Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Denmark's role in the 1813 Campaign

Or, "Now that I've painted all these Danish Army Dudes, what can I do with all of them?"

This is actually a relatively shameless re-post of minimally edited (spelling/links) materials from a 15 year old, now defunct Geocities site on the Danish Military during the Napoleonic Wars. There is a great deal of information here that isn't available anywhere else in English that I know of, and the preserved site has Broken links and missing materials, and is somewhat confusing to navigate. So, I am re-posting it essentially verbatim here for information and preservation purposes. I tried emailing the author of this great site, Henrik Schou of Denmark (see the end of this material), but not surprisingly, the 15 year old email address is no longer in use.  Anyway, if you prefer to review the material in the original format, the preservation site is located at:


Background for Danish Involvement

The Troops

Danish Weapons of 1813

(There was also a section on flags and uniforms, which I have omitted as any useful information has already been presented on this blog, except that Henrik states that after 1810, dark grey trousers replaced the dark blue ones for most troops). 

Tactics and Doctrine : Line Infantry, Light Infantry,Cavalry, Artillery

Organization:  Davout's Corps, Danish Auxiliary Corps, Walmolden's Corps

Main Moves: August 16 - September 1st, 1813

Main Moves, September 2 to November 10th, 1813

Main Moves, November 11 to December 11th, 1813

The Engagements of 1813 (twelve, as follows):   Restchow, August 28th,  Zarrentin, September 18th,  Gudow, September 26th,  Klein Zecker, September 30th,  Ratzeburg, October 6th,  Weisser Hirsch, October 7th,  Rosengarten, October 12th,  Gross Zeker, November 8th,  Boden, December 4th,  Rahlstedt, December 6th,  Bornhoved, December 7th

About Me (site author)

Background for Danish Involvement

    The Danish involvement in the Napoleonic wars is a complex and interesting study. Denmark adopted an "armed defensive neutrality" in 1801, when other Europeans "super powers" at the time were arming their reserves and preparing for the wars to come. Before 1801 Denmark had a declared neutrality, but lacked the military power to back it up.. The armed neutrality resulted in Danish merchants being escorted by Danish warships, as Denmark hoped to maintain it’s international trade without provoking any of the countries already at war. The principle of neutral Danish merchant convoys under armed escort did not improve the relationship with Britain. Britain made several demands to the Danish king, which would severely cripple the Danish economy (due to lost foreign trade) and the possible loss of Norway to Sweden. Britain attacked the Danish fleet on the 2nd of April 1801 (Slaget på Reden), where the British fleet destroyed most of the Danish fleet still anchored in port at Copenhagen. This seemingly unprovoked attack made volunteers flock to the Danish army. An army of 11.000 men led by Carl of Hessen attacked and occupied Hamburg and Lübeck. This happened on the 29th of March 1801. Now the Danes blocked the Elbe river for British merchant vessels. As peace was made the Danes left the two cities and merchant traffic on the Elbe river resumed.
    In 1803 a new war broke out between Britain and France. Denmark returned to it’s usual neutrality policy, this time being extremely careful not to provoke attacks from either part. As the French occupied Hanover the Danes realized that they needed a sizable force to defend southern Jutland. This led to the assembly of a Danish corps of 16.000 men in and near Rendsborg. The corps was again led by Carl of Hessen. The corps was quickly disbanded as the threat to Denmark disappeared.
As war broke out between Austria-Hungary, Russia and France in 1805 a new sizeable Danish force was assembled in Holstein, with army headquarters placed in Kiel. The fortresses in the area was rebuild, new fortifications made and a territorial militia was raised to help fend off any invader from the south. On the 6th of November 1806 Danish forces clashed with French troops near Lübeck. The French forces were pursuing fleeing Prussians after the Prussian defeat at Jena. Major General Johann von Ewald stopped the French advance and after a brief skirmish the Danish neutrality was respected and the French withdrew.
Russia and France became allies in 1807 and started applying pressure on Denmark to join the blockade of Britain (closing European ports for British trade was believed to "starve" the British into submission). Britain demanded that Denmark handed over their fleet to Britain, as it was to be used in offensive operations against France. Once again Denmark was left with little or no choice. So once again war came to Denmark when a powerful force of 30.000 British troops invaded near Vedbæk and Køge. Most of the Danish army was at that time in Holstein defending the southern borders of the country so the defense of the capital Copenhagen was left to a few regiments of the guard a few regular regiments and local militia forces. More than 13.000 Danish troops became besieged inside the city. Several sorties was made by the Danish defenders of Copenhagen, among others the famous skirmish in Classens Have. Danish militia attempted to lift the siege of Copenhagen on the 29th of August, which resulted in the so called Træskoslag ("Wooden Shoe battle" as the Danish militia wore wooden shoes) at Køge. The attack was a disaster as the trained British veterans slaughtered the Danish militia and took 1.200 prisoners. During the siege Copenhagen was bombed on a regular basis. Faced with disaster and having all ready lost most of her navy Denmark was forced to plead France for help. France would at least respect the Danish-Norwegian territorial integrity.
The alliance with France forced Denmark to declare war on Sweden in 1808. An unstable plan including a Spanish-French corps and Danish troops invading Sweden while Russian forces would invade Finland failed. Another invasion of Skåne in Sweden was planned in January of 1809. The Danes would invade with 25 battalions, 23 squadrons and 80 guns, marching across the ice from Copenhagen. The plan was aborted, and an invasion using the Norwegian army was planned instead. The Norwegian army attacked and occupied Jämtland og Herjedalen. On the 31st of May Danish troops stormed the Swedish fortress at Stralsund. Peace between Denmark and Sweden came on the 10th of December 1809, but the peace agreement did nothing to change the current military situation.
    During the 1807-1814 period the Danes had been conducting a guerrilla war at sea. Small gunboats had been harassing British shipping while elements of the army protected Danish naval installations. Several small skirmishes took place between small British invasion forces trying to capture naval equipment or boats and the Danish army defending the installations. The biggest operation in the war with the British was the failed Danish attempt to retake the Danish island of Anholt. Anholt had been captured in 1809 by British forces. A Danish force of 650 men was sailed to the island and attacked the British troops. The Danes were repulsed with great loss. 34 Danes dies, 93 wounded and another 393 Danes were captured. Britain also attacked and occupied some of the Danish colonies (Serampore and Tranquebar was occupied in 1801 and again from 1807/08 until 1815)
    When Napoleon decided to attack Russia in 1812 he ordered Denmark to form a division of 10.000 men in Northern Prussia. This division should free much needed French troops and help tie down the rebellious Prussians.
    The destruction of the Grande Armée in Russia in 1812 and the rebellion of the French "allies" in 1813, especially Prussia and the minor German states, gave Denmark a much needed chance to make a clean break with the French-oriented politics, that had never gained much popularity in Denmark. It was attempted to join the allies by assisting a Russian occupation force in Hamburg against French attacks. When the French finally attacked Hamburg, 41 Danes was killed in the ensuing battle, which did little to convince the allies of the Danish intentions. On the 30th of May Hamburg was recaptured by France.
    The Danish King Frederik VI tried to come to an agreement with the allies, but the demands that especially Sweden and England made were of such a harsh nature that Denmark had to abandon all hope of joining the allies. Their demands were, among others, that Denmark had to renounce their control of Norway (or at least all of the entailed estate Trondheim), and that the entire Danish army should be under Swedish command, to be used in the battle against Napoleon. So Denmark were once again forced to seek allies it didn't really want, as the Swedish Crown Prince suddenly during the negotiations demanded that Norway should be placed under Swedish control and England's attitude became increasingly anti-Danish.
Emperor Napoleon had meanwhile triumphed over the Russians and Prussians at Lützen and Bautzen (May 1813) and obtained a much needed armistice on the 4th of June. Danish King Frederik VI hoped that an alliance with Napoleon would help save his kingdom. A treaty between Denmark and France was signed on the July the 10th . The treaty dictated that Denmark had to declare war on Prussia, Russia, Britain and Sweden if the armistice ended. Besides that Denmark also agreed to reinforce the 10.000 man strong division now stationed in Holstein
    The Danish division now changed it´s name to "the Auxiliary corps 1813". Along with 3 smaller French divisions it was to make up the newly created French XIII army-corps commanded by Marshal Davout, Prince of Eckmühl. The Danish division should (according to the treaty) be raised in strength until it had 10.000 infantry, 2.100 horsemen and 40 cannon along with a pioneer/engineer company of 120 men.
The Danish division / corps was commanded by the Kings brother-in-law Prince Frederik of Hessen. As the armistice came to an end on the 16th of August the French XIII corps was ordered into action.

The Troops

    It is clear that the Danish Auxiliary corps compromised the elite of the XIII army corps. The
men were mainly young healthy Danes who had served several years in the Danish army and
had therefore been drilled and trained on a regular basis. Although they lacked real combat
experience, their training had been tough and they were often forced to bivouac for as long as
10 to 12 days in the field where they were only fed minimum rations. These long and tiresome
exercises and the intense drilling had hardened the troops. The average soldier were tough,
were able to march in a steady pace and were used to bivouac under the open sky as could
he live off minimum rations. Reports from the Danish war-archives says the following about
the Danish horsemen: "The Danish cavalrist on his huge strong Jutlandian horse, which he loves and cares for himself, is highly trained in the use of a sabre, in the art of formation riding and during the

camping he constantly displayed bravery and talent for recognisance and movement in rough

terrain. All these factors combined to inspire awe and fear among his enemies." 

    The quality of the officers were exceptional. Prince Frederik of Hessen, who commanded the
corps proved to be the right man at the right place and time. He quickly won the admiration
and respect of the troops he led and respect from Davout, who had been doubtful of the
average Danish officers quality. The Prince displayed a cunning talent for leading troops and
great courage when faced with the enemy. He became loved by the Danish troops, whom he
made a habit of always visiting when they were in their bivouacs. The Prince had excellent
helpers in the field. The Bardenfleth brothers, his chief of staff Jens Carl and Frederik
Løvenørn (Løveørn translates into "Lioneagle") who all displayed bravery and talent during
the upcoming campaign. L´Allemand (a young and very talented French general) were transferred to the Danish corps at the start of the campaign. He were soon placed in command of the vanguard. 
    Please note that Denmark had avoided conflict (on a larger scale anyway) since the
Napoleonic war started. Other nations such as France or Prussia had been at war for as long
as 15 years at this point (or even longer). Their troops average quality had dropped
remarkably in this time and the troops serving these countries were young and poorly trained.
Denmark who had stayed clear of the war had a fine army, well drilled and with excellent
    As proof of the Danish quality Davout told Count Danneskjold-Løvendahl:  "As I now know the nature of your troops, I am just as pleased to bring them with me in battle as I would be to bring old French veterans"  (this was a huge compliment, as Davoult was a man who rarely complimented anyone). 
    The French soldiers in the XIII corps were anything but satisfactory. Most of the soldiers were conscripts from 1813 (making them about 19 years old) while the rest were conscripts from 1814 making them a full year younger, a mere 18 years old. Although these soldiers did seem to have the natural flair for warfare that most French boys were born with at that time apparently, their training and stamina were below average. Law and order were totally unfamiliar concepts for the French troops in the early phases of the campaign. They moved like a locust swarm across the land and pillaged and plundered anything and everything that might happen to cross their way. The cavalry were in an even worse shape than the infantry. They suffered from a catastrophic shortage on suitable mounts. Demnark had to supply the French cavalry with horses, but this was a slow process and good war trained horses were hard to come by. The Chasseurs á Cheval were made up mostly of very young men. The Polish Lancers on the other hand were veterans from Russia and absolutely the best French cavalry in XIII corps. The corps artillery were contrary to most of corps made up of veterans from several campaigns.
    Another factor that deteriorated the French quality was the number of non-French troops in the ranks. Almost 50% of XIII corps was made up of non-French soldiers. Primarily from Prussia, various places in Italy, and Poland, but also from Lithuania, Portugal, Holland and Switzerland. One of the best units in the corps, the 111. Line infantry regiment, was made up almost entirely of troops from Piedmont, commanded by veteran French officers.
    The French worked hard to overcome the problems in XIII corps. Veteran commanders from Spain were given command of the battalions and the companies were strengthened by veteran cadres. Despite these attempts to help morale it turned out that the French troops were very far from battle ready when the campaign began.
    March 1813 saw the Russian army´s right flank being guarded by Cossacks and mounted militia. The extreme Russian right flank, commanded by Colonel Tettenborn had reached the Elbe river. Behind Tettenborn, in liberated Prussia, a strong freedom movement grew and countless militia legions and Freikorps were formed locally. These Freikorps and local militia forces were the main Prussian contribution to the corps which faced the French XIII corps in early September 1813. General Walmoden was an Austrian general in Russian service. He had a little while earlier left Austrian service and joined the Russian army (which was constantly desperate for commanding officers). The newly formed corps was placed under his command. During the early summer the corps was reinforced with Russian troops, Prussians regulars, British troops and Swedes and was incorporated in the Allied army as the Right Flank Corps, in the Army of the North commanded by Bernadotte.
As it is stated earlier Walmoden's corps was made up from troops coming from various nations. The quality of the troops varied greatly, as one might imagine. The worst were the Cossaks and the Hanseatic troops. Their equipment were bad and very unsuited form campaign warfare. Their morale was terrible and officers had a hard time trying to lower desertion, looting and pillaging. Even the famous Freikorps Lützow were far from an effective fighting force. Their equipment were mediocre, they desperately needed competent officers and both cavalry and infantry were poorly trained. Freikorps Lützow w also plagued by a lack of artillery. They had batteries, but they combined several different types of cannons and calibre. Better were the Russian-Prussian Legion. This was made from Prussian troops which had been in French service and had been captured or had deserted during the 1812 campaigns. The troops were used to the campaign life and had seen several battles.
    By far the best troops were the ones from Sweden, Mecklenburg and from Hanover. When all is taken into consideration it turns out that the two corps (French XIII and Walmodens Right Flank Corps) were evenly matched. The French troops of the XII corps were just as poorly trained as many of Walmodens men. Walmoden severely lacked competent commanders, but his troops were more numerous and they were older than their French counter parts. What might have given Davout an edge about Walmodens corps was the presence of the 11.000 Danes in the Auxiliary corps (or at least that’s what stated in the Meddelelser Fra Krigsarkiverne bd. VII page 116-117).

