Siege of Malmö

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Siege of Malmö
Part of the Scanian War
Battle of Malmø-Johan Philip Lemke.jpg
Battle of Malmø, by Johan Philip Lemke.
DateJune 26, 1677
Result Swedish victory
Flag of Sweden.svg Swedish Empire Flag of Denmark.svg Denmark
Commanders and leaders
Fabian von Fersen  Christian V
2,000 troops
5,000 townsmen
14,000 troops
Casualties and losses
1,000 killed 3,000 to 4,000 killed

The Siege of Malmö (swedish: Belägringen av Malmö) was a conflict between Danish troops and Swedish defenders of the city of Malmö, fought on the night of June 25 and 26 (Julian calendar), 1677. Fought toward the end of the Scanian War, the siege was one in a string of Danish losses that saw the Swedish forces under King Charles XI of Sweden take control of the land battles in southern Sweden.

Siege of Malmö 1677


Fabian von Fersen (1626-1677)

The fortified town of Malmö was the only Swedish stronghold that had not fallen into the hands of the Danes and during 1676-1677. It was used as a base for Swedish operations in the southwest corner of Scania. To win the war, King Christian V of Denmark therefore had to capture Malmö. The siege began on June 10, when the Danish navy anchored in the roadstead north of the town and the Danish army camped on the plain south of the town. Danish engineers soon begun digging trenches leading up to the castle in the west and to the eastern and southern gates in the town wall. On the 12th, the Danes brought in 28 siege guns and 27 mortars that started bombarding the castle and the town walls.

Swedish administration was not sure about the loyalty of the civilian citizens as they had only been under Swedish rule since 1658. But reports from Kristianstad about how the Danish King Christian V had allowed his soldiers three hours of plunder after the capture of the town in August 1676 ensured the citizens that their best option was to support the Swedes. The Swedish defense was under the command of General Fabian von Fersen (1626-1677) who served as Chief Commander in Scania, Halland and Bleking. During the siege of Malmö, he suffered and injury to his head and survived only a short time after the engagement. He died on the 30th of July following unsuccessful surgery. [1]


The bombardment became more intense on the evening of the 25th, and at 1 o'clock in the morning the battle began with a Danish sham attack on Malmö Castle ((Swedish: Malmöhus slott), followed by two full attacks on the city, one at the southern gate (Söderport) and one at the eastern gate (Österport). [2]

The Danes used fascines, ladders and pontoons to cross the moat. After a fearsome fight the Danish guard under command of Siegfried von Bibow was able to break through the defense close to the eastern gate. However, as soon as Danish troops reached the crest of the town wall the Danish artillery ceased to fire, which gave the defenders the opportunity to man their guns.

The Swedish artillery soon begun firing on Danish troops making their way across the moat, which killed a number of Danish soldiers and made it impossible for the Danes to bring reinforcements to von Bibow. Inside the town, von Bibow had too few men to force his way to the gate and open it, and eventually he and all his men were cut down by Swedish soldiers and townsmen. Another attack on the other side of the eastern gate made it to the crest of the wall, but no further, while the attacks at the southern gate failed to even cross the moat.

On the 5th of July the Danish army began its retreat north to the town of Landskrona.


The Danes had lost the initiative in the war, as well as its best troops and some of its most skilled commanders. It has been suggested that the later may have effected the outcome of the subsequent Battle of Landskrona (Swedish: Slaget vid Landskrona) which followed on the 14th of July. While the Danish navy had the upper hand over the Swedish, the siege was one of a number of Swedish victories on land that would, in the end, restore the status quo of Scania being under Swedish control.[3] [4]


  1. ^ "Fabian von Fersen (1626-1677)". Svenskt biografiskt lexikon. Retrieved November 1, 2018.
  2. ^ "Malmöhus slott". Malmö stad. Retrieved November 1, 2018.
  3. ^ Martin, Henri (1865). Martin's history of France: the age of Louis XIV. Walker, Wise and co. p. 455.
  4. ^ "Slaget vid Landskrona 1677". Retrieved November 1, 2018.

Other sources[edit]

  • Isacson, Claes-Göran (2000) Skånska kriget 1675-1679 (Historiska Media, 2000) ISBN 91-88930-87-4

Coordinates: 55°35′40″N 13°01′05″E / 55.5944°N 13.0181°E / 55.5944; 13.0181