Vilhelm Herman Oluf Madsen

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Vilhelm Herman Oluf Madsen
Vilhelm Herman Oluf Madsen by Elfelt.jpg
Born 11 April 1844
Died 14 June 1917
Nationality Danish

Vilhelm Herman Oluf Madsen (11 April 1844 – 14 June 1917), was a Danish politician, minister, army officer, businessman and inventor. He was War Minister in the Ministry Deuntzer 1901-1905. Madsen was the father of the physician Thorvald Madsen.

He began his military career in 1859 and served in the Second War of Schleswig as a lieutenant. In 1896, at the rank of captain, Madsen was responsible for the adoption of the Madsen machine gun by the Danish army in 1902 and widely exported. He also constructed the Madsen 20 mm anti-aircraft cannon.[1]

As War Minister of Denmark in the Cabinet of Deuntzer from 1901 to 1905 he supported the Fortification of Copenhagen and this contributed to the conflict that led to the split of the Venstre Reform Party as the left wing of the party left the party in protest to form the Radikale Venstre.

He became a general in 1903 and was elected to the Folketing in 1909. He was interested in mathematics and was the president of Danish Mathematical Society from 1903 to 1910.



  • Bjørn A. Nielsen, Den danske hærs rekylgeværer : system V.H.O. Madsen og J.A.N. Rasmussen, Statens Forsvarshistoriske Museum, 2008. (Forsvarshistoriske skrifter, nr. 6).
  • Article "Madsen, Vilhelm Herman Oluf" pp. 23–26 in: Dansk Biografisk Lexikon, 1. ed, vol. XI, 1897
Political offices
Preceded by
Johan Gustav Frederik Schnack
War Minister of Denmark
24 July 1901 – 14 January 1905
Succeeded by
Office abolished