Danish weapons of 1813
During the Napoleonic wars the weapon doctrine changed the way an army would be armed and equipped. New weapons were invented and more precise firearms were produced as a result. This also happened in Denmark, although the Danes were slow to adjust to the new tactical doctrines and the new production methods. As Denmark was slow in adjusting to new doctrines quite a number of old weapons were modified to meet the changing demands of the army.
    The production of firearms and other weapons for the army had until 1800 taken place at Kronborgs Geværfabrik ("Kronborgs Rifle factory"). Due to the ever rising threat of armed conflict the production of weapons was increased to meet forthcoming demands. The production of close-quater weapons (swords, sabres, lances and so forth) was transferred to Frederiksværk, which meant that Kronborg Geværfabrik would limit its production to firearms only. The factory at Frederiksværk was named Kniv- og Sabelfabrikken ("the Knife and Sabre factory"). The two factories supplieD the Danish army in its campaigns from 1807-1814.
    Due to the modification policy of the Danish army (all firearms in stock wERE to be used, which meant that several had to be modified) the Danish army never really adopted a standard musket. In principle the muskets used by the infantry were all of the same model, but almost all of them had been modified from older models into a more modern weapon.

Infantry Musket M 1774
1.44 meters
1.05 meters
4.86 kg
The M 1774 smoothbore muket was the standard musket for the infantry companies and grenadier companies of the line battalions. Several modified versions of the M 1774 existed (the M1785 / M1789 / M1791 / M1794 / M1807). The modified M 1774 was widely used instead of the original musket. A M 1774 musket could be operated by a trained soldier to fire 3 aimed shots per minute. Light companies used the Light Infantry Rifle M 1807.

Skarpskyttegevær M 1789
1.41 meters
1.02 meters
4.30 kg
app. 3.000
The light infantry used a modified version of the M 1774 called Skarpskyttegevær M 1789 (Sharpshooterrifle M 1789). The reason for this was the Light Infantry Rifle M 1807 (which was used by the light companies of the line battalions) had a slow rate of fire compared to the 3 shots a minute for the M 1774. The Skarpskyttegevær M 1789 was therefore used in the light battalions as it had a higher rate of fire that the M 1807 Rifle. A trained marksman could fire 1 aimed shot a minute with the M 1789. Note the sharpened ramrod which was used as a bayonet.

Cavalry Carbine M 1807
0.90 meters
0.52 meters
2.48 kg
The short cavalry carbine was carried by all Danish cavalry regiments in the 1813 campaign. A modified version existed, the Rifled Dragoon Carbine M 1789. The Carbine was designed for use both on horseback but also while skirmishing on foot.

Rifled Dragoon Carbine M 1789
0.90 meters
0.52 meters
2.71 kg
The Rifled Dragoon Carbine M 1789 was carried by the flanquers in the heavy cavalry regiments. They also carried 2 pistols and a Pallask.

Light Infantry Rifle M 1807
1.13 meters
0.73 meters
4,05 kg
app. 2.000
Used by the light companies of the line battalions, unlike the light battalions which used the Skarpskyttegevær M 1789. The M 1807 rifle was a highly precise weapon with a slow rate of fire. Loading aming and firering a shot could take several minutes.

Cavalry Pistol M 1807
0.45 meters
0.27 meters
1.33 kg
app. 3.000
All Danish horsemen carried 2 pistols, which was used primarely in close combat. Most horsemen carried their pistols in sheaths on their left, which made them fast and easy to draw in melee. The pistol had a very limited range. It´s handle could be used as a club.

Dragoon Sabre M 1808
1.01 meters
0.86 meters/3.5 cm
2 Carrying Rings
The Light Dragoon regiments used the Dragoon Sabre M 1808. Besides the sabre the horsemen would carry a carbine and two pistols.

Hussar Sabre M 1808
1.01 meters
0.86 meters/3.6 cm
Iron and wood
2 Carrying Rings
The Hussar Sabre M 1808 was carried by the Hussar Regiment along with a carbine and 2 pistols.

Cavalry Sword Pallask M 1797
1.12 meters
0.94 meters/3.0 cm
Iron and wood
2 Carrying Rings
The Pallask M 1797 was used by the heavy Danish cavalry. The was Livregiment Ryttere, Sjællandske Rytter Regiment, Slesvigske Rytter Regiment and the Holstenske Rytter Regiment. Besides the heavy sword the horsemen also carried 2 pistols and a carbine.

Grenadier Sword M 1753
0.76 meters
0.60 meters/3.1 cm
Brown leather
Carried by the grenadier companies of the line battalions, and sometimes also used by the line companies of the infantry battalions.

Light Infantry Sword Hirschfänger M 1801
0.76 meters
0.63 meters/3.6 cm
Brown leather
The Hirschfänger M 1801 was used by the light companies of the line battalions along with their Light Infantry Rifle M 1807. It could function both as a sword and a bayonet.

Horse Artillery Sabre M 1808
0.95 meters
0.80 meters/3.5 cm
Black leather
Carried by the privates of the mounted artillery.

Officer Sabre M 1789
0.89 meters
0.76 meters/3 cm
Brass, 2 Carrying Rings
The Infantry officers used the Officer Sabre M 1789. Several variants may exist. The artillery and cavalry officers used a modified version of their regiments sabres.

Tactics and Doctrine
    Denmark had been inspired a great deal by the Prussian army, in the way the Danes trained their infantry and organised their regiments and battalions. A part of the Danish army were from Holstein, a german speaking duchy. It all led to the Danish army adopting Prussian drill, organisation and theories. King Frederick II of Prussia had shown great skill in building and training an army and his theories was widely accepted as being the only way to lead and organize an army.
    Allthough the Danish army never fought in any huge battles like Jena, Borodino or Leipzig, they did fight several smaller engagements. Most of the battles fought was in 1813, but several small skirmishes was fought with British landing parties during the war with Britain 1807-1814. Therefore it cannot be concluded how well the Danish army would handle itself in a huge engagement. But we can say that when they fought skirmished and smaller battles (like Sehested with 20.000 men present) they fought exceptionally.

Line Infantry
    An infantry regiment consisted in 1803 of 2 battalions of 5 companies each. One of the companies in each battalion were the elite grenadier company. Company strength were 3 officers, 9 non-commissioned officers, 4 musicians 12 sharpshooters 136 soldiers and 2 pioneers. The total strength of a regiment including staff would be 1.690 men. Until 1808 each battalion had a pair of 3-pound cannons. The battalion provided 2 officers, 5 non-commissioned officers and 40 privates to man the guns. In 1803 the grenadier company of the second battalion was disbanded and a light company was included instead. The light company was formed by taking the 12 sharpshooters from each of the 10 companies in the regiment. In 1803 the 1st battalion consisted of 4 fusilier companies and 1 grenadier company. The second battalion had 4 fusilier companies and one light company. An organisation somewhat similar to that of the French battalions. In 1807 2 additional battalions were added to each regiment (except the Marine Regiment). These two battalions came from the territorial militia. The two new battalions were named "annekterede" battalions (the annexed battalions). These battalions were organised exactly like the 2nd battalion in each regiment. They consisted of 1 light company and 4 line companies.
    The Danish army had, like most other European armies at the time, been based on the drill and doctrines of the Prussian army, which had functioned brilliantly in earlier wars. This all changed in 1787 when Carl of Hessen decided to make a clean break with the old complicated doctrines and drill. Instead a simpler quicker drill was practiced, as the Prince recognized the need for quick formation changes and the ability to fight and maneuver in skirmish formations. The two basic combat formations used by the Danish infantry battalions at the time was the Line and the Square. In battle the battalion would form a line, 3 ranks deep. Each soldier in the battalion could aim and fire 3 shots per minute. The battalion would fire vollies from the compact line formation to obtain maximum effect. The volley was usually fired by to the two first ranks in such a way that a platoon would fire their muskets while other platoons were reloading. This made it possible for the battalion to keep up a constant volley fire. The Square formation was used for protection against cavalry attacks. It involved the battalion forming a rectangle, which made it easier to repulse mounted attacks.
    While the line battalion was forming line, it´s light company would spread out in skirmish lines to the battalions front. The light troops would protect the battalion while it was forming and later it would provide harassing fire upon enemy battalions trying to attack it´s parent battalion. Skirmishers would also try to protect its parent battalion from enemy skirmishers trying to harass it. Until 1803 each Danish company had 12 sharpshooters, which would link up with the sharpshooters from other companies to form the skirmish lines. After 1803 the sharpshooters were removed from the line companies and formed into an elite company of their own.
  On the attack the battalion would march towards the enemy in line formation, the elite grenadier company would usually lead the 1st battalion into battle. The battalion would open fire when it came within 200 meters of the enemy. The fire would be either a battalion volley or a platoon volley (starting from the right, even numbered battalions fired first then unevens would fire). After each volley the battalion would advance before reloading. When the battalion came within 20-30 meters of the enemy if would charge using bayonets. During the entire attack the light companies would skirmish with the enemy, maintaining a steady fire on the enemy battalion.
On the march the infantry had 3 standard marching speeds. First was 90 steps a minute (before 1808 it was 76 steps a minute), the second was 120 steps per minute and the third pace was running. During formation changes the first march speed was used to avoid disorder and confusion. To maintain order during formation changes non-commissioned officers would take up position in the terrain marking there the battalion and companies should be placed. The battalion and company standards where then used to guide the troops into position as quickly as possible.

Light Infantry
    Denmark formed its first light units in 1785, when it was decided to set up two Jægerkorps ("Chasseur corps"). Three battalions of light infantry followed in 1789. Each of the Jægerkorps numbered 4 companies consisting in 3 officers, 3 non-commissioned officers, 2 musicians and 133 soldiers. The size of a Jægerkorps including staff amounted to 576 troops. The light battalions numbered 4 companies, each company consisted of 3 officers, 9 non-commissioned officers, 2 musicians and 120 privates, bringing a battalion and staff up to a total of 548 men. The units were made up primarily of Danish volunteers who already possessed some talent as a marksman. As service in a light unit could result in jobs as forest supervisors and hunt supervisors the motivation of the light troops were high. Men of the Jægerkorp used the Light Infantry Rifle M 1807 while the light battalions were equipped with the faster but less precise Skarpskyttegevær M 1789.
    The light battalions were to be used as elite line battalions, fighting in line formation and in skirmish formations in front of other Danish units. They would functions as an addition to other battalions light companies. The light battalions could therefore function both as a regular line battalion but also as traditional skirmishers. The normal way to deploy a Danish light battalion was to form it into a line with dense skirmish lines to the front. The skirmish lines would deliver precise and devastating fire upon attackers before they fell back behind the parent battalion which would then pour precise volley fire into the disordered attackers. The Jægerkorps were to be used differently that the light battalions. The Jægerkorps were an elite reconnaissance and patrol force. They would set up forward observation posts and shadow enemy movements while remaining unseen or sniping at the enemy from great distance. In combat the Jægerkorps operated in "Roder". A rode was a small 3 man team which was designed to give each other mutual fire support in combat. The 3 men worked together in all combat situations, both in skirmish formations but also in other lose formations. The Jægerkorps were a highly mobile and very fast force. They were trained in silent rapid movements, in seeking cover silently and in understanding sign language from officers. All things one would expect to find in modern elite formations. The Jægerkorps achieved a high rate of professionalism and respect from other branches of the army (and founded the basis for the Jægerkorps that exists today as the elite of the Danish army).

