In the year of our lord 1659 for the first time Karl X Gustav encountered the English fleet, sent to convince Denmark-Norway and Holland to come to terms with Sweden's demand on Skåne and other lands, and was overwhelmed by the huge, mighty and formidable war ships of the English armada. A great desire of having such powerful ships started to grow in his royal heart.
The loss of the admirals fleet

King Karl hired three famous English ship builders, Francis Sheldon, Robert Turner and Thomas Day the same year, 1659, and they began building several war ships of English fashion. "Svärdet" (the Sword) set sail 1662 in Bodekull after only one year of construction. She was built by Thomas Day and had three decks and outfitted with 86 cannons, of which 12 were 36pds, 4 30pds and 14 24pds in the lower deck, 26 12pds and 4 8pds in the second deck and 20 8pds and 6 3pds on the third deck. She was sailed by a crew of 650 men. The ships actual dimensions are hard to find but she measured 159 feet in length and 40 feet wide and had a tonnage of 1500 tons thereby even larger than the Danish "Christianus Quintus". "Svärdet" was only second to the "Stora Cronan" (the

grand Crown) in size and fire power and was commanded by the skilled and experienced Clas Uggla. The admiral of the Swedish fleet was the painfully inexperienced Admiral Lorentz Creutz. Creutz was in command of the ship "Stora Cronan", the mightiest war ship in the world at that time outfitted with 126 canons and over 850 men.

The battle of Öland began on the 1st of June 1676 at 11am. Admiral Tromp, the Dutch fleet commander for the combined opposing Danish and Dutch fleets was in pursuit of the Swedish ships with his own 35 battle ships. After some magnificent and surprising maneuvers the Swedes were trapped in a vulnerable position just off the shores of Öland. The Danes had wind in their sails while the Swedes had lee and could not get in battle positions. The 36 Swedish battleships, on the paper far more potent and powerful, lay there and could not move and the Danish armada closed the gap between the fleets at a furious pace.

Claes Uggla understood the dangerous situation and fired a signal shoot and raising yellow signal flags commanding his ships to form a tight and close formation. By this skilled move he saved the Swedish fleet from total disaster. Uggla´s admiral, Lorentz Creutz is the only one who misunderstood the signals and turns the "Stora Cronan" straight towards the enemy away from his other ships. As he turns his mighty ship he forgot to order the cannon hatches closed and water began to fill the hull of "Stora Cronan" making her list to starboard. Fire broke loose and ignited the powder barrels in the lower decks. The Danish and Dutch admirals could not believe their eyes when the mightiest ship in the world turned and then exploded with out any canons being fired. Bless the lord he must have uttered when his sailors cried of joy. 850 Swedish sailors were killed, only 40 survived and could live to tell.

When the Swedish fleet had turned in the wind Uggla´s armada was hindered by the wreck of the "Stora Cronan" and had to turn around to avoid collision and therefore the formation was broken. Misunderstandings led to that the remainder of the fleet thought that Uggla´s armada fled the battle and therefore altered course due north while the "Svärdet" slowed down in an attempt to reunite the remainder of his armada. This left commander Uggla on the Sword hopelessly behind. Admiral Tromps fleet broke trough the Swedish line and after hours of fierce battle admiral Tromp and the Danish admiral Niels Juel on the "Christianus Quintus" and "Churprindsen" engaged and surrounded the "Svärdet". After one and a half hour of desperate battle the "Svärdet" had to surrender. In contradiction to orders the Dutch burner "t`Hoen" attacked the "Sword" and set both ships ablaze to much despair of admiral Tromp who wanted to capture the "Svärdet" as booty. Uggla made no attempt to put out the fire as he did not want to risk the ship being captured.. 600 men along with commander Uggla was sacrificed, only 50 survived. The ship finally exploded at 4 am and vanished beneath the surface two hours later. The result of the battle of Öland was 2000 dead and wounded and two of Sweden's greatest warships sunk. A third ship, the "Äpplet" (the Apple) of 84 cannons later sunk during the retreat. The admirals ship Svärdet>>