Battle of Oliva

Battle of Oliva

Infobox Military Conflict
conflict=Battle of Oliwa

partof=the Polish-Swedish War (1625–1629)
date=November 28 1627
place=outside Danzig harbour
result=Polish-Lithuanian victory
commander1=Arend Dickmann
commander2=Niels Göranson Stiernsköld
strength1=10 ships with 179 guns
strength2=6 ships with 140 guns
casualties2=1 ship captured, 1 sunk

The naval Battle of Oliva, also Battle of Oliwa or Battle of Gdańsk Roadstead, took place on 28 November 1627 during the Polish-Swedish War outside Danzig (Gdansk) harbour near Oliva (Oliwa), a village outside of Danzig. It was the biggest and the last naval battle of the Polish royal navy, but it brought a victory over a Swedish squadron.

The Swedes had a strong navy, and they maintained a blockade of the Baltic shore, especially Danzig harbour. On 28 November 1627, the Polish fleet engaged the Swedish blockading squadron. The Polish ships were more numerous, but only four galleons had full combat value, the rest were smaller ships. The Swedes had a longer tradition of seamanship, while the Polish navy was newly formed.

The Polish fleet of ten ships, commanded by admiral Arend Dickmann in the galleon "Sankt Georg" ("Święty Jerzy"), was anchored at Danzig roadstead, while the Swedish squadron of six ships sailed from the direction of the Hel Peninsula. The Poles raised anchors and rushed towards the Swedes, who did not expect such reaction. The battle soon split into two encounters.

The Polish flagship "Sankt Georg", supported by a smaller ship "Meerweib" ("Panna Wodna"), attacked the Swedish "Tigern", flagship of admiral Niels Stiernsköld Fact|date=September 2008. The ships stuck together and the Polish marines fought their way onto and captured "Tigern". Meanwhile the Polish vice admiral's ship, the small galleon "Meerman" ("Wodnik") attacked the larger "Solen" ("The Sun"). As a result the captain of "Solen" blew his ship up rather than allowing it to be captured. The remaining four Swedish ships escaped and a pursuit failed. Both admirals were killed in the battle.

The battle was propagated widely by the Polish court. There also appeared a saying, that: "the sun set at noon that day", referring to the scuttling and subsequent sinking of one of the Swedish ships.

Polish ships:
"They were known in sources with original German names, though now they are now known in Poland for their translated Polish names."

*1st Squadron
**"Ritter Sankt Georg" ("Rycerz Święty Jerzy") ("Knight St George") - galleon, 31 guns, 400t (also known as "Sankt Georg")
**"Fliegender Hirsch" ("Latający Jeleń") ("Flying Deer") - galleon, 20 guns, 300t
** "Meerweib" ("Panna Wodna") ("Sea Virgo") - 12 guns, 160t
**"Schwarzer Rabe" ("Czarny Kruk") ("Black Raven") - 16 guns, 260t
** "Gelber Löwe" ("Żółty Lew") ("Yellow Lion") - 10 guns, 120t
*2nd Squadron
**"Meermann" ("Wodnik") ("Aquarius") - galleon, 17 guns, 200t
**"König David" ("Król Dawid") ("King David") - galleon, 31 guns, 400t, under Jakub Mora
**"Arche Noah" ("Arka Noego") ("Noah's Ark") - 16 guns, 180t
**"Weißer Löwe" ("Biały Lew") ("White Lion") - 8 guns, 200t
**"Feuerblase" ("Płomień") ("Fireblaze") - 18 guns, 240t

Swedish ships:
*"Tigern" ("Tiger") - flagship, galleon, 22 guns, 320 t - captured
*"Solen" ("Sun") - galleon, 38 guns, 300 t - scuttled by her own crew
*"Pelikanen" ("Pelican") - galleon, 20 guns, 200 t
*"Månen" ("Moon") - galleon, 26 guns, 300 t
*"Enhörningen" ("Unicorn") - galleon, 18 guns, 240t
*"Papegojan" ("Parrot") - 16 guns, 180t


*Anderson, R. C. "Naval Wars in the Levant 1559-1853" (2006), ISBN 1-57898-538-2

ee also

*Battle of Zatoka Świeża
*Warship "Vasa"
*List of naval battles
*Military history
*History of Poland

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