Düppeler Schanzen

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Düppeler Schanzen
Securing the Alsensund
Securing the Alsensund
date April 18, 1864
place Düppel west of Sonderburg
output Prussian victory
Parties to the conflict

Prussia KingdomKingdom of Prussia Prussia

DenmarkDenmark Denmark


Prince Friedrich Karl

Georg Daniel Gerlach

Troop strength
37,000 men 11,000 men

(263 dead
909 wounded
29 missing)

(700 dead
554 wounded
3,534 prisoners)

The Düppeler Schanzen ( Danish Dybbøl skanser ) were a Danish weir system near Düppel in South Jutland. Here the German-Danish war was decided . After almost five weeks of siege, the ten entrenchments were stormed by the Prussians under Prince Friedrich Karl on April 18, 1864 .


In the Duchy of Schleswig , the ski jumps secured the passage over the Alsensund to Sonderburg on the strategically important island of Alsen . The Danish side considered it impossible that the Prussian Army would dare to attack. Since he succeeded, the name storming the Düppeler Schanzen is common in Germany . In Denmark one speaks of the Slaget ved Dybbøl , the battle of Düppel. After the Prussian memorial was blown up in 1945, Dybbøl Banke gained great importance as a memorial in Denmark in the 20th century. The Museum Historiecenter Dybbøl Banke has been presenting the war events and the Danish mentality history that was influenced by them since 1992 . An exhibition has also been shown in the Düppeler Mühle since 1995.

Storming the entrenchments

Prussian troops besiege the entrenchments

As early as 1849, during the Schleswig-Holstein uprising , the entrenchments were the scene of a battle between German and Danish troops. Nobody knew them better than Franz Geerz , cartographer and general staff officer of the Prussian army. They had not lost their strategic importance. The plants were therefore strongly fortified; however, its expansion in 1864 had not yet reached the planned final state. Mistakes made at that time are also at the expense of disputes between the Danish government and the military high command; Danish Minister of War was Carl Lundbye (* 1812; † 1873). Denmark deployed 11,000 men to defend the ten entrenchments.

Prussian attack troops

6th Division , Lieutenant General Albrecht Gustav von Manstein

11th Brigade, Lieutenant General Philipp Carl von Canstein

12th Brigade, Major General Julius von Roeder

13th Division , Lieutenant General Adolph von Wintzingerode

25th Brigade, Major General Friedrich von Schmid

26th Brigade, Major General August von Goeben

Reserve: 10th Brigade, Major General Eduard von Raven

On April 18, 37,000 men from the Prussian assault columns took up their positions at around 2 a.m., which were only about 200 meters from the first Danish entrenchments. After hours of artillery preparation according to Colomier's plan, the assault began at 10:00 a.m. Even the intervention of the Danish ironclad Rolf Krake with its heavy artillery could not effectively hinder the Prussian attack. In a second row of positions (only about 400 meters away from the Danish positions) the Prussians had brought together four music corps under the leadership of the Prussian music director Gottfried Piefke . These music corps supported the attacking troops by playing well-known marches, including a. the Düppeler Schanzen-March , personally composed by Piefke, was played, where according to legend, the baton was torn from Piefke by a cannonball, so that he then continued to conduct with the sword.

Albrecht Adam : "The storming of the Düppeler Schanzen in 1849"
Prussian soldiers after the battle on the entrenchments (1864)

Only 13 minutes after the start of the attack, the Prussian infantry had taken the entrenchments in the first line. The next three hours were marked by fierce fighting. At around 1.30 p.m., the last Danish resistance collapsed at the bridgehead in front of Sønderborg. In the battle, the casualties and wounded were around 1,670 soldiers on the Danish side and 1,200 on the Prussian side, 3601 Danes were taken prisoners of war. Among the dead was the Prussian Major General Eduard von Raven , to whom Wilhelm I awarded the order Pour le Mérite while still on his deathbed . One of the Danish commanders, Major General Claude du Plat , also fell at Düppel.

During the battle of the Düppeler Schanzen, observers of the International Red Cross took part in acts of war for the first time, the Swiss surgeon Louis Appia on the Prussian side and the Dutch naval captain Charles van de Velde on the Danish side.

According to an unconfirmed legend, but very popular in Wilhelmine Germany, the pioneer Carl Klinke is said to have helped the Prussians to victory by - laden with an explosive charge and shouting “Ick bin Klinke. I'll open the gate. ”- I stormed towards the fortifications and then blew myself up with the first jump.

The Danish troops suffered a heavy defeat against the vastly outnumbered Prussian troops. The main Danish armed forces had to withdraw to the island of Alsen and could no longer intervene in the fighting for Jutland . The decision was made in favor of the allied Prussians and Austrians, even if the war continued for a few months. In the Peace of Vienna , Denmark had to cede the Duchy of Schleswig , the Duchy of Holstein and the Duchy of Saxony-Lauenburg to Prussia and Austria .


Model of the ski jumps in the Düppeler Mühle

From January 13, 1865, the forest and manor of Prince Friedrich Karl near Zehlendorf (today in Berlin ) were called " Düppel ".

Of the 119 captured Danish guns, 20 have been hanging on the bottom drum of the Berlin Victory Column since 1873 .

Every year on April 18, a national memorial event, Dybbøldagen , takes place at the Düppeler Schanzen . In addition to laying a wreath, Danish soldiers appear in historical uniforms from 1864. In addition to soldiers from the NCO School of the Danish Army, German soldiers have also been taking part in the memorial event in the form of an honorary formation since 2002. On Saturday, April 17th, the legendary secret fraternization of the opposing soldiers of Denmark and Prussia on the eve of the battle will be commemorated at a large event . The 140th anniversary of the battle in 2004 was a special event in Denmark. This was surpassed by a state act in 2014 when Denmark commemorated the battle and the victims on April 18 in Düppel in the presence of the Danish queen and international guests of state. Over 15,000 people attended the celebration. But here too there are always difficulties. The Danes complained that the German wreaths were too big.

