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King  Frederik 3rd 

1609 - 1670             King  1648 - 1670
                           Norway  1648 - 1670






Danish Kings, from Gorm the Old to the present Queen Margrethe 2nd


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The Siege of Copenhagen 1658-59.  


After the peace in Roskilde Karl Gustav would turn against prince Frederik Vilhelm of Brandenburg. But to be able to fight in Germany he had to feel himself secure from Denmark and demanded, that Denmark together with Sweden should close The Strait for an expected Dutch fleet, because now, because Sweden har the superior force in The Baltic Sea, Holland was an just as decided opponent to Sweden, as it had been before to Denmark.
Only hesitating Denmark gave in, and Karl Gustav now decided to destroy entirely Denmarks independence. He shipped his army from Kiel and landed without declaration of war in Korsør and went toward Copenhagen (August 1658).

During the spring and summer Frederik 3rd had repaired the fortresses around Copenhagen. The lakes, the floods and the moats formed great obstacles for the attackers, and in the city people were determined to defend themselves until the utmost.

King Frederik 3rd stated: “I will die in my nest”.
Soldiers, citizens, students even women took with eagerness part in the defence, which was let by courageous leaders: Ulrik Christian Gyldenløve, Schack, Thuresen and lord mayor Hans Nansen.

On the other hand the solid Kronborg soon surrendered to the Swedes. Then the Dutch fleet under Obdam came and carried off a bloody victory in The Sound over the Swedish fleet, which was let by Wrangel and came to the rescue of Copenhagen with troops and food (October 1658).
The Swedes abandoned the siege and settled for keeping the city confined, until the winther came.
The night before the 11th February 1659 Karl Gustav carried out a raid, which in particular was directed against Vestervold. They fought all night long, but when the morning broke, the raid was completely rejected, and the city saved.
However, the siege continued, and at the same time the Swedes made themselves master of the Danish islands.
Outside Copenhagen.
Many places in Denmark and Norway the people had gone into the fight for freedom with the same courage as in Copenhagen. The Trønders drove away the Swedish troops, and in Skåne armed peasants (snaphanerne) made all areas unsafe. The Bornholmer killed or drove away the Swedish occupation troops and proclaimed king Frederik their king. The Jutlander, as well, got into fighting. On the other hand an uprising in Malmø failed, and an attempt to win back Kronborg failed.

An powerful army of Poles and Brandenburgers had already in the autumn 1658 from the south invaded Jutland and forced the Swedes away from there. Some Danish and foreign troops were ferried over to Fuen and defeated the Swedes at Nyberg (1659) and captured the whole army.

Then Karl Gustav made the plan to seek rehabilitation for his losses by a raid into Norway, but died suddenly in Göteborg in 1660.
Between Denmark and Sweden a peace was made in Copenhagen. Denmark got only Trondhjems len and Bornholm back, because the sea-powers did not want the same state as master of both shores of The Sound. Between Poland and Sweden peace was made in Oliva. Sweden kept Livland.

The loss of Skåne 1658
The loss of Skåne was of greater significanse for the development of the Danish people than anything before or later.
Skåne had in the Middle Ages been the Danish church’s headquaters and the main land of Danish nobility, and often had its peasants been the best advocates of freedom for ordinary people.
Recently it had produced Malmø’s reformers and Tyge Brahe. Therefore it took a long time, before the loss of Skåne was forgotten. At the earliest from 1720 it can be said, that they had reconciled themselves to the thought , that it no more was Danish.

The great wars in the 17th century resulted in enormous poverty, especially at the Jutlandic peninsular. Particular were the wars against Karl Gustav of terrible effect, as not only the Swedish armies, but even more our allies had looted and ravaged.
Many villages were without people, and countless farms were abandoned. About 1/10 of the country was deserted.

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