Back to DANISH UNIFORMS, COLOURS AND STANDARDS 1675-1679
DANISH UNIFORMS, COLOURS AND STANDARDS 1675-1679
In 1674 the domains of the King of Denmark comprised present-day Denmark and Norway together with Schleswig-Holstein [Sleswick-Holsatia] - now a state in the Federal German Republic - down to the Elbe about Hamburg. The Duke of Holstein-Gottorp owned nearly half of Sleswick-Holsatia. The Danish King owned most of the other half and they both jointly administered the remainder. In addition several petty dukedoms, counties and enclaves, while technically independent, were dependent on one or the other of the Co-dukes. Also, the Danish King by a contested but eventually successful inheritance had recently obtained sovereignty over Oldenburg and Delmenhorst, situated to the west of Bremen and the Weser River.
The domains of the Danish King were not a heterogeneous unit, either administratively or language. In Denmark proper German was used fairly much at the Court and in the Army. General, routine matters were dealt with in the Danish Chancery [Danske Cancellie] and the German Chancery [Tyske Cancellie] leaving court and foreign matters much to the last. German was usually common language of command, not unnatural as the greater part of the officers and also the mercenary (enlisted) troops were Germans, as well as most of the auxiliary troops.
Apart from the Kingdom of Norway, of which Christian V also was the king, Denmark proper was usually called the "Kingdom", while Schleswig-Holstein and adjoining enclaves etc. were lumped together under the title "the Duchies", which depending on the context might mean the King's part or both parts together. We shall henceforth use the term in the first sense. Oldenburg and Delmenhorst together were usually called the "Counties".
King Christian 5 (1646-1699), who ascended to the throne in 1670, ruled as an absolute monarch. The young, 24-year old King was neither well educated nor very bright, but like many of his contemporaries he was very keen to show his bravery and abilities as a military commander. He was easily swayed by bad advisors and was too inexperienced. He did not have the same independent determination as his counterpart, King Charles XI. On the other hand, he could become very stubborn at the smallest preceived slight to his royal dignity. Add to this his rather upright and honest character; which made him popular with the ordinary people, but not necessarily was an advantage for a ruler those days.
Over the previous years Denmark had lost some of its richest provinces to its old hereditary enemy Sweden. After the so-called Torstenson War (1643-1645) the islands of Gotland and Øsel (now part of the Estonian Republic) in the Baltic Sea together with the Norwegian provinces of Jämtland and Härjedal were lost, while the province of Halland to the North of Skåne (Scania) was to be mortgaged for 30 years to Sweden.
A few years later war had to be waged again, the so-called Charles Gustav Wars, 1657-1660, so named after the Swedish warrior King Charles X Gustav. This war had two phases. After the first phase in 1658 the remainder of the old Danish provinces in present day Sweden: Skåne, Halland and Blekinge, together with the Norwegian provinces of Bohus and Trondheim and the Danish Island of Bornholm, fell to the Swedes who had invaded and conquered most of Denmark. But soon the war raged again, but now the Swedes were not so lucky and the Danish allies supported final peace negotiations in 1660. Due to the combined interests of the Netherlands, England and France, the two former not liking the thought of having the same nation controlling both sides of the Øresund, and the latter being the traditional supporter of Sweden, only the island of Bornholm and the Norwegian province of Trondheim were returned to Denmark. Of course Denmark longed to regain the lost provinces, and thought a chance cropped up, when Sweden in 1674 because of its French alliance and subsidies had to go to war against the Grand Elector of Brandenburg.
The real culprit of the European wars in the last quarter of the 17th Century was the French King Louis XIV. Time and again through vile diplomacy and an open purse he managed to draw almost all of Europe into fighting on one side or the other. This time the French war of revenge against the Netherlands pulled Sweden, the ally of France, into the fray against the rest of Northern Europe.
From the midst of the Thirty Years War the Swedish Army was regarded as one of the most feared fighting machines in Europe led by the extraordinarily efficient warrior kings Gustav Adolf and Charles X Gustav, who were served by outstanding subordinate commanders. In the Thirty Years War the Swedes with French financial and military backing had turned the tide by beating the Catholic League. After having campaigned through greater parts of the Holy German Empire in the years after the battle at Lützen 1632, in which Gustav Adolf fell, the Swedes retired from Central Europe taking with them their rich plunder and some possessions in Germany like the Prince-Bishopric of Bremen-Verden, the Duchy of Pomerania and the island of Rügen with the towns of Stralsund and Wismar in Northern Germany. Henceforth they concentrated on their main interest - control of the Baltic. Their ensuing wars were fought for the supremacy of the areas bordering this sea.
