Danish Organisation and Deployment

This section will give you a brief guide to the organisation and deployment of the Danish army. It does not include the Norwegian forces of the Danish crown, as they will be covered in their own section. As with all the sections I welcome any comments, criticisms or corrections you may have - please contact me

The Infantry

The Danish infantry at the start of the war consisted of two parts, the regular army and the 'National' or 'Landmilitia' regiments. The regular army was made up of 11 regiments, including a regiment of Foot Guards. Regiments had between 1 and 3 battalions, 8 had three, 2 had two and 1 had one. While battalions had either 5 or 6 musketeer companies and could have a grenadier company attached. There were 103 men in a musketeer company (113 in the Garden til Fods and Marine regiments), while the grenadiers had 112 men. Thus battalions would have a nominal strength in the region of 600 to 700, although of course this size could be reduced by attrition, etc.

A number of additional regiments were also raised during the war. In 1703 three regiments were raised or purchased, Von Emdens battalion, Wurttemberg-Oels battalion (10 companies of 100) and Von Malzahns battalion (5 companies of 100), the last of these was purchased from Mecklenburg. In 1710 (or maybe earlier?) two more units were raised, Hansens regiment (2 battalions ?) and Baastigs battalion. Two further battalions were raised in 1711 in Westphalia, Von Callenbergs and Von Kleppings (this unit was purchased from Sachen-Meiningen). As far as I know these units were never used as such, instead they were used to bring the 4th Imperial regiment up to strength (see below).

 

The Grenaderkorps: At some time during this period the grenadier companies of the regular army were combined into a grenadier regiment - the Grenaderkorps. This had 12 companies in two battalions, for a total of about 1300 men. The regular regiments then reconstituted their grenadier companies at some time after this. Unfortunately I have been unable to pin down exactly when these changes happened, but certainly this unit fought at the battle of Helsingborg in 1710, so the first part of the change must have occurred before this. My best guess is that these changes happened in late 1709, following the return of the 'Imperial' units and the renewed entry of Denmark into the Great Northern War. With perhaps the regimental grenadier companies being reformed in 1711, following the Scania Campaign of 1710.

 

The 'Imperial' Regiments: In 1702 a contingent of Danish troops were hired out to the Holy Roman Empire / Austria (see below). At some time in 1704 - 05 these troops, and the reinforcing units, were reorganised into four 'Imperial' regiments. The Marine Regiment troops do not appear to have been part of this new organisation and seem to have retained a separate organisation. The 'Imperial' regiments were made up of the following troops.

  • 1st Regiment: 1 battalion each from the Dronningens Livregiment and Prinds Georgs Regiment.
  • 2nd Regiment: 1 battalion each from the Prinds Frederiks (Christians) Regiment and Prinds Carls Regiment.
  • 3rd Regiment: 1 battalion each from the Sjaellandske Regiment and Jyske Regiment.
  • 4th Regiment: Von Emdens battalion and Von Malzahns Mecklenburg battalion - later on Von Callenbergs and Von Kleppings troops were also incorporated later on, but not as whole units.

 

The 'National' or 'Landmilitia' Regiments: These units were raised at the start of the war from a cadre of troops. There were 8 regiments of these troops, each of which officially had 3 battalions. Battalions had four companies of 161 men, including 8 grenadiers - giving an official strength of about 650, although of course in the field this strength would be unlikely. At Helsingborg the two such units there had 2 battalions of 800 and one of 1500, although these probably represent the whole regiment.

 

Mystery Units: There are a number of units that are listed in various sources, but for which I have no information. these units are likely to be units that have been covered above, but under an unfamiliar name. The following are these units, where they are mentioned, there size and suggestions to there possible identification.

  • Leepels Infantry Regiment - Helsingborg 1710, 2 battalions - 1200 men: Possible Hansens or a Landmilitia Regiment.
  • Laalandske Battalion - Helsingborg 1710, 1 battalion - 800 men: Part of a Landmilitia Regiment.
  • Rosenauer Regiment - Combined army 1713, 1 battalion: A battalion of one of the 'Imperial' Regimnets.

Of course the suggestions are just a guess, if anyone has any better information please contact me.

 

Regiment
Available
1699 - 1700
With Maritime Powers
(1701 - 14)
Imperial Contingent (1702 - 09)
Available 1710 for GNW
1710 Helsingborg
1712 Gadebusch
1713
Allied Army
1715 Rugen
Garden Til Fods

18 + 2 co:
3 Btns

1st Btn: 6+1 co: 740 men
-
2 Btns: 12 + 1 co
2 Btns: 1350 men
2 Btns: 1200 men
-
1 Btn
Dronningens Liv

18 + 2 co:
3 Btns

-
1 Btn: 6 + 1 co (1)
2 Btns: 12 + 1 co
2 Btns: 1350 men
1 Btn: 600 men
-
1 Btn

Prinds Frederiks

18 + 1 co
3 Btns

-
1 Btn: 6 + 1 co (2)
2 Btns: 12 co
2 Btns: 1400 men
1 Btn: 550 men
-
-
Prinds Georgs

18 + 1 co
3 Btns

1st & 2nd Btns: 12 + 1 co: 1544 men
3rd Btn: 6 co (1)
-
-
-
-
1 Btn
Prinds Carls

18 + 1 co
3 Btns

1st & 2nd Btns: 12 + 1 co: 1544 men
3rd Btn: 6 co (2)
-
-
-
-
1 Btn
Sjaellandske

18 + 1 co
3 Btns

1st & 2nd Btns: 12 + 1 co: 1544 men
3rd Btn: 6 co (3)
-
-
-
-
-
Jyske

18 + 1 co
3 Btns

-
1 Btn: 6 + 1 co (3)
2 Btns: 12 co
2 Btns: 1350 men
-
-
1 Btn
Fynske

18 + 1 co
3 Btns

1st Btn: 6 + 1 co: 860 men
-
2 Btns: 12 co
2 Btns: 1350 men
-
-
1 Btn
Schacks

12 + 1 co
2 Btns

-
-
2 Btns: 12 + 1 co
2 Btns: 1300 men
2 Btns: 1000 men
1 Btn
-
Marine

10 + 1 co
2 Btns

-
1 Btn: 5 co
2 Btns: 10 + 1 co
2 Btns: 1350 men
2 Btns: 1100 men
1 Btn
-
Oldenborgske Btn

5 + 1 co
1 Btn

5 + 1 co: 740 men
-
-
-
-
-
1 Btn
Wurttemberg-Oels Btn

-

10 co: 1007 men (from 1703)
-
-
-
-
-
-
Grenaderkorps
-
-
-
2 Btns: 12 co
2 Btns: 1200 men
2 Btns: 1100 men
-
1 Btn
Von Emdens Btn
-
-
1 Btn (from 1703) (4)
-
-
-
-
-
Von Malzahns Btn
-
-
1 Btn: 5 co (from 1703) (4)
-
-
-
-
-
Hansens
-
-
-
2 Btns ?
-
-
-
-
Baastigs Btn
-
-
-
1 Btn
-
-
-
-
1st Imperial
-
-
Units (1) from 1704 / 05
2 Btns
-
1 Btn: 600 men
1 Btn
-
2nd Imperial
-
-
Units (2) from 1704 / 05
2 Btns
-
2 Btns: 900 men
1 Btn
-
3rd Imperial
-
-
Units (3) from 1704 / 05
2 Btns
-
1 Btn: 500 men
1 Btn
-
4th Imperial
-
-
Units (4) from 1704 / 05
2 Btns
-
2 Btns: 1100 men
1 Btn
-
Leepels
-
-
-
-
2 Btns: 1200 men
-
-
-
Laalandske (National?)
-
-
-
-
1 Btn: 800 men
-
-
-
Rosenauer
-
-
-
-
-
-
1 Btn
-
Ostsjaelandske National

12 co
3 Btns

-
-
3 Btns: 12 co
2 Btns: 1600 men
-
-
-
Vestsjaelandske National

12 co
3 Btns

-
-
3 Btns: 12 co
1 Btn: 1500 men
-
-
-
Fynske National

12 co
3 Btns

-
-
3 Btns: 12 co
-
-
-
-
Aalborgske National

12 co
3 Btns

-
-
3 Btns: 12 co
-
-
-
-

Aarhuske National

12 co
3 Btns

-
-
3 Btns: 12 co
-
1 Btn: 400 men
-
-
Ribe National

12 co

3 Btns

-
-
3 Btns: 12 co
-
-
-
-
Viborgske National

12 co
3 Btns

-
-
3 Btns: 12 co
-
1 Btn: 400 men
-
-
Oldenburske National

12 co
3 Btns

-
-
3 Btns: 12 co
-
-
-
-

The Holstein Campaign: During this campaign the following infantry units were used.

Initial Invasion Force: Prinds Carls Regt (3 btns), Sjaellandske Regt (1 btn) and 'part' of the Jyske Regt.

Reinforcements: Garden Til Fods Regt (3 btns), Dronningens Liv Regt (3 btns), Prinds Frederiks Regt (1 bn), Prinds Georgs Regt (3 btns) and the rest of the Jyske Regt (a total of 3 btns).

Also there, but I am unsure when: Fynske Regt (2 btns) and Schacks Regt (1 btn).

The Cavalry

At the start of the war there were 18 Danish cavalry units, 1 Drabantgarde (1 company), 2 regiments of Guard Horse, 11 of Horse, 2 of Dragoons (one of which was Guard) and 2 units of Landmilitia Dragoons. All but two of the regiments, one of the horse - the 1st Jyske had 4 companies and the Drabantgarde had 1 company, had 6 companies. The companies were meant to be 67 strong, which with staff gave a total of 415 men (281 for the 1st Jyske and 57 for the Drabantgarde). As was usually the case though considerable variations on these strengths existed in the field.

In addition to these units, further units where raised during the war and other changes made. In 1701 an additional regiment of Horse was raised. A further regiment of Horse and a Dragoon regiment were raised in 1703. This Dragoon regiment, the Wurttemberg-Oels, was very large. It had 10 companies of around a 100, giving the regiment in theory about 1000 men. While a last regiment of Dragoons was raised at some time (unknown by me) before 1710. In addition to these new regiments the Landmilitia Dragoons were converted to Horse during this period. One in 1710 and the other in 1711. Although I am uncertain if this was a real change or just a paper exercise. Certainly these seem to be referred to as 'Dragoons' for some time after the change!

In total then during this period the following 22 mounted units were available: The Drabantgarde, 2 regiments of Guard Horse, 13 of Horse, 4 of Dragoons (including 1 of Guards), 2 of Landmilitia / Horse.

 
Holstein Campaign 1700
Helsingborg, 1710
Gadebusch 1712
Joint Russian - Saxon - Danish army 1713
Rugen 1715
Imperial Service
Maritime Powers Service (B = Blenheim, R = Ramilles)
Drabantgarde
-
1 Cmp
-
-
-
-
-
Livgarden Til Hast
Invasion
400 men (see Note 4)
3 Cmp - 500
3 Cmp
-
-
-
Livregiment Til Hast
-
-
-
-
-
-
1701 - 1714 ( B & R)
1st Sjaellandske Horse
-
2 Cmp - 452 men
3 Cmp - 400
3 Cmp
-
-
-
2nd Sjaellandske Horse
-
-
-
-
-
-
1701 - 1714
3rd Sjaellandske Horse
-
2 Cmp - 392 men
3 Cmp - 400 men
3 Cmp
-
-
-
1st Jyske Horse
Reinforcement
2 Cmp - 456
3 Cmp - 400
2 Cmp
-
-
-
2nd Jyske Horse
Reinforcement
-
-
-
2 Sqn
-
1701 - 1714 ( B & R)
3rd Jyske Horse
Invasion
see Note 1 & 3
4 Cmp - 500 men
4 Cmp
2 Sqn
-
see Note 1
4th Jyske Horse
Reinforcement
-
-
-
-
-
1701 - 1714 ( B & R)
5th Jyske Horse
Invasion
-
-
-
-
-
1701 - 1714
1st Fynske Horse
-
2 Cmp - 455
3 Cmp - 500
3 Cmp
-
-
(B & R) see Note 1
2nd Fynske Horse
Invasion
2 Cmp - 455
3 Cmp - 400
1 Cmp
2 Sqn
-
1701 - 1714
Bernstorffs (later Oldenborgske or Holstenske) Horse
Invasion
-
-
-
2 Sqn
-
1701 - 1714
Ahlefeldts (later Wurttemberg) Horse
Raised in 1701
-
-
-
-
-
1701 - 1714
Dithmer (later Dewitz) Horse
Raised in 1703
see Note 3
6 Cmp - 800 men
2 Cmp
2 Sqn
1703 - 1709
(B & R)
Livregiment Dragoons
Invasion
6 Cmp - 992 men
5 Cmp - 800 (see Note 5)
4 Cmp
2 Sqn
-

-

Holstenske Dragoons
Invasion
-
-
-

-

see Note 2
-
Wurttemberg - Oels Dragoons
Raised in 1703
-
-
-
2 Sqn
-
1703 - 1714
Rodsteens (later Bulows) Dragoons
Raised before 1710
4 Cmp - 994 men
6 Cmp - 800 men
4 Cmp
-
1702 - 1709
-
Sjaelladndske - Fynske Landmilitia Dragoons (see Note 6)
-
6 Cmp - 1200 men
-
-
-
-
-
Jyske Landmilitia Dragoons (see Note 7)
-
-
6 Cmp - 800
6 Cmp
2 Sqn
-
-

Note 1: The 3rd Jyske Regiment, under Ditlev Brockdorff, is listed as being with the Danish contingent to the maritime powers, but it is not listed as being at either of the battles. While the 1st Fynske Regiment, under Baron Brockdorff, is not listed as being part of the Danish contingent to the maritime powers, but is listed as being at the two battles. Most likely one or other of the sources has mixed up the two 'Brockdorff' Regiments.

Either way both units appear to be back with the main Danish army by 1710 and participating in their campaigns. In 1710 and afterwards it appears that the 1st Jyske is usually called the Brockdorff Regiment.

Note 2: A unit called the 'Juel Dragoon Regment' was with the Imperial army from 1702 to 1709. It is mostly likely this unit in my opinion, although it may have been the Livregiment Dragoon Regiment or one of the Landmilitia dragoon regiments.

Note 3: At Helsingborg an unknown unit called the 'Hestg Ryttarregiment' is listed. This is most likely to have been either of the two units noted. Both had, or may have had, just returned from foreign service and took part in the other Danish campaigns of the period.

Note 4: May not have been actually present at the battle.

Note 5: This units is listed as being in two parts, one of 3 companies and one of 2 companies. Each of which is given a strength of 800 men, giving a total of 1600 men for the unit. This would be extremely unusual and large for the Danish army of this period. I have therefore assumed it means that there were 800 in total, not per part of the unit.

Note 6: This unit became an Enlisted Kyrasserregiment in 1711, I am unsure if this was just a name change or if changes in equipment, etc were made.

Note 7: This unit became an Enlisted Kyrasserregiment in 1710 and was known as the Jydskenational Ryttar Regiment in 1713. I am unsure if this was just a name change or if changes in equipment, etc were made.

 

The Artillery

The Danish army is one of the armies of the period that is usually mentioned as one that used 'battalion' guns, i.e. small pieces that were attached directly to a unit. I have found no evidence so far that they did in fact do this or of the number or type of such guns. The following are the occasions and sizes of the times I do know about. These totals may not include such pieces, although I feel that the total numbers involved probably indicate that all guns are included.

If used at all battalion guns seem to be issued one to a battalion judging from the numbers available. Note there were 22 battalions at Helsingborg and 18 at Gadebusch.

Helsingborg 1710: 32 pieces in total. 16 3pdr guns (probably the battalion guns), 6 4pdr guns (possibly battalion guns), 4 6pdr guns, 3 12pdrs guns and 3 howitzers.

Gadebusch 1712: 43 pieces in total, 3, 4 and 6 pdrs. So some of these were probably battalion guns, possibly two per battalion but more likely one.