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 battles of the first Danish-Prussian war 1849-51


The 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 by Colonel
 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

 The victory at Bov was greeted with cheers in Denmark and gave rise to great optimism of the Danish victory chances in the impending

  The Danish-Prussian Wars 1848-51, the Retreating Slesvig-Holsten Army at Bov

 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 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
 dejection 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 The army was withdrawn to the island Funen and Jutland was left wide open to the Prussian troops of general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 The Danish-Prussian Wars 1848-51, the Battle at Slesvig 1848  

 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.

  The Danish-Prussian Wars 1848-51, The Battle at Dybboel 1848

 After termination of the armistice with Prussia the hostilities resumed on April 3rd.
 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 lost.

 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 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 at 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.

 The Battle 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 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 damaged
 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 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 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 Germans 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 morning.

 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 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
 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 to 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.

 Jutland occupied

 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 the
 two brigades remained in the fortress.

                                                         Street combat in Kolding.
                                                                German picture
The Danish-Prussian Wars 1848-51, The Street Combat i 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 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 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 there 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 1849
 The battle took place north of Aarhus. The combat was between Danish and Prussian dragoons and hussars, and ended with a Danish

  The Danish-Prussian Wars 1848-51, The Cavalry Combat at Aarhus 1849

 Fredericia 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
 Henrik von Bülow, a sortie to break the siege. This  required, however, reinforcements.

 From Helgenæs, General Olaf Ryes brigade was transferred to the Funen, and a second brigade under General Christian de 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 am.

                                                     The Danish-Prussian Wars 1848-51, the Counter Attack from Fredericia 1849 The Danish-Prussian Wars 1848-51, Fredericia, the Attack on Trelleskanse 1849

 At 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.

 The Battle of Isted July 25th 1850  
 After Prussia had pulled out of the war volunteered many Germans  to the Schleswig-Holsterebel army, and the Schleswig-Holstein
 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 army.

 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 best 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 Læssøe. The Schleswig-Holstein army had
 534 dead.

 After the Victory at Isted the Danish army took their positions at the Dannevirke stronghold.

  The Danish-Prussian Wars 1848-51, The Royal Danish Lifeguard at Isted 1850
         The Royal Danish Lifeguard at Isted.
           The Danish-Prussian Wars 1848-51, The Isted Lion on The Flensborg Cemetary
The "Isted Lion" at the  Flensborg Cemetary

 The attack on Mysunde September 12th  1850  
 After the battle at Istted the Danes fortified Mysunde to cover their left flank. Under pressure from
the Schleswig-Holstein governor
 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 Battle 
The Danish-Prussian Wars 1848-51, the Battle at Mysunde 1850

 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 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'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 The Danish-Prussian Wars 1848-51, the Attack on Frederiksstad 1850

 German 1849 Graves at the Dybboel Cemetary 2011