Press Release from Epoke
The Battle the King Lost with his Gunship (Nordic History to be re-written)
After years of academic work, Epoke, a discreet Norwegian/Danish working group, publishes breaking news about a shipwreck that means that the history books about Northern Europe's development in the late Middle Ages - and the very foundation of modern Scandinavia - should be reformulated. At the same time, it opens up possibilities for today's experts to contribute to a hitherto unknown chapter.
In 2023, it will be exactly 500 years since King Christian II reluctantly left Copenhagen and went to exile in the Netherlands. The king took with him a flotilla of impressive ships. The crowning glory was 'Maria', one of the two largest gunships in existence at the time. Together with the sister ship 'Engelen', Maria was one of the first ships in the world's oldest navy, namely the Danish-Norwegian Navy.
In Holland, Christian II planned to regain power from Frederik I. The attempt failed, and Epoke can - as the very first - document that Christian II definitely lost two important ships in the south of Norway, specifically off Lista, approximately 18 nautical miles west of Norway's southernmost point, Lindesnes.
On board one of these ships was the king's 'war chest', which was supposed to finance an existing army of 6-7,000 brought mercenaries (landsknecthe). If the ships had arrived safely, it is possible that Christian II had later captured Copenhagen, overthrown King Frederik I and that The Kalmar Union had remained.
What exactly happened to the flotilla in the period from the king's exile to Holland and imprisonment at Sønderborg Castle is disputed in the history books. It is written that Christian II had the ambition to regain his kingdom in 1531, but that the northbound flotilla encountered a violent storm, so that the king lost ships at Scotland, the Ems and the Jutlandic West Coast. Elsewhere it is written that he sold the gunship 'Maria' to a merchant in Genoa.
The Epoke working group has anchored its work in academic methods. Via interdisciplinary collaboration between several scientific branches, with modern technology and an international network of experts, Epoke now contributes new knowledge about the shipwreck never earlier described.
In August 2023, the Nordic region's largest wreck hunt will be launched in close cooperation between military authorities, scientific institutions and archaeological authorities in both Norway, Denmark and the Netherlands.
Copyright Epoke 2023