Danish-Prussian Wars 1848-50 and 1864
battles of the first Danish-Prussian war 1849-51
battle at Bov April 9th 1848
After the surprise of Rendsburg penetrated the
Schleswig-Holstein troops further north.
The Danish army, under the command of General
Hedemann moved south of Kolding and joined with an Army from Als, led
Schleppegrell. The Danish forces were superior in numbers,
and the Danish soldiers were better trained. The
battle was short, and the
Schleswig-Holstein troops hadbig losses and
fled south in panic. Their remaining troops fled back to the fortress of Rendsburg and the
Danish Army took control of Schleswig down to the river Ejder. Den Danish army followed and took position on the old stronghold
victory at Bov was greeted with cheers in Denmark and gave rise to great
optimism of the Danish victory chances in the impending
The battle at Schleswig 23rd April 1848
Prussia had just entered the war on the
Schleswig-Holstein side. The German forces under the Prussian general Wrangel, constituted
32000 men with 74 pieces og artillery against 10,000 Danish troops with
32 guns, three times as much power as the Danish
army had. On a cold and wet spring morning, the Germans
attacked, but the Danish forces under Colonel Læssøe defended themselves
skillfully, and the
losses were limited. However, a terrifying large number of the wounded
died shortly after the battle.
After the high-flown and not very realistic optimism from the March days
in Copenhagen in 1848 the battle led to an acute attack of
in Denmark. The army was withdrawn to the island Funen and Jutland was
left wide open to the Prussian troops of general
The Battle at Slesvig
Nyboel and Dybboel June 5th 1848
From Als, general Hedemann and colonel
Schleppegrell performed an attack on Nybøl, 28 May 28th 1848.
This victory and the
subsequent at Dybbøl June 5th caused
excitement among the Danish population, but some reluctance of the gteat
nations. But opposite
Russia would not allow Prussia to cross the narrow
water Konge-aaen and thus into the kingdom.
termination of the armistice with Prussia the hostilities resumed on
In 1849 The Danish army consisted of 41,000 men,
while the Prussian and Schleswig-Holstein armies were able to pattern 65,000.
Facing this power the Danes decided to retreat
northwards. After having won the battles of Haderslev Avnbøl and Ullerup, the Danes
were ready to attack on the enemy army at Bov, but was ordered
to withdraw to Als and Kolding.
This happened because of a failed maneuver with
the cruiser Christian VIII and the frigate Gefion April 5th in Eckernförde fjord, where
they tried to keep the Schleswig-Holstein
army in the belief that a landing could take place there. Both ships were
The fightings at Haderslev on April 3th 1849
The Northern Jutland Corps under Major Rye
moved on April 3th into Schleswig from Kolding. At 05.00 am Lieutenant Colonel
off with 2 battalions, 4 artillery pieces, a batery of espingols and the cavalry division Hegermann-Lindencrone. By
the Aller Inn they attacked a Prussian cavalry patrol and forced it apart. At 3.00 pm they encountered the enemy in a very hilly terrain at
the city Haderslev. This infantry combat
forced the enemy
was into the city, and fierce street combats occurred. The houses and mills
that lay at
South Bridge, which the enemy had arranged fordefense, was quickly captured and soon the whole town was occupied by
Danish troops. In the battle three Danish
soldiers were killed and six wounded.
The battle at Adsboel April 3th 1849
On the morning the Danish army started the
advance from Als. The brigade took first sight of the enemy at Aunboel wheresome enemy
posts were observed in the woods south of
the road. The town of Adsbøl itselv was occupied with infantry and artillery. During a severe
attack the town was bypassed to
the north of Nyboel and past Fiskebaek. The attack on the town was supported by 2 grenade cannons.
After an artillery and infantry combat the enemy
was forced through and out of the town where two of the Danish guns were placed
cemetery. Then the enemy is chased across the fields and
through the wood in front of Graasten.
The Danish casualties were 2 killed, 21 wounded
and 2 missing.
of Egernförde April 5th 1849
In this attack from the sea participated the
frigate Gefion and the cruiser Christian VIII, and some transport vessels. They should attack
around the fjord, which were in German Schleswig-Holstein possession. But the two big ships could not
maneuver in the
narrow fjord. Then they tried to get the two paddle
steamers Hekla and Geyser to drag them out, but they were also fired
upon and thus
not very manoeuvrable. The fight started kl.4.00 am. In
the afternoon Gefion had surrendered. Christian VIII became so hardly
by shelling from the Prussian field and beach batteries, it also
had to lower the flag. Fire broke loose on board Christian VII and at 8
the cruiser exploded. Gefion was after the conquest repaired and was
part of the German fleet under the name of Eckernförde. Since
Federal fleet was dissolved in 1852 the ship was taken over by Prussia
and was again named Gefion. The ship was in active
service until approx.
