THIRTY YEARS WAR DANISH
OverviewDanish involvement in the TYW (The Low Saxon War or Kejserkrigen, "Emperor's War") began when Christian IV of Denmark, a Lutheran who was also the Duke of Holstein helped the Lutheran rulers of neighbouring Lower Saxony by leading an army against the Imperial forces. Denmark had feared that its sovereignty as a Protestant nation was threatened by the recent Catholic successes, and also because Christian IV had profited greatly from his policies in northern Germany.
Denmark's cause was aided by France which, together with England, had agreed to help subsidize the war. Christian had himself appointed war leader of the Lower Saxon Circle and raised an army of 20,000 mercenaries and a national army 15,000 strong. To fight him, Ferdinand II employed the military help of Albrecht von Wallenstein, a Bohemian nobleman. Wallenstein pledged his army, which numbered between 30,000 and 100,000 soldiers, to Ferdinand II in return for the right to plunder the captured territories. Christian, who knew nothing of Wallenstein's forces when he invaded was forced to retire before the combined forces of Wallenstein and Tilly. Christian's poor luck was with him again when all of the allies he thought he had were forced aside: England was weak and internally divided, France was in the midst of a civil war, Sweden was at war with the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, and neither Brandenburg nor Saxony were interested in changes to the tenuous peace in eastern Germany. Wallenstein defeated Mansfeld's army at the Battle of Dessau Bridge (1626) and General Tilly defeated the Danes at the Battle of Lutter (1626). Mansfeld died some months later of illness, apparently tuberculosis, in Dalmatia.
Wallenstein's army marched north, occupying Mecklenburg, Pomerania, and ultimately Jutland itself. However, he was unable to take the Danish capital on the island of Zealand. Wallenstein lacked a fleet, and neither the Hanseatic ports nor the Poles would allow an Imperial fleet to be built on the Baltic coast. He then laid siege to Stralsund, the only belligerent Baltic port with the facilities to build a large fleet. However, the cost of continuing the war was exorbitant compared to what could possibly be gained from conquering the rest of Denmark. Wallenstein feared to lose his North German gains to a Danish-Swedish alliance, and Christian IV had suffered another defeat in the Battle of Wolgast so both were ready to negotiate
Negotiations were concluded with the Treaty of Lübeck in 1629, which stated that Christian IV could keep his control over Denmark if he would abandon his support for the Protestant German states. Thus, in the following two years more land was subjugated by the Catholic powers. At this point, the Catholic League persuaded Ferdinand II to take back the Lutheran holdings that were, according to the Peace of Augsburg, rightfully the possession of the Catholic Church. Enumerated in the Edict of Restitution (1629) these possessions included two Archbishoprics, sixteen bishoprics, and hundreds of monasteries. The same year, Gabriel Bethlen, the Calvinist Prince of Transylvania, died. Only the port of Stralsund continued to hold out against Wallenstein and the Emperor.
Armies of the time
- Infantry - The tactical unit was a "Fänika" consisting of around 500 men but could vary between 300-700 men. 12-20 Fänika constituted a Regiment. Beside the national units the Danes used German Landsknecht mercenaries extensively, which were organised in the same way as the national units. In the beginning of the 16 th century the ratio between German Landsknecht weapons were (according to Hedegaard in his book about Landskechts in Danish service) 45% pike, 40% Halberd and the rest firearms and crossbows. The colourguard and bodyguards might be armed with two-handed swords. I have seen no use of targeteers. By 1570 the firearms were 50% and the pike 25%.
- Cavalry - Tactical unit was a "Fana" consisting of around 300 horses. German and Scottish mercenary units were widely employed. No larger formations than the Fana were used. Beside German reiters and Scottish horse, the Danish Noble cavalry participated in the campaigns together with light cavalry for scouting and vanguard duties ("Rennefanan"). Again the lance was the majority early in the century to be replaced gradually by firearms and crossbows.
- Artillery - Had no fixed organization and consisted of mercenary Germans combined with national artillerymen
The Danish relied heavily on mercenaries for their warfare outside Denmark. The majority of these forces were German but also Scottish and some odd French unit. This means that the equipment and weaponry was no different from what these troops would use in other parts of Europe.
ManufacturersSee the manufacturers here
The best ones for this army are...
- Nordic Fury a website about gaming the Nordic Seven years war 1563-1570
- an overview of the Nordic 7YW
ListsName and Date
500AP competition list from farnboro 2012
- 3 TCs
- 1 Infantry Regiments HF Armoured Average - Pike Pike - 2
- 1 MF Unarmoured Average Musket - - - 4
- 2 Infantry Regiments HF Armoured Average - Pike Pike - 2
- 2 MF Unarmoured Average Musket - - - 4
- 3 Field guns Mart - Average - - - - 2
- 4 Dragoons Dr Unarmoured Average Musket - - - 2
- 5 Arquerbusiers Ho Unarmoured Average Carbine - Pistol - 4
- 7 Cuirassiers Ho Heavily Armoured Superior - Pistol Pistol - 4
- 7 Dragoons Dr Unarmoured Average Musket - - - 2
- 8 German mercenary Kurassiere Ho Heavily Armoured Superior - Pistol Pistol - 4
- 9 German mercenary Kurassiere Ho Heavily Armoured Superior - Pistol Pistol - 4