Image of Map of the historical Duchy of Pomerania from the 17th century

Map of the historical Duchy of Pomerania from the 17th century.

Sweden - Pomeranian War

This was part of the Seven Year’s War and basically was a war between Sweden and Germany (then known as Prussia) from 1757 to 1762. Adolf Frederik was King of Sweden at the time.

The war occurred along Swedish Pomerania, Prussian Pomerania and some other areas in what is now Germany. The actual name ‘Pomerania’ is a Slavic word which translated into English means ‘Land at the Sea’. The Swedish Empire in bygone days included a piece of land in what is now known as the Baltic coast along Germany and Poland. Sweden ruled this piece of land from 1630 to 1815, this gave Sweden strategic importance as the Baltic Sea was often a worthy route of trade.

The war began with Sweden heading on to attack Prussia, from their base in Swedish Pomerania. Yet the Prussians did block them, until the Russians came along to back the Swedes. Despite making great advances, the Swedish army left their campaign and had not overtaken a major Prussian fortress or joined with their allies the Russians. Then in 1760, Prussian forces attacked Swedish Pomerania, yet were unsuccessful. Swedish forces would attack and make great ground, but each time retrace the gains due to winter or being undersupplied. In the winter of 1761 to 1762, the final battle was fought and soon a truce was agreed on.

There would be a great change to the political landscape in Europe after the death of the Tsarina, Empress Elizabeth of Russia. The Russians formed an alliance with Prussia, this was of great concern to Sweden as now Russia would no longer support their war efforts and worse still Russia might attack them on behalf of Prussia. Sweden had no better option than to make peace and this was formally done in May 1762 with the signing of the Treaty of Hamburg.

The aim of the Hats was to have re-gained lost territories to Prussia in 1720. Yet the Pomeranian War only bought greater debt and a significant loss of Swedish lives. This costly war stirred up great upset in the Riksdag against the Hats politicians. Although the Hats were able to manage a skilled debate back in parliament (Riksdag) after this war, and remain in power for a few years longer, ultimately this did cause a great fall in their national support to govern.

At the end of this war, not much was gained and there are historical records of constant back and forth battles between the two sides without any significant achievements. It is recorded in history that over 2200 men fought on the Swedish side during the battles against over 6000 Prussian troops. Although Sweden had a strong military that was well trained to make up for the short fall of its troops. The number of casualties and deaths on the Swedish side were 906 and 2890 in the Prussian army. Although Sweden had more ships used in the war, specifically 28, not one was destroyed. The Prussian side utilised 13 ships for this war and suffered a loss of 9 of them.