1870, and then served as a barracks ship until it was scrapped in 1891.
The battle ended with 105 dead, 61 wounded and
nearly 1000 prisoners. The dead were buried in a cemetery in the northern part of the
The Battle of Kolding April 23rd 1849.
The Prussians marched north, and after a few
hours of fighting general Rye had to retreat the Almind area, and the
20th April Kolding at April 20th and established strong
positions inside and around the city. General Bülow decided to throw the
back and launched the attack on April 23rd in the
The Battle of Kolding began with an attack on 2
flanks in the north.
- The eastern flank, which was under direct
command of General Bülow, stood ready at Taulov.
- The western flank, which was commanded by
Major Rye and General Moltke, stood ready at the Harte and Almind. They would
bridge at Ejstrup and midstream by Paaby and then attack the enemy from there. This was an
important part of the
battle, otherwise it would be hard to pass the creek.
- The Prussian main groups were in the east
near Kolding and Vonsild, and west by Seest and Vranderup.
In the morning the Danes attacked the Prussian
defenses against a broad flank and met hard resistance. Bülow's brigade fought right
Castle Lake and met hard resistance here. The brigades of Rye and Moltke had captured the
bridge at Ejstrup Creek but met
some resistance at the road to Vejle. The Prussian General Bonin
felt pressure and ordered his flanks together in a wedge shape and
pulled back a little, but only
to regroup. The Danes thought the battle was won, but the Prussians returned with 12 pound
reinforcements from the areas south of Kolding and fought hard of the center of Kolding. When
they were near to deprive both Rye´s
and Moltke´s brigades, Bülow pulled back
towards Vejle and Fredericia, and the battle was lost.
In early May, General Prittwitz got permission to cross the border to
the Danish Kingdom and occupy most of Jutland.
The fighting at Gudsø May
3th and 7th 1849
After the Danes lost the Battle of Kolding on
April 23rdl 1849, General Bülow had pulled Moltke´s and Schleppegrell´s brigades back
to Fredericia and general Rye kept his troops in the Vejle area. As the enemy apparently remained stable, Bülow
decided on May 3rd
to take a position west of Elbodalen and became engaged with enemy forces..
The enemy was pushed back through pass of Gudsoe,
which was occupied and set up an
outpost line with connections to Rye´s corps.
General Prittwitz now preparied an assault on
both the Danish Corps, which should take place on May 7th in
the morning. General Bonin
and his three brigades were sent towards Gudsø. Here was General N. G. la Cour supposed to defend the Danish position, with 3
battalions and 4 cannons. Because of its superior resistance, the Danes
were forced to pull back to the fortress after a tough battle.
Parts of Moltke´s and Schleppegrell´s brigades
were then sailed from Fredericia and back to the Funen while the rest of
two brigades remained in the fortress.
Street combat in Kolding.
General Ryes Corps pursued up north in Jutland.
General Olaf Ryes Brigade, also known as the
North Jutland Corps, of 7,000 men, which included a significant strength of cavalry and
then began his famous retreat through Jutland persecuted by General Prittwitz with 22,000 men and 52 guns. The day after
the battles at Gudsø and Viuf on May 8th continued Prittwitz his advance
and and met Rye and his Corps in the wooded heights north
of Vejle, with
his right wing towards the Grejs creek. With surrounding cavalry and and
a little frontal combat, general Rye was
maneuvered out of that position
and then marched to Hedensted. The night between May 8th and May 9th he pulled up behind Oelsted
Creek and made his headquarter in
Thorsted, while the cavalry stood further west at Hornborg.
On May 22nd, Rye finally got orders to put his
retreat towards Helgenæs, a little island east of Jutland and connectet
with this, and go
into position behind some redoubts, thar was build in
the beginning of 1848 and recently been partially fortified and equipped
heavy guns and manned by a battalion.
Until now it had been the intention for Rye to march towards Aalborg.
Rye realized, that only by keeping in touch with the enemy and by
defensive fight he was able to lure the enemy further and further away,
and for that matter Aalborg was unfortunate because it also led
away from the coast and the possibility of being shipped back to Fredericia.
On May 24th Prittwitz moved
forward with all his strength, divided into four columns to attack the
Rye Brigade in the area of Skanderborg.
