Skånske War 1676 -
guardian-government, which governed Sweden in Karl 11th’s
years of under age, had practiced unsteady and weak politics. It had
in 1668 made triple alliance with Holland and England against Ludwig
14th but soon changed ally and made in 1672 an union with
France and England against Holland.
This brought all France’s and Sweden’s enemies onto their feet.
In 1675 prince Frederik Vilhelm of Brandenburg beat the Swedes at
Fehrbellin, and it really looked like the time had come for Denmark to
win back the lost lands.
At first king Christian 5th occupied the Gottorp
territories, then he sieged and conquered Wismar, and in 1676 he
declared Sweden war.
A couple of years earlier Karl 11th had become of age. So
far he had only cared a little about state matters, but now, because
of the imminent danger, he became a grown up, ignored the Council
totally and undertook the governing himself.
From the Danish part the war started in 1676 with fierce power. The
Norwegian army entered Bohus len and threatened Göteborg. The Danish
fleet under Niels Juel conquered Gotland, whose inhabitants received
the Danes with joy, then he joined a Dutch fleet and beat the Swedish
fleet at Øland.
Then the Danish army crossed The Sound and entered into Skåne.
The weak Swedish army-platoons withdrew to Småland. The Skåninger
and Blekinger cheered with rejoicing king Christian. By one stroke the
old border had been restored, only Malmø, which had a strong Swedish
garrison, did not come into Danish hands.
If Karl 11th would keep Skåne, he literally had to
re-conquer it. Little by little he gathered reinforcements, and when
winter came he entered Skåne. In spite of laborious way through an
aggressive and hostile population, he would not give in.
The 4th December the battle at Lund was fought, where the
two armies each under their king’s command, fought with a unequalled
stubbornness, and the luck varied between the two kings, but none of
them would surrender.
After terrible killings it towards evening looked like the Swedes
strengths were exhausted. Then king Karl with a few hundred riders
made a last desperate attack on the thin Danish lines and wrenched the
victory from the Danes.
7.000 Swedish and 10.000 Danish troops had joined in the battle. When
the sun settled, 7-8.000 men were either dead or wounded on the
After the battle at Lund the Danes kept low profile in the garrisons,
but anyway the country had not been brought to obedience under king
At sea Sweden suffered decisive defeat, especially on the 1st
July 1677, when Niels Juel in Køge Bugt defeated the superior Swedish
the battle the joint Danish-Dutch fleet arrived, and they were now
completely master of the seas, while the Swedes kept lowe profile in
In May Christian 5th departed together with his army and
went through all of Skåne. Again Karl 11th had to fight
for their lifes, but at the battle at Landskrona the victory again
became Swedish. Though the fate of Skåne was not yet settled. From
the fortresses Christian 5th could make himself obeyed in a
great part of the country, and the Snaphaner continued their cruel and
But the inhabitants of Skåne became tired of this destroying war and
began to support the Swedish soldiers in wiping out the Snaphaner. The
final fight took place in Kristianstad, which after a brave defence
was conquered by the Swedes.
The war in Skåne thus ended with a victory for Sweden. But at the
Norwegian border the Swedes had been defeated, and at sea they were
totally defeated, and Swedish Pommern had been conquered by the Danes
and the Brandenburgers. Anyway, Sweden got well off the war, because
Ludvig 14th, who in Nijmegen 1678 had made peace with
Holland, would not accept, that his ally Karl 11th suffered
any loss. At the peace in Lund 1679 Sweden kept all its lands, and a
small amount of money was all Denmark got from that bloody war.
To confirm the peace Karl 11th married Christian 5th’s
sister Ulrikke Eleonore, and the Nordic countries agreed upon an
attack and defense union.
The head man for the plan, that Denmark and Sweden should stand by the
side of its other, was Karl 11th’s confidential advicer