By 1676 Sweden reigned supreme in the southern Baltic and in northern Europe. It had recently captured the territory of Scania in 1658 after centuries of Danish control, and Denmark had been eyeing opportunities to recapture it ever since.
When the war over Scania began in 1675 the stage was set for a battle off the coast of Öland as Sweden desperately needed to get reinforcements to its positions in northern Germany and Denmark wanted to land troops on Swedish soil.
At the beginning of the battle the Swedish ship Kronan was sunk. This vessel was carrying Lorentz Krutz, the Admiral of the Realm and commander of the Swedish navy, as well as 800 other men and high-ranking admirals. As the Kronan sank the Danish and Dutch navies surrounded the ship of the second-in-command and sank it as well. In the total confusion the Swedish navies retreated.
From here the Danes had total naval superiority during the conflict and were able to invade Scania shortly after. Despite stunning naval success, the Danes were unable to recapture the territories in the war.
Artist: Claus Møinichen
Location painted: East Coast of Öland, Sweden
- 1676-06-01 Battle of Öland: allied Danish-Dutch forces defeat the Swedish navy in the Baltic Sea, during the Scanian War (1675–79)