Scale model of STYRBJÖRN OF HÄMEENMAA TYPE from the Ehrensvärd Society collection

The ships of Hämeenmaa type had three masts and two decks; the crew slept on the battery deck. In all four ships of Hämeenmaa type were built. Styrbjörn, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Victor von Stedingk, led the Swedish naval breakout from the Bay of Vyborg on 4th July 1790 and belonged to the main force during the second battle of Svensksund 10th July 1790.

During the war there was also a woman serving on board, Brita Hagberg. She had adopted the male name Petter Hagberg and participated in battle disguised as a man. The true nature of things was revealed only when ”Petter” was wounded during a battle. The king later awarded Brita Hagberg a medal for valor and a yearly pension.

Styrbjörn of Hämeenmaa type, however, fell in Russian hands when Sveaborg capitulated in 1808. The ship was seized back later the same year, but drifted aground and was abandoned.


Styrbjörn, built: 1790, Stockholm
Length: 43,7 meters
Width: 10,7 meters
Depth: at the prow 2,2 meters and at the rear 2,7 meters
Crew: 200 men
Oars: 20 pairs, 4 men at each oar
Armament: twentytwo 36-pounder cannons and two 12-pounder cannons