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,
by Colonel Schleppegrell. The Danish forces were superior in numbers,
the Danish soldiers were better trained. The
battle was short, and the Schleswig-Holstein troops hadbig losses and
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 Dannevirke.
victory at Bov was greeted with cheers in Denmark and gave rise to great
optimism of the Danish victory chances in
the impending war.
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 more than
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
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 dejection
in Denmark. The army was withdrawn to the island Funen and Jutland was
wide open to the Prussian troops of general Wrangel.
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
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
After having won the battles of Haderslev Avnbøl and Ullerup, the Danes
were ready to attack on the enemy army at Bov, but
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
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 Irminger marched
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 where
some enemy posts were observed in the woods south of
the road. The town of Adsbøl itselv was occupied with infantry and
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 in the 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 the batteries
around the fjord, which were in German Schleswig-Holstein possession. But the two big ships
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
damaged by shelling from the Prussian field and beach batteries, it also
lowerthe flag. Fire broke loose on board Christian VII and at 8
pm the cruiser exploded. Gefion was after the conquest
repaired and was
part of the German fleet under the name of Eckernförde. Since the
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 was then
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 Eckernförde.
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
captured 20th April Kolding at April 20th and established strong
positions inside and around the city. General Bülow decided
to throw the
enemy 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 capture the
bridge at Ejstrup and midstream by Paaby and then attack the enemy from there. This was an
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
In the morning the Danes attacked the Prussian
defenses against a broad flank and met hard resistance. Bülow's brigade
fought right up the
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
regroup. The Danes thought the battle was won, but the Prussians returned with 12 pound
guns and 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 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,
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
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 16 cannons,
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
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
this, and go into position behind some redoubts, thar was build in
the beginning of 1848 and recently been partially fortified
with 12 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 Rye
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
the enemy would attack and now stood in the area north of Aarhus. From
he went, while the enemy was standing at Skanderborg, at first to the
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 victory.
6th July 1849
In 1849, Denmark, in the spring was enclosed by
the Schleswig-Holstein rebels under General Bonin. Schleswig-Holstein
have 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 Henrik von
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
Meza 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
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
There were several hundred dead, mostly Danish. General Rye were among the
dead during the
storm on the redoubt
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
Holstein forces continued the the war on their own, but
without support from other German states until they July 25th
suffered a decisive defeat in the largest battle in the history of
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
officers 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
The Schleswig-Holstein army had 534 dead.
After the Victory at Isted the Danish army took
their positions at the Dannevirke.
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
governor cabinet General Wilhelm von Willisen chose
to carry out an attack on Mysunde onseptember 12th 1850
was defended by first brigade and a strong artillery force under
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
Moor the Schleswig-Holstein rebels pulled back to Holstein. From
here there they several times attacked the Danes in order
to attract the
Danish 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 troops. After
having shelled the 1600 men Danish army under the command of Hans Helgesen for 5 days, the
Schleswig-Holstein 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