But when the attack should
begin, he discovered that the Danes were gone. Rye had, through his intelligence, learned that
would attack and now stood in the area north of Aarhus. From
there he went, while the enemy was standing at Skanderborg, at first to
north and then east, bound for Helgenæs.
The cavalry combat at
Aarhus May 31st
The battle took place north of Aarhus. The
combat was between Danish and Prussian dragoons and hussars, and ended with a Danish
6th July 1849
In 1849, Denmark, in the spring was enclosed by
the Schleswig-Holstein rebels under General Bonin. Schleswig-Holstein had
entrenched themselves in positions around the city of Fredericia
and opened a artillery bombardment.
In Fredericia Colonel Lunding was in command,
and he planned together with the Army's new commanding general, Frederick Rubeck
Bülow, a sortie to break the siege. This required, however,
From Helgenæs, General Olaf Ryes brigade was
transferred to the Funen, and a second brigade under General Christian
came from Als by sea. The troops were then transferred to
Fredericia in small boats. The Schleswig-Holstein troops could not hit these
small boats with their artillery.
The break out was finally determined by a
council of war in Vejlby Rectory at Strib, July 4th and was launched 6 July 6th at 1 am.
the time of the break out there were 19,000 Danish troops ready in the
streets of Fredericia. hey were facing an Schleswig-Holstein
army of14,000 men.
Although the Danes were in the majority, the Prussians had great
advantage that they fought from fortified positions. It was a tough fight
and the outcome uncertain until sunset, when the battle was
settled and Schleswig-Holstein troops were on the run.
There were several
hundred dead, mostly Danish. General Rye were among the
dead during the
storm on the redoubt “Treldeskansen”.
Now Russia interfered and threatened to break
relations with Prussia, which caused that General Wrangel was ordered to vacate Jutland.
On June 2nd 1850 a peace treaty was signed by
Prussia and Denmark in Berlin and July 10th 1850 also the German Confederation
signed the treaty with Denmark.
Battle of Isted July 25th 1850
After Prussia had pulled out of the war
volunteered many Germans to the Schleswig-Holsterebel army, and the
forces continued the the war on their own, but
without support from other German states until they July 25th
1850 suffered a decisive
defeat in the largest battle in the history of
Denmark. During the Battle of Isted Moor fought about.
40,000 Danish soldiers against
34,000 of the Schleswig-Holstein rebel
The Danish army, under General Krogh was now
superior in number and were better educated than the rebel army. The German
commander was the
Prussian General von Willisen. Schleswig-Holstein had fortified themselves in a
strong defensive position at
Isted, where passage around the main road from Flensburg to Schleswig was
narrowed by marshes and lakes. The defense thus had
a great advantage
even the fact that they were outnumbered .
The fighting began at 01.00 am and especially
the initial attack was costly for the Danish forces. Many of the Army's
showed great courage and were killed.
There was a fierce fighting in the villages
Isted and Upper Stolk, and at 8 am in the morning the situation was
critical for the Danes.
However, over the next hours things changed, and
by afternoon General Willisen ordered the retreat. But the victory was dearly bought.
On the Danish
side 845 men were killed, including General Schleppegrell and Colonel Læssøe.
The Schleswig-Holstein army had
After the Victory at Isted the Danish army took
their positions at the Dannevirke stronghold.
Royal Danish Lifeguard at Isted.
Lion" at the Flensborg Cemetary
attack on Mysunde September 12th 1850
After the battle at Istted the Danes fortified
Mysunde to cover their left flank. Under pressure from
cabinet, General Wilhelm von Willisen chose
to carry out an attack on Mysunde onseptember 12th 1850
Mysunde was defended by the
first brigade and a strong artillery force under
Colonel Crab. The attack was rejected and turned back, probably mainly because of the
The attack on Frederiksstad October 4th 1850
The attack of Frederiksstad was the last major
battle Three of the forst Danisk-Prussina War. After the Battle of the
Isted Moor the
Schleswig-Holstein rebels pulled back to Holstein. From
here there they several times attacked the Danes in order to attract the
troops down to the Holstein (which was a German territory.) and
thus drawing the German states back into the war again.
In September 1850 the Schleswig-Holstein troops
commenced a major bombardment of Frederiksstad, which was fortified by Danish
having shelled the 1600 men Danish army under the command of Hans Helgesen for 5 days, the Schleswig-Holstein's
attacked on October 4th
1850 with 5000 men. The battle lasted all night, but the morning the Schleswig-Holstein
army was forced to
retreat. During the bombardment most of the city caught fire. Both city hall and
the Remonstrant Church was destroyed during the
The attack on Frederiksstad
Graves at the Dybboel