    The Danes fielded a wide range of cavalry regiments in the Napoleonic period. They could be parted into the following classes: Guard Cavalry, Heavy Cavalry, Light Dragoons, Hussars and Lancers. Only heavy, light dragoons and hussars took part in the campaign. The Heavy regiments were called Rytterregimenter (translates into "Horseman regiments").
Rytterregimenter were the real heavy battlefield cavalry of the Danish army. A regiment was compromised of 4 squandrons. Each Squadron consisted of 5 officers, 11 non-commissioned officers, 2 musicians and 144 horsemen. Regimental strength was 664 troopers. Each squadron had it´s 12 best marksmen equipped with rifled carbines. These 12 were to function as flankers (skirmishers for the cavalry regiment). The battle drill of the heavy cavalry was classic. They were to perform massed calvary charges to maximise the effect of their huge horses and heavy swords. They were mainly trained in combat from horseback unlike other cavalry regiments. The regiment would deploy its squadrons in lines and approach the enemy. The speed would move from trotting to running ending in a gallop.
    The light dragoon regiments consisted of 4 squadrons. Each squadron included 5 officers, 11 non-commissioned officers, 2 musicians and 144 troopers. Like a Rytterregiment the light dragoon regimental strength was 664 men. The light dragoons was meant as a fast reconnaissance and escort force. They were to be used as scouts and was trained in small unit combat as it was expected that they would clash with enemy patrols. They also received extensive training in fast raids on shaken and surprised enemies. The original concept was that the dragoons would dismount and engage the enemy on foot, but this theory was quickly given up as it proved a much more effective force when fighting from horseback.
    Only one Hussar regiment existed in the Danish army at the time. It was simply called Hussar Regimentet (The Hussar Regiment). A second hussar regiment was founded in 1813 but was disbanded 3 months later. The hussar regiment had 7 squadrons. The first 6 was armed and equipped as regular hussars while the last squadron was equipped as a lancer squadron. Each squadron had 5 officers, 11 non-comissioned officers, 2 musicians and 168 hussars. This gave the regiment a strength of 1.326 men. The hussars functioned like all other light cavalry of its day. The hussars was trained as scouts and frequently functioned in a supporting role of the infantry. Like the light dragoons the hussars would be used to shield friendly infantry from enemy cavalry during major engagements.The lancer squadron in the hussar regiment was based on Prussian hussar doctrine.
    Artillery Tactics and Doctrine In 1803 the Danish artillery (called Det Kongelige Artillerikorps which translated to "The Royal Corps of Artillery") compromised Den Danske Artilleribrigade (The Danish Artillery Brigade) and Den Holstenske Artilleribrigade ("The Artillery Brigade of Holsten"). Den Danske Artilleribrigade had 9 companies of foot and 1 mounted company. Den Holstenske Artilleribrigade had 6 companies of foot and 1 mounted. A company of foot artillery compromised 8 officers, 18 non-comissioned officers, 2 musicians and 214 (254 for the Holstenske Artilleribrigade) gunners and other ranks. A foot artillery company consisted of 242 men (or 282 in the Holstein Artilleribrigade). A mounted company had 6 officers, 18 non-commissioned officers, 2 musicians and 144 gunners and other ranks for a total of 170 men. Den Danske Artilleribrigade had 2.430 men while Den Holstenske Artilleribrigade had 1.062 men. During the restructuring of 1808 16 militia companies were made, 10 in Danske Artilleribataljon and 6 in Holstenske Artilleribataljon. These 16 companies were to be used in fortifications as defensive artillery.
After 1808 each infantry brigade received one mounted battery of 8 3-pound cannons and 4 10-pound howitzers. The foot artillery operated 8 6-pound guns and 2 20-pound howitzers per battery. The heavier batteries operated 8 12-pound cannons and 4 36-pound howitzers. In battle the artillery deployed in batteries to fire solid shot and canister at the enemy formations. The howitzers would fire grenades instead of solid shot or canister. The heavy artillery should cover friendly formations while trying to delay and harass enemy movements and deployments. The lighter batteries would be deployed between the friendly infantry brigades and shell enemy positions. A well trained light battery could fire 24 shots per minute, which often resulted in devastation of enemy units. The mounted artillery was meant as a reserve that could be deployed quickly due to it´s high high mobility. It could also move foreward to support cavalry attacks or accompany cavalry and light troops in reconnaissance and patrol missions. The gunners of the mounted artillery would ride on the ammunition wagons, gun carriages and the limber horses.
   The guns were all fabricated in Denmark, and were of high quality. The effeciency of the field artillery was never as good as that of Prussia or France. All the Danish cannons was made in bronze which made them very heavy.


TOTAL STRENGTH: (not counting the Danish Corps): 21.000 men, 40 cannons and 12 howitzers.

Corps Command:
Marshal L. N. Davout, Prince of Eckmühl
Brigadier general C. Baron de Laville (chief of staff)
Lieutenant General Wattier. Count de St. Alphonse (chief of cavalry)
Colonel Ourié (chief of artillery)
Major Vinache (chief of engineers)
The Majors Zadera and Brosset
The Captains Laloi, Chaupin, d´Houdetot
Lieutenant de Villeneuve (all adjutants)

3rd division
Lieutenant General O. Baron Loisson
Colonel Lecouturier (chief of staff)
Infantry brigade. General Mielzynski
15th light infantry regiment (4 battalions)
44th line infantry regiment (1 battalion)
Infantry brigade. General Count Leclerc des Essart
48th line infantry regiment (4 battalions)
108th line infantry regiment (4 battalions)
1 6-pounder mounted battery and 1 battery of foot
(total 10 cannon and 4 howitzers)

40th division
Lieutenant general P. C.F. A. H. D. Baron Thiebault
Colonel Bellangé (chief of staff)
Infantry brigade. General Delcambre Baron de Campvert
30th line infantry regiment (2 battalions)
111th line infantry regiment (4 battalions)
Infantry brigade. General Baron Gengoult.
61st line infantry regiment (4 battalions)
2 6-pounder mounted batteries
(total 12 cannon and 4 howitzers)

50th division
Lieutenant general Vichery
Colonel Allanis (chief of staff)
Infantry brigade. General Romme
3rd line infantry regiment (3 battalions)
105th line infantry regiment (2 battalions)
1 6-pounder mounted battery (6 cannon)

30th light cavalry brigade
General de brigade C. F. A. l´Allemand *
Captain Carré
28th chasseur á cheval regiment (2 squadrons)
17th Lithuanian uhlan regiment (3 squadrons)

Reserve Artillery and Cavalry
3 march squadrons cuirassiers
2 12-pounder batteries of foot (12 cannon and 4 howitzers)
1 engineer company
4 train companies

* Was later transferred to the Danish corps

Danish Auxiliary Corps, Mid August, 1813

TOTAL STRENGTH: 13 battalions, 2 independent jaeger companies,
10 squadrons and 4 batteries. About 11.000 men

Corps Command

General of Infantry, Prince Frederik of Hessen
Major, over quartermaster J. Carl Bardenfleth (chief of staff)
Major, division quartermaster F. Løvenørn Bardenfleth
Captain, division adjutant F. C. E. Scholten
the Captains L. C. C. Baron Liliencrone
C. F. Malthe Friis
A. F. Krohn and
C. Michaelsen (all adjutants)

The Vanguard
Colonel of Infantry S. Waldeck
First lieutenant T. G. Høegh (adjutant)
Second lieutenant M. Engelsted (adjutant)

Slesvigske Jaeger corps 2nd Battalion
Holstenske Sharpshooter corps 1st Battalion
Holstenske Sharpshooter corps 2nd Battalion
The Hussar Regiment 2nd Squadron
The Hussar Regiment 6th Squadron
Battery Gerstenberg (a 3-pounder mounted battery)

1st Brigade
Major general of Infantry G. L. Count von der Schulenburg
Captain, division quartermaster H. C. Rømeling (adjutant)
Staff captain C. F. Trepka (adjutant)
Second lieutenant M. Engelsted (adjutant)

Oldenborgske Infantry regiment 1st Battalion
Oldenborgske Infantry regiment 2nd Battalion
Oldenborgske Infantry regiment 4th Battalion
The light company of the Oldenborgske Infantry regiment 3rd
Holstenske Infantry regiment 4th Battalion
The Queens Life regiment of foot 1st Battalion
The light company of the Queens Life regiment of Foot 2nd
Holstenske Cavalry regiment 4 squadrons
Battery Koye (a 6-pounder battery of foot)

2nd Brigade

Major general of Cavalry J. C. Lasson
Captain, division adjutant C. Ewald (adjutant)
First lieutenant W. Lobedanz (adjutant)
First lieutenant J. F. Lasson (adjutant)

Fynske Infantry regiment 1st Battalion
Fynske Infantry regiment 2nd Battalion
Slesvigske Infantry regiment 1st Battalion
Slesvigske Infantry regiment 2nd Battalion
Holstenske Infantry regiment 3rd Battalion
Jydske regiment, light dragoons 4 squadrons
Battery Gönner (a 3-pounder mounted battery)
Battery Blicher (a 6-pounder battery of foot)


TOTAL STRENGTH: 14 battalions, 2 independent jaeger companies, 10 squadrons, 4
batteries and 1 marine company. About 10.200 men.
Corps Command

General of Infantry, Prince Frederik of Hessen (commandant-en-chef)
Major, over quartermaster J. Carl Bardenfleth (chief of staff)
Major, division quartermaster F. Løvenørn Bardenfleth
Captain, division adjutant F. C. E. Scholten
the Captains L. C. C. Baron Liliencrone, C. F. Malthe Friis
and A. F. Krohn (all adjutants)

Guards: The grenadier company from The Queens 1st
The Marine company

The Vanguard

General de brigade C. F. A. l´Allemand
Colonel of Infantry S. Waldeck
Captain T. G. Høegh (adjutant)
First lieutenant J. Unzer (adjutant)

Oldenborgske Infantry regiment 1st Battalion
Oldenborgske Infantry regiment 2nd Battalion
Oldenborgske Infantry regiment 4th Battalion
3rd Jydske Infantry regiment 1st Battalion
Slesvigske Jaeger corps 2nd Battalion
Holstenske Sharpshooter corps 1st Battalion
Holstenske Sharpshooter corps 2nd Battalion
Holstenske Cavalry regiment 4 squadrons)
Battery Gerstenberg (a 6-pounder battery of foot. 10 guns)
Battery Koye (a 6-pounder battery of foot. 10 guns)

1st Brigade
Major general of Infantry G. L. Count von der Schulenburg
Captain, division quartermaster H. C. Rømeling (adjutant)
Staff captain C. F. Trepka (adjutant)
Second lieutenant M. Engelsted (adjutant)

The Queens Life regiment of foot 1st Battalion
Slesvigske Infantry regiment 1st Battalion
Slesvigske Infantry regiment 2nd Battalion
Holstenske Infantry regiment 3rd Battalion
Holstenske Infantry regiment 4th Battalion
The Hussar Regiment 2nd Squadron
The Hussar Regiment 6th Squadron
Battery Friis (a 6-pounder battery of foot. 10 guns)

2nd Brigade:

Major general of Cavalry J. C. Lasson
Captain, division adjutant C. Ewald (adjutant)
First lieutenant W. Lobedanz (adjutant)
First lieutenant J. F. Lasson (adjutant)

Fynske Infantry regiment 1st Battalion
Fynske Infantry regiment 2nd Battalion
The Light company of the Queens Life regiment of Foot 2nd Battalion
The Light company of the Oldenborgske Infantry regiment 3rd Battalion
The Light company of the Holstenske Infantry regiment 3rd Battalion
3rd company of Slesvigske Jaeger corps 2nd
Fynske regiment, light dragoons 4 squadrons (colonel N. Engelsted)
Battery Gönner (a 3-pounder mounted battery. 10 guns)

PS. The name of the regiments has not
been translated. sorry 


Corps Command

Lieutenant general L. C. T. Walmoden-Gimborn
Lieutenant colonel C. von Clausewitz
Lieutenant colonel von Phuel
Lieutenant colonel von Stüpnagel
Lieutenant colonel von Berger
Lieutenant colonel Paraviczini
Lieutenant colonel von Dannenberg
Lieutenant colonel Count Kielmansegge.
And 11 adjutants


Major General F. C. Baron Tettenborn
Captain C. F. Count Hahn-Neuhaus (adjutant)
2nd Don-Cossack regiment Grebzow
1st Don-Cossack regiment Kommisarow
7th Don-Cossack regiment Denisow
9th Don-Cossack regiment Sulin
Pommerske Jaeger battalion
Freikorps Lützow, 1st, 2nd and 3rd battalions
Cavalry regiment Lützow (5 squadrons)
½ 3-pounder battery of foot (5 cannon)
½ 3-pounder mounted battery (3 cannon)

Russian-Prussian Legion

Major general W. D. von Ahrensschildt
Captain Count C. A. S. Wartensleben (adjutant)
Lieutenant von Staff (adjutant)

1st Infantry brigade (major F. Von Natzmer)1st, 2nd and 5th battalions

2nd Infantry brigade (lieutenant colonel W. G. F Wardenburg)3rd, 4th and 6th battalions (later including the 7th battalion)

British-Prussian Legion
Major general Lyon
Captain von Krauchenberg (adjutant)
Lieutenant Richter (adjutant)

Light brigade (lieutenant colonel Martin)Battalion Anhalt-Dessau
Battalion Lüneburg
Battalion Bremen-Verden
½ battalion Hannoveranske and Russian-Prussian Jaegers

Line brigade (lieutenant colonel Halkett)Battalion Benoit
Battalion Benningsen
Battalion Langrehr
Hanseatiske battalion Hamburg
Hanseatiske battalion Lübeck
½ battalion British-Prussian infantry
Hannoveranske 6-pounder battery of foot (6 cannon)

4th Swedish division
Lieutenant general E. G. E. Baron von Vegesack
Major von Düben (adjutant)
Lieutenant Björcksten (adjutant) 

5th Swedish infantry brigade (colonel Bergenstråhle)Infantry regiment Småland (1 battalion)
Infantry regiment Jönköping (3 battalions)
Infantry regiment Södra Skånska (1 battalion)
Infantry regiment Konungens (1 battalion)

Swedish cavalry and artilleryMörnerske hussar regiment 1 squadron
Skånska carabinier regiment 4 squadrons
A mounted 6-pounder battery (6 cannon, 2 howitzer)

Mecklenburgske brigade (major general von Fallois)Guard grenadier battalion von Both
Infantry regiment von Fallois (3 battalions)
Volunteer jaeger battalion
Mounted jaeger regiment von Müller (4 squadrons)
A 6-pounder battery of foot (4 cannon)
Prussian hussars von Schill (2 squadrons)

Cavalry division
Major general F. W. C. Count von Dörnberg
Lieutenant colonel F. Von Nostitz (adjutant)
Captain C. von Pflugh (adjutant)
Lieutenant von Byern (adjutant)

1st Russian-Prussian hussar regiment (4 squadrons)
2nd Russian-Prussian hussar regiment (4 squadrons)
3rd British-Prussian hussar regiment (5 squadrons)
Hannoveranske hussar regiment Lüneburg (3 squadrons)
Hannoveranske hussar regiment Breme-Verden (1 squuadron)
Hanseatisk cavalry regiment Armin (8 squadrons)

Reserve artillery
Lieutenant colonel Mohnhaupt

Russian-Prussian artillery brigade
1st mounted battery (8 cannon)
2nd mounted battery (8 cannon)

British-Prussian artillery brigade
1st mounted battery (6 cannon)
2nd mounted battery (6 cannon)
British rocket battery (32 rockets)

Hanseatisk artillery
½ battery of foot (4 cannon)
½ mounted battery (4 cannon)


Main Moves. August 16th to September 1st.

