This Day In History: Denmark Sent 14,000 TO Sweden For The Battle Of Helsingborg

On February 27, 1710, Denmark sent 14,000 soldiers to fight for possession over Scanian territory in the battle of Helsingborg, in an effort to regain possession of territory lost in the Great Northern War.

Background

The battle of Helsingborg came after – and as a result of – the Great Northern War, which ended for Denmark at the signing of the treaty of Traventhal in 1700. As part of the treaty, Denmark was forced to stop fighting and lost a number of provinces including Scania, Halland, and Blekinge.

The territory loss bothered Denmark but the country had to wait for an opportunity to retaliate and regain possession. When the Swedish were finally defeated in 1709, the Danes leaped at the chance to declare war and when they did, it was something of a show.

Invasion

At the onset, the Danes overwhelmed the Swedes, who were war tired and not prepared for the Danish entourage: landing on Swedish ground, the Danes paraded in an enormous invasion army made from six calvaria, four dragoon regiments, six artillery companies, and eight infantry regiments.

The Swedes were easily pulverized and ended up with only one regiment fully fit for battle. They decided to not launch a counter attack and retreat, at least for the time being. In the meantime, the Danes thrived in their success. The country had taken control of a large chunk of Scania.

The Swedes patiently refrained from a counter attack. They focused: recruited and trained new soldiers. When their units were finally consolidated, the Swedes had an impressive army, made from 16,000 men. When the two armies met again on the night of February 27th the Danes were more than surprised to discover the Swedish forces were restored and perhaps even larger than their own army.

Counter Attack

By daybreak, the two armies stood in battle ready positions. The fog was so thick, neither side could fully see the other. By the time the sun rose and the air warmed enough to burn the fog off, the Danish commanders became aware of the Swedish army’s restorative state. They noted, the Swedes outnumbered and therefore outflanked the Danes. As the battled ensued, the Swedes took advantage of the Danes with their massive cavalry and the Danes retreated to the city of Helsingborg, where the battled continued until the city was left in ruin.

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