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Defending Tórshavn | by Jan Egil Kristiansen
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Defending Tórshavn

A battery of 4 guns from Fredericks Wærck:

- 8-pounder (94mm) from 1776, Christian VII's "C7" monogram

- 4-pounder (77mm) from 1799, Christian VII's "CR VII" monogram

- 2 4-pounders from 1813, Frederik VI's "FR VI" monogram


Except for the monograms, the guns seem unchanged in a 14 year period. And the larger 1776 is also very similar. Its muzzle design is smoother and—in my non-artillerist eyes—more 'modern'.


I have been reading up on this fort in Føroya søga by Hans Jacob Debes.


Stanley visited in 1789, and reported sixteen 12-pound guns.


1808-05-16 the HMS Clio under Thomas Folliott Baugh's command arrived. The fort's commander, Emilius Marius Georgius von Løbner, sent a boarding crew. When they did not return, he sent another one, and possibly a third. With most of the gun crew serving as human shields aboard the Clio, Tórshavn was sacked without a shot being fired, and the guns at the fort - 21 at that time - were demolished or removed.


1808-06-01 saw the arrival of the privateer ship Salamine under baron Karl von Hompesch a.k.a. Brillumaðurin (the man with the glasses). After Clio's visit, there was little left to steal. But Baugh had literally stolen more than he could carry, he had had to leave some of his booty in Tórshavn for later retrieval. So von Hompesch sacked Baugh's booty.


There is no report of the fort ever successfully defending Tórshavn. And point defense at Tórshavn did little to protect the rest of the country. But the fort seems to have deterred North African pirate attacks on the city itself, like the 1627 attack on Iceland when 380 people were enslaved, and the 1629 attack on Hvalba, with a loss of 30 women and children.

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Uploaded on June 3, 2006