    War started again on the 16th of August and the Danish division was sent into action with the French XIII corps. The Danish division received the name: Auxiliærkorpset (the auxiliary corps). Along with the 3 small French divisions of the French corps the Danes were to secure and stabilize Marshal Oudinot's left flank. Oudinot commanded a force of 80.000 men with orders to engage Bernadottes Army of the North (based near Berlin). Napoleon hoped Oudinot could tie down Bernadotte and keep him out of the fighting taking place further south where Napoleon was commanding the French main force. Besides acting as a flank guard Davout was ordered to advance to a position between Berlin and the North Sea. Here he was to engage and destroy an enemy corps commanded by Lieutenant General Walmoden and thereby relieve the French occupied Stettin. Davout´s corps numbered 32.000 men including the 11.000 Danes. Before the campaign began Davout formed a Danish-French formation commanded by l´Alleman. This formation was only intended as a temporary vanguard force, but it quickly became permanent as it showed itself extremely valuable. The force was named Vanguard Brigade l´Alleman, and acted as vanguard for the entire XIII corps.

Map of early operations.

    The corps opposing the French XIII corps was Walmoden's Army corps. Walmoden had 27.000 men under his command. His orders was to cover the Army of the North´s right flank. Besides acting as a flank guard Walmoden had orders to commence offensive operations against the enemy units located between Hamburg and Lübeck. If possible he was to drive the enemy back and besiege him either in Hamburg, Lübeck or Rendsborg. When the enemy was destroyed or besieged Walmoden was to use his powerful cavalry to capture and occupy Holstein.
In early August the two corps stood a mere 10 to 30 kilometers from each other. The French XIII corps was in positions behind the Bille and Trave rivers, Northwest of the Hamburg-Lübeck line. Walmoden's corps was spread out covering the line between Dassau-Ratzeburg-Lauenburg. Davout wanted to attack and occupy Schwerin, which he planned to reach marching his corps along to separate roads. One northern road leading trough Mölln-Ratzeburg-Gadebusch and a southern route leading trough Lauenburg-Boizenburg-Wittenburg. A strong reconnaissance force was to move towards Lübeck while the corps moved towards Schwerin.
    L´Alleman's vanguard had bridged the Bille river near Trittau early in the morning on August the 17th and the force was now rapidly advancing towards Mölln. Once there the force assaulted and destroyed a Cossack force. From Mölln l´Alleman turned south and marched to Büchen, which was occupied by enemy forces. The town was captured after a well planned attack pushed the enemy back. Thiebault's 40th French Infantry Division had reached Lauenburg while Colonels Engelsteds reconnaissance force had passed trough Lübeck without any enemy contacts. The 20th of August saw Davout in control of the entire Delvenau line, which meant that the road to his objective Schwerin was wide open. On the 21st l´Alleman´s brigade supported by Loissons 3rd French Infantry Division began a march towards Camin while Thibaults 40th Division marched toward Goldenbow. An enemy force at Camin (Dörnbergs cavalry and 1 battalion infantry) quickly fled before contact could be made. As did a large Cossack force at Goldenbow. By now Walmoden thought he faced a superior enemy force. This caused him to fall back to a better defensive position. His main force retired to Wöbbelin just south of Schwerin while the Swedish-MecklenburgskeDivision occupied the terrain near Grevismühlen and Wismar.
Schwerin fell to the XIII corps on the 23rd of August. Walmodens forces had been parted into a northern and southern part, with the French XIII corps between the two parts. To secure his left flank Davout ordered l´Alleman and Loissons 3rd Division north. They marched trough Gadebusch towards the Swedish forces at Wismar. As the Swedish force fell back towards Rostock before contact could be made, the Danish - French force occupied Wismar. L´Alleman received orders on the 27th of August, which ordered him to perform a reconnaissance towards Rostock to located the enemy division. On the next day l´Alleman made contact with the Swedish division near Retschow. The mission had been successful and l´Alleman fell back towards friendly lines. The Swedish force that outnumbered l´Allemans brigade did not organise a pursuit. The Danes spend the night in Neu Bukow while the Swedes advanced to Kröpelin. L´Alleman withdrew to Hornsdorf during the next few days. The Swedes still failed to pursue him. After L´Alleman's successful reconnaissance it was decided that the XIII corps should maintain its position along the Schwerin - Wismar line.

Main Moves. September 2nd to November 10th.

    Davout was informed that Oudinot had been defeated in at Gross Beeren near Berlin. This changed the situation for XIII corps still occupying the Schwerin-Wismar line. Davout decided to fall back to the river Delvenau. From a position behind the river he would stand a better chance at defending Holstein and Hamburg. The march to the new lines began the following day. Marching in 3 columns, the XIII corps left it’s positions near Schwerin and Wismar. The Danish auxiliary corps acted as a rearguard during the march. The rearguard was constantly attacked during the march back to Ratzeburg, which they reached on September the 4th . L´Allemans brigade marched from Wismar to Lübeck. Here he positioned himself in the terrain near Dassau and Schönberg. XIII Corps now occupied a defensive position running from Travemünde to Lübeck and south to Ratzeburg and along the Devenau and on to Lauenberg. The troops had taken up positions behind the small rivers Wackenitz and Delvenau. In the middle of the defensive line was the fortification Ratzeburg, where a strong bridgehead position had been set up. The bridgehead was to be the basis for offensive operations if XIII corps was ordered on the offensive. The XIII corps occupied this strong defensive line centered on Ratzeburg until November the 12th. There were daily clashes with probing enemy forces. A larger battle took place near Ghörde, south of the Elb River on September the 16th. Lieutenant General Pecheux marched south towards Ghörde with the 50th Division. Davout's plan was to use the 50th Division as a diversion that would take the enemies attention away from a vital French ammunition transport moving from Hannover to Magdeburg.
Walmoden was already aware of the ammunition transport and of the movements of the 50th Division. A trap was set up near Dannenberg to surround and destroy the 50th Division, but Pecheux stayed in his position at Ghörde, and therefor avoided disaster. Walmoden had no intentions of letting a chance to destroy an enemy division be wasted. Instead of waiting for the 50th Division at Dannenberg Walmoden went on the offensive and attacked Pecheux in his position at Ghörde. Walmoden concentrated a force five times bigger that Pecheux´s, which Walmoden hoped would swiftly crush the French 50th Division. Pecheux manoeuvred with great skill to disengage from the attacking enemy without endangering his division. The 50th Division returned to it’s previous defensive positions North of the Elbe River. During the entire engagement Davout did nothing to support or assist the desperately outnumbered Pecheux.

                                                  Map of the Rendsborg area.

    Several other skirmishes took place in the vicinity of the Ratzeburg fortifications. Most of these in the area south-east of Ratzeburg. On September the 17th Davout suddenly decided to mount a reconnaissance commanded by Lieutenant General Wattier towards Zarrentin. Enemy forces occupying the town was pushed back to Wittenburg. Wattier returned to his position in the defensive lines after the battle. Wattiers advance towards Zarrentin had been covered on the right flank by Danish cavalry. On the 18th a Danish cavalry squadron became engaged at Gudow, where a Cossack regiment had been encountered. The Danish squadron routed the Cossacks and secured Wattiers flank. On the 26th another skirmish took place at Gudow. The Danes tried to ambush a Cossack force stationed there. The ambush failed due to French incompetence but the 60 Danish dragoon managed to rout more than 300 Cossacks. Both sides would perform patrols into the villages around Ratzebrug to gather forage. On September the 30th, the Prince of Hessen ordered the advance of a sizeable Danish force towards Klein Zecker. Their mission was foraging. Food and other supplies should be gathered from nearby villages. At Klein Zecker a skirmish with enemy forces evolved. The Danes completed their mission covered by their light troops they withdrew with several wagon loads of supplies. After the battle near Göhrde, Walmoden quickly retired to a defensive line running from Rehna to Hagenow.
    The front was quiet for some time until Walmoden came under increasing pressure from Sweden. He was forced to start offensive operations, although Walmoden had no real desire to fight. Walmodens plan was to strike at the centre of the XIII corps, near Ratzeburg and Mölln. The fighting quickly became fierce as Walmodens numerically superior force ran into defensive positions held by French and Danish forces. On October the 6th French forces fought at Mustin, Gross Molzahn and Büchen. The determined French defenders they repulsed all attacks. After these failed attacks Walmoden abandoned his plans of a frontal assault on the Danish held Razteburg fortification. Instead he ordered a strong reconnaissance towards the town. The reconnaissance force hit a strong Danish defensive position in Weisser Hirsch on October the 7th. Fighting was fierce and lasted several hours before Danish cavalry routed the attackers. Walmoden broke off the offensive after 10 days of fighting. Their results of the offensive were depressing. He had suffered severe casualties and had made no major territorial gains. Once again he withdrew to the position along the Rhena - Hagenow line. During Walmodens retreat the Danes performed a reconnaissance towards Gudow. Danish cavalry clashed with enemy near Rosengarten, where the Danish dragoons won a spectacular victory. Later XIII corps performed a major reconnaissance on October the 18th. Two columns marched to Valluhn and Zarrentin. Several skirmishes took place with enemy forces without any major battle taking place. The Razteburg front was quiet until November the 8th when a patrol was sent to the Gross Zecker manor. Davout wanted some important papers located in the manor. The Danes encountered a strong enemy force at Gross Zecker, during a delaying action the papers were retrieved and the Danes withdrew from the field.

Main Moves. November 11th to December 11th
    October 16th to the 19th saw the biggest battle in history fought near Leipzig. Napoleon was defeated and his armies suffered horrible losses. Davout received news of the defeat in early November. Shortly thereafter he received orders to occupy and defend Hamburg. Besides the defense of the Hamburg Davout was to march to Holland with the majority of XIII corps. The planned march to Holland was quickly abandoned as enemy forces had already moved between Davout and Holland. Therefore Davout decided to retire to a defensive line behind the Stecknitz river. The Danish Auxiliary corps was ordered to defend the northern part of the line, from Travemünde to an area north of Mölln. The southern part of the front was assigned to the French 40th and 50th Infantry Divisions. 3rd Division was placed in reserve near Mölln. The corps occupied this position without any enemy contacts until the 30th November. During the calm period the enemy was busy planning a major offensive towards XIII corps. The plan called for the 3 French divisions to be surrounded and besieged in Hamburg. Once the French had been surrounded in Hamburg the offensive would turn North. The Danes should then be isolated and destroyed as the besieged Davout would be unable to assist them. Once the Auxiliary corps was destroyed an invasion of Denmark would surely result in the surrender of Denmark. Sweden would finally get it’s long awaited prize: Norway. For this plan to be effective reinforcements had been moved to the area. A new Swedish corps had joined Walmoden, whose forces were now divided into 3 corps. Corps Woronzow, Corps Walmoden and the Swedish Corps. 43.100 troops were ready to attack the XIII corps. The overall command was given to Prince Karl Johan of Sweden.

Map of the last part of the campaign.

