Battle of Isted Day in Denmark Date in the current year: July 25, 2022

Battle of Isted Day in Denmark There are four kinds of flag days in Denmark: national holidays, major religious holidays, birthdays in the royal family, and military flag-flying days. The anniversary of the Battle of Isted belongs to the last category. It is observed annually on July 25 to commemorate the last major battle during the First Schleswig War.

The Battle of Isted took place on July 25, 1850 near the village of Idstedt (German spelling) or Isted (Danish spelling), located approximately 10 kilometers from the city of Schleswig in present-day Germany. It was part of the First Schleswig War, known as the Three Years’ War in Denmark or the Schleswig-Holstein War in Germany. It was fought between the German Confederation and Denmark over the issue of who should control Schleswig and Holstein, two duchies that were joined with Denmark by a personal union but wanted to join the German Confederation.

On July 2, 1850, Denmark and Prussia signed a peace treaty in Berlin. According to the treaty, the King of Denmark was free to restore his authority in Holstein with or without the German Confederation’s consent. Prussia essentially withdrew from the war, but Schleswig and Holstein decided to keep fighting against Denmark even without Prussia’s military support.

The Danish high command originally didn’t have a strict plan regarding the upcoming military campaign. However, after receiving a number of reports that the Schleswig-Holstein troops were taking up positions north of Schleswig, they saw a chance to defeat the rebelling duchies once and for all. Likewise, Schleswig and Holstein were hoping to defeat the Danish army and win the war.

The forces of the two armies were roughly equal: while Denmark had a numerical advantage, the Schleswig-Holstein army had a strong defensive position at Isted. The battle began in the morning of July 24 with a skirmish between the Schleswig-Holsteinian outposts and the Danish vanguard, which resulted in the Schleswig-Holsteinian troops being pushed back.

The Danish main force attacked on the night of July 24. Both armies had to fight in severe weather conditions – heavy rain and fog made it hard for officers to evaluate the situation and give the right orders. After many hours of battle, the Schleswig-Holsteinian army was forced to retreat to the town of Schleswig. By late afternoon of July 25, the Danes occupied Schleswig and won the battle.

Although the Danes won the Battle of Isted, it was not the decisive victory that they had hoped for, and they suffered heavier losses than the Schleswig-Holstein army. As a result, the battle didn’t end the war. The fighting continued until December 1850. Peace negotiations commenced in 1851 and lasted for about a year and a half. According to the final peace treaty, Schleswig and Holstein stayed in a personal union with Denmark.

The Battle of Isted remained the largest battle in Nordic history until the Winter War between Finland and the Soviet Union, and the Danish victory was an important step towards Denmark winning the First Schleswig War. Therefore, it is not surprising that the battle is considered one of the most important milestones in the military history of Denmark, and its anniversary is an official military flag-flying day.

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Category

Anniversaries and Memorial Days

Country

Denmark

Tags

Battle of Isted Day in Denmark, holidays in Denmark, anniversaries in Denmark, military flag-flying day, flag days in Denmark