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Örjan Martinsson

Campaigns of the
Danish-Norwegian Army

At the outbreak of the Great Northern War the Danish-Norwegian army consisted of 36 000 men. Although it was actually two separate armies with very distinct characters. The 23 000 men strong Danish army was at this time mainly composed of enlisted men of which half of them were foreigners (mostly Germans). The larger part of the Danish cavalry (the national regiments) was however recruited in a way very similar to Sweden's "indelta" cavalry. The 13 000 men strong Norwegian army was on the other hand, with the exception of a few regiments, recruited by conscription and consisted of ethnic Norwegians, who like the "indelta" Swedes were only part time soldiers when they were not on campaign. A more detailed description of the Danish-Norwegian army's organisation can be found on this page.

Denmark invaded Sweden's ally Holstein-Gottorp in the spring of 1700 but was forced already in August to sue for peace after a Swedish army had landed on Zealand. The now idle Danish troops were now hired out in great numbers to Austria and the Maritime powers (1702-1709 respectively 1701-1714) for participation in the War of the Spanish Succession. In total almost 20 000 men were sent to foreign service. Parts of that sum were new regiments raised specifically for that purpose. The shortage of troops to defend Denmark against possible Swedish attacks were however so great that a 17 000 men strong national militia was raised by conscription. Several of these national regiments, together with troops returning from Austrian service in 1709, were then fielded when Denmark resumed the war against Sweden.

Denmark-Norway's second participation in the Great Northern War (1709-1720) was more successful than the first. But the Danes still suffered humiliating defeat in the battles of Helsingborg 1710 and Gadebusch 1712. Together with their allies they managed however to capture Stenbock's Swedish army in Tönningen and occupy Sweden's German possessions as well as annexing the Schleswig part of Holstein-Gottorp. The Norwegian army was not involved in any major battles but it saw action in sieges and campaigns on both sides of the Swedish-Norwegian border. The most famous was Charles XII's Norwegian campaign of 1718 which ended with his death. Eventually a peace treaty was signed 1720 with no border changes.

The table below records which campaigns the various Danish-Norwegian regiments participated in. The letters mark battles (normal style) and sieges (italic style), and the colours show which theatre of war the regiment was deployed in each year according to the following system:

Anglo-Dutch service Austrian service Germany Denmark Norway Sweden ?
B = Blenheim
F = Fredrikssten
G = Gadebusch
H = Helsingborg
M = Malplaquet (1709), Marstrand (1719)
O = Oudenaarde
R = Ramillies
S = Stade (1712), Stralsund (1715), Strömstad (1717)
Se = Stresow
T = Tönningen
W = Wismar
 

Danish Infantry

  Enlisted Infantry

1700

1702 1704 1706 1708 1710 1712 1714 1716 1718 1720
1  Livgarden til Fods        

B

 

R

    M H   G    

Se

         
2  Grenadier Corps        

 

 

 

      H   G    

Se

         
3  Dronningen's Livregiment                     H  

G

    S Se W  

F

   
4  Prince Christian's                     H  

G

               
5  Prince Georg's        

B

       

M

         

S Se

         
6  Prince Carl's         B  

R

               

Se

         
7  Sjællandske         B  

R

                           
8  Jyske                     H        

S Se

         
9  Fynske        

B

 

R

     

H

       

Se

         
10  Schack's (Hessen's - Zepelin's)                    

H

  G T              
11  Marine Regiment                    

H

  G                
12  Oldenborgske            

R

               

Se

         
13  Württemberg-Oels        

B

 

R

 

O

M

                     
14  1st Danish (Lepels - Staffeldts)                    

H

 

G

   

S

         
15  2nd Danish (Arnolds)                        

G

               
16  3rd Danish (Kraghs)                        

G

     

W

       
17  4th Danish (Friis)                        

G

     

W

       
18  Hansen's                                          
19  Baartig's                                          
  National Militia (conscripted infantry) 1700 1702 1704 1706 1708 1710 1712 1714 1716 1718 1720
20  East Sjællandske                    

H

               

M

 
21  West Sjællandske                    

H

                   
22  Fynske                                          
23  Ålborgske                        

S

               
24  Århusiske                        

G

               
25  Riberske                                          
26  Viborg-Lollandske                    

H

 