    In late November Davout finally realized that a major enemy offensive was forthcoming. He instantly began drawing up plans for the French withdrawal to Hamburg. This left the defense of Holstein in the hands of the Danish Auxiliary corps. On November the 30th Davout withdrew his French divisions to Hamburg. He arrived at the town on December the 3rd and immediately set up his headquarters. Lieutenant General Vichery was left near Wandsbeck with the 40th Division. Jydske Regiment Light Dragoons had been assigned to Vichery, who used the regiment to rout Cossacks and enemy cavalry near Rahlstedt on the 6th of December. December the 9th saw Corps Woronzow crossing the Alster river and cutting off the connection between Hamburg and Holstein. The Danes had been successfully isolated in Holstein. Just before the roads between XIII corps and the Auxiliary corps were closed the Jydske Regiment Light Dragoon performed a heroic march from the French corps to link up with the Danes. Enemy cavalry repeatedly tried to stop the dragoons, which several times repulsed enemy attacks, before they could continue their march.
When Davout fell back he ordered the Prince of Hessen to fall back with the entire Auxiliary corps to a defensive line between Oldesloe and Lübeck behind the Trave river. At the time the Danes were positioned with l´Alleman's brigade and the 1st brigade in Kronförde while the second brigade was located in Bliesdorf. Major General Lasson commanding the 2nd brigade felt quite isolated after the contact to XIII corps had been lost, as his flank was "hanging in the air". Lasson decided to retire to Oldesloe. The enemy had decided that the Swedish Prince should advance with the Swedish corps towards Lübeck while Walmoden would march to Boden and from there to Oldesloe. Tettenborn's strong Cossack force would link Corps Walmoden with Corps Woronzow located outside Hamburg. When the Prince of Hessen learned of Lassons movements with the 2nd brigade he instantly ordered Lasson, who had already reached Oldesloe, to march to Boden in an attempt to re-establish contact with the French XIII corps. A short time later the Prince learned that the French corps was surrounded in Hamburg. The Prince wanted to abort the march to Boden before disaster struck, but it was already to late. The 2nd brigade made contact with enemy forces of December the 4th near Boden. The Prince of Hessen realized that enemy forces occupied the terrain between his forces and the French corps. Any attempt to link up with Davout would result in disaster. The enemy had been surprised by the Danish "counter-attack" towards Boden, which resulted in a Danish victory over a numerically larger force. Before Walmoden could concentrate his forces against Boden, the Danes withdrew back to Oldesloe. The battle at Boden had been a huge success. For the first time large elements of Danish infantry had been engaged by the enemy. They had fought with great skill and had proven themselves as professional as the Danish cavalry and the light infantry.
During the next few days the enemy attempted to flank the Auxiliary corps right flank. This led to a number of small skirmishes. While these small actions were taking place the Prince of Hessen received a report from l´Alleman. L´Alleman had left his defensive position in Lübeck due to increasing enemy pressure. This made the Prince of Hessen abandon his plans of defending Oldesloe, where his main force of 2 brigades was located. He began to withdraw towards Segeberg and from there to Bornhöved. On December the 7th the Danes were in the area between Segeberg and Bornhöved. Walmoden was marching towards Neumünster to block the Danish line of retreat towards Rendsborg while the vanguard of the Swedish corps were advancing North of Segeberg. The fatigued Danes clashed with the Swedish vanguard at the traffic junction Bornhöved. To this day the outcome of this battle is still debated. The Danes claimed victory as they repulsed and routed the Swedish attackers. The Swedes claimed victory because they had made a very well coordinated cavalry attack on the withdrawing Danes.
After the battle, the Danes swung North and marched towards Kiel, which they reach the same evening. Kiel could easily be defended but the Prince of Hessen feared that staying in Kiel would mean that his lines of retreat might be cut and he his force besieged. He therefore marched the Auxiliary corps across the Eider Canal and into a position near Gettorf and Lindau (not shown on the map, but it’s west of Frederiksort and north east of Sehested). The corps train was placed between the two small towns. L´Allemans brigade was also located in the area. Elements of Walmodens corps and Dörnbergs Swedish cavalry division had also crossed the Eider Canal and was now located in Wittensee north of Sehested. Walmodens main force was located at Kluvensik. Advanced elements of his corps had moved into Sehested. The Prince of Hessen knew exactly where Walmoden´s corps was located and he faced a difficult choice. He could either march north to Ekernførde or he could march west to Rendsborg. A march north would mean less enemy infantry in the way but the strong enemy cavalry would cause immense problems for the slow train and tired troops. A march towards Rendsborg would result in a battle with most of Walmodens corps. If Walmoden could be routed or destroyed, Rendsborg would be a brilliant defensive position. On December the 10th the Prince decided. He issued orders for the march on Rendsborg. Walmoden was convinced that the Danes were heading towards Eckernførde and that their fighting spirit was completely broken. Therefore he ordered Dörnberg to move his vanguard into Gross Wittensee and move north from there. On December the 10th Walmoden´s corps encountered the Danish Auxiliary corps near Sehested. The Danish fighting spirit was far from broken and as a result Walmoden was severely beaten and routed. The battle at Sehested was by far the largest in the campaign with more than 20.000 troops engaged. The Danes reached Rendsborg in good order on the night between the 10th and 11th.


Battle of Restchow. August 28th.
After having ordered division Vegesack (the 4th Swedish division) to withdraw to Rostock, the allied commander Walmoden suddenly changed his mind. On the 26th he ordered Lieutenant general E. G. E. Baron von Vegesack to advance his division to a new line at Doberan-Berendshagen instead of the planned withdrawal towards Rostock. Division Vegesack began moving towards Doberan-Berendshagen early on the 28th. A vanguard was led by Osten-Sacken (compromising 5 squadrons, 2 cannon, 1 jaeger battalion and 6 infantry companies). This vanguard marched along the road towards Konow, while a left flank guard commanded by colonel Müller (compromising 4 squadrons and 10 infantry companies) moved towards Berendshagen. Advancing along the road towards Rostock through Konow was the French general l´Alleman. He had been ordered to find the enemy division Vegesack. L´Alleman had a French and a Polish squadron, 4 cannons of battery Gerstenberg, 1 company of Holstenske Sharpshooters 2nd and 1 French infantry battalion at his disposal.

The vanguard of the French-Danish ´was being led by l´Allemand in person. It ran headlong into the enemy just north of Retschow. The Swedish opened the battle, when the 4 Swedish squadrons (2 squadrons from the Schillske hussars and 2 squadrons from the Skånske carabinier regiment) charged down the road at l´Allemands oncoming squadrons. The French and Polish squadrons leading the vanguard did not receive the charge but fled to the side of the road and routed towards Ivendorf. This robbed battery Gerstenberg of it´s much needed cavalry support. The Danish battery had taken up a position on Kronenberg hill north of the village. Upon seeing the Poles and French cavalry flee, the Swedes turned up the hill and charged the unprotected Danish battery. The charge was repulsed with canister fire, and the Swedes withdrew to safety. Meanwhile the company of Holstenske sharpshooters 2nd had arrived at the battery, and now provided adequate cover and support for the gunners. The battery was soon thereafter reinforced with a cannon and a howitzer from the main force. The French infantry battalion took up a position in the edge of the forest west of Retschow and awaited the Swedes in cover of the forest.

The Swedes advanced towards the forest with a jaeger battalion and the surviving disorganised cavalry on the jaegers left flank. While major Elfvings Swedish battery deployed on the hill south of Ivendorf, the cavalry and jaegers pushed towards the French battalion. A two and a half hour long artillery duel ensued, in which the small Danish battery of 3-pounder guns and a single howitzer traded fire with the Swedish battery of 6 6-pounders and 2 8-pounder howitzers. The Swedish jaeger battalion was in the meantime pushing the French battalion out of the forest (neither of the two battalions fired a single shot, the French simply withdrew when the jaegers advanced).

To late Vegesack decided to commit his reserves to the battle (his infantry companies, still uncommitted). When he made the decision, l´Alleman had already given the order to fall back (he had completed his mission, he had found and made contact with the vanguard of the division he had been scouting for).

Lieutenant general E. G. E. Baron von Vegesack later admitted that he had lost 60 men (20 dead and 40 wounded), but he also claimed that l´Alleman had lost 253 men !!!

A report from the Danish commander informed (with a great deal of traditional Danish irony) the Danish king that:
"That there is no reason to doubt the Swedish claims, as this would mean that the French battalion had to have been halved in the forest, without receiving any enemy fire. The French battalion took part in the brigades march the next day. Therefore we cannot add any truth to the horrific Swedish tale of carnage as l´Allemands vanguard losses were 1 mortally wounded (later dead) sharpshooter, 1 dead limber-officer, 3 dead limber-horses and 1 destroyed wagon".

Battle of Zarrentin. September 18th.
Marshal Davout ordered an advance from Ratzeburg towards Kogel and Zarrentin (supported in the flanks by smaller forces at Ziethen and Mölln). The Danish forces taking part in this advance were 2nd and 6th hussar squadron, 3 squadrons of Fynske Regiment Light dragoons, 3 squadrons of the Jydske Regiment Light dragoons, 3 jaeger companies and the musketeer companies of the Queens 1st along with a battery of 4 6-pounders and 2 howitzers. This force was supported by 2 squadrons French cuirassiers and 2 French battalions of infantry. General Wattier was appointed as the commander of the force. Marshal Davout and the Prince of Hessen both joined the Danish force as spectators.

The Danish hussars and the 2 French chasseur companies (from the French line battalions) was at the head of the Danish road column acting as a vanguard. The Danish force encountered the enemy near Tesdorf, where the enemy battalion Seydlitz (from the Lützow Freikorps) and some Hanseatiske cavalrymen were located. A daring charge by the hussars (led by second lieutenant E. Ewald) threw the enemy back towards their main force located near the town Zarrentin.

Zarrentin then became the centre of a battle between elements of the Allied main force commanded by Major Patersdorff and the advancing Danish/French troops. East of Tesdorff several clashes took place between the Danish hussars and the Hanseatiske cavalry. The Danish Jaegers advanced (with jaeger company Jess from Oldenborgske infantry regiment in the lead) towards Zarrentin after a brief long range fire fight with the enemy defenders of the town. The Danes pushed the enemy out of the town, making several bayonet charges to dislodge enemy positions. Major Petersdorff withdrew from Zarrentin towards the Schall-river, his rear covered by 3 Hanseatiske squadrons. Meanwhile the Danish-French main force had arrived at the now Danish controlled town of Zarrentin. It was quickly decided to rout the enemy from the banks of the Schall-river and thereafter try to occupy the Schallmühle bridge. 2 battalions and 4 cannons was transferred to the vanguard. General Wattier advanced to Schallmühle to lead the attack personally. Meanwhile 2 infantry companies, the Guldberg squadron of the Jydske Regiment Light Dragoons and 2 cannons were sent to Kolzin and Pamprin to threaten the enemy left flank. Major Petersdorff quickly abandoned his position on the riverbank after a brief artillery duel and fell back to towards Wittenburg, ending the engagement.

The enemy lost 26 dead, 1 officer and 100 troops wounded another 1 officer and 8 troops were missing. The Danish casualties were 3 dead, 14 wounded and 3 missing. The French losses were about the same. 2 of the missing Danes (a non-commissioned officer and a private from Fynske Regiment Light Dragoons) had been captured by the enemy and had been horribly tortured and murdered in a most savage fashion by the Hanseatiske cavalrymen after the battle.

An officer of the Fynske Regiment Light Dragoons had captured Count Westphalen during the engagement.

In his report to the King, the Prince of Hessen mentioned the Jaeger company Jess from the Oldenborgske, company Wegener from the Slesvigske jaeger corps 2nd both the hussar squadrons and the Jydske Regiment Light Dragoons as being both brave and very calm and professional under enemy fire.

Battle of Gudow. September 26th.
General Vichery had ordered a reconnaissance force to move from Mölln towards Gudow. The reconnaissance force consisted of 3 French voltigeur companies and squadron Wittrog of the Jydske Regiment Light Dragoons.

The French voltigeurs deployed in the terrain and prepared an ambush position just south of Lehmarde, which were heavily occupied by enemy Cossacks. The Danish light dragoons rode directly towards the town, making sure to be seen and heard by the enemy Cossacks. When the Cossacks came charging out of the town, towards the dragoons, they quickly turned their horses and retreated luring the Cossacks into the ambush prepared by the French troops. The ambush didn't work exactly as planned as young inexperienced French troops started firing too early. Several of the Cossacks fell to the French long range musket fire. Their leader, colonel Cheanichew had his horse shot from under him, and had to cling to one of his horsemen to avoid being captured. The disordered Cossacks turned and fled towards the town. The Danish cavalry, being exceptionally well drilled, had quickly reformed and charged towards the disorganised fleeing Cossacks, who they caught in the overgrown terrain near Gudow . The numerical superiority of the Cossacks were useless as the terrain prevented them from surrounding the dragoons. After a brief fight with sabres the Cossacks routed through the town, pursued by the Danes, who during the following pursuit killed quite a number of the fleeing Cossacks.

The Danes captured 5 Cossacks and 10 horses. After the engagement General Vichery (who at this time had grown very fond of the Jydske Regiment Light Dragoons) wrote the following to the Prince of Hessen:

"I am pleased to inform your Highness, that the Danish squadron Wittrog made a most spectacular and heroic attack near the hamlet of Gudow. 60 of these brave dragoons attacked about 300 veteran Cossacks led by their colonel and routed them totally. They killed several and wounded quite a few, captured 10 horses and 5 Cossacks. I cannot praise this regiment enough or their most capable leader."

Battle of Klein Zecker. September 30th.
On September the 30th a force had been ordered by the Prince of Hessen to perform a forage to the towns of Gross Zecker and Hollenbeck. The force assembled for this mission consisted of 2nd and 6th hussar squadrons, the jaeger companies Jess and Schou (could be family!) from the Oldenborgske 1st and 3rd respectively and 2 musketeer companies from Slesvigske 1st. The force was placed under the capable command of Major Späth. The Major had also been promised a 2 cannon reinforcement from battery Gønner, but as these failed to show up at the assembly point in Kogel, Major Späth decided to begin the march without them.

Späth formed 2 columns and personally led one of them through Seedorf and Gross Zecker, while the other column, led by captain Jess (who had been assigned hussar lieutenant Ewald as an assistant) marched over Sterley and Hollenbeck. Both columns had Marienstädt as their final objective. The enemy the two columns encountered (a mix of Tyrolian jaegers, Prussian hussars and a few Cossacks) had been taken by surprise and was quickly routed so that the foraging in Gross Zecker and Hollenbeck could begin unhindered. Thereafter the march continued towards Marienstädt. During the march the right column suddenly came under fire from enemy pickets (2-300 of them) in the hamlet Klein Zecker. Captain Jess, leading the column, instantly deployed his infantry and a fire fight evolved. The fight quickly grew quite fierce as the Danes took cover among trees and in ditches, and skirmished with he enemy taking cover in the buildings of Klein Zecker.

