anniversary of Saint-Petersburg
on frigate "Shtandart"
In mid-May Swedish squadron under Admiral Numers entered mouth of river Neva from the Gulf of Finland. At dawn on May 18th Russians attacked it by suprise. 30 small boats aproached two Swedish vessels, guardsmen of Preobrazhensky and Semenovsky regiments who crewed boats boarded two sailing ships "Astrild" and "Gedan". That was first naval victory over Swedes in Great Northern war.
On May 27th, 2003 - on the day of 300 anniversary of St.Petersburg - a magnificent performance took place on water of Neva river amid very historical center of the city. One of parts of the show was re-enactment of naval battle and 'abordage' of a Swedish vessel. Central role was played by frigate "Shandart", a re-created copy of Russian vessel c.1703 and its crew; for a time being it raised Swedish flag and played one of Swedish ships. Oarsmen of attacking boats were naval kadets. Boarding teams and frigate defenders were reenactors of early 18th century armies from St.Petersburg, Smolensk and Petrozavodsk.
After signal for attack was given by canon, a small fleet of boats casted away and rushed towards enemy sailing ship. Boarding teams fired by the way and when boats approached frigate, soldiers climbed over shipboard. Desperate fight started on the deck and in several minutes resistance was broken - enemy flag was lowered and vistorious tricolor was hoisted. Victory was ours!
Thus we were lucky to take part in a unique reenactment of naval boarding fight as well as to be in the very middle of amazing show!
|(ñ) photos by Living History Unit "Preobrazhensky Life Guards", 2003