The Battle of Jutas memorial

Alajepuantie Uusikaarlepyy


In the Finnish War (1808–1809), the troops of Sweden-Finland were retreating towards the north in Ostrobothnia, but they were able to slow the push of the Russian army. One important delaying action took place in Jutas, near Uusikaarlepyy. Colonel Georg Carl von Döbeln had a fever but managed to march his exhausted troops with their broken equipment to Munsala, from where they rapidly moved to defensive positions along the road west of the Lapuanjoki river and in the adjacent forest.


The Russians approached the Jutas field from the direction of Lapua on 13 September 1808. Döbeln’s troops could rest in their positions for about five hours before the Russian troops of Major General Kiril Kosatschovskij met von Döbeln’s outpost. Both sides had about 1,500 men in arms. The Russian troops attacked first but, after a series of severe clashes, had to retreat as far as Alahärmä, burning a river bridge on their way. As far as is known, about 40 of Döbeln’s soldiers were injured or killed, while the Russians apparently lost three times as many men.


The victory at Jutas meant that the main army of Sweden-Finland, led by General Carl Johan Adlercreutz, had more time to retreat to the north. Döbeln was raised to the rank of major general, and the soldiers were given an extra portion of liquor.


A memorial was erected on the Jutas battlefield in 1885, precisely where the cannons of Sweden-Finland stood at the beginning of the battle.




Johan Blåman, a peasant born in Munsala in 1773, wrote in his diary about the arrival of Russian troops on a September evening of 1808. According to the diary, the Russians spent the night on the church hill and a nearby field, using the wooden fence for their campfire. They used sheaves of rye for their tents, ripped doors open in the village and plundered belongings. They took hay from barns while herds of cattle were slaughtered or taken with them. (Mellan Lojlax och Åkvarn 1997)


The story goes that Russian soldiers stole a peasant’s only horse in Sandås. He swore that he would also steal one horse from the Russians. He set an ambush with his farmhand in Sandbacken, where the road was narrow and bordered by protective rocks. Two Russian soldiers came riding on the road, and the peasant shot one of them while the farmhand took his horse. The other soldier rode back to the army camp in the village of Munsala and reported the event. Commander Nikolay Kamenski contacted the priest and announced that if the murderers and horse thieves were not found, the church and whole village would be burned. The priest was forced to send people after the men, who were also found. They were sentenced to death by shooting. The priest was asked to come to the burial, but he refused to bury anyone alive. Kamenski is told to have given the order to shoot both men in their graves. (Mellan Lojlax och Åkvarn 1997)




The Battle of Jutas memorial



Döbeln in Jutas (Albert Edefelt)


Döbeln and soldiers from Pori (A. Malmström)


Map of the battlefield (National Defence University library):