The left column had meanwhile marched into a 2 company strong enemy picket near Marienstädt. Major Späth found it unwise to push any further and ordered captain Jess to defend his position, while he himself deployed his forces for battle, linking his musketeer company with captain Jess´s skirmishing lines. The enemy received a number of reinforcements and several attempts were made to advance out of Klein Zecker, but the Danish musket fire repulsed every attempt. The foraging ended and 30 wagon loads of foraged supplies moved from Gross Zecker and Hollenbeck to safety near Kogel mill. When the wagons were reported to be in safety Major Späth gave the order for a general withdrawal. The Danes disengaged the enemy and fell back towards the main lines. No attempts to pursue was made by the enemy.

The Danish losses amounted to 7 wounded (a lieutenant and 5 jaegers from Oldenborgske 2nd and 1 hussar from the 2nd squadron). The enemy losses are unknown but presumed to be somewhat higher due to the repulsed breakout attempts of Klein Zecker.

The most important thing about this skirmish were the observations the Prince of Hessen made. Based on these observations he concluded that the Tyrolian jaegers had a number of excellent riflemen and that they could shoot at far greater ranges than the Danes.

Battle of Ratzeburg. October 6th.
General Walmoden fell back with the entire enemy corps, to the left side of the Elb river after having defeated Pecheux in a battle at Gøhtde on the 16th of September. He reoccupied the line at Rhena-Hagenow, where his main force rested and reorganized. Late in September he received several letters from the Swedish Crown Prince asking him to commence offensive operations against Davout's corps (especially the Danes who the Crown Prince believed were positioned along the Trave river). The Swedish Crown Prince wanted Walmoden to throw the Danes back towards Lübeck and Hamburg. But Walmoden who considered a frontal assault pointless and to risky stalled for more time. But when he received new letters from Sweden (on the 1st and 2nd of October) threatening the withdrawal of the Swedish troops from his command, he was forced into action. The General Walmoden decided to attack the bridgehead at Ratzeburg-Mölln. On the eve of the 4th of October the forces were as follows:

In the 1st line were colonel Müllers with the Swedish-Mecklenburgske flank guard in Schönberg. The Hanseatiske brigade Witzleben were at Roggendorf. Lützows Freikorps (commanded by Petersdorff) and the 2nd Cossack regiment Grebzow were at Zarrentin. Cavalry division Dörnberg were stationed at Kamin. The remainder of Tettenborns vanguard were at Zarensdorf. A small flank guard were under Kielmansegge at Dömitz.

The 2nd line compromised the main force of Vegesacks division near Rhena. The Russian-Prussian and the British-Prussian legions and the reserve cavalry at Melkhof.

Walmoden marched a force south of Schall lake while Vegesack's division were ordered to occupy the gap between Röggelin and lake Schall. These movements on the 6th of October resulted in fierce skirmishing at Gross Molzahn, Mustin and Büchen.

The Swedish flank-guard led by Müller (Mecklenburgske jaeger regiment, the Swedish infantry battalion Norman, 2 squadrons of Schillske hussars and 2 Mecklenburgske cannons) encountered a French force between Gross Molzahn and Schlagrosdorf. The French force compromised 3 battalions of infantry, 3 voltigeur companies, 2 squadrons chasseurs á cheval and 1 horse battery, the entire French force was commanded by General Romme. The general had been ordered to advance and thereby gain information about the movements of division Vegesacks. Müllers troops were left to their own devices by Walmoden and were totally routed by the French. A part of the force fled to Dechow while the rest retreated towards Schönbreg. Quite a few prisoners were taken by the French (especially from the Mecklenburg jaegers, who only escaped total destruction due to the fact that their uniforms looked similar to the ones worn by the French chasseurs á cheval).

Colonel Witzleben occupied Lüneberger Berg, where he skirmished briefly with French troops. He had no desire to engage the enemy with his full strength, so after a brief skirmish Colonel Witzleben quickly went on the defensive.

Dörnberg were given command of the Wardenburg Infantry brigade (Russian-Prussian legion), the light infantry brigade Martin from the British-Prussian legion and the 2nd Russian-Prussian hussar regiment von Dohna along with the horse battery Symper from the British-Prussian artillery brigade. General Dörnberg attacked towards Büchen, which his vanguard (volunteers from brigade Martin) which he reached at dawn on the 6th of October. His advance were stopped by fire from 2 redoubts on the western shore of the Delvenau. The redoubts were occupied by 2 guns each and a company of voltigeurs from the 80th French line regiment. A fierce fire fight evolved as the Brigade Martin deployed for battle supported by battery Symper. The French forces fought valiantly and despite the overwhelming enemy firepower they fought on. General Dörnberg abandoned his plan to cross the river due to the fierce French. Instead he fell back to Gresse and reorganised. He had lost 7 officers and 56 other ranks. The French troops lost 8 dead and 24 wounded voltigeurs.

The fighting continued the next day. At Weisser Hirsch.

Battle of Weisser Hirsch. October 7th.
General Dörnberg was now ordered to perform a reconnaissance in-force, through Hundebusch and then towards the Danish main force near Ratzeburg. He had the following troops at his disposal: Left column: battalion Bremen-Verden, 2nd Russian-Prussian (the black) hussar regiment von Dohna, 2nd Cossack regiment Grebzow and a ½ horse battery, all commanded by Lieutenant Colonel von Dohna (stationed near Segran). Right column: 3 battalions of infantry from the Lützow Freikorps, 1st Russian-Prussian hussar regiment (von der goltz) and 1 battery, all under the command of lieutenant colonel von der Golz (stationed near Klein Zecker and Marienstädt).

Besides the Left and Right column General Dörnberg also had a reserve column compromising Infantry brigade Wardenburg and a battery of artillery (stationed between Zarrebtin and Klein Zecker. Walmoden had taken up a position near Lüttau with the remainder of his corps.
Left column marched through Gudow and reached Brunsmark unhindered. Shortly after the column reached Brunsmark it´s path was blocked by the Jydske Regiment Light Dragoons 1st Squadron. After a brief skirmish von Dohna stopped his advance as darkness fell upon the two forces.

Right column advanced by two roads leading to Kogel. In Sterley they encountered a small group of Slesvigske infantry regiments jaeger company. The jaegers quickly retreated towards Kogel where the commander of the advanced guard, Major Späth, were stationed with the 6th squadron of hussars (von Qualen) and the jaeger company from Oldenborg 2nd battalion. Major Späth retreated with the advanced guard from Kogel at 17:30, to avoid facing a the superior enemy force. He send a dispatch to the Prince of Hessen about the enemy movement. A strong defensive position was established at Weisser Hirsch by the Slesvigske 1st and two cannons. 2nd hussar squadron (Bennigsen) and Slesvigske chasseur corps 2nd were ordered from Salem to Weisser Hirsch to reinforce the Danish defenses located there. All the units currently at Weisser Hirsch dug in and prepared for the oncoming attack. Trenches were dug and manned by the jaegers and the houses were fortified and manned by musketeers. The Prince of Hessen were still not satisfied with the position held by the Danes and he therefore ordered Slesvigske 2nd forward as reinforcement. The prince followed the battalion with his staff and send division quartermaster Scholten to Weisser Hirsch with orders to start offensive maneuvers to recapture Kogel and orders to reoccupy Salem.

This order made Major Späth advance 2 companies and a ½ squadron of hussars to reoccupy Salem, while Slesvig 2nd should fill the gaps in the trenches created by the advance. Schaumberg (commanding the small Danish force advancing from Weisser Hirsch) reached Salem with his small Danish force and occupied the town. He then proceeded to set up a defensive position around the small hamlet. Then he returned to Weisser Hirsch leaving the 2 companies and ½ squadron in the defensive position at Salem.

Major Späth had meanwhile ordered company Lincht and Rambush forward to occupy the pine-woods in front of the Danish position. The two Danish companies encountered the Tyrolian jaegers in the woods and after a brief skirmish the Tyrolians were forced back. The retreating enemy company joined up with its parent battalion and along with the 2nd battalion Lützow it re-entered the woods supported by a group of Cossacks. The 2 Danish companies were forced back, when faced with this numerical superiority. The Danes withdrew slowly pouring a steady musket fire at the advancing enemy. As darkness fell upon the field the enemy battalions and the Cossacks charged from the woods towards the Danish positions around Weisser Hirsch. Musket fire from the companies in the houses and trenches soon disordered the attackers. This was noticed by first lieutenant J. Ewald who (after seeking permission from Major Späth) led a ½ squadron of hussars and the troops of the 6th squadron in a charge against the disordered enemy. The Cossacks and the 1st Russian-Prussian hussars were taken by surprise by the sudden Danish counter attack and fled, leaving the advancing infantry to be cut down by the attacking Danish cavalry. The advancing infantry battalions, suddenly lacking cavalry support disintegrated. Most of the allied troops made it to safety in the cover of darkness. The allies suffered heavy casualties and lost a number of troops as prisoners. Among the dead were the commander of 1st battalion Lützow, who had been killed by the charging Danish cavalry. Among the prisoners were 2 officers, 18 wounded and 34 unwounded of other ranks. The Danish losses were 6 wounded (1 non-commissioned officer officer, 2 chasseurs, 2 musketeers and 1 hussar).

After this discouraging result of 2 days fighting near Ratzeburg, Walmoden abandoned all his plans for an attack on the fortified position of Danish troops.

Battle of Rosengarten. October 12th.
On the 12th General Vichery received orders to perform a reconnaissance towards Gudow. The reconnaissance should scout the enemy positions there to see if the enemy were still present or if he had left the position. The general assembled a force of 4 French infantry companies and Engelsted's Jydske Regiment Light Dragoons. The force marched from Mölln through Drüsen and Gudow Mill. At Gudow Mill Vichery ordered the infantry to deploy while the dragoons rode, formed in column, down the road. Dragoons were sent ahead and out on both flanks of the column to act as scouts. A patrol of Cossacks were routed by the scouts near Wasserung.
Between Segrahm and the farm of Rosengarten the dragoons encountered a force of 80 Cossacks and some hussars from 1st Russian-Prussian regiment von der Holtz. The enemy turned and fled, fleeing along a road leading through a dense forest and on to Schadeland. Vichery sent Colonel Engelsted in pursuit with the 1st and 2nd squadron of the dragoons. After a fierce pursuit where the dragoons took several prisoners, the 2 squadrons were suddenly stopped at Schadeland, which turned out to occupied by the enemy battalion Lüneburg. 2 dragoons were shot, one of them were mortally wounded.
The 2nd Russian-Prussian hussar (the black hussars) regiment von Dohna were stationed at Gallin and had observed how the Cossacks had been routed. The regiment instantly moved north towards Segram and thereby threatened to surround Colonel Engelsted's 2 squadrons. Colonel Engelsted was quickly ordered back to with the 2 squadrons while the remaining 2 squadrons, commanded by Guldberg, would try to stall the black hussars, before they could engage Engelsteds force. A Danish squadron rode north of Rosengarten where it encountered the black hussars vanguard, which it instantly charged and threw back. This caused the enemy hussar regiment to deploy for battle south east of the Lehsten-Valluhn road. Guldberg deployed his 2 squadrons behind Rosenarten, in such a way that a huge gap between the squadrons were hidden from the enemy by the farm. Therefore the commander of the black hussars thought the he was facing the entire dragoon regiment and not just 2 squadrons. He hesitated with attacking, and before he could take a decision, Colonel Engelsted had returned with the remaining 2 squadrons.
Guldberg ordered his 2 squadrons behind Rosengarten to do an about-face and retreat. This move caused the black hussars to charge forward yelling and cheering, thinking that the Danes were fleeing. The hussars formation quickly became disordered. Guldberg had achieved what he had been planning, the hussars were attacking in a disorganised fashion. He then gave the order to do another about face, and counter charged the hussars with his 2 squadrons (still riding in perfect line formation). Colonel Engelsted, arraiving back with his 2 squadrons, saw this excellent move and instantly formed for an attack in support of the 3rd and 4th squadrons led so brilliantly by Guldberg. But as the horses in Engelsted's 2 squadrons were fatigued from the pursuit, he couldn't wait for a line to form, but attacked in march column into the enemy left flank. The black hussars tried in vain to stop the charging dragoons with a salvo from their carbines, which had little to no effect on the oncoming horsemen. Charged in front by a formed body of cavalry and attacked on the left flank the hussars quickly broke and started fleeing. The regiment was pursued by the 3rd and 4th squadrons of dragoons. The hussar regiment dissolved and the retreat turned into a complete rout.
60 hussars had been killed or wounded while another 47 were forced to surrender. The Danish dragoons lost a mere 2 dead and 3 wounded troopers. This cavalry action has later been described by both sides as one of the best led small cavalry battles in the Napoleonic war. General Vichery (who admired the Jydske Regiment Light Dragoons very much) expressed his satisfaction with the Danish cavalry to both Davout and the Prince of Hessen. Later both Engelsted and Guldberg received medals along with the lieutenants Wiggers and Lewon from the dragoons.