G

               
27  Oldenborgske                                          
  Garrison Units 1700 1702 1704 1706 1708 1710 1712 1714 1716 1718 1720
28  Bornholm Militia (one company mounted)                                          
29  Christiansö Free Company                                          
30  Fladstrand Free Company                                          
31  Hitlers skans Free Company                                          
32  Korsör Free Company                                          
 

*

 Short-lived units which were created in this period were: von Enden's battalion (1703), von Malzahn's battalion (1703-04), Callenberg's
 battalion (1711-13) and Klepping's battalion (1712-13). All of them were disbanded by having their men transferred to 4th Danish Regiment.
 There was also until 1763 a special Drabant Guard of 57 men who served as the King's bodyguard and as officers at Livgarden til Fods and
 other line regiments.
 


Danish Cavalry
 

  Enlisted Cavalry 1700 1702 1704 1706 1708 1710 1712 1714 1716 1718 1720
1  Livgarden til Hest                    

H

 

G

               
2  Livregiment til Hest        

B

 

R

   

M

                     
3  Holstein            

R

               

S

         
4  Württemberg            

R

               

 

         
5  "Hungarian"                        

G

               
6  Brockdorff's                        

G

               
  National Cavalry ("indelt") 1700 1702 1704 1706 1708 1710 1712 1714 1716 1718 1720
7  1st Sjællandske                    

H

W

S G    

S

         
8  2nd Sjællandske            

R

                           
9  3rd Sjællandske                    

H

 

G

               
10  1st Fynske                    

H

 

G

               
11  2nd Fynske                    

H

 

G

               
12  1st Jyske                    

H

 

G

               
13  2nd Jyske            

R

                           
14  3rd Jyske             R                            
15  4th Jyske             R                            
16  5th Jyske            

R

                           
  Dragoons (enlisted) 1700 1702 1704 1706 1708 1710 1712 1714 1716 1718 1720
17  Livregiment Dragoons                    

H

 

G

               
18  Holstein                                          
19  "Hungarian"                    

H

 

G

               
20  Württemberg        

B

 

R

                           
  National Militia (conscripted dragoons) 1700 1702 1704 1706 1708 1710 1712 1714 1716 1718 1720
21  Sjælland-Fynske (enlisted cuirassiers from 1711)                

H

         

W

       
22  Jyske (enlisted cuirassiers from 1710)                      

W

G                
23  East Sjællandske                                          
24  West Sjællandske                                          
25  Jyske                                          
 


Norwegian Army
 

  Infantry 1700 1702 1704 1706 1708 1710 1712 1714 1716 1718 1720
1  Enlisted Regiment (2 reg. until 1701)                          

T

 

Se

         
   
2  Akershusiske 1st                                    

F

   
2nd    
3  Smaalenske 1st                                    

F

   
2nd    
4  Oplandske 1st                                          
2nd    
5  Vesterlenske 1st                                          
2nd    
6  Bergenhusiske 1st                                    

F

   
2nd    
7  Trondhjemske North
1st
2nd
3rd
                                     
   
   
   
South      

T

 

S Se

     
8  Ski Corps (Skiløperkorpset)                                          
  Dragoons 1700 1702 1704 1706 1708 1710 1712 1714 1716 1718 1720
1  1st Søndenfjeldske                                          
2  2nd Søndenfjeldske                                          
3  Nordenfjeldske                                          
 
*  Norway also had a home guard made of land dragoons organised in independant companies. In 1711 there were 20 of these in the south
 (3 576 man) and 9 in the north (2 131 man). Additional units of home guard character were Röros Mountain Jeger Corps recruited from
 miners, and Kragh's Regiment (which recruited former soldiers 1710 and was disbanded the same year). The first three years of the 18th
 century there were also a marine regiment consisting of three battalions (Bergenshusiske, Trondhjemske and Vesterlenske).
 

In the case of Livgarden til Fods and Fynske Regiment the table above give a too simplified picture of their deployment 1701-1714. Both regiments had three battalions, but only one each were in Anglo-Dutch service. The others remained in the homeland and participated in the campaigns against. The battalions in Anglo-Dutch took no part in these campaigns since they did not return to Denmark until 1714. In other word it was not the same guardsmen in Livgarden til Fods who fought in the battles of Malplaquet 1709 and Helsingborg 1710.

Return the the Armies of the Great Northern War.