1808 - Sir Samuel Hood and Admiral Hanickoff


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1808 Sir Samuel Hood and Admiral Hanickoff 13

Upwards of 200 sail of transports, having on board about 14000 troops under Sir John Moore for the assistance of the Swedes, had accompanied the fleet ; but owing to some misunderstanding between the King of Sweden and the general, relative to the particular service allotted to these troops, they were suffered to return to England without being employed or even debarked.

Early in August the Russian fleet, consisting, besides the following nine sail of the line and three 50-gun ships, of eight frigates and ship-corvettes, two brig-corvettes, and two cutters, in all 24 sail, under the command of Vice-admiral Hanickoff, or Chanikow, * sailed from Cronstadt.

























On the 19th this fleet arrived in Hango bay, a port in Swedish Finland, then in the possession of the Russian army ; and on the same day the Russian admiral chased the Goliath. At this time the British admiral, with four sail of the line, was at anchor off the island of Langland. Two other British sail of the line were off Copenhagen, and the remaining four off the island of Nyborg, quite at the opposite extremity of the Baltic. The Swedish squadron, consisting of seven sail of the line and four frigates, was at anchor in Oro roads.

On the 20th of August Rear-admiral Sir Samuel Hood, with the Centaur and Implacable, arrived and anchored in company with the Swedish fleet. On the same afternoon the Russians made their appearance off the road, and presently anchored outside. On the 21st, in the evening, the Russian fleet, numbering, as before, nine sail of the line, three 50-gun ships, eight frigates and ship-corvettes, two brigs, and two cutters, got under way and stood off and on the road. On the 22d four Swedish sail of the line came down from Jungfur sound, and joined their companions in Oro road. Although the force of the Swedish admiral was thus augmented to 11 sail of the line, five frigates, and one brig, yet upwards of a third of the crews were ill in bed with the scurvy, of which many died daily.

On the 23d, in the afternoon, the Russian fleet, making a very formidable appearance, stood close in to Oro road, with a fine west-south-west wind ; then tacked, and stood off: On the 25th, at 6 a.m., the Swedish fleet, accompanied by the Centaur and Implacable, got under way, with a fresh breeze at north-east, and made sail in pursuit of the Russian fleet ; which, at 9 a.m., to the number of 23 sail, was seen in the south-east, off Hango-

* The first is according to Sir Samuel Hood's letter in the London Gazette, the second according to a translation of the Russian admiral's letter in the Moniteur.

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