That Time A Scandinavian Admiral Asked The Enemy For More Ammo

Samuel Reason

In the early 18th century, known as the romantic Age of Seafaring, one naval hero was called Admiral Peter Tordenskjold. At Least for the kingdom of Denmark and Norway, he was seen as their own Admiral Nelson. Whenever there was a need for a dashing exploit to save the day, they knew they could count on this daredevil admiral to come through on top.

Born in Trondheim, Norway in 1690, he was the 14th of 18 children of a wealthy merchant family. Apparently, during his youth, he was uncontrollable and got into many fights. Eventually, he ran off to join the Navy with his eyes on becoming an officer. Denmark and Norway had been united since 1524, so their navy forces were combined. Many Norwegian would join the Danish army or navy because it was seen as a lucrative career. But on his first application he was refused as a naval cadet, so spent three years working on merchant’s vessels. Mostly between Guinea and the Caribbean. At the age of 20 in 1710, he was accepted to the Navy as a cadet.

Tordenskjold’s years at sea let him quickly rise through the ranks, along with his reckless courage. By 1712, he was commanding his own 20-gun frigate ship. It was during the Great Northern War, where his reputation really started to grow. This was when a coalition was formed between Russia, Saxony-Poland, and Denmark-Norway with the goal of reducing Sweden’s supremacy of the Baltic Sea. Tordenskjold became known to attack any Swedish ship even when the odds were not in his favor, and always evaded capture. He became so feared that the Swedish crown put a price on his head.

Perhaps the most interesting story was the battle with a Swedish frigate called De Olbing Galley, the fight went on for over 14 hours. Tordenskjold ship took on massive damage, and they even ran out of ammunition. So he boldly sent the enemy ship a message thanking him for the duel and asked if they could lend him some ammo. Of course, De Olbing Galley refused but also thanked him for the duel and agreed to sail off in opposite directions. Apparently, the ships sailed past each other and cheered, drinking to each other’s health.

Legend has it that he lived life on the edge, to his very last breath. Which happened when he got in a fight with a colonel in Germany over cheating in gambling. The colonel challenged him to a duel, and despite Tordenskjold only having a ceremonial sword he agreed to the fight. The colonel’s military rapier quickly overpowered the flimsy ceremonial sword, leaving Tordenskjold with a wound that killed him.

Next Article
  • The Worst Year Ever To Be Alive Was 536

    Ask any medieval historian and they will be quick to tell you that the year 536 was the worst to be alive in. You may have thought it would have been the Black Death of 1349 wiping out half of Europe or 1918 when the Spanish Flu killed nearly 100 million people but 536 was...

    Read More
  • A French Noblewoman Who Became a Ferocious Pirate Legend

    During the height of the Hundred Years War between England and France, one French noblewoman became feared throughout France for her ferocious never-ending appetite for revenge. Jeanne de Clisson with the help of the English outfitted three warships and caused havoc to any French ships crossing the English channel. Some may say privateer but at...

    Read More
  • The Caterpillar Eating Up Our Plastic Bag Problem

    Plastic bags are the closest actual thing we have to a real-life zombie apocalypse. You just can not kill a plastic bag no matter how hard you try. Even when scientists spent years perfecting new types of innovative bags made out of biodegradable plastics or shrimp shells(yes that is possible!), no one gave them the...

    Read More
  • The Day The Austrian Army Lost 10000 Soldiers To Friendly Fire

    Austria during 1787, or as they were known at the time the Hapsburg Empire, was a close ally of Russia. This was mostly to fight a common foe: The Ottoman Empire. The Turks were attempting to expand heavily into Europe and in 1788 there was fierce fighting in current day Romania, over who would control...

    Read More
  • The Greatest Submarine Escape Ever

    During World War II the clean and clear waters of the Mediterranean were a deadly zone for British submarines. They were easily spotted and bombed from the air by specialized submarine hunting planes. And due to the lower depths of the sea, they were easier to hunt with sonar, allowing gunships to drop lethal depth...

    Read More