All their subsequent wars were costly and without great results (except against Denmark). After the death of King Charles Gustav, Sweden started on a downward slope as a result of governmental and financial mismanagement combined with bad harvests and starvation. The country turned poorer and had difficulties sustaining its former magnificent fighting machine.
As mismanagement grew, it was decided to put the young, very inexperienced son of Charles Gustav on the throne as King Charles XI in the hope of better government, even if he had not come of legal age to be crowned.
In 1674 the Swedes, forced by financial and economic pressure from France, marched into Brandenburg. The disastrous and surprising Swedish defeat at Fehrbellin in summer 1675 by the Elector of Brandenburg brought all the old enemies of Sweden together in coalition, all intent on revenge, recovery of lost land or seizure of new territory. The Coalition counted on the inexperience of the young Swedish King in warfare and his alleged lethargy in matters of State. An easy prey, it was thought.
Sweden clearly saw the pitfalls of being forced into undesired war, and she tried by all means to keep Denmark neutral, which included asking for the sister of Christian V in marriage to their young King. On the advise of the pro-peace premier minister, Peter Schumacher Griffenfeldt, Denmark happily agreed to the marriage. Griffenfeldt was convinced that the lost provinces were only to be recovered through the aid of Louis XIV and diplomatic actions with regard to the other powers. He didn't want to sever the bonds, slight as they were, to France and in the long run to Sweden. But the Danish King was not willing to break an alliance which might lead to recovery of the lost provinces - and not least - glory for the Danish King. Accordingly Denmark demanded that the Swedish army withdraw from Brandenburg. The Swedes, of course, had to refuse.
Short Summary of Scanian War (Skånske Krig) from the Danish Perspective.
Denmark's participation in the war began in the summer of 1675 with the dispatch of the main army of about 19,000 men under command of General Field Marshal Lieutenant Adam Weyher marched through the neutral Mecklenburg towards the Swedish province of Pomerania. The aim was to support the Elector of Brandenburg while furthering the Danish interests in the region. In fact the King was present with the main army thus having a great influence on proceedings and did not refrain from meddling in the command.
At the same time a smaller Danish contingent (2.500 men) participated in the occupation of Bremen-Verden. They were under the command of Count Gustavus Adolphus von Baudissin, and were based in the "Counties".
After having forced the passage of the Recknitz River near Damgarten the main army moved against the town of Stralsund in Pomerania on the coast. A combined attack of the Danish and Brandenburg armies on Stralsund was requested by the Elector but declined by King Christian, who saw greater gains from a separate campaign and investing the town of Wismar, a Swedish possession strongly fortified on the coast in the middle of the Mecklenburg States. On the 13th of December Wismar was assaulted and taken after a very difficult and costly siege, mostly caused by the swampy surroundings. This and bad weather caused a serious outbreak of "camp fever" which caused much illness and many deaths.
Meanwhile part of the small Danish force in the 'Counties' had invaded Bremen-Verden, but was routed in a combat in the district of Würden to the south of the fortified Swedish model-town of Carlsburg, which has disappeared entirely but was situated roughly in present day Bremervörde.
It is remarkable that King Christian did not declare war on Sweden before 1676, possibly through the machinations of Griffenfeldt, who, however, fell from power at the beginning of that year - the result of his own venality and the War Party.
In 1676 the Army was increased to 34,000 men including garrison and recruiting units. Its new High Commander was the very able Duke Johann Adolphus of Holstein-Plöen, who was made Supreme Field Marshall. He had recently succeeded to the dukedom after the death of Duke Bernhard from camp fever. The plan was to invade Skåne [Scania] and also the Island of Gotland in the Baltic, while at the same time Vice-Regent Ulrik Frederik Gyldenløve in Norway was to attack southwards towards Göteborg [Gothenburg].