In many places in Denmark and in more than forty German cities and municipalities, the names of streets, squares and restaurants remind of the place and event of the battle.

German monument

Victory Monument from 1864 on a picture postcard (1915)

Following a royal decree of December 18, 1864, the foundation stone for the Düppel monument was laid on April 21, 1865 in the presence of numerous guests of honor . The Berlin senior building officer Heinrich Strack created the design for the victory monument . The German War delayed the start of construction until 1868. After the founding of the German Empire , the 20 m high monument was completed in August 1871 in the form of a Gothic pinnacle . The ceremonial unveiling of the victory memorial was carried out by a Prussian government commissioner on September 30, 1872. A relief medallion of Wilhelm I was to be seen at the top of the memorial made of granite and Obernkirchen sandstone . A second, very similar victory memorial was built near Arnkiel on Alsen .

Since the transfer of North Schleswig in 1920, the memorial has been in Denmark. In May 1945, eight days after the end of World War II and the German occupation of Denmark , Danes blew up the memorial. The Arnkiel memorial followed in June 1945. The ruins of the Düppel monument were buried in a nearby marl pit. A court order prohibited the then and future owners of the pit from ever digging up the rubble. A base relief that is exhibited in the Museum Schloss Sonderburg has been preserved.

The Bismarck Tower on Knivsberg was blown up in August 1945. The Bismarck statue attached to it was brought to the Aschberg (Schleswig-Holstein) in 1919 - before the referendum in Schleswig .

Danish point of view

History Center Dybbøl Banke


  • Inge Adriansen: Erindringssteder i Danmark. Monumenter, mindesmærker og mødesteder , Museum Tusculanum, Copenhagen 2011, ISBN 978-87-635-3173-3 .
  • Klaus Alberts: Düppel 1864 , Schleswig-Holstein between Denmark and Prussia, Boyens Buchverlag 2013, ISBN 978-3-8042-1384-5 .
  • Tom Buk-Swienty : Slaughter Chaff. April 18, 1864. The story of a battle. From the Danish by Ulrich Sonnenberg. Osburg, Berlin 2011, ISBN 978-3-940731-72-2 .
  • Jan Ganschow, Olaf Haselhorst, Maik without time: The German-Danish War 1864. Prehistory - course - consequences . Ares, Graz 2013, ISBN 978-3-902732-16-3 .
  • Frank Jung: 1864 - the war for Schleswig-Holstein . Schleswig-Holsteinischer Zeitungsverlag, Flensburg / Ellert & Richter, Hamburg 2014, ISBN 978-3-8319-0566-9 .
  • Klaus Müller: Tegetthoff's March in the North Sea. Oeversee, Düppeler Schanzen, Heligoland in the German-Danish War 1864. Styria, Graz [u. a.] 1991, ISBN 3-222-12007-2 .
  • Ferdinand Pflug: The German-Danish War. Rockstuhl, Bad Langensalza 1865/2009, ISBN 978-3-86777-090-3 .
  • Gerd Stolz: The German-Danish fateful year 1864. Husum, Husum 2010, ISBN 978-3-89876-499-5 .
  • Winfried Vogel : Decision 1864. The battle near Düppel in the German-Danish War and its significance for the solution of the German question. Bernard & Graefe, Koblenz 1987, ISBN 3-7637-5840-2 .
  • Caroline Elisabeth Weber: The Vienna Peace of 1864: Perceptions by contemporaries in the duchies of Schleswig and Holstein up to 1871 (= Kiel work pieces : Series A: Contributions to Schleswig-Holstein and Scandinavian history , volume 41). Lang, Frankfurt am Main 2015, ISBN 978-3-631-66729-3 (Master's thesis University of Kiel [2015] 164 pages).
  • The German Nordmark Ehrenwacht . In: The Gazebo . Volume 44, 1872, pp. 728-730 ( full text [ Wikisource ]).


Web links

Commons : Düppeler Schanzen  - Album with pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. The German-Danish War 1864 . Issued by the Great General Staff. Berlin 1887, Volume 2, Appendix No. 61.
  2. Chaff . In: Brockhaus Konversations-Lexikon 1894–1896, Volume 5, pp. 614–615 (here p. 615).
  3. ^ Theodor Fontane : The Schleswig-Holstein War in 1864 , Baltica-Verlag, Flensburg, 1999, ISBN 3-934097-02-2
  4. ^ Theodor Fontane: The Schleswig-Holstein War in 1864 , p. 249.
  5. Jürgen Müller: The German Confederation 1815-1866 . Oldenbourg, Munich 2006, ISBN 978-3-486-55028-3 , pp. 46 .
  6. Schleswig Wars. (No longer available online.) Society for Schleswig-Holstein History, archived from the original on December 8, 2012 ; Retrieved March 24, 2013 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.geschichte-sh.de
  7. ^ Krigen i 1864. Grænseforeningen, accessed on March 24, 2013 .
  8. ^ Theodor Fontane: Walks through the Mark Brandenburg . Volume 5 Five castles , "Dreilinden".
  9. Stefan Jacobs: Viktorias new clothes , Der Tagesspiegel , February 16, 2010, accessed on August 9, 2015.
  10. ^ WN April 3, 2013
  11. a b North Schleswig - Boundary Drawings and Border Crossings. Monuments and their history in the German-Danish border area (Deutschlandradio Kultur 2014)

Coordinates: 54 ° 54 ′ 25 ″  N , 9 ° 45 ′ 29 ″  E