Monday, 5 October 2015

Second Schlegwig-Holstein War

The release of the first figures from Northstar Military Figures of their range of Danish figures for 1864 and the recent reading of the Tom Buk-Swienty book “1864: The Forgotten War that shaped Modern Europe” has renewed my long-term interest in the Second Schlegwig-Holstein War. So I went digging in my files and found that I had actually amassed quite a bit of information. I have included some here.


When I first showed an interest in this period a friend has loaned me a book several years ago that he had bought at the Danish Military Museum in Copenhagen together with a colour plate showing the uniforms. I had scanned both, but both have been temporarily (I hope) lost with the hard drive issue I have had of late. Fortunately I had printed a copy and equally fortunately I hadn’t thrown them out in one of my clear outs. I have scanned the printed output and included them here (my apologies for the image quality, but it is the scan of a print of a scan).


The Infantry

The only variation of uniform was found in the lifeguards and the 18th Regiment. The former does appear to have worn the bearskins into battle and while all other regiments wore the fatigue cap in the field, the 18th regiment wore the shako.


Lifeguard, 18th Regiment

Senior Officer, Captain, NCO

Dragoon trooper

Artillery crew


Army Organisation

I have included a full order of battle at the end of this article, but the lower level organisations were:

(Source: Danish Army Museum publication)


There were 23 infantry regiments (1 Life Guard regiment and 22 line infantry regiments) each of two battalions. Each battalion comprised of around 850 men, in four companies, each of which comprised a captain, 3 lieutenants, 26 NCOs, three buglers and 180 men


There was one Guard Hussar and six regiments of line dragoons. Each comprised of 600 men in six squadrons.


There were fourteen field batteries organised in batteries of eight guns, in sections of two guns each. Batteries were equipped with either 4-pound Rifled or 12-pound smoothbore guns.


Order of Battle

The Danish Order of battle at the commencement of the hostilities was:

(Source Nafziger Collection):


Army Commander: de Meza

lst Division: Gerlach

  lst Brigade: Lasson

      2nd Infantry Regiment

      22nd Infantry Regiment

  2nd Brigade: Vogt

      3rd Infantry Regiment

      18th Infantry Regiment

  3rd Brigade: Waroishoffer

      16th Infantry Regiment

      17th Infantry Regiment


      4th Dragoon Regiment (3 squadrons)

      2nd Artillery Battery

      10th Artillery Battery

2nd Division: du Plat

  4th Brigade: Wilster

      4th Infantry Regiment

      6th Infantry Regiment

  5th Brigade: Harbow

      7th Infantry Regiment

      12th Infantry Regiment

  6th Brigade: Bulow

      5th Infantry Regiment

      10th Infantry Regiment


      Guard Hussar Regiment (3 squadrons)

      8th Artillery Battery

      9th Artillery Battery

3rd Division: Steinmann

  7th Brigade: M. Muller

      1st Infantry Regiment

      11th Infantry Regiment

  8th Brigade: Scharffenburg

      9th Infantry Regiment

      20th Infantry Regiment

  9th Brigade: Noergvard

      19th Infantry Regiment

      2lst Infantry Regiment


      4th Dragoon Regiment (3 squadrons)

      11th Artillery Battery

      12th Artillery Battery

Cavalry Division: Lindemcrone

  1st Brigade: Hommens

      3rd Dragoon Regiment

      5th Dragoon Regiment

  2nd Brigade: Scharffenburg

      6th Dragoon Regiment


      5th Artillery Battery

Reserve Infantry Brigade: Caroc

      8th Infantry Regiment

      5th Infantry Regiment

Reserve Artillery:

      1st Artillery Battery

      3rd Artillery Battery

      4th Artillery Battery

      6th Artillery Battery

      7th Artillery Battery

      13th Artillery Battery

Reinforcements that joined at Danewerike:


      Livgarde Infantry Regiment

      13th Infantry Regiment

      14th Infantry Regiment

3rd Cavalry Brigade:

      2nd Dragoon Regiment

      Guard Hussar Regiment (3 squadrons)


  1. The recently released Northstar figures are handsome and very tempting.
    Excellent gathering of resource materials too and very useful uniform illustrations.

    I, however, must attempt to confine my 19th Century to 15mm but look forward to seeing your project expand.

    1. This is likely to be one of those projects that takes a long time to develop. In part because we are still paying off some of our Alaska/Hawaii trip, and in part I am detmined to finish the Crimean War armies.

      My plan at this stage is to do a division of three brigades, plus a brigade of cavalry and maybe the Life Guards.

  2. An excellent overview. Thanks!