The maritime war against Napoleon did not end with the Battle of Trafalgar, but continued right up to 1815, with even more British ships and sailors deployed after 1805 than before. One key theatre was the Baltic, where the British commander was Admiral Saumarez. He had had a highly successful career as a post-Captain, notably at the two battles of Algeciras as a newly-promoted Rear-Admiral. For five years from 1808 as Commander-in-Chief of a large Baltic fleet, he played a very skilful diplomatic role, combining firmness and restraint, and working with Sweden contrary to the instincts of his superiors in London, even when she declared war. Despite the determined efforts of Denmark's gunboats and privateers, he successfully kept British trade flowing in and out of the Baltic, undermining Napoleon's 'Continental System' - the economic blockade of Britain - and leading to Napoleon's fateful decision to invade Russia in 1812.
This book, based on extensive original research in both British and Scandinavian archives and making considerable use of Saumarez' unpublished correspondence, charts the maritime and political history of the war in the Baltic. It illustrates the highly successful, highly esteemed role the Admiral played and looks at the nature and motivation of the man himself revealed in his letters and in the private letters of Count von Rosen, Governor of Gothenburg and chief link between Saumarez and former French Marshal Bernadotte, Crown Prince of Sweden, later to be crowned King Karl XIV Johan. Tim Voelcker gained his PhD in maritime history at the University of Exeter.
Author: Tim Voelcker
Title: Admiral Saumarez Versus Napoleon: The Baltic, 1807-12
First Published by: Boydell Press
Date: 24 February 2009