Bomarsund, Åland

Bomarsund, Åland

Infobox Military Conflict
conflict=Battle of Bomarsund
partof=the Crimean War


caption=
date= 1854
place=Bomarsund
casus=
territory=
result= French/British Victory
combatant1=flagicon|RussiaRussian Empire
combatant2=flagicon|FranceFrench Empire
flagicon|United KingdomUnited Kingdom
commander1=??
commander2=??
strength1= about 3,000 sodiers
strength2= 12,000 soldiers(landing Force)
casualties1= 1,700 dead, wounded and captured
casualties2= Unknown

Bomarsund is a nineteenth century fortress in Sund on the Åland Islands in the Baltic Sea. It was built in 1832 by Russia but destroyed twenty two years later in 1854 in the Crimean War by a British-French fleet.

The Battle of Bomarsund was fought between the Russian defenses at Bomarsund and an Anglo-French task force. After a week of fighting the British stormed the "remaining" fort and at the end of the battle the fort of Bomarsund was destroyed.

Three hundred Finnish grenadiers defending the fortress were captured and taken to a prison in Lewes, United Kingdom. They were later allowed to return to Finland, and they returned with a song telling about their battle and imprisonment, called the "War of Åland" (Finnish: "Oolannin sota").

In the Treaty of Paris 1856, the entire Åland Islands were demilitarized, which is a status that has been preserved until this day.

Victoria Cross recipients

The battle resulted in the first ever Victoria Cross being awarded to Charles Davis Lucas, a twenty year old Irish Mate who later rose to the position of Rear-Admiral.

Other VC recipients for action in the Baltic Sea:
* John Bythesea - 1854; Åland Islands
* William Johnstone - 1854; Åland Islands
* George Ingouville - 1855; Fort of Viborg
* George Dare Dowell - 1855; Fort of Viborg

Trivia

*A coal mine in Northumberland was named after the battle, the village still carries the name Bomarsund.

*In 2007 Orlando Gough's opera "The Finnish Prisoner" which tells about the events of 1854 had its premier performance in Lewes.

External links

* [http://www.muuka.com/finnishpumpkin/fortresses/bomarsund/bomarsund.html Bomarsund]
* [http://www.britishembassy.gov.uk/servlet/Front?pagename=OpenMarket/Xcelerate/ShowPage&c=Page&cid=1077042157317 Bomarsund at the British Embassy site]
* [http://nk.oulu.fi/enorssi/gallery/albumit/album62/bomarsund.sized.jpgPhoto of Bomarsund Fortress]


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