Battle of Åland Islands
|Battle of Åland Islands|
|Part of World War I|
SMS Albatross after running aground during the battle.
|German Empire|| Russian Empire
|Commanders and leaders|
|Johannes von Karpf||Mikhail Bakhirev|
|3 armored cruiser,
2 light cruisers,
7 torpedo boats
|3 armored cruisers,
2 light cruisers,
|Casualties and losses|
|2 armored cruisers damaged,
1 cruiser grounded
The Battle of Aland Islands, or the Battle of Gotland, which occurred in July 1915, was a naval battle of World War I between the German Empire and the Russian Empire, assisted by a submarine of the British Baltic Flotilla. It took place in the Baltic Sea off the shores of Gotland, Sweden, a country neutral in World War I.
The German mine-laying cruiser SMS Albatross— screened by the armored cruiser SMS Roon, the light cruisers SMS Augsburg and Lübeck, and seven torpedo boats, under Kommodore Johannes von Karpf—was laying mines off the Åland Islands. On the morning of 2 July, they were intercepted by a Russian squadron consisting of the armored cruisers Admiral Makarov and Bayan with the light cruisers Oleg and Bogatyr, under Rear Admiral Mikhail Bakhirev.
In the artillery duel that followed, Albatross was badly damaged and beached on the Swedish coast. In the second phase of the battle, German armoured cruiser Roon and Russian Bayan fought each other at distance without serious damage. Reinforcements on both sides sailed to join the engagement. The Russian armored cruiser Rurik joined the fight as the German force retreated and was encountered by the old light cruiser Lübeck, which took her for the destroyer Novik. Lübeck managed to escape in the short but fierce fighting when Roon intercepted Rurik. Both sides duelled each other at far distance, but again no damage was inflicted by either side. As the German armored cruisers SMS Prinz Adalbert and Prinz Heinrich sailed to reinforce the German squadron, Prinz Adalbert was torpedoed by the British submarine HMS E9 and limped to shore.
Media related to Gotland Battle (1915) at Wikimedia Commons
- The History of the Russian Navy: The Great War
- Russian Navy on the eve of and during World War I and the Civil War