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Thread: [History] The "Battle" of Copenhagen - 1807

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    Default [History] The "Battle" of Copenhagen - 1807



    Author: Atterdag
    Original Thread: The "Battle" of Copenhagen - 1807

    The "Battle" of Copenhagen
    The "Battle" of Copenhagen



    The British bombardment



    Today it is 200 years since the British navy began what is said to be the world’s first terror bombardment of civilians.

    It is the year of 1807; the Napoleonic Wars have been raging on for some years now. England stands alone against almost all of Europe as Napoleon amazingly secured an alliance with Russia the same year on the 7th f July.

    The British feared a French invasion even though the navy of Napoleon couldn’t match the Royal Navy. Only one nation possessed the naval strength to threaten the British Isles, and that was the Kingdom of Denmark-Norway. Even though the British already had attacked the neutral Danes 6 years earlier the navy was still a threat.

    Still Denmark-Norway had retained its stance of strict neutrality and when the British assailed the unprepared capital of Copenhagen, the army was on the mainland to defend the Southern border from the French.

    So the British navy of 24 ships of line, several other vessels and enough transports to carry the 30.000 man strong army arrived in the Sund to force the Danish government to hand over the navy.
    This demand was outright denied by the Crown Prince who was ruling the kingdom (and at the time stationed with the army at the southern border).

    Faced at the denial, the British landed their 30.000 man and surrounded Copenhagen (around 100.000 inhabitants at that time). Then the bombardment began.
    To break the morale of the defenders the besieging British targeted civilian buildings on purpose.
    The British began shooting at 19.30 the 2nd of September. The bombardment continued for the next three days and resulted in the death of at least 2000 civilians and the destruction of most of the Danish capital.
    Throughout the course of the attack negotiators, were sent to the British commander on many occasions, but to no avail. The British would only leave, if they left with the neutral navy.

    The result was obvious. Four days later, the 6th of September a truce was signed.
    The British got what they had come for. The entire Dano-Norwegian navy was taken including all the supplies present which could be used to complete new ships.
    Though the British had captured several vessels, only four of the ships saw any active service in the British Royal Navy.
    These ships were; Christian VII, Dannemark, Norge and Princess Carolina.

    On a larger scale the results were even more disastrous for the defenders.
    With the British attack the policy of neutrality had to be abandoned and the Danish-Norwegian government sought to Napoleon and France for help as it no longer could defend itself without a navy. This would later lead to a continuation of the war against Britain and place Denmark on the losing side of the Napoleonic Wars, resulting in the separation of Norway from Denmark and bankruptcy.
    Last edited by Ragabash; September 07, 2007 at 10:36 PM.
    Ερωτηθεὶς τι ποτ' αυτώ περιγέγονεν εκ φιλοσοφίας, έφη, Το ανεπιτάκτως ποιείν ά τινες διά τον από των νόμων φόβον ποιούσιν.


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