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stepping stones of maritime history


The Swedish Leopard was originaly an English ship captured in 1653.

During the battle in the Sound 8-11-1658 was severely damaged and grounded at islet Ween. The ship could not be repaired or rescued and was set on fire by her crew.

Battle in the Sound

In October 1658, a strong Dutch squadron (41 ships, 1418 guns), under the command of Lt. Admiral Jacob van Wassenaer Obdam, was sent to the Sound. The aim was to help Denmark against Sweden. Obdam summed up his mission in a single sentence: saving Copenhagen and hitting everyone on her bakehouse [bakkes] who want to prevent us from doing so.

The Swedes besieged Copenhagen and had a strong fleet in the Sound (45 ships and 1838 cannons). The seven Danish ships with about 280 guns could not help their Dutch ally. Because of headwind they could only watch.

The Swedish king personally fired the first shot from Kronborg Castle. The Swedes attacked aggressively, but failed because the Dutch had the wind. The Dutch forced the Swedish fleet to lift the blockade of the Danish capital, which forced Charles to end the siege in its entirety.

The victory was on the Danish-Dutch side, but the death of Vice Admiral de With made the victory wry.


Type: ship of the line 3th rate
Built: Woolwich dockyard, 1635
Owner: British navy, v.a. 4-3-1653 Admiraliteit Amsterdam
Armament: 60

Length135 feet (41.1 m)
Width45 feet (13.7 m)
Draft14 feet (4.3 m)


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