The Navy was reinforced by the "soldatesque", i.e. detachments from the garrison battalions of the Foot Regiments. The largest contingent came from the National Zealand Regiment of Foot of the 2nd (New) Levy (T/). The Island of Gotland was conquered early in the campaign by the Danish Admiral Niels Juel, who afterwards took possession of the fortified town of Ystad on the south coast of Scania. Many of the troops in the "soldatesque" were collected into a battalion, called the Gotland (Gulland) Batallion. This was put on a permanent footing for the duration of the war
Gyldenløve soon invested Göteborg. Following these actions, the main army of 14.000 men was landed on 29th of June 1676 at Råå, a little to the south of Helsingborg. This was a very well planned amphibious landing that succeeded without any mishaps, as it was virtually unopposed. To facilitate the landing the transport ships were allocated small flags, roughly similar to the colours of each regiment, so ensuring that no confusion arose on embarking and disembarking.
The Swedish forces abandoned Scania and Blekinge and retreated northwards after having garrisoned the fortified towns of Malmø, Helsingborg, Landskrona and Christianstad. Helsingborg was taken soon after the invasion, but sadly for the Danes one of the best Danish generals, Niels Rosenkranz, was killed in the action. On the 2nd of August Landskrona was taken, and on the15th of August Christianstad also was assaulted and taken. Malmø was invested. The Danish Navy took the minor towns of Christianopel and Carlshamn on the southern coast of Sweden.
So far everything had succeeded for the Danes. Also a large part of the agricultural population of Scania and Blekinge rose in revolt against the Swedish occupation. A very bloody guerrilla war ensued. It was called The War of the Snaphances [Danish. Snaphanekrigen] after the word for an early type of flintlock, the snaphance [Danish. snaphane] which apparently had been widely used by the Scanian and Goinge partisans during this and the earlier wars.
But in spite of not being as strong as the Danes, the Swedes did not give up, in particular not the young King Charles, who at Fylle Bridge south of the town of Halmstad surprised and annihilated a Danish force of some 3,000 men under Major General Jacob Duncan. In August France declared war on Denmark.
King Christian would not take the advice of his experienced Army Commander the Duke of Plöen, who pushed for active operations against the Swedes. Instead the main army remained idle until it went into winter quarters in the area between Helsingborg and Engelholm. The Norwegian army also returned to Norway for the winter. The Duke handed in his resignation. He found the situation unbearable with the throng of meddling courtiers and, not the least, the King's irrational stubbornness and personal overestimation. King Christian assumed personal command, not appointing a new high commander to replace the Duke this year.
Once more King Charles took the initiative, and against all odds attacked the Danish winter quarters at Lund on the 4th of December 1676. Only by his personal energy and his brave and ruthless determination did he turn a certain Swedish defeat into an astounding victory. The Danish main army had to retreat to Zealand, and after a short resistance Helsingborg had to surrender to the Swedes.
The small Danish force based in the 'Counties' continued to fight in co-operation with the armies of Brandenburg, Brunswick, Lüneburg and Münster against the Swedes in Bremen-Verden. The allied force invested and after a long siege seized the provincial capital of Stade in spite of its very strong fortifications. (These can still be seen to-day in this little town which still have many vestiges of the "Schweden-Zeit".) After that some of the Danish troops were transferred to Scania and happened to participate in the defeat at Lund. The Norwegian troops did not regain the offensive. Thus ended 1676 - disastrous and disgraceful.
In the Spring of 1677 the Danish Army, having regrouped and recouped, soon again controlled a large part of Scania, but where the Danish army was not in control the Swedes energetically and ruthlessly pursued the guerrillas, killing and burning anything and anyone who was connected with the "snaphances". These responded in kind, which only served to aggravate the conditions of the populace in general.
In May King Christian disembarked 12,000 men at Landskrona and thus forced King Charles to give up his siege of Christianstad. A new high commander of the Danish forces, Baron Joachim Rüdiger Freiherr von der Goltz, had been appointed, as the King apparently found his own generalship a little flawed. Goltz was an able and brave officer from Brandenburg, but he was unable to stop the court intrigues and meddling in the military affairs.