Battle of Gross Zecker. November 8th.
This very small skirmish occurred south of the manor Gross Zecker, when captain Steffens of Davouts staff, along with a small force, were sent to get some maps and papers the Marshal needed. The forces captain Steffens had at his disposal consisted of Fynske 1st, company Wegener from the Slegsvigske jaeger corps, ½ of the 6th hussar squadron and 80 dragoons from Fynske Regiment Light Dragoons. Major Guldberg led the cavalry while the infantry force was commanded by lieutenant colonel Riecker. 24 dragoons and a platoon of infantry made up the vanguard (led by captain Sønnichsen). The force moved by the road through Kogel and Seedorf.
The advance went as planned, and the force reached the hill south of Gross Zecker. There the vanguard came under fire from dismounted enemy cavalry and Tyrolian jaegers, who occupied a ditch and had established a defensive line behind a fence on the hill. Captain Sønnichsen wouldn't leave the hill to the enemy, so he formed the vanguard into skirmish lines and exchanged fire with the enemy forces. The dragoons engaged in the fire fight from horseback. Reinforcement were hurried forward from the main body, to assist captain Sønnichsen, as the hill were needed to cover further operations.
The enemy commander sent most of his infantry and cavalry up the hill and started attacking the Danish forces, which fought a steady delaying action while Steffens managed to get into Gross Zecker and obtain the needed maps and papers. When Steffens returned to the main force the Danes withdrew, covered by fire from the dragoons. The hill was left to the enemy. Casualties on both sides were very few.

Battle of Boden. December 4th.
Having marched from Boden, captain Hoffman's reconnaissance force reached Siebenbäumen. Hoffman found the hamlet abandoned by the enemy, and shortly there after received orders to withdraw, as an attack on Siebenbäumen by the 2nd Danish brigade (stationed in Boden) had been cancelled and the captain´s force were now in danger of being surrounded.
For some time the small Danish force commanded by Hoffman occupied Schiphorst and Steinhorst after having skirmished with enemy pickets. Then it received orders to fall back to Boden and join up with the 2nd Danish brigade. As Hoffman prepared to withdraw his force came under attack from battalion Lüneburg. Hoffman was forced to flee. A brief period of confusion followed as the terrain were covered in a thick fog. After the initial confusion was overcome the Danes managed to form a skirmish line and withdrew while pouring constant musket fire at the advancing battalion. Battalion Lüneburg quickly stopped it´s advance faces with the withdrawing Danish skirmish line and increasing casualties from the Danish fire.
General Dörnberg who had been informed about the Danish force occupying the two towns Schiphorst and Steinhorst, instantly dispatched the Hannoveranian light brigade and the 1st hussar regiment towards Steinhorst, where they skirmished with Danish pickets from the reconnaissance force, before the Danish forces commanded by captain Hoffman managed to join the Danes around Boden.
Later in the day Dörnberg sent Wardenburg's brigade (3rd, 4th, 6th and 7th Russian-Prussian battalions) around Boden to flank the Danish brigade there. But two of the battalions got lost in the fog and started a fire fight with each other. At about 3 in the afternoon the Bremen-Verden battalion were spotted moving out of the fog in line and preparing to attack the Danish line running from Gross Boden to Klein Boden. 5 companies of Fynske infantry regiment were sent along with some jaegers and 60 dragoons to reinforce the Slesvigske battalion in Gross Boden.
The Hannoveranian battalion attacked the Danish centre and was met by a volley of musket fire. The battalion tried rush the most advanced point in the Danish line of defense 3 times. This defensive point was held by the Grenadiers from the Slesvigske 1st and the Grenadiers had no intention of letting the Hanoveranians win. All 3 Hannoveranian charges was repulsed after fierce fighting. Shortly after the failed attacks by Bremen-Verden, battalion Anhalt attempted to move around the Danish right flank, which caused the Slesvigske 1st battalion to fall back while firing at the enemy battalion. General Lasson hurried the 5 companies from the Fynske Regiment Light Dragoons forward to reinforce the Slegsvigske 1st, before the Danish battalion would break and flee.The reinforcement arrived just as battalion Bremen-Verden began a bayonet charge, supported by battalion Anhalt. The Danes stood quiet in the fog and awaited the enemy charge (which they couldn't see due to the fog, but they could hear the Hannoveranian troops yelling and shouting). When the two enemy battalions appeared out of the dense fog, marching forward in line, they were a mere 15 feet from the Danes, who fired a single volley into the leading battalion. The Danish volley was instantly followed by a bayonet charge and the yell "Kongen længe leve" ("Long live the King"). Both the Fynske and Slegsvigske battalion hit the Bremen-Verden battalion, which had been thrown into disorder by the point blank musket volley. The battalion started to withdraw, but it soon resulted in a rout of both the Bremen-Verden and the Anhalt battalions. As the enemy retreated General Lasson led his 60 dragoons in a fierce charge into the fleeing mob of Hannoveranians. The enemy battalions being rushed foreward to Boden as a reserve were first met by the retreating Hannoveranian battalions causing them to fall into disorder, then out of the fog came charging Danish dragoons. The effect were devastating. The Kielmansegge jaegers panicked and fled the field without firring a single shot. Several enemies surrendered, as the cavalry charged through the fog over the fields filled with dead and wounded. The dragoons didn't stop to take prisoners until they had totally routed the enemy. The fatigued dragoons later returned with 3 captured officers and 20 soldiers, their own losses had been 1 wounded and one dead.
The Danes withdrew overnight, bringing with them the 17 wounded Danes and the bodies of 5 comrades. 4 Danes were missing after the confusing action in the fog. The enemy lost 1 colonel and more than 100 dead and wounded. A total 33 prisoners had been taken.

The Battle of Boden is also covered in somewhat more detail in an article in Tradition #64 by T Snorassen and Chr Wurgler Hansen. Another Tradition  article (in #s 52 and 53) by the duo covered the Danes involvement in the Assault on Stralsund, 1809. 

Battle Rahlstedt. December 6th.
From his base in Wandsbeck General Vichery personally led Jydske Regiment Light Dragoons and the French 28th Chasseur á Cherval regiment against a force of Cossacks occupying a small hamlet close to the Danish lines. Near Tonnendorf (along the road to Lübeck) they encountered enemy pickets, who were quickly driven back or captured. Vichery advanced with such a speed that the Cossack main force were taken by surprise when the Danish cavalry poured into the town where the Cossacks were in bivouac. Most of the Cossacks were captured orkilled. Some Cossacks got away by hiding in the houses, where the Danish and French horsemen couldn’t reach them without dismounting.
A wild pursuit ensued, as the Danish and French cavalry pursued the few Cossacks who had managed to get on their horses. Both Vichery and Engelsted tried in vain to control the charging body of horsemen. The disordered mob of Danish and French cavalry ran headlong into a wall of enemy cavalry (reformed Cossacks and von Dohnas black hussar regiment) 4 kilometers south of Ahrensburg. The enemy quickly counter charged the tired dragoons and chasseurs, who started to withdraw. To keep from being overrun, the Danish dragoons had to stop their retreat, do an about face and repulse enemy charges on several occasions during the retreat. At Rahlsted the pursuit evolved into a fierce melee. General Vichery and 2 Danish lieutenants became surrounded by Cossacks and had to fight their way back to the exhausted dragoons fighting like madmen in and around Rahlsted. The commander of the dragoons, Colonel Engelsted and his second in command Colonel Bonnichsen, had to keep Cossacks at bay by using their sabres. Colonel Engelsted recieved a slight concussion and had his uniform torn and pierced in several place as the Cossacks tried to kill him with their lances.
Colonel Bonnichsen (the 2nd in command) had his horse killed and was forced to fight on foot until he was surrounded and killed. A huge number of the prisoners taken by the surprise attack on the Cossacks managed to escape during the ferocious melee. The Danish and French horsemen finally found their way trough Rahlsted and on to safety, but only managed to bring along 20 prisoners. The Danes suffered 28 wounded dragoons (who they managed to evacuate to Hamburg) but another 41 dragoons were unaccounted for. Enemy losses are unknown.

Battle of Bornhøved. December 7th.
During a march on the 7th the two Danish brigades moved through Bornhøved. At 10 in the morning they paused a small distance north of the town as the men were fatigued from marching and the intense fighting of the last few days. 1st brigade deployed for defence, occupying the hills around the town with Holstenske 3rd and 4th supported by 2 cannons from battery Gønner. The jaeger company from Oldenborgske 4th and a company of Slesvigske Jaeger corps 2ndsupported by the 6th squadron of hussars occupied the terrain south of town. The remainder of the 1st brigade deployed behind the Holstenske battalions, while the 2nd brigade deployed in march columns north of the town.
L´Allemand, leading the rear guard, approached the town, marching his force on the road. In front of the rear guard marched 3rd Jydske regiment 1st, followed by the train and battery Gerstenberg. On both sides of the road marched a battalion from the Holstenske Sharpshooters (1st and 2nd). The Holstenske cavalry regiment covered the battery and the train while the rear were covered by 2 squadrons of the 17th Lituanian Uhlan regiment.
The Swedish cavalry vanguard commanded by general Sköldebrand had trouble maintaining contact with the Danes, as the Danes had destroyed a bridge near Gross Rönnau. Sköldebarnd commanded 16 squadrons, but around 3 in the afternoon only 11 squadrons were ready to pursue the Danes (6 squadrons of Mörnerske hussars, 2 squadrons Schillske hussars, 1 squadron Skånske hussars and 2 squadrons Skånske carabiners) as 3 Skånske hussar squadrons had lost their way and 2 carabiner squadrons were still in the process of crossing the Trave river. L´Allemand´s forces reached Bornhøved and reinforced the Danish defence of the town. As L´Allemand's cavalry started moving through the town in march column the Swedish cavalry attacked. Charging towards the thin Danish lines around the town they were met by artillery fire from battery Gønner and precise musket fire from the jaegers. Several Swedish hussars fell as did a colonel and his aide. The Swedish cavalry managed to make an attack on the Polish cavalry in march column, who tried to save themselves by forcing their way through the town, which caused the Holstenske cavalry to be caught inside the town in column between battery Gerstenberg and the panicked polish lancers. 2 Mörnske squadrons attacked the Holstenske Sharpshooters 2nd, which were caught in the process of forming a square. The Holstenske Sharpshooters and the Oldenborgske jaegers were both routed. The Swedish cavalry, who had routed the 2 Danish battalions had been disordered by the fire from the Oldenborgske jaegers and now they managed to get lost in the town and add to the confusion in the streets of the Bornhøved.
On the Eastern side of the town were the Holstenske sharpshooters 1st, in march column supported by the Slesvigske jaeger company and one company of the Holskenske Sharpshooters 1st lying in skirmish lines behind a ditch. One of the Mörnske squadrons charged the Slesvigske jaegers, who quickly fell back while delivering a devastating fire upon the horsemen. The Jaegers fell back to the Holstenske Sharpshooters in march column, who received the enemy attack with well aimed musket fire, killing the Swedish squadron commander. The Swedes fell back in total disorder. The attack on the Sharpshooter battalion were renewed by a squadron of the carabiniers, but this squadron was also repulsed with considerable loss of life. The exhausted jaegers and sharpshooters later fell back joining other Danes on the Western side of the town. In the town the Jydske 1st were caught by enemy hussars, as the Danes tried to leave the cemetery, where they had fortified themselves. The Danes who had no intentions of fleeing, started to attack the Swedish cavalry with their bayonets (see Russian Grenadiers are not the only ones who charged mounted cavalry). Several Holstenske cavalrymen followed this example and small skirmishes evolved in the town. As battery Gerstenberg moved out of the town to safety, a horde of Poles, Danes and Swedes came pouring out of the town on the road behind the battery, which had been blocking the exit north. The Poles and Danes were fleeing from the Swedish hussars, who nearly overran the Prince of Hessen and l´Allemands head quarter outside the town. But major Løvenørn had prepared for the Swedish attack through the town, and as the Swedish cavalry came pouring from the town he ordered battery Gønners 2 cannons and the 2 Holstenske battalions to pour shrapnel and musket fire into the enemy cavalry. Some of the first volleys hit both retreating Danish cavalry and the charging Swedish, but the fleeing Danes soon managed to get clear of the Swedes who were slaughtered by cannon and musket fire. The Swedes fled back through the town, where they were met by musket fire from Jydske 1st still holding the cemetery and isolated pockets scattered around the town. As the Sharpshooters outside town saw the Swedish cavalry flee they overcame their exhaustion and advanced double quick while firing at the fleeing Swedish flank.
The Swedish cavalry fell back and the Danes withdrew from the town. The Danish casualties were 11 dead and 45 wounded. 75 Danes had been taken prisoner. The Swedes had lost 80 dead and wounded along with 128 dead horses.

