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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 sufferfrom 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 defented its honor.
 
   
Copenhagen, August 8th 1864
                   Christian R.
 

 Staff Headquarters in Soender-
 borg in both 1884 and 1864.
 
The Danish-Prusian Wars 1848-51 and 1864, Staff Headquarters 1848 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 cirkum-
 stances 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 disappointed and broken 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 monumednt 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