Danish Version    

 The Author of This Site

  The Prelude to the Wars

 
The First  War 1848-51

 
The Battles 1848-51

 
The Siege of Fredericia

 
The Second  War 1864

 Dannevirke  Stronghold

 The Siege of Dybboel

 
The Attack on Fredericia

 
The Attack on Dybboel

 
The Attack on the Als
        

 
The Peace

 
The Consequences

 Dybboel 2010

 Als 2010

 
 


 






 


The Two Danish-Prussian Wars 1848-50 and 1864

The Unconditional Peace in Vienna.

  It was a very depressed Denmark the soldiers returned to. This is clearly reflected in the king, Christian IX's, proclamation to  the returning
  soldiers :

    Soldiers!

  The battle has ended! From war's bloody journeyyou return to your normal doings.
  The war has claimed its heavy tolls, and even even heavier tolls may peace be purchased. But the well of the
  Homeland, forces us to prefer peace rather than a continued conflict.
  I know that your courage is unwavering - I know that the army is still prepared to take up battle against the enemy -
  but we can't control the uotcome,
and while being fought, is the preponderant part of the land in the enemy's posession
 
and suffers from a pressure, which will soon lead to destruction.
 Therefore the hostilities must be ended,
even with
  Abandonment of Land Elements, that  from ancient times have  belonged to Denmark and to which all Danish hearts
  belong.
  For you, soldiers, is the outcome of the battle double heavy. You struggled and your blood ran for a cause, we now have
  had to abandon.
 
But you leave this battle with glory.
  It must be acknowledged that the task you from the beginning were ordered to do, was more than difficult; against the
  armies of
 two Great Powers, you were only a small unit.
  Any hope for help failed, the enemy's superior force forced you back but not his power nor winter's harshness weakend
 
your courage
. Therefore, before you depart, accept the gratitude of your king.  With deep grief, I have followed you in
  your deed and with sorrow mixed pride I've seen
your journey. Preserve with calmness your future peaceful occupations
  and the self-sacrifice you have shown in battle.
  R
etain, above all, the love to King and country which
Patriotic has guided you. With Providence Assistance Denmark
  will still be able to hope for happy Future, although the nearest time seams
dark and menacing. Act in peace, as you
  acted
in battle, and you will help your country well, as you have so far defended its honor.
 
   
Copenhagen, August 8th 1864
                   Christian R.

 

 
 
The Danish-Prusian Wars 1848-51 and 1864, Staff Headquarters 1848 and 1864
Staff Headquarters in Soenderborg in both 1884
 and 1864.
The Danish Prussian Wars 1848-51 and 1864, Memorial at Soenderborg
           Memorial 2010

 The Peace talks after the defeat took place in the old imperial Vienna and the Danish negotiators were placed on a impossible mission.
 After months of wrangling, during which the German occupation troops plundered the population of Jutland, it ended with a purely Ger-
 
man diktation.
 At the peace, October 30th 1864, Denmark had to give up the duchies of Schleswig, Holstein and Lauenburg to  Prussia and Austria.
 
Thus we at the peace lost almost 40% of our land and population. Denmark was now a tiny state of only 1.7 million inhabitants.
 According to the peace treaty it  was possible for the inhabitants of the transferred areas to preserve their Danish citizenship  and remain
 in their homes
if they "did not fall for trouble."
 Since it entirely up to the end of the Franco-Prussian War in 1871 was figured a new war between Denmark and Germany was possible,
 
many chose to move to Denmark. The Danish-minded Schleswigers did not want to fight against their fellow countrymen in a third Danish-
 Prussian war.


 There was no more military confrontations between Denmark and Prussia or Germany, and nobody could have guessed that many
 
Danes, 50 years later, would be conscripted into service by the Imperial German army and had to fight on distant fronts during the first
 
World War.
 Approx
5000 of them were killed in action.

     The Danish-Prussian Wars, Dybboel 1864. The Prussian Victory Memorial.
      Prussian monoment for the victory
          at Dybboel on the redoubt IV
The Danish-Prussian Wars, Arnkil 1864. The Prussian Victory Memorial.
     Prussian monoment for the victory
             at the Arnkil peninsula
   In mid May 1945 unknown persons,  probably
   former resistance fighters,
 blew the german
   victory
monuments in Dybbøl and Arnkil and
   a German
monument at
Knivsbjerg.

The Danish-Prussian Wars, Dybboel 1945. The blown Prussian Victory Memorial.

 The Danish Leaders During the Wars:

 Primeminister  D.G. Monrad plunged following the defeat of religious books and emigrated in 1865 as a pioneer to New Zealand. He meant, according to his
 memoirs, that the only way to leave politics was til leave Copenhegen
On his return he became Bishop.
 Monrad died in 1887.

 Commanding General de Meza was under pressure from the mob and the tabloid press in Copenhagen after having saved  his army out of the impossible
 situation of Dannevirke.
This was in contradiction with D.G.Monrads orders: Dannevirke was under no circumstances to be vacated untill 1 / 3 of the men
 (10-15.000) were killed or wounded.
 
 
De Meza never recovered from this injustice, and he died sick and broken in 1865. It has though many years been broad agreed, that he did the only possible
 and acted military correct.

 General Gerlach took over as commanding general for the Meza, but was dismissed after the war. He made the opposite mistake of de Meza, and followed
 Monrads orders and kept the army at the Dybboel position wherebythe entire army was virtually destroyed.
Gerlach died in 1865.
 The road leading to the gate to the Sønderborg barracks is named after the General, Gerlach Street.

 General du Plat who, in recognition of the impossible situation just before the final Prussian attack at the Dybboel stronghold,  offered the seriously ill
 commanding General
Gerlach to take command as the oldest officer and responsibly bring the troops back to the peninsula Als, was killed south of the
 
redoubts. This occurred while he tried to inspire the soldiers from the destoyed redoubts of a renewed counterattack.
 A monument is
raised on the place where he was killed.
He is buried at the Soderup Cemetery.

 General Hegermann-Lindencrone, following orders,  pulled the fourth Division's 9000 men up through Jutland instead of staying in the Dybbøl stronghold
 
continued his military career until 1867, where he was dismissed.

 There has been much discussion about whether the march up through Jutland was the right thing to do.

 
General Raasløff, who fought under the first Schleswig War (Isted and Fredericia) resigned in 1851 and went to USA where he for a long time worked for
 the sale of the West Indies.
He believed it was a most risky foreign policy for Denmark to be part of the colonial conflict between the great powers. He was
 called back to Denmark
and deployed as war minister in 1866 to prepare the new army law
of 1867.
 Raasløff died in 1883.

 General Bülow became political example of the appointment of higher commanders.
He was as colonel nearly dismissed by reason of infirmity, but in an
 interview with the War Minister, he discovered that Bülow
had the skills gthe army needed desperately. The ability of leading in war.
 Since the discussion after 1865 raged about good and bad officers Bülows example was highlighted as the leader who was created to warfare less than the
 
satisfactory life in the barracks, drills and politic smalltalk.
 Bülow had, like Meza and Gerlach, problems with the ministers of war. The outcome of Fredericia in 1848 was in direct contradiction with the Secretary of War
 C.F.
Hansen and probably only the successful operations saves Bülow from dismissal.
 
In 1856 Bülow resigned  from the army and lived on Sandbjerg Castle on Sundeved until his death in 1858.
 Bülow is buried in Dybbøl Cemetery.


  
Memorials at the stronghold Dybboel 2010