The largest battle the Danes fought in the campaign began when the Danish corps marched (along with l´Allemand's light brigade) towards Rendsborg. The march went very slowly as the roads were muddy and in horrible condition. The Danish vanguard reached Holtsee at about 7 o'clock in the morning, where it stopped and waited for the main force.
As the Danish vanguard were waiting and resting in and around Holtsee, Lieutenant Colonel Wardenburg and 2 battalions of the Russian-Prussian legion and the enemy train marched from Sehested to link up with Dörnsbergs vanguard in Gross Wittensee. Lieutenant Colonel Wardenburg were confident that no Danish forces were in the immediate vicinity of his column so he had neglected to deploy any vanguard, rearguard or flankers. Lieutenant Colonel von der Goltz moved his 1st Regiment of Russian-Prussian hussars into Sehested shortly after Wardenburgs departure. Here von der Goltz deployed the 3rd Squadron towards Holtsee as a reconnaissance force. Under cover of darkness the advanced guard of the 3rd squadron rode directly into the Danish forces near Holtsee. The Danes quickly disarmed the hussars, and the interrogation of the hussars gave the Danes a clear impression of the hostile movements going on near Sehested.
Upon hearing the reports of enemy activity, L´Allemand´s brigade deployed for battle. The Polish Uhlans rode through Holtsee followed by the Holstenske Sharpshooters 1st battalion. This small force made its way towards Haby to cut off the enemy rear guard that had been observed when it marched west (around Holtsee).
The Uhlans quickly reached Wardenburg's train, which they overran taking only few casualties. The entire train were captured, as were the 70 man assigned to guard it. The prisoners and captured wagons were hurried back to the Danish lines around Holtsee.
Meanwhile the Prince of Hessen had reached Holtsee along with the Danish main force. He quickly realized that the roads to Rendsburg and Slesvig were held by hostile forces. He decided to force a gab in the enemy lines near Sehested and thereby open the road to Rendsburg. This move called for a complete victory over Walmoden's corps, as it was of prime importance to keep Walmodens force at a safe distance while the Danes marched towards Rendsburg after the battle. Meanwhile it was very important to keep Dörnbergs brigade away from the fighting so that it couldn't reinforce Walmoden once the Danes attacked.
The Danish 1st Brigade were the least fatigued, so they were assigned with the job of keeping Dörnbergs brigade away from the main engagement. The 1stBrigades chief-of-staff Captain Rømeling was dispatched to Haby with a small force consisting of 3 battalions (the Queens 1st, Holsten 3rd and 4th) along with a jaeger company from the Queens 2nd and a
squadron of hussars. This force moved forward covered by skirmishers and it quickly reached and secured the hamlet Haby. Wardenburgs forces were just outside of Haby, where they remained in cover of the forest. From their cover behind the trees in the small forest the enemy fought a delaying action against Captain Rømelings force. Dörnberg reinforced his left flank north of Haby with the Kielmanseggske jaegers and marched with his remaining troops towards Eckernførde to block the Danish line of retreat north. It didn’t occur to Dörnberg that the Danes had no plans of going to Eckernførde, until he himself reached Marienthal and received a report form a squadron of hussars there. By then Dörnberg had wasted precious time marching.
Meanwhile the Danish vanguard (3 chasseur companies from the 1st brigade supported by l´Allemand's brigade) had moved down the road towards Sehested. It was suddenly stopped by enemy forces occupying the high ground east of the Sehested Manor. Skirmishing evolved as the Danes tried to clear the road. A brief pause soon occurred in the skirmishing as both forces brought up reinforcements. Behind the Danish vanguard came Oldenborgske Infantry regiment on the road in columns. The Fyn 1st and Slesvig 1st deployed to the right of the Oldenborgske regiment. Behind these came Fyn 2nd in column (also on the road). As reserve were 6 squadrons of cavalry (2 hussar, 2 Fynske Regiment Light Dragoons and 2 Holstenske cavalry regiment) deployed on the field behind Fyn 1st and Slesvig 1st. The army train had at this time reached Holtsee and were preparing to move on.
While the Danes deployed for battle Walmoden moved battalion Anhalt, 6th and 7th Russian-Prussian battalions and 2 cannon (battery Wiering) to Sehested. He ordered lieutenant colonel von der Goltz to defend the town by all means. Walmoden then send an adjutant to Dörnberg explaining the current events, and he ordered Ahrentsschildts Russian-Prussian legion to move to his assistance with all possible haste. The remainder of Walmodens forces also received orders to march to the battlefield as fast as possible.
The Prince of Hessen ordered a general advance on Sehested at 9 o'clock. The light battalions of l´Allemands brigade (sharpshooters and the Slesvigske jaegers) spread out as skirmishers along with the jaeger companies from the 1st brigade. The Danish skirmishers advanced quickly upon the enemy 6th battalion skirmishers, who started to fire at the advancing Danes. The enemy 7th battalion (deployed on the left side of the Ejder river) supported the 6th battalion by firing at the advancing skirmishers. General Schulenburg send a couple of companies of the Oldenborgske 4th out on his left flank to support the troops there. Behind the light battalions skirmishing came 3rd Jydske Infantry regiment 1st battalion formed in line, marching with their muskets shouldered as if on parade.
The enemy battalions were, after fierce resistance, thrown back to the northern part of Sehested, where the enemy took cover and prepared a stiff defense of the town supported by battery Wiering. But the Danish assault columns were at this point unstoppable. The Oldenburgske 1st charged the enemy positions with their grenadier company leading the battalion. Despite murderous defensive fire, they proceeded to overrun the enemy positions. The victorious Danes pushed the enemy back through the entire town in one long fierce attack. The 6th Russian-Prussian battalion suffered severe casualties, a lot of them were taken prisoner.
Sehested were entirely in Danish hands at 10:30, and the 2nd Danish brigade still in reserve. The push towards Holtsee and the capture of Sehested by the Danes had taken Walmoden completely by surprise. He had dispersed his army corps in such a way that he was incapable of launching any immediate counterattacks. But he now knew that he had the entire Danish force opposing him, so he decided to stall them until his troops commanded by Dörnberg could attack the Danes in the rear. At 11.00 o'clock Walmoden had gathered a force of 11 battalions, 10 squadrons and 18 pieces of cannon. He immediately advanced the Russian-Prussian brigade (1st, 2nd and 5th battalions) over the bridge at Osterrade. The two leading battalions of the brigade turned left, to march across the fields south of Sehested to reach the Rendsburg road, but they became engaged with Danish forces and was soon cut off from the main force. The last battalion (the 5th) moved down the road to retake Sehested, while battery Wiering supported the attack from a position left of the road. The 3 Danish companies of Oldenborg 1stwhich defended the southern part of the town poured musket fire into the advancing 5th battalion, but had to withdraw to a nearby ditch as they quickly became outnumbered. The 5th battalion also captured a Danish howitzer that had been deployed to support the companies in the southern part of Sehested.
Soon after the enemy 5th battalion success, General Schulenberg led the Fynske Regiment Light Dragoons in a charge to stop the 5th battalion. When hit by screaming and shouting charging cavalry the 5th battalion panicked. The two leading companies of the 5th fled to the sides of the road but the companies in the rear of the battalion, which still hadn't seen the Danish cavalry were overrun before they could fire a single shot. The 5th battalion quickly disintegrated as the remains of the battalion tried to flee back to Osterrade. The 2 cannons of battery Wiering was also captured during the cavalry charge. The enemy 6th battalion and battalion Anhalt, which were reforming south of Sehested, were quickly routed as the dragoons continued their charge. Several prisoners were taken by the Danes before the dragoons were overwhelmed with fatigue and had to return to the friendly lines, they had been less than 150 men when the charge started.
Of the Danish infantry that had advanced in support of the cavalry, the Oldenborgske infantry regiment took a huge number of prisoners. The Slesvig 1st and Fyn 1st reached the southern edge of Sehested while the 3rd Jydske infantry regiment 1st were ordered to cover the cannons deployed to the left of the regiments line. Only the 3 cannon of battery Friis remained west of the town along with 2 companies of Fyn 2nd. The attack of the dragoons had a devastating effect. The enemy lost 2 cannons and hundreds of troops were taken prisoner, and even worse, the enemy had suffered a severe blow to morale. Walmoden decided in spite of this to attack again. At noon he ordered 1st Hussar regiment commanded by von der Goltz to advance towards Sehested. On its way the regiment captured a few Danish dragoons who had lost their horses in the charge, before the hussars came under artillery fire and had to withdraw in disorder losing several casualties. The remainder of the 5th and 6th battalions and battalion Anhalt had meanwhile retreated to safety on the other side of the canal.
Battalion Lauenburg and Captain Holtzermans 5 companies followed by the Mecklenburg jaegers and the demoralized 7th battalion had advanced during the failed hussar attack. The Danish artillery left and south of Sehested directed a murderous fire upon the advancing enemies. The attack soon ground to a halt in the face of the Danish artillery. Battalion Lauenberg deployed as skirmishers and began engaging the Danish musketeers and grenadiers in southern Sehested. A fierce skirmish soon evolved. The Prince of Hessen ordered the Danish hussars (2nd squadron) commanded by Major Späth and a couple of squadrons of Fynske Regiment Light Dragoons to charge the advancing enemy battalions. The hussars cut through battalion Lauenburgs skirmish line without pausing to take prisoners and charged the 7th battalion, which dissolved when faced with a cavalry attack. The men of the 7th battalion fled, many dropping their muskets, hordes of them surrendered to the Danish hussars. The few remaining troops of the 7th battalion fled towards the Osterrade bridge where the cavalry charge evolved into a melee with fleeing enemy soldiers trying to cross the bridge. Meanwhile the Danish dragoons had attacked battalion Lauenburg and the Holtzerman skirmishers who were overrun and cut down. Only the Mecklenburg jaegers avoided disaster by forming small squares on a field and maintaining a steady fire to keep the Danish cavalry at bay.Walmoden were forced to order the Mecklenburg mounted jaegers forward from Klüvensik to cover his retreating battalions. The gallant mounted jaegers, commanded by Prince Gustav of Mecklenburg leading the 2nd squadron attacked along the Sehested road, where they drove the Danish hussars and dragoons backwards. The charge cut through Oldenborgs skirmish line and on towards the southern part of the town, where the mounted jaegers charged at the Danish artillery. Before they reached the cannons the mounted jaegers became covered in powder-smoke from muskets as the Fynske and Slesvigske musketeers (lying in cover behind hedges on both sides of the Sehested road) send bullets shredding into the squadrons flanks. In front of the leading squadron the Danish artillery started pouring shrapnel at the horsemen. The cavalry attack stopped dead in its track as the leading squadron of 120 men were reduced to only 6 men in a matter of minutes. Prince Gustav fell wounded and was captured by the Danes (the squadron later had to be rebuilt from scratch back in Mecklenburg). The costly charge of the mounted jaegers had not been a total disaster as several prisoners taken by the Danish cavalry were freed during the mounted jaegers attack on the Danish horsemen. The remains of the 7th battalion along with battalion Lauenberg withdrew to safety during the attack and began to reform (both of the battalions were so demoralised and fatigued that they were useless for the remainder of the battle).
Now Walmoden realised that Sehested couldn't be taken by a frontal assault, and he therefore ordered his artillery to take defensive positions along the Ejder river. Shortly thereafter he ordered the 2 Russian-Prussian battalions (1st and 2nd), which were currently positioned west of the road, to attack Sehested from the south-west. The two battalions had since 11 o'clock been advancing on the Rendsborg road, but they had been forced to form thin skirmish lines as Danish artillery had shelled them remorselessly (neither of the battalions were well trained in the use of the skirmish formation and they therefore advanced painfully slow). But when the Danes turned their full attention to the ongoing battle south of Sehested the two battalions managed to form columns (around 13:00) and advance in a steady pace over the fields, where they encountered the two companies from Fyn 2nd battalion that had been detached to cover the 3 guns of Friis battery also west of the town. The two companies offered stiff resistance and after a fierce fire fight the Danish companies were running desperately low on ammunition. The situation for the Danes suddenly became critical when the two enemy battalions started pushing the companies back. The Prince of Hessen had expended his last reserves in the fight south of town and were now considering to disengage the enemy before his right flank would be turned.
The situation changed rapidly when 3 Danish battalions, led by captain Rømeling appeared in the northern part of Sehested, marching towards the battle. Rømeling had earlier been detached to stall Dörnberg's troops north of Holtsee. Rømeling had noticed that the force opposing him north-west of Holtsee were nothing more than a couple of enemy companies (and not an entire brigade as the Prince of Hessen had feared). The enemy companies hadn't engaged in any hostile action all day and seemed very reluctant to fight the Danes. Rømling had then decided that his force were more needed elsewhere and marched his main force towards Sehested, leaving 1 jaeger company and the 6th Squadron of hussars to cover his rear. Rømling led his 3 battalions (The Queens 1st, Holstenske 3rd and 4th) of which one deployed in a thin skirmish line and the other 2 in column, forward against the two advancing enemy battalions west of Sehested. The 1st and 2nd Russian-Prussian battalions had to retreat after 15 minutes of intense fighting. They were pursued by Queens 1st and Holstenske 4th, who made several bayonet charges into the rear of the retreating enemy, taking hordes of prisoners and leaving several dead enemies on the fields south-west of Sehested. Holstenske 3rd followed behind as reserve.
General Schulenberg saw the two enemy battalions break and rout and quickly responded by leading his Danish brigade south from Sehested, supporting captain Rømling's flank. Schulenberg forced his way through the remaining opposing enemy forces and almost reached the commanding enemy general in Osterrade. The entire Danish train moved unhindered through Sehested while the last attack was taking place and continued along the road to Rendsborg. The Prince of Hessen had completed all his objectives when the battle ceased at 15:00. He had destroyed Walmoden's main force and the ground north of the Ejder river were controlled by the Danes.
Later that night the 1st and 2nd brigade of the Danish corps arrived in Rendsborg, singing victoriously despite of their fatigue. Along with them were a huge number of prisoners and 2 captured cannons (now at display in Copenhagen in the military museum "Tøjhusmuseet").
L´Allemand were left in Sehested with his 2 light battalions. During the evening he skirmished with the Mecklenburg jaegers who had occupied Osterrade. During the night he withdrew to link up with Holstenske Sharpshooters 1st, Battery Gerstenberg and the Polish Uhlans near Mühlenberg. Slesvig 2nd battalion were nearby as a rear guard reserve. The entire rearguard led by l´Allemand arrived in Rendsborg at 5 o'clock the next morning.
The Danish casualties were (estimated as sources vary) 550 men. Broken up like this: 17 wounded officers, 66 dead (all ranks), 319 wounded and 146 missing. Walmoden lost more than 2.000 men. 22 killed and wounded officers, 522 dead soldiers, 22 officers captured and 632 of all other ranks captured. About 1.000 men were missing.

About the site author

Name Henrik Schou
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