German-Danish War of 1848–50

German-Danish War of 1848–50

 

a war between Prussia and Denmark over possession of the duchies of Schleswig and Holstein, which were connected by a personal union with the Danish kingdom.

Under the influence of the revolutionary events of 1848 in Germany, a revolt broke out in Schleswig and Holstein. and on March 23 a provisional government was formed. It proclaimed the independence of the duchies and declared war on Denmark. The army of the duchies under the command of General A. Krohn, captured the fortresses of Rendsburg and Flensburg, but on April 9 they were defeated at Bau and thrown back to the Eider River. The Prussian government, which was pursuing plans to unite Germany under the protection of Prussia, attempted to use the national liberation movement in Schleswig and Holstein and to avert the development of revolution in Germany by means of the war against Denmark. At the beginning of April, without declaring war, troops from Prussia and Saxony-Hanover (about 35,000 men under the command of the Prussian general. F. Wrangel) invaded the territory of Schleswig and Holstein. On April 23 they inflicted a defeat upon Danish troops (30.000 men under the command of General F. von Biilow) near the city of Schleswig, after which the Danes retreated to the fortress of Fredericia. On the sea, the Danish fleet blockaded the Prussian harbors, and in July 1848 a Russian squadron arrived to demonstrate against Prussia. The land battles continued with some successes until August 26. when Prussia, under pressure from Britain. Russia. France, and Sweden, was compelled to conclude a truce for seven months. According to its terms, the provinces were returned to Denmark and the provisional government was dissolved. Military activities were renewed in the spring of 1849. On land the Prussian army achieved a number of partial successes, but at sea the Prussian fleet suffered defeats. On July 10,1849, a second truce was concluded, which was violated by Prussia in June 1850. Under pressure from Russia, which again sent a squadron into Danish waters, a peace treaty was signed in Berlin on July 2, 1850 (guaranteed by the convention of European states meeting at Olomouc on Nov. 29, 1850). According to this treaty, Denmark retained its prewar frontiers. The troops of Schleswig-Holstein. under the command of General W. Willisen, attempted to continue the war. but they were defeated by the Danes and demobilized.

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