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  He had had a highly successful career as a post-Captain, notably in a single-ship frigate duel for which he was knighted, and at the two battles of Algeciras as a newly-promoted Rear-Admiral.  For five years from 1808 as Commander-in-Chief of a large Baltic fleet, with HMS Victory as his flagship (her last active seagoing commission), he played a very skilful diplomatic role, combining firmness with restraint, and working with Sweden contrary to the instincts of his superiors in London
, even when she declared war.  Despite the determined efforts of Denmarks gunboats and privateers, he successfully kept British trade flowing in and out of the Baltic, undermining Napoleons Continental System the economic blockade of Britain and leading to Napoleons fateful decision to invade Russia in 1812.

This book by Dr.Tim Voelcker is based on extensive original research in both British and Scandinavian archives.  It makes considerable use of Saumarez unpublished correspondence with his wife and charts the maritime and political history of the war in the Baltic.  It illustrates the highly successful, highly esteemed role the Admiral played and looks at the nature and motivation of the man himself revealed in his letters and in the private letters of Count von Rosen, Governor of Gothenburg and chief link between Saumarez and  former French Marshal Bernadotte, Crown Prince and, effectively, Regent of Sweden, later to be crowned King Karl XIV Johan.