Europe 1809: Finnish War
In 1808 Russia, in alliance with France, had conquered Finland from Sweden. The following year the Russians invaded northern Sweden in an attempt to push the Finnish border westwards, but Swedish resistance at Sävar and Ratan—the last battles fought on Swedish soil—persuaded the Russians to abandon this effort and agree to peace.
8 Jul 1809 Battle of Gefrees▲
In June 1809, after their success at Aspern-Essling, the Austrians dispatched two diversionary expeditions, seizing Saxony with one and invading northern Bavaria with the other. Marching with his Westphalian army, Napoleon’s brother Jerome retook Saxony later that month while another French-led German army under General Junot marched into Bavaria. In response, the two Austrian forces withdrew to the vicinity of Gefrees where, united under Michael von Kienmayer, they intercepted and defeated Junot on 8 July, just before he could join up with Jerome. The Austrians then invaded Saxony again, but were forced to relinquish their gains a few days later when word of the Armistice of Znaim arrived.
12 Jul 1809 Armistice of Znaim▲
Following their defeat at Wagram on 6 July 1809, the Austrians retreated towards Bohemia in the hope of regrouping under Archduke Charles. The next day the French began their pursuit and on the 10th their vanguard caught up to the Austrians at Znaim (now Znojmo, Czech Republic), where a two-day battle broke out. Having failed to evade the French, Archduke Charles agreed to an armistice with Napoleon and the two commenced the peace negotiations that would lead to the Treaty of Schönbrunn.
27–28 Jul 1809 Battle of Talavera▲
After the collapse of the French invasion of Portugal in spring 1809, General Arthur Wellesley led his 20,000-strong British army into Spain where, in conjunction with a 35,000-strong Spanish force under General Guesta, he advanced up the Tagus valley. When the combined force reached Talavera, some 120 km south of Madrid, in late July, it was attacked repeatedly by a 46,000-strong French army under King Joseph Bonaparte and Marshal Jean-Baptiste Jourdan but fought them off in a two-day battle which cost each side over 7,000 casualties. Despite this victory—which led to Wellesley being ennobled as the Viscount of Wellington—the anticipated arrival of French reinforcements compelled the Allies to withdraw back towards Portugal a few days later.
30 Jul–9 Dec 1809 Walcheren Campaign▲
Aiming to disrupt the French navy in the North Sea and relieve French pressure on Austria, the British landed a 40,000-strong force on Walcheren island in the Kingdom of Holland in late July 1809. They proceeded to occupy much of Zeeland—capturing Middelburg and Flushing (Vlissingen) in the process—but by the end of August many of them had fallen ill with the fever that the swampy province was notorious for at the time. By this time French reinforcements had arrived in the region and the Austrians were engaged in peace talks, persuading the British to abandon the expedition and withdraw their troops in September–December.
19 Aug 1809 Battle of Sävar▲
By June 1809 Russian forces under Nikolay Kamensky had occupied northern Sweden as far south as Umeå and were demanding the cession of Finland and Swedish land to the Kalix River. To improve their negotiating position, the Swedes landed troops under Gustaf Wachtmeister at Ratan, north of Umeå, in August and began marching inland to outflank the Russians. Alerted, Kamensky advanced to meet Wachtmeister and defeated him at Sävar in the last pitched battle fought on Swedish soil.
20 Aug 1809 Battle of Ratan▲
After their defeat at Sävar on 19 August 1809, the Swedes withdrew back to their landing site at Ratan with the Russians in pursuit. The Russians arrived the next day, but were driven off by Swedish naval fire in the last battle fought on Swedish soil. Alarmed that another Swedish force was advancing from the south, the Russians withdrew north to Piteå, where they agreed to an armistice.