Battle of Fredericia Day in Denmark Date in the current year: July 6, 2024

Battle of Fredericia Day in Denmark There are four types of official flag flying days in Denmark: national days, major religious holidays, birthdays in the Danish royal family, and military flag flying days. The latter category includes, for example, the anniversary of the battle of Fredericia, which is celebrated on July 6.

The battle of Fredericia was the decisive battle of the second stage of the First Schleswig War, also known as Three Years’ War in Denmark. It was the first military conflict between Denmark and Germany over the control of the duchies of Schleswig and Holstein, which were joined by personal union with the King of Denmark but expressed interest in joining the German Confederation.

The war broke out in March 1848, following King Frederick VII’s refusal to recognize a joint state of Schleswig-Holstein prior to its admittance into the German Confederation. In August, the parties signed an armistice where Prussia accepted practically all Danish demands. The truce came to an end in February 1849, and the war was renewed in early April.

Schleswig-Holsteinian and German troops invaded southern Jutland, forcing Danish troops to withdraw to the north. The Danish left a garrison of 7,000 men in the fortified town of Fredericia and a smaller reserve on the island of Funen. Prussian commander ordered the Schleswig-Holsteinian army to besiege Fredericia.

The siege commenced on May 9, 1849. The Schleswig-Holsteins constructed four redoubts and shelled Fredericia from May 16 to 20, destroying four of the town’s most densely built areas. Fortunately, most of the population had been evacuated to Funen. General Eduard von Bonin, the Schleswig-Holsteinian commander, ordered to construct two more redoubts in order to cut the town off from Funen and keep reinforcements from arriving.

Although the Schleswig-Holsteins failed to cut off Fredericia, Colonel Lunding, who led the Danish garrison, was concerned that it could still happen and urged his superiors to launch an attack. The Danish were going to launch a major attack on July 5, but due to a delay in communication with one of the brigades the battle began at 1 a.m. on July 6.

Darkness and a dense fog helped Danish soldiers sneak on the enemy and attack the third and fourth redoubts. They captured the fourth redoubt and a nearby mortar battery, but the defenders of the third redoubt repulsed the attack. By 4 a.m., the Danish troops had captured the fifth redoubt, but the Schleswig-Holsteins began a counter attack. Nevertheless, soon the advantage was again on the side of the Danish, who captured the first and second redoubts. By 9 a.m., the battle had ended with a Danish victory.

After the battle, the belligerents signed another truce, according to which Schleswig was to be administered separately and Holstein was to be governed by a German vicegerent. The truce was signed on July 10, and German troops had left Denmark by August 25.

Since the battle of Fredericia was one of the most important battles of the First Schleswig War, which Denmark eventually won, its anniversary was declared an official flag flying day in Denmark.

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