Blood in the Baltic"...what I'd give not even for a fleet but for a bridge! Such a narrow space of water, I could practically reach across and touch Sweden..."
- Napoleon I of France
holding her own and fending off a much larger vessel at Nargen kept the Gulf of Finland open for the exit of the Russian Baltic Fleet from Kronstad; the campaign ahead that concluded both the Finnish War and the Anglo-Russian War moved rapidly and surprisingly unfavorably to the British position.
The Russian fleet's emergence into the Baltic - albeit slowly, and reluctantly, under instructions from Tsar Alexander - changed the equation for Admiral James Samuarez, who immediately linked up his most able vessels with the Swedish fleet. The Battle of Hanko proceeded shortly thereafter, with Russia's aim being to clear the Baltic archipelago of any threats to their campaigns in Finland. At Hanko, such a fight occurred; the evenly-matched fleets clashed for two days before the Swedes, having suffered grievous losses (four ships sunk or struck), were driven back into port. The British vessels, HMS Centaur
, retreated, leaving the Russian fleet with the Baltic largely at its mercy.
Samuarez was informed as the situation turned bleaker for the Royal Navy in the summer of 1808 that Napoleon was massing his forces in Denmark to threaten Sweden; if nothing else, the great army on the coast of the Oresund kept desperately needed Swedish forces out of Finland, where they could ward off the advancing Russians. Deducing that Russia was being nudged into the conflict continuously against her will, Samuarez decided on what he considered a great feint - to retreat through the Kattegat as a ruse, wait for Napoleon's forces to mass and request Russian assistance to cross to Scania, and then smash the invasion fleet and perhaps even the accompanying Russian vessels in those narrow waters. The Russian Baltic threat would be removed permanently, a Baltic Trafalgar; perhaps, even, it would end the war in Finland and create impetus for a Fifth Coalition. He set sail for Gothenburg posthaste.
The gambit was sensible - it was not unreasonable to suspect that Russia would provide some assistance to opening up not just the threat of a third front 
in Scandinavia but a live one, an invasion into Sweden proper that would give their French post-Tilsit allies control over both sides of the entrance to the Baltic. To crush Napoleon's invasion - perhaps even with the Emperor aboard one of the ships! - would have made Samuarez a hero in London. But, the Admiral forgot one thing, and that was Napoleon's own penchant for innovation.
The British fleet, confident that no Danish vessels could molest it after the bombing of Copenhagen, moved into the Oresund, with a small Swedish contingent of three frigates traveling with them. The ambush laid by Napoleon was a stroke of brilliance; though he had no command of the sea the way the Royal Navy did, he did command the land, and with the armies routed north from Spain and kept ready in Denmark was much of the French artillery, now lined up along the coasts, as well as a small flotilla of Danish gunboats. The Battle of Oresund was known in later years as the "Gauntlet of Grapeshot;" the entire route from Amager to Helsingborg was lit up with cannon fire, cannonballs raining down on the fleet as the smaller but nonetheless daring Danish vessels formed a line at the northern mouth of the strait to create a temporary blockade. It was a bit of luck for Napoleon, who had not expected such a maneuver but upon hearing from scouting vessels two days before that Samuarez was bringing the weight of the Baltic Fleet with him, the move was obvious. That half of the Russian fleet was in pursuit was pure divine intervention, though they arrived days late. Of the vessels Samuarez tried to bring through the Oresund, three were sunk, and six so damaged they were forced to return to Britain for repairs; the Admiral himself was killed by a stray cannonball, and the surviving vessels holed up in Gothenburg before setting out over the North Sea home. The Russian fleet held the line to block a Swedish counterattack, with several vessels committing to a blockade of Swedish vessels in Karlskrona and Stockholm; Napoleon moved five thousand men across the Oresund in early September, establishing a small beachhead for a larger force. When winter came and Russians daringly marched across the frozen Gulf of Bothnia, the opportunity for more Frenchmen to cross emerged, and soon the bulk of his army was in Scania. King Gustaf IV was deposed by a cabal of Swedish nobles alarmed at the rapid advance of Napoleon in the south and Russia in the north; his uncle was proclaimed Charles XIII, with strictly limited powers, shortly thereafter...
 Bear in mind, Denmark can harry Sweden from Norway