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 Background of the two Danish-Prussian wars

 In Europe, replacing the one revolution of the second, starting with the revolution from France in February 1848, the wish for civil rights
 was spreading over Europe.
In March 1848  King Frederik VII, under pressure from the Danish population, apoints the
 "March ministry” under the leadership of prime minister A.W. Moltke. The aim was to create a democratic constitution for Denmark.

 The formation of a Constituent ministry was directly derived from the Schleswig question. A representative of the German-minded
 Schleswig and Holstein local reprersentation came on 18 March18th to London with a demand for separation of the three duchies
 from Danish sovereign..

 At the same time there were various German ideas about Europe and Germania.

In 1848 came Jacob Grimm's „Geschichte der deutschen Sprache.“ It was the first (but not last) time culture, language and folklore
 were used as arguments for political action. Grimm, who was a well known linguist, writes in his preface:

 "Lorraine, Alsace, Switzerland, Belgium and Holland is a part of our (German) Empire.
 In a few generations will perhaps only three European people be in power: The romans, the slaves and Germania. "

 Denmark also had a remark:
 "When the big associations are formed, why should the recalcitrant (Jutland) peninsula, not be part of det main land.
 .... Once Germany reorganizes itself, Denmark can impossible be as before. "
 This was a German scientific view.


  The Danish-Prussian Wars 1849-51 and 1864. The Duchies Slevsvig Holsten og Lauenborg 1848
  The Duchies marked with red.
The Danish-Prussian Wars 1849-51 and 1864. Map, Slesvig and Holsten

 In Copenhagen, it meant that the National Liberal “Ejder-people” (the one who wanted the Danish boarder south of Schleswig) could
 remove a part of the Kings nationalists from their ministerial posts and take control of Denmark, 1848 march 22th.
The new government then on March 24th  sent the deputation from Schleswig and Holstein back with the message, that the government
 would accept a Holstein secession from the Danish kingdom, But Schleswig was still supposed to be a part of Denmark.

                                                The Danish-Prussian Wars 1849-51 and 1864.The Crowd in the streets in Copenhagen
                                                   The people in the streets,
march 21st 1848
The Danish-Prussian Wars 1849-51 and 1864. The Danish King Frederik VII
           The Danish
Frederik VII

 Meanwhile, the a rumor arolse in Kiel that the king would be captured by the "mob" in Copenhagen. This rumor  was used by the central
 figures in the German and Schleswig-Holstein's movement to complete secession of the two duchies.
On march 23th 1848 the German
 officials, officers and citizens proclaimed a temporary Schleswig-Holstein government in Kiel.

 Officially the provisional government was created as a consequence of the development in Copenhagen, and invoked to represent the
 Crown, as long as the king was captured and thus did not have his full freedom of action. The idea was no doubt that the rebel govern-
 ment in practice would incorporate Schleswig and thus unite all of the Schleswig-Holstein area, which the king and the Danish govern-
 ment would never allow.

   The Danish-Prussian Wars 1848-51 and 1864. The Proclamation  of the Rebel Government in Kiel 1848
Proclamation of the rebel government in Kiel
    The Danish-Prussian Wars 1848-51 and 1864. Members of the rebel government in Kiel
Members of the" Government "in Kiel

 Whether this was due to confusion and poor communication or the people in that in Kiel actually believed that the revolution had broken
 out in Copenhagen or the rumors were a pretext the rebels used to exploit the situation with a tinge of legality and thus ensure
 support is undecided.

 On 24 March, i.e. next morning, the Provisional Government issued a proclamation calling for Schleswig and Holstein merged into a
 single state in personal union with the Kingdom of Denmark. They declared as their mission to defend the duchies and the Duke
 (The Danish King) against any harm.

 The proclamation did not have a revolutionary character, which undoubtedly contributed to the rebel government was recognized as
 legitimate by most state officials. Almost all towns in the duchies recognized the proclamation during the next days.


The Preoclamation of march 24th. 1848

"Mitbürger! Unser Herzog ist durch eine Volksbewegung in Kopenhagen gezwungen  worden, seine
  bisherigen Rathgeber zu entlassen, und eine feindliche Stellung gegen die Herzogthümer einzunehmen."
"Der Wille des Landesherrn ist nicht mehr frei und das Land ohne Regierung."
"Wir werden es nicht dulden wollen, daß Deutsches Land dem Raube der Dänen Preis gegeben werde."
"Wir werden uns mit aller Kraft den Einheits- und Freiheitsbestrebungen Deutschlands anschließen
."Wir werden uns mit aller Kraft den Einheits- und Freiheitsbestrebungen Deutschlands anschließen."

 The rebel government in Kiel now expected the government in Copenhagen would order some  military action against it and quickly a
 usefull army was established to ensure the Danish Fortress Rendsburg, which was the strongest military garrison in the Denmark
 containing a large arsenal of weaponry.

 Rendsburg conquered

 That same morning, March 24, a special train drove from Kiel to Rendsburg with the soldiers from the garrison in Kiel and 50 volunteers
 under the command of the Provisional Government's secretary of  war minister, Frederick of Noer. He was the brother of the Duke of
 Augustenborg, who hoped to become king of Denmark and the duchies after the childless King Frederik VII. This  was, however,
 refuted in 1846, which secured the succession of the crown over Denmark and the duchies.

       The Danish-Prussian Wars 1848-51 and 1864. The Duke of Augustemborg.
        The Duke of Augustenborg
The Danish-Prussian Wars 1848-51 and 1864. The Prince of af Noer
    The Prince of Noer

 The railroad from Kiel to Rendsburg and Neumünster unfortunately passed through the outer fortress works of Rendsborg , why it was
 possible for the military force from Kiel to drive the train directly into the fortress. Here they fast occupied the main guard building and
 other important points.
By ringing the fire bells they had collected the Danish soldiers - unarmed – on the fortress parade ground.
 The Prince of Noer, now in a Danish general uniform , gave a speech in which he stated that he and the Provisional Government in Kiel
 had taken over the government of the Duchies, as long as the Duchies rightful monarch, the king in Copenhagen, was held  captured
 by the Copenhagen mob. Officers and soldiers who wanted to travel to Denmark, were free to go . Most officers chose to travel to
 Denmark while the vast majority of privates and sergeants chose the Schleswig-Holstein rebel army.

  The Danish-Prussian Wars 1848-51 and 1864. The Rebel Army leaves the Fortress Rendsborg 1948
  The Rebel Army leaves
The Danish-Prussian Wars 1848-51 and 1864. Map of Rendsborg 1845
   Map Rendsborg 1845

 The civil war in the Duchies was now a reality.