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First Schleswig War information

First Schleswig War
Part of the revolutions of 1848

Danish soldiers return to Copenhagen in 1849
by Otto Bache (1894)
Date24 March 1848 – 8 May 1852
Schleswig and Jutland
Result Danish victory
Status quo ante bellum

First Schleswig War German Confederation

  • Schleswig
  • First Schleswig War Holstein
  • First Schleswig War Prussia
  • First Schleswig War Kingdom of Saxony
  • First Schleswig War Kingdom of Hanover
  • First Schleswig War Mecklenburg-Schwerin

First Schleswig War Denmark

Supported by:
Russian Empire Russian Empire
First Schleswig War United Kingdom
First Schleswig War France
Commanders and leaders
German Confederation Frederick of Noer
Kingdom of Prussia Friedrich von Wrangel
Kingdom of Prussia Felix Salm-Salm
Kingdom of Prussia Karl Wilhelm von Willisen
Denmark Frederick VII of Denmark
Casualties and losses
8,309 killed, wounded or captured 8,695 killed, wounded or captured

Roll of honour for the War in the cathedral of Schleswig

The First Schleswig War (German: Schleswig-Holsteinischer Krieg), also known as the Schleswig-Holstein Uprising (German: Schleswig-Holsteinische Erhebung) and the Three Years' War (Danish: Treårskrigen), was a military conflict in southern Denmark and northern Germany rooted in the Schleswig-Holstein Question: who should control the Duchies of Schleswig, Holstein and Lauenburg, which at the time were ruled by the king of Denmark in a personal union. Ultimately, the Danish side proved victorious with the diplomatic support of the great powers, especially Britain and Russia, since the duchies were close to an important Baltic seaway connecting both powers.

The population was majority Danish in Northern Schleswig (roughly the area returned to Denmark after World War I), while in the rest of Schleswig and in Holstein and Lauenburg it was majority German.

In March 1848, the German population of Schleswig, Holstein, and Lauenburg rebelled, and created a provisional government and army. As Holstein and Lauenburg were member states, the German Confederation supported the rebels as a federal war (Bundeskrieg) according to its statutes. This was continued by the German Central Government (of the federal state that replaced the Confederation in 1848/49-51), with most of the German troops being provided by Prussia.

The war was interrupted in August 1848 by the armistice of Malmö, but started again with a Danish offensive in February 1849. In summer 1850, Prussia had to back down and leave the rebels to their fate. On 1 April 1851, the Schleswig-Holstein army was disbanded. The London Protocol of 1852 was the final settlement of the conflict with the great powers confirming the Danish king to be the duke of the duchies but also declaring that the duchies had to remain independent from Denmark proper.

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