In July and August 1719 Russian forces made numerous landings on the east coast of Sweden, burning and ravaging a large number of towns, villages, manors, mines and iron works. The armed resistance was in most cases quite weak, partly because the defense deliberately had been concentrated around Stockholm. Nevertheless, the nervousness was quite widespread even in the capital and the Council of the Realm was in endless discussions about the situation. One of the main worries was that the Russians would be able to land at Södertälje, transport their galley across land to lake Mälaren and then attack the capital from the west. The famous artillery specialist Carl Cronstedt (1672-1750) at one point even told the Councillors that this would result in all of them ending up as "slaves in Siberia".
In late July the County Governor of Västmanland in Västerås (nearly 100 km west of Stockholm) became so worried that he requested 6 000 muskets and 6 000 rapiers for the peasants in his county and a few days later an additional 1 000 muskets and 1 000 rapiers. To his first request the College of War (Krigskollegium) on 30 July replied that they had no muskets to send, but he could get gunpowder and ammunition from Örebro if guns could be found locally.
In this situation all sorts of schemes were proposed. The retired naval veteran Admiral Olof Wernfelt (1654-1731) openly questioned the leadership of Admiral Taube, who commanded the Stockholm naval squadron and suggested that a more active approach would be better. Wernfelt suggested that he should be given command of some of the lighter units and go out and attack the Russian galleys. This upset Taube, who not only complained to the Queen, but also invited Wernfelt to a meeting and (with the help of his officers) cut Wernfelt's idea to pieces. A couple of local privateers suggested that they should be given permission to collect some 2- 300 "idle people" in Stockholm and go out and fight the Russian galleys - an idea which was discussed back and forth for quite some time before being dismissed.
Rådsprotokoll July-August 1719, Riksarkivet
Krigskollegii brevböcker, Krigsarkivet
Krigskollegiets registratur, Krigsarkivet