The Prussian Amphibious Attack on the
Island of Als
The truce Talks in London broke down because the
Danish government would not go into a division of Schleswig. Despite
the defeat at Dybbøl, on april 18thl 1864 maintained the Danish diplomats with Prime minister D.G. Monrad the
for a boundary at the Eider.
The Danish government was well aware that after
the defeat at Dybboel they had not any military options, but threy that the
could hold out, while the Danish diplpomacy achieved something at the
negotiating table in London. The government
based its hopes that the
European powers Russia, France and Britain had guaranteed the Danish possession of Schleswig.
It quickly became clear that none of the major
powers were willing to go to war for Schleswig's sake.
When the negotiations broke apart definitively,
the Prussian army could make the final attack on the Danish army by an
invasion of the island of Als.
On June 26th 1864 the ceasefire ended
and a fleet of open boats, gathered at Ballebro before the attack on the
Originally they should have been used to surround the Dansih
army at Dybboel via a landing at Hardeshoej at the Als side.
Now these boats were moved to the forrest Sottrupskov at the coast of
Alssund, a narrow strait between Jutland and the
The owner of Sandbjerg Farm had at a time
offered to cut the parts of the forest facing the Alssund, but the ministry of war
was sure the
Prussians could not make any use of the area.
At two o´clock at night on June 29th,
2500 Prussian soldiers with 166 boats and 20 pontoon ferries started in the first assault
wave across Alssund between Sottrupskov and Arnkil.
Because of the steep banks to the beach
it was necessary to dig
ramps for the
boats launching from the forrest
embarkation was covered by
batteries of field artillery
in the woods
The transition was not without casualties.
The Graveof 5 drowned Prusian
Danish forces on the peninsula Arnkil took immediate battle, but the
defence was too weak.
were only approx.
50 soldiers who quickly were defeated.
The nearest Danish forces was in Ulkebøl.
the nearest major Danish forces reached the battle area, a fierce
fighting developed around the village
Map, the transition
The water between Arnkil and Preussisk
the Sottrup Forrest
of the transition
attack could probably be averted military as the Danish ironclad Rolf
the way down through Alssund could
have fired on, and sunk, the simple
small boats, which the Prussian forces were transferred in. But just as
Rolf Krake was
about to open fire, order was given to turn around and
sail to Mommark to support the evacuation of the Danish army.
the morning the
Prussian troops defeated the Danish army, and at.
5.30 am the Danes gives up to defend the
island and moved, constantly
fighting, back to the little Peninsula Kegnaes to the south.
here the troops were shipped
over to the island of Funen and Copenhagen the next day.
1st the last Danish soldier left Als.
Danish army's losses (killed, wounded and captured) in connection with
the fight for Als totaled 3,148
men, while the
corresponding Prussian losses amounted to 372 men.
Prussia occupied Als, the Austrian forces occupied the north of Jutland
and the Danish
government had to
sign a peace agreement.
The first wave of almost 2500
of Prussian infantry landing at
Danish guards at the Alssund
Boat used at the transsition
success of the Prussian invasion immediately got the
mood in the Danish public to
In the leading Copenhagen
newspaper spread alarmism
itself and it was seriously discussed if
there was a probability of an enemy force landing on
entire Danish warfare was based on the fact, that the
fleet had supremacy in the inner Danish waters
and that the enemy
could not reach the islands.
Now the Austrian fleet main force was headed for
and if the Danish naval supremacy
was lost too, the
Prussians could easily cross the Fehmarn Belt
and conquer the unprotected Lolland-Falster.
and Copenhagen could be the next target.
prospect of war was not just something that was
happening over there in the darkness of Jutland, but
actually it also
could hit the capital. This fact got
the national liberal core movement in the Copenhagen
to give up and demand
peace at almost any cost.
population's fears were not unfounded.
The commander of the German forces, Prince Friedrich
Karl, actually had
detailed plans for an invasion of Funen, too be effected if Denmark chose to continue the
To the great chagrin of the
prince there became no need
for another large-scale Prussian landing operation.
Memorial in redoubt X.
Here the order of the transition
June 29th 1864.
there, the German supreme
command watched the transition
Graves and Memorials
on the island of Als 2011