Om krigets förutsättningar : Den militära underhållsproblematiken och det civila samhället i norra Sverige och Finland under Finska kriget 1808-09

Sammanfattning: The Finnish War 1808-1809 started in February 1808 by a Russian attack on Finland and ended by the peace treaty of Fredrikshamn in September 1809. The peace meant the dissolution of the six-hundred-year old Swedish-Finnish realm. The Finnish War 1808-09 was fought in the poor and isolated areas of the north of Sweden and Finland.This thesis deals with the preconditions for the supply of an army and warfare in the northern parts of Finland and Sweden in the period 1808 – 1809. The problems of the supply service and the role of local civilian society within the military supply system are the focus of attention. The thesis aims at posing new questions as well as supplying a new perspective on the nature of warfare at this period of time. A modified picture of the Finnish War of 1808-1809 will also be presented. Three areas of problems are addressed: 1) The resources in the war zone, war plans and supply organization; 2) Logistical problems; 3) The role of civilian society as a resource within the military supply system. Both the Swedish Army and the Russian Army are examined. Geographically the scope of the thesis is restricted to three counties in northern Sweden and Finland, namely Västerbotten in Sweden, Oulu and Vaasa in Finland.The most significant findings of this thesis are that the preconditions for supply during the Finnish War 1808-1809 are to a large extent equal to the ability and the will of the local population to offer provisions and render services. It can also be shown that supply was instrumental in the warfare during certain critical periods, especially in the summer of 1808. The difference between the Russian and the Swedish supply systems is to a large extent indicative of the outcome of the war. The Russian decentralized supply system proved more flexible than the Swedish did, despite an apparently superior organization of the latter. Additionally, it is an important realization that supply as a key factor in warfare is not made up of just delivery of food stuff and forage but also comprises vital functions like grinding of flour and baking of bread. From a European perspective the issue of supply proves to be a difficult one in Finland as well as in other peripheral states, e.g. Spain. When the local resources are sparse a supply system based on storage is required on the one hand and systematic co-operation with the local population on the other.Keywords: The Finnish War 1808-09, logistics, war and society, war, supplies, military supply system, artels, farmers, civilian administration, burghers, Sweden and the Napoleonic Wars.