was producing 1,200 - 1,300 cannons annually and I’d assume that Swedish of 1790s would be at least couple times smaller). And, instead of OTL 6,000, the garrison would have to be 8 - 10,000 with the corresponding increase of the supplies of all types.
Seafacing fortifications can obviously have landfacing walls and artillery, will try to make a map of the fortress once completed.Now, regarding the initial extended plans, I did not find their schema but:
“There were two main aspects to Ehrensvärd's design for Sveaborg: a series of independent fortifications across several linked islands and, at the very heart of the complex, a navy dockyard. In addition to the island fortress itself, seafacing fortifications on the mainland would ensure that an enemy could not acquire a beach-head from which to stage attacks on the sea fort. The plan was also to stock munitions for the whole Finnish contingent of the Swedish Army and Royal Swedish Navy there.”
Which means that the mainland fortifications were planned against the naval landing, not the land side attack. If such an attack happened, you may chose Singapore or Sevastopol scenario but, IMO, Singapore is more probable.
My plans is to have it atleast semi capable of withstanding a landbased assult.Well, if the things are proceeding according to your (and initial Swedish) scenario, this is going to be a fortification useful strictly against the naval attack (by whom?) and Russian side has nothing to worry about because it does not have a clear naval supremacy and a potential war is going to happen predominantly on land.
To me it seemed somewhat plausible that the Russian side could allow the Swedes to build their fortress if they were building on it during negotiations for an alliance and it was yet another of Gustav III's "projects". As I have said before, Sweden was not a threat to Russia and a fortress is a defensive structure, it can't be moved to Russian territory unless Russia takes the territory where the fortress is locatedWell, of course you can write whatever you want but some plausibility is expected. In OTL funding ended in 1791 so of this is not the case there should be some plausible explanation why the Russian side is OK with the ongoing construction and even continues some kind of financial help (non-existent in OTL). A peace treaty, especially in its financial aspect is not sacrosanct if one side is engaged in something which may be interpreted as a potentially hostile action.
I have no intention to allocate all of the Finnish armys supplies to one location. Hopefully the Swedish command have some strategic knowledge and does not put all its eggs in one basket.And, as far as I can see (with the allowances for me not being some kind of a military genius with the XVIII mentality ) the only reason for CII and after her Paul to be OK with the continued construction is that they (or rather their advisors) are justifiably consider it as a massive folly of the King of Sweden who is wasting more resources than he can afford on a project which provides no realistic benefit (except, potentially, against the Brits ) while stripping the Swedish army and navy of the desperately needed resources. In the case of war with Russia, full implementation of the project means that it is enough to establish a land side blockade, which is easy, to deprive the whole Finnish army of its supplies while keeping a big part of it out of circulation guarding the useless fortress. And if the Russians are managing to even somewhat impede access by the sea, then the navy is in a deep trouble as well. Not to mention that, unless the land side fortifications are greatly extended, the warehouses (on the islands?) would end up with artillery range of a besieged.
Well, an idiot might be a harsh word to describe the current ruler.So, if your “secret plan” is to depict Gustav as an idiot whose reign is disastrous for the country (as the title hints), then you are definitely on a right track and everything is falling into the right place.
I agree with the estemated number of needed canons and garrison.
As in a earlier TL-post I tried to estemate the Swedish guns production to one third of the Russian one after 2 additional canon manufactories will be built. So 4 years of all guns produced to fill the fortress (if all are allocated to that place, hence the 12 year plane)
Seafacing fortifications can obviously have landfacing walls and artillery, will try to make a map of the fortress once completed.
No fortress are impossible to take, but I think that if war comes, Russia will probably siege it from a distance to ensure the estemated 10,000 Swedish soldiers stay put and don't start making trouble in the Russian main force back. To assult it and take it by force would probably be a waste of resources.
My plans is to have it atleast semi capable of withstanding a landbased assult. the land side assault
To me it seemed somewhat plausible that the Russian side could allow the Swedes to build their fortress if they were building on it during negotiations for an alliance and it was yet another of Gustav III's "projects". As I have said before, Sweden was not a threat to Russia and a fortress is a defensive structure, it can't be moved to Russian territory unless Russia takes the territory where the fortress is located
I have no intention to allocate all of the Finnish armys supplies to one location. Hopefully the Swedish command have some strategic knowledge and does not put all its eggs in one basket.
We will have to wait until a war between Russia and Sweden breaks out to see how the fortifications will be used, what forces will be there and if every musket, all powder and canons in Finland will be there or not.
Well, an idiot might be a harsh word to describe the current ruler.
Financial situation will likely be better than OTL with a corruption decrese, streamlining the bureaucracy, tax reform and mercantalictic trade regulations. But that is not something that can give beaucoup money in short time, it will take a while.
Still not a requirement to have all musket, canons and gunpowder in Finland there.Well, you want to have the whole enchilada so over 2,000 cannons had to go to the fortress with the associated amount of the gunpowder, shells and gunners.
The point is that, if per the initial plan these land defenses are intended for repealing the attempts to land from the sea, then their “depth” ion land is shallow and defenses facing the land could be completely absent, as was the case with Sevastopol and even Russian-owned Sveaborg. OTOH, it would be close to impossible to build an effective system of defense against the land attack: look at the map, the perimeter is obviously too long and too convoluted for the existing (and even realistically increased) Swedish resources to build an. uninterrupted line having 1-1.5 km in depth.
View attachment 667209
True.Exactly my point: the critical resources are misplaced and a huge garrison can be kept within a fortress by a smaller or equal force (even if bigger, the opponent has much more resources).
Only true if the following is true :But as you just wrote, such an assault would not happen because it does not make sense. The blockade would be established and it is a matter of time when the fortress is going to capitulate due to the shortage of supplies.
That is possible, he did attack Russia just a few years ago, using Sveaborg in that way.That’s true but the question is still there: is Gustav planning to use it as a supply base for the future attack on Russia? We are still in 1791 and perceived value of the fortresses is still high: look at the effort just wasted on capturing Ochakov.
Let us just wait and see if he lives to see the fortifications completed.But you have Gustav getting an upper hand so his intentions are prevailing over the common sense: sorry, but you can’t have it both ways.
Only if he lives long enough and have enough "power" do decide how it should be used, what should be stored et cetera.Taking into an account that this is your TL, what we are going to see are your plans and so far Gustav is prevailing in them.
Which is in line with Gustav III's OTL personality.Your Gustav is seemingly leading in the same direction double speed because on the top of everything else he is excessively optimistic about resources of his country.
Making it less costly to run a country is not impossible. Least not if the bureaucratic apparatus is larger than it needs to be, if it is "bad" at managing tax funds, if one person can do what two ineffective officials do and many more things could be improved.Yeah, sure. Most of the rulers with program like that ended up either dead or overthrown. You can’t “streamline” bureaucracy because for accomplishing this you need to create an additional bureaucracy doing streamlining.