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Battle of The Sound
Part of Second Northern War (Dano-Swedish War (1658–1660))
Eerste fase van de Zeeslag in de Sont - First phase of the Battle of the Sound - November 8 1568 (Jan Abrahamsz Beerstraten, 1660).jpg
First Phase of the Battle of the Sound
by Jan Abrahamsz Beerstraaten
Date29 October 1658 (O.S.)
LocationThe Sound or Oresund
Result Decisive strategic Dutch victory[1]
Sweden Swedish Empire  Dutch Republic
Commanders and leaders
Carl Gustaf Wrangel
Klas Hansson Bjelkenstjerna
Witte de With
Jacob van Wassenaer Obdam
Pieter Floriszoon
43 ships (30 warships)[2]
4,055 seamen
2,423 soldiers[1]
45 ships (33 warships)[1]
4,000 seamen
3,000 soldiers[1]
Casualties and losses
5 ships (3 warships)[2]
1,200 dead, wounded and captured[1]
1 warship[2]
1,400 dead, wounded and captured[1]

Drawing by Willem van de Velde the Elder

The naval Battle of the Sound took place on 8 November 1658 (29 October O.S.) during the Second Northern War, near the Sound or Oresund, just north of the Danish capital, Copenhagen. Sweden had defeated Denmark and an army under Charles X of Sweden had Copenhagen itself under siege. The Dutch fleet was sent to prevent Sweden from gaining control of both sides of the Sound and thereby controlling access to the Baltic Sea as well as of its trade.

The Dutch, under the command of Lieutenant-Admiral Jacob van Wassenaer Obdam with Egbert Bartholomeusz Kortenaer as his flag captain, who had sailed to the Baltic in support of Denmark, had 41 ships with 1413 guns while the Swedes, under Lord High Admiral Carl Gustaf Wrangel, had 45 ships with 1838 guns. The Dutch were grouped into three squadrons, while the Swedes separated their ships into four. The seven Danish ships with about 280 guns were unable to assist their Dutch allies because of adverse northern winds and could only watch. Obdam, who first received very complicated written instructions from the Grand Pensionary, Johan de Witt, and went so far as to request them again "in three words", summed up his mission in a single sentence: "Save Copenhagen and punch anyone in the face who tries to prevent it". This was a direct reference to the English, whose powerful fleet had recently defeated the Dutch in the First Anglo-Dutch War; in the event, however, the English did not intervene. The Swedes attacked aggressively, but failed to gain the upper hand, primarily due to the fact that the approaching Dutch had the weather gage. The Dutch forced the Swedish fleet to end the blockade of the Danish capital, enabling it's resupply by Dutch armed transport ships, which eventually forced Charles to abandon the siege entirely.

The Swedes lost five ships in the action compared to one Dutch ship, however, remaining allied ships were more damaged. Also, considering the slightly fewer losses of men in the Swedish army; 1,200 compared to 1,400 (439 killed, 269 captured and slightly more than 650 wounded allies), the battle is considered a tactical draw. Strategically, however, it was a major allied victory.[1]

Ship lists

Dutch Republic

Dutch Republic
This page contains slightly different details for the Dutch ships

Ship name Guns Notes
Van (Vice Admiral Witte de With)
Brederode (de With) 59 Ran aground, captured by Wismar and sank; de With killed
Landman 40
Zeeridder 22
Princesse Louise 32
Cogge 40
Windhont 23
Prins Willem 28
Wapen van Medemblick 36
Groningen 36
Center (Lt. Admiral Jacob van Wassenaer Obdam)
Eendracht (Obdam) 72
Rotterdam 52
Zon 40
Wapen van Rotterdam 40
Wapen van Dordrecht 40
Halve Maen 40
Duyvenvoorde 40
Stavoren 40
Deutecom 24
Waegh 40
Gouden Leeuw 38
Hoorn 28
Princes Albertina 36
Rear (Vice Admiral Pieter Floriszoon)
Jozua (Floriszoon) 50 Pieter Floriszoon killed
Breda 28 Captured but abandoned and recaptured
Jupiter 32
Alkmaar 36
Westfriesland 28
Wapen van Holland 38
Eendracht 38
Caleb 40
Jonge Prins 30
Wapen van Monnickendam 26
Judith 24
Vergulden Haen 16
Liefde 24
Medea 24
Perel 23
Fruytboom 23


Ship name Guns Notes
Danish Squadron (Bjelke)
Trefoldighed (Bjelke) 66
Tre Løver 60
Norske Løve 48
Hannibal 44
Graa Ulv 36
Johannes 20
Hojenhald 8


Ship name Guns Notes
1st squadron (Sjohjelm)
Cesar (Sjohjelm) 54
Amarant 46
Apollo 46
Wismar 44
Vestervik 40
Fides 36
Hjort 36
Södermanland 38
Svan 38
Östergötland 36
Halfmåne 28
2nd squadron (Carl Gustaf Wrangel and Strussflycht)
Victoria (C.G. Wrangel) 74
Måne 46
Merkurius 46
Mars 44
Svärd 44
Pelican 40 Captured by Wapen van Rotterdam
Örn 38
Samson 32
Morgonstjerna (merchantman) 48 Captured by Eendracht
Goteborgsfalk (merchantman) 24
Krona 68
3rd squadron (Bjelkenstjerna)
Drake (Bjelkenstjerna) 66
Carolus 54
Falk 40
Nordstjerna 40
Delmenhorst 36 Captured by Hollandia and Wapen van Medemblik
Leopard 36 Damaged by Brederode; burnt after action
Rafael 36
Samson 36
Jägare 26
Konung David (merchantman) 42
St Johannes (merchantman) 36
Kalmarkastell (merchantman) 32
4th squadron (G. Wrangel)
Hercules (G. Wrangel) 58
Maria 46
Småland 46
Svenska Lejon 40
Svan 36
Fenix 30
Fortuna 30
Salvator 30
Hök 28
Rose (merchantman) 40 Captured by Landman
Ångermanland (merchantman) 20


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Swedish Naval Administration, 1521-1721: Resource Flows and Organisational Capabilities, Jan Glete, BRILL (2010). pp. 180.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Svenska slagfält (2003) - Lars Ericson, Martin Hårdstedt, Per Iko, Ingvar Sjöblom, Gunnar Åselius. pp. 198
  • Naval Wars in the Baltic 1522-1850 (1910) - R. C. Anderson
  • Svenska slagfält (2003) - Lars Ericson, Martin Hårdstedt, Per Iko, Ingvar Sjöblom, Gunnar Åselius

External links

Coordinates: 55°45′N 12°45′E / 55.75°N 12.75°E / 55.75; 12.75

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