Battle of Schleswig

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Battle of Schleswig
Part of the First Schleswig War
Episode fra Slaget ved Slesvig 23 april 1848.jpg
Captain Würtzen's dragoons recapture two Danish guns. Painting by Niels Simonsen.
Date 23 April 1848
Location Schleswig, Busdorf
Result Prussian victory
Belligerents
Flag of Denmark.svg Denmark

 Prussia

Flagge Preußen - Provinz Schleswig-Holstein.svg Duchy of Schleswig
Commanders and leaders
Colonol Frederik Læssøe Friedrich von Wrangel
Strength
12,000
Casualties and losses

Dead: 170
Wounded: 463

Unwounded captured: 258

Dead: 41
Wounded: 366

Unwounded captured: 54

The Battle of Schleswig occurred near Dannevirke on Easter morning, April 23, 1848 as the second battle of the First Schleswig War of 1848–1850.

Prussia had just entered the war and had sent almost 12,000 troops to Schleswig-Holstein. Counting reserves, General Wrangel commanded in total more than 18,000 men – almost three times the size of the Danish forces. The German Reich troops did not participate in the battle, but their presence forced the Danes to fight defensively against the Prussians.

On a cold and wet Spring morning the Germans attacked, but were held back by Colonel Frederik Læssøe who admirably defended himself, and losses were limited. There was still a horrific number of casualties.

The battle lead to an acute bout of discouragement in Denmark – a sharp reversal from the optimism of the March entry of Denmark into war. The army withdrew to Funen leaving Jutland open to Wrangel's troops.

The battle inspired writer Carl Ploug to write a song about the battle, "Paaskeklokken kimed mildt..." (full text)

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