TAMH: History


Battle of Oliwa, 1627

The Battle of Oliwa took place at sea during the Polish-Swedish war on 28 November 1627. The Swedish fleet was commanded by Admiral Nils Stjernsköld in the Tiger with a Scottish captain, Simon Stewart. The second largest Swedish vessel was the 38-gun Solen, captained by Alexander Forath one of two Dundee brothers serving in the Swedish navy.

The Dutch had significant commercial interests in Gdansk and it was an erstwhile Dutch merchant, Arend Dickman (originally Dijckmans) who commanded the ten Polish vessels from the Saint George which ventured out to break the blockade imposed by the six Swedish ships. There were Scottish captains on the Polish side too, James Murray (Jakob Mora) had command of the Krol Dawid (King David) though accounts suggest he played little part in the battle

Although Admiral Dickman was fatally struck by a cannonball fired by the Swedish ship Pelikan, the Polish victory was decisive. The Swedish flagship was captured. Forath, rather than strike his colours blew the Solen up.The Poles lost 47 men, the Swedes 350 with 68 captured.

The remains of the Solen were found by divers in 1969 and, under the direction of the Polish Maritime Museum in Gdansk, around 6000 objects were recovered from the wreck. These included a group of bronze cannons one of which is shown in the rather hazy photograph.

Gdansk: Battle of Oliva, 1627 - Solen explodes
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Gdansk: Battle of Oliva, 1627 - Solen explodes Gdansk: Maritime Museum: Cannon recovered from Solen, 1627

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