Why didn't the Russians conquer Scandinavia after winning the Great Northern War?

They could’ve gone for the northern part of Norway and Sweden alongside all of Finland if it helps. At least it can get a warm-water part without having to drag itself into a serious insurgency.
Russia already controlled the Kola peninsula, which does possess territory suitable for a warm water port. Today the city of Murmansk provides such a function. Controlling Narvik is not going to improve the Russia's access to warm water ports in any significant way.

Additionaly, before the invention of railways, it would be expensive to haul cargo from the Russian core to Murmansk during the winter. It would not be easier to haul cargo to Narvik than to Murmansk.

When the White Sea was ice free, it is possible to haul goods onboard the sea. This would allow freight between Arkhangelsk, and Murmansk or Narvik, but what would be the point of that? Then it is better to just go directly from Arkhangelsk to the destination, wheter that be Amsterdam, London, etc.

Controlling what is today Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania provides better access to warm water seas than Murmansk or Narvik ever could, especially during the winters.

If Russia were to get better controll and/or more geopolitically secure shipping in the North Atlantic and the Baltic Sea, it might have to look to Oresund sound. Which would be a lot of expansion. Diplomacy would be a better course of action.
 
Russia already controlled the Kola peninsula, which does possess territory suitable for a warm water port. Today the city of Murmansk provides such a function. Controlling Narvik is not going to improve the Russia's access to warm water ports in any significant way.
Just FYI, Murmansk was founded in 1915. Regarding Archangelsk, Peter practically killed trade through it (and IIRC limited trade from Riga and Revel) to promote St. Petersburg. This should give a general idea how much did he care about the warm water ports. ;)

Completely agree with you on the rest.
 
Just FYI, Murmansk was founded in 1915.
We have discussed earlier founding of Murmansk for several TLs back at fai.org.ru - the general consensus was that warm water port on Kola, regardless of how desirable, is going to be logistics nightmare anytime pre mass railroad building.
 
Russia already controlled the Kola peninsula, which does possess territory suitable for a warm water port. Today the city of Murmansk provides such a function. Controlling Narvik is not going to improve the Russia's access to warm water ports in any significant way.

Additionaly, before the invention of railways, it would be expensive to haul cargo from the Russian core to Murmansk during the winter. It would not be easier to haul cargo to Narvik than to Murmansk.

When the White Sea was ice free, it is possible to haul goods onboard the sea. This would allow freight between Arkhangelsk, and Murmansk or Narvik, but what would be the point of that? Then it is better to just go directly from Arkhangelsk to the destination, wheter that be Amsterdam, London, etc.

Controlling what is today Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania provides better access to warm water seas than Murmansk or Narvik ever could, especially during the winters.

If Russia were to get better controll and/or more geopolitically secure shipping in the North Atlantic and the Baltic Sea, it might have to look to Oresund sound. Which would be a lot of expansion. Diplomacy would be a better course of action.
Controlling northern Scandinavia though would at least ensure that the waters that border it don’t fall into enemy hands just in case.
 
As small as the populations are they probably could have absorbed them easily mother Russia would be the land of the great white North until the Soviet Union fell apart or something like that.
 
Russia didn’t conquer Scandinavia, because it would have been a nightmare. The moment the Russia behaved like they would conquer Scandinavia, Denmark and Sweden would have joined in a common alliance, and UK and France would likely have funded that alliances. This would pretty much have removed any ability to invade Scandinavia through naval means, which meant that a Russian invasion had to be through Lapland. So Russia needed to have a army which could defeat the Danish and Swedish one (plus all the mercenaries they could hire with British and French money) walk through a thousand kilometer of wasteland, while the Danish-Swedish forces which would harass the Russians could be supplied from the sea.

Alternative they could try to invade Denmark through North Germany, which run into the problem that even if they do that, much of Denmark lies on islands.

So in short Russia didn’t do it, because even if it (and it’s a big if) was possible, it was really not worth the resources they had to throw after it.

If people want a Scandinavian Russia, a personal union makes more sense. A single different marriage would enable it. Let Queen Louise of Denmark die in 1710, and Frederik IV accept Peter I suggestion to marry his daughter Anna Petrovna to Christian VI of Denmark, in which case their son would be a potential heir to the Russian throne. While Frederik was religious rigid, I think the idea of his becoming Zar would be worth letting him convert to Orthodoxy, likely with a deal the Danish Lutheran State Church, that Denmark and a Norway would stay forever Lutheran. If this doesn’t result in a major succession war, it’s pretty easy for a Russian-Danish alliance to take over Sweden in this period.
 
Top