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The Battle of Svensksund

Anna Maria Jansdotter Engsten (1762-after 1790) was by King Gustav III of Sweden awarded with a medal in silver for Valour in Battle at Sea for her acts during the Russo-Swedish war of 1788-1790.

Engsten was a maid to the master mariner of the Swedish fleet, G.A. Leijonancker. During the retreat from Viborg and Björkösund, she was evacuated with five sailors in a boat filled with food suplies and the captain's belongings. The were shot at by the Russian fleet, which killed a sheep and caused a leak. The sailors abandoned the boat, but she stayed behind, determined to steer the boat to safety. She did so singlehandedly, although the boat required at least two people to steer, a mission she succeeded with. This was confirmed by Major Scharff. When the King was told about this, he awarded her a medal in silver for Bravery in Battle at Sea as well as a sum of 50 riksdaler. This was paid out in 15 March 1791.

See also


  • Cristopher von Warnstedt, Medaljerna för Tapperhet till Sjöss (1974) Forum navale. 29. (The medals of Valour at Sea) (Swedish)
  • Wilhelmina Stålberg (1866). Engsten, Anna Maria. Anteckningar om svenska qvinnor. (Notes on Swedish women) (Swedish)


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