Malmø was invested, but King Christian ordered a premature attack on the town on the night of the 25th/26th of June, which was repulsed with heavy losses. The siege was abandoned and the Danish army retreated towards Landskrona. Then, once again, the two Nordic Kings clashed on a battlefield Northeast of Landskrona on the 14th of July, and once again the Swedes won the field. A strong auxiliary contingent of Imperial, Münster and Hessian troops participated in the battle, as the main part of the Danish regiments sent to Güldenløve was not able to reach the main army in time. In the battle von der Goltz chose to mix horse and foot units in the first line of both the wings and the centre, and to build the second line mostly with horse units. It was a novel method not to be used without prior training and in particular not with the configuration of this battlefield. The method was detrimental to the coordination between horse and foot.
The Danes retreated into Landskrona. The Swedes fortified a ring of major manor houses around the town. They also blockaded Christianstad. While the Danish foot regiments were in a sorry state the Cavalry had strength to make a "cavalcade" from Landskrona to Christiansstad, disrupting the Swedish blockade for a few days and strengthening the garrison with some dragoons. On the other hand, they accomplished nothing besides this, and beat a hasty retreat to Landskrona with the whole of the Swedish army in hot pursuit.
The Danish High Commander, von der Goltz, was made the scapegoat and sacked, as was General Baudissin. Again the King took over personal command. In fact, much of this came about through the machinations of the General Auditor, Herman Meyer, a very able administrator, but apparently the evil genius of the King's Military Administration.
Admiral Niels Juel won an outstanding victory over a stronger Swedish Force in the Naval Battle of Køge Bay in June. This strengthened Danish supremacy at sea and made it possible to conduct amphibious operations.
In September 1677 a combined Danish/Brandenburg force made an amphibious assault on the island of Rügen to the north of Pomerania and quickly overran the weak Swedish garrison. This also helped the war effort of the Grand Elector. Subsequently the troops quartered on Rügen lost many soldiers through illness because of unsound quarters.
Gyldenløve attacking from Norway had several successes such as the taking of the fortresses of Marstrand and Karlsten, and beating a Swedish cavalry force at Uddevalla. He occupied the provinces of Bohus and Jämtland, but in the Autumn was forced to turn home by a stronger Swedish force. Thus ended 1677, apart from successes from the sideshows almost as dismal as 1676.
In 1678 King Christian initially wanted to support the Norwegian Front and a great part of the Danish main army (6000) was sent to reinforce Gyldenløve. At the last moment the King decided after all to try to relieve Christianstad, but the Danish troops sent to Gyldenløve now were already too involved in his operations to be returned to Scania at once.
The war in Scania had turned into a harsh and brutal war of terror conducted by both Danish and Swedish forces at the cost of the hapless population, notwithstanding their great loyalty to the Danish Crown. For the most part the operations of the field army had come to a standstill on the Danish side because of the ever meddling and faint hearted court, the inefficient councils of war and not least the King himself. The High Command was still vested in the King, but actual command had devolved on General Frederick Arenstorff, who unwillingly complied with his appointment by the King.
It was decided to seize Helsingborg first and thereafter await the return of the troops from Gyldenløve. On the 27th of June the Swedish commandant of Helsingborg was lured by a false letter into a quick surrender. After this the field army advanced. King Charles, however, placed his army in a strong position covering the approaches to Chrstianstad. Through the fickle advice of the courtiers and generals at several councils of war, the army lost its chances of ever beating or getting around the Swedish field army, and any hopes of relieving Christiansstad disappeared. The army retreated to Landskrona and General Frederick Arenstorff was made the scapegoat of the year. No further attempt at action was made this year. The former Münster General, Count Wedel, who entered Danish service, now became High Commander, but he was unable to convince the King to take agressive action, mainly because of the Court cabals and mistrust from the other generals. So the sadly depleted garrison of Christianstad had to surrender on the 5th of August, after having consumed all of their provisions. They marched away with full honours of war.
The Navy still having the supremacy of the Baltic Sea attempted several minor amphibious actions on the coast of Scania and Blekinge. The possession of the islands of Gothland and Bornholm greatly helped in this kind of war. Also the Swedish Navy had to keep to its harbours, thus enabling allied operations on Rügen. Here the experienced Swedish General Königsmarck had collected his forces after the allied invasion in September 1677. He retook the island after the battle at Alte Fehr on the 8th of January 1678, only to loose it again to a combined corps of Danes and Brandenburgians which invaded the island again in the autumn. Thus ended 1678, disgracefully and dismally again, in particular where it mattered
In 1679 the Danish Army repeatedly tried to lure the Swedes into open battle around Helsingborg, but King Charles was too clever to take any chances, as he already controlled most of Scania and knew the wars in Europe were nearing their end. He knew he could count on French support at peace negotiations. The Austrian Emperor and the Elector of Brandenburg already had withdrawn from the war. France had long since made peace with its original adversaries, Holland and Spain. Now Denmark faced Sweden and France without any allies or money.
In order to help his allies and giving up all hope of regaining Scania, King Christian transferred the field army to the 'Duchies' and prepared for war with France. A French army prepared to invade the "Counties" and detached a force to attack Delmenhorst. The attacked was repulsed; however, superior French forces were bound to prevail in the end. Accordingly a peace treaty was signed on the 25th of August.
On the rebound King Christian wanted to teach the Hanse City of Hamburg a lesson because of some economic disagreements of long standing. The neighboring princes did not mind the citizens of Hamburg getting attacked, being often in the same situation; but they would not let Denmark prevail. So after achieving only insignificant results the conflict was called off and the Army returned to home and peace. The King had to return all of the conquered territory to Sweden, and had to reinstate the Duke of Holstein-Gottorp to his lands and fortresses, less the reduced fortifications of Tönningen, the reduction of which was to be a bone of discontent for some time afterwards.
At last the young Swedish King was able to get his beautiful Danish Princess as his bride, while her brother, the Danish King, continued to dream of himself as a great general, a dream that waned continuously until his death in 1699.
[NOTE: A summary of the war from the Swedish perspective can be read on the Acedia Press site.]
The Danish Army 1660 to 1670
In 1660, in the wake of the late war with Sweden, King Frederik III seized power through a coup and introduced the absolute monarchy in Denmark. Time had made obsolete the old system of government by the Nobility with the King as elected figurehead of state. The Nobility had lost its role as defenders of the land to the trained mercenary armies equipped with firearms, and this evolution demanded a more powerful and centralized government. So the Crown and the up and coming Estate of Burghers - in particular in Copenhagen - banded together and with the help of the Army replaced the rule of the Nobility. All power was handed to the King and the job as a king became hereditary "given by God". In reality it was a pure, yet mostly benevolent, military dictatorship based mainly on the King's tight control of the standing army and navy through his commissioning of officers. Furthermore, the King controlled all civil appointments in the Church and Administration, and here created a new Nobility solely dependent on himself. Earlier the elected kings had to get the approval of the Nobility to declare and finance war. Accordingly the country had no standing army available for the King. Soldiers were hired for the occasion. A few very weak garrisons in the fortresses, guns in depots without field carriages and a small guard were all. The Navy functioned in the same way.
In January 1661 Krigscollegiet (The War Ministry) was ordered to draw up a plan for how to organize the military land forces after the recent war. Not too costly because Denmark was in dire straits financially. The forces were required to be efficient all the same. Thus the Army of the King was reformed as follows:
1 squadron of Lifeguards (132 men, all former officers).
4 enlisted (mercenary) Regiments: Dronningens Regiment (T1658/4), Kronprinsens Regiment (T1658/5), Kongens Livregiment (T1657/13) and Trampes Regiment (T?), as well as one independent company (Feltherrens).
Each regiment consisted of six companies, each of 125 men. On their strength they had 1 rotmeister, 1 lieutenant, 1 cornet, 1 sergeant, 3 corporals, 1 clerk, 2 trumpeters and 126 troopers.
In times of war a cavalry force, "Rostjenesten" (lit: 'horse service'), was to be called to arms and recruited from the retainers of the Nobility. This was in former times the main Danish fighting force of heavily armored and professional horsemen with lances. The upkeep of such a force was the equivalent to a tax, derived from the original, main reason behind having a tax free nobility. But the introduction of firearms had reduced the usefulness of fully armored knights. From 1666 on the force was organized into 6 companies each with strength similar to the enlisted (mercenary) horse.
5 enlisted ("geworbene") Regiments of Foot: Kongens Livregiment (T1658/9), Dronningens Livregiment (T1659/3), Feltherrens Regiment (T1658/8), Lübbes Regiment (T1657/24) and Ebersteins Regiment (T1657/32), each having 8 companies of 150 men.
9 enlisted Independent ("free") Companies of Foot: (known commanders: Beseler, Bremer, Bolt, Eisenach, and Thumsdorf). An independent company originated from a reduced regiment and was destined for garrison duty in peace, but usually available as a nucleus for a new regiment in times of war.
4 National (i.e. conscripted) Regiments: Sjællandske (T1627/19), Fynske (T1661), Sydjyske (T1658/10) and Nordjyske (T1632) (all named after the provinces from which they were conscripted), each with 8 companies of 150 men. To save money the conscripted men were not called to the colours for long periods, several years in fact, and the regiments maintained only their officers. When eventually called, they were mainly destined to work on the repair of fortresses.In wartime horse and foot regiments had to acquire their own field train and coachmen. Dragoons were to be established at the outbreak of hostilities.
The Artillery only maintained skeleton crews and a small staff of artisans. Their strength varied according to the size of the fortresses in which they served. For the field artillery there were no crews in peacetime or for that matter neither field carriages nor train.
Rostjenesten was in former times the main Danish fighting force of heavily armoured and professional horsemen with lances. The upkeep of such a force was equivalent to a tax, derived from the original, main reason behind having a tax free nobility. But the introduction of firearms had reduced the usefullness of fully armoured knights.
But even this small army was too costly. Denmark was entirely bankrupt after the war and further reductions were necessary. All Horse regiments were converted into independent companies to save money on staff officers' salaries, yet the company strength was raised to 200 men. Further minor reductions were made.
In Denmark the kings came from the stock of a minor Northern German House (The House of Oldenburg). They were in a constant fear of the Danish Nobility. This is why they relied heavily on foreign army officers. Most of the time the officers came mainly from Mecklenburg and the many small Principalities in Middle and North Germany. Officers of native Danish origin were dismissed for the slightest reasons, and many tried to Germanize their names and manners. To their dismay the "Danish" kings still had to rely mainly on Danish officers for the Navy; the most efficient and successful part of the Danish military might, as the Germany Nobility apparently was unable to supply expertise in this area. Many Dutch officers joined the Navy, however, especially in times of war.
The Army of 1670
On 9th February 1670 King Christian succeeded to the throne and at once set about to strengthen the military. A new, strong and mainly national horse arm was established in 1670. The whole enlisted Horse having been reduced to independent companies constituted a weak force and was badly organized and equipped for the coming war of aggression in the mind of the 23-year old King. Five days after coming to power the King ordered a reevaluation of all the armed forces and especially asked for suggestions for organizing and raising a national cavalry force. Saving money by turning the army into a national force was much to the forefront. An Absolute King should not have to ask the Nobility for permission
The Horse units were maintained by the means of "ryttergårde" [trooper farmsteads]. A piece of farmland free of most taxes was allocated to the single trooper or to a farmer, who in turn sustained a trooper. In peacetime the trooper did not receive pay from the Crown and had to maintain his horse and equipment himself or through the payments from the farmer. In wartime the trooper was paid by the Crown, which also reimbursed for any loss of equipment or horse. If he died a new was to be found at the same conditions before the lapse of 3 months.
Not enough Crown lands were available, so some of the troopers were furnished and paid for by the country parishes, accordingly they were called "sogneryttere", [lit: "troopers of the parish"]. Also the cavalry officers were paid through farm holdings. All of the old Horse units - except for the Lifeguards - were disbanded the officers and troopers being allocated to the new units.
The new National Horse with a total strength of 4,500 men consisted of 5 regiments:
Sjællandske Nationale Rytterregiment (T1670/1)
Fynske Nationale Rytterregiment (T1670/2)
1. (Syd) Jyske Nationale Rytterregiment (T1670/3)
2. (Nord) Jyske Nationale Rytterregiment (T1670/4)
Slesvigske Nationale Rytterregiment (T1670/5)
The first four each consisted of 8 companies with 125 men in each. Slesvigske Nationale Rytterregiment only had 4 companies.The 'Rostjenesten' (T1670/6) was reformed into a similar regiment of 8 companies of 125 men.
Only few changes were made to the Foot Regiments. The companies were reduced by 15 men each, and two of the independent companies were disbanded. Furthermore, a company of marines was raised for guard duty on the river Elbe (Glückstadt).
The names of the national regiments, the enlisted regiments not being altered, were:
Sjællandske Nationale Fodregiment (T1627/19)
Fynske Nationale Fodregiment (T1661)
1. Sydjyske Nationale Fodregiment (T1658/10)
2. Nordjyske Nationale Fodregiment (T1632), as well as the newly raised
Slesvig-Holstenske Nationale Fodregiment (T?)
In the spring of 1670 the King ordered the regiments of the Army to convene in training camps and the Navy to start patrolling the surrounding seas. Clear indications of his intentions and war preparations directed against Sweden. The worst problem for the King was money to pay for the Army and particularly the Navy. But help was near in the form of subsidies.
All the Northern European nations were clients of the richer nations, or they would never have been able to sustain their rather large military establishments. France paid Sweden to keep Brandenburg occupied in time of war, while the Dutch, as archenemies of France, subsidized Brandenburg and Denmark. At the same time they kept a vigilant eye on the Denmark-Sweden relationship, so that neither achieved control of both sides of the Sound (Øresund), the door to the Baltic trade, which was a primary source of income for the Netherlands. In case of an attack on anyone of the parties, the others in the Coalition were committed against further payment of subsidies to take part in the war with an agreed number of troops. On the side of the enemies of France was also the Holy Roman Empire headed by the Austrian Emperor
The War Preparations for 1675
First it was necessary to secure the southern border by forcing the Swedish ally, Duke Kristian Albrekt of Holstein, a vassal of the Danish crown, to hand over for the duration of the war his fortresses and armed forces to Denmark. Several months before declaration of war, the army was strongly increased - almost doubled in size.
The five old enlisted infantry regiments were strengthened each with 4 companies. In addition, six infantry regiments were raised in Germany and named after their commanding officer (Baudissin, Lütken, Bremer, Degenfeldt, Harlov and Schönfeldt). Several of these foreign regiments were reinforced with companies from the former Holstein-Gottorp Army.
The four old national infantry regiments was doubled to 12 companies of 100 men and 4 new regiments were created by splitting the old, reinforced regiments, into new ones each of 8 companies of 100 men.
Slesvigske Nationale Regiment was organized with 8 companies.
A new national regiment, called Plöen after its commander the Duke Bernhard of Plöen, was build mainly on some of the former troops of Holstein and had a strength of 6 companies.
The 21 infantry regiments were:
Ebersteins (Rosenkrantz') Regiment
1. Sjællandske Nationale Regiment
2. Sjællandske Nationale Regiment
1. Fynske Nationale Regiment
2. Fynske Nationale Regiment
1. Jyske Nationale Regiment
2. Jyske Nationale Regiment
3. Jyske Nationale Regiment
4. Jyske Nationale Regiment
Slesvigske Nationale Regiment
Holstenske Nationale Regiment
The cavalry was enlarged by increasing the number of companies from 8 to 12, and by doubling the number of national regiments from 4 to 8 by splitting the regiments and halving the personnel strength from 1.000 men to 500 men.
Now a regiment should consist of 6 companies each of 80 men, but still with the old number of officers and noncommissioned officers. Two companies made a squadron.
Rostjenesten was split into two regiments, each with 6 companies.
Both the Hestgarden and Slesvigske Nationale Rytterregiment were put on a war footing with 6 companies à 80 men. The hvervede cavalry regiment Livregimentet received the same strength.
Three new cavalry regiments were hired in Germany (Baudissin, Rauch and Geveke).
Also three regiments of dragoons were raised (Walter, Örtzen and Rantzau) together with a company under the Scotsman Duncan.
The 16 cavalry regiments were:
Hestgarden (The Horseguard)
1. Sjællandske Nationale Rytterregiment
2. Sjællandske Nationale Rytterregiment
1. Fynske Nationale Rytterreiment
2. Fynske Nationale Rytterreiment
1. Jyske Nationale Rytterregiment
2. Jyske Nationale Rytterregiment
3. Jyske Nationale Rytterregiment
4. Jyske Nationale Rytterregiment
Slesvigske Nationale Rytterregiment
The 3 dragoon regiments were:
For the first time the field artillery was organized as an independent service with a staff of 19 and 4 companies of 111 men. The field park consisted of 58 guns (58 pieces - 12-pds, 10-pds and 3-pds.). Each infantry battalion was served by 2 three-pounders.
Table of Contents
Cavalry and Dragoons
Orders of Battle