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Battle of Als

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The Battle of Als Danish: Slaget om Als; German: Übergang nach Alsen was fought on 29 June 1864 during the Second Schleswig War between Denmark and Prussia It was the last major engagement of the war, as the Prussians under General Herwarth von Bittenfeld secured the island of Als – occupied by 9,000 Danish troops, including the garrison of Dybbøl which had retreated there – in a night attack masterminded by the Chief of Staff later Field Marshal Leonhard Graf von Blumenthal

The Prussian command gave orders for the crossing of the Alssund – the narrow strait separating Als from the mainland of Jutland – to begin in the night of 28–29 June 1864 The Commander-in-Chief had selected Øster Snogbæk, at the northern end of the strait, as the crossing-place, the nearby Sottrup Storskov woods providing cover which enabled the preparations to be hidden from the Danes At midnight, the Prussian troops were gathered for the assault, without packs and wearing Feldmützen forage caps instead of helmets

At 2:00 am 2,500 Prussian soldiers started crossing the Alssund, between the village of Sottrupskov and the Sandbjerg Estate, in small boats The Danish modern armoured monitor Rolf Krake was in Augustenborg fjord, and sailed to the Alssund where it caused the Prussians severe difficulties and stopped the crossing But after that the Rolf Krake, due to damage including to its bridge caused by heavy Prussian shelling and the mistaken belief that Prussians had already crossed the strait south of its position,[1] suddenly turned around and sailed away; the Prussian troops continued the crossing

At 2:15am the Prussians landed in Arnkil opposite Sottrupskov and under heavy fire took the Danish entrenchments This let them build a pontoon bridge of 32 segments over the Alssund Of the Danish army, Regiment No 5 went north to Sønderborg, and Regiment No 18 fought the Prussians near the village of Kær The Danes eventually retreated to Kegnæs, some surrendered, some were evacuated by ship

The Danish army lost nearly 3,000 men killed, wounded or captured on Als

Memorial stone in Sottrupskov: "Here rest five Prussian soldiers of the 24th Regiment, drowned during the crossing to Als on 29 June 1864"


Following Denmark's defeat by the Austro-Prussian army, Als became part of Prussia and later Germany until the referendum of 1920

Johann Gottfried Piefke, the famous German march composer, dedicated his "Der Alsenströmer" to the battle


  1. ^ https://webarchiveorg/web/20090225035410/http://wwwmilhistdk/1864/als/als_ukhtm The capture of the Island of Als
  • George Bruce Harbottle's Dictionary of Battles Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1981 mw-parser-output citecitationmw-parser-output citation qmw-parser-output id-lock-free a,mw-parser-output citation cs1-lock-free amw-parser-output id-lock-limited a,mw-parser-output id-lock-registration a,mw-parser-output citation cs1-lock-limited a,mw-parser-output citation cs1-lock-registration amw-parser-output id-lock-subscription a,mw-parser-output citation cs1-lock-subscription amw-parser-output cs1-subscription,mw-parser-output cs1-registrationmw-parser-output cs1-subscription span,mw-parser-output cs1-registration spanmw-parser-output cs1-ws-icon amw-parser-output codecs1-codemw-parser-output cs1-hidden-errormw-parser-output cs1-visible-errormw-parser-output cs1-maintmw-parser-output cs1-subscription,mw-parser-output cs1-registration,mw-parser-output cs1-formatmw-parser-output cs1-kern-left,mw-parser-output cs1-kern-wl-leftmw-parser-output cs1-kern-right,mw-parser-output cs1-kern-wl-rightmw-parser-output citation mw-selflinkISBN 0-442-22336-6
  • "Kampen på Als den 29 juni 1864" in Danish Archived from the original on 25 May 2007
  • https://webarchiveorg/web/20071012165639/http://wwwmilhistdk/1864/1864/1864_dkhtm in Danish
  • Tom Buk-Swienty Dommedag Als Gyldendal 2013 ISBN 978-87-02-11795-0 in Danish

External links

  • The capture of the Island of Als
  • Video of "Der Alsenströmer" march by Johann Gottfried Piefke
  • Google Earth air view of the area